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Top 4 Best Outdoor Electric Grills of 2018

Best electric grill reviews 2018

Best-in-class
Weber Q1400

Weber 52020001 Q1400 Electric Grill

An excellent grill

High-end electric grill features an exceptional heating element and is great for a family.

Weber Q1400 Review

The Weber Q1400 is ideal for the homeowners who want to taste the authentic grilled food but live in an area with gas and charcoal grill usage restrictions. Featuring a 1560-watt heating element and a 189 square-inch cooking area, this unit is perfect for a mid-size to a large family.

Designed for cooking performance, the grill also comes with porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates that promote an even distribution of heat and prevent foods from sticking.

Functionality and aesthetics blend in a great design with intuitive side control knob, an oversized lid handle and ergonomic lateral handles for portability.

Ideal for grilling meat, fish, and veggies, the grill also features infinite control burner valve settings for a quick adjustment of the cooking temperature.

Spacious, performing, and ready to use right out of the box, the Weber Q1400 is the best electric grill on the market.

Best value
Char-Broil 17602048

Char-Broil 17602048 TRU Infrared Patio Bistro Electric Grill

Perfect for large gatherings

An oversized cooking surface and additional warming rack bring electric versatility to your outdoor party.

Char-Broil 17602048 Review

The Char-Broil 17602048 packs value in a product that appeals to both homeowner and chefs.

This is perhaps the best outdoor electric grill for the money and comes equipped with a powerful TRU-infrared cooking system that ensures an even distribution of heat while sealing the natural juices of the meat.

Like our best-in-class pick, the grill features porcelain-coated cast iron grates, but the 240 square inches cooking surface is larger and can accommodate up to 12 burgers or a few steaks and veggies.

Simple operation and intuitive temperature control knob add further value, while the convenient design also enhances the unit. The grill is foldable, easy to transport, and comes with two side shelves for food preparing and storage.

Power, portability and an attractive price point bring all you could wish for from a best-value pick.

Also great
Easy Street 9329W9

Easy Street 9329W9 Electric Cart Grill

Smaller but versatile

Decent cooking space and rotisserie function make this outdoor electric grill ideal for all purposes.

Easy Street 9329W9 Review

Whether you want to grill burgers or roast a whole chicken, the Easy Street 9329W9.181 could be the perfect electric grill for you.

This versatile outdoor grill boasts a three-position cooking element which allows cooking food to perfection and a rotisserie function that comes in handy when you want to cook large chunks of meat.

The position-adjustable element not only allows heating the grill evenly, but it also creates different temperature zones simultaneously, which is great if you want to cook both meat and veggies at the same time.

Despite the slightly smaller cooking space, the grill is still large enough to hold up to 8 burgers; furthermore, the unit comes with side wooden shelves to use for food preparing or holding utensils, and it has a unique cart design which enhances mobility.

Designed to grill to perfection, easy to use, and portable, the Easy Street 9329W9.181 is a great electric grill with rotisserie.

Best budget
George Foreman GGR50B

George Foreman GGR50B Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill

Large and affordable

Ready to use indoors and outdoors, this electric grill comes at a price that won’t break the bank.

George Foreman GGR50B Review

Perfect for the budget-savvy homeowner and large enough to suit a big family, the George Foreman GGR50B grill features a 240 square-inch grilling area like our best-value pick.

This electric grill comes with tough nonstick grates and adjustable temperature control with five heat settings. Furthermore, it is designed for both indoors and outdoors use, a feature that adds versatility.

A removable stand makes it easy to transport and store, while the grilling surface is also durable and easy to clean. The unit doesn’t have wheels or side shelves, but the affordable price counterbalances the lack of these features.

Compact yet perfect for large families and ideal to use indoors and outdoors the George Foreman GGR50B is a great budget-friendly alternative.

2. Why invest in an electric grill?

Electric grills come as a solution for the homeowners living in condos where using a gas or charcoal grill is forbidden. But even if you have your own backyard, an electric grill comes with advantages.

The most important, it allows you to throw a barbecue party without worrying about gas or messy charcoal. This type of grill releases no noxious fumes, and some models can even be used indoors.

Easier to operate, the electric grill also invites you to use it more often and for many more purposes than a gas or charcoal grill.

What to cook on an electric grill? 

To start with the obvious, you can use your electric grill to cook burgers, meat, and grilled veggies. Heating up fast and promoting even distribution of heat due to the radiant technologies involved, an electric grill is also perfect for cooking:

  • Sandwiches
  • Panini
  • Tortillas
  • Grilled cheese

3. Types of electric grills

There are indoor and outdoor electric grills, while some models are hybrid and can be used both in the kitchen and in the yard.

