T3's Sage The Smart Grill Pro BGR840BSS review in a sentence: Lots of functionality and a great grilling area, but catchment of greasy residues could be better.
I love the idea of grilling food, but the results don’t always turn out quite as good as I’d expected. That’s often because I frequently tend to use the wrong appliance to get the job done. I’ve tried my fair share of the best electric grill models and many of those certainly hit the mark. However, I’ve recently been trying out the Sage The Smart Grill Pro BGR840BSS, which has revolutionised food when I want to grill it. Hell, it's even got a temperature probe to ensure food is properly safe to eat.
The Sage The Smart Grill Pro is essentially an appliance that's aimed at home users who want to grill food in their kitchen. Despite its bulk, it can be easily cleaned and put away when you’re done. That’s a little different compared to the more robust outdoor grills and barbecues you can get for use in the garden, the patio or perhaps the balcony if you’re apartment-bound. Fans of grilling on that front though are well catered for too, as witnessed by our bumper best barbecue guide.
The Sage The Smart Grill Pro BGR840BSS, to give it its full reference name, is available now and can be purchased from the likes of Juicers.co.uk and Amazon. It’s got an RRP of £339.95 but the former has it on offer currently for a tasty £328.95, which shaves a little off the relatively high price tag. Remember though, the Sage Smart Grill Pro is a premium product that does a lot more than your average electric grill.
Sage The Smart Grill Pro is a portable grilling appliance, which is notable for its smart cooking features and temperature probe. This can be inserted into food to ensure thorough cooking while power is never in short supply thanks to 2400W on tap. There are five smart settings tailored towards cooking meat properly and for a variety of tastes, so it’s easy to get the likes of beef, lamb, pork, chicken and fish cooked just how your dinner guests like it. The probe adds to the appeal by relaying information back to the small LCD screen on the front of the appliance.
Considering its portability, the grill does have a reasonably sizeable footprint, with dimensions of 17D x 8.7W x 17.5H centimetres. It’s also quite bulky too, thanks in the main to its design and stainless-steel build, which feels like a quality construction. Usefully, there are detachable grill plates, which streamline the cleaning up process. Meanwhile, the exterior looks great thanks to the liberal use of those brushed metal components including the chassis, covers and handle.
A removable drip tray catches all of the greasy residue when you’re cooking meats and, thanks to the plates being detachable the general clean-up process for this unit is very straightforward. A lengthy cable is neatly wound around two hooks hidden on the underside of the appliance for when you need to store it. Bear in mind it weighs 9.88kg, so the Sage feels quite heavy, especially if you’ve got to carry it any kind of distance.
It can be frustrating to really fancy some grilled or barbecued food only to use an appliance that fails to deliver on the cooking front. I generally find the Sage brand to be very good at getting it right though and The Smart Grill Pro is no exception. Lookout for the high sear embedded elements, which are the hot bits that sit inside the grill plates. They’re right in the grooves in this example, which means the Sage is able to emulate those trademark griddle marks as seen in so many quality food establishments.
If you frequently worry about whether you’ve cooked food right or enough, the additional appeal of this Sage grill is the temperature probe. This plugs into the side of the unit and conveys information to the small LCD screen, allowing you to check about how done your food is by prodding it as you go along. Better still, there’s the ability to lay out the grill so it sits completely flat. This effectively gives you a cooking area that’s twice the size, so you get 1677 cm².
What’s more, one side is flat, so is the perfect griddle surface for doing things like egg and bacon. That lets you throw your fish, burgers or steaks on the lined griddle plate to get a barbecue flavour. All in, there’s the capacity for cooking quite a lot in one go.
This is a really versatile appliance that I think gets better the more I use it and gain familiarity with the controls. I’ve always tended to wing it a bit with cooking things like burgers, but the temperature probe makes all the difference and takes a lot of the guesswork out of cooking food. Chicken is a fine example, which when you’re in barbecue mode can be a real challenge to get right. Being able to get those neat griddle marks on the exterior of food is the icing on the cake.
Adding to the versatility factor is the ability to fold out the grill, and then fry a handful of eggs on the flat plate. This is also spot-on for bacon, so if you’ve got friends around who like a full English then you’ll be able to do a few portions in one fell swoop. You may not use this feature everyday, but it’s mighty handy to have on offer as and when you need it. You also get plenty of heat from this Sage too, with the appliance never feeling like it’s struggling, even if there’s a veritable stockpile of meat on the plates.
Admittedly, there does seem to be some issues with the drip tray and things can get a little messy if you’re working with something particularly greasy. This is a common enough trait that I’ve experience with other grills though and I find choosing quality cuts of meat helps. That and hovering around the appliance as it cooks, just to keep an eye on grease levels and where they’re going.
This is a reasonably big-ticket item, which will certainly earn its keep if you’re planning on using it a lot. However, Sage The Smart Grill Pro is also a bit of a beast because it’s big and quite heavy. If you don’t have room to store it away between use you’ll need to have plenty of countertop real estate to accommodate it. Nevertheless, if you’ve got it on display it does look really good thanks to the plethora of stainless steel components on offer.
While the detachable plates do make cleaning up easier than some grills, there is a reasonable amount of work involved in bringing back the sheen to all that stainless steel. Avoiding greasy spillages from the drip tray area requires practice, but that’s a moan I have about many countertop grills. They’ve all got their issues and the Sage doesn’t seem to be an exception. Aside from that though, this does cook food just how you like it, which makes Sage The Smart Grill Pro worthy of that high asking price, I think.
When it comes to electric grills other than this Sage model, your options are many and varied. As our guide reveals, you’ll find a plethora of models to suit all kinds of budgets although if you’re a keen griller the more well-known and reputable brands are probably the most sensible.
One of the best has to be the Weber Lumin Compact Electric Grill, which is great for outdoor use and has 2,200 Watts of power. Ninja is a good bet too, as witnessed with its Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill and Smoker, which allows you to take cooking food to another level thanks to its wider appeal. Tefal’s Optigrill+ is a cool appliance too with plenty of functionality but with an ease of use that will prove popular with anyone who’s less keen on picking through manuals.
Finally, pretty much anything from the George Foreman stable will get the job done and there are a range of models to suit all kinds of requirements. The most recent edition is the Immersa model, which offers the rather nifty option of being fully washable thanks to having a removable section of the design which contains the electrics. It’s a great little thing.2023-06-05T08:02:39Z dg43tfdfdgfd