Electric grills may not pack the same heating prowess as charcoal grills or gas grills, but they come pretty close. And as their craftsmanship and quality improve over time, these convenient grills are getting more popular among BBQ lovers.
In this article, we lend our help by providing a buying guide— you know you do need one, trust us on this— and in-depth reviews of our picks for the best electric grills. And before wrapping everything up nice and clean, we’ll compare the pros and cons of electric grills and gas-fueled ones, as well as introducing prominent grill manufacturers.
Reading: Best outdoor electric grill 2020
How to Choose the Best Electric Grill
Having a hard time deciding which grill to choose? Here are a few pointers to bear in mind that will help determine the right grill.
Electric grills are considerably much budget-friendlier than full-fledged gas grills, which can rack up thousands of dollars. You can expect to find these grills somewhere between $100 and $450. Below is the price breakdown.
From $250 to $450
Grills at this price range have immense heating prowess, with some even on par with an infrared heater. Earlier we did advise you not to expect sear marks on regular electric grills, but some models in this tier have such powerful heating capacity to replicate the BBQ experience. Of course it’s not authentic grilling, but this is the closest you can expect to achieve.
They can cook larger items like ribs, turkeys and even briskets. You’d also find multi-level temperature control which lets you cook different dishes in various styles. And depending on the manufacturer, you can expect to find some sort of instruction cookbooks and cooking tools as accessories.
Also you can expect to find an abundance of settings and options like food-specific cooking modes and programmable timer. In addition, the materials used for these grills are of high quality and well-reinforced to last. And lastly, these grills are often placed under a clear and specific warranty policy.
We find paying north of $450 isn’t really a wise decision. Rather than paying that kind of money, you might as well as spend that amount on renovating your kitchen or buy a full-fledged gas grill.
From $100 to $250
This is the middle tier, and you’ll find most electric grills hovering within this range. They can still cook well, though now the immense heating prowess is reasonably less pronounced. Also, you’d find some of the fancier features partially or completely removed due to budget reasons.
At this level expect little to none of the extra features. These grills focus solely on cooking and cooking only. You’d be lucky to find anything remotely fancy about grills of this price range.
You can determine the right grill size by asking yourself two questions:
- How many people are you cooking for?
- What are you cooking?
Electric grills aren’t exactly known for their spacious interior, especially compared to charcoal grills or gas grills. They are more suitable for a small family or a gathering of friends who come over for a meal. Tabletop models can serve from a single diner to a couple and a family of four or five. On the other hand, freestanding models that can be used outdoors can accommodate a larger crowd, but we estimate a group of no more than ten adults, at best.
Although electric grills aren’t the first choice to cook briskets or turkeys, you can bet your bottom dollar that they can cook burgers, hotdogs, grilled cheeses, and steaks as masterfully as other grills.
While most conventional grills use stainless steel grates, electric grills employ the use of aluminum and cast iron. And to further reinforce the material, manufacturers often add another layer of food-safe nonstick coating on the cooking surface. That way, things will be easier during cleaning and warming up, even without using any oil or butter. These grills also incorporate some sorts of grease drainage system, for good measure.
4. Temperature Control
The gist of all electric grills are plug-and-use models, but the temperature control varies from units to units. Some are programmed to reach a preset temperature upon starting up, others offer the users a sense of control with a wide range of levels.
And the difference split users into two fractions. Some users argue that the point of an electric grill is convenience and ease of use: you plug it in, and it heats up like it’s supposed to, requiring little to no meddling. On the other hand, others prefer to control how hot the grill gets and make adjustments they see fit.
So, do you prefer to plug-and-forget, or do you want to assert control over how the grill heats up? Keep this in mind when selecting the grill.
Admittedly, electric grills aren’t designed to sear steaks on high heat with distinctive sear marks. That’s the specialty of conventional grills that run on combustible fuels. Be that as it may, the heating element should have no problem delivering the appropriate temperatures for BBQ. And for good measure, the built-in thermometer can let you monitor things and make adjustments with ease.
5. Cleaning Ease
Electric grills are designed exclusively for indoor use and storage— though there still are outdoor models, provided there is access to an outlet— so the use of stainless steel is minimal to none. Instead, cast iron is the choice for many manufacturers as the primary material for the grate. What differs these grills is what kind of protection is applied on the grate, the most common of which is porcelain-enamel, ceramic, silicon, anodized aluminum, and seasoned cast iron.
Usually, these grills often have a grease-draining system to keep the meat from sitting in its own fat. Select a grill with slidable or easy-access tray for hassle-free cleanup.
