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What to know before you buy an Electric Grill

Barbecue enthusiasts all have their favorite type of grill, but the no-flame, easy maintenance styling of electric grills makes them popular among many homeowners and apartment dwellers. If you're new to grilling and unsure if an electric grill is the right choice for you, this quick guide should give you the details you need to make the decision.

What are the benefits of electric grills?

There's a reason that people love electric grills. There are also plenty of reasons that people choose other options. Consider the upsides and downsides as you start researching the type of grill you want.

Pros of Electric Grills:

  • No fire: This means you can use this grill just about anywhere, including apartment balconies and spaces that otherwise might not allow grilling.
  • Easy operation: Plug the grill in, select a temperature, and push a button to get going.
  • Time: Enjoy fast heating with simple temperature controls.
  • Simple cleanup: Look for models with removable griddle/grill plates that you can toss in the dishwasher.

Cons of Electric Grills:

  • No fire: You won't get that authentic "grill" flavor.
  • Size: A small grilling area limits the amount of food you can grill at the same time.
  • Temperature: Electric grills rarely reach the super-hot temperatures of their gas or charcoal counterparts, making it more difficult to get a thorough sear.
  • Care: It's important to pay careful attention while cleaning some grill designs to avoid letting water get near electrical components.

What are the types of electric grills?

Since electric grills first hit the market, they've expanded to provide you with more options than ever before. Whether you're looking for an infrared grill, portable grill, freestanding grill, or a grill with a stand or cart, you'll be able to find an electric grill to suit you:

  • Indoor electric grills for tabletop or countertop cooking
  • Outdoor electric grills that provide clean, fast heating with no propane tanks to replace or charcoal to wait for
  • Electric smokers that give you the option to smoke meats and other foods using the same plug-in technology in small grill form or large, refrigerator-sized form
  • Electric griddles without slats that don't let the grease drain away and have a smooth surface ideal for grilling pancakes, flatbreads, veggie burgers and other foods which don't require grease draining

What should I look for when buying electric grills?

With all the available options, it can be tricky to narrow them down. We recommend keeping these factors in mind while you're shopping:

  • Size: If you're only grilling for one or two people, a small electric grill will work fine. If you're looking to grill for neighborhood gatherings, it's more challenging to find an electric version with the necessary capacity. No matter what you need, start by considering the amount of grilling space you have.
  • Finish: Whether you're using your grill indoors or outside, it's a showpiece that adds a little style and panache to your cooking area. You'll find grills in finishes ranging from black to red to stainless steel.
  • Price: Before you shop, have a general idea of how much you're willing to spend. Keep in mind that the bigger the cooking area, the more the electric grill will cost.

Electric grills offer convenience that's hard to top. Because they don't use actual flames, they're ideal for using indoors or on small balconies and patios. Keep this information in mind as you browse to make the shopping process smooth and easy.If you need more help deciding which electric grill to buy be sure to visit our Electric Grill Buying Guide for more information on specific features and cleaning tips!