Grilling at Home is the New Trend Due to the Corona Virus
With people being encouraged to stay home due to the risk of catching the Corona Virus, home grilling is becoming super popular. Plus, electric grills can reduce carcinogens and negative points of charcoal and gas grilling.
Not only that, but it’s so convenient!
No charcoal to buy, no gas canisters to lug around, no smoke to aggravate our lungs….what’s not to like?
We’re becoming a more health-conscious society, and so electric grilling has found a way to offer us the same tantalizing flavors without the negatives that come from other methods of grilling. Here is our list of the best electric grills.
Whether you need the best electric grill for indoors or an all-or-nothing outdoor unit to feed the horde on Labor Day weekend, we’ve got the best five on the market for you.
We’ve organized them according to the price points that you should be looking for, which will be explained further in the buying guide below.
Let’s get to the grills.
Best Electric Grill
George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Silver Grill
George Foreman takes the cake for the best outdoor electric grill, but also the best outdoor electric grill.
Even though it’s not the most impressive to look at, it gets the job done no matter where you are.
If you live in an apartment building and they won’t let you have gas or charcoal grills on your balcony, this is your ticket: it’s an indisputable way to grill safely, since it’s electric and either meets the same level of indoor electric stoves or slightly underneath them.
On a five-foot pedestal stand, this grill has a small 0.7” lip along the interior to house grease and run-off from marinades on your meat.
It pools up, and then it’s easy to clean once everything cools down later on.
George Foreman is most well-known in the cooking community as having the fat-reducing countertop grills, and while this has a griddle grate system to collect fat from your meats, you can still keep them nice and moist by popping the lid on.
It all sounds pretty good, right? Even though it ranks best on our list, you can’t get away scot-free.
George Foreman uses a nonstick coating on the metal griddle top, and while it does exactly what you want it to do, you have to clean it very carefully.
It’s not teflon, so it’s not going to chip like those awful frying pans from the early 2000’s (you know, the ones that left particles in your food). It will just reduce its effectiveness.
You’re equipped with 240 square inches of cooking space, which is smaller than some others on our list, but you get what you pay for.
“George Foreman’s pedestal grill sits at a great price and comes with a well-grounded cable that keeps you nice and safe from overcharges or surges.’
George Foreman’s pedestal grill sits at a great price and comes with a well-grounded cable that keeps you nice and safe from overcharges or surges.
One of the main reasons that this ended up peaking the list is temperature control.
Yes it’s versatile, yes it has a good temperature range, but the fact that you can use the temperature dial to adjust it within five degrees at a time really makes it fantastic.
If you’ve already checked out our guide on grilling recipes and how to cook different meats, then you know how important it is to nail down the perfect (and consistent) temperature.
While I mentioned that the cord is grounded and safe, it’s not too long.
If you’re actually going to use this on a patio or balcony, chances are you don’t have an outlet within a few feet of you. The only other thing is the drip pan.
Grease will collect in the inlays of the actual griddle top itself, but there’s a grease drip pan that comes in as well.
If you’re filling up the entire 240 square inch cooktop, then you might overload the drip pan. Just be careful.
|Indoor/Outdoor:||Indoor and outdoor|
|Grilling Area:||240 square inches|
|Dimensions:||22.2” x 20.5” x 13”|
Weber Q1400 Electric Grill
First of all, being made of cast iron is an immediate boost in my book.
I’ve had an indoor cast iron set for well over ten years, and they’re as good as the day I bought them.
Weber made this heavy-duty electric grill in their Q lineup out of cast iron, but with a porcelain enamel coating on the racks.
Porcelain is perhaps the second-best material for cookware that’s ever been put into practice, so it’s a good combination.
Most electric grill reviews I’ve come across talk about the weight of this unit because most countertop models are generally lightweight.
I look at the fact that this is almost 15 lbs as an achievement, not a negative attribute.
“I know it’s solid and not going to slide around.”
I know it’s solid and not going to slide around.
The stand itself is fairly basic; it’s two semi-circles that just cut off to rest on the countertop.
One of the parts that really had me was the six-foot-long grounded electric cord.
It keeps things safe, but it also gives you more than enough indoor clearance.
I doubt you’ll need to use an extension cable with this one.
I talked about cast iron and porcelain earlier. That’s just on the grates, which is arguably the most important spot that these materials should be.
The body of the grill is made out of aluminum, which is durable enough but might show scratches if you aren’t careful.
While the aesthetic appeal of indoor grills isn’t something most people think about, it’s something that should be mentioned.
