Nothing beats firing up the old grill and throwing on some steaks, chicken, or veggies and just letting it rip or a turning things down nice and slow to roast a brisket – but what are you supposed to do when you can't have a charcoal or gas grill at your new place?
Maybe home owner's association won't let you use your grill, or maybe you live in an apartment where an open flame is a big no-no. For a lot of folks this means giving up on the dream of grilling almost completely.
But not you.
No, no – not you.
You have a secret weapon in your back pocket (or, more accurately, your garage or out on your deck) – the electric grill!
A bit of a recent invention, the best electric grill options on the market today allow you to "fire up" your grill whenever you want – rain or shine – without ever having to worry about an open flame burning down your place.
In fact, some of the best electric BBQ options on the market right now can be used right in your kitchen (on the countertop) without any issue whatsoever. At the same time, trying to find the best electric barbecue can be a real nightmare due to the fact that there are so many options out there to choose from. On top of that, there are going to be tons and tons of marketing and advertising pieces promising you the moon and the stars when it comes to the results their particular grill is capable of pulling off.
Whittling down your options shouldn't be this tall of a task – and with the insider information we break down for you in these electric grill reviews, it won't be!
All you have to do is check out the details we have to share in this quick electric grill buying guide and you'll be sure to get your hands on only the very best electric grill option for you. If you are specifically looking forward of grilling indoors, go to the best indoor electric grills section. The one with highest rating is our recommendation to go with!
As we highlighted above, you'll want to make sure you read as many of the top electric grill reviews as you can.
This is where you're going to dig up all kinds of inside information you wouldn't have had access to, especially if these electric grill reviews were written and published by folks that don't have any associate with the companies behind the grills they are breaking down.
Besides the fact that we write meaningful reviews, you will be able to find customers that have already taken a leap of faith and purchased the grill you're interested in are going to give you all of the details you need to know about the ins and outs of the grill in question at the bottom of the review.
But even more importantly than that, we are also going to make sure you know about the little things that aren't covered in marketing and advertising pieces.We'll be able to tell you that you really need to jiggle that floating top grill plate to get it to seat right so that maximum heat is hitting your food. We would also be able to tell you that you don't want to run your electric grill at the same time as your microwave, as it'll blow the circuit they're on.
Our electric grill review will tell you whether or not the non-stick surface on a grill is durable, whether it is safe, and whether or not the heating elements offer a consistent cook time with consistent heat.
These are all pieces of inside information you'd never get anywhere else, so let's get it started!
There are going to be a whole bunch of things you'll need to look into before you pull the trigger on a new electric grill purchases – and a lot of it starts without checking out all the inside information our electric grill reviews offer.
The best electric barbecue reviews are going to outline:
But there are quite a few different things you'll want to be on the lookout for before you decide to purchase an electric grill. There are a mountain of options out there to pick and choose from – most of them claiming to be the best electric grill money can buy – and it'll be tough to find the right one for you without digging a little bit deeper.
To help make sure that you really do end up with only the best electric grill on the market right now, we're going to touch on some of the most important features you'll really want to zero in on before you make a purchase.
Essentially the same thing as a traditional grill – only without any combustible fuel sources, the smoke, and the fear of an open flame getting out of control – you'll want to think of an electric grill as a gigantic frying pan (and then some).
Utilizing only the latest and greatest in electric heating technology, these options are going to make sure that you have complete and total control over your temperatures and cooking time. Not only that, but you'll also have the chance to cook them in the comfort of your own home!
Usually powered by and heating through the use of a hot coil system (not unlike the hot coil system you have on an electric coil cooktop), these systems routinely use metals that can heat up quickly and efficiently. Nickle, chromium, and aluminum are popular materials for the heating element because of their ability to radiate heat effortlessly.
Most of the best electric grill options include a griddle like surface with ridges that produce grill marks like an "old fashioned" charcoal or gasser would, but some of them offer a flatter surface that effortlessly accommodates any kind of food you'd like to prepare without any grill marks at all!
All things considered, electric grills are a lot like the traditional options you've probably been using at your family cookouts for years and years. Electrics just happen to be smaller, provide more control, and at the same time are usually(though not always) a lot less expensive.
It will be completely impossible for you to buy any quality electric grill without first breaking down exactly what you hope to do with it in the first place.
Those wanting to replace their traditional (and sometimes finicky) gas and charcoal grills are going to need an electric model that pumps out the heat. You need something that can go all the way up to 600 degrees (at minimum) or you'll find it tough to get the beautiful sear you're after on steaks and other proteins.
If you're instead looking for a model that can pop out some hamburgers or veggies every now and again (and want to be able to use your new electric grill on the countertop), then you'll want to look for something much more compact and a little bit less powerful.
Another critical detail you'll want to get out of the way ASAP is the kind of capacity you need to get from your new grill.