  • Indoor electric grills: Are typically small units similar to the electric griddles. Most models have contact plates which allow grilling on both sides at the same time, but the cooking surface is rather limited. These models are perfect for families up to four people and are very easy to transport.
  • Outdoor electric grills: Are large units of the size of the traditional gas or infrared grills. They are ideal for backyards and have large cooking surfaces that can accommodate sufficient food for 8 to over 12 people. Most models come with portability features, side shelves, and foldable stands for easy transport and storage.

4. Outdoor electric grill power

The power of an outdoor electric grill is expressed in watts and determines the unit’s performance. Wattage varies widely from one model to another, but most outdoor electric grills have an output between 1,200 and 2,000 watts.

The weaker grills tend to be more cost-effective, but if you want to grill meat to perfection, it is recommended to invest in the electric grill with the highest wattage you can afford.

How many watts do you really need?

When grilling, you’ll need a high and even temperature to seal the juices of the meat and cook it like a pro. The best electric grills for home use are rated between 1,500 and 1,750 watts, which is ideal for cooking juicy burgers and steaks but also roasts.

5. Temperature and heat controls

Besides wattage, you must also check the temperature settings of the electric grill you like. Some electric grills can output temperature up to 325°F, which is ideal for cooking most foods but insufficient for searing burgers and steaks.

Most mid-range and high-end units can typically heat up to 600°F, although the best outdoor electric grills come with temperature settings which exceed the 600°F searing threshold.

In broad lines, you’ll have to heat up your electric grill at:

  • 325°F for slow-cooking sausages and pork, baked potatoes, and grill vegetables;
  • 350°F for grilling sirloin tips and kabobs;
  • 380°F for cooking roasts;
  • 400°F for grilling tenderloin, New York strip, burgers, and filet mignon;
  • 600°F for searing burger and steaks.

Heat controls

Most electric grills are equipped with knobs that either allow you to set the temperature to the pre-set intensities or benefit from infinite temperature adjustments.

Some of the most performing units also come with adjustable heat elements that can be moved for direct, indirect, and rotisserie cooking, which ensures more accurate temperature control.

6. Electric grill grates

Most electric grills use radiant heat similar to the infrared heat to warm up the grates. This is the best technology, promoting even heating of the grilling surface which ultimately increases the grilling performance.

To ensure an even distribution of heat, most electric grills come with porcelain-coated cast iron grates, although some units have coated steel grates.

Porcelain-coated cast iron vs. coated steel grates

  • Porcelain-coated cast iron grates: Heat up slowly but ensure an even distribution and maintenance of heat throughout the cooking process. The only downside of this model is that the porcelain can crack or chip off, exposing the metal.
  • Coated steel grates: Heat up faster and also ensure an even distribution of the temperature. However, they tend to lose heat faster than cast iron when you open the grill’s lid. The nonstick coating is also easy to scratch, exposing the metal; furthermore, some nonstick coatings release noxious fumes when damaged.

7. Cooking surface

Outdoor electric grills have the full size of gas grills; this means they provide sufficient cooking surface for larger groups of 8 people or more. Indoor units tend to be smaller and are typically suitable for up to 4 people.

  • Countertop indoor grills typically have a cooking surface between 100 and 140 square inches, which is ideal for 2-4 individuals.
  • Small outdoor electric grills have a cooking surface under 200 square inches ideal for groups of 6 to 8 individuals.
  • Mid-size outdoor grills boast from 200 to 240 square inches of cooking surface, which is ideal for 8 to 12 people.
  • Large outdoor electric grills have cooking surfaces over 240 square inches and are perfect for large groups of 12 people or more.

8. Electric grill build

The best electric outdoor grill must be sturdy but portable. Most models are made of cast aluminum, a material renowned for its durability and low weight. A foldable frame and wheels are important for easy storage and enhanced mobility.

If the unit you want comes with side handles, make sure they are sturdy and ergonomic.

9. Other features you should consider

Below, a few additional features to have for an ultimate grilling experience:

  • Built-in temperature gauge: Allows you to check the cooking temperature, which is useful for both searing and slow cooking.
  • Foldable side shelves: Provide a convenient food preparation and utensils storage area when cooking outdoors.
  • Removable grates: Are ideal for easier A further added advantage is investing in a unit with dishwasher-safe grates.
  • Drip tray: Collects all cooking drips, making cleaning a whole lot easier. This accessory must also be removable and easy to wash.
  • Rotisserie function: Some of the best electric grills have a rotisserie function which allows you to cook whole chickens, turkeys and large chunks of meat.
  • Cord length: An electric grill will require you to plug it into the nearest electrical outlet. Since using this appliance with an extension cord is unsafe, check if the cord has an adequate length so you can work comfortably.
  • Warming rack: Is ideal if you want to keep some of the food or the sides warm while your meat is cooking.
  • Touch-cool exterior: To avoid accidents and reduce injuries through burns, make sure the electric grill comes with touch-cool lid and side handles.
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