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If you’re like me, the idea of an electric grill probably makes your skin crawl.
However, there are days, especially in the winter months, when an electric grill provides the perfect solution for a grill party.
Used either indoors or outdoors, an electric grill can be a cost effective, safe and convenient way to grill.
5 Best Electric Grills For 2020
Best Overall: George Foreman 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor
This George Foreman has been designed to replace your outdoor grill although it can also be used indoors too.
A full waist height stand of about two-and-a-half feet allows for comfortable grilling in almost any outdoor location.
It can also be removed from its pedestal and used on a tabletop or counter if you prefer.
A grill surface offers 240 square inches of cooking area.
The manufacturer claims this should be enough space for over 15 servings of delicious meat and veggies for kabobs.
With 1600 watts of grilling power, the George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill features five heat settings to get the best results with any food. The sloped surface features a center channel which allows the grease or fat to drip into an easily washable tray.
The thing I liked most about this George Foreman was the authentic grilling experience it offers in half of the time.
No more waiting for that charcoal to heat up, the grill heats up in a matter of minutes. The grilling temperature stays consistent and there’s none of the hot spots you associate with gas grills.
Although people may argue with the flavor a charcoal grill offers, there’s nothing to say you can’t get a similar flavor from this grill. Those black grill marks on your food are still achievable and drippings which hit the grill turn into those flavor and aroma vapors.
The compact size of this grill makes it ideal for use on a patio or in a small apartment. It is light enough to move about on your own without needing to be a bodybuilder. Just expect a bit of steam and sizzle if used indoors—and open the windows.
Although this is a great product, concerns have been expressed about the stability of the grill, especially when used on the stand.
The grill is lightweight compared to most traditional grills, but the lid can make it top-heavy. If the wind picks up when grilling outdoors, you could run into problems.
Another issue is when used on uneven surfaces—the grease may not fall directly into the drip pan, causing a mess on the floor or surface below. If you have an older house with uneven wooden floor, I would definitely advise against using this grill indoors.
Minor customer complaints include the short power cord it comes with, and the lack of a built-in temperature gauge. Both problems are easily remedied with an extension cord and additional food probes.
- Five heat settings, and the grill is quick to preheat.
- Removable grill plate and grease tray for easy clean up.
- Non-stick coating on the 240 square-inch cooking surface.
This product is like the classic George Foreman grill you have grown to love, but on steroids.
It’s great news that you can now use that same surface with grease channels outdoors.
With a generous cooking area and a powerful 1600-watt heating element, you will soon be cooking burgers for the whole family come rain or shine. When detached from the stand it makes an ideal tabletop grill for those unexpected winter grill parties.
At just under $80, you are getting one of the best outdoor electric grills you will find, from a brand name you can trust.
Runner Up: Weber 55020001 Q 2400 Electric Grill
This Weber electric grill features the same quality construction and eye-catching designs of their charcoal grills.
The heavy build quality of this electric grill uses cast aluminum for a grill that will withstand those outdoor elements and last longer.
A 1560-watt electric heating element heats the expansive 280 square inches of cooking surface.
Porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates retain the heat better and are easier to wipe clean. Arriving fully assembled, the grill measures just 14.5 inches high with the lid closed and has a footprint of 31.5 inches by 25.1 inches.
Two large handles either side of the grill body make for easier carrying, and an optional trolley stand is available at an extra cost.
It’s a Weber! Say no more, it has the same manly looks of Weber grills—that head-turning design that just says “quality”. It even comes with the longest warranty of the electric grills we have looked at—five years.
This electric grill uses the same infinity heat control setting as its larger gas grill siblings. With that extra temperature control and the heat from the powerful 1560-watt element, you will soon be grilling those perfectly-seared steaks.
If you miss that smoky flavor, the design of the grates allows you to throw some smoker wood chips on to them. As the wood chips burn up they will release smoke into the grill and transfer the smoky aroma and flavor to whatever you are grilling.
Price. I’m sure if everybody could afford a Weber, everybody would own one. But unfortunately this latest Weber electric grill will set you back a wallet-busting $300—OUCH!
And if you want to add the portable cart, that will be roughly another $70. At a total price of nearly $370 it costs over five times as much as the George Foreman.
The Weber construction also adds to the weight of this grill. At 42 pounds, it’s going to have to be a pretty sturdy surface to support it. Despite those two large heat-resistant handles and it’s portable look, most people will struggle to carry this grill too far.
- Glass-reinforced nylon frame adds durability, perfect for throwing in the trunk.
- Aluminum heat-retaining liners create an oven style heat when closed—great for succulent chicken.
- Removable catch pan uses disposable trays, which will often last a whole grilling season.