Folks that are only going to be cooking for themselves (or maybe one or two others) at a time can get away with a much smaller electric grill that stows away in your cabinet or cupboard, while those that plan on using this new electric model for the bulk of their summertime cookouts will need a grill MUCH larger.
There's not much worse than having a too small grill that requires you to cook batches of food one piece at a time, except for an oversize grill that takes up so much extra space and so much longer to warm to temperature that it isn't even worth breaking out of storage.
Find that sweet spot you'll be able to make the most of when it comes to capacity and you'll be very happy with your purchase.
Most of the best electric BBQ options are going to be really easy to store away, with almost all of the popular compact models taking up less space than a toaster.
At the same time, there are definitely "workhorse" electric grill options that will be close to the size of your charcoal or gas grill and they will require you to be smart about storage space and how you go about it.
For many, simply grabbing a compact unit and clearing out some space under your cabinets will get the job done. When you go a little bit bigger though, you'll want some space outside, in your garage, or in your shed.
Should you go the outdoor storage route (and some will be cramped for space otherwise), you need to make sure you've invested in a quality grill cover. Because of the electric components in your grill you cannot allow Mother Nature to throw you a curveball and destroy your grill from the inside out.
Keep your grill protected from the rain and wind, keep your grill protected from rust, and keep your grill protected from animals that might be on the hunt for little bits of food left on the grill after you're done cooking. Invest in quality options, features, and accessories
Some of the best electric grill options are going to be pretty barebones and straightforward options, but many of the top options include all kinds of bells and whistles that will really improve your ability to cook.
For starters, and included panini or sandwich press is pretty much a given “must have feature” if you're going with the clamshell or indoor countertop electric grill. You'll be able to fire up the grill in a hurry, throw it on the sandwich setting, and then let it come to temp. Wait a minute or two, throw on your sandwich, and then let the press down on it.
Boom – toasted sandwiches whenever you want it!Grill ridges are another option that you don't want to ignore, either. There's something to be said about the versatility of a completely flat electric grill surface, but one with built in grill ridges are going to give you those grill marks you've been getting right along from more traditional grill options.
Yes, you may have to jump on top of cleaning these electric grills before they get a chance to cool down – or you run the risk of having to try and scrape gunked on food later down the line – but at the end of the day it's almost always worth going with a grill that has ridges over one that does not.
It's also critical that you get your hands on an electric grilling option that offers a full articulating hinge. A floating hinge is going to help you cook foods that are a lot thicker (and unevenly shaped) without any trouble at all, all while offering a little bit of "gravity fed" pressure on the top grill plate to keep your food in constant contact with your heating elements.
Juice/fat collection trays are the last feature that we want to really touch on here, and it's definitely a "must own" feature if you're going with one of the best electric barbecue options made specifically for countertops.
Most of these grills are going to be engineered to tilt forward, allowing the juice or rendered fat to slide right down the surface of the grill and into the collection plate. This makes for a much better tasting (and healthier) finished piece of food, but it also makes for much easier cleanup time as well.
Anybody that's ever had to deal with the nightmare of cleaning up a charcoal or gasser that hasn't been cleaned in a while knows how much a nightmare cleanup can be. With a juice/fat collection tray, all of that trouble goes right out the window forever!
As we touched upon a little bit earlier, cooking capacity is going to be very important when you're buying one of these grills. Electric grill reviews are going to be very honest about your cooking capacity, but you need to make sure you know how much capacity you're going to need ahead of time. Until then you run the risk of buying too small of a grill than what you really need, or a grill that is a lot (A LOT) larger than what you need – and usually much more expensive.
If you're going to be cooking for two (or at most four) you can usually get away with a compact counter top grill. Any larger a capacity than that and you'll probably want to upgrade to a much larger unit – most likely a standalone unit.
The overwhelming majority of the best electric barbecue options are going to go up to nearly 600 degrees Fahrenheit without any trouble, though some of the less expensive units will top out around 500 degrees or so.
If you're looking to sear steaks or other foods, you'll want an electric grill that can really crank. For low and slow cooks – like with an electric barbecue smoker – you'll want to hit between 225 and 375 degrees (and maybe a little bit higher than that).
It really all comes down to what you're hoping to do with the best electric grill you're looking to buy. Different folks are going to have different uses for this new grill in mind, and you'll want to be sure that your purchase is capable of hitting the exact temp you need moving forward.
At the end of the day though, versatility is king when choosing a grill with different temp settings. Make sure that you'll be able to really crank the temps when you need to – and drop them low enough for a long smoke – and you'll be over the moon with the best electric BBQ you've purchased.
The bulk of the electric grills out there are going to consume next to no real power these days, though they were crazy power hogs in the past. Because of some really new and impressive advancements in the world of electrical cooking technology (as well as all the different heat retention properties new construction materials have) you'll be able to count on your new grill being just as efficient as any other cooking tool.
