There’s something about al-fresco dining that just feels right. Maybe it’s a throwback to our ancestors who would have cooked over a roaring fire outside and indulged in social eating, or maybe it’s just an escape from the norm.
Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that an outdoor grill is an invaluable addition to your cooking arsenal. There are lots on the market, but this can often make choosing the right one the stuff of nightmares; where do you begin? Well, here is a good place since we have put together a list of five of the very best electric outdoor grills available at the moment. We’ll also be giving you some handy buying advice so you know exactly what to look for and how to get the best value for money.
Latest update: November 2021
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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.
OUR TOP PICK
Perhaps one of the most well-known names in the world of electric grills, you can feel confident that this George Foreman BBQ grill will deliver in terms of performance and quality. It’s great for those who have more versatile needs as it can be placed on a stand when cooking on the patio but can be used as a tabletop grill which is great for cooking on the go.
What’s great about this grill is that it has a generously-sized cooking surface that allows you to cook up to 15 portions at once. If you’re heavily into entertaining then this is great news as nobody will be waiting around to be fed.
Moreover, the non-stick plates are so easy to wipe clean when you are done so clean-up is a cinch. What’s more the plates are angled which causes any grease to move away from the food so you get crisp, delicious and healthy meals.
Large cooking surface
We couldn’t find anything wrong with this grill
Can be used with or without a stand
Good temperature regulation
Lightweight and portable
If there’s one thing that instantly catches your eye about this grill, it’s that it looks amazing. If you want your outdoor cooking space to be stylish then we’d highly recommend this grill. Of course, looking good is one thing, but how does the grill perform? Well, it’s good news, the Electriq compact outdoor BBQ grill heats up quickly and has a range of temperature settings for more versatile cooking options.
What’s more, this grill features a warming rack and a side shelf so you’ve got everything you need to create an outdoor kitchen while remaining compact. While this is a smaller grill, you’ll still get a good amount of food on it at once (up to 12 burgers) so it’ll work well for intimate gatherings and slightly larger get-togethers.
The grill sits on a stand that is incredibly stable making it safer if you have children or pets around. Moreover, the quality of the materials is excellent and while the cooking surface isn’t non-stick, it is pretty resistant so you’ve got something that’ll last a long time.
Heats up quickly (15 minutes)
Good sized cooking surface
Challenging to assemble
Shelves and warming rack included
BEST FOR SMALL FAMILIES
If it’s just you, your partner and a couple of kids then you aren’t going to need a ginormous grill taking over your patio or picnic spot. Instead, a more compact design like this one from KCZAZY is your best bet. You still have more than enough space to cook a meal for everyone without wasting energy heating up a large grill.
This is also a great choice if you’re on the go, perhaps camping or out for a day trip. When you’re done, the grill comes apart so that everything can be washed, and many of the components are dishwasher safe!
The controls are beautifully easy to use and feature an LED display. The smart controls are there to perfectly regulate the temperature so you don’t waste energy. Everything is also covered by a glass lid so you can monitor the food while it cooks without the risk of fat splashing and causing an injury;another excellent family friendly feature.
1 year warranty and 30 day money back guarantee
Not suitable for larger groups of people
Portable and compact
Easy to clean
Safety features such as a lid
Smart temperature regulation
Inexpensive, very simple and lightweight, this Uco Flatpack barbecue is made from easy-clean stainless steel.
When closed, it fits easily into a backpack, and the cooking area is just right for four burgers.
BEST FOR GARDEN PARTIES
If you love playing host but find that you spend more time cooking than you do entertaining your guests then the problem may be that you aren’t able to cook enough food at one time. That problem will be easily solved with the XXL grill that is ideal for those garden parties and BBQs.
The CASART grill boasts a simple tabletop design and sits on two small, stable legs. The materials are excellent quality and what’s more, they’re super durable so you’ve got a grill that will stand the test of time.. Food won’t stick and cleaning the grill is quick and easy when you’re done cooking.
This grill is very easy to use and comes with a temperature control dial making it great for cooking different types of food. You’ll also find that the cooking surface heats up very quickly so there’s no waiting around to start tucking in.
Great for larger parties
May be difficult to transport owing to the size
Easy to clean
Heats up quickly
High quality materials
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.
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.
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
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.
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.