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Have you been wanting to experiment with grilling your favorite foods or looking to expand your cooking prowess—but don't want to go through the hassle and time it takes to cook with a gas or charcoal grill? Perhaps it's time to look at electric grills.
These alternatives to traditional grills come in indoor, outdoor, and combo models. Electric grills tend to be more portable than their gas and charcoal counterparts and are easier to set up and clean, making them ideal for those living in apartments or other small spaces.
But electric grills come in all shapes and sizes, from hooded to convertible to those with removable lids, so how's one to choose? Here's a list of the best electric grills to help you decide.
Best Overall: George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill
Large enough to cook for a crowd
Nonstick grill plate is easy to clean
Can be used indoors or out
Heat control can get spattered with grease
If you want a freestanding electric grill, you can’t go wrong with the George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill. This model features a removable stand that lets you use it outside on a patio or indoors on the countertop, and its spacious 240 square inches of cooking space lets you make around 15 servings at a time.
The George Foreman grill has a number of features that will make grilling an enjoyable experience. The durable grill plate is removable for easy cleanup, and it has a sloped grilling surface that helps drain the fat off meat. There’s a dishwasher-safe drip tray that collects excess grease, and the adjustable temperature control lets you choose from five heat settings. According to our tester, this grill is easy to assemble and clean, and it gets super hot for searing meats and other grilled dishes.
"Using the dome under low cabinets was a little awkward, but the grill could easily be placed anywhere there’s a convenient electric outlet." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Runner up, Best Overall: Weber Q 1400 Electric Grill
Durable and easy to transport
Cast iron cooking grates help retain heat
Doesn’t display temperature
Long preheat time
One of the best electric grills you can buy today is the Weber Q1400 Electric Grill. This tabletop model has a 1560-watt heating element and 189 square inches of cooking area, as well as a 6-foot grounded cord.
The Weber Q 1400 has a sleek exterior design featuring a cast aluminum lid and body, as well as a large grip handle and control knobs and ergonomic side handles. You can adjust the inner temperature via the infinite heat control settings, and the porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates will put a delicious sear on your food. Overall, our product reviewer is incredibly happy with the sleek design and performance of this electric grill, saying that it’s ideal for those looking to save space and that its cast iron grills deliver deliver "drool-worthy" sear marks.
"For an outdoor grill, I was very pleased with the little amount of assembly required." — Michelle Piccolo, Product Tester
Best Indoor: Cuisinart GR-5B Electric Griddler Five
Can function as a griddle
Dishwasher-safe cooking plates
Some report uneven heat distribution
Want to whip up some hamburgers inside? Then you need a product like the Cuisinart Electric Griddler, which works as a contact grill, panini press, and griddle. This countertop model has an adjustable temperature that can reach up to 450 degrees, and it’s easy to clean thanks to its dishwasher-safe cooking plates.
This sleek indoor grill boasts five-in-one cooking options—you can use it as a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, or half grill/half griddle. Its LCD display and digital controls let you switch between functions and adjust the temperature and time, and the floating cover and reversible cooking plates are easy to remove and clean. Reviewers love that this indoor grill can serve as a griddle, and many note that it gets impressively hot, making cooking quick and easy. Note that a few customers say the griddle doesn't always heat evenly.
Best Smoker: Cuisinart 30-Inch Electric Smoker
Easy to set up and use
Precise and steady temperature control
No drip tray
Who doesn’t love a nice piece of smoked brisket once in a while? With the Cuisinart Electric Smoker, you can create all sorts of delicious smoked meats right at home. This electric smoker is convenient and easy to use—all you have to do is plug it in, place your meat on the rack, and set the temperature. In a few hours, you’ll be rewarded with a delicious smoked meal!
This electric smoker has a 1500-watt heating element that can produce temperatures between 100 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You can control the temperature via the dial-style thermostat, and the unit has a generous 548 square inches of cooking space, allowing you to cook several items at once. The smoker includes a tray for wood chips to get that smoky flavor, and the easy-to-use design is ideal for both beginners and more experienced grillers. Reviewers sing the praises of this electric smoker, saying it’s easy to assemble and extremely straightforward to use.
Best Splurge: Kenyon Floridian All Seasons Portable Stainless Steel Electric Grill
Grill grate and lid are dishwasher safe
While the price tag may be a little higher, you can’t beat the sleek design and quality performance of the Kenyon Floridian All-Seasons Portable Electric Grill. This high-end model can heat up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 minutes, and it’s even approved for indoor use on days when the weather isn’t agreeable.
The Floridian All-Seasons Grill has 155 square inches of cooking space, and the whole unit is made from sleek stainless steel. The grill grate and lid are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, and reviewers say this electric model is durable and delivers unbeatable results.
Best Budget: BLACK+DECKER George Foreman GR0040B 2-Serving Classic Plate Grill
Great for single servings
No temperature control
For those that don’t grill often but still want to have a small electric grill on-hand, the George Foreman Classic Plate Grill is a great affordable option. This small grill has just 36 square inches of cooking area that can handle two servings at a time, and it can be stored vertically to take up less space.
The Classic Plate Grill is a countertop model that features nonstick grill coating and George Foreman's standard fat-draining, sloped design. There’s a dishwasher-safe drip tray, as well as embedded heating elements for even heat distribution and rapid temperature recovery. The power indicator light lets you know when the grilling surface is preheated, and while it may not be the most sophisticated grill ever, reviewers say it’s perfect for one or two people.
Best Smokeless: PowerXL Smokeless Grill
Both grill and griddle
Lid seals well
A lot to clean
Somewhat uneven cooking
One of the major problems with grilling indoors is that it can create quite a bit of smoke, setting off your fire alarm—and no one wants to deal with that! However, the PowerXL Smokeless Grill promises to solve this common kitchen woe, thanks to its unique design that virtually eliminates smoke with its built-in smoke-extracting fan. The grill can achieve temperatures up to 450 degrees, and it includes a tight-sealing lid to lock in moisture while you cook.
This indoor grill offers a 13-3/4 x 8-inch cooking surface that's spacious enough for eight large hamburgers, and its nonstick ceramic surface ensures your food is easy to flip and remove. There's an oil-drip tray below the cook surface to catch drippings, and the unit even comes with an additional griddle plate in case you want to whip up some breakfast.
"The fan did a stellar job removing smoke and steam, and the lid sealed surprisingly well, so smoke didn’t have a chance to escape. We fired up the grill to cook a steak, and there wasn’t even a wisp of visible smoke." – Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best for Beginners: Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Electric Grill
Takes longer to heat up
Small outdoor space? No problem! This beginner-friendly electric grill has a compact form that won't take up too much space on your patio, yet it still offers 320 square inches of grilling space that can comfortable fit up to 12 hamburgers at once.
The Char-Broil Grill is equipped with the brand's TRU-Infrared cooking system, which helps cook your food evenly with fewer flare-ups, and its porcelain-coated cooking grates are rust-resistant and easy to maintain. The compact grill is mounted on wheels for increased portability, and there's a temperature gauge on top of the hood so you can easily monitor the inner temperature.
Our top spot goes to the George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill because it's safe to use for small spaces and balconies, but large enough to cook for a crowd. Plus, it's affordable and easy to use. Planning to do most of your grilling indoors? Try the Cuisinart GR-5B Electric Griddler Five (view at Amazon). This five-in-one indoor grill can double as a griddle.
What to Look For in An Electric Grill
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.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Camryn Rabideau is a product tester and writer for The Spruce Eats. She has written close to a dozen pieces on all kinds of grills for the brand, including grills for tailgating, portable gas grills, and gas grills under $200.