Gourmia GGA2100, about $150, would be a good addition not only to your summertime cook gear, but also for year-round food prep.
I’m a big fan of the Gourmia brand through my experience with their excellent GAF798 7-quart digital air fryer found at a bargain-basement price of $40 at Costco.
This multi-talented, 6-quart, 1650 Watt countertop gadget with a rather large footprint is in a subset of glass-top cooking appliances that can grill as well as air fry. Unlike my favorite design of “bucket-type” air fryers that fully contain the food and any associated mess within its bucket, this puts the heat source below the food.
In this way, it is more of a traditional grill. Capitalizing on the air frying craze, with the lid closed and the air circulating around the food, this is what an air fryer is all about. Add the tag about this being “smokeless” and it’s quite a contraption.
But how? In air fry mode, the fan draws the smoke into the inner workings where it is supposed to contain and eliminate outgoing smoke.
Like other air fryers, this one can be programmed for several functions, including Grill, Dehydrate, Bake, Air Fry and Roast. Engage the Smoke Extractor, set the Turn Reminder, and choose grill temps to Low, Med, High and Max. Unlike other air fryers, grilling may be done with the lid open or closed and the Grill Grate must be used for any grilling function.
**WHAT’S IN THE BOX**
- Gourmia GGA2100
- Grill Grate
- Air Fry Basket
- Glass Lid
Unpack! READ, then RE-READ the packed-in manual. Learn about the display and everything it can show!
Air Fry Basket or Grill Grate? Each has its purpose. The Grill Grate seems best for steaks, chops, fish fillets. The basket seems best for air fry potato wedges and other “tossables”.
What will we try as a first effort? As this is a cooker designed for flatter fare, let’s try a couple of porterhouse steaks! Then, on to potato wedges and chicken thighs.
It’s time to . . .
**PUT IT TO THE TEST**
I wish it was more intuitive than it has proved to be. Not a criticism, just an observation. For example, those nice, thick steaks? Air Fry or Broil? In my world, it made more sense to broil, so I used the Grill Grate and the Grill setting. Accustomed to broiling when the heat comes from above, I have to become accustomed to having the heat come from below.
Here is the recipe booklet, loaded with ideas to help users get the most out of their Gourmia FoodStation.
I decided to do the steaks with the lid closed on HIGH heat setting of 500º. “By default on this setting, the PREHEAT, TURN REMINDER and SMOKE EXTRACTOR will all be enabled.” Pretty smart! But I don’t know the cook time needed for a couple of generic steaks. Thickness and the cut of meat determine these things, so I will rely on my instant-read thermometer to guide me no matter what the display shows.
The manual can also be a guide here, so use it! (Click to see it)
Be mindful of the following line from the manual – “Do not cook foods that will produce a large amount of grease in the air fryer.” This can include steaks, as one example. This can include skin-on chicken parts, as another example, so be guided accordingly! You can learn from my mistakes.
My trial-by-fire has taught me to not just go for it with the FoodStation. Results were excellent when it came to the flavors. I had a steep curve while learning to not make a mess of the inside while preparing fatty foods. It would be best to use less fatty cuts of meat and skinless chicken parts.
The drip pan can only hold so much. The Smoke Extractor cannot overcome all the smoke when the food is too fatty. It’s a balancing act.
Cleanup is not as easy as with a bucket-type air fryer. FoodStation cleanup involves not only the excellent non-stick coated basket and grill grate, but also the drip pan, glass lid, and careful wiping to remove wet oils and grease, if any, from the heating element as well as the surrounding stainless steel parts. We let the dishwasher clean up the grill grate, air fry basket, glass lid, drip tray and drip tray cover.
FoodStation requires more of a time commitment than with some other product configurations.
What else can FoodStation do? We tried dehydrating stone fruit and fresh pineapple rings as well as trying our hand at our own beef jerky. All came out well and flavorful, and without fuss.
The versatile Gourmia FoodStation GGA2100 can be one of your fun and favorite cooking appliances.
The biggest takeaway and best advice I can offer is to heed the admonitions about fatty foods that can overload the smoke extraction capabilities. Practicing with a variety of foods will set the user up for a long and happy relationship with FoodStation.
Would I recommend it to my friends? Yes!!
Another model available exclusively at Walmart for a few dollars less has the controls along the right on the top surface. It appears to be essentially the same. I like this one from Target as its design should prevent a mess on the control panel.
One year manufacturer’s warranty