The Outdoor Electric Grill
Advantages and Disadvantages
An outdoor electric grill is an alternative to standard gas and charcoal grills. Everyone loves outdoor cooking, but sometimes using gas or charcoal can be a hassle. Having fuel available and taking the time to set up and start your fire can be annoying or take too much time for some of us. An electric grill solves some of the problems but is not ideal for some other reasons. Here I will give you an unbiased assessment of electric grills, their advantages and disadvantages, so that you can make an informed decision about what is best for your needs and cooking style.
Advantages of an Outdoor Electric Grill
- No Fuel Needed: One of the greatest advantages of an electric grill is that you don't need either a propane tank, charcoal or wood as a fuel. Because all you need is an electrical outlet, you have a continuous source of heat without any risk of loosing heat or running out of fuel (unless the power company shuts you off!). If you are tired of propane tanks going empty or lugging big bags of charcoal, then an electric grill might be a good option for you.
- Quick and Easy: Charcoal is pretty quick to start, particularly with a Charcoal Chimney or Electric Charcoal Starter. However, it does take some time and can get a bit messy and get coal dust all over your hands and clothes. For many people who prefer not to deal with this, an option is a gas grill. These are quick and easy to light as well. Probably the easiest of all is an electric grill. These simply plug in and turn on. They only take a few minutes to warm up so that your grill is ready for cooking!
- Less Mess: Charcoal and wood can get messy, but to get started as well as cleaning up all the leftover ash. Like gas grills, an electric grill does not have any leftover ash. It is clean and easy. You still have to clean up your cooking grate as with any grill, but otherwise there is no mess or hassle.
Disadvantages of an Outdoor Electric Grill
- You Need and Electrical Outlet: This may seem easy, but for some areas this may be a disadvantage. For example, if you use your grill in a backyard which is far from an electric outlet, it may be a pain to hook up a long extension cord to get power. Likewise, if you are grilling while camping or at a beach or park then you are unlikely to find an available outlet.
- No Wood Smoke Flavor: One of the glorious things about outdoor cooking is infusing your food with rich, savory wood smoke flavors! When cooking with good hardwood charcoal or firewood you get all that great natural smoke surrounding and cooking your food naturally. In a gas or electric grill, there is no wood smoke. It is like cooking food on your stovetop or in an electric oven. In both gas and electric grills you do have the option of adding a Smoker Box so that you can add Smoking Wood chips or chunks.
- Smaller Size on Average: On average, most outdoor electric grills are relatively small in size. There are exceptions, but if you are planning on cooking large meals for many people, these may not be sufficient unless you have more than one.
- Less Widely Available: While charcoal and gas grills are widely available everywhere you turn, finding a good electric grill is harder. Grill and barbecue specialists are your best bet to find them. GrillsDirect.com has an excellent selection of electric grills!
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