Many folks think outdoor electric grills are not real grills, in the sense that they don't give you a real BBQ or grill experience. Well, once you have tried one out, you may change your mind!
Electric grills free you from the restrictions of using gas or charcoal. Have an extra 120V external outlet? Well my friend, you are in business! You'll have perfectly even heat at a fraction of the time as traditional charcoal grills.
Why would you want to get one of these electric grills? Well for starters, its a whole lot easier to clean then the gas or charcoal units. The surface of some models are sloped and ridged, so that all the excess grease melts away. Also, a non-stick coating will help you get it ready for your next cookout very quickly. If you live in an apartment, condo, co-op, or any place with a small or non-existent backyard, you'll still be able to use this grill.
Many outdoor electric grills pull double duty as a rotisserie cookers as well. Some models will even allow you to use wood chips or charcoal briquettes. Not a perfect solution to the classic smoky flavor of charcoal grills but for some, its an acceptable compromise.
Outdoor Electric Grill Construction:
A typical outdoor electric grill has an insulated interior. This is done to keep the generated heat inside the unit and concentrated on the meats. An internal heating element will typically put out upwards of 1000 watts, which is is sufficient to ensure your meats are evenly grilled.
Things to Consider:
Consider the amps required and available before plunking down your cash for these grills. If you are plugging your unit on an overloaded circuit, you will most likely trip the circuit breakers often. After a while, this can become very annoying!
If you plan on using your electric grill in the rain, don't. You may also trip the circuit breakers. This doesn't mean that the grills are not safe (the electrical components are usually sealed and UL listed). However, it is an electrical appliance. So it will be just plain safer to wait for the rain to pass before turning the grill on.
Another thing to consider is these units are not as popular as gas or charcoal grills. Your options will be somewhat limited to fewer manufacturers. However, the same checklist I have described in my gas and charcoal grill pages apply here. Check them out and you will have an idea of the capacity, features, and price you will find most appealing to you.