There’s nothing better than chilling with your friends on a lazy afternoon at a backyard barbecue. Unfortunately, not all of us live in a home with a backyard. Nor do we all live in a place where gas or charcoal grills are allowed. So, what’s the alternative for people who want to enjoy good barbecue? Electric grills. Now, some BBQ snobs might say that an electric grill isn’t really a grill, rather they’re “glorified electric frying pans.” Whatever they might think, these babies can still deliver a deliciously grilled meal whenever you need one. But, like the case of any grill, you can’t just buy the first thing that comes across your eyes because you’ll get burned (hopefully not literally). That’s why we’ll be discussing the pros and cons of getting an electric grill AND what you features you need to look out for when you’re out shopping.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top Electric Grills of 2017
- 2 Why Electric Grill?
- 3 Things to Consider when Buying an Electric Grill
- 4 Electric Grills Reviewed
- 4.1 Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Electric Grill
- 4.2 T-fal GC702 OptiGrill Stainless Steel Indoor Electric Grill
- 4.3 Delonghi BG24 Perfecto Indoor Grill
- 4.4 Char-Broil TRU Infrared Electric Patio Bistro 180 Grill
- 4.5 De’Longhi CGH800 Contact Grill and Panini Press
- 4.6 Hamilton Beach 25335 Indoor Grill
- 4.7 DeLonghi Reversible Die-Cast Grill and Griddle
- 4.8 Weber 55020001 Q 2400 Electric Grill
- 4.9 DeLonghi BG500C 2-in-1 Ceramic Coated Grill and Griddle
- 4.10 Hamilton Beach 25360 Indoor Flavor/Searing Grill
- 4.11 Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Grill/Griddle
- 4.12 George Foreman GRP99 Next Generation Grill with Nonstick Removable Plates
- 4.13 Hamilton Beach Raclette Party Grill
- 4.14 Oster CKSTGR3007-ECO DuraCeramic Reversible Grill and Griddle
- 4.15 George Foreman GGR50B Indoor/Outdoor Grill
Top Electric Grills of 2017
Why Electric Grill?
Benefits of an Electric Grill
Convenience: There’s something to be said about not having to worry about having enough gas in your tank or enough charcoal to heat up your grill, much less cook. With an electric grill, you just plug it in, turn on the heat, and you’re good to go in five minutes or so. Another convenience you’ll enjoy with this type of grill is that it’s even easier to clean than a gas grill. You just need water and a soft washcloth or sponge to wipe away the grease from the grill. Some grills come with a removable cooking surface that can be put in a dishwasher for cleaning. One other convenience is temperature control. Since you have complete control, you can set-it-and-forget-it – go do other things while your meal cooks perfectly without you.
It must be said, however, that the convenience of plugging in the grill is only within the confines of your home. You can easily bring your grill to a beach, a picnic, or even a tailgate party, provided that you have somewhere to plug it into. Unlike the charcoal and gas grills, “have grill, will travel” isn’t going to be the case with this one.
Safety: In comparison to the other popular grills, electric ones are the safest option. No need to worry about sparks flying from your burning charcoal or gas exploding from your gas grill. There are no open flames nor are there fumes that could be hazardous to your health, especially if you’re going to be grilling indoors. It also doesn’t hurt that this type of grill is the most environmentally friendly.
Of course, some say that part of the fun of grilling is playing with fire so an electric grill doesn’t really give you the same thrill.
Less costly: Ok, an electric grill isn’t exactly cheap but it does save you time and money in the long run. Why? If you love to grill, the cost of natural gas is going to pile up. If you use a tank, you’ll have to fill it up whenever you run out. This means you will spend money for liquid propane and gas for your car as well as use up the time going back and forth just to get your grill going. Same goes for charcoal.
Size: One of the best things about an electric grill is the size. Some are small enough to fit on a table top or on your tiny balcony/porch (if you have one). Of course, those small ones can’t cook for a large party but you can easily feed a family of five. Larger ones that can be used outdoors can feed around 12 to 15 people at once.
Drawbacks of an Electric Grill
Flavor: The biggest drawback that can be said about this type of grill is the lack of flavor you get from using it. Because it doesn’t burn anything to produce heat, there’s also no added flavor from burning wood or smoke.
No ritual: As was mentioned earlier, starting a fire is part of the ritual of grilling and an electric grill fails to deliver on that particular thrill. There’s no fine art to grilling when you’re using an electric grill either. No need to learn how to light a fire, stack your charcoal just right, and maintain the right temperature you need to cook your meat. As an added drawback, there’s no such thing as indirect cooking because your entire cooking surface will only have one temperature.
