Electric grills are a solution to many of the problems linked to traditional barbecues. However few people actually use them. This article goes in-depth on how to use an electric grill.
Grills usually are associated with outdoor, backyard BBQ parties for family and friends and people tend to use charcoal or gas as a fuel.
But there are two problems many folks have with this. First, if you live in an urban environment, there is a big chance that you don’t have a backyard at all and you typically are not allowed to use a charcoal grill on a balcony which will limits them to the use of gas or electric grills.
Moreover, if you do have a backyard, the size of it may sometimes not allow for a party involving a grill. And if you have a small backyard, you won’t enjoy using charcoal, gas or wood as fuels — all of them can cause pollution to some degree. Cramming people into a small and smoke-filled environment, doesn’t sound much like an awesome party in anyone’s book.
Using non-electric grills inside your house is out of the question which is unfortunate for many because there are a lot of benefits to grilling your meals. Not only do they include a great taste, but grilling makes a lot of foods much healthier to consume.
Electric grills have been a solution to many of the problems that come with traditional grills for quite some time now. Still, many people are hesitant to pick one up because of excuses such as ‘it sounds complicated to use’ or ‘the food doesn’t taste as good’ and the like.
But if you’re looking for a solution to all the problems that can come with traditional grills, you should really consider investing in a good electric one. So, let’s take a closer look at all benefits that they can provide us with and how to best use them.
What Are The Types Of Electric Grills
There are two types of electric grills: indoor and outdoor electric grills. An outdoor electric grill is what people usually associate with backyard BBQ parties and it’s fit for outdoor use.
No matter what type of electric grill you choose, they offer a lot of benefits over traditional barbecue grills:
- they are incredibly easy to use
- they produce less smoke
- no need to handle fuel sources
- they require less cleaning
And best of all: they produce almost the same results as, for example, gas grills.
Can You Use An Electric Grill Inside?
Yes, you can use an electric grill inside. This is the main advantage they offer over gas or charcoal grills. Electric grills don’t require handling of dangerous fuel sources and produce almost no smoke (not more than a regular frying pan).
Contact grills, especially, are made for indoor use. However, they don’t provide the same versatility as open outdoor grills. This lack of versatility is especially noticeable when you want to cook not just for yourself, but for a more significant number of people. Contact grills are also not very good for cooking something more complicated than a cheese sandwich or grilling a sausages or chicken breast.
How To Avoid Smoke Indoors
Generally, the biggest problem with grilling indoors is the smoke. But besides ventilating your room, there are several tricks that will help you reduce the smoke.
As a general rule, electric grills produce less heat than their more traditional counterparts. This is no problem however, as the heat they provide is still more than is needed. Due to the lower temperatures and because they don’t require a fuel source (like charcoal or gas), electric grills produce less smoke.
So, overall it’s advisable to keep you grill’s temperature at medium levels. Not only will this save your food from burning but it will prevent the room from filling with smoke (just think of the kind of smoke the already mentioned frying pan can produce, if you don’t believe us).
Also, don’t cook more food on there than fits the grill. Even if you do have a large party of guests waiting to eat.
And try to get rid of most of the fat on meats. If it starts burning, you might find your home filled with smoke faster than you may think.
To prevent food from sticking to the grates, always use oil on the food before putting it on the grill. If you apply oil to the grill instead of your food, you will run into the same problems that you wanted to avoid in the first place: the heat will start evaporating the grease, and you will get a large amount of smoke developing.
While we are on the subject of grease and oil, here is another piece of advice: when using an electric grill indoors, always go for oil that has a high smoke point. This type of oil requires a higher temperature before it starts producing smoke and by the time you will reach that temperature, you should be already halfway done cooking. Olive oil and grapeseed oils are good choices for that reason.
Can You Use Wood Chips With An Electric Grill?
With all the benefits that electric grills provide, why do people still prefer charcoal or gas grills over electric ones? The most common answer you will get to this is that electric grills cannot provide the same smoky flavor. Purists claim that the food doesn’t taste as good or as authentic. And there might be some truth to that.
But what if that wouldn’t be a problem at all? So, can you use wood chips with an electric grill? Yes, you can! By choosing the correct wood chips, you will get all the flavor you want.
There are many different types of wood chips that you can use for that and we even have an extensive article on the use of wood for BBQ smoking. All of the various types of wood chips will provide you with different flavors.
Mastering meat smoking – not only with an electric grill, but in general – may take some time and energy, but it is well worth the investment.
There are a lot of misconceptions and misinformation about electric grills. Some barbecue purists do not consider them to be a worthy competitor to the charcoal and gas grills. But as you see, this is not the case at all. Not only do electric grills provide you with the benefit of being able to use them both outdoors and indoors, but they are also much safer and easier to use.
You don’t need to handle fuels and preparing the grill for cooking is a lot faster. And you can also add wood chips to enhance the flavor of your food. For these reasons, electric grills are a good alternative to traditional grills that offers you versatility and comfort.
If you are looking to buy an electric grill and need some advice, check out our list of recommended grills.