There’s no doubt that most people prefer using gas or charcoal when it comes to grilling. After all, nothing really compares to standing outside in a hot summer afternoon, beer in hand, watching meat cook over hot coals as friends and family relax around you.
However, idyllic as the image may be, sometimes it’s just not possible to achieve it year-round.
When it comes to grilling outside, weather can be your worst enemy but surprise rains or snowy days are far from the only thing preventing people from owning a gas or charcoal grill.
Some people live in small apartments with not enough space for an entire grill. Others live in places where gas, charcoal or even wood grills are completely forbidden. Some would rather not bother with those types of fuels at all.
For people who can’t, or simply won’t, buy regular grills but still want to enjoy the grilling experience, electric grills are a great choice.
Why Should You Buy Electric Grill?
There’s a variety of reasons why more and more people are purchasing electric grills nowadays:
Grilling your food is a very healthy way of cooking it, as it reduces the amount of oils and fats you use while infusing your food with a lot of flavor.
While there’s no real difference in terms of health between regular grills and electric ones, people are a lot more health conscious these days and grilling is becoming a favorite way of cooking.
If you’re not careful when grilling, regular grills can be quite a fire hazard, which is why they’re forbidden in many apartment buildings and even some gated communities.
This can be a problem for BBQ lovers, who may find themselves unable to pursue one of their favorite hobbies without risking losing their apartment.
Because electric grills work with a heating element instead of fire, they’re a lot safer to use, which means that even if you’ve never grilled before, you can now try your hand at it without fear of accidentally setting something on fire.
They’re Easier to Use
Sure, some models will have a learning curve and some you’ll swear develop new functions whenever you look the other way, but as a whole, electric grills are quite easy to use, even if it’s only on their most basic setting.
Plug them to the wall, turn them on, select the temperature, wait for a little bit and you’re good to go.
Regular grills aren’t much harder to ‘turn on’, but it does require a certain finesse and knowledge and what you need to know or do changes a lot depending on the type of grill you own.
They’re Easier to Clean
This is a no brainer.
If you compare electric grills to charcoal grills, for example, electric grills win by a landslide in terms of cleanliness. After all, you won’t have to deal with the finger staining mess that is coal, nor with the ashes at the end of the day.
The same can be said for wood grills, though gas grills get a pass in that aspect.
Because electric grills tend to be so compact, and they usually come with easily removable grates or plates, you can always take them out and wash in your sink or your dishwasher, saving you a lot of time.
Believe it or not, cooking on an electric grill is often cheaper than cooking in a traditional grill.
For starters, once you’ve made the first investment, you won’t really have to buy anything else. No gas, no wood, no charcoal. Just plug your electric grill and get to work.
If you’re using an electric grill as a way to improve your health, you’ll be happy to know that you’ll not only save money on gas, but also on oil, as you’ll be using a lot less of that.
Sure, there’s electricity to keep in mind, but most electric grills run with 120 volts, so it really isn’t more consuming than your microwave or a large, pod coffee machine.
Of course, the price depends a lot on the model, as some electric grills can be even more expensive than traditional ones.
While the smaller cooking surface doesn’t scream “advantage”, electric grills are simply more practical that traditional grills and that extends even to traditional portable grills.
When not in use, you can easily store small electric grills under your counters or inside your cabinets, something that can’t be said about any other type of grill.
Not only that, but if you live in a small apartment, a camper or the increasingly popular “tiny homes”, then every bit of saved space matters and electric grills can truly be a game changer in that regard.
Now that you know what makes electric grills so awesome, it’s time for you to purchase your own.
We’ve taken the liberty of reviewing several popular electric grill models to let you know, exactly, what to expect of each one.
Let’s get started!
Top 5 Best Electric Grill Reviews
At 155 square inches, this stainless steel portable electric grill is an excellent choice for those of you looking for a mix between size and power.
Built with high-quality materials that guarantee a long life, this grill is rather expensive, but high performing, as it’s capable of going from 0 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit in just under 10 minutes.
If its efficiency isn’t impressive, its practicality certainly is, as both the grill grate and the lid are perfectly dishwasher safe, something that can’t be said about most regular grills.
Measuring only 12 x 21 x 9.2 inches and weighing only 33 pounds, this electric grill earns the “portable” in its name, but it can easily be used indoors as well, making it a great option if you have a small kitchen.
Plus, you always have the option to take it out if the weather is particularly nice.
As you can imagine, the stainless steel built does get hot, so be careful when using this grill. Another small downside is the fact that the grill will automatically shut off after a certain amount of time to cool off in order to avoid overheating, though this seems more a security measure than a mistake on the manufacturer’s part.
