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Electric Grill Guide - Pros And Cons

Updated on July 28, 2009

The Three Basic "Types" Of Grills

When it comes to backyard barbecues and grills, almost every product available will fall into one of three categories: It's either a Gas, Charcoal Or Electric Grill.

The most common types of grills found in backyards everywhere these days are definitely part of the gas family. Gas barbecues generally on either propane or natural gas. These units are very easy to use and provide the chef with a nice even cooking temperature. Due to their popularity, gas grills give consumers a ton of different options as well. They come in a lot of different sizes and price ranges. It's even possible to find units that have rotisseries built into them.

The next most popular grill, after the gas one, is probably the charcoal bbq. These products have a huge following of backyard connoisseurs who wouldn't dream of using anything else - claiming that the charcoal increases the flavour of the meat and provides a more organic experience for the cook. You have quite a few options if you want to go with this classic grill. Check out my other hub on using a charcoal grill for more info.

The unit we're going to discuss today is the electric one. It's not as popular as it's gas or charcoal cousins but that doesn't mean it's useless. These units, as the name implies, run on electricity. Although they tend to be small, table top, type items, we're starting to see more and more full size electric barbecues on the market.

An Electric Grill
An Electric Grill

Advantages Of Using Electric Grills

There are several good things about choosing to use an electric BBQ or grill. Here are a points that will surely convince you to get on board with these beauties!

Quick Fire Up Time

Electric grills get going very quickly. With a traditional BBQ, you have to get the charcoal going then wait for a good ten to fifteen minutes before the coals settle down. Even with a gas powered unit, you have to wait quite some time before the heat is appropriate for cooking. Electric units require little in the way of warm up time though. With any decent product, the average time between start up and "cook" up is very reasonable.

Consistent Cooking Surface

This is another key benefit of using an electric barbecue. The same feature is found on good propane products as well. Having an even heat across the entire grill is very important. If some parts are hotter than others, chances are your food won't cook evenly. Yuck! Getting this consistency with charcoal grills is pretty tough. With an electric unit, however, the heat is always displaced properly.

Low Maintenance

Compared to charcoal and gas units, electric grills are way easier to take care of. There's no messy black residue to deal with and you never need to replace awkward propane tanks. If you have an outlet - you have a grill! With the low maintenance factor comes savings as well. Propane is getting more expensive all the time and charcoal burns very quickly.  Get an efficient electric grill and you'll never look back.

You Can Use It Inside

The fact that you can use these grills indoors is a huge selling factor for many people.  Too cold outside but you still want a hamburger?  No problem with an electric beauty!  Try using a charcoal or gas grill inside your kitchen and see what happens...

And Some Disadvantages Of The Electric BBQ...

They're not perfect though folks...  Here are some things about the electric grills that I don't particularly care for.

Kind Of Awkward When Used Outdoors

Now as good as these bad boys are indoors, they're not really tailored for outdoor use.  You'll either need an outlet on your patio or some goofy long extension cord that runs from the inside.  It can definitely be done but it's just not the same as having a more traditional BBQ on the deck.  And you can pretty much forget about taking an electric grill to the beach.  Your much better off with a propane grill if you're a big fan of picnics...

May Lack The Flavor Of A Charcoal Grill

Grilling enthusiasts scoff at the idea of using anything but real charcoal to cook.  They argue over the perfect mix of coal and pine chips.  If you're one of these purists, chances are you haven't gotten this far down the page anyway.  For most taste-buds, an electric grill will suffice...  For the picky eaters out there though, you may want to stay clear of these convenient little grills.

Not Quite As Much Fun

There is something to be said for cooking with real fire.  I can't really put my finger on it, but it really is more fun to set something ablaze and then cook a steak on it.  You don't get a chance to fulfill these primal urges with an electric grill

The George Foreman Grill

What would a hub about electric grills be without a video on this modern classic.  Check it out!

A Few Recommened Products

Check out these deals from Amazon.  They carry a variety of different electric bbq's and grills.  Good luck and happy cooking!


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    • dietcook profile image

      Ruth 17 months ago from St. Paul. MN

      Recently, I bought a George Foreman indoor electric grill to grill chicken, fish, hotdogs, and hamburgers and I love it! It's easy to use and it removes 42% of fat!

    • profile image

      Tricia 4 years ago

      Thanks for a great overview-just purchased a camper and are deciding which to get.

    • profile image

      George 5 years ago

      "Try using a charcoal or gas grill inside your kitchen and see what happens..."

      People have died trying this. That's what happens.

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the nice post ..This is really great information

    • ElectricFireplace profile image

      ElectricFireplace 7 years ago from Florence, AL

      Great job on listing both the pros and cons of electric grills. Electric grills may not be for everyone but there are definitely a lot of people who will benefit from them. If you live in an apartment, trailer or go camping an electric grill may just be the only way to grill any type of food.

      There are also a lot of people that have electric grills as well as a gas or charcoal grill and use them on different occasions for different types of foods. This may be an option for people to consider as well.

    • profile image

      Dave 8 years ago

      There's nothing better than a charcoal grill for flavor and higher cooking temperatures to sear in the juices and the flavor of the meat.

      If you prefer gas grills here's last years Consumer Top 10 Picks...

    • James Wikman profile image

      James Wikman 8 years ago from California

      Come on Dame... Knowing you may explode is half of the fun of grilling with gas! haha Just jokes! I better be careful or George Foreman will hunt me down...

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Dame Scribe 8 years ago from Canada

      I am scared of outdoor BBQ's..might blow them up or injure myself, lol. I love my little GF grill though, :) lol. Good info!