Electric grills have evolved greatly in recent years, you can find several models these days that are worth your money. On top of that, most of them aren’t that expensive, so if for any reason you can’t afford getting a full-sized charcoal grill or gas grill, you will certainly find a very good outdoor electric grill for decent money.
Don’t know what to pay attention to? No problem, below you will find all the information on buying your first electric grill. If you don’t have time to read the whole article, I recommend checking out the table where you will find all the models recommended by me.
An electric grill will never have the authentic BBQ flavor that you can get with a charcoal or gas grill ( with a smoker box ).
Its unquestioned advantage, though, is the fact that you can use it not only outdoors but indoors as well.
On top of that, most models are small enough to not take much space in the backyard or are good for people going on a trip ( as long as you will have access to electricity where you’re going ).
This type of grill is also a good choice for those who want a very easy to use grill. Their another huge advantage is the speed of preheating, after just few minutes from starting them you can begin cooking.
I invite you to check out my suggestions below – there aren’t many of them, but I’m more about quality than quantity. Of course, just like with any other of my guides, you will find models categorized by price here as well so that everyone can find the right thing for themselves regardless of their budget.
Best Electric Grills 2019 - Comparison Table
Weber Q2400 Electric Grill
280 sq. in.
George Foreman 15-Serving
240 sq. in.
Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro
240 sq. in.
How did I pick the best ones ?
Electric grills aren’t quite so popular which is why analyzing the entire offer available at stores wasn’t as time-consuming a task as with many other, definitely much more popular types of grills.
Of course once in a while I check out stores’ offers so that I don’t miss something new. So I started my search with a thorough analysis of offers at stores, it is a process where I take into account such aspects as price, quality, functionality, size and finally the price to quality ratio.
That’s how I chose several models and divided them into different price ranges. I always do it this way as it would be pretty unfair to compare an expensive model with a very cheap one. On top of that, choosing several models out of different price ranges gives a better selection for someone looking for a new electric grill.
How did I test?
After all of that comes the time for the only way to verify each of the grills in reality, which is the practical tests. This is how I find out all the advantages and disadvantages of each model and evaluate all of its aspects while cooking.
So I start by getting each of the grills prepared ( assembly etc ). Then I start them and set the timer so that I can see how fast they can reach the right temperature for cooking. Then the next step is actually cooking different types of meat, ( mostly steaks, hamburgers, wieners, chicken wings and veggies ).
Once I’m done cooking I start evaluating the results and cleaning up. At this stage I compare all the models and pay attention to their functionality and useful gadgets. The knowledge obtained during practical tests allowed me to write objective reviews for the following outdoor electric grills.
1. Best Overall Weber Q2400 Electric Grill
One of the more expensive electric grills and also one of the most reliable models. The electric Weber Q is the undisputed leader in this category, a high quality model that meets the requirements of even the most demanding individuals. Its relatively high price ( compared to the competitors ) is fully adequate to the quality of workmanship.
Available in two sizes, it’s a good solution if you need a smaller, more mobile model to go camping or on a trip with.
Otherwise, I recommend buying the bigger version, which doesn’t cost much more while offering a much bigger cooking area.
The basic version is available without the stand which is a small downside as you need a stable surface to put your grill on in order to start cooking. However, it is possible to buy the stand separately and you can fold it and hide away anytime you want. A very neat solution if you don’t have much space and simply wish to be able to easily store the grill and the stand away after you’re done cooking.
Another huge upside is the aluminum lid and body. It ensures durability of the structure even when it’s used in “field” conditions ( aluminum is rust-resistant ).
On top of that, the package includes porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates that offer 280 square inches of cooking area.
In this model, I was pleasantly surprised with many things – ease of use, the quality of workmanship, easy assembly, quick preheating, evenly spread heat and results of cooking. At first glance, the price might be a downside, but after few days of cooking on this grill I can say that it is 100% worth its price.
Weber Q2400 is a very convenient and efficient electric grill that I can recommend to everyone who for some reason cannot have a charcoal, pellets or gas grill. I also really advise to buy a Q Portable Cart, it is sold separately but it’s a good idea to buy it.
2. Budget Pick George Foreman 15-Serving
A phenomenal electric grill for such a low price. A suggestion for those who have a very limited budget, but still dream of something efficient and functional. That is exactly what George Foeman 15-sering is, offering 240 square inches of cooking area.
The structure is small-sized and thought-out enough to only take a very small area. If you wish to grill on the balcony of your apartment then it’s absolutely possible with this model. There is also an option of removing the stand which makes it possible to use this model as an indoor grill.
Of course nothing can obviously beat a stationary full-sized grill, but if you have limited space or aren’t allowed to use propane/charcoal grills then George Foreman 15-Serving will be a good choice for you. Perfect for cooking around urban spaces of small area ( balconies, terraces etc ).
