How I Landed with the Curtis Stone Reversible Grill
I remember reading stories in the past about people who got “addicted” to purchasing items from QVC, Home Shopping Network or other sell-on-TV items, and how they would acquire boxes upon boxes of items that they wouldn’t even open and just stack up in their homes because they felt compelled to purchase it when they saw it on TV.
Weird. It’s so foreign to me. How does watching a channel MAKE someone spend money?
Now I love shopping–but I particularly love online shopping when I don’t have to be presentable and can read fellow shoppers’ reviews and make my decision in my own time. But I have neither shopped or wanted to shop while watching TV. For me, watching TV is about news and drama, and not related to shopping.
But one night last year, instead of sticking to my usual channels, I actually channel-surfed when I spotted Chef Curtis Stone on TV. I only knew him because he was the host of some show I had watched a few episodes of back from a few years ago but I did recognize him. So I stopped for a moment and realized he’s selling products with his name on it. Now I’m not one to buy something just because it has someone’s name on it, but I stayed and watched because he was cooking. Never a bad thing to stop and learn to see how a chef cooks, right?
Well, about 30 minutes later, I was online at HSN and putting in my first order. Hell, I wasn’t just putting in an order–I was shelling out nearly $200 for two sets of a frypan that he was advertising and I even decided to buy a table-top grill that was shown as a “related item” while I was purchasing!So THIS is how people get reeled into home shopping networks @HSN. Hook, line and sinker!Click To Tweet
Within a week’s time, I had all three boxes sitting at my house. I shipped off one package of frypans to my mom and happily opened the box with the Curtis Stone Grill in it.
As a Korean who has grilled meat on a table-top grill almost her entire life, I am serious about indoor grilling. I’m also serious about my meats! I was excited to take this for a spin with some Korean meats. But first, that night’s dinner would be salmon and vegetables, and I wanted to see how this beauty of a machine did with cooking an entire dinner for two on top.
— Grace Keh (@TheGraceKeh) May 26, 2015
It was incredibly easy. I cooked three salmon steaks on the grill (one was for lunch the next day) and as you can see, not only did the grill cook it through–it even made spectacular grill marks much like I would expect on my Weber Grill and much like I can never get inside my over. I could get this on a grill frypan but more often than not, my frypan would have more to eat than I would if I left it on until the grill marks were this dark. I didn’t put the asparagus on until I flipped the steaks, and by the time the other side of the salmon steak was done–the asparagus was ready to eat.
So the grill works.
But as someone who has lost many, many eggs to cast iron griddles, I wanted to try frying an egg. It’s not just about not having the egg stick but HOW it cooks the egg is of importance to me when looking at a griddle. I want to see how it “fries” and what kind of markings I would get. The taste comes from the egg itself and with a little help from me, but how it appears is all attributed to the surface it’s cooked on.
Egg on Griddle Test on the Curtis Stone Reversible Grill
I actually know firsthand that this grill will fry an egg without oil. But the coloring I get on an egg is different when you have oil, so I will almost always use at least a little bit of oil on the griddle whereas I never use on on the grill side of this Curtis Stone Reversible Grill. After putting on about a 1/2 tsp of oil, I take a moist paper towel and wipe off most of it. It’s not oil-free, but it also isn’t a lot of oil.
The grill was sitting at 300 degrees for about 3-4 minutes when I began this process. And while I will take my eggs sunny-side up or scrambled most of the time, I want to cook them over easy to see how much control this griddle gives me before my egg is overcooked. Also, I don’t want the completely white, no-color usual appearance of an over-easy egg; I’m trying to test this griddle’s cooking ability and be able to transfer that experience to cooking pancakes or battered vegetables, etc., where a color-less cook is not desirable. (And if I needed to cook an all-white, plain looking over easy egg the way it’s normally done, I can just lower the heat and cook it slower.)
I expect no issues because as I mentioned, this Curtis Stone Reversible Grill really keeps the temperature constant.
I can't help myself. This dates me, but... This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.Click To Tweet
Knowing that saying basically carbon-dated me. Anyway…
As soon as I put the egg on at 300 degrees, it begins cooking. But it’s not crisping up on the sides at this temperature–it’s just cooking up the whites on one side. What I don’t want to see at this stage is the edges of the egg white burning or “over-crispifying.”
Immediately after taking the one-egg shot, I cracked the next egg on the Curtis Stone Reversible Grill (well, griddle side) and that one, too, is cooking up but not frying brown on the edges. I kept it like this for the next 1 minute or so.
Now don’t get me wrong–this is completely doable on a frying pan, too, especially with a gas grill where you can easily adjust the heat instantly to keep the edges from frying. Some people love that–but first, I personally do not like fried edges on eggs and second, for the purpose of this product review, I want to see that I can control that. Upping the heat will obviously crisp the edges, so if that’s what you like–up it to 400 or higher using the same method.
Now, it’s time to flip the egg. I put a couple more drops of canola oil onto the griddle and pushed it into the bottom side of the egg with my spatula.
Now here’s what I love about this Curtis Stone Grill. You see the browning throughout the body of the egg? But you’ll also note that none of the edges are browned. The lack of heavy oil usage is what keeps those edges from getting crispy and this grill allows you to use as little oil as you’d like without sticking.
