Remember when charcoal grills were the “only way to grill?” That was when grillers were a bunch of big burly guys who looked intimidating in aprons. Nowadays, there’s a kinder gentler griller, most of whom prefer to avoid confrontation with their neighbors. For them, the electric grill is the new “only way to grill” and fumes, fumin’ neighbors, and rained out barbecues are a thing of the past.
What are these electric grills we speak of? Basically, they’re grills that run on electricity. Duh, you say? Point taken, however, it’s more than fuel source that sets electric grills apart. They also come with several advantages. They’re:
- Money Saving: Electricity is a much cheaper fuel than natural gas. You also don’t have to worry about swapping out gas tanks and hooking up fuel lines as you would with a gas grill.
- Easy to light: Don’t even have to strike a match
- Heats up in minutes
- No smoke and fumes: No potentially hazardous gas fumes and little risk of fire
- It can be used for indoor and outdoor grilling: No fumes mean safe for indoor use as well as outdoor.
Starting to consider switching teams? Here’s a closer look at the electric grill and how it’s proving to be a major contender in the world of grilling.
How Do I Choose the Right Electric Grill for My Patio?
Get out the chili pepper patio lights and let the party begin. Now that we know how wonderful the electric grill is, it’s time to go shop for one. Before we start to fill our carts, there are some tips that will help you know what to look for. Want to stir up some friendly neighborly competition? Here are a few pointers on choosing the electric outdoor grill for your patio that will have the Joneses trying to keep up with you.
Adequate Cord Length
While an electric grill will afford you the freedom to cook a delicious meal, it won’t afford you the freedom to move too far from an electric outlet. Measure appropriately to make sure that you have enough cord length to claim your territory. Ideally, you want to get the grill on your patio and be able to turn it on.
Temperatures Up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit
Real grills heat meat. Sandwiches and some meats can be heated at lower temperatures, but if you’re looking to make ‘sear’ious steaks, 600 degrees is the magic number.
A little tweak can go a long way. No matter what type of grill you’re using an adjustable thermostat is non-negotiable. Temperature can be what separates the sear marks on the steak from the grill marks on the panini sandwiches if you get what we’re talking about. If accuracy, consistency, and even cooking are among your top priorities, an adjustable thermostat on your grill should be among them as well.
Fast Heat Recovery
Close the lid on heat loss for good. Whenever you lift the lid of your grill, heat escapes. The best electric grills have enough power to replace it. Look for a high-powered grill with enough heat recovery so the next time you check on whether the steak is done, it really is.
Best Electric Grill Outdoor for Patios
Ok, daddy-o of the patio, time to get cooking. Looking for the best electric outdoor grill for your outdoor fiesta? Here are some of our top picks.
Cuisinart CEG 980 Outdoor Electric Grill with Versa Stand
Standing and outstanding. Actually, you can get the Cuisinart CEG 980 without the stand, but a stand will work better on your patio. (It doesn’t cost much extra). The Cuisinart CEG 980 portable grill is 145”, which translates to 8 hamburgers or chicken breast, or four pounds of fish. We didn’t ask about vegetarian options. Other features of the CEG include:
- Powerful 15-watt, 5,120 BTU burner, and porcelain enameled grill grates
- Compact design makes for a greater watt to square inch ratio, for higher temperatures and more evenly cooked food.
- Stainless steel heat reflector on lid reduces cooking time and saves electricity.
Char Broil Infrared Electric Patio Bistro
If you’re suffering from charcoal withdrawal and live fire is strictly prohibited, the Char-Broil Infrared Electric Patio Bistro may be just what you need to keep on the wagon. As interesting looking as it is interesting (think gas grill meets flying saucer), this electric grill comes complete with side tables to hold sauces and plates and a stand with wheels so it’s easy to move around. The infrared technology means it heats faster and more evenly for an impressive cooking performance. Other features include:
- 240 square inch grill space with 80 square inch warming rack (8-12 hamburgers)
- Porcelain coated cooking grates are rust resistant and easy to clean
- Easy to use temperature knob, storage rack, cord management, and large capacity grease tray
Best Electric Grill Outdoor for Patios
One of the biggest advantages of having an electric grill is the lack of smoke. One of the biggest disadvantages of having an electric grill is the lack of flavor that accompanies it. As much as we’d love to sing the praises of the electric grill, we’re not going to tell you that food from an electric grill is a candidate for Zagat’s.
