Go Electric for Outdoor Grilling

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When you think of grilling burgers, steaks, and veggies outdoors, the debate usually is between gas or charcoal.  But a third option is the right one for a lot of grilling fans: electric.

Some of the electric grill's most attractive features include:

  • No fire or flame, so it is not necessary to keep it a safe distance from your house.  This is a major benefit for those who live in apartments or townhouses.
  • Quick heat.  Just plug it in and start cooking.  There's no waiting for charcoals to turn white-hot.
  • They're easy to clean.  Because the grill does not create any charcoal ash, it creates very little mess while cooking.
  • The ability to make hot sandwiches.  Gas and charcoal models can't do that.
  • All-season cooking - so long as you buy an indoor/outdoor model.

If you decide to buy an electric grill, consider these tips:

  • If you plan to shuttle your grill between the kitchen and the patio, buy a portable model that fits on a tabletop.
  • Choose a model made from commercial-grade stainless steel so it will resist corrosion - especially if you plan to grill outdoors.
  • Look for a brand that offers a lifetime warranty.  The least expensive models come with warranties as limited as 90 days to three years.
  • Electric grills are powerful and should be the only appliance plugged into an outlet.  If they have to compete for power, preheat times lengthen.
  • Plug electric grills into outlets with ground-fault circuit interrupters in accordance with local codes to prevent the risk of shock or fire.
  • Unplug electric grills when not in use and before cleaning.
  • Most electric grills are designed for outdoor use only, so if you want to use it inside, choose a model that directs fat runoff outside of the unit as a fire safety measure.