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Sometimes you just can't have a full sized gas grill or charcoal grill. That's when you have to rely on an outdoor electric grill. Electric grills have been getting better and better in recent years and while they may not have the flavor of charcoal, they can do a pretty good job at grilling a steak. These electric grills are the best on the market and span a price range from around $50 to over $800 depending upon size, style, and accessories.
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Kenyon Electric City Grill
This small grill is approved for both outdoor and indoor use, so you can take it out to the balcony or patio when the weather permits, or use it on your kitchen countertop when heat, hail, snow or wind make outdoor cooking less appealing — or for those days when you don’t want to jog in and out to cook the burgers outdoors while the sauces simmer on the stove.
This heats to a whopping 600 degrees in just ten minutes, so you’ll be searing steaks while your neighbors are still waiting for their charcoal to light. The heat is efficient, too, since the heating element is in direct contact with the cooking surface. A disposable drip tray is included and is easily replaceable. Fill it with water to catch drips and minimize smoking, or fill it with broth, juice or other flavorful liquids to add extra flavor to your food.
The digital touchpad lets you choose one of eight different cooking temperatures so you can sear your steak on high, then finish them at a lower temperature. For safety, the grill turns off automatically after 60 or 90 minutes, depending on the heating choice, so you won’t accidentally leave it on when cooking is done. The bottom and sides of the grill stay cool enough during cooking that you can set it on any surface without worries about heat damage.
This is easy to clean when cooking is done since the grill grates and lid are removable and dishwasher safe. For even more versatility, an optional griddle is available, sold separately, so you can cook your bacon, eggs and pancakes for breakfast.
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Weber Q-1400 Electric Grill
Weber has become synonymous with charcoal grills, but this little electric model breaks that mold with its 1560 watt heating element that provides the power for searing steaks, grilling burgers, and cooking kabobs. This has a total of 189 square inches of cooking space and porcelain enameled cooking grates that are easy to clean while providing impressive grill marks.
Cooking is just as easy as on your stove, since the temperature is infinitely adjustable. You can turn up the heat to sear your steaks, then turn it down to gently cook your delicate fish. A removable catch pan makes this easy to clean when you’re done cooking.
The lid and body of the grill are cast aluminum and the frame is glass-reinforced nylon, so this grill is light enough to be easily portable, while still durable and easy to keep clean. The 6-foot grounded cord is long enough to reach a handy outlet on your patio, while still short enough to be safe.
This arrives fully assembled, so you can take it out of the box and start cooking dinner right away. An optional cart is sold separately, so you can convert this from a tabletop grill to a taller free-standing grill that you can roll across the patio with ease.
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Livart Orange BBQ Grill
Small but powerful, this inexpensive little indoor/outdoor electric grill is designed for Yakitori-style cooking but does so much more. The open grill design and water pan to catch grease give this grill as authentic a style and flavor as can be had with an electric grill that is also easy to clean up. The cooking area is slightly over 100 square inches so it won't handle more than about two burger patties at a time. The cooking area is perfect however for small cuts of meat on skewers (hence the Yakitori design), and big enough for two people regardless of what they want.
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George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill
Built like an outdoor electric grill, this George Foreman can also be used as an indoor grill. This is because of the complete separation of the 1600 Watt heating element and the cooking surface. Like other George Foreman grills, grease is channeled away, this time down the center of the cooking grate to a nonstick grease catcher. Don't be fooled by the hype, however, this grill is as lean as any other grill and not nearly as mean as most electric grills. Preheat times are long and the heat output is low. On the other hand, this is one of the least expensive electric outdoor grills you can buy, and it is built like it too.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Char-Broil TRU Infrared Electric Patio Bistro 240
Small but mighty, this electric infrared grill looks a lot like a gas grill, but will never require that emergency dash to the store when you run out of fuel. Just plug it in and the 1750 watt burner is ready to grill your brats, burgers and more. The infrared cooking system heats quickly with fewer flare-ups, and the radiant heat provides even cooking. Temperature control is easy, with a simple dial, just like your home stove. An integrated thermometer lets you check the temperature at a glance.
This has 240 square inches of primary cooking space, plus 80 square inches of space on a raised grid that’s perfect for keeping foods warm after cooking, or for heating your burger buns before serving. The cooking grates are made from porcelain enameled cast iron that’s easy to keep clean and won’t rust, and they’ll give you the grill marks you want.
The cart has a pair of wheels that make it simple to move the grill around the patio, and feet that keep it in place once you’ve found the perfect spot. A small storage grate under the grill gives you a convenient spot to hold places or grilling tools out of the way.
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Meco Tabletop 9300 Grill
The Meco Tabletop grill is available in a number of configurations; one is mounted on a full height pedestal and another has a glass window. However, they are all built on the same basic design. Built to be as small as you can get with a 200 square inch cooking surface, this is a portable little grill and not too expensive. Like most electric grills, however, it has trouble generating the high temperatures you want for grilling.