Maintenance: While it is easy to clean, some parts of an electric grill cannot get wet so you need to be careful when you’re wiping it down with water.
Temperature: An electric grill gives you control of the temperature but it doesn’t give you the heat you need for a good sear. This is because, when searing, you need intense heat for a long period of time. While you do get intense radiant heat from an electric grill, it powers off intermittently which prevents you from getting the dark sear you desire.
Things to Consider when Buying an Electric Grill
Features to Look for in Electric Grills
- Size: Like any other grill, you’ll need to decide how much food you’d like to be able to cook at a time before you settle on the size. Also, you’ll need to consider space – do you want it on top of your table or in your mini-patio or balcony? Also, do you plan on storing your grill after each use or are you happy to leave it where it lies (indoors or outdoors)? If you plan on storing it, you’ll need to consider the space you’ll be storing it in when you’re looking at size.
- Temperature: It’s best to know beforehand what type of food you want to grill. If you’re only looking for something to grill your sandwiches, then a panini grill would be more your style. This type of grill usually doesn’t produce the high temperatures you need to cook steaks. If you want to grill meat, then you’ll want one that’ll heat up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. You can still cook meat with an electric grill that has a lower temperature range but it doesn’t turn out as great as intense high heat.Aside from temperature range, you’ll want an electric grill that comes with a gauge on the lid to let you know when it’s ready for you to cook. Some grills come with a “go” light instead that lights up when the heat is a go. An adjustable thermostat is also a must-needed feature. You’ll need it to set accurate temperatures to cook your food. Being able to tweak your grill to the right temperature to cook your sandwich or steak is crucial to getting great results.
- Removable cooking grates or plates: It is easier to clean an electric grill because you’ll only need to wipe it down after each use. But it can get awkward when you’re also trying to make sure not to get the heating elements of the grill wet. With removable cooking grates, you can just wash it in the sink or pop it into your dishwasher for a quicker, more convenient cleaning.
- Floating hinge: If you’re going for an outdoor or indoor grill that has a removable cover, this wouldn’t be a feature you’d need to consider. However, some electric grills are contact grills – both the top and the bottom of the grill produce heat so you can press it down on your food and cook both sides at the same time. If you have a contact grill, it should have a floating hinge that will allow the lid to sit evenly on top of a sandwich or a thick cut of meat without sliding off. Otherwise, you’ll get unevenly cooked food.
- Cord length: This is a biggie. Despite how convenient it is to just plug in, an electric grill means you are tied to the nearest outlet. And if you have one that needs to be placed a distance away from the outlet, you’ll need a grill that has a long enough cord that ensures both you and the grill are comfortable. The best solution is to find one that is adjustable so you can be more flexible when it comes to using your grill.
Electric Grills Reviewed
Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Electric Grill
If charcoal and gas grills aren’t an option for you, Char-Broil also offers an electric grill that fits right in your patio. Just like the other grills in our selection, this electric grill features the TRU-Infrared cooking system that enables you to enjoy high temps for serious searing, evenly cooked meat that stays moist, and no flare-ups. Because of this same design, you can also add some flavor by creating smoke. Simply put some wood chips directly on the cooking grate and you’re set.
The cooking grate is round and porcelain coated while the grill itself is stainless steel that is also porcelain coated. The grill has a 240 square inch primary cooking surface which fits around 11 burgers and an 80 square inch removable warming rack that can also be used for indirect cooking. The grill also comes with two wheels so you can easily move it around. The wheels have no locking casters though to keep the grill in place.
Living in a condo or apartment complex doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some “backyard” barbecues. The Patio Bistro Electric Grill is a pretty basic grill that enables you to enjoy deliciously grilled meals with your family or a couple of friends without the mess of charcoal or the inconvenience of gas. Just plug it in, set the temperature, and you’re ready to go.
Winner!! Best Indoor Electric Grill – Read Full Review
T-fal GC702 OptiGrill Stainless Steel Indoor Electric Grill
The T-Fal GC02 Optigrill is definitely in a category all on its own. This indoor electric grill takes a lot of guesswork out of cooking. The grill features 1800 watts of heating element, removable die-cast aluminum plates, and a removable drip tray. It’s made of stainless steel for durability. The plates and drip tray are dishwasher-safe. The cooking space can fit 4-5 pieces of meat. Sounds like the norm, right? Well, there’s more. The T-Fal Optigrill comes with 2 cooking modes – one for frozen food and one for thawed. It also has 6 cooking programs that allows the grill to automatically adapt cooking time to suit the type of food you are cooking. And it has automatic sensors that will monitor the thickness of the meat to adjust temperature for even, thorough cooking and detect the different stages of cooking – rare, medium, and well-done. If you like to eat and can’t be bothered to learn how, the T-Fal Optigrill is your best bet to get fed.