The Weber Q 2400 electric grill is certainly a desirable item, with a large enough grilling area to easily feed a family of four.
The cast iron grates and a 1560-watt element will sear steaks and add those BBQ-effect grill lines with no problems.
However it is extremely expensive. Most electric grills tend to perform about the same as each other. If you prefer to buy American rather than a Chinese-made grill that may break down quicker, go with the Weber.
The Weber may be more durable, but it won’t offer five times the performance of some cheaper grills.
Best Indoor: Hamilton Beach 25361 Smokeless Grill
The first thing you will notice about this small but well-designed indoor grill is the window incorporated into the closable lid.
When grilling those steaks or burgers, you can take a quick peek without letting any of the heat escape.
Underneath the lid, 118 square inches of no-stick grilling surface is heated by a 1200-watt element.
A temperature adjuster allows you to set a range of 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for that seared steak or pork chop. When you need to cook more delicate items, just turn the dial down.
The stainless steel body makes the grill easier to clean on the exterior and also retains heat when the grill is being used.
With a relatively small footprint of 16.7 inches by 12.8 inches, it’s not going to need much counter space clearing. Weighing less than 10 pounds, it’s easy enough to store away in a cupboard if you want.
This Hamilton Beach indoor grill is an open grill, meaning it only cooks one side with the food needing to be flipped, rather than a contact grill.
A stainless steel lid, however, keeps that temperature high with a handy viewing window to check on the cooking. Although lots of people like to cook with a thermometer as their guide, you would be surprised how many still do it by sight.
It is nice to watch your meats browning though, and with the grill at the maximum of 450 degrees, you can literally watch those grill lines form.
The 11 different temperature settings of this grill make it much more versatile than the normal low, medium and high. At lower settings, the grill could even be used to keep foods warm.
Clean up is easy too, with removable grill plates and a wide drip tray; both are dishwasher-safe. The non-stick coating on the grill plate is easy to clean and will extend the life of this small grill.
At only 115 square inches, the grilling surface is extremely small. Hamilton Beach advertise this grill as being suitable for cooking four to six servings but I don’t know in whose world that is?
At an average of 60–70 square inches per person, you will only just comfortably cook for two on this compact grill.
The grill surface, like so many other electric grills is only ridged and provides no flat area. This isn’t an indoor grill you will be making pancakes on in the morning.
And some users have argued the heat wouldn’t be consistent enough anyway—with reports of searing a burger taking up to seven and half minutes.
- Large drip pan runs the whole length of the grill.
- Outdoor grill-style dome lid is removable for easy cleaning.
- Heat-resistant handle on the lid remains cool to touch.
There will be times, especially in those colder winter months, where you want to grill but definitely not go outside. This smokeless indoor electric grill from Hamilton Beach is a great option that won’t break the bank either.
Although it may have a small cooking surface, it will cope easily for two people, and maybe even a third at a push. The dome lid is ideal for keeping the temperature hotter, and that viewing window is a nice innovation too.
Being an efficient grill and easy to use, it’s so simple to clean that you will be using it every day. And at about $70 with a one-year warranty, it is one of the best investments you will make in your kitchen.
Runner Up: Delonghi BG24 Perfecto Indoor Grill
The BG-24 is undoubtedly Delonghi most popular grill.
With a compact countertop size of 21.8 inches by 14.4 inches, it features a grilling surface of just under 150 square inches.
At a weight of about 11 pounds, it’s also easy to move around the kitchen.
A large glass lid enables the grill to reach up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
A large glass lid enables the grill to reach up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, with a 1500-watt heat element. Delonghi make a good number of indoor cooking grills, but the BG-24 is undoubtedly their most popular.
With a compact countertop size of 21.8 inches by 14.4 inches, it features a grilling surface of just under 150 square inches.
At a weight of about 11 pounds, it’s also easy to move around the kitchen. A large glass lid enables the grill to reach up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, with a 1500-watt heat element.
All the non-stick parts can be removed for cleaning, with a removable drip tray below the element, also suitable for filling with water or other liquids.
Water can prevent those flare-ups or smoke you often get with gas or charcoal grills. Wine or beer will add extra flavor and aroma to your meat.
A unique embedded element in the grill plates of this indoor grill ensures an even cooking temperature across the whole surface. Your whole food will be heated to perfection with a consistent heat. A thermostat on the plates can be removed for easy cleaning.
The tempered glass lid keeps your food tender and moist while also presenting a window on your grilling. You can even keep the food warm after grilling, with the lid retaining the heat.
Where this grill stands out is in the cleaning operation. In addition to the removable non-stick component and thermostat that can be removed, it has a non-stick splatter shield around the grill. No more grease dripping onto your counters, even with the lid off.
