Top 5 Electric Grills for a Flawless Grilling Experience
Last updated: May 09, 2020
67Hours of Research
The scintillating aroma of grilled food can be hard to resist. Whether it’s chicken, pork chops, brisket, steak, kebabs, or even vegetables, every BBQ meal has its own special deliciousness. But let’s be honest. Not everyone has the space, time or cost to own and maintain a traditional gas or charcoal grill. Electric grills have emerged as one of the best inventions in terms of cooking appliances. Choosing the best electric grill allows you to enjoy the authentic grilling experience without battling the elements of flame or smoke. Electric grills are also very convenient to use, compact, affordable, and require very little maintenance.
To reduce your research time and help you make an informed and hassle-free decision, we have taken an in-depth look at some of the best electric BBQ grills in the market. We selected these top five electric grills based on our checklist of important features including temperature range and control, size, ease of use, power, warranty, and extra features they have. We paid special attention to cooking area, ease of cleaning, and overall grilling experience. While the electric grills in our review shine above the rest in the market, the Weber Q2400 Electric Grill is a class apart. With its large cooking area, temperature range, compactness and portability, it is easily our top recommendation as the best electric grill.
Top 5 Electric Grills Review 2020
Our meticulous research process included several dozen hours of testing indoor and outdoor electric grills, exploring customer reviews, reading articles from industry experts, and getting valuable insights from different manufacturers. All our research results are presented to you, our readers, in our comparison table, detailed product reviews, and in-depth buying guide, to help you choose a model to suit your needs.
Taking our Editor’s Choice spot is the Weber Q2400, a sleek and modern, yet powerful electric grill. Weber has consistently produced some of the best grills over the years, and the Q2400 Electric Grill is no exception to the company’s unwavering sense of innovation and quality.
With an impressive cooking area of 280-square inches, the Q2400 can be used to cook for a group of 4-5 people at once. The grill also boasts a massive 1,560 watts of power and can achieve very high temperatures up to 600°F – more than enough to cook up a variety of food including vegetables, chops and steaks, burgers, fruit and fish. The unit also comes equipped with infinite heat control settings that allow you to dial-up your desired temperatures for your food.
The Q2400 has a sturdy build, with a glass-reinforced nylon frame and an exterior made of heavy cast aluminum that makes it extra-durable, corrosion-resistant, and requiring little maintenance even with rigorous use. The grill’s cooking grates are made of porcelain-enameled cast-iron which prevents food from sticking to the cast iron grates, making cleaning easy and straightforward. Also, the use of aluminum heat retention liners allows for better distribution of heat, preventing cold or hot spots.
The grill is also easy to assemble and comes with a removable grease catch pan that can be replaced for a new one or cleaned for reuse.
The only major downside of the Q2400 is that it’s unsafe for indoor use because of the amount of smoke it produces. Some may also consider it expensive, but if you’re truly serious about grilling, this has to be your top choice for an outdoor electric grill.
The T-Fal OptiGrill XL has all the features you would expect from a grill in its price range and size, but it goes a step further with the addition of several unique and innovative features.
The OptiGrill XL has a sleek and stylish design, with the look of a panini press at first glance. Made of brushed stainless steel, the grill uses a clamshell design and hinge mechanism. Two ridged grilling plates form the upper and lower half of the clam, with a sturdy handle connecting both plates. The chunky handle also functions as a control panel, with a set of membrane buttons and indicators arrayed on it.
The grill gives you a cooking area of 124-square inches for 6–8 servings, and a heating component of 1,800 watts capable of delivering high temperatures, which makes it one of the best electric grills for steak. What sets the OptiGrill XL apart is its customizability. The grill comes equipped with nine different cooking programs, including burger, sausage, bacon, sandwich, red meat, fish, seafood, poultry, and pork. It also features automatic sensor cooking which allows you to simply place your food between the grates and select the type of meat you’re cooking. The grill will automatically sense its size and thickness, and cook it to your desired level of doneness.
