5 Best Electric Outdoor Grills (Our 2021 Top Guide)

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What’s The Point In An Electric Outdoor Grill?

When you think about outdoor cooking, your mind likely drifts towards an open fire or a gas BBQ or grill. These methods of cooking are good but they certainly have their disadvantages and that’s where the outdoor electric grill really comes into its own. 

For starters, these grills do not give off any toxic fumes which is the case with other types of fuel. But in addition to this, they are far safer. Think about when you are cooking on coal or wood; yes you might get that authentic taste and cooking experience, but there is also the risk of flying embers and nasty burns. Not to mention the smoke you may end up inhaling!

And while we are on the subject of fuel, consider how much cheaper it is to run an electric grill. Gas and solid fuel grills and cooking appliances require continual purchases of the fuel which can get very expensive. The impact on your electricity bill will be minimal in comparison to this, even if you use the grill every day

The outdoor electric grill is also beautifully simple to use, there are not complicated processes and cleaning up is quick and convenient. What’s more, you won’t be required to perform any maintenance. Once you’re done, you just clean the grill, switch it off and get on with your day.

If you are looking to purchase a grill for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities away from the home, taking a gas or solid fuel grill can be quite the challenge. These grills are often large and heavy, making them very difficult to transport. On the other hand, an electric grill is a compact and lightweight cooking solution that can be taken anywhere there is a power source without taking up massive amounts of space. Even if you’re only going to use it at home, you’ll still have the advantage of being able to store the grill without it taking over an entire cupboard

Top 5 Electric Outdoor Grills

Choosing an outdoor grill doesn’t need to be a headache and if you aren’t sure where to start, we have put together some reviews of what we consider to be the very best outdoor grills out there. Whether you’re looking for a large, high-end grill for the back garden or a portable grill that won’t break the bank, we’ve got your covered. 

What To Think About When Choosing An Electric Outdoor Grill

While we are confident in all of the electric grills we have discussed in this review, each one may not be suitable for all needs and that is why it is important to put a little thought into your purchase. Before you make a decision and settle on a grill, think about how you will use it, your budget and what you expect from the product. The following tips will help you make the right decision. 

Is It Portable

One of the first things you should think about when choosing an electric outdoor grill is where you want to use it. For many people, these appliances are the ideal accessory for a camping trip, a festival or any other kind of adventure. If this is the case, you are going to want to find something that is easy enough to pack into your vehicle and carry from place to place. 

The last thing you want is a heavy, bulky piece of equipment that turns a pleasant hike to your campsite into the trek from hell. 

On the other hand, if you’re only planning on using the electric grill on your patio when you have guests for a garden party, you’re a little more at liberty to buy something a little larger and heavier. The benefit of this is that the additional weight will likely make the grill more stable.

What Is The Grill Made From?

Depending on the quality of the grill, the base will either be made from heat resistant plastic or stainless steel. Of course, stainless steel is the superior choice but if you are working to a budget, you’ll find that grills with a plastic base are more affordable. You will have a durability compromise but if you’re careful with the grill, this shouldn’t be an issue. 

As well as considering the base material, you should also think about what the legs are made from. At a bare minimum you will want aluminium legs but for that extra bit of durability and stability, we would suggest looking for a grill with aluminium legs. Since the grill is going to be used outdoors, you need to make certain that any materials are water resistant and will not rust. 

You should also consider the material of the cooking plates. 9 times out of 10, these will be made from porcelain enamel on an electric grill which is a non-toxic material that promotes even cooking. What’s more, it is excellent for retaining heat and there is no risk of rust or corrosion which would be the case when using an iron grill. 

What Type Of Grill Do You Need?

The number of plates will depend on how large the electric grill is. For models that are much more akin to a BBQ, you’ll probably only have one set of plates, onto which you place your food. However, smaller models usually have two sets of plates, one at the base and a second set that is brought down on top of the food to cook it from both sides. 

If you’re going to be using the grill exclusively in the garden then you might opt for something larger. But if you need a portable grill, then the smaller, two plate grill is likely the better option. 

Size

We have already discussed the difference in size when it comes to the type of outdoor grill but you must also consider the size of the cooking surface. Primarily, you will want to think about how many people you intend on cooking for. There is very little point in buying a large, expensive grill when you’re only going to be making a few snacks for your and your other half. 

Conversely, if you’re ‘feeding the 5000’ then you’ll find that a smaller cooking surface simply makes the job much more time consuming.

Do You Have A Budget In Mind?

The great thing about electric grills is that they are one of the most affordable types of grill on the market. However, the cost of each one can vary significantly depending on size, quality and the brand. 

You could pick up a budget-friendly electric grill for under £50 but equally, you could spend over a thousand on a top of the range BBQ style grill. What’s important is that you set a budget and stick with it, looking for the best grill you can get within this range.

It’s also worth considering the running costs of the grill. One of the great benefits of an electric grill is that it uses the least fuel out of any type of grill. You won’t need to buy wood, charcoal or gas and the impact will be solely on your electric bill, which will barely be noticeable at between 15p and 30p per hour. 

Additional Features

While some electric grills offer a very basic function, there are others that are packed with features for the more discerning chef. It’s important to think about how you’ll use the grill and this will allow you to understand what you need it to be capable of. 

Among other things, you might expect to see any of the following additional features on your electric grill:

Non stick coating

Temperature regulation

Timers

Drip trays

Rotisserie features

Ease Of Use

The beauty of the electric grill is that it is so much easier to use than other types of grill. You’ll typically operate it with an on/off switch and a series of temperature controls. These grills heat up quickly so you won’t be left waiting around to get the party started. What’s even better is that this fast heat up is much safer if you have children or pets since there won’t be a hot grill left on for a long time; you can simply start it up when you’re ready to cook. 

Conclusion

An electric outdoor grill is a great way to bring your kitchen outside and enjoy the pleasure of al-fresco dining. Whether it’s entertaining family and friends on the decking or heading out on a camping trip and grilling under the stars, these grills are beautifully versatile. 

Safe, easy to use, convenient and portable, there isn’t much not to like about the electric outdoor grill. However, it is important not to get too gung-ho and excited and end up buying the first grill that appears in your search. You should spend some time getting to know the various features of any particular grill to check that it is suitable for your needs.

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