Electric Grill Reviews

Editor's note:
After several years of growing popularity, the Weber Q-2400 electric grill has finally hit best reviewed status in its category, thanks to true searing capability and a solid build. The rest of our categories are ruled by perennial favorites, beloved for their fast heating and great return on value.
 
Weber Q-2400
Specs that Matter
Cooking area - 280 sq. in.Max. temp. - 600+ degreesWarranty - 2-5 yrs. on components
Best Reviewed
Best outdoor electric grill
Weber Q-2400

The Weber Q-2400 gets the closest to real gas or charcoal searing of any electric grills we evaluated. It boasts and impressive build quality, temps adjustable enough to handle everything from veggies to meat, the ability to sear, and enough oomph to quickly recover heat lost when you open the lid.

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Weber 55020001 Q 2400 Electric Grill
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from Amazon.com
New: $349.00 $299.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
George Foreman GFO240S
Specs that Matter
Cooking area - 240 sq. in.Max. temp. - 400 degreesWarranty - 3 years
Best Reviewed
Best indoor/outdoor grill
George Foreman GFO240S

If you can't decide between cooking indoors or outdoors the George Foreman GFO240S gives you the best of both worlds, thanks to a design that prevents dangerous flare-ups indoors. Users love the in-lid temperature gauge and the sloped grilling surface that drains grease away from your food. This grill is also surprisingly durable.

Hamilton Beach 25360
Specs that Matter
Cooking area - 118 sq. in.Max. temp. - 450 degreesWarranty - 1 year
Best Reviewed
Best indoor grill
Hamilton Beach 25360

If you just need a small indoor grill, the Hamilton Beach 25360 is perfect. This contact grill eliminates any concern about flare-ups and the hood swings down to help control grease splatter. Sear performance may be a lacking but it locks in flavor and is small enough to tote around for tailgating parties.

Broilking Professional Griddle PCG-10
Specs that Matter
Cooking area - 252 sq. in.Max. temp. - 450+ degreesWarranty - 2 years
Best Reviewed
Best electric griddle
Broilking Professional Griddle PCG-10

The mighty BroilKing Professional Griddle PCG-10 offers enough cooking space to feed a small army. This griddle's heavy-duty construction and consistently accurate heat have made it the darling of experts and owners alike. The BroilKing's ceramic non-stick surface cleans up easily, and features a removable backsplash to guard against grease splatter.

Presto 07030 Cool Touch
Specs that Matter
Cooking area - 215.25 sq. in.Max. temp. - 400 degreesWarranty - 1 year
Runner Up
Cheap electric griddle
Presto 07030 Cool Touch

The Presto 07030 Cool Touch griddle is a great value for those who don't need an electric griddle very often. It heats up quickly and offers lots of cooking space. This inexpensive griddle is surprisingly durable too, and dishwasher safe, if it fits. Users say that a few small quirks are easily managed.

Electric grills are getting closer to "real" grilling

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 any of 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 multitask as panini makers or griddles, and some can even be brought inside to cook in the kitchen.

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

These 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/Outdoor

Indoor/outdoor electric grills look very much like outdoor-only grills, but with a sealed heating element that make them safe for indoor use. These are the most versatile type, because you can use them on the patio in nice weather, and in the kitchen during the winter. Like traditional grills and outdoor electric grills, you flip the food, but it cooks on grates that are usually removable for cleaning.

Indoor

Indoor-only 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 those surfaces, and the lid both flattens and cooks the items. Contact grills will cook things like burgers in half the time of traditional grilling because 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 electrical outlet within reach.

Electric Griddles

These flat cooking surfaces are very handy for cooking items like pancakes, toasted cheese sandwiches, French toast or fried eggs. 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. 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.

Finding The Best Electric Grills
Our Sources1. Cook's Illustrated
Electric Griddles2. Popular Mechanics
Balcony BBQ: We Test 5 Hot Outdoor Electric Grills3. About.com
Top Electric GrillsSee All

In order to find the very best electric grills and griddles, we evaluated test results and expert reviews from professional test kitchens like Cook's Illustrated, and hands on tests by the likes of Popular Mechanics. These reviews are on the old side, but the products they address are still in production, the hands-on testing was of very high quality, and the expert opinions still more or less line up with feedback from real-world users; so we feel they're still valid and useful.

We also factored in feedback from die-hard barbecue and cooking experts at About.com, AmazingRibs.com and Delishably.com. Finally, we also consulted thousands of user reviews posted online at retail sites such as Amazon.com, HomeDepot.com and BestBuy.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.

You can grill outdoors without fire

Our Best Reviewed electric grill for outdoor use is the hefty Weber Q-2400 (Est. $300). This model and its little brother, the Weber Q-1400 (Est. $250), are the sturdiest, hottest and most reliable models we evaluated, easily producing the 600-plus-degree heat it takes to sear a steak just like a gas grill does. They also pack enough oomph to quickly restore the heat lost when you lift the lid to check or turn the meat.

This grill draws lots of praise from expert reviewers at AmazingRibs.com and Delishably.com for its great build quality, even heating and high temperatures, as long as you follow the manufacturer's instructions to preheat the grill for 20 minutes before adding any food. One test from Popular Mechanics found that of all the small balcony grills tested, the Weber Q series gave the best grill flavor on hamburgers.