A small downside is the grease draining system, the canal of which is located at the center of the grill grates. Of course it is a necessary system, but the placement of this canal means that you can’t put food in the middle. It often happens that the canal can get clogged with a large amount of grease stuck in the middle which results in the meat located at the center of the grill grates at the time getting soggy.
It is definitely not an investment for eternity and in many regards it is a model inferior to Weber Q2400. You have to remember, though, that George Foreman 15-Serving is available for a several times lower price. It is probably one of the cheapest electric grills that is also relatively small, very efficient and functional.
For this kind of money I can honestly recommend it to everyone. It is fast, efficient, easy to clean, easy to use and most of all very cheap.
3. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro
The only model in this guide that resembles a full-sized ( gas ) grill quite a bit in appearance. However, it is an electric grill that offers whole 240 square inches of the main cooking area and 80 square inches of a warming rack.
It is possible to fold up the side shelves, which gives a whole lot of work space when cooking.
When it comes to the most important thing, which is efficiency and results of cooking, everything is at a decent level. It is certainly easy to use, efficient and not very difficult to clean. Plenty of people complain about complicated assembly, or rather about the very poor assembly manual.
Sadly, although ambitious and pretty well thought-out, the design is still not exactly successful in my view. Most of us will likely be satisfied, but more demanding people might be disappointed.
It’s not the kind of quality of workmanship or efficiency you can find in the competitive Weber Q2400, although you have to remember about the huge difference in prices. If I were looking for a durable and reliable electric grill that I would cook on very often, I’d rather increase the budget and buy the Q2400 model.
Char-Broil Patio Bistro is a model that in my view is not an investment for years. It’s a decent grill that will serve its purpose very well when it comes to cooking. I do have considerable doubts, however, when it comes to its durability few years down the road. A large upside at this kind of price and size are the foldable side shelves as well as the stand and the wheels ( in competitive models you often have to pay a lot extra for this type of additions ).
Even though an electric grill will never let you get a food flavor as good as in other types ( mostly charcoal, pellets and gas ), it doesn’t mean that it is a bad type of grill. It is not a symbol of the true BBQ either, but it is certainly a great middle ground for many people who don’t have the ability to cook on a real full-sized grill.
There are many places where popular charcoal or propane grills are forbidden, usually in cities. Which is exactly the kind of situations where an electric grill is a great solution as you can use them in places where other types of grills are banned. Another huge advantage is the ability to cook on apartment balconies or small patios.
Even though outdoor electric grills aren’t extremely popular, there is still always a problem when we want to buy something new. A beginner never knows what to pay attention to or has no time to compare different models. That’s exactly why this guide was made which includes all the necessary information required to choose a new electric grill. I recommend reading the below tips as they will help you make an informed final choice.
What to pay attention to ?
Generalizing is actually pretty hard which is why I try to present many different objective facts. I am perfectly aware that there are poor people and rich people as well as beginners or those who cook few times a week. Each of those people has their own requirements and expectations which is why it’s hard to help everyone in a single guide.
Why an electric grill?
Convenience and ease of use – Without a doubt it takes away problems like getting the charcoal burning or removing the ash. Doesn't matter if it’s your first time cooking something, an electric grill is very easy to use. Just turn it on and crank the temperature knob all the way up, then wait 20-30 minutes and you can start cooking. When it comes to cleaning, all you have to do is remove the grease and other food remains.
It is not subject to limitations – Many places, for safety reasons, don’t allow cooking on grills like charcoal ones or any other type that generates flames and large amounts of smoke. For those who love grilling, one solution to the problem is using an electric grill. It can be used without problems in places like apartment balconies in cities.
Doesn’t take much space – Almost every electric grill is relatively small compared to a full-sized grill. On top of that, most models are equipped with foldable stands or side shelves which increases their mobility. Such thought-out structures are perfect for those who wish to save some space. After each cooking you can easily fold down the stand or the side shelves and put the grill away, gaining more space in a place like the balcony.
Lack of real flavor – You will never get the kind of flavor and being done in a meat from an electric grill like with a charcoal one for example. Electricity doesn’t generate valuable smoke or direct heat which has a great impact on food. Surprisingly though, I have to admit that food from an electric grill is still very tasty.
Lack of true BBQ – It is certainly not the kind of grill for those who love true BBQ. There’s nothing to do around this kind of grill, it is a simple device that makes it possible to cook simple food fast and easily. The whole cooking process that is present in other classical grills is not there ( getting the charcoal burning, temperature control, air vent control etc ).
It requires constant access to a power source – If something goes wrong ( like a blackout ) the grill becomes useless. When bringing the grill along on a trip, you also need to make sure if you’re going to have a reliable constant access to electricity.