Maybe you just have moved into your own apartment and plan to throw a housewarming party. It is summer and barbecue seems to be a good idea. Unfortunately, apartment building rules prohibit you from grilling food because it will cause flame and smoke. No problem with that! An electric grill is available in appliance stores around the world.
What is an electric grill?
An electric grill is an alternative to charcoal or gas grills, and it uses electricity as the heat source. It is basically a big enclosed metal heating plate. The surface is made to look like the ridges of the traditional grill and the plate resists the electricity that flows through it causing it to heat up and glow. The heat produced by the resisting plate cooks the food on the surface.
Electric grills cook food evenly but in a slow manner; they usually take time to heat up and cook the food. It might seem longer, especially for people who are used to grilling with charcoal or gas.
Electric grill vs. gas grill: Which is better?
The main difference between an electric grill and a gas grill is the source of fuel. The electric grill is fueled by electricity, while the latter is fueled by propane or natural gas. The fuel source affects the other features of each kind of grill such as the size, maintenance, and heating.
Gas grills are the traditional grills that are used outdoors specifically in backyards, parks or beaches. Their sizes vary from small single steak sized, to large industrial sized grills. Obviously, gas grills are only used outdoors because they produce smoke and flame. It is better to use it outdoors to prevent fire and buildup of smoke.
On the other hand, electric grills are usually small enough to be placed on a table or countertop; this size can feed up to 6 people. Electric grills also come in large sizes that can feed up to 15 people in one time.
Unlike gas grills, electric grills can be used either indoors or outdoors. They are safe enough to be used indoors because they do not produce smoke or flame since the heat comes from electricity.
When you use an electric grill, do not expect an authentic grill flavor. Gas grills are still the best when it comes to barbeques. However, the flavor of the food cooked on charcoal grills is still the best among any other kinds of grills.
Electric grills do not heat up as much as the gas grills. They produce a strong radiant heat and turn off, and then reheat the coils. With this kind of heating, you cannot sear food because this would need extreme heat for longer interval.
In gas grills, you can adjust the heat and keep it at a specific level for a long duration. However, low heat in gas grills is hard to keep, especially for extended periods.
When it comes to maintenance, gas grills as easier than electric grills. All parts of the gas grills such as the grates, removable plates, and grease trays are washable.
On the other hand, not all parts of an electric grill can come in contact with water. The entire electric grill should be unplugged for cleaning. The heating portion should not be submerged in water or else it might cause damage to the entire electric grill.
Types of electric grills
Electric grills come in two types—the open grills and clamshell contact. The open grill has one heat pane, usually below the grill. In the clamshell contact, the heating panel is surrounded within the cooking surface.
Electric grills usually come with drip pans to catch the drippings while the meat is being cooked. These pans can be detached for easy cleaning.
How to choose an electric grill
Are you planning to buy an electric grill? Here are few things to take into consideration:
- Think about the number of people you need to feed. If you have a large family or usually throw parties at your house, a large electric grill might be a good idea.
- Electric grills generally do not have that authentic grill flavor. But if you can identify a specific brand of electric grill that produces flavor near to that of an authentic grill, it’s better.
- Electric grill usually costs below $200. An expensive electric grill does not mean it’s the best one, just as cheap models do not mean they’re no good.