Freedom from charcoal and propane gas is the primary reason why people opt for electric grills. An electric grill is also the ideal choice for someone who’s restricted by apartment living or lacks sufficient backyard space. Additionally, an electric grill will offer you much better heat distribution and precision than an open-flame unit.
With electric grills, however, you don’t just walk into your local retail store and purchase one. It’s crucial that you conduct proper research so that you can differentiate between high-quality and low-quality products. You need to weigh your options so that you can find a grill that meets your needs and budget.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Electric Grill
What exactly makes an ideal electric grill? Well, the answer to this question is partially based on your needs, such as the size of the grill’s cooking surface, how portable it is, and how much you can pay. The other part has to do with the features that the grill has to offer to make your grilling experience easy and enjoyable.
How Convenient Is the Cooking Surface Area?
How many people do you intend to cook for? You don’t want to be stuck cooking pancakes for a significant number of people on a small griddle. If you’re used to having large barbecues, then it makes sense to go for a griddle that offers a larger cooking area. However, you want to look at a smaller model if you usually cook for one or two people.
Another thing you need to consider when it comes to the cooking surface is whether the unit has a non-stick surface or not. Non-stick materials are super easy to clean and maintain, allowing for a pleasant grilling experience. Ideally, you should go for a grill that features an enamel-coated or porcelain-coated grate as they’re the easiest to clean.
What About the Grill’s Placement and Portability?
Most electric grills are excellent for both indoor and outdoor cooking, but where do you intend to place it for the most part? A standing grill will be a little cumbersome to move around, while their countertop counterparts are more portable. This also plays into the storage factor because you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to leave your grill on the counter or will you need to store it.
When it comes to portability, electric units are the ideal choice for tailgating and camping due to their smaller sizes and their ability to connect to a vehicle power outlet. Also, there’s no need for fuel whatsoever, which helps save a lot of space. What you need to consider is buying a model that’s lightweight and that features handles for trouble-free lifting.
Does the Unit Feature an Adjustable Thermostat?
The key to achieving great cooking results is having accurate and even heat across the cooking surface. The temperature you need to cook a grilled sandwich is different from the one you need to sear a steak, that’s why your electric grill should have temperature controls that allow for heat adjustment. Make sure to find out the minimum and maximum heat temperature that the grill can achieve.
Does it Feature a Built-In Temperature Gauge?
The majority of electric units that feature covers tend to have a gauge built into the lid. A reliable temperature gauge lets you know when the grill has reached the desired temperature. There are also models that simply incorporate light indicators that notify you when the desired temperature is reached. Don’t think of this as a deal-breaker, you can always buy a separate gauge if the unit you want doesn’t feature one.
How Much Cooking Power Does the Unit Have?
While it’s necessary to check the minimum and maximum temperature that the unit can achieve, it’s not really enough to give you an idea of the unit’s capabilities. The unit’s wattage also needs to be investigated in order to figure out how long it will take to heat up. Generally, the bigger the wattage value the faster the unit can regenerate heat. Obviously, units with more power tend to have steeper price tags.
How Long Is the Unit’s Power Cord?
The reason why many people prefer electric grills is that they don’t require fuel, so the last thing you want is to spend some pretty penny on an electric grill then find out that the electrical cord is too short. This is something that a lot of buyers tend to overlook, but not you. Make sure that the cord is long enough to reach the power outlets that you’re going to use, whether inside or outside of your home confines, without the need for an extension cord.
Does the Unit Come With Removable Plates?
A large grill that doesn’t feature removable plates or gates can be quite hard to clean. While it’s not impossible, you’d find it much easier to clean removable plates that you can just throw in the dishwasher or wash them manually in the sink. This may not sound that serious to some people, but who wouldn’t want a faster and easier cleaning process?
The Char-Broil 17602047 is one of the best-looking electric grills on the market with its nostalgic clam-shell design. The grill a fairly commodious cooking space of 240 square inches, which you can use to cook a large number of hot dogs and burgers, or you can cook a rack of ribs or a few chickens. It comes with porcelain-coated, cast-iron grates that are durable and easy to clean.
The usage of this grill is pretty straight forward, thanks to its simplistic design. All you have to do is plug it in the nearest power outlet and use the control knob to adjust the cooking temperature to your liking. The grill features a warming rack above the main grate that comes in handy when managing different foods cooked at different times with ease.