Based on the price, you’re not getting enough cooking space. 189 square inches is still good enough for indoor uses (assuming you aren’t hosting a large gathering of 10+ people indoors), but just not quite the bang for your buck I was expecting.
“In other areas, Weber is able to justify the cost. For one, this is completely ready to use right out of the box.”
In other areas, Weber is able to justify the cost. For one, this is completely ready to use right out of the box.
You just unbox it, plug it in, and you’re good to go.
The lid also provides a great seal, locking in moisture to prevent drying out your chicken or chops.
Weber isn’t messing around.
Wrapped up in the price, you get a five-year warranty on the cook box, lid, stainless steel burner tubes (on other models in the Q1400 lineup), plastic pieces, and cast iron cooking grates, including the porcelain.
Anything that doesn’t fall in that range (such as electrical) has a two-year warranty.
That’s some extensive coverage. When you put all these different pluses and minuses against each other, Weber is still an easy second-best pick for the best electric grill out there.
|Type:||Electric, countertop (can be used outside without stand)|
|Indoor/Outdoor:||Indoor and outdoor|
|Grilling Area:||189 square inches|
|Dimensions:||23.5” x 27” x 20.5”|
Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler
On a budget? Don’t want to compromise on that great grilled flavor?
Cuisinart has become a mid-tier budget-friendly home appliance brand that’s packing some serious power in this small package.
I’m going to tell you right now that the grilling area is small. It’s 42.5” square inches.
If you have to throw in decimal when you’re talking about square inches, then it’s not quite enough to stand on its own.
So why did I rank this number three out of the best electric grills of all time?
It’s an indoor-only grill, meaning you’re going to use it to feed maybe four people max, so it’s good for what it is.
“It’s compact, unlike the Weber Q1400 we just reviewed, so you can keep this in a smaller kitchen without absolutely eating up all the cabinet space. For its size, it performs well.”
It’s compact, unlike the Weber Q1400 we just reviewed, so you can keep this in a smaller kitchen without absolutely eating up all the cabinet space. For its size, it performs well.
The griddle top pan is nonstick, but just like George Foreman, it needs to be cleaned extremely well, and very gently.
This really ups the cleaning time. While it’s listed as dishwasher safe, the excessive heat that your dishwasher can output could actually wear down that coating faster than doing it by hand.
Use the cooking plates to drain grease from your meats, or to make a panini on demand.
Seriously, there’s a panini setting, and it works pretty darn well. It’s a grill first, but if you’ve grilled your meats and you want to do something a little extra with them, this is a good option.
“Cuisinart lists this for a seriously low price, but it does come with issues.”
Cuisinart lists this for a seriously low price, but it does come with issues.
On the sides of the grill, you have buttons you can push to pop the dishwasher-safe plates out, but those buttons are prone to breaking.
At that point, you either have to rig it or send it back for warranty fulfillment.
But when it comes to that warranty, it’s a hassle.
You have to pay shipping costs, and the warranty already has a very short term on it.
Consider that the grill is eight pounds and that it’s going to take a while to ship via ground (the cheapest shipping method).
That being said, you can use the tip of a skewer to wedge the plate out without scratching it, and not everyone runs into this problem.
“When it comes to the electrical components, you’re good to go right from the start.”
When it comes to the electrical components, you’re good to go right from the start.
Utilize the five-in-one functionality, and watch the temperature indicator light flick on.
The one thing I will say is that the drip pan is small, so you might have to empty it if you’re using 75/25 beef that’s going to have a lot of grease runoff.
Because of the way the grates work, it sends the grease right down into the pan and very little is left on the actual griddle itself.
Just keep an eye out for it so it doesn’t overflow.
|Dimensions:||13.5” x 11.5” x 7.1”|
Zojirushi Indoor Electric Grill
There’s nothing quite like bringing the joy of outdoor grilling to the countertop, but it’s no easy feat to accomplish.
How big is too big for the kitchen? How hot should it get?
There’s a lot that goes into indoor designs, and I don’t think people appreciate that enough.
That being said, Zojirushi was able to make this excellent, spacious indoor grill with minimal issues.
“Looking at it right now, I’m going to tell you that the stand is very large, and they could have given it a more rigid, less curvy design to save counter space.”
Looking at it right now, I’m going to tell you that the stand is very large, and they could have given it a more rigid, less curvy design to save counter space.
While I don’t want to start things off on such a negative note, another reason that this resides where it does on this list is the drip tray.
It’s not the best design, to say the least. You have to remove the griddle, then pull the drip pan out.
