When it comes to choosing different ways to grill food, consumers tend to have many questions. This is understandable given the increase in the number of electric grills, pans, and other appliances that have emerged over the past decade.
In addition, these products have improved over time, which makes it even more evident why there are many remaining questions about these products.
One reason that electric pans and electric grills have increased in popularity is that many apartment building prohibit the use of more traditional grills. As such, for some condo and apartment renters, using an electronic appliance is their only choice.
Alternatively, some people may not know how to grill using traditional grills or they may lack the adequate outdoor space required to have an outdoor grill. If you are searching for an electric grill or electric pan, read on to find out the main differences. These differences may help you determine which is better for your own unique needs.
Do Electric Pans and Electric Grills Work Like Outdoor Grills
When it comes to taste, the electric versions (both the pan and the grill) are no match for the outdoor grill. When using a traditional grill, you get flavor from the smoke and food that is cooked at higher temperatures than what electric grills can typically handle.
However, the grilling pans are better than the electric grills at attempting to match the usual char that you receive when cooking on traditional grills. This is because the pan contacts directly with the burner and therefore the heat spreads throughout the whole pan.
Electric grills on the other hand, are known for not consistently reaching the same temperature all over the grill.
Why Would I want an Electric Grill or Electric Pan?
As previously mentioned, some people are not permitted to have traditional grills based on the rules of their apartment complex or condominium regulations. In addition, sometimes it may feel too hot outdoors to fire up the grill.
Additionally, the electric grill and electric pans are well suited for particular types of food.
Can I Make Different Foods on the Electric Grill and Electric Pan?
In short, yes, there are foods that are more well suited to one versus the other. For example, using the electric pan, you may have an easier time cooking smaller vegetables and food items that use batter (i.e., pancakes).
While you can grill vegetables on an electric grill, it will be more challenging to cook small vegetables on here, while the electric pan will contain all the small pieces.
However, the electric grill is better for items like Panini sandwiches, large cuts of meat, or quesadillas. The electric grill is also better if you are trying to cook food that has been frozen.
This occurs because most electric grills have a top and bottom, which enables heat to touch both sides of the meat. However, when using the electric pan, the heat is only touching one side of your meat at a time, which makes the heating process take longer.
If your grill pan has grooves, it will likely remove the same amount of fat and grease from your food as an electric grill. When searching for a new grill or pan, you will want to make sure that the one you choose has a good drainage system.
What are Electric Grill Pans?
Electric grill pans are a flat, heavy pan. They use electricity (so they plug into your wall) in order to cook your food. They are generally very heavy and will not enable you to get the smoked flavor that is common to outdoor grills.
However, they tend to be more convenient to use in the winter months, when it is too hot outside to use a traditional grill, or if your apartment forbids traditional grills. You can also get a grill pan that fits right over the burners that are already on your stove.
You may be wondering what the pros and cons are of the electric pan. In general, the major cons are that it can sometimes be hard to get the electric pan to your desired heat, so your heat might not cook all the way through.
They are also burdensome to store, clean, and transport. Additionally, you will not get the traditional charcoal flavor. However, there are a number of advantages to using an electric grill pan.
Your food will have some black, charred areas on it, making it seem grilled. The pans will enable the excess fat and juice to drip off of your food.
Since the heat goes throughout the pan, your food should cook evenly. Lastly, many of these models also include the option to add a griddle, which you can make even more food, such as pancakes and bacon.
What are Electric Grills?
Electric grills are the same as traditional outdoor grills, except rather than using propane, wood, or charcoal, they require electricity to heat your food. There are many great electric grills that are designed for outdoor use, while others are designed for indoor use only.
Electric grills also have a number of disadvantages. They tend to cook meat inconsistently (not all areas of the grill heat to the same temperature).
Like the electric pans, they can also be hard to store. In addition, they are typically more difficult to clean. Although some parts may be dishwasher safe, other parts will require scrubbing.
In addition, the nonstick coating tends to wear off over time making them even more difficult to clean.
Is the Electric Pan or Electric Grill Better?
The answer to this question largely depends on your preference and eating habits. There are excellent models of both the electric grill and electric pan.
If you are able to find an electric pan with a flat surface, this would be ideal for cooking a variety of breakfast items (eggs, pancakes, bacon, French toast, sausage, etc.). The electric grill is a better option when you want to cook food that will be browned slightly (or charred). Thus, the electric grill is ideal for cooking meats, seafood, and veggies.