There are plenty of variations of outdoor grills, meaning there’s always one to suit your cooking style. You can choose between pellets, charcoal, or gas, depending on how you like your food to taste and how much work you want to do as it cooks.
There’s also a fourth option – the electric grill. Many people associate these purely with indoor cooking; however, they can also be the perfect addition to your custom outdoor kitchen.
Here’s everything you need to know about electric grills compared to other options to decide if they’re the right choice for you – and for your budget.
Electric Grills Are Gathering Steam
Electric grills come in different shapes and sizes and use electricity to warm a heating element that cooks the food. They’re pretty simple to use and a great entry into the world of outdoor cooking if you want to start enjoying that lifestyle but don’t feel confident with the hardware.
Electric grills are also a favorite of complexes and landlords who don’t always allow other types of grills – those that use fire – on their property.
They’ve Come a Long Way
Electric grills are growing in favor as time passes, but they’re still some ways behind other designs in popularity. This is due in part to some old stigmas.
Their previous limitations, such as low heat, small cooking areas, and fragility, are things of the past – some of today’s models are as hot, roomy, and durable as many people require.
Electric grills still have a few downsides despite their evolving status. Understanding how these will affect your cooking style, food choices, and finances in the long term will help you decide if you’re ready and willing to invest in one.
The Pros and Cons of Electric Grills
Below, we are covering the pros and cons of electric grills. With a slightly higher price, you will see the benefits of an electric grill when it comes time to consider what type of grill to purchase.
Pros of Electric Grills
Electric Grills Generally Safer
You don’t have to worry about combustible fuels or the flames and embers that accompany them. This can be a great comfort to anyone concerned about explosions or dangerous flare-ups caused by too much fuel or the drippings from cooking food. Some electric grills also have built-in cut-offs in case they’re left on.
Electric Grills Can be Freestanding or Portable
Freestanding electric grills are perfect if you regularly host backyard cookouts. This example from the SmokinTex Pro Series rustles up meat and fish and can be wheeled around for optimal positioning.
Maximum portability is available with models like the Weber Q 1400 – a neat little grill that can also be mounted on its own portable cart when you reach your destination.
Even the most anti-electric BBQ chefs must admit that charcoal, gas, and pellet grills require more effort to start, use, and clean.
Electric grills are flick-switch simple without leaving behind carbon buildup or sticky, charred bits clinging to a grate. They still have parts to clean – just fewer of them.
You’re Always Stocked with Fuel
The cost of paying for new bags of charcoal or pellets or driving for yet another supply of fuel for your gas grill mounts up over the years.
Not a problem with electric grills, which makes them a real money saver over time – a virtue complemented by electric grills being generally less costly to buy than their counterparts.
Precision Temperature Control
Monitoring the heat from flames is an acquired skill. Controlling the temperature of an electric grill couldn’t be simpler with its easy-to-read settings, meaning even the newest BBQ enthusiasts can confidently create consistent heat.
Delicate Cooking Is Easier
Things like vegetables, lean meats, or fish are popular grilling choices. The bad news is that they can easily be overdone if you’re using combustible fuel. Electricity’s precision allows such foods to be cooked more precisely, which may better suit your tastes and dietary needs.
Cons About Electric Grills
Limited Flavor Compared to Other Designs
Electric grills can create restaurant-quality food. One traditional limitation is that they can’t provide the same rich spectrum of scents and smoke-infused flavors you get from a charcoal grill or pellet grills.
Certain flavor sensations are only chemically released through smoke and flame. The good news? You don’t have to sacrifice smoky flavor if you choose a brand like SmokinTex!
Vulnerable to Power Outages
Sometimes the power can go out. Many people turn to their gas/charcoal/wood grills to rustle up food when the grid goes down, which obviously isn’t an option for those with electric grills unless there’s an alternative power source available.
In cases like this, the electric grill can not be used unless you have a generator.
Repairs Could Be More Costly
Electric grills have more moving parts than their combustible cousins. This means more wear and tear on components and higher maintenance costs over time. You’ll have to be ready to replace heating elements, control units, thermostats, and other electronics.
Have the benefits of electric grills piqued your curiosity? Have the drawbacks switched you off? Finding yourself on the fence about electric grills isn’t comfy, so why not climb down and come visit us?
We can guide you through the good, the bad, and the BBQ so you can decide if electric is the way to go.
Get Familiar with Electric Grills at BBQ Outfitters
You can explore some of the best brands first-hand by visiting one of our two big showrooms in West Austin or San Antonio, where you’ll find our knowledgeable team ready to advise you. We’ll help you feel sure an electric grill is worth your investment.
Check out our portable electric grills or our free-standing electric grills here.
You can also contact us with any questions you have about outdoor grilling if you’re not able to drop by!