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.
Read on to learn more about the best electric grills you can buy now.
01 of 06
Most Popular: 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.
See more reviews of our favorite Weber grills for purchase.
02 of 06
Best Design: 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.
03 of 06
Most Compact: 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.
04 of 06
Most Versatile: 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.
Read more reviews of the best indoor grills available to purchase online.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Most Work Space: 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.
06 of 06
Best Tabletop: 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.
Check out our other reviews of the best portable grills available on the market today.
How We Tested
Our reviewers spent 10 hours testing one of the most popular electric grills on the market by setting it up, cooking meals, and cleaning it. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this electric grill — from its size to its performance — and have outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
Size Some electric grills are designed for just one or two people, while others are large enough to cook a meal for the whole family. Neither is better — it just depends on how you’ll use it. The overall size of the grill is also something to consider since it’s likely you’ll store it indoors when it’s not in use.
Indoor vs. outdoor Most people think of outdoor cooking when it comes to grilling, but some electric grills can be used indoors too — which is great when the weather isn’t cooperative or you need to stir a risotto on the stove and have a steak on the grill. If you’ll be grilling indoors, choose a grill that can live on your counter as well as your deck.
Wattage and temperature If high-heat cooking is important to you, look for grills that can provide that heat reliably. If you’re more interested in cooking over lower or moderate heat or using indirect-heat cooking methods, consider a grill with the ability to adjust the heat to your desired level.
Test Results: Weber Q-1400 Electric Grill
What We Like
Easy to use
Cooks food well
What We Don't Like
One of our testers made all the classic foods on this grill, including hot dogs, burgers, and chicken. According to her, everything “cooked nicely” across the board. She also highlighted the grill’s compact size and noted that it was easy to use once it heated up. However, a drawback for one reviewer was that the grill was difficult to clean. To make sure you don’t run into the same problem, have a metal grill brush at the ready.