Dishwasher-friendliness is a feature to keep an eye out for. Though the majority of electric grills have detachable parts that are compatible with a dishwasher, it’d be well-advised to double-check, because this feature is not a given.
Due to stringent fire safety regulations, charcoal and gas grills are restricted or banned in several areas without appropriate infrastructures. Meanwhile, electric grills make things easier for everyone. A major advantage electric grills have over conventional grills is the minimal smoke release, making them safe for buildings and apartments. You can even find certain indoor models as well.
7. Extra Features
- a cart,
- side tables,
Reviews of the Best Electric Grills in 2021
For repeat buyers and those looking for a quick recommendation of which electric grill to buy, this list below will give you the answers you need. These are our picks for the best electric grills to buy this year
- Weber Q2400 Electric Grill — Editor’s Best to Buy
- Philip Avance HD6371/94 Electric Grill — Best Value Electric Grill
- PowerXL Smokeless Electric Grill — Best Indoor Electric Grill
- George Foreman GGR50B — Best Outdoor Electric Grill
- Hamilton Beach 25361 — Best Tabletop Electric Grill
- Char-Broil 17602047 Patio Bistro — Best Portable Electric Grill
If you will indulge and spare us some more time, we’ll venture deeper into these grills’ features and performance.
1. Weber 55020001 Q2400 Electric Grill – Best to Buyin 2021
With the first pick of the draft, we select the Weber Q2400. It’s a well-rounded electric grill that stands above the rest for its exceptional heating prowess. Granted, it doesn’t equip itself with anything flashy or fancy, but you’d hardly notice or miss the absence of anything else when the grill can deliver delicious results with repeatable successes.
The Q2400 measures 25.1 inches deep by 31.5 inches wide by 26 inches tall with the lid open, and 19.5 inches deep by 31.5 inches wide by 14.5 inches tall when closed. Underneath the hood, you’ll find 280 square inches of cooking surface. Weber says it can serve three to four people, which seems to be the case. And among the grills featured here, it’s one of the bigger models. A home user expressed his surprise at how the grill can accommodate a full-size chicken.
The grate is porcelain-enameled cast iron, which comes pretty close to stainless steel in terms of heat conduction and retention, but much more inferior in terms of cleaning ease.
The body and lid are cast aluminum while the frame is glass-reinforced nylon, which explains the lightweight of the grill as a whole unit. There’s also a removable catch pan, which is pretty much similar to other electric grills by today’s standards.
The Weber Q2400 runs at 1560 watts and works with 120-volt currents, so there’s no need for any kind of additional adapter whatsoever. Some previous buyers deemed the six-foot grounded cord insufficient, but we find that to be nitpicky rather than constructive. That said, you can use an extension cord as needed.
A pleasant surprise about this grill is how well this grill can retain heat, even beyond our initial expectation. The secret lies within the aluminum heat retention liner placed under the lid, which keeps the cooking chamber from going cold and the food always sizzling hot.
The temperature knob— dubbed infinite heat control settings by Weber— offers five different levels to diversify your menu options with something exciting like pizza, or go with something traditional like steaks. And who knows, even one or two racks of ribs is within this grill’s capacity. Briskets would be out of the question, though.
The grease tray collects dropping grease and juices, keeping the food from sitting in its own fat. The thing is, it’s placed below the heating element. Sometimes smaller droplets can splash inside the grill, which includes the heating element as well. But this should be easy to deal with: gently wiping the stained parts with a damp piece of cloth or a wad of paper towels should settle things straight.
While the grease tray works wonders on its own, it wouldn’t hurt to place an additional liner within the tray, which will cut down cleaning time and effort. Similar to ones found in a grease bucket of a pellet grill, these metallic foils will be highly appreciated and come in handy for grillers when cleaning time draws near. You can discard and replace the liners with little to no effort.
That said, the grease tray would get greasy one way or another— either the liner is punctured, the tray isn’t fully covered, or the liner has reached over its limit and spilled over. Make sure to check carefully before cooking.
Since the grate is cast iron, dishwasher-compatibility is obviously out of the equation. The same holds true for the grease tray as well, which is rather a shame.
The Weber Q2400 is designed especially for outdoor use only because they release a lot of smoke, which can set off the smoking detector inside one’s apartment. Unless you have a backyard, patio, or at least a balcony, we suggest you pick a different grill.
There’s an accessory cart that adds mobility and portability when you don’t have a flat surface to place the grill. You’d think the cart is included with the grill but, as it turns out, it’s not. It’s available for separate purchase right here and will come in handy when you’re going road trips and camping— but make sure to have access to an outlet beforehand.
