Electric outdoor grills are probably the simplest of all of the outdoor cooking options available today. You simply plug it in and start your grilling. As long as you have a power source, you are good to go.
There are plenty of options available to the consumer today in all sizes, shapes and designs. The big names in outdoor cooking, such as George Foreman, Weber and Meco, have recently changed the electric from a small, not very good alternative used by apartment dwellers on small balconies, to a viable second choice to the expensive gas or charcoal giant.
There are two main types of electric outdoor grills for you to consider – the contact grill and the open grill.
Contact grills are designed to sandwich your food between two hot plates. The George Forman grills are the most popular brand of these types of grills. These started out as — and are still most popular — as small units build to use indoors. But today’s larger, free-standing units give you option of using them outdoors, too.
They come in several shapes and sizes making them very convenient for almost everyone. You can have a grill big enough to fit on the counter top or a grill that rivals any other outdoor grill available. They are easy to clean up and are designed to look very complimentary (which may be important to some people.)
Open models have just one cooking surface, like a traditional gas or charcoal, and, in fact, are often designed similar to a traditional gas or charcoal model. They tend to smoke a little more than contact models and are therefore mostly made for outdoor use.
Electric coils cannot compete with the heat produced by the average gas or charcoal flame. So cooks should allow a little extra time for cooking.
When shopping for your electric outdoor grills consider these tips when making your selection.
- Choose a unit that has 1,000 to 1,500 watts of power. This is the ideal heat range to cook your food. Models that have less watts will take a very long time to cook your food — thus defeating one of the main advantages to using an electric: speed.
- Choose a size that fits your needs. Do not get a grill that can fit on your counter top space if you plan on grilling at tailgating parties with tons of friends and food. Likewise don’t buy a model that is too small if you have many mouths to feed. Think of all of you needs before selecting.
- Consider where you will be using and storing your grill. Transportation and closet or shed space should influence your final choice.
If you keep these points in mind when selecting your cooker, you will have an outdoor electric grill that you will be satisfied with for many years.