- Easy to clean
- Very powerful
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Very expensive
- Shuts offs after a couple of hours on to prevent overheating
If you’re looking for an affordable yet reliable electric grill, you have to see this one.
While tempting to call it a sandwich press, the truth is the Cuisinart GR-4N is more than that. In fact, it’s 4 things more, as it can work as a contact grill, a griddle, full grill and any combination you can imagine.
Not too shabby for something that only weights about 5 pounds, uh?
Measuring 12x17x10 inches, this grill doesn’t offer the biggest cooking space out there but what it does it does quite well, giving you the opportunity to cook a wide variety of meals from the comfort of your home, camper, tiny house, apartment or commercial local.
As if the size wasn’t enough in terms of convenience, all the plates, including the grill ones, are dishwasher safe and very easy to clean. This extends to the removable drip-tray, which is not only easy to remove and put back in place but is also dishwasher safe, though we encourage you to wash by hand whenever possible.
Not only does this grill gives you the ability to cook a wide variety of foods but also the right temperature settings for each one. That said, you’re probably going to need to look at the instruction manual a handful of times while getting the hang of it.
- Easy to clean
- Grease leaks from the top plate whenever it’s opened after cooking
- Hard to use at first
- Plates aren’t non-stick
(Don’t worry, this appliance is way easier to use than it is to remember that name.)
While small, the Weber is one of the most powerful grills in this list, and can easily go over 600 degrees in just a few minutes, successfully retaining the temperature for as long as you need it.
There’s no assembly required for this practical grill and weighing only shy of 30 lbs, it’s one of the lightest in this list.
Granted, this grill isn’t one of the most affordable ones out there but it can sear steaks just like the real deal so you’ll find the price isn’t really an issue when you’ll be able to grill delicious meat cuts if so you please.
Yes, this grill gets that hot, but you have to follow the instructions in order to achieve it, otherwise it will underperform a bit.
Part of the problem seems to be that this grill comes with no temperature gauge, so there’s really no way of telling when the temperature is what you want.
- Energy Efficient
- Gets very hot
- Can cook a lot of things, including thick meat cuts
- Very small cooking area
- Slow to heat
- Doesn’t come with a drip tray, so you have to get one yourself
- Ribs are this grill’s kryptonite
A straightforward and easy to use grill, the Delonghi Perfecto Grill is not only one of the most affordable items in this list but also one of the easiest to use.
With a glass lid that lets you not only lets you look at the food you’re grilling but also helps you to keep it warm, even after cooking.
Measuring 15x22x6 inches, this grill has a large cooking surface that’s perfect for any medium sized family and more than enough for couples and single individuals.
While it isn’t apparent just by looking at it, this grill comes with a removable drip tray that makes cleaning easy. The grill plates are also removable and dishwasher safe, though we highly recommend to hand wash to extend its useful life.
Talking about useful life, this grill is quite sturdy and can last for a long time as long as you’re careful with it.
This grill comes with a removable thermostat that can help you gauge and control the temperature. However, it can be a little tricky to get it to work just right.
- Large cooking surface
- Simple to use
- Can grill large meat cuts, no problem.
- Removable drip tray and grilling plates
- Very short cord
- The space between the grill and the lid is way too small
- Takes a while to eat up
If what you really crave is the real grilling experience but you’re unable to get it because of restrictions in your apartment complex or home, then this grill is the one for you.
With a shape that brings to mind traditional barrel grills, two folding side tables that maximizes your space, 200 square inches of cooking surface and a cart that lets you move around your grill, this is as close as you can get to a traditional BBQ without using gas or charcoal.
While it does come with a space where you can insert a disposable drip tray, cleaning this grill isn’t exactly easy, so be prepared to spend some time doing that.
With a bit of ingenuity, and aluminum foil, you can even use wood chips to give your food that ‘smoky’ taste only charcoal grills can give you.
While this grill can get to high temperatures, it does take a while to get there, particularly if you open and close the lid repeatedly. However, the grates are adjustable and can get your meat closer to the heating element, increasing the temperature and reducing the cooking time considerably.
- As close to the real grilling experience as you can get
- Huge cooking surface for an electric grill
- Convenient grip tray
- Plenty of space to place your accessories
- Hard to clean
- Takes a while to get hot
Kenyon Electric City Grill
Talya, like all members of the HomeDesignX team, is enamored by all things related to cooking and eating. She’s written cookware articles for numerous publications before working with her lifelong friend Jessica to create their very own website on cookware.
She's currently writing a book on induction cooktops, and enjoys making clean, vegan meals for her family.