Sunday barbecues are events that one always looks forward to, especially since this is the time where families and friends gather to share a meal and trade stories and recipes, updating each other about their lives and its happenings. Sometimes though, the weather is uncooperating, preventing you from stoking the flames on the traditional grill, which can make you ask, “Are electric grills any good for celebrating barbecue Sundays?”
Traditional Grill vs. Electric Grill
Before we look into the advantages of using electric grills, let’s first set the page on what these two grills are. Traditional grills are often fired using gas or charcoal which lends a smoky flavor to the meat or whatever it is you are cooking inside the grill. Electric grills, on the other hand, use electricity, more specifically copper coils that twist below the surface of the grill which heats up to a certain temperature to cook food before shutting off on its own to cool down and then fires off again to heat itself up, a vicious cycle.
Benefits of Electric Grills
Electric grills are slowly finding their way into the homes of many, especially in areas where rain is almost a constant thing and barbecues are done in the summer. This kitchen gadget has its share of advantages that make it worth considering, especially if you like to stay away from cooking with oil and love seeing grill marks on your food.
Here are some of the benefits of using electric grills as compared to using traditional grilling systems.
Traditional grills use gas and charcoal to cook food which on its own is dangerous, especially if not tended well enough. The flames and embers of such grills can easily spread to the surrounding area which can start a house fire or even a wildfire. The uncontrollable nature of these kinds of fire can also lead to 1st to 3rd-degree burns while merely touching the grill can scald anybody who dares do so.
Electric grills, on the other hand, are safer because no flame is produced, and there little to no risk of you accidentally setting your house on fire. The grill may get too hot, but it has enough safety features to let you know if that is the case or even the other way around.
Electric grills are much smaller in size than the traditional grills that you often see outdoors. This lets you take the grill inside when the weather is gloomy or take it outside when the sun is shining, and the weather is just fine for a barbecue.
Electric grills do not need much of clearance as compared to a traditional grill, just set in on a non-flammable table, and make sure that there is a nearby socket and then you’re good to go. This also makes electric grills a good camping companion, given that the campsite or parade ground has a generator, of course.
- Fewer Greenhouse Emissions
Charcoal-and gas-fired grills emit carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide, among other names of compounds that can damage the protective layer of the planet, or in lesser cases suffocate you to death. Electric grills do not have such emissions, and the only smoke you’ll smell is the aroma of the food you are cooking.
- Better Flame Control
Electric grills do not need to produce flames to cook food. With that being said, it’s easier to contain the heat of this grill as compared to traditional grilling systems. Electric grills have knobs and switches that let you control how high of a temperature you would need.
The Difference of Electric Grill from a Traditional Grill
Aside from the advantages of the electric grill over traditional grilling systems like charcoal and gas, there are still some key differences that you would need to know so that you can decide if the answer to the question, “Are electric grills any good?” is a “Yes” or a “No.” These are:
- Fuel Source
The more obvious difference is the fuel source. By extension, electric grills may source electricity from either gas or charcoal via the electric power plants around your area. Traditional grilling systems use either wood, charcoal and gas to keep the flames going until your food is cooked.
Electric grills are technically easier to carry around than traditional grills, and this means they can be brought outside or be stored inside the trunk of a car and taken out for a picnic. As long as there is an electric source, you are sure able to take electric grills anywhere and enjoy the fun of barbecuing no matter the distance.
- Space Needed
Traditional grilling systems tend to be much bigger than electric grills, making them more of a permanent fixture, especially if you would include attachments like the propane tank or the stack of wood waiting to be fed into the fire chamber. You will not just need to set aside space for these grills, but you’ll also have to leave some additional area for your fuel too.
Traditional grills have that characteristic smoky flavor that it infuses into the food that you grill, and, admittedly, electric grills cannot do that since it’s not producing any smoke at all. However, spices can be mixed to replicate this particular flavor profile, and you will never know the difference once you taste it.
- Cooking Temperature
Electric grills tend to generate heat in a radiating pattern until it reaches its max temperature at which point it turns off to cool down and prepares the heat coils for another heating session until you finish cooking. Traditional grills either start off with just the right amount of heat or something lower or higher. It all depends on how well you control the flames generated by the fuel, making it rather inconsistent.
Are Electric Grills Any Good?
Electric grills are a good investment to consider, especially if you like cooking barbecues or preparing grilled food. It is also a good cooking implement if you have a dietary restriction against oil and other cholesterol-heavy cooking ingredients.
While traditional grills and electric grills play on completely different fields of cooking, it is sometimes worth wondering which one is more beneficial and if electric grills are worth adding to your cooking arsenal. After all, you wouldn’t be any less of a cook if you choose a grill that will make your life easier.