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Electric grill - Arguments for and against

Updated on March 11, 2010

Electric grills may have been available for a few years and we're fairly familiar with good attributes of a properly manufactured electric grill, but are they real successors to the oldschool charcoal and gas grills?

These grills come in lighter weight because there is no need for coal holder, no extra plating is required to control open flame. Though it greatly depends on the actual model, portable or tabletop cooking appliances are easily moved by a single person and it can come handy for the elderly or for those who like to cook on their own. Grilling steak in the backyard is more fun in a group though and most devices are sized to be able to cook enough servings for 3-4 people at any given time at least. Larger makes are rather hard to find and may cost more than a coal version.

Electric Grill
Electric Grill

There is no need to carry fuel. No charcoal or gas tank is required to operate an electric grill, and it allows for indoor variations. No smoke and mess from coal dust on the floor. When on camping it is much easier to bring these instead of a coal griller and a 25 pound bag of coal. Almost every camping site has electricity now, but a small petrol generator can be carried to power it if there is no electric power at the site. Smaller generators are not heavier than a bag of wood or a gas tank.

Both outdoor and indoor grills inherited a good feature from the technology. Heating panels are neatly organized therefore meat will cook much more evenly, there will be no hot spots and places where heat isn't enough to make a perfect barbecue. Some people like to deal with these details because it's what makes grilling a more natural way of preparing meat.

Meat cooked on an electric appliance will not have the flavor of the smoke. It may put off some people, who think the smell and taste of smoke on the meat is a crucial part of the experience of cooking meat outside. They can buy extra smoker box to imitate the effect but it will never be the same, and smoker boxes are not usable indoors.

There is some extra engineering needed to make an electric grill work in the backyard. There needs to be and extra properly insulated plug installed where the device will be and it can ruin the atmosphere of the garden or a really long cord needs to be used. Tripping in the cord is just as much of a risk factor as open flame in other variations.

Without electricity there is no grilling. Should the electric network have a blackout or the camping site miss electricity, there is no way to cook meat on the grill. It can be a shocking surprise to find yourself camping with an electric grill, 10 pounds of the best steak and no electricity to keep it in the fridge or cook it.

There are a few different versions of the electric grill and they all have their own extra argument for and against, but generally speaking they all come with roughly the same characteristics. They start at a hundred dollars and can go up to several thousands so picking one is entirely up to personal taste, but finding one with big enough cooking surface is not as easy as it would be in charcoal version. They have ups and downs and though there may be a better option for outdoor barbecue there is no better choice for indoor meat grilling.

Photo used is taken by Samer Farha 


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    • ElectricFireplace profile image

      ElectricFireplace 7 years ago from Florence, AL

      Thanks for taking a deeper look into what exactly some of the pros and cons of having an electric grill is. There are definite advantages and disadvantages in using an electric grill and a person needs to weigh these before using one, but remember that no cooking device is ever perfect!