The spike for the plug-in adapter goes through an anchor, which means it locks in with the drip pan squished between the cooktop and the base, like a sandwich.
When you remove the adapter and the griddle, a bit of grease might splash out.
It rattles the whole thing. Then you end up wiping out the base, and it just elongates the process.
While it’s a pain to drain and clean it, I will say that it has a high capacity, and traps grease more than any of the other electric grills on this list.
You don’t even have to think about it overflowing, even if you fill-up the total surface space.
Speaking of that surface space, it’s 280 square inches, which is great for indoor units.
It’s the only size it comes in, so there are no smaller options available, and even with it being an indoor grill, it can still get every area of that cooktop up to 410° F.
It doesn’t just leave “hot spots” in the middle of the pan as department store models do.
Your adapter wire is pretty flimsy, but it has enough length to reach outlets on your countertop.
“I would say that while the drip pan is dishwasher safe, it’s always best practice to hand wash non-stick coated metals.”
I would say that while the drip pan is dishwasher safe, it’s always best practice to hand wash non-stick coated metals.
Utilize the variable heat controls to cook your food with precision, whether you’re grilling a vegetable shish kebab or sausages, it will give those nice grill marks and maintain the moisture in your food fairly well.
|Grilling Area:||280 square inches (approx)|
|Dimensions:||20.5” x 14.1” x 6.1”|
Philips Kitchen Appliances Smokeless Indoor Grill
Last but not least, this is like a hybrid model between everything we’ve reviewed today.
It’s another indoor grill, but it hits a tightrope balancing act between a lot of the features we’ve talked about today.
To start things off, for the price, you get 109 square inches of cooking space.
Could it be more?
Yeah, but it’s a compact model with a good stand that doesn’t take up much space.
I count that as a bonus. It took a lot of testing to figure out where (and if) the remaining justification for the cost was, and it was worth it.
I’m a big fan of the way this is so easy to clean; you just pick it up by those hands on the sides, and you’ve got your drip tray located right underneath.
“It’s a completely smokeless grill, ensuring that you won’t set off the detectors while you’re trying to make yourself some dinner.”
It’s a completely smokeless grill, ensuring that you won’t set off the detectors while you’re trying to make yourself some dinner.
The aluminum plate is easy to clean, but it’s made a little easier by the included cleaning tool.
Use it to gently scrape off stubborn grease and food waste, and the rest is history.
For an indoor grill, anything over 400° F is good enough to get a good sear on most meats and vegetables, but this goes up to 446° F, giving you the ability to get a nice golden crust on just about everything you plan on cooking.
You’re probably waiting for the bad news, right?
Well, this isn’t a forever kind of grill.
It uses standard IR heating technology, which is prone to burning out after a few years of use.
With that, you’re not going to be able to make good on your warranty, since it doesn’t cover a whole bunch.
It’s a mix of that, and the huge power draw that it has. You’re not exactly being eco-friendly by running this.
In some instances, it might actually be easier to run an electric stove than put this thing on full blast.
The IR lights are super bright, so don’t just stare down directly through the grates.
Last but not least, you might notice that I didn’t talk about temperature control.
“That’s because there is no actual temperature control setting.”
That’s because there is no actual temperature control setting.
You can even find an infographic on their sales page that boasts it stays at a “Consistent 446° F”—there’s no range. It’s all or nothing, and for some people, that’s a bit too extreme.
|Grilling Area:||109 square inches|
|Dimensions:||7.5” x 21.9” x 16.9”|
Electric Grill Buying Guide and FAQ
What to Look for in an Electric Grill
An electric barbeque grill can rarely compete with the roaring heart from a pellet or charcoal grill.
It’s just a different method.
The maximum heat range on most electric grills does not exceed 500° F, and even then, it’s going to be crazy to actually power an electric grill up to that heat.
You’re looking at a ceiling of 400° up to 450°.
Cooking Surface Space
This is the total amount of space you have for your food.
This is an area where less doesn’t mean more—you want enough space to cook whatever you’re in the mood for.
Don’t restrict yourself to a small electric grill if you might end up throwing get-togethers or exploring with different recipes on a regular basis.
A low amount of cooking space for an indoor electric grill is anything under 75 square inches.
For an outdoor grill, where you’re expected to cook for others, you want no less than 180 square inches.
Electric grills aren’t exactly easy on your energy bills.
They take a lot to run. The higher the draw (more watts), the hotter it’s going to be able to get.
Low wattage is less costly, but your maximum heat is going to suffer.
