Cuisinart Griddler GR-4N
Cuisinart Griddler GR-4N

Best indoor grill

There's nothing the Cuisinart Griddler GR-4N can't do. It heats up quickly and gets hot enough to sear most meats. The removable, reversible non-stick cooking plates can go straight into the dishwasher for easy cleanup. The floating hinge on the lid allows you to use the GR-4N for everything from paninis to thick hamburgers, or flip the cooking plates over to turn this unit into a griddle.

image
Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler, Silver, Black Dials
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $185.00 $89.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill
George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill

Best indoor/outdoor grill

If you can't make up your mind whether you want to cook indoors or out, do both with the George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill. Owners love its in-lid temperature gauge and the removable pedestal, which makes it easy to switch from outdoor mode to indoor tabletop mode. The slanted grill plates, meant to let extra grease roll off the food, are another popular feature with users.

$94.94
Buy Now
Broilking Professional Griddle PCG-10
Broilking Professional Griddle PCG-10

Best electric griddle

The Broilking Professional Griddle gets rave reviews from experts and owners for its even heat distribution, simple cleanup and removable backsplash. It has a solid, non-stick aluminum griddling surface heats up quickly and gives you consistent, dependable results every time. The Broilking PCG-10 is also very easy to clean, and the 21-inch-by-12-inch cooking surface is big enough to cook for a crowd. It's also available without the backsplash.

Presto Big Griddle Tilt 'n Drain 07046
Presto Big Griddle Tilt 'n Drain 07046

Cheap electric griddle

The Presto Tilt 'n Drain 07046 is a great bargain if you're willing to tolerate the occasional inconsistency in heat levels. The cooking surface accommodates up to a dozen small pancakes and the tilt 'n drain feature is a particular hit: The griddle sits flat for cooking; pull out on the handles and it tilts forward for cleaning. Pushing the handles in returns the griddle to its flat orientation.

$47.03
Buy Now
Cuisinart Griddler GR-11
Cuisinart Griddler GR-11

Best Panini Press

The Cuisinart Griddler GR-11 is an ace at producing crisp, golden-brown sandwiches with evenly melted meat and cheese. Flip the lid open and it becomes a conventional grill; the only downside is a small cooking area that's best suited for cooking one sandwich at a time. Its adjustable heat is a nice perk on a panini maker, and the removable, interchangeable plates can go straight into the dishwasher.

image
Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $49.99
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
Char-Broil Patio Bistro
Char-Broil Patio Bistro

Best outdoor grill

Not only does the Char-Broil Patio Bistro electric grill give barbecue lovers the aesthetic of a charcoal grill, it also provides more than 600 degrees of meat-searing temperature after a short warm-up. It's one of the largest electric grills we found, with 320 square inches of cooking area, perfect for entertaining. A two-wheeled cart, lid-mounted temperature gauge, and removable warming rack round out the Patio Bistro's features.

COMPARE PRODUCTS
See a side-by-side comparison of key features, product specs, and prices.

Electric grills let condo owners and apartment dwellers keep on cooking

Barbecue purists might have a hard time letting go of their gas or charcoal grills (which we cover in a separate report), and for good reason: The fuel is an integral part of the cooking process, searing the food and imparting a rich, smoky flavor. But if you don't have the space for a conventional grill or if they're prohibited by your apartment or condo association, electric grills can give you that outdoor cooking experience, without the risks inherent in playing with fire. Electric grills are getting better than ever at searing flavor into your favorite vegetables and meats; some models can even multitask as panini makers or griddles. Most can be used indoors or out.

Electric grills also offer a whole new world of convenience: No more struggling to light the charcoal, worrying about gas pressure in cold weather, or refilling propane tanks. Just plug the grill in and, after a short warmup period, you're ready to go. Some even have removable cooking plates that can go straight into the dishwasher for easy cleanup, a feature that busy cooks really love.

The best electric grills are true cooking machines, so you won't find many complicated bells and whistles here. However, a few simple features come in handy on any grill, such as an in-lid temperature gauge. Because they don't have a lid, contact grills don't need a temperature gauge; but they should have an adjustable temperature dial, and a go-ahead light to let you know when that temperature has been reached.

Types of electric grills

Outdoor electric grills look very much like traditional gas or charcoal grills with a domed lid and a grate that you put the food on. They are heated by a heating element that is underneath the grates. With these, you flip the food, just as you do with a regular grill. The big difference is that they tend to be much easier to clean -- many of these grills have removable grates that you can pop right into the dishwasher.

Indoor electric grills are usually contact grills that close to cook the meat from top and bottom at the same time -- in other words, both the bottom surface and the lid get hot -- the food is placed between them and the lid both flattens and cooks the items. Contact grills will cook things like burgers in half the time of traditional grilling as both sides cook at once -- there's no flipping. This type of grill completely isolates the heating element from your food, eliminating the risk of flare-ups that could pose a fire hazard indoors. These can be used outdoors as well, as a tabletop grill, as long as you have an outlet to plug it into.

Electric griddles are very handy for cooking items like pancakes, toasted cheese sandwiches, French toast or fried eggs -- anything that you want to place on a flat cooking surface. The most important characteristic of electric grills is even, consistent heating across the entire surface. Cooking space matters, too; after all, you don't want to cook bacon for a family of six just a couple strips at a time.

Panini presses, also known as sandwich presses, usually have "floating" lids that are connected with special hinges that can be adjusted to be placed evenly atop the upper piece bread. Both sides of the grill should radiate enough heat to melt the sandwich's filling, even in the center, while evenly browning the outside of the bread. The best panini presses can also be flipped open to act as a normal grill, or to cook other items

If you just want a little more indoor cooking space or need a simple, versatile cooking solution on the road, our report on electric skillets may be your best option. But if you want the best in quick, convenient and high-performance electric grills, you've come to the right place.

How we found the best electric grills

In order to find the very best electric grills, griddles and panini makers, editors evaluate test results and expert reviews from professional test kitchens, like Cook's Illustrated, FineCooking.com and FoodandWine.com, as well as roundups from the grilling experts at BBQGuys.com and AmazingRibs.com. We then factored in the results of thousands of user reviews posted online at retail sites such as Amazon.com and Walmart.com. Ultimately, everybody was looking for the same thing: Even, consistent heat that was strong enough to sear thick hamburgers or cuts of meat. The electric grills we recommend in this report will do that and more.

Elsewhere in this report:

Best Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grills | Best Electric Griddles | Best Panini Press | Buying Guide | Our Sources

Back to top