The best electric grills are essential for any serious home cook. No, they do not provide the flavor and sear of a gas or charcoal grill. However, there are some serious pros and cons to electric grills. Both outdoor electric grills and indoor electric grills are good purchases.
If you want to grill all year long in colder climates. Or, if you are looking to up your grilling game, an electric grill may be right for you. Continue reading to learn more about these great cooking appliances.
What are electric grills?
First of all, let’s talk about electric grills. An electric grill is very similar to a charcoal or gas grill. They typically have a grate for cooking and a lid. Most electric grill grates are either cast iron or non-stick.
The main difference between electric grills and other types of grills is the heat source. Electric grills use electricity. That should be obvious from the name. This is a boon because you are not dealing with actual flames or fumes from burning material. An electric grill is more like an electric oven. You turn it on, heat it up, and get to grilling.
There are two main types: indoor and outdoor. Electric grills indoor are designed to be used inside your home. Their power cords will be short. They will be small enough to fit on a counter. Outdoor electric grills are made to be used outdoors. They will likely be larger, with long power cords. You may also find a combination electric grill, that will work indoors and outdoors. There are rarer, however.
Pros and Cons of electric grills
Electric grills of either indoor or outdoor variety come with some major pros and cons. Consider these before you make your purchase.
There are a wide variety of grill sizes to choose from. You can find electric grills that cook for four to fifteen people. This allows you to choose the product that best suits your needs.
The electric nature of the electric grill makes these safer than other grill types. You will not have to worry about much smoke, fumes, or flames. These are pretty much the only safe type of grill to use indoors.
As long as you get a high-quality electric grill, it will be easy to use. You don’t have to deal with flames. Just turn them on and go.
Even the top electric grills are more affordable than other grill types, especially gas. You can get a versatile model at a price that fits into most budgets.
You always have to have access to electric power. This means that you can only use the electric grill near a power source.
Some temperature controls don’t actually give you specific readings. Depending on the product, there might be only high, medium, and low or similar markings on the knobs.
Without the charcoal or gas heat, your food will not have the same flavor as other grilled food. Don’t expect a smoky, seared burger from an electric grill. You may be able to get it seared, but the smoke aspect will be gone.
Features to look for in an electric grill
Despite their drawbacks, electric grills can be extremely useful to have around. You just have to find the product that will work best for you. Keep these features in mind as you research.
Indoor or Outdoor
As mentioned above, there are two main types of electric grills. You can choose between indoor electric grills and outdoor electric grills. You may be able to purchase a grill that works in both scenarios. However, in most cases, you need to purchase the right type of grill.
Indoor electric grills are great because they extend your grilling season. Unless you are a hardcore griller, you may not want to stand outside in the snow. With electric grills, you can grill in the warmth of your home in the dead of winter.
Outdoor electric grills are great options for people new to grilling. They will look very similar to gas and charcoal grills. But, they will be much easier to use. If you are a novice griller, you may want to start with an outdoor electric grill.
Size and Weight
Size and weight are important considerations with electric grills. By size, we really mean the size of the cooking surface. Obviously, the entire grill has a size as well. This size is much less crucial. The cooking surface’s size determines how much you can cook at once. The larger the cooking surface, the more you can cook.
People who plan on moving the electric grill a lot will need to consider weight. If the grill is too heavy, it can be hard to move. This is more important for indoor electric grills or indoor/outdoor models. You will be much less likely to move outdoor electric grills much.
There is a lot of variation in the temperature controls on electric grills. This feature is not standard. You will need to do your research before your purchase. Make sure you find temperature controls that work for your experience level and cooking needs.
Some electric grills may have temperature controls that show you the actual numerical temperature. These will work like an oven. On the other hand, the temperature controls may be preset to different cuts of meat. They may also just state low, medium, or high, or something similar.
Pay attention to the wattage of the electric grill. Most will have between 1500-1800 watts. Wattage is important because it affects cook time. More watts means more power. The more power you have, the faster everything cooks.
Now, some cuts of meat do not require fast cooking times. Also, the type of meat varies your wattage requirements. First, think about the types of meat you will be grilling. Then you can determine your wattage requirements.
Many electric grills will try to tempt you with lots of extras. The extras you need will depend on your own unique cooking habits. In general, most people will want a dishwasher safe or at least easily clean cooking plates. Look for ones that are removable for easy cleaning.
Stands for countertops and outdoors are also helpful. You may even find products with extra-long power cords or different cooking modes. Pay close attention to the offered extras. They can help you narrow down your product choices.
The final factor you need to consider is the cost. Although electric grills are less expensive than many appliances, they will still cost money. You need to purchase a product that fits in your budget. Knowing your budget before you begin looking for an electric grill is always a good idea.
