Indoor and outdoor electric grills for year-round barbecuing
Designed to provide consumers with an alternative to gas and charcoal barbecues, electric grills offer a convenient and economical solution. Like every grill type, electric barbecue grills have both advantages and disadvantages, but they're a hit with apartment dwellers and homeowners with limited space. They're also available in both indoor and outdoor models.
Advantages of Electric Grills
The key reasons that consumers choose electric grills over their charcoal and gas counterparts include:
- Versatility. Both indoor electric grills and outdoor electric grills are made to meet the needs of people in varying living situations. George Foreman grills are a popular example of an indoor model; they tend to be compact, easy to use and easy to clean up after.
- Convenience and ease of use. Both charcoal and wood grills leave ash, residue and waste to clean up after you're finished cooking. Electric grills don't produce any of these by-products, reducing your overall labor and helping you enjoy a delicious meal with less effort.
- Good economy. You only need an electrical outlet to operate a power-driven grill; there are no expensive wood chips or charcoal to buy, and no propane tanks to lug around for refilling. They are cheaper to operate, on average, than both charcoal and gas-powered counterparts. The initial price of an electric grill is usually also a fraction of the cost of a charcoal or gas barbecue.
Limitations and Drawbacks of Electric Grills
However, this is not to say that electric grills are every barbecue enthusiast's first choice; in fact, many purists argue that charcoal is the only way to go. Some common complaints about electric grills include:
- Weaker flavor. Wood and charcoal grills in particular add a unique flavor to the meats cooked on them, and they're fiercely defended by many purists for this reason. Electric grills simply provide a heat source and add absolutely nothing to the flavor of the food, meaning you'll have to be creative with your marinades and dry rubs.
- Size. While their small size is a boon to people living in tight quarters, it also limits your ability to cook for a large group of people. Electric grills tend to have much smaller cooking surface areas than charcoal or gas barbecues.
- The need for a power source. If you're in the backyard, finding an electrical outlet might not be as easy as it sounds. You might need to run a clumsy extension cord out to the location of the grill, which can be a hazard as well as an inconvenience.
- Decreased availability. While George Foreman grills are easy enough to find, you have limited options if you commit to buying an electric grill. Retailers usually only have a limited selection of electric barbecue grills on hand, and your search for a suitable product may be more time-consuming and difficult than you'd bargained for.