Here's our Sage The Smart Grill Pro review in a pithy sentence: this electric grill out-Foremans George Foreman, and is truly the God of Grills.
If you have a serious penchant for grilled food and your family and friends do too then the most obvious thing to do is invest in an appliance that’ll cook things just right. That’s exactly where Sage’s Smart Grill Pro – full name: Sage The Smart Grill Pro BGR840BSS or, outside the UK and Europe, Breville The Smart Grill Pro – fits into the culinary equation. This is an electric grill that comes with even more features and functions than the other models found in our best electric grills guide. And there are plenty of good ‘un’s in there to choose from.
Even if you’re not particularly enthusiastic about using an electric grill they make a great addition to your kitchen. Grilling food is obviously healthier as it allows more of the fat, oil and other unwanted cooking residue to drain away. Food is therefore just as tasty, but less greasy and, ultimately, should do its bit towards keeping your waistline from expanding.
While you can cook all sorts on an electric grill it’s meat that really benefits from the grilling process. Better still, they make a great alternative to the best barbecues, which while they have their place, can be affected by the weather, and require you to have a garden.
I’ve been using the Sage The Smart Grill Pro for a while, and here are my thoughts…
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Sage The Smart Grill Pro: price and availability
It’s possible to purchase Sage BGR840BSS the Smart Grill Pro from Amazon currently for £329, which makes this electric grill one of the priciest money can buy. That said, this is a premium model that has the back up of the Sage brand, which produces quality products in my experience.
You can get the same model, but named Breville The Smart Grill Pro from AU$400 although it's $632.28 currently at Amazon Australia .
This grill doesn't seem to be available in the USA under either name, but folks over there, who know a thing or two about grilling food, have a whole range of electric grill options to choose from.
Sage BGR840BSS the Smart Grill Pro: design
Make no mistake, Sage’s BGR840BSS the Smart Grill Pro is an imposing machine, with dimensions of 43.3 x 22 x 44.4 cm and a weight of nearly 10kg. That means it’ll take up a reasonable amount of space on your countertop but the overall size of the design is a win. Why? Well, you get lots of cooking space that makes it ideal for larger families, the particularly hungry or anyone who favours grilled food over everything else.
Indeed, if you’ve got space to do it the unit can be folded flat to deliver a whopping 1677 square centimetres of cooking real estate. This makes it a dream for anyone who loves showing off their barbecue skills, although you’ll need plenty of space in order to do this too. Overall, the bulkiness is one thing that could be an issue for some.
Externally the fit and finish is excellent, with a combination of stainless steel and aluminium making the Sage’s BGR840BSS the Smart Grill Pro a real talking point in your kitchen. The front of the unit has integrated controls, and the LCD display emulates the ones seen on other Sage products and could, in fact, possibly be the same component repurposed. The assembled switches and twin knobs feel robust and are really well fitted into the chassis, which is also reassuring given the premium price tag of this appliance.
Sage has also been creative with the design when it comes to cleaning too. The griddle plates can be removed and washed. They’re dishwasher-friendly too but I’ve found that they can be cleaned just as easily going down the manual route. Meanwhile, the drip tray that catches the oil keeps all of the cruddy stuff in a dedicated location and the rest of the unit comes up a treat again if you wipe it over with a hot wet cloth. The secret to this is doing it right after you’ve used it and each and every time it gets wheeled out to avoid the slow build up of grime over time.
Sage BGR840BSS the Smart Grill Pro: features
If you’re looking for an electric grill that packs in more than the average appliance then Sage’s BGR840BSS the Smart Grill Pro fits the bill. This electric grill comes with oodles of versatility, chiefly because it’s possible to control the heat and other cooking settings, either manually or by using presets. The LCD display features an idiot-proof menu system, which allows you to select your food of choice and adjust to suit.
The two chunky dials allow further customisation of heat and cooking settings. This is boosted further by embedded elements, which have been incorporated into the grill plates. Cleverly, the grill can be used to tackle steaks to great effect due to the powerful way you can adapt the heat. I’ve found that grilling things just how you like it is much easier using the Sage thanks to this versatility, compared to some electric grills where you chuck food on and basically hope for the best.
Aiding the cooking process is another great feature and it’s something of a party piece. There’s an integrated temperature probe, which isn’t just a novelty but actually works. It’s a really useful edition for getting meat dishes just right, with the LCD display showing you when to rest your meat during cooking. Better still, there are five presets, which make getting your food orders just right, no matter how finicky your guests might be. Of course, the other benefit of having this feature built in is it lessens the chance of giving said guests food poisoning due to poorly cooked meat or fish dishes.
Sage BGR840BSS the Smart Grill Pro: performance
Underneath the hood, so to speak, there’s 2400 watts of power, which is more than enough to tackle everything you throw at it. Sage has also done a fab job with the features and functions that make cooking all sorts of food much easier. It’s quick to heat up and those controls are both simple and effective. What I like about it though is that the settings for everything from beef to fish take much of the guesswork out of cooking raw ingredients.
The temperature probe works a treat too and also offers piece of mind if you’re working with foodstuffs that require extra care and attention. I’ve found it perfect for organic chicken breasts, allowing you to cook things through effectively but then ease off the heat before you remove all the moisture from the meat. Steaks can be tricky to get right too, especially as everyone has their own preference for the way they’re done. At least the probe lets you to get right into the joint and see exactly what’s going on with the heat inside.
Overall then I’ve found Sage’s BGR840BSS the Smart Grill Pro really good when you’ve got to cook a mixed bag of food ingredients, and the grill height can be adjusted to suit. This makes a real difference if you’re not cooking just one type of food ingredient or if you’re trying to pack in something like a huge unwieldy steak. Conversely, the cooking area is also great for wafer thin offerings, such as homemade pancakes while the Sage is similarly perfect for producing everyday items such as toasted sandwiches and paninis. Grilled fruit is another winner using this machine.
Sage BGR840BSS the Smart Grill Pro: verdict
This is an electric grill that deserves to get used frequently and, chances are, if you part with all that cash you’ll be making a point of doing exactly that. It’s a little too big for some kitchens, and a slight pain to store even if you’re blessed with plenty of space – so keep it out, and keep it in use.
Aside from its bulk Sage The Smart Grill Pro does everything you could expect from an electric grill – and a whole lot more besides. The cooking area is expansive, the controls responsive and the results delicious. With the temperature probe in play, it's all but foolproof, too. What more could you ask?