Grillers of all levels are no stranger to Weber, a household name in the grill manufacturing field well-known for its high quality and performance products, and the Q2400 is no different from its brothers. It is the impressive heating capacity and ease of use that brings this grill widespread acclaim from meat-lovers and BBQ aficionados
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2. Philips Smoke-less BBQ Grill – Best Value Electric Grill
If you’re wondering whether you’re getting the most out of your money, then you can never go wrong when choosing the Philips Smoke-Less Avance HD6371/94. It’s one of the most sought-after electric grills as of the moment this article is written, and has earned buyers’ thumbs-up for its quasi-authentic BBQ cooking performance, much to the astonishment of many grillers, including ours.
There’s no listing of the dimensions as well as cooking space on the official website. But from multiple past users, it’s roughly estimated 7.48 inches by 21.85 inches by 16.93 inches and offers roughly 160 square inches of grilling space. There are videos from grillers showing the grill can cook up to four steaks on its surface.
The unit weighs 5.6 kilograms, which translates roughly to 11.2 pounds. Carrying the grill from one place to another takes little effort whatsoever, but the lack of handles makes it awkward to get a firm grip.
The grate is die-cast aluminum with a non-stick coating applied, as claimed by Philips. There’s no mention of what the other parts are made of, but that hardly matters.
The grill runs on 120-volt current and consumes 1660-watts, similar to the Weber Q2400 we reviewed above. Another plug-and-use model, there’s little to fuss over the control, since there are only two functions: warming and cooking. There’s no need to adjust the temperature, because there’s only one preset degree of 450°F, the sweet spot of cooking meat to perfection.
What we find rather peculiar about this grill is its searing capability. Using infrared heating, the heat travels throughout the grill via specially-angled heat reflectors placed within the inner wall. This way, the heat is directed and focused solely on the grate, cooking the food with high efficiency.
The water-filled grease tray not only catches droplets of juices and fat, but it also keeps the smoke to the minimum, making this grill safe for indoor use. Not completely smokeless as the name suggests, Philips claims the grill can reduce up to 80%, which comes pretty close based on our observation and peer reviews from past users.
Both the grate and the grease tray are detachable and easy to hand wash. Any household dish soap and a non-abrasive scraper should suffice in removing most of the gunk. Even better, these parts are dishwasher-compatible, according to Philips.
Inside the grill, grease splashes and splatters are inevitable. Normally a damp cloth or paper towels should suffice in removing these stains. But should these marks remain stubborn and overstay their welcome, you can resort to a scraper and specialized cleaner, but only as a last resort.
At the bottom of the grill, there are rubber feet that prevent the grill from slipping.
The fact that the Philips Smokeless Avance HD6371/94 comes in as a dark horse among many strong candidates and is able to come out on top proves how capable this grill truly is. You’d be hard-pressed to find another grill with such impressive heating prowess like this one.
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3. PowerXL Smokeless Grill – Best Indoor Electric Grill
Next on our list is the PowerXL Smokeless electric grill. The name may sound strange, but that doesn’t stop this grill from impressing users with its ability to cook with no smoke. You’d think this is some sort of marketing gimmick until you give this grill a chance to prove its value.
The unit measures 22.1 inches by 13.2 inches by 6.1 inches, with the cooking surface offering nearly 140 square inches. This compact grill is suitable for a couple or a small family of four or five, at best.
The body is heavy-duty die-cast aluminum. Meanwhile, the cross-hatch grate is non-stick treated with ceramic. The lid is tempered glass, additionally.
The grilling surface can be interchangeable between the grate and a griddle, for those who are wondering.
The 1200W grill runs on 120V currents, which means you can plug the unit directly into any outlet.
The digital display has a touch-control panel, and all the settings are LED-lit. You can trace your finger on the temperature dial and make adjustments as you see fit, with the max level at 450°F.
But it’s the smoke-free grilling that sets this grill apart from other electric grills. Upon clicking the FAN button, the grill activates its suction— dubbed the AirFlow Technology by the manufacturer— to ventilate the smoke. Furthermore, the water-filled grease tray also helps cool down grease and juice droplets, preventing smoke from forming and raising.
Both cooking surfaces— the grate and the griddle— have a non-stick coating. You can either hand wash the components or put them in a dishwasher.
The glaring lack of handles makes it awkward to hold or pick up the grill. One would think this is a given, but apparently it’s not. Furthermore, the grill remains rather hot after you’ve finished cooking for a while, so we strongly advise wearing mitts when moving the grill to the sink for cleanup.
