Sometimes you just can't have a full sized gas 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 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.
01 of 07
Generally, electric grills are a compromise. A compromise for the person who can't have an open flame where they live, or at least where they cook—and a compromise between size and heat. A fire can be as big and as hot as it can be built, but an electric heating element can only draw so much amperage as the plug will allow (please don't send me a lesson on electric engineering). This electric grill from Kenyon produces high temperatures under a relatively small space but is built to last... of quality materials. It costs more (about $840) but is worth the investment.
02 of 07
When exiled to a place where charcoal and gas are forbidden, the griller doesn't have a lot of options other than electricity. The problem is that 120 volts isn't a lot of power to do high-temperature grilling. Well, after some considerable development time Weber has managed to produce an electric version of its popular Q line of grills that runs on electricity. Capable of temperatures over 600 degrees F thanks to the efficiency of this design this grill can sear a steak, heat up quickly... and recover its heat even faster after you lift the lid. While a small grill, if you are limited to electric grills, buy this one.
03 of 07
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 07
For those people who live in a place where gas or charcoal grills are not allowed, there have been few options when it came to a grill that would give you an authentic grilling experience. The Outdoor Greatroom Company has managed to produce an electric grill that can successfully sear a steak and grill virtually any food you would want in a small, portable electric grill. This unit has two cooking areas that let you grill or sear in a system that is virtually foolproof. If you have the money... and need an electric grill that will give you everything from burgers to vegetables. then this is a grill you should be looking at.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Can't have a gas or charcoal grill where you live? This might be the solution for you. The Char-Broil Patio Bistro Electric Grill is one of the largest electric grills on the market. Of course, it is still small enough to fit on most balconies but gives you enough space to comfortably cook for four people. The 1,750-watt heating element produces a good amount of heat for the size so you will be able to grill most everything that fits under the lid in this grill. The overall construction of... this grill is a little lightweight so this grill will need some care to keep it looking and working well.
06 of 07
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.
07 of 07
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.