The OptiGril also features two cooking modes: the Frozen food mode for cooking food directly from the freezer, and the manual mode with four adjustable heat settings for grilling fruits and vegetables.
The grill also comes with an instruction manual, and despite being packed with lots of features, it is surprisingly easy to clean. It may not be able to handle every type of meat, but the innovative design and automatic cooking features effectively makes it one of the best outdoor electric grills in the market.
Nine preset cooking programs
Easy assembly, operation and clean-up
Comes with Instruction manual and cooking guidelines
It’s hard to ignore the insanely popular George Forman grills when reviewing reliable and high quality electric grills. The brand, which was endorsed by former boxing champ, George Foreman is one of the pioneers of indoor grilling and is synonymous with fat-reduced and delicious BBQ dishes. Just like other George Foreman models, the GF0240S lives up to the company’s standards.
The GF0240S boasts an expansive cooking area of 240-square inches, giving you enough room to cook for more than 15 people at once. The grill is capable of achieving a maximum temperature of 500°F and has an adjustable temperature control feature that lets you choose from five preset temperature settings to achieve your desired cooking result.
The standout feature of the George Foreman GF0240S is the company’s patented fat-removing slope surface. This is one of the reasons why it is popular among health-conscious consumers. The slope is designed to allow excess fat and grease drain off from your food and into the drip tray so it doesn’t make a mess. The grilling surface itself is made of the classic George Tough nonstick coating which makes for effortless cleaning and reduces the need for oil or better when cooking.
Unlike most electric grills, the GF0240S can be used both indoors and outdoors because it doesn’t throw up as much smoke. It also comes with a sturdy removable stand which lets you use the unit on a patio or deck.
With its sturdy design, unique features, and ease of use, you have a grill for every occasion and certainly a great kitchen addition for everyone.
The Char-Broil Patio Bistro is one of the best electric BBQ grills in the market that ticks all the boxes for functionality, design, and quality. Like most Char-Broil products, this particular model has a stylish design, but don’t be fooled, you’re looking at a hardy machine.
The Patio Bistro gives you a massive 240 square inches of cooking space with an extra 80 square inch warming rack. That’s more than enough space to get the job done for 8–12 servings of hamburgers, steak, and more. The grilling plates are made of cast iron with porcelain coating making it durable, rust-resistant and easy to clean. The grill also features generously-sized collapsible side shelves that gives you extra space for preparing and storing your food, and is equipped with a removable dip tray for catching oil and grease.
The main distinguishing feature of the Patio Bistro is the TRU-Infrared technology. The TRU-Infrared cooking technology, which uses an infrared element placed between the heat source and the grates, allows for even radiation and distribution of heat to your food.
Although, the Patio Bistro comes with an instruction manual, it is not as easy to easy to assemble as other grills. However, it is easy to use and has two front wheels for easy transportation. It can achieve a maximum temperature of 450°F which is low compared to other top rated grills.
For a mid-priced electric grill, the Patio Bistro electric grill comes with several features that sets it apart from other grills. Aside from a few flaws and drawbacks, the Patio Bistro is a very functional and excellent grill despite its mid-range price.
Infrared Cooking Technology for even heat distribution
Excellent grilling performance
Wheels for added mobility
Modern and compact design
Great for patio grilling
Harder to assemble than other grills, with instructions not always clear
Loses heat quickly if lid is opened
Short five-foot power cord
Relatively long 15–20 minutes preheat time
Cleaning can be difficult despite porcelain-coated grilling plates
The final product in our review is the Presto Cool Touch. The grill is a simple indoor electric grill with basic, yet effective grilling functionality. Despite being moderately low-priced, it provides authentic grilling experience and delivers tasty and healthy food. It has an open-style and compact design and can be placed on a countertop or in a cupboard.
This tabletop electric grill features a cooking area of 13 x 19.25 x 3 inches, with a non-stick grilling surface, capable of cooking almost every type of food without hassle. The warming tray allows for even distribution of heat, coupled with a maximum temperature of 400°F and six adjustment levels, it can handle almost every cut of meat.