Delonghi BG24 Perfecto Indoor Grill
This indoor electric grill is one of the best in the market. It’s also quite uniquely designed. Unlike other indoor grills at this price point, the Perfecto Indoor grill doesn’t have a metal lid or hood. Instead, you get a tempered glass lid that is entirely separate from the body of the grill. Also unlike most indoor grills these days, the non-stick grill plate is not removable. Instead, it is made with a fully embedded heating element. And because the plate Moreover, the grill plate is also quite different. It is designed to be similar to a traditional grill grate rather than a plate. With the design of the grill, the grease falls down into a large non-stick drip tray located below the cooking surface.
Another notable feature of the Perfecto Indoor grill is a detachable, adjustable thermostat that has five settings (low to high, no actual temperature shown). In addition, the grill has an indicator light that lets you know when it is on and heating up. One last feature to take note of is the non-stick splatter shield placed around the edge of the grill to prevent the grease from .
The Perfecto Indoor grill has a lot of great features that enable you to enjoy tasty results minus the usual hassle of cleaning a grill. Of course, clean up would be even better with a removable grill plate but it’s still easy. The temperature can fluctuate at times but the food still gets cooked beautifully. All in all, the Perfecto Indoor grill gets the job done well.
Char-Broil TRU Infrared Electric Patio Bistro 180 Grill
Char-Broil is a brand that has been around far longer than the original Weber Kettle. And while it doesn’t enjoy the same avid fan base as the other brand, it definitely holds its own when it comes to producing quality grills that have ingenious designs. Over the past several years, it has introduced its newest innovation – the TRU-Infrared cooking system that employs radiant heat to cook your food rather than convection or conduction heat. This system is reliant on an innovative cooking grate that helps spread the heat evenly across the grill and radiates it directly into the food. This allows the food to cook more quickly. And since there is little to no convection heat (hot air), the food stays moist and tender. The grate also prevents flare-ups and redirects the smoke from the burned drippings right back to the meat.
What other features does this grill have? The lid and body of the grill are made of porcelain. It has a total of 245 square inches of cooking space; 180 square inches of primary cooking space and a 65-square inch warming rack. The grate is made of porcelain coated steel while the warming rack is made of porcelain coated steel wire. This Char-Broil grill has a removable dial-control that can be plugged into any 120V power outlet. Like the Weber Q1400, this grill also provides 1500 watts of grilling power. The lid features a built-in temperature gauge that reaches up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. The grill weighs at 22.5 pounds, one of the lightest in this category.
The Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Electric 180 grill is definitely a lot less expensive than Weber’s portable electric grill. It certainly is a lot less light. When it comes to portability, this one would definitely win hands down. But what about cooking performance? The Weber is easily the hottest grill. Although it does heat fast as well as recovers heat quickly, it can’t reach the high temperatures of the Q1400. However, the TRU-Infrared cooking system does seem to work because the meat stays juicy and tender. The Weber doesn’t perform as well. The only downside of this grill is the quick fluctuation in temperature whenever you check on the food and the clean-up. There are definitely a lot of things to love and few things to dislike about the Charcoal TRU-Infrared Electric Patio Bistro 180 grill. While it may not necessarily be our top choice, it’s most definitely one of our finalists.
De’Longhi CGH800 Contact Grill and Panini Press
While this kitchen appliance is more well-known as a sandwich maker, it can also function as a contact grill for your chicken, burgers, and steak.
The DeLonghi Contact Grill & Panini Press is a more versatile kitchen appliance than other sandwich makers. The temperature control also allows you more cooking flexibility. Its large cooking surface is a big bonus for those who want to cook for more than just two people at a time. While it is easy to clean, the grill/panini press can be improved with making the grill plates removable and dishwasher-safe. Despite the uneven temperatures, the results from this particular indoor grill are still pretty tasty.
Hamilton Beach 25335 Indoor Grill
Hamilton Beach 25335 Indoor Grill offers you low-fat grilling at its finest. The clamshell design allows you to cook food on both sides at the same time, whether its paninis, burgers, hotdogs, or steaks. And all the fat in your food? Well, it goes all the way down into the drip tray. You still get the flavor and juiciness of your food but without the fat. And that’s not the only thing this grill has going for it. The grill plates and the drip tray are all removable and dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. Because both sides heat up, food gets cooked in a matter of minutes; most of them will cook in less than 10 minutes, whether they’re fresh or frozen. As for drawbacks, the cooking surface is pretty small at 90 square inches. Also, there’s no on or off switch as well as temperature control. And in case you were wondering, this indoor grill has no floating hinge.