That glass lid may look very attractive but it doesn’t offer much space, with only one-and-a-half inches between the grill surface and the lid.
Thicker cuts of meat, chicken portions or even larger burgers may struggle to fit, compared to the Hamilton Beach. Also lacking the aluminum construction of the Hamilton Beach, it won’t retain as much heat on the grill.
The other area this grill falls down to the competitors is the thermostat, which only has five settings and no temperature guidelines. This grill will involve some trial and error to get the best results. A built-in thermometer would have been useful.
Other customers have complained that the tempered glass lid can get very hot when grilling. When removing the lid, be careful to only touch the heat-resistant handle. Although tempered, the glass will smash if dropped.
- Maximum temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect for searing cuts of meat.
- Not too high, for easy storage under or inside kitchen cupboards.
- Non-stick drip tray and cooking surface are dishwasher-safe.
If you’re looking for a stylish and compact grill for indoor use, the Delonghi BG24 Perfecto could be the ideal model for you.
With looks that wouldn’t be out of place in the center of a dining table, this could be the centerpiece of your next dinner party. Forget fondue, try a grill your own steak party.
Often available at $50 or less, the Delonghi Perfecto grill offers great value for an indoor electric grill. The only downside is with the shallow lid, but used as an open grill that shouldn’t be a problem.
Best Electric Grill Under $50: Tayama TG-868 Electric Grill
You may not have heard of Tayama before, but it’s a company based in Southern California.
Tayama appliances pride themselves as being high-quality products at affordable prices.
The Tayama TG-868 is lightweight grill at just six pounds, which you can easily carry from one room to another.
Measuring 20 inches by 10 inches, nearly all that space is translated into a cooking area of 150 square inches. The unit features a separate heater and grill plate, powered by a reliable 1120-watt motor.
An adjustable temperature control means you can grill a wider variety of food, but the unit can only be used as an open grill, having no lid.
What really makes this TG-868 grill stand out is how easy it is to disassemble the entire unit for easier cleaning. The simple design allows you to remove all internal components to give the casing and surface a thorough clean.
For cooking, the grilling plate needs about 15 minutes to preheat, but the ribbed design of the surface ensures heat is evenly distributed. A specially designed channel at the bottom of the grill is made from die-hard aluminum, to extend the life of the product.
Tayama have included extra safety features, like the cool-touch handles and base, which prevent heat from damaging the surface below. An auto shut-off feature on this grill also prevents the unit from overheating.
For many people, the lack of a lid may be a deal-breaker, but on grills at this price range, lids don’t really make too much difference to the cooking. Additionally, although you can disassemble the whole unit, only the drip tray is dishwasher-safe.
Be careful with that cleaning too. Some users have reported the non-stick coating can peel off over time.
- Large drip tray collects drippings and, with water added, can prevent fumes or oil smells when cooking.
- Power indicator light warns when the grill is hot.
- All Tayama products feature a one-year warranty, even at these low prices.
When you are looking for a low-priced indoor grill which still offers a quality product, look no further than the Tayama TG-868 Indoor Grill. It’s simple and understated design won’t look out of place in any kitchen.
And being only six pounds in weight, it would be the ideal indoor electric grill for a student to take to college—just sling it in their backpack at the end of term.
The simplicity with which you can take this grill apart to clean is a refreshing change, compared to some grills on the market.At under $30, this grill offers incredible value, and could last many years if looked after properly.
Why Choose an Electric Grill? What Are the Benefits of the Best Electric Grills?
For many grilling enthusiasts, the idea of an electric grill is completely out of the question. They will argue you don’t get that same BBQ flavor and you may as well just be using a panini press.
However, electric grills do sell in the US, but not very much. A 2017 survey by the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association revealed that electric grill ownership is still a minority, with only 9 percent of the market.
Electric grills can be some of the easiest and safest grills to use, especially for beginners. Let’s take a look at a few of the best reasons to go electric.
Safer Way to Grill
Unlike their gas or charcoal counterparts, electric grills don’t give off large amounts of carbon monoxide.
This makes an electric grill much more suitable for use indoors or in other enclosed spaces, like a garage or shed. Some apartment blocks now actually ban charcoal and gas grills for the noxious fumes they give off.
An electric grill will not use open flames like a gas or charcoal grill, which helps prevent accidental burns or overheating. They can still get very hot and care should be taken, but many devices feature an auto shut-off to stop overheating of the grill.
Manual controls tend to give you better control over all the settings, with a thermostat unit preventing any dangerous situations. A better temperature control on the high-end electric grills will allow you to grill food just the way your guests like it.
Electric grills have recently dropped in price and smaller models can now be purchased for $30 and upwards. Even a brand you trust, like the George Foreman range, offer an electric grill—which can be used either indoors or outdoors—for less than $100.
