If this is your first time purchasing an electric grill, you may be surprised at how many choices you have. Likewise, if it has been awhile since you purchased an electric grill, you may be surprised by the new options and features. The information below is aimed at helping you choose the type of electric grill that best matches your needs.
You likely know that many electric grills are indoor electric grills. But did you know that there are electric grills that were created for outdoor use? Are you familiar with other types of electric grills?
If not, we first review your options for different types of electric grills below.
What Types of Electric Grills Are Available?
Outdoor Electric Grill:
These grills are similar in many ways to traditional charcoal or propone grills. The main difference is that you will need to have access to an electrical outlet to plug in your grill, since the outdoor electric grill uses electricity to heat the grill.
These grills require significantly less effort than charcoal or propane grills when it comes to prepping your food. In addition, you do not need to spend your hard-earned money on charcoal or propane.
In addition, electric grills are thought to be more environmentally friendly and cook your food more cleanly.
Indoor Electric Grill:
A second option is an electric grill that was created for indoor use. You might be wondering why someone would want to cook indoors.
Some apartment complexes and condos forbid their tenants to use regular grills, as they are considered to be a fire hazard. Thus, in these cases, the electric grill provides a nice alternative.
Additionally, the indoor electric grills are extremely popular in states that are prone to extremely cold temperatures, which can make grilling outdoors in the winter months challenging. Lastly, the indoor grills are ideally suited for anyone with a busy lifestyle who wants to heat their food quickly.
You have most likely heard about the most famous type of indoor electric grill, made famous by George Foreman. Some of these grills have grilling plates that are dishwasher safe and that can be removed, to help ease the clean up process.
Overall, the indoor electric grills do not produce as much smoke as traditional grills. There are large and small models available.
Unlike regular grills, griddles are flat and smooth. Thus, there is no raised part in the pan that would allow excess liquid to drain out.
The electric griddles are more suited to making certain types of food than a grill. For example, it is easy to make pancakes, French toast, eggs, and many other foods on the griddle.
However, those foods would be much more difficult to make on a grill. If you plan to cook a lot of breakfast foods or vegetables (which do not emit grease like meat), then you might want to consider purchasing an electric griddle as opposed to an electric grill.
An electric smoker is a specific type of grill that cooks meat at a slower pace in an effort to improve the flavor of the meat. The longer you leave the meat on the smoker, the more flavor it will receive during the cooking process.
The electric smokers come in two different varieties: a large smoker that can hold a significant amount of meat at once or a small outdoor smoker.
Depending on which of the above four options you choose, you are looking at a price range of less than $100 to more than $500. When considering which one to purchase, you will want to look at the typical cooking time needed, cleaning time and ease of cleaning process, and whether there is customer support included.
Additional features that are nice to have are an indicator light and plates that have a nonstick coating. If you are concerned about health, you will also want to make sure that the drainage system is good so that the excess fat will go into a drip tray as opposed to staying on your food.
Are There Disadvantages to Using Electric Grills Over Traditional Grills?
Electric grills are indeed a more convenient way to grill in many respects. Unfortunately, there are a few disadvantages of using electric grills.
One of the most common problems is that the grills do not get as hot as the traditional grills. Similarly, some electric grills do not heat all areas to the same temperature.
Another main problem with the electric grills are that many of them are smaller than outdoor grills. There are some electric outdoor grills and even a few indoor grills that can be used to feed at least five people.
If you know you will be cooking for a large number of people at once, you will want to inspect the product before purchasing it to make sure that the grilling area is large enough to accommodate your cooking needs.
A final main problem with electric grills is that they are much more challenging to clean than traditional grills. Some of the grills will come with a nonstick coating, which helps prevent buildup of food particles over time.
However, this coating has been known to not last a long time on some electric grill models, which causes a mess to clean up. Many electric grills now come with plates that can be removed, so you can put them in the dishwasher.
This does indeed help with the cleanup process. However, you should expect much more scrubbing to be involved when using an electric grill.
What Should I Look for in an Electric Grill?
Although there are some problems, the convenience of electric grills cannot be overstated. Thus, if you are planning to purchase an electric grill, you will want to look for a number of features.
Make sure that you get the right size grill for your kitchen or outdoor space, since the size can widely vary. Make sure that there is good temperature control and ideally a nonstick surface.
Consider whether you want a timer to come included in the model you purchase. Lastly, read some reviews so that you can get a feel for how easy or hard cleanup will be.