DeLonghi Reversible Die-Cast Grill and Griddle
Unlike other indoor grills that come with interchangeable plates, this indoor grill from DeLonghi offers a reversible one – one side is ribbed for grilling meats and fish while the other side is flat for cooking vegetables, eggs, pancakes, bacon, and the like. The reversible grill and griddle plate is made of heavy-duty die-cast aluminum with an embedded heated element that is removable and dishwasher-safe. The grill also features an adjustable temperature control that ranges from 200 degrees to 400 degrees Farenheit (from keep-warm to sear setting).
The DeLonghi BGR50 Reversible Grill/Griddle is a very good grill and an even better griddle. While the grease drainage system could be improved and the temp settings listed better, the results of cooking on this indoor grill have been delicious. Cleaning the grill isn’t a problem but the grease splatter can become a deterrent from using the grill side too often. If you’re looking for a traditional indoor grill with no extra function/feature, then this may be too expensive for you. But for those who want to a multipurpose appliance, this grill offers great value for your money.
Weber 55020001 Q 2400 Electric Grill
The Weber Q2400 is an impressive outdoor, electric grill that was designed for the grill purist who doesn’t want the hassle of using charcoal or gas. This large grill has a cast aluminum lid and body and a glass-reinforced nylon frame, much like all other Weber grills in the market, to ensure durability. It has 280 square inches of cooking space with its porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates. You can easily serve a family of four with this baby. And it has a powerful 1560-watt electric heating element that can reach as high as 500 degrees which gives you a superior sizzle. Aluminum heat retention liners within the grill ensure that the heat will not escape and the temperature is maintained. Ergonomic handles on the side of the grill as well as its light weight (41 lbs) makes it a great portable grill, provided you have electricity where you’re going.
DeLonghi BG500C 2-in-1 Ceramic Coated Grill and Griddle
If the reversible grill/griddle plate isn’t your thing and you’d prefer to cook a variety of foods at the same time, DeLonghi has another multipurpose grill for you – the 2-in-1 Ceramic Coated Grill and Griddle. Instead of having two sides, this grill makes use of only one side which is then divided into two parts. 2/3 of the plate is ribbed for use as a grill. 1/3 of the grill is flat to be used as a griddle. This unique design allows you to cook burgers on the grill side while you cook some bacon and veggies on the griddle side so you have a full meal in one go.
The DeLonghi 2-in-1 Grill and Griddle isn’t going to be for everyone. While the griddle cooks really light and fluffy pancakes, the grill has some problems with uneven heating (hot spots). While the plate and grease tray are removable, the rest of the grill still requires a bit of cleaning which is an inconvenience. While it does have an adjustable temperature control, it doesn’t list degrees so guesstimates are still going to be part of your cooking technique at least until you finally figure things out. The grill does give you versatility in terms of the foods you can cook at the same time but it still limits the amount of food you can cook for you and your family. The bulkiness of the grill can be a problem too if you don’t have enough counter space. All in all, this is a decent grill that cooks fairly well (better than some grills in this category). But is it worth it? It may be more than you’re willing to part with.
Hamilton Beach 25360 Indoor Flavor/Searing Grill
Nothing beats charcoal grilling – the ritual, the smoke, the flavor… but it isn’t something that can always be done whenever you feel like eating grilled food, especially if the weather doesn’t permit it. Thankfully, there’s another option for you – an indoor electric grill. And this is where Hamilton Beach’s Searing Grill comes in. When it comes to indoor grilling, you’ll be surprised with how well this small tabletop electric grill can do.
There are plenty of tabletop indoor electric grills in the market today so what makes this one stand out? A lot of things. First, the grill has an adjustable temperature control – something that a lot of tabletop electric grills lack. To make that feature even better, you get 11 different settings to choose from. Second, it can reach those really high temperatures (up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit) to enable you to sear a steak. Again, a feature that isn’t normally found in indoor electric grills. The indicator lights let you know when the grill is on and when it has reached your desired temp. Third, the grate is truly nonstick so no need to pretreat the cooking grate with a cooking spray, oil, or butter. Fourth, the drip tray. There are several things to like about it. It’s extra large so you don’t need to worry about the tray overflowing if you’re cooking a lot of stuff on the grill at one time. The tray also slides in and out which means that it’s attached to the grill while in use. No need to worry about accidentally knocking it away from the grill and getting grease all over your countertop. Best of all, it’s removable and dishwasher-safe so cleaning it will be a breeze.
