Convenience of use
The Lono Grill and Plancha is intended more for use in the center of the table. There is thus no need for anti-splash edges in order to allow all the guests to access the hob, at the risk of letting grease and juices escape on the table. Protection is therefore strongly recommended. The table, on the other hand, is rather well protected from the heat. The device includes a bottom and the resistance is itself taken in a metal casing under the plate.
This plate occupies a total area of 27 x 41 cm. It’s not particularly big, but it’s not really a problem since the device is used on a table.
While WMF has made stainless steel a speciality, the Lono Grill and Plancha plate is made of cast aluminum to which is added a non-stick coating. Amateur cooks should enjoy it, but precautions are necessary: avoid handling food with metal utensils, such as cutlery; it’s quite paradoxical for a table grill.
The famous Cromargan – trademark for the manufacturer’s stainless steel – has not been forgotten. It is found on the tower of the device. It therefore has a purely decorative role here, which remains appreciable for a device intended to sit enthroned in the middle of the table. We find the Lono Grill and Plancha much more elegant than the Tefal Colormania plancha with its garish plastic, but beware of heat strokes all the same: this tower can be very hot during use.
The cooking plate proposed here still has the particularity of being striated on one part and smooth on the other. It must thus offer a grill function on the first and plancha on the other, but this does not change much in use, especially since only one resistance is provided here. It is therefore impossible to adjust these two zones independently, unlike the Riviera & Bar QPL665 or the Krampouz Plancha Saveur double.
A selector nevertheless makes it possible to adjust the power of the entire surface on 5 levels. We would have preferred to find a real thermostat indicating temperatures, but these are rather reserved for top-of-the-range planchas, just like the stainless steel at the level of the cooking plate.
A luminous ring around the selector lets you know if the Lono Grill and Plancha is heating up or not, and therefore if it is ready to be used. Despite the non-stick coating, a drizzle of oil can be used, but there is no need to put a lot. It should also be noted that the grease and cooking juice collection tray is rather small; it is therefore better to limit the fat. On the other hand, the drip system in the center of the plate is quite efficient.
After use, the plate can be removed at the push of a button, and the rather small footprint of the WMF device means it can be stored quite easily in a cupboard. However, we regret that the cable is not removable to further facilitate storage.
Ease of maintenance
The WMF Lono grill and plancha must obviously be cleaned after each use. It is recommended to leave it to cool for 1 hour, but the residue can be removed with a cloth when it is still warm in order to take it off more easily.
Because of the non-stick coating, it is obviously not recommended to rub with an abrasive sponge. Once the plate is cold, a button releases it for easy cleaning. It is possible to do it by hand, with a sponge and dishwashing liquid, but it should be noted that the resistance is stuck to the plate, which can complicate handling in the sink. The plate can also go in the dishwasher.
In addition to the plate, it is important to clean the drip tray, being careful not to knock it over when removing it and bringing it to the sink. It is not very deep so it can fill up very quickly. It is also possible to put it in the dishwasher.
The body of the device can finally be cleaned with a damp cloth. In the absence of anti-splash edges, the part surrounding the ejection button of the plate is particularly exposed to cooking grease during use. We also found a little grease under the plate during our test, but a wipe with a sponge is enough to clean it.
WMF has equipped its grill/plancha with a 2300 W heating element. Combined with a 5-level dimmer and fixed directly under the plate, it allows rapid heating. Only 2 minutes and 20 s were needed to reach our reference temperature (230°C) on the surface of the plate by setting the device to maximum power. A performance that only two models have surpassed: the Plancha Time by Senya and the Plancha Colormania by Tefal.
By letting the WMF model heat up, the temperature rises to around 290°C before dropping and then rising again. It stops this time around 240°C, a temperature more suitable for cooking. It is therefore preferable not to rush when lighting the plate. The manufacturer also recommends preheating for 10 minutes before putting the food on it.
Since we are looking for a temperature close to 230°C for our measurements, we were able to leave the drive on 5. The surface temperature then fluctuates between approximately 190°C and 240°C depending on the state of the resistor: l The device heats up for about 30 seconds and lets the temperature fall for 1 min 30 s each time. Other models use longer cycles and allow the temperature to vary by almost 100°C, such as the Colormania and Gourmet Gourmet planchas from Tefal and the KG2397 from Severin. On the other hand, the QPL665 from Riviera & Bar manages to limit these variations to 30°C, but the grill and plancha from WMF arrives without difficulty in the best appliances in our comparison on this criterion.
The state of the resistance also depends on the homogeneity of the temperature on the surface of the plate, which fails to distribute the heat evenly during heating. The differences are nevertheless limited thanks to the design of the resistance: it covers the surface of the plate well. As soon as it stops working, the differences disappear with it and a uniform temperature is obtained. The device is therefore still doing quite well overall, but the cooking note could have been even better without the openings provided for dripping cooking juices. Care must be taken to avoid them when placing the food to be cooked, and their central position can complicate the operation.
Ease of use.
Homogeneous and rather stable temperature.
No independent cooking zones.
Drip tray small and not very practical.
Chassis a bit warm during use.
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