Other than the lack of handles, otherwise, the PowerXL Smokeless electric grill is a grill you’d want to take home. It’s perfect for grillers who don’t have access to open space like a back yard, patio or balcony. Plus, the smokeless grilling feature lives up to its name, which explains why the majority of the buyers are apartment-dwellers.
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4. George Foreman GGR50B – Best Outdoor Electric Grill
People often assume electric grills are for indoor use only, but that’s not always the case, as with the George Foreman GGR50B here. You can enjoy cooking year-round BBQ on this grill either indoors or outdoors as you please— as long as there’s an outlet— without much worry and hassle.
The GGR50B measures 22.2 inches by 20.5 inches by 13 inches, with the cooking surface offering 240 square inches of space. The George Foreman official website claims this grill can supposedly cook portions fit 15 people, but we find this to be an overestimation, if not straight up exaggeration.
Overall, the whole unit weighs 21 pounds.
The grill has a domed lid with vents that let steam escape through.
The most prominent feature about the GGR50B is the sloped ridges on the grilling surface, which help guide grease away from the food and into the awaiting grease trap right below. The manufacturer claims its patented design trims off 42% of fat from a quarter pound of uncooked 80/20 ground chuck. Whether this is reliable statistics remains to be seen, further reviewed and confirmed by those with authority and qualifications.
The removable grate is treated with a non-stick coating— dubbed the George Tough by the manufacturer.
Read more: Grilled Avocado | Family Cuisine
The temperature probe offers five different settings and number-codes the levels for ease of use. You’d have to let the grill preheat thoroughly first— taking about a few minutes, ten tops— before you can start cooking. One minor annoyance is that you cannot check how the food cooks without opening the lid, but this causes the grill to lose heat.
The grilling surface is unfortunately unfit for household dishwashers— it’s way too oversized and the non-stick coating wouldn’t be able to last, anyway. That said, you can still use regular dish soap and a sponge to hand wash the parts with little to no hassle.
Though the smoke is kept to the level safe for indoor use, steam can still escape through the vents on the lid, so approach with caution and use mitts as needed.
If you don’t have a flat surface to put the grill, then a standalone base will lend you a hand in this matter. It will also come in handy for those who want to cook on this grill in the balcony or patio, but make sure the outlet is within the cord’s length.
If silver isn’t to your liking, how about hot rod red? The George Foreman GFO201R offers virtually the same grilling experience, though it’s a tad smaller yet more expensive.
An electric that can be used both indoors and outdoors like the George Foreman GGR50B is something to behold. It’s always nice to cook in the open, and this grill lets you achieve the best of both worlds.
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5. Hamilton Beach 25361 — Best Tabletop Electric Grill
If you’re looking for a tabletop electric grill that doesn’t eat a lot of space, then there’s hardly any grill better than the Hamilton Beach 25361, if any at all. Not only compact, this grill can also cook well beyond initial expectations, not to mention the rare ability to sear steaks, to boot.
The grill measures 12.4 inches deep by 16.73 inches wide by 6.81 inches tall. With a modest cooking space of 118 square inches, it’s a perfect fit for a couple and a family of four, at best. Hamilton Beach claims the grill can accommodate up to eight servings, but we deem it to be an exaggeration.
The component trios— namely the hood, drip tray, and the grilling surface— are all removable and easy to clean, either by hand or a dishwasher.
The lid helps keep the food always sizzling hot inside the grill while offering a transparent and clear view inside the cooking chamber. That way, you can make timely adjustments without opening the lid too often, which can lead to losing heat.
Upon plugging in, it would take around five to ten minutes to preheat the grill. To our surprise, the Hamilton Beach specimen can sear steak well beyond what we can hope for and expect. Its temperature range is quite diverse, to be honest, going from 200°F to 450°F. Also, there’s a light that indicates the temperature you’ve dialed to has been reached.
The grate has a non-stick coating applied on the surface. That being the case, the manufacturer still advises covering the grate with a thin layer of cooking oil or non-stick spray before cooking.
As mentioned above, the hood, the grease tray, and the cooking grate can be cleaned either manually or within a dishwasher.
While the lid keeps the grease from splatter all over, steam can still escape through the gaps, so approach the grill with caution, and consider using oven gloves or mitts as needed.
We did mention the use of non-stick sprays for the surface before cooking, but we would like to strongly remind you not to do it when the grill is plugged in and the grate is hot. This can lead to fire hazards and injuries if you’re not careful.