But don’t head for MacDonald’s just yet. Fortunately, there are a lot of electric outdoor grills and smokers on the market to add the flavor without the special sauce. The neighbors won’t be complaining about the smoke, and your taste buds won’t be complaining about the taste.
Best Electric Grill Outdoor for Patios
Yes, you’ve got it. The right to eat flavorful meat without risking stink eye from your co-tenants. How can you claim it? By buying the best outdoor grill and smoker out there. Here are some electric grills and smokers that smoke the competition.
Masterbuilt 30” Digital Electric Smoker
Rack up the food! The Masterbuilt 30” Digital Electric Smoker has 4 different racks capable of holding 2-4 servings of it. It’s also a great smoker for newbie grillers. You just take it outside, fill it with meat set the temperature and the timer and fuhgeddaboudit! Well, not completely. You will want to return for that perfect meat sooner or later. Other features include:
- Digital panel controls on/off time and temperature
- Four chrome-coated cooking racks
- Adjustable air damper for smoke control
- Side wood chip loading system – lets you add in wood chips without opening the door/ losing heat
- Integrated thermostat temperature system for consistent, even cooking
Char Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 725”
A watched pot may never boil, but with the glass door on the Char-Broil Digital Deluxe Electric Smoker, you can watch your food and smoke it too. With the Char-Broil Digital, it’s an open and shut deal. Open the door, put your meats and veggies on one of the four smoking racks, shut the airtight stainless- steel door, use the removable thermometer and digital panel for accuracy, and open up wide for some authentic smoky flavor.
What is the Best Indoor/Outdoor Grill?
Not ready to make a commitment? We get it. The beauty of the indoor/outdoor electric grill is that you don’t have to. One of the best things about the indoor/outdoor grill is its flexibility. Who wouldn’t want to keep their options open? And speaking of options, here are some of the best options for indoor/outdoor grills for those who aren’t ready to take outsides or insides.
George Foreman Electric Grill
There’s a lot to love about the George Foreman Electric– and it more than the fact that there are 240 square inches of it. Not only does the grill feed 15 plus people, but it also has an easily removable stand so you can move it from patio to countertop in minutes. Never mind the fact that it’s got that George Forman non-stick coating which removes the need for oil and butter- think of all the empty calories you save- it’s also durable, easy to clean and apartment approved.
Weber 55020001 Q 2400 Electric Grill
The Weber Q 2400 may be fun to use, but when it comes to cooking meat, it’s no playing around. The first thing you’ll notice about this grill are all the great features. The larger sized handles, control knob and ergonomic side handles will make you feel like a kid on Christmas morning. But the proof is in the pudding with the Weber. When it comes to cooking quality, this electric grill outperforms most others of its kind. With a total cooking surface of 280 feet and porcelain enameled grates, the Weber Electric packs punch into a compact sized model.
How Do I Clean My Electric Grill?
Cleaning your electric grill in soap and water? What could go wrong with that? Think along the lines of dropping your blow dryer in the bathtub for reference. For those who want to clean their electric grills them in a safer way, here’s the not so shocking alternative.
- Unplug grill after cooking (hopefully, before it gets anywhere near a wet sponge).
- Let the grill cool slightly. The best time to clean a grill is when its slightly warm.
Give it about 10 minutes.
- Use a rubber spatula to clean grill grates. Abrasive ones will scratch the surface.
- Wipe plates down using a damp sponge, rinsing frequently
- Remove the drip tray and wash it with soap and water.
- Dry all pieces with a paper towel.
- Put detachable pieces in the dishwasher.