Top 5 Best Electric Grill - Comparison table 2020
Indoor or Outdoor?
Size and Weight
Hamilton Beach Electric Grill 25361
#1 Editor’s Choice
Dishwasher safe plate and drip tray, Removeable lid
118-square-inches, 8.14 lbs.
George Foreman 15-Serving Electric Grill
Low to high
Countertop stand, Removeable stand,
240-square-inches, 21 lbs.
T-fal GC722D53 OptiGrill XL
Four temperature settings
Nine pre-set cooking programs + manual mode
314-square-inches, 11.5 lbs.
Philips Smoke-less BBQ Grill
Up to 446-degrees Fahrenheit
Dishwasher safe parts, 1-minute setup, Infrared smoke-less technology
Weber 55020001 Q 2400 Electric Grill
6-ft grounded electrical cord, Cast-iron cooking grates
280-square-inches, 42 lbs.
Top Five Best Electric Grill 2020—Reviews
#1 Hamilton Beach Electric Grill 25361
Hamilton Beach is known for its kitchen appliances. The Electric Grill 25361 proves why. It comes in many different configurations. Five to be exact. The searing grill with the window is our pick of these five. If you want a lot of options and versatility in your electric grill, the Hamilton Beach 25361 is for you.
The 25361 uses 1200 watts, which makes it a very powerful indoor electric grill. It also has a removable hood. You never have to worry about what your food looks like. The hood has a window, which allows you to monitor the grilling process.
Hamilton Beach has made the 25361 with variable temperatures. It will grill from 200-450-degree Fahrenheit. That is more than enough to cook any meat or vegetable. You will get a lot of use out of the 450-degree setting. It is the perfect searing temperature. Just remember that you won’t get any grilling aromas with this electric grill.
#2 George Foreman 15-Serving Electric Grill
George Foreman is a huge name in the electric grilling industry. So, it should come as no surprise that one of their products make it to this top five list. The 15-Serving Electric Grill is an ideal outdoor electric grill. It is large enough for any party or tailgating occasion.
It also comes with a countertop stand. You can easily convert it from a tall, traditional-looking grill to a tabletop grill. That versatility cannot be matched. The removable grill plate also makes cleanup a breeze.
George Foreman grills are known for their ability to control moisture and oil in foods. The 15-Serving Electric Grill is no different. It is sloped to keep the oil and fat from your foods. The cooking plate is also coated in a proprietary non-stick surface. No food will ever stick to this electric grill.
#3 T-fal GC722D53 OptiGrill XL
T-fal has manufactured a great indoor electric grill with its GC722D53 OptiGrill XL. It is a powerful 1800 watt machine. There are nine preset cooking settings. These include a burger, poultry, sandwich, sausage, red meat, fish, pork, bacon, and shellfish. All you have to do is choose the right preset for your meat and let the GC722D53 do the work.
There is even an indicator light that lets you know when it is preheated. The frozen mode allows you to cook frozen food easily. Plus, T-fal includes a manual mode for those that don’t like using presets. Just don’t expect the exact temperature on this electric grill.
Cleanup is easy. The non-stick drip pans and plates are dishwasher safe and removable. You won’t struggle to carry this electric grill around. And, T-fal even includes a recipe booklet with your purchase. There isn’t much not to like about the GC722D53.
#4 Philips Smoke-less BBQ Grill
Philips is another big home product brand. Their Smoke-less BBQ Grill proves why their products are the best. This indoor electric grill will cost you more than some of the others on the list. But, you get a lot for your money.
The grill uses Philips patented smoke-less technology. The infrared technology and reflectors ensure an even heat while keeping your home smoke free. Philips has also designed the drip tray to stay cool. That keeps smoke from coming from heated grease. They really have thought of everything.
The Smoke-less BBQ Grill also makes 1660 watts of power. It only takes one minute to set up. The heating plate stays constant at 446-degrees Fahrenheit. Everything about this product ensures great grilled food.
#5 Weber 55020001 Q 2400 Electric Grill
The final product on our top five list is the Weber 55020001 Q 2400 Electric Grill. Weber is a grilling brand. They are known primarily for their charcoal grills. But, you can find gas and electric grills from the company too.
The 55020001 Q 2400 Electric Grill is an ideal outdoor electric grill. It is large and heavy. Some people may struggle to move it around. But, the six-foot power cord is grounded. The grill won’t need to be moved much.
The cooking grates are cast-iron and porcelain-enameled. The lid and body are aluminum. Everything about this electric grill is quality. You will love the 1560 watts of power and 280-square inches of total cooking area. However, with high-quality comes at a high price. This product is the most expensive on our list. If you are on a budget, you will likely need to look at another electric grill.