Once you have purchased the grill there’s none of the hidden costs of extra charcoal or bottles of propane gas.
Convenient and Easy to Use
You thought gas was quick, wait til you try an electric grill. Simply plug into the power source, flick a switch and adjust the temperature. Within five to 10 minutes on most grills, you will be ready to cook.
In those winter months when you still want that grilled food but don’t want to step out into the snow, electric grills are super convenient. No smoke, no fumes, and quick to set up, you could be enjoying an indoor grill in no time at all.
Easier to Clean
Electric grills tend to be easier to clean, with many of the more recent models featuring non-stick surfaces.
All they need is a simple wipe down with a cloth or soft sponge.
How Does Meat Cooked on an Electric Grill Differ from a Charcoal Grill?
Although you won’t get that woody smoke flavor you get with a charcoal grill, an electric grill produces about the same flavor as gas. Some electric grills can be used with a wood chip box or by sprinkling some chips on the grate, but it isn’t recommended for indoor grilling.
Electric grills also have the lowest temperature of all types of grills. Most of the grills we have looked at have a maximum temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
A gas grill, by comparison, will often hit 500–600 degrees Fahrenheit, with charcoal reaching a volcanic 700 degrees or more.
Another difference is the on/off operation of electric heating elements. Basically a thermostat switches on the heat until a temperature is reached then turns off until the temperature drops and switches back on.
This lack of constant high temperature can seriously hamper the browning, or Maillard reaction, of your grill.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Electric Grill?
Consider where you intend to use the electric grill.
If it’s more for indoor grilling, ensure it will fit on your countertop, underneath those kitchen cabinets. Extra lids or clam shell designs can be useful but will take up more storage space.
Electric grills tend to have a smaller footprint than many of the gas grills you will use outside, and don’t need that extra clearance space for safety. Many electric grills are tabletop models which can be placed on a higher counter, away from curious children.
More compact grills can even be a focal point for the middle of your dining table for that next party. Let guests grill their own kabobs or—at that next big game night—people can grill their own hot dogs.
We’re not talking about going hiking with one strapped on your back, where are you going to find the power outlet? However, many campsites now feature hookup points, so taking one on your next camping trip is a possibility.
Some electric grills even have inverters fitted, for running off a generator in your RV at that next tailgate party.
The convenience of being able to move your party indoors is something else an electric grill can offer. With a quicker cooldown than other grills, at the first spot of rain you could be making plans to move indoors.
The Cooking Area Size
Being smaller, most electric grills will also feature a smaller cooking grate.
The models we have looked at have ranged from just over a 100 square inches to nearly 300 square inches. At a recommended 72 square inches per person, they will serve between two and four persons.
If you are cooking indoors, you will already have other facilities, like a stove or oven, to make those important side dishes on. A smaller electric grill of 100 to 200 square inches would be ample for just grilling the meats.
Less expensive electric grills will normally be made with some form of hard plastic or plastic coated metals. Grilling plates used in this type of grill will almost exclusively be made of non-stick materials.
Take into account that a non-stick surface will require the use of non-metal tools to avoid damaging the surface, preferring instead a heat-resistant plastic timber.
More expensive grills will use stronger metals, like cast iron grates or enameled steel bodies and lids. Not only will these be more durable but they will also offer better heat retention and a quicker cook time.
Power of an Electric Grill
The power of an electric grill is measured in the watts of the heating element.
It’s important to consider the quality of the heated plates and the strength of that heating element.
For smaller grills with under 300 square inches of cooking area, a minimum of 1500 watts is normally recommended.
This will ensure the grill heats up quickly and the meat is grilled at the correct temperature. A lid or dome-shaped hood can often increase the cooking power of an electric grill.
Remember, unless it is a dual-contact clamshell design grill, you will need to flip the meat mid-grill to ensure an even cook.
How Easy Is It to Clean?
There’s nothing worse than picking up your grill to find it full of grease and slowly corroding, especially for something you store in your kitchen. It can be detrimental to your health too, with the burnt-on grease and fats past their sell-by dates.
Water and electricity don’t tend to mix so well.
Where possible, try to choose a grill which has removable parts for cleaning, or can even be dismantled. Modern electric grills will employ non-stick surfaces which need extra care, although many are dishwasher-safe too.
A few years ago I would have laughed in your face at the very mention of an electric grill.
Yet today, many of the modern electric grills available offer a viable alternative to traditional charcoal or gas—if you want to grill indoors, it’s the only real option.
Today's best electric grills offer a cost-effective and healthy way of enjoying your grilling. If you are looking for a more environmentally friendly grill, electricity is the answer.
With additions like wood chips or smoke liquids, you don’t even have to sacrifice that smoky taste.