Owners agree, giving both models in the Q series top marks for their great searing. They also like how easy it is to clean the heavy-duty porcelain-coated cast iron grates, which offer 280 square inches of cooking space on the Q-2400 (189 square inches for the Q-1400). All Weber Q Series grills are covered by at least a two-year warranty, although some parts receive five years of coverage. We don't anticipate any problems, though, because both users and experts agree that every component of these heavy-duty, cast-aluminum grills is built to last.

If you don't want to use your Weber Q-2400 as a tabletop grill, Weber offers a rolling cart, the Weber 6557 (Est. $70), that may make the grill easier to use and store. The same cart also fits the Weber Q-1400.

Our runner-up for best outdoor electric grill is the Char-Broil Patio Bistro (Est. $200). With its small two-wheeled cart and domed lid with built-in temperature gauge, the Patio Bistro looks like a conventional charcoal grill; give it 10 to 20 minutes of warming time and it'll cook as hot as a charcoal grill, too. Its infrared heating element (think the glowing coil in an electric oven) can easily drive interior temperatures up to 600 degrees -- more than enough heat to sear steaks.

Thousands of happy owners are surprised at how well this electric grill performs, resulting in food that's still juicy, not dry or rubbery. It's particularly popular with apartment dwellers who can't (or don't want to) deal with fire issues on a small patio or deck.  Many say they feel as if they're still cooking on a "real" grill.

The Patio Bistro also draws props from Derrick Riches, the long-time barbecue and grilling expert from About.com, for being one of the largest electric grills on the market; he says it's small enough to fit on most balconies, but its 240 square inches of cooking area (plus 80 inches of warming area) give you enough space to cook for four people at a time. Ease of use for the triangle-shaped bars in the porcelain grate can be a problem, though; we found mixed reviews for how easy (or more to the point, difficult) they are to clean, even though they're dishwasher safe (if they fit).

That said, users love the removable warming rack for keeping leftovers warm. Customers say the Char-Broil's rolling cart assembles easily but if you already have a table or pedestal for storing the Patio Bistro you can just purchase a tabletop version, the Char-Broil Patio Bistro 180 Grill (Est. $130).

Indoor/outdoor electric grills are highly versatile

If you're on the fence about whether to do your cooking indoors or outdoors, the George Foreman GFO240S (Est. $80) indoor/outdoor electric grill is a favorite, with thousands of happy owners who say it allows them to have an authentic grilling experience no matter their space or the weather conditions. This George Foreman grill can mount on a detachable pedestal for outdoor use, or function as a tabletop unit for indoor use. It does create some smoke -- user reviews vary on exactly how much -- but is safe to use indoors because the heating element is completely isolated from the grill, so you don't have to worry about flare-ups that could pose a fire risk.

The George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor grill comes in two sizes -- a 12-serving or 15-serving version -- with 200 to 240 square inches of cooking area respectively. Both versions also come with an in-lid temperature gauge, variable temperature control, and of course the George Foreman trademark sloped grilling surface that funnels grease away from your food.

We found a little bit of mixed feedback about this grill -- About.com barbecue expert Derrick Riches says its preheat times are long and overall heat output low -- but we feel that the hundreds of happy users who say their George Foreman indoor/outdoor electric grill gets plenty hot outweighs that opinion. Sure, it may not sear quite like a fire-based grill, but it still does a good job on steaks and other cuts of meat as long as you preheat it and don't crowd the food together. It also tends to outlive its three-year limited warranty: We found several reviews from users who've had their George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor electric grill for more than a decade.

An indoor-only grill can be used anywhere

If you live in an apartment building with very strict rules about grilling, even with electric appliances, you can probably still use our best-rated indoor grill, the Hamilton Beach 25360 (Est. $70) searing grill. The Hamilton Beach searing grill is designed specifically for use in the kitchen, with a 450-degree sear function that users say really does lock in flavor on everything from fajitas to steaks and burgers, even if it doesn't always create the dark sear marks you'd get from a hot outdoor grill.

Owners also like the swing-down hood that helps control grease splatter -- some customers mistake that hood for the top half of a panini press, but it doesn't contact your food at all -- and although the 118 sq. in. cooking area isn't much, they say they can still cook a few hamburgers at a time.

The Hamilton Beach Searing Grill's removable cooking plate is dishwasher safe, at least in theory; but we found quite a few user reviews saying that the non-stick finish came off, or the plate itself corroded, when cleaned in the dishwasher. You can cut down on the damage by not using a sanitize or heated drying cycle, but most prefer to simply wipe down the grill plate with a damp rag after every use. As long as you take this step, customers have no other complaints about the searing grill's durability. It's covered by a one-year limited warranty.

We found mixed reviews on how smoky the Hamilton Beach 25360 gets, ranging from no smoke at all to creating a cloud of smoke and smell that takes some time to go away. Just in case, use it near your over-stove venting fan until you see how it performs with your food of choice.

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Weber 55020001 Q 2400 Electric Grill
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $349.00 $299.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Weber 52020001 Q1400 Electric Grill
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $249.00 $227.50   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Weber 6557 Q Portable Cart for Grilling
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from Amazon.com
New: $68.99 $67.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Electric Grill, Gloss Black
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $199.99 $112.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Char-Broil TRU Infrared Electric Patio Bistro 180 Grill
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $118.24 $92.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Hamilton Beach 25360 Indoor Flavor/Searing Grill
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from Amazon.com
New: $89.99 $46.78   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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