The grill has two cool-touch bases on its sides which prevents heat from getting to the surface of the table. The cooking plate is a little raised to allow fat drip away, and its non-stick surface means you can grill without adding butter or oil. It also features a removable drip tray which collects excess grease and juice from your food. The slide-out design of the drip tray allows for easy cleaning and the entire unit can be put in the dishwasher, albeit, after removing the heat control.
The Presto 09020 is one of the best indoor electric grills on the market, and is perfect for anyone with a small budget, but still want value for their money. It comes with outstanding features that sets it apart from other grills in the same price range.
Fully immersible and dishwasher safe
Specially designed spatula/scrapper included
Premium non-stick cooking surface
Drip tray for collecting excess grease and oil
Easy to use
Relatively small cooking surface
One year limited warranty
Designed for lightweight use
Cooking temperature is comparably low
While there can be no question about the benefits of electric grills, choosing a model that suits your particular needs can be a real challenge. This guide will assist you in making the right choice by helping you identify the important factors you should consider before buying one. We have covered everything from cooking area, power, and temperature range, to ease of use, cleaning times and assembly times. Our FAQs section will also provide you with insightful answers to commonly asked questions and help you overcome any obstacles in your purchasing journey.
Benefits of an electric grill, and how it compares with gas or charcoal
When grilling first became a trend decades ago, the only option people had were charcoal grills and gas grills. Fast forward to today and you have electric grills equipped with better features and functionality. An electric grill provides an inexpensive, time-efficient, and hassle-free way to prepare healthy and delicious BBQ dishes. Another benefit of electric grills is their convenience of use. They are compact, aesthetically designed and portably sized for use in even the smallest of spaces. They are also easy to clean as they mostly come with removable grill plates that can be washed in the dishwasher or simply cleaned with water and a clean dry cloth.
Electric grills such as the George Foreman GFO240S can be used both indoors and outdoors, bringing added versatility compared to charcoal and gas grills. This is because most electric grills do not emit large amounts of carbon monoxide and hazardous fumes. Reducing the intake of such compounds can also be beneficial for your health.
Apart from their versatility and environmental friendliness, electric grills optimize energy use and don’t take too much electricity to operate, making them an energy efficient and cost-effective way to cook.
Features to consider while choosing an electric grill
Electric grills come in different designs and sizes, and whether you’re a professional chef or just an outdoor BBQ enthusiast, your choice of product will depend on your specific needs. With that in mind, here are the important factors to consider when purchasing a new electric grill.
If you’re on the hunt for the best electric BBQ grill, it is important to know that there are two main types of electric grills – Open grill and Contact grill. There are advantages and advantages to both, and the type of grill that works for one person may not work so much for another.
An open grill uses a single grilling plate on which your food is placed and cooked. It works more like the traditional outdoor grill where you flip your food over to cook its other side. They are usually bigger in size and can be used to cook a huge variety of foods, including large cuts of meat and oddly shaped vegetables. The Weber Q2400, George Foreman GFO240S, and Char-Broil Patio Bistro employ this style in their design.
In contrast, contact grills are in contact with the food and presses against both sides. A contact grill employs two grilling plates – one bottom plate and the other acting like a lid – which allows for faster cooking and better distribution of heat. They are capable of achieving excellent grilling results and usually come in compact sizes. A good example of a contact grill would be the T-fal OptiGrill XL.
It is important to consider energy consumption since all electric grills use a heating element. Basically, your cooking time is determined by the wattage of your grill – the higher the wattage, the more the capacity to produce high temperatures and distribute heat more evenly. Small indoor electric grills are usually around 1,200 watts with the larger models designed close to 2,000 watts. The Presto 09020, which has 1,300 watts, is ideal if you only need to heat a small amount of food at once. If you’re after high-heat cooking, then you’ll need a more powerful electric grill such as the Weber Q2400 or the Char-Broil Patio Bistro.
