Why You Should Consider an Electric Grill (and Three I Recommend)

Why You Should Consider an Electric Grill (and Three I Recommend)

Buying a new grill can be a daunting task. What type do you need? What’s your budget? Are you buying your very first one? Summer is starting to pick up speed and you’ll want to make sure you get some good use out of this high-powered appliance while the weather’s nice. Now’s the time to make some decisions.

Charcoal lovers and propane enthusiasts might have sown doubt into your opinions of an electric grill, but these grills have come a long way. No longer the weak, slow heating appliances of the early aughts, these appliances now pack plenty of power. If you’re not sure whether one is right for you, read on to learn what factors you should consider, plus a list of some solid electric grills to make your search easier.

Is an electric grill right for you?

Unlike with coal and propane grills, an electric grill will allow you to set more precise temperature. Plug an electric grill into a regular outlet and use the dial to set your desired temperature, and that’s it. The electric heating elements inside the base housing heat up the grill bars sitting above it with radiant heat. Once the grill has preheated, just like any grill would, you can start cooking.

Although you’ll miss out on some of that flame-charred flavor you’d get with other fuel sources, electric grills have a number of pros:

  • Accessible fuel. You’ve scraped off the grates only to realize your brother used all the gas and didn’t replace it—again. Or maybe you just hate messing around with charcoal. With an electric grill, there’s no need to fuss with finicky fuel because electricity is generally very easy to access at your home. 
  • Safety. Electric heat doesn’t require pilot lights or fire starters. That doesn’t mean there are zero flames—fat drips can still flare up briefly—but they’re nowhere near the type of flames and sparks that can erupt from other grill options. This makes electric grills beginner-friendly and a nice introduction to cooking on grill surfaces. 
  • Easy to control. Speaking of fire starters, are you tired of charcoal chimneys? Electric grills will begin preheating as soon as you tell it to, and the temperature is controlled with a dial. 
  • Ideal for small spaces. Electric grills don’t produce the smoke that charcoal grills do, and they come in a variety of sizes, which makes them an excellent option for rentals and areas with limited outdoor space.

Try the Weber Pulse for a large, center-of-attention grill

A gas-powered grill has a certain commanding stature to it. The large cart and side flaps create space for you to work and the grill area becomes an area that people gravitate to. Electric grills can seem diminutive by comparison. If you want that same sturdy look with the benefits of electric, buy the Weber Pulse (US$979). It’s a bit of a splurge compared to the others, but this grill offers precision temperature control and you can stay informed by monitoring the temperature of the chicken thighs on the grill’s app while you walk over to the cooler to talk to friends.

Try the Weber Lumin for portable perks

If you have a small outdoor space, you may not want to have a standing outdoor grill constantly blocking the sun from your potted begonias. The Weber Lumin is more compact, the heating portion is fully detachable from the stand, and the stand collapses flat so you can store everything somewhere else. This model is small but mighty with 1.5 kilowatts and boasts a maximum temperature of 600 F. That’s plenty of heat to achieve good grill marks and even a whip up a grilled pizza. This model will work on a heat-resistant tabletop, but if you don’t have that, then make sure you get the Weber Lumin Electric Grill with the collapsible stand included ($530.44).

The George Foreman electric grill can go indoor to outdoor

It’s a luxury to have an indoor and an outdoor grill, but you don’t need to buy them separately. The George Foreman electric grill (US$119.99) allows you to move the dinner party outside when the weather clears up, and it’s more budget-friendly than the others. True to the entire line of Foreman products, the heating element is built into the grill plate. This eliminates the danger of fats dripping onto an exposed heating element below and causing flare-ups. 

As always, keep it safe

Have fun grilling clean out there in your lawn or rental patio, but always use your grill as directed. That means don’t bring an outdoor one inside if it’s not meant to be inside, and vice versa. These appliances draw quite a bit of energy to heat up your food so make sure to plug it into its own outlet to get the best performance. If your outdoor-only electric grill is going to live outside, invest in an outdoor cover specific to the brand and model to keep the electronics in good shape.

Credit: Ground Picture / Shutterstock.com

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