Having recently been sent the Tefal Optigrill I wondered if it really would be as good as they say it is.
The Tefal Optigrill uses sensor technology to measure the weight and thickness of different meats to decide how long it will take to cook them. For steak, the grill alerts you when the meat is rare, medium and well done. Fantastic as you can take out a rare steak while leaving the rest to continue cooking.
That said at the time of writing I haven't tried steak but since everything else came out perfectly I have no doubt steak will be just as good. I did cook homemade burgers and selected 'medium' and we couldn't fault them.
Tried and Tested:
First up was crispy bacon. In our opinion bacon (to be used in a sandwich) just isn't worth bothering with unless it's smoked back bacon and cooked till it's proper crispy. Using the Optigrill, you can choose if you want to remove your bacon at the lightly cooked, well done or crispy stage. Now resisting the temptation to have a quick look as it cooked we had chosen 'crispy' but we needen't have worried, the bacon turned out proper crispy and just perfect.
The grill is designed so that excess fat and juices run away from the meat and are caught in a removable container. Once you’ve finished cooking and the grill is cool, you can also remove the cooking plates for cleaning (they are dishwasher safe) but using just hot sudsy water as I did they clean up brilliantly in next to no time.
All this is fine and dandy but what happens when you cook chicken breast fillet for example - would it be dry?
The fillets cooked to perfection and certainly wasn't dry - I wrapped chicken fillets in bacon and they were cooked through but still moist. Pork steaks turned out just right too.
I also cooked corn on the cob in the microwave for 4 minutes on high adding a tablespoon of water. Removed and poured away the water then left to cool. Brushed with a little olive oil then onto the Optigrill (using the manual setting) to cook for just a few minutes so you get the char-grill look and heat through. Remove from the grill onto a serving plate, season with sea salt and pepper add a sprinkling of chilli flakes and a knob of butter - delicious.
All in all:
It's easy to clean, dead easy to use and can even cook food from frozen by selecting the correct mode before cooking. The audible beep altering you to the different cooking stages is really quite loud which is a good thing. The Tefal Optigrill lived up to all it claims to be and personally I couldn't fault it at all.
Now for my Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Pineapple Pepper and Chilli Salsa!
For the Chicken Marinade - mix together the following:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 fat clove of garlic - peeled and very finely chopped
a few fresh rosemary leaves - very finely chopped
a good pinch of freshly ground black pepper
the zest of a lemon (keep the lemon for later)
To serve 2 you will need:
2 nice fat skinless chicken breast fillets
4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
2 small sprigs of rosemary
the juice of half a lemon (the lemon you used to make the marinade will be fine)
How to do it:
Rub each chicken fillet with a little of the marinade popping a sprig of rosemary on top - wrap each one with two rashers of streaky bacon to almost cover each fillet. Rub with the rest of the marinade and cover with cling film while you get on with making the salsa.
For the Pineapple Pepper and Chilli Salsa:
Top Tip! Make this as near to serving as you can - mint will go black quite quickly once chopped.
3 rings of pineapple - cut into smallish dice (I used tinned since that's all I had but fresh pineapple would be all the better)
1/4 of a cucumber - sliced into four lenghways - seeds removed and then cut into small dice.
1/2 a green bell pepper - seeds removed and cut into small dice
1/2 a red bell pepper - seeds removed and cut into small dice
1 or 2 spring onions - sliced diagonally
1 large mild or medium heat fresh red chilli - top and tailed, seeds removed and very finely chopped
1 and a half teaspoons of fish sauce (nam pla) available from any good supermarket
the zest and juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons of caster sugar
a couple of fresh mint leaves
In a bowl add the pineapple, cucumber, peppers, spring onion and chilli.
Mix in the fish sauce, lime zest and juice, caster sugar along with 1 tablespoon of pineapple juice either from the can (or whatever comes of dicing a fresh pineapple) and throw in the chopped mint. Mix well, have a taste and serve straight away.
Cook the chicken on a preheated Tefal Optigrill selecting 'poultry' until the indicater light shines red and alerts you that the chicken is done. To serve, squeeze over a little lemon juice from the lemon you kept from making the marinade.
If you don't have an Optigrill: You can cook in a preheated oven 200C/400F of Gas 6 for about 30 to 40 minutes - since all oven vary and the thickness affects the cooking time I'll leave it to you to decide when your chicken is done.....Or you can take the guess work out and kit your kitchen with a Tefal Optigrill - I'm confident you won't be disappointed.
For more information and to find out where to buy pop over to the Tefal website.
Disclaimer: I was sent a Tefal Optigrill free of charge. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to write anything positive.