Generally speaking, tabletop electric grills lack heating prowess, but the Hamilton Beach 25361 has proved otherwise. It’s such a pleasant surprise to find so much heating capacity all packed in such a compact grill like this. No wonder this grill is among the most sought-after electric grills as of right now.
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6. Char-Broil 17602047 Infrared – Best Portable Electric Grill
Upon wrapping this shortlist, there’s another entry we’d like to include: the Char-Broil Patio Bistro Tru-Infrared 17602047 here looks promising. For one, it’s much bigger than conventional electric grills, and it has an abundance of conveniences to offer. It will come in handy, particularly for those who are about to embark on a cross-country road trip on an RV.
The unit measures 39.8 inches wide by 25.6 inches deep by 59.93 inches tall when fully assembled. There’s no listing of the cooking interior on Char-Broil’s official website, but past users on many platforms have estimated it around 240 square inches, with the warming rack offering another 80 square inches, totalling at 320 square inches of cooking space.
The whole grill weighs around 60 pounds, but moving it from place to place takes little to no effort thanks to the all-terrain wheels.
The lid, firebox, and cooking grate are porcelain-coated steel. Also, there’s a warming rack to keep cooked items from going cold. So far, this is the only electric grill with this feature. You can reheat sauces and sesame buns on this rack or use it as an indirect cooking surface.
As the name suggests, the Patio Pro uses an infrared heater— dubbed the Tru-Infrared by Char-Broil— to cook things. The sole control knob displays light when the grill is plugged in and works similarly to the ones you’d find on an oven.
Unfortunately, all the removable parts— as in the grate and grease tray— are to be hand washed. They wouldn’t fit inside a dishwasher, anyways.
The unit is to be used outdoors for its release of smoke.
This is where the Patio Bistro differs from conventional electric grills.
The lid-mounted thermometer lets you monitor and make adjustments as needed without opening the lid too often and losing heat. In addition, the dual side tables provide extra working space for the grillers. You can place rubs, spices, condiment containers, tools and food trays, too. Both of them feel steady and firm.
Furthermore, the cart design adds extra mobility and versatility when relocating the cook fest to another spot. And if you wish to further equip the grill, additional smoking racks and warming racks can be purchased as well.
The Char-Broil Patio Bistro Tru-Infrared 17602047 may be an oversized electric grill that cooks averagely at best, but it’s hard to refute the other conveniences it offers in return. It may not be the first choice, but for those looking for mobility— especially if you’re going camping on an RV— then this is as good as it gets.
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Comparison Chart of the Top-Performing Electric Grills
Electric vs. Gas Grills: Which to Pick?
Normally, gas grills require a long-term commitment and initial investment before you can reap the benefits, which is not the case with electric grills. But the benefits are far more worthwhile and rewarding you’d have to take time and actually consider the pros and cons.
For those who aren’t sure which type of grill to commit to, maybe you should read our takes on the best gas grills. And while you’re on the topic, we further classify gas grills into two smaller categories: natural gas grills and propane-fueled grills. In a nutshell, they work and look basically the same; the sole difference being the gases themselves. Gas grills are more popular and the most preferred form of BBQ cooking, but they come with flare-ups.
- For general traveling: there’s no beating a portable gas grill, and these run exclusively on propane. Their portability and ease of use make them the easy choice. Overall, these grills are highly compact,— some models are collapsible— easy to refuel and clean.
- For RV or trailer campers: both types work fine; since there is an on-board propane tank and a generator for each. Remember to use suitable adapters and extension cord to prevent fire and injuries.
- For indoor use: electricity is pretty much the sole option, especially if you’re an apartment dweller.
To sum it all up, here’s the comparison table. Of course, this is merely our takes on the two types of grills. We simply point out each’s own strengths and shortcomings; so you— the buyers— can make the most informed choice possible.
We feel the emergence of electric grills in recent years has been undervalued and underappreciated, if not straight up unnoticed, by not only casual grillers but also longtime pitmasters.
Generally speaking, an electric grill is an inexpensive alternative to the conventional BBQ grills you find situated in one’s backyard. Sure, it lacks firepower, but it makes up with ease of use and cleanup, along with a sense of reassurance and reliability. The next time you’re having a munchie for seared steaks, especially Korean BBQ, you know what to do.
Hopefully our buying guide and product reviews have been of assistance. Picking the best electric grills can now be a little bit easier, hopefully. And if you have any experiences with any of our picks, or simply just feel like sharing tips, observations, or basically anything at all, please don’t hesitate and feel free to do so by hitting the comment section right below this article. We look forward to your input with eagerness!
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