Equipped with TRU-Infrared Technology, this grill cooks food with even heat distribution with almost zero flare-ups, allowing for a juicer, tastier food. Further, this grill has a temperature gauge that’s built into the lid, allowing you to keep track of the preheat status and also the temperature inside of the grill. If you want a highly portable infrared grill, the 17602047 is your best bet.
- Lightweight and compact construction
- Durable grates that are easy to clean
- Has a temperature-adjustment knob
- Comes with a convenient warming rack
- Takes quite some time to heat up
- It takes quite a bit of time to assemble
The Weber Q2400 looks and feels like an industrial-grade unit. It features a porcelain cast iron built that can handle some serious knocks and stand the test of time. The grill requires a bit of assembly at first. However, you can probably get it built in around 30 minutes. Also, the unit is pretty lightweight, so it only requires one person to put it together and move it around.
The Q2400 offers 280 square inches of cooking space, which is enough to feed a family of four. The cooking surface can probably accommodate about 4 steaks at once. If you suffer from tight quarters in your apartment, the Q2400’s compact design is ideal for you. It can fit onto any patio with ease and without consuming too much space.
This grill is one of the easiest to clean. We’d advise that you let it cool down before attempting to wipe the grate with damp paper towels. You can even remove it completely and soak it in soapy warm water if gets too nasty. The Weber grill comes with a very effective drip pan that allows fat and grease to flow smoothly down into it. Overall, a very simplistic and efficient electric grill.
- Has an incredibly sturdy construction
- Simple clean-up and maintenance
- Pretty lightweight and easily portable
- Fairly easy to assemble and operate
- Doesn’t have a built-in thermometer
- The power cord is a little too short
If you’re in the market for a versatile grilling machine that features an extensive array of cooking configurations and modes, and that’s very easy to clean and maintain, the GR-300WS may just be the right grill for you. This unit offers six different cooking configurations: a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, half grill/griddle, and a top melt configuration.
The unit features dual temperature control. When in its open configuration mode, you can adjust one side to be hotter than the other, which allows you to cook different foods at once. You’ll find this to be extremely useful when you’re using the half-and-half grill/griddle mode. The plates are embedded with heating elements that allow food to heat up evenly.
One of the many functions that we love about this unit is its searing function. Generally, you can adjust the temperature of the grill between 200 and 450°F, but using the searing function, you’re able to take that temperature up to 500°F for around 2 minutes. This function comes in handy if you’re trying to sear a steak before you start cooking the inside in a slower manner.
- A wide range of cooking configurations
- The plates are easy to remove and clean
- Separate temperature control for each plate
- Features a timer function up to 60 minutes
- Not the most accommodating cooking area
- Can suffer from occasional oil drippings
If you’re looking for a super affordable yet highly effective grill for your family of four, your search ends here. The GRP3060P from Goerge Foreman is arguably the most affordable model on this list. It even features a panini press option, which you’ll rarely find in most grills in this price point. Not only is this unit the most affordable, but it’s also easily one of the most compact grills as well.
First-time users will find this grill pretty easy to use and clean. It’s also one of the most efficient when it comes to getting rid of fat, thanks to its unique design. The sloped surface allows for a very effective drainage process that can help get rid of as much as 42% of the grease, which is great because the end results end up healthier and lighter.
- Highly affordable on any budget
- Extremely compact and lightweight
- Comes with a panini press option
- Gets rid of grease and oil effectively
- The construction feels pretty cheap
- The cooking surface is very limited
The GGR50B features a great cooking surface of 240 square inches which, as the manufacturer claims, can serve up to 15 people at a time, making it an ideal standing unit for large barbecues. This grill features an adjustable temperature control function that allows you to choose between five different heat settings in order to achieve the best results regardless of what you’re cooking.
Just like most of George Foreman’s grills, this unit features the Tough Non-stick Coating that the manufacturer is known for. This makes the grill extremely durable and allows for easy clean-ups. Also, the whole design minimizes your use of oil, making the cooking process more economical and the end results a lot healthier. Lastly, the unit comes with a removable stand for cooking in the outdoors.
- Removable, dishwasher-safe grill plate
- Features a durable, non-stick coating
- Equipped with a fat removal slope
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- The design totally lacks versatility
- The power cord is a tad too short
As you can see, the grilling marketspace is a pretty heated one. However, one unit that seems to have everything going for it is the Cuisinart GR-300WS Stainless Steel Griddler. The amount of positive reviews from users worldwide is simply overwhelming. The GR-300WS is by far the most versatile unit out of the bunch and it’s certainly the one that provides the most value.