My Brooklyn apartment doesn’t have access to a backyard, nor does it have a fire escape next to my windows. If someone follows my blog during the warmer months, I will occasionally express my need, desire and wish for a grill. Are you familiar with an expression of saying what you want to the wind and to everyone, for your wish to come true? It happened to me. A couple months ago, T-fal’s PR representative contacted me about their OptiGrill… the email message basically reads: “Want it at no cost? What’s your address?”
With family emergencies this Fall, I was slow to respond to her offer. Then when it was delivered, it sat in the box as I dealt with a whirlwind of activities related to my non-profit job and more family emergences. After receiving a final inquiry from the PR representative about how I like the OptiGrill (Translation: When’s the review being published?), I looked at my new appliance — that I’ve been wishing for since moving in this apartment — to give it a try.
We know there’s a difference between a need and a want. Right? An indoor grill is technically considered a want. In this case, I’m kicking myself in the derriere, because it’s too easy to use. So easy, that it’s a cooking appliance needed for weekday nights — especially when there was so much go on these last few months. My procrastinating mind was thinking, “How long is it going to take to learn this machine? I really don’t have all afternoon, because deadline for X,Y and Z was yesterday.” Packed in the OptiGrill were two types of manuals: A complex and a quick start. I read the glossy quick start as I waited for the grill racks to dry.
About these grill racks… Have you ever come home not wanting to cook, because no one wanted to wash dishes? That has to happen in most old New York apartments built at the turn of the century and with refurbished or gently used appliances. As I’m quickly scanning the manual, these easy to remove and no-stick grills are drying in my dish rack. There are two buttons with one placed on the top rack and the other located in the same place on the bottom rack. The buttons gently release the racks from the grill. Placing them back on the grill is similar to placing the cover over a battery compartment on a mobile phone. A kitchen appliance that’s easy to assemble, remove and wash, is fifty percent towards being excellent.
Why the name of OptiGrill? Here’s the other “fifty percent rating of excellent” reason: A co-worker was told about this feature, and her eyes lit up like the sensor on the grill. Allow me to be honest: I’ve seen and used other brands’ indoor grills at friends’ apartments. Timing is essential to grilling meat to a person’s personal preference. The same co-worker told me about other brands giving precise directions about timing of various meats. There isn’t a timer on OptiGrill. Instead it has built in sensors working as a thermometer to alert you when the meat is done. Of course, the settings can be adjusted from rare to well-done for red meat and well-done for chicken. So far, I’ve grilled salmon to place in Saffron Butternut Squash puree soup and Chicken was grilled for a salad with Coriander Roast Cauliflower and pomegranate seeds. My next experiment involves grilling blanched vegetables, such a sweet potatoes, similar to my landlord’s vegetarian barbecue a couple summers ago. Did I mention the defrost feature? Can’t wait to try it the next time I forget to take the meat out the freezer the night before a dinner is planned.
It’s obvious, my schedule is a difficult balancing act of work, exercise, this food blog and freelance writing. These last few months I’ve come home not wanting to cook or wash dishes during the weekday. Going straight to bed is my goal, but dinner (which is lunch the next day) has to be made and packed. Meanwhile, the PR representative patiently sends emails roughly translating to “I have the answer to your stress. You wanted an indoor grill, and we delivered your heart’s desire.” The grocery list for the upcoming week has salad greens, a few vegetables and lots of chicken breast and fish that will be pre-seasoned and ready to grill when coming home from work and the gym. T-fal’s OptiGrill has proven to be an apparent need in my life.
Thank you T-fal.