These desktop grills come in all shapes and sizes, from hinged arrangements that can be used as Panini presses to convertible models with base plates that switch out for griddle and waffle applications. Contact grills are pretty effective, and you can't beat them for ease of use. Hinged lid models like the George Foreman grill make for fast prep hamburgers, hotdogs, and even salmon steaks and chicken breasts.
The only down side to having one of these countertop appliances around is the real estate involved in keeping it front and center. If you have a coffee maker, can opener, blender and toaster on your countertop now, adding another appliance may be crowding things. We think having a contact grill around is definitely worth the investment, but if you plan on using your popcorn maker or crepe pan more often, by all means, snag a contact grill and stow it in a cabinet. You can always pull it out for the occasional mushroom burger or Philly cheese steak marathon. When evaluating the options, look for non-stick and smokeless units. They're less messy overall, and you won't pay much more for these features.