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How to Grill with an Electric Grill

Monday is July 4th which means grilling and fireworks all across America! From full-sized slow cooking powerhouses to the ubiquitous backyard grill, Americans everywhere will be serving up all kinds of amazing foods on Monday. While most people are using wood, coal, or gas, there’s a small population of outdoor grillers who are switching to electrical grills. Now, while it’s well known that electrical stoves and grills are not the most professional way to cook, they’re still effective at delivering quality meals, you simply need to keep a few things in mind when cooking with electrical appliances.

Lower Heat

Electrically heated appliances have a similar issue when it comes to heat: slow start up times and lower maximum heat output. Charcoal provides excellent heat output and gas gives you near-instant high temperatures. Electric heat, on the other hand, has a longer warm-up time. Without instant heat, and with less overall heat at maximum temperature you’re going to need to be a little more focused on how you prepare your grilling. Preheat for a long time, make sure that the inside of your grill is as hot as possible before you start. Electric grills have guaranteed temperatures, but they lose heat easily.

Other than the heating issue, electric grilling works very much the same way as any other style of grilling. Heat up the grill, place meat and vegetables on the tray, let things sizzle, flip over food, lift and serve.

  • So, when you’re cooking with an electric grill:
  • Preheat
  • Preheat – just to be safe we listed this twice
  • Open the grill and place meat on tray
  • Close the grill – leave it closed, let the meat cook
  • Flip – open the grill just long enough to flip over the patties and vegetables, then close it again.

Always leave the grill closed, don’t fiddle with the food since that means the grill is open and all of your heat is escaping. An electric grill works more like a roaster with a searing surface than a traditional grill. Don’t overload your grill all at once either. Heat conservation and effective use is key to grilling. Give the food time to cook and don’t waste your heat.

A Note on Power

You’re grilling outside, and if you’re required to grill a certain distance from the door (at an apartment for instance) that means you’ll be using an extension cord. Grills use a lot of power so never use a traditional extension cord. Always use a low-gage cord to make sure that the cord doesn’t overheat and you don’t trip a breaker or start a fire.

Then again, you could always return to charcoal grilling or upgrade to a gas grill. They’ll all do the job so it really does boil down to personal preference. Have a happy Independence Day everyone, and happy grilling!