The Pros and Cons of Electric Grills
When the sun is out, the first thing that comes to my mind is grilling in the backyard. I am a fan of the classic charcoal grill and letting the meats I’m grilling get that nice smoky flavor to it. However, there’s an alternative option that allows you to leave the charcoal in the bag and all the smoke that comes with it. I’m of course talking about electric grills. Unfortunately, I know nothing about the grill’s perks and downsides. So I did what any good amateur grillmaster would do and researched the topic to understand more about electric grills.
What are some of the pros and cons of electric grills? The main thing upside to electric grilling is the ability to grill inside. This is nice on days when the weather isn’t optimal for grilling. Most indoor grills are often nice for grilling vegetables or smaller amounts of meat. However, the downside of this is that to cook for a crowd, you would likely have to grill your meal in several batches.
Electric grills aren’t just limited to indoors, as there are larger electric grills for outdoor grilling. They allow you to grill for the whole family (yay!), but they also cost you in flavor (boo!).
The lack of wood means a lack of smoke, and generally a lack of flavor. If this is something that you’re willing to sacrifice for to a certain degree. Also, this goes without saying, but electric grills require a plug-in near the grill for it to be able to function. Other than this, electric grills can function nearly the same as traditional grills like gas and charcoal.
Tips for Choosing an Electric Grill
When choosing an electric grill, choosing indoor or outdoor is important. However, some grills function in both environments and allow a person to get the best of both worlds. Also, one of the biggest perks of electric grilling is that it allows you to get your meat cooked and to the table faster than gas grills. The electric grill heats up faster and allows you to throw the meat of your choice on the grill quicker and easier.
However, when dealing with heat it is important to find a grill that has a higher wattage to be able to higher temperatures. These are a few of the great pros and limiting cons of electric grilling. However, before you go to a store and pick up an electric grill there are more factors to consider.
Electric Grilling Compared to Gas and Charcoal Grilling
Electric grilling is far different from gas grilling in the way that the two generate their heat. The electric grill uses electricity to quickly heat the grill and allows you to begin cooking your meat almost immediately. It’s perfect for last-minute meals or if you’re serving a large number of people.
The electric grill is also often thought to be the healthiest option. This is because an electric grill does not emit dangerous gases like the other grilling options. Along with this, electric grills are often known to be the safest option when it comes to grilling, simply because it doesn’t contain the combustible elements found in charcoal or gas grilling.
These same elements are what makes it safe to grill inside with electric grills, as there is no risk of filling your living space with harsh fumes from the grill. Gas grilling is the opposite as they are generally large (due to the propane tanks needed) and are not often allowed in housing complexes.
Benefits of Gas Grilling
Gas grilling does offer more features than other grilling methods, and it also gives food an authentic barbecue flavor that helps your meat gain some more flavor than electric grills offer. The last common grilling option is the charcoal grill. These are dangerous because they emit smoke that can contain carcinogens if inhaled in large quantities. While this is usually a small concern it is still worth noting.
Compare to the other grilling techniques, charcoal grilling is the slowest and makes for the longest experience of getting the food to the table. However, the flavor the charbroiled meat contains is often revered as being one of the best and allows for an exciting flavor experience. These are three grilling options, but what about electric grilling that helps it to truly stand apart?
Electric Grilling Outside and Inside
Electric grilling’s most distinct feature is the fact that a person is often allowed to use it indoors. This can come in handy if you are living in an apartment complex and are wanting to grill for a small group of your friends at a party. Hopefully, you don’t have too many friends though, as most electric grills can only feed 12-15 people at a time.
Another perk about electric grilling inside is that many of the parts can be detached and allow you to easily clean up after you’re done grilling. This is because an electric grill cannot be submerged underwater (because it’s still an electronic device). For this reason, it helps the user be able to easily clean it and put it away until next time. Many electric grills also contain a drip pan that catches a lot of the juices that might fall of the meat and get down into the grill.
The Efficiency of Electric Grills
Efficiency is important when it comes to grilling, especially cost-efficiency. Propane required to power gas grills can often be expensive and leave you in a bind if you still have to buy the meat to grill. While not as cheap as charcoal grilling, electric grilling can often be a good option between the two. It allows a person to get their food quicker than charcoal grilling, but for less of the price.
There is a caveat to this as for obvious reasons, the use of an electric grill will bump up the price of the monthly electric bill as it takes up a large amount of electricity to maintain the heat necessary to cook the food. If you are already outraged at your electric bill, then maybe look for other options. However, only using the electric grill sparingly won’t disparage your monthly cost by much.
Types of Electric Grills
There is more than one type of electric grill that offers you various experiences depending on what your needs require when it comes to grilling. The most common is the smaller open-faced grill that often feeds one or two people at a time. These are popular with people who enjoy grilling inside or are limited to their ability to do so outside.
There are outside options for electric grilling, and they often provide for a quick and easy grilling experience. There are even electric smokers that can help to provide the smokier flavor that other electric grills are missing.
It will often be a bit more time and preparation involved in the smoking process. However, it could be worth it if someone is looking for the authentic smoky flavor in their food. The various types of electric grills allow for someone to get the experience they want without having to buy a gas or charcoal grill.
What wattage should I look for when I am electric grilling? When it comes to the wattage of an electric grill, it is important to know what type of grilling experience you are looking for. If you are looking to host a large number of people then it might be necessary to buy a larger grill that would take more watts to power. This will mean the electric bill is higher. It will mean more people are fed in a shorter amount of time.
Are electric grills expensive? In most cases, no. This is based on the cost of gas grills, which are much larger and costly. An average electric grill costs around $500, with the smaller indoor options, even going for as low as $70. Again, it all depends on the needs of the user as to which one would fit their budget needs.
Do I need an extension cord when electric grilling outside? When grilling outside it will most likely be necessary that an extension cord will be needed. This is because most electric grills have a shorter electric cord and most plug-ins are found in locations far away from where most outdoor grilling is done. However, a long extension cord (over 12’) will most likely not be needed.