There are lots of options in terms of the cooking area offered by electric grills, and it is obviously an important determining factor in whether or not a model is right for you. If you regularly host a large group or family, you’ll want to look for a model such as the Patio Bistro Q2400 that offers a surface area of 240 square inches. This will allow you to cook enough food for everyone and at the same time. Depending on how much food you’ll be cooking, you could opt for an electric grill such as the Presto 09020 indoor electric grill capable of cooking for smaller groups of two to four people at once.
Your choice will also hinge on your cooking intentions and the amount of space you have for storing your electric grill. The dimensions of each product varies according to the model and manufacturer. Most electric grills have their exact dimensions listed on their package. Before settling in on a model, you need to consider your existing kitchen setup and how much space you can devote to an indoor electric grill.
This is an area often overlooked but having a good warranty on your product means you can rest assured your electric grill will perform to your expectations. With a reliable warranty such as that of Weber Q2400 with a 5-year warranty, you can focus on making tasty BBQ dishes instead of constantly worrying about the state or condition of your grill.
How to maintain your electric grill
Electric grills are a great way to enjoy the goodness of grilled food, and while they are ease to use, maintaining one can be challenging if not properly done. Regardless of the model you purchase, you want it to last for several ears. Here are some important cleaning and maintenance practices to carry out to keep your electric grill in fine working order:
Clean your grill only after it has been powered off and allowed to cool.
Do not immerse the whole unit in water. Most electric grills have removable grilling plates that can be washed in the dishwasher or cleaned with a damp cloth.
Avoid cleaning your grilling plates with abrasive cleaners or metal scouring pads as it may damage the plate’s non-stick surface.
Clean your controller and power cord with warm soapy water and clean damp cloth. Never immerse in water.
You can skip the heating element during cleaning. If it’s necessary, wipe it with a soft cloth, but avoid scratching the surface.
Do not plug in your electric grill again after cleaning until it is perfectly dry.
If your grill has a removable bowl liner, you can remove excess grease by scraping with a plastic scrapper and washing with warm soapy water.
Perform cleaning from time to time to ensure it operates at its best and lasts longer.
This will depend on the model of your electric grill. Some electric grills are specifically designed for indoor use, while models such as the Q2400 and Patio Bistro are known for their outdoor functionality. Outdoor grills are usually more durable compared to their indoor compacts, and are designed to withstand the harsh outside conditions. Other models for example, the GFO240S can be used both indoors and outdoors. When investigating which model to purchase, check specifically to know whether it can be used outdoors or indoors. Just because a grill can be used indoors doesn’t mean it is suitable for outdoor use.
Using an extension cord with an electric grill is not recommended. This is because it has the potential to affect your grilling results as the power supplied to the grill will be reduced. If there is an absolute need for you to use an extension cord, be sure it of the shortest length possible and rated more than the watts of the appliance. Do not join two or more cords together and ensure it is labeled for outdoor use.
Cleaning an electric grill is an easy task but one that requires you to be careful. The first and most important thing to do is to disconnect it from the power source and allow it to cool down. Remove the grilling plate and the drip tray. You can clean the grates with a grill brush and wash with warmer soapy water. Then proceed with rinsing with water and drying with a clean cloth. Dispose of any excessive grease or oil on the drip tray and wash it with a wet sponge and dishwashing liquid. Rinse the drip tray thoroughly and allow it to air dry. Most of the parts of an electric grill are dishwasher safe so you can easily clean them in a dishwasher.
In our hunt for the best electric grills, we came across several products that are worthy of being in this review. However, the Weber Q2400 kicked the butt of every other product in the market. With its sturdy build, the Q2400 is designed for durability and functionality. It has a large cooking area and can grill even the thickest of chops.
Behind the Q2400 is the T-fal OptiGrill XL at a 9.6 rating. What we liked most about the OptiGrill is its unique design and features. The grill features automatic sensor cooking and comes preset with nine different cooking programs. It comes several other amazing features, and is one of the best indoor electric grills in the market.
The ever popular George Foreman is another contender for the best electric barbeque grill at a 9.5 rating. The GFO240S offers plenty of versatility as it can be used both indoors and outdoors. Its unique fat-removing slope is worth a mention, and overall, delivers authentic grilling experience.