There are a lot of facets to consider when looking for an electric grill. The following items provide all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Do I need an electric grill?
The pros and cons of electric grills have been described in detail above. And, really, the only person who can decide if you need an electric grill is you. Yet, we think that an electric grill will work for most people.
Electric grills are very efficient. They come with a lot of benefits. On small electric grills, you can cook single servings. Cooking only what you need for each meal cuts down on food waste. It may also help you stick to a diet plan as well.
People who live in apartments or even some condos should try an electric grill. Even if you have a balcony, grills may be forbidden. Gas and charcoal grills are fire hazards. An electric grill may be your only grilling option in certain living situations.
Finally, those new to grilling or want a fast grilling experience should consider an electric grill. These are much faster options because you just turn them on. Wait a few minutes and the grill will be ready to use. The lack of gas and charcoal makes these products ideal for learning the techniques of grilling as well.
Electric vs. gas grills
Charcoal grills have very obvious differences than electric grills. However, you may think that gas grills and electric grills would be almost the same. That is not entirely accurate. Electric and gas grills have some similarities. They have many differences as well.
Electric grills plug into an electrical outlet. They can be either indoor or outdoor varieties. They also come in many different sizes. The heating cycle can make it hard for your food to be seared properly with an electric grill. Also, it will definitely not have the smoky flavor we associate with grilled food.
On the other hand, gas grills need gas to run. You will also need to keep gas with you when you use these grills. You cannot use gas grills indoors because of the possibility of toxic fumes. They all have set temperatures, which makes it easier to get a good sear. You can get a smoky flavor on a gas grill, you just need a smoker box.
Your choice between gas and electric grills will be determined by many factors. If you want convenience and safety, try an electric grill. If you want more authentically grilled foods, you need a gas grill.
Are electric grills safe?
Yes, electric grills are some of the safest types of grills. There are no fumes or charcoal smoke. This is good for your environment, and also the food. There is some evidence that wood and charcoal smoke may put toxins on meat. This will never be a problem for electric grills.
Another healthy advantage of electric grills is that many of them will drain away grease. George Forman grills are very famous for this. By draining away the fat, you are keeping the cuts of meat leaner. You will then consume less calories. Electric grills are a must for anyone watching what they eat.
What’s also great about electric grills is that they are better for the environment. They do not let off any carbon monoxide or fumes, which can harm the atmosphere. Environmentally conscious people should definitely use an electric grill.
How do I clean my electric grill?
Properly cleaning your electric grill will be determined by the product you choose. If your electric grill comes with removeable and dishwasher safe parts, cleaning is easy. After you are done grilling, remove the parts and plop them in the dishwasher.
Electric grills with removeable, but not dishwasher safe, parts are also easy to clean. When you are done grilling, remove the parts. Then use a sponge or rag to clean off the grease and food bits. If you use a sponge, make sure to not use a scrubby. This can damage a non-stick and even cast iron surface.
We always recommend cleaning your electric grill after every use. Being vigilant about cleaning will keep your electric grill in top condition. It will also ensure that the grill is ready to use next time.
Grilling tips and tricks
As mentioned throughout this article, grilling on an electric grill is not nearly as challenging as on a gas or charcoal grill. But, there are still some tips and tricks to know.
Electric grills use a lot of heat to get the plates up to temperature. Keep the heat lower than you normally would. This ensures that your meal does not burn. Once you learn the heating time of your electric grill, you can start on a higher temperature.
Keep the lid closed as much as possible. The more you open the grill’s lid, the more heat escapes. Use this tip for any type of grilling. However, it is even more important for an electric grill because of the heat dispersion.
If your electric grill does not have temperature settings, make sure to pick the right program. Reading your entire user’s manual will help your decision. It is essential that you cook your food at the correct temperature preset and time. The manual tells you this information.
Don’t overfill your grill. The more food on the grill, the harder it is for the air and heat to circulate. Heat circulation ensures an even cook.
You may need an extension cord for your outdoor electric grill. Make sure the extension cord is rated for the outdoors. You don’t want a short to ruin your grill. It could also create an unsafe situation for you.
The best electric grills are becoming very popular. The rise in apartment and condo living and environmentally conscious people accounts for this rise. Electric grills are safe and easy to use. The biggest problem with them is that they will not make your food taste grilled. If this is a problem for you, then don’t try an electric grill.
However, if you want an easy and cheap grilling option, you need to purchase an electric grill today. Any of the five products described on our list will serve you well. Follow our buyer’s guide and choose the one best suited to your needs. You won’t be sorry you did.