One other thing that you are going to (or not) love about this grill is the unique hood design. Unlike a lot of tabletop indoor grills, the Hamilton Beach Searing Grill is not a contact grill. This means that the lid has no grates, you’ll need to flip over the meat halfway through your cooking time to get the other side done. The hood is actually similar to how lids work in traditional grills, by helping the grill retain heat and enabling your meat to cook via convection heat. This unique hood design also ensures that the smoke from sizzling meat is locked inside the cooking chamber, adding a bit of flavor to your heat. Lastly, the lid keeps the splatter of grease from making a mess on your counter top.
If you’re in the market for a small indoor electric grill for whatever reason, the Hamilton Beach Searing Grill should be your top choice. You get a grill that heats up fast, cooks beautifully (and fast), and is very easy to clean. All good things at a fairly low price.
Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Grill/Griddle
If you’re looking for more versatility in your indoor grill, then the 3-in-1 Grill/Griddle might just be what you need.
- 180 square inches of cooking space
- two cooking grids that are reversible, removable, nonstick, and dishwasher-safe
- center grease channel and removable, dishwasher-safe grease tray
- temperature control
The 3-in-1 Grill/Griddle is an indoor electric grill that offers versatility at a very low price. Though it has some flaws (what grill doesn’t?), the benefits certainly outweigh them. You don’t get what you pay for with this little grill. You get more.
George Foreman GRP99 Next Generation Grill with Nonstick Removable Plates
The GRP99 is one of the best grills that George Foreman has to offer. Much like others in the series, it comes with removable, dishwasher-safe plates that are non-stick as well. Also, you get the clamshell design that enables you to cook both sides of the food at the same time. It also ensures you keep grease splatter to a minimum. The grill also has a floating hinge which is a feature that every countertop grill should have. Being able to cook thick cuts of meat on your grill is priceless. But what makes the GRP99 really stand out? It comes with temperature control – allowing you to choose how much heat you’ll be using for your food, a digital timer, and 108 square inches of cooking space – fit for cooking three large steaks. Overall, this countertop indoor grill is definitely a winner.
Hamilton Beach Raclette Party Grill
Grilling can be fun but it’s always done by a party of one. But with the Hamilton Beach Raclette Party grill, each member of the party participates in the fun by making their own meal.
- nonstick, removable, dishwasher-safe grill plate
- 8-tray heating section
- nonstick, removable, dishwasher-safe trays
- dishwasher-safe, heat-resistant cooking paddles (baby spatulas)
- adjustable heat control (low to max setting)
If you’re looking for a fun way to grill with your friends, you definitely have to have one of these. A lot of good raclette grills are expensive so finding one with this quality at this price is a chance you shouldn’t pass up on.
Oster CKSTGR3007-ECO DuraCeramic Reversible Grill and Griddle
Should you get a grill or a griddle for your countertop? Why not both? Increase the versatility of your cooking with Oster’s CKSTGR3007-ECO DuraCeramic Reversible Grill and Griddle. The grill comes with a double-sde reversible plate which means you only need to flip the plate over to get the cooking surface you want. THe plate is covered with DuraCeramic non-stick ceramic coating which is better than regular non-stick coating since it won’t peel or flake and will last up to four times longer. This patented and exclusive coating is PFOA and PTFE free and helps the grill get hot 20% faster. This Oster grill comes with cool-touch handles which makes moving the grill won’t be a problem even when it’s still hot. There’s a removable drip tray to collect all the fat and makes for an easy clean up. And to help you cook, there’s also an adjustable temperature control.
George Foreman GGR50B Indoor/Outdoor Grill
There are several reasons why the GGR50B stands out from the rest of the George Foreman grills. While most of the others are contact, indoor grills, the GGR50B is both an indoor/outdoor grill that uses convection type grilling. You get the high-domed lid, adjustable dampers, 240 square inches of cooking space, and a removable grill plate that has a patented sloped design to enable the fat to drip down onto the tray. Heating up the GGR50B is fast and controlling the temperature is possible because it comes with a control valve that ranges from low to high. And even better, cooking on this grill gets done quickly. Of course, there are also flaws in the design. The heat settings could be better, instead of just a range of 1-5. If you want to take it outdoors, you can put the grill on top of a base which is somewhat flimsy and light. Last, but never the least, the power cord is just too short
Living in an apartment or a condo with grill restrictions doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good barbecue. The same goes for having a limited outdoor space. With an electric grill, you might not get the same flavor and thrill, but you still get the meal that you’re all drooling for.