Also keep in mind that my grill is now almost a year old with no less than 70-80 usages between then and now for all kinds of things. This many uses into it, the non-stick surface is doing wonderfully despite my not taking any special care of it. I simply wash and let dry. (Or more accurately, I have Mr. K wash and let dry…which sometimes means I have to wash it again.)
Well, after another 45 seconds or so, I took it off the griddle. The egg has colored up beautifully on this griddle but the real test is whether I was able to keep this colored egg with the over easy yolk consistency. I don’t want anything solid for sure, but I don’t even want semi-solid; I want a runny yolk.
In the end, the outside was completely cooked and the inside was all good, creamy and runny yolk.
Results: The Curtis Stone Reversible Grill & Griddle
Personally, I love my Curtis Stone Reversible Grill. Compared to regular households, I probably use my indoor grill more often than most. There is also no easier way to serve up freshly grilled meats to your guests without having to have the griller (me…) outside while the guests are at the table indoors.
For outdoor grilling of thick-cut, bone-in steaks and such, I still use my Weber Grill for everything, especially when I need to grill a large portion of anything. This is also best when you’re outside barbecuing with guests and they’re all out there with you.
But for Korean grilled meats at the table, I use the Curtis Stone Reversible Grill and Griddle for virtually everything. In past years, like this little dinner I had with two other girlfriends (and yes, I know that’s a ridiculous amount of meat for three people but that’s how I roll…nothing should ever run out!) the grill above was the one I used, constantly losing thinner cuts of meat between the grates. I still have that grill but find that I never reach for it. The Curtis Stone Grill and Griddle just works better….and try frying an egg on the one above.
On mornings when it’s just two or three of us, cooking up pancakes on the griddle while having our coffee at the table is outstanding.
The drip hole that’s in the pan does an effective job of letting grease slide off the pan and into the aluminum catch pan below the grill pan, and it’s rather wonderful having it be reversible with a grill side and a griddle side. As someone who has dinner parties often for a large number of people, when I have to make Korean “jun” of any kind, like my meat jun recipe, I’ll often take my grill over to the table, take a seat and prepare the hundreds of jun patties while watching TV or chatting with friends. It’s also large enough that when I have someone over, we can both grill items like this on our half side, making the work that much faster.
Cleanup is also a breeze for this grill compared to many other types of indoor tabletop grills. There are only three parts to clean, and they’re all nook-and-cranny-less. The griddle pan itself, the large, mostly plastic case it’s in and the drip pan, which can easily go into the dishwasher. I do not wash the grill or the case in the dishwasher. I’m going to guess they’re dishwasher-safe but I don’t recommend it.
The HSN product page for the Curtis Stone Reversible Grill says that there’s a safety lock that prevents the grill from working when the tray is not in place. OK, I’ll attest to the fact that this is a lie because it will actually work when the drip pan is in UPSIDE DOWN. Only one person in this household would wash the pan and put it back in upside down (and I will say it’s not me), but the other person (me) turned on the grill and started cooking pork belly on it one evening. Within five minutes, I had oil flowing across the table and dripping on the ground. So the safety lock is simply for operating the grill when you forgot to place the drip tray in the setup–but not when you have it in upside down.
Well, at least I can say that fat does drip away. :)
This grill is available on HSN currently, and costs $109.95 plus tax and shipping. I found that delivery takes about a week, which isn’t slow but since I compare everything to Amazon Prime, it felt like eons. Unfortunately, this product isn’t available on Amazon right now.
I did find a couple of things to ding about this grill.
First of all — exactly who do you think uses this grill that the cord is an inch over 2 feet long? I mean…how many HSN customers have a socket in their dining table? I’d say about ZERO and yet the cord is not even long enough to strangle a Barbie doll with, never mind plug into a wall. I’m always need to find a long extension cord to reach from the end of the grill’s cord to the actual socket in the wall in my dining room or eat-in kitchen area….the usual places where customers eat. I don’t know how much more it would have to cost to have a USABLE cord length, but geez, people.
Second — the glass cover….is better in theory than reality. It does come apart from the grill to make it easy to clean but some people with higher degrees took a long while in figuring out how to put it back in. It’s purpose is to reduce splatter and for the most part, it does work a bit to do that but the moment you open it, the oil is going to splatter anyway, so a lot of oil or slightly less oil in the same area makes no difference to me. I find that most of the time, I use this grill without the glass on it. It’s also the only part of this otherwise sturdy grill that feels….flimsy. The glass itself is plain glass, but the way it is put together and the way to open and close it is less than ideal. I’d suffer none at all without it.
Third, and this is really just a nitpick, but the scraper that comes with it to allegedly clean the grooves of the grill side with…I don’t know anyone who would use this and not fear scratching the surface. Besides, the nonstick coating is outstanding that nothing really sticks to the grooves anyway, and even should it stick, it comes off easily with a soft sponge. I only mention this because I stared at this thing for months, meaning to come on the HSN site to figure out what that thing is used for, and when I did realize what its purpose is, I threw it away. I’d much rather have a gadget that pushes oil off the grill plate than this.
I’ll include some additional photos below at a later date when I use this next. As many times as I’ve used this , it wasn’t for any type of review so I never took actual shots other than the quick phone photos I took for Facebook or Instagram. For now, my egg fry test will have to do. :)
Take a look at the HSN page for the Curtis Stone Reversible Grill, and holler below with a comment if you have any questions.