Sometimes you simply don’t have enough space for a full-sized gas or charcoal grill. Enter your answer: the outdoor electric grill. In recent years, manufacturers of electric grills have made huge improvements making them a really good option. While they will never offer the flavor of charcoal, they do a really good job grilling meat. Now, there are some wonderful outdoor electric barbecue frills that cook both meat and vegetables to perfection. They work well, are low-maintenance, and they produce great tasting food. Why not consider one?
Basically, electric grills are a compromise: a compromise for the one who cannot have an open flame at their residence, and a compromise as it relates to size and heat. For charcoal or gas, a fire can be as big and as hot as it can be built. However, an electric heating element can only draw as much heat as the amperage on the plug will allow. Even with the limitations on 120 volts of power, there are some really great options for those looking to grill using electricity.
There are a number of outdoor electric grills on the market, with the most popular being Weber, George Foreman, and Cuisineart. They are all very good options and have a variety of options for you to choose from based on your needs and budget. The size, capacity, manner of cleaning, and other options will differ depending on the brand and model you choose.
Electric Grill vs. Flame: Which is Better?
Although we understand that those who have been using charcoal or gas their entire lives are a hard sell as it relates to changing their form of grilling, we do want to make you aware of some advantages to using an electric grill:
- An Easy Way to Cook
- The wonderful thing about electric grills is that you anything you would normally grill using gas or charcoal, you can grill on an electric grill. Oftentimes, it takes less time and with better results since you can control the heat better.
- A Healthy Way to Cook
- Many electric grills are designed to reduce the amount of fat you consume from the grilled meat. Leaner is generally a healthier option.
- Flames produce soot and carcinogens, especially when the food is charred. By using an electric grill, this issue is resolved.
- No Restrictions
- Many residences, particularly if you live in an apartment, have restrictions on barbecuing with an open flame. That means no gas or charcoal grills. Thus, the electric grill is your option to cook grilled food.
- Simpler Operation, Safety, and Cleaning
- Electric heat is generally a safer way to cook. There is no flame or chance for combustion. There are no pressurized fuel tanks or potentially harmful fumes.
- Most electric grills can be broken down very easily for cleaning and they’re often non-stick making it even easier to be sure they stay clean. They are mechanically simple, making them light weight and convenient.
The wonderful reasons to use an electric grill notwithstanding, there are some disadvantages to using an electric grill to consider before you buy:
- You need an electrical outlet. This may seem like a no-brainer, but for some areas this might preclude someone from utilizing an electric grill simply because there is no outlet outside. This would also be an issue if you plan to use the grill while camping or at a park.
- There is no wood smoke flavor. One of the wonderful things about outdoor cooking is infusing your food with rich, savory wood smoke flavors. This happens naturally when you cook with hardwood charcoal or firewood. Like cooking with gas, there is no wood smoke, so it can taste as if it was cooked on a stovetop or in an oven. There are, however, options to add a smoker box so you can add smoking wood chips to get the flavor you desire.
- On average, they are smaller in size. There are exceptions to this, but if you regularly use your grill to cook for large amounts of people, an electric grill may not be sufficient unless you have more than one.