To put it in perspective, most coffee makers may take a peak amount of 1,000 watts to run for about six minutes while brewing a full pot of coffee.
Most electric grills require about 1,500+ watts to run consistently, usually for blocks of 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
Are Electric Grills Any Good?
An electric grill outdoor unit is better than an indoor, but yes, they’re excellent alternatives to using charcoal, gas, or pellets.
Using electric grills minimizes carcinogen intake, and provides a sustainable way to grill that isn’t immediately adding carbon straight into the atmosphere.
But as far as your meats go, it does a good job of getting sear marks and grilling beef and poultry with a nice golden crust.
It is noticeably different than using other types of grills, and if you’ve been using a charcoal or gas unit your whole life, then you will be able to taste differences.
Do Electric Grills Smoke?
They’re not supposed to, but they can if you crank the heat all the way up.
The smoke usually comes from fats hitting a piping hot coal or stream of fire from a gas line.
Electric grills operate in a similar fashion to griddles or plancha grills.
Using a solid cooktop surface, there’s no grates or slats for grease to go down into.
“Electric grills also don’t use live flames or smoldering coals/pellets.”
The best electric grill doesn’t use live flames or smoldering coals/pellets.
You don’t get smoke, but you can get a ton of steam if you’re cooking at high temperatures.
The only way that you’re going to get your grill to smoke like crazy is if you’re intentionally burning food on it, but from its heat source and normal use, there will be no smoke.
Do Electric Grills Need Charcoal?
Even if you have a portable electric grill, you still don’t need to use charcoal to get the party started.
Bring a power extension cable or a miniature generator if you’re going to a park or someplace similar.
Not only do you not need to use charcoal on an electric grill, but there’s no place to put them even if you wanted to.
There is no ash basin or container to put your coals, and even if you could manipulate some models to do that, the chassis isn’t designed to host hot coals.
You could end up ruining your electric grill.
How to Prepare an Electric Grill?
That’s the best part.
Whether it’s an enormous grill or the best electric grill for apartments and small spaces, you don’t have much prep time at all.
Startup the grill, and give it time to heat up before you drop food on.
You don’t want to let the food temperature rise with the cooktop, otherwise, you might as well be using a pan on the stove instead.
A good rule of thumb is to give one minute of time for every 50 square inches on the electric grill cooktop.
That means a 280 square inch electric grill should only take six minutes to heat up (rounding up).
Depending on the wattage, these times may be longer or shorter, it all just depends on the specific grill.
On average, this is a good rule of thumb to go by.
How to Clean an Electric Grill?
It doesn’t matter if you went for the budget-tier model or the top-rated electric grill on our list, they all have similar cleaning patterns.
Water is going to be your best friend.
Once you’re done using the grill, you’re going to have food particles and waste on your hot plate.
While the plate is still hot, you’re going to pour about a half-cup of water for every 200 square inches of space.
It should sizzle immediately, pulling food waste off with it.
This is going to run down through the drip tray, and if you read all the reviews above, you know that drip tray size is a common problem across most electric grill brands.
Make sure the drip tray is completely empty before you do this.
That water will pull most of the food waste off with it, but then the grill will be cooled down, so you might not be able to do this trick again.
At this point, take a thick microfiber cloth, and drag it down the valleys in between the peaks of the griddle top.
Pull the remaining water/waste towards the drip tray.
Can I Have an Electric Grill if I Live in an Apartment?
Yes, that’s the beauty of them.
While they weren’t exclusively made for people who live in apartments, they can get full use out of them.
“The main reason that most landlords don’t want you to have a charcoal or gas grill is the fire hazard, but also the fact that you shouldn’t be allowed to just send a smokestack up to your neighbors on the balcony.”
The main reason that most landlords don’t want you to have a charcoal or gas grill is the fire hazard, but also the fact that you shouldn’t be allowed to just send a smokestack up to your neighbors on the balcony.
If you knock over an electric grill, it’s not going to spread hot ash and coals down onto the balcony below.
There are no insurance violations against owning electric grills, but you can see how charcoal and gas grills could pose a threat, or at the very least raise concerns from neighbors.
Every Chance to Grill Whenever You Want to
Electric grills just might be the solution you’re looking for, whether you’re in an apartment building, or you just want to skip the negative health attributes that can come from gas and charcoal grilling.
Whatever your reason is, you’re now equipped to create the same great-tasting, grill-marked, seared to perfection chops and burgers that you’ve been looking for. Get the best electric grill you can afford, and enjoy years of great tasting food.
Electric grilling is the future.
Last update on 2021-04-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API