Sure, you'll run the meter a little bit higher when you're cooking over longer periods of time (like when you're smoking meats or pumping out a top tier brisket). But for the most part, you'll be able to fire up your electric grill, have it completely heated in no time at all, and then continue to cook with that grill at a consistent temp without blowing your utility budget along the way.
Bottom line, you'll spend a lot less money "fueling" your best electric barbecue purchase with energy than you ever would having to buy charcoal or propane all the time. These models are getting even more energy efficient all the time, and that means you'll never have to worry about these products crushing you in energy costs anymore.
You bet it will be! One of the biggest reasons that so many people decide to go in this direction and buy a new electric grill is because they are so super simple to use.
Getting a charcoal grill up and running and ready to cook on is easily a 15 to 20 minute task. You have to light your charcoal (with a chimney lighter – stay away from lighter fluids!), you have to wait for the charcoal to ash over, and then you have to dump the bricks into your grill and allow the whole thing to come to temperature before you start cooking.
As if that wasn't bad enough, you also have to make sure that you've scrubbed down all of your grill grates, that you have fiddled with the air intake and exhaust ports to get the temp just right, and that you continue to do so as the food cooks to keep temps "in the zone".
After all that is done – and after your food has cooked – you're then going to have to bank your fires, shut off all air to your charcoal grill, and wait (at least 8 hours) until things cool down enough so that you can throw your cover on it and protect it from Mother Nature. It's a whole day affair to cook on these things! Gas grills are going to be a little bit easier to deal with, but not by that much.
You'll have to get your propane set up right, make sure your tanks are full, and routinely check your lines so that there aren't any leaks that could cause a major explosion.
After that, you'll need to make sure that the entire surface of your grill is nice and clean – and the best way to do that is to is to fire your grill as hot as you can get it and then let the food burn right off.
Then there's plenty of fiddling around with the fuel source and temperature knobs, trying to get your burners just right, and a warmup period to make sure that you can cook your food through without any trouble. Still tons of work, right? With the best electric grill, none of those problems are going to exist.
Literally all you have to do – ALL you have to do – to cook on an electric BBQ setup is to plug it in, set the temp, and then throw you food on or in it. It really is that effortless! Cleanup is just as simple and straightforward. Most of the electric grills on the market have dishwasher safe components, giving you the chance to cook, clean, and put away your grill in less time than it would take to let your tradition charcoal or gas grill cool down.
If you're on the fence even just a little bit about whether or not you should be buying one of the best electric BBQ grills on the market or something a little more traditional, here are a couple of reason you'll want to zero in on.
For starters, you won't EVER have to worry about buying fuel for a traditional grill setup ever again. While charcoal and propane isn't particularly expensive all on its own, at the end of the day it's an extra (and some would say unnecessary) expense that you shouldn't have to deal with when you want to grill up some grub. With one of the best electric grill options out there, you'll never have to ever again! Secondly, the cooking capacity that these kinds of grills offer is nearly identical to the capacity you'll get out of a more traditional option, but the actual size of these grills are a lot smaller footprint wise.
Electric grills don't require the gigantic legs that charcoal or gas grills do, they won't take up the same amount of space, and they don't have combustible fuels that prohibit them from being used indoors. Yes – you're reading that right. You'll be able to cooking ALL YEAR ROUND (indoors if you'd like) with electric grills. What's better than that?
Charcoal grills (and to a lesser extent, gas grills) can be a real nightmare to try and control temperature wise. You have to fiddle around with intake and exhaust components, you have to make sure you're using the right kind of consistent fuel, and you have to time your cooks just so in order to cook consistently with these types of grills. On top of that, charcoal and gas grills can be a little finicky to dial in for longer cooks. Gas grills will usually (eventually) be able to hit the temperature you're after for 4+ hour cook times, but with charcoal you'll have a nightmare of a time stretch past your initial run of charcoal fuel.
Thankfully though, with an electric grill, all of that hassle and headache goes right out the window. With an electric grill you can set the temperature of your grill and allow the internal thermostat tools to modulate your energy and heating levels.
This will keep your grill at the exact same temp for hours and hours on end (basically for as long as your grill is plugged in and you have power running), all without any extra effort whatsoever.
Having your thermostat modulate your temperatures for you is incredibly important, especially when you're running one of the best electric BBQ smokers. Smoking food is going to be done at real low temps and real slow timings, and trying to keep everything "just right" with your charcoal or gas grill can be a tall task. With an electric option, all of that headache and hassle goes right out the window!
At the end of the day, there are plenty of options to pick and choose from when buying an electric grill, BBQ, or smoker. Hopefully you'll be able to speed up the process dramatically by using all the insider information we've offered you above. Check out top electric grill reviews, find a grill that suits your cooking needs right down to the ground, and always look for an option that you'll be able to cook with for years and years to come. Best of luck going forward!