Electric Grill: A Complete Guide to Types, Temperature Range & More

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  May 31, 2022

Always the latest smoking tips & tricks?

Subscribe to THE ESSENTIAL newsletter for aspiring pitmasters

We'll only use your email address for our newsletter and respect your privacy

I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

So you want to grill, but don’t have a grill? Well, it’s when you cook food on a hot surface using heat from a source external to the food.

Today, I’ll be focusing on electric grills. Let’s dive into the details.

What is an electric grill

How Electric Grills Get the Job Done

Electric grills utilize electricity as their power source, making them a safer choice compared to traditional charcoal or gas grills (like these top high-end choices). The electric grill’s internal components consist of a heating element that produces heat when electricity flows through it. This heat is then transferred to the cooking surface, allowing you to grill your favorite cuts of meat.

Types of Heating Elements

There are two types of heating elements commonly used in electric grills: standard AC and dedicated DC. Standard AC models are highly available and easier to find, while dedicated DC models require a little more effort to locate. Dedicated DC models are smaller and easier to store, making them a great choice for those with space restrictions.

Angled Cooking Surface

Most electric grills have a slightly angled cooking surface that allows liquid fat to run along the ridges and into a drip tray. This feature makes it easier to keep the grill clean and prevents excessive spitting.

Consistent Temperature Control

Electric grills deliver consistent temperature control, meaning you can create perfectly grilled food every time. Unlike traditional grills, electric grills don’t require smoky methods to create that famous grilled taste. However, you can still achieve a smoky flavor by adding wood chips (here’s how to use them) or water to the grill.

Easy to Use and Clean

Electric grills are easy to use and clean, making them a convenient choice for those who want to grill without the hassle of traditional grills. They require little to no maintenance and are a great choice for those who want to save money on their grilling expenses.

Safety Features

Electric grills come with safety features that make them a safer choice compared to traditional grills. For example, they have a short cord that plugs into an outlet, which means there is less chance of the grill getting damaged by water. Additionally, they have a control panel that allows you to adjust the temperature and turn the grill on and off.

Complete Control Over the Cooking Process

Electric grills give you complete control over the cooking process, meaning you can prepare your food exactly the way you want it. They are a great choice for those who want to keep their food healthy and avoid the use of oils and fats.

Multiple Types Available

There are multiple types of electric grills available, each with its own benefits and restrictions. For example, some electric grills are designed for indoor use in the kitchen, while others are designed for outdoor use on a patio or balcony. Some models are highly portable, making them a great choice for those who want to grill on the go.

Why Electric Grills are a Great Alternative to Regular Barbecues

Electric grills are incredibly easy to use. All you need to do is plug them into an outlet, turn them on, and you’re ready to start cooking. There’s no need to worry about starting a fire or dealing with the smoke and ash that comes with traditional grilling methods. Plus, most electric grills come with temperature control features, making it easy to cook your food to perfection.

Safety and Cleanliness

One of the biggest advantages of electric grills is their safety. Unlike traditional grills that use combustible fuels, electric grills utilize electricity to cook your food. This means there’s no need to worry about dangerous flare-ups or explosions caused by too much fuel or fat dripping onto the flames. Additionally, electric grills are easy to clean since they don’t produce as much smoke or grease as traditional grills.

Convenient for Indoor and Outdoor Cooking

Electric grills are suitable for both indoor and outdoor cooking. Since they don’t produce smoke or require a dedicated area for cooking, they can be used in your kitchen or outside on your balcony or patio. This means you can enjoy grilled meat and food all year round, regardless of the weather or restrictions in your area.

Affordable and Easy to Maintain

Electric grills are generally cheaper than traditional grills, making them a great option for those on a budget. They also require less maintenance since they don’t have as many components as traditional grills. Plus, since they don’t use wood or charcoal (like these top lump brands), you don’t have to worry about buying and storing these items.

Deliver Great Grilled Food

Contrary to popular belief, electric grills can deliver great grilled food. They may not have the same smoky flavor as traditional grills, but they create a pretty good char and are suitable for preparing a wide range of meat and food. Plus, since they have angled heating elements, they can cook food evenly and quickly.

Electric Grills Come in All Shapes and Sizes

When it comes to electric grills, size is an important factor to consider. Electric grills can be placed on a single countertop or larger ones that can be placed outdoors on a patio for a party. The size of the grill you choose will depend on how many people you plan to cook for and where you plan to use it.

Compact and Portable

If you have limited space or plan to take your grill on the go, a compact electric grill is a great option. These grills are usually small enough to fit on a countertop and can easily be stored away when not in use. They are also perfect for apartment balconies or small outdoor spaces.

Larger Grills for Entertaining

If you plan to host larger gatherings or cook bigger cuts of meat like a steak, a larger electric grill may be more suitable. These grills are typically sized for cooking for four or more people and can be placed on a patio or outdoor space. They are perfect for hosting a summer BBQ or family get-together.


No matter what size electric grill you choose, it’s important to properly maintain it to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Here are some tips for maintaining your electric grill:

  • Clean the grill after each use
  • Use a grill cover to protect it from the elements
  • Check the heating element regularly and replace if necessary
  • Store the grill in a dry place when not in use

Exploring the World of Electric Grills: Types and Features

When it comes to electric grills, there are two main types: clamshell contact and open grills with a single side heat element. Here’s what you need to know about each:

  • Clamshell contact grills: These are the more traditional type of electric grill, with a heating element embedded within the cooking surface. They work by pressing the food between two heated plates, which cook the food from both sides at once. Clamshell contact grills are great for cooking delicate foods like fish or vegetables, as they enable you to control the temperature and cooking time more precisely.
  • Open grills with a single side heat element: These grills have a heating element directly below the cooking surface, and are typically found in apartment buildings or other properties where traditional grilling isn’t possible. They offer the convenience of being able to plug into a power outlet, and are easy to clean thanks to their simple design. However, they don’t produce the same grilled flavor as a traditional grill, and may not be the best choice for cooking meat.

The Biggest Benefit of Electric Grills

One of the biggest benefits of electric grills is their convenience. Unlike traditional grills, which require charcoal or propane and can take a long time to heat up, electric grills can be ready to cook in just a few minutes. They also offer the ability to control the temperature more precisely, which can help ensure that your food is cooked to perfection every time.

Features to Consider When Choosing an Electric Grill

When choosing an electric grill, there are several features to consider:

  • Power: The higher the wattage, the faster the grill will heat up and the hotter it will get.
  • Range: Look for a grill with a wide temperature range, so you can cook a variety of foods.
  • Safety: Look for grills with safety features like automatic shut-off and cool-touch handles.
  • Components: Consider the quality of the components, such as the cooking surface and heating element.
  • Clean-up: Look for grills that are easy to clean, with removable plates or drip trays.

Overall, electric grills offer a convenient and fast way to cook a variety of foods. While they may not offer the same flavor as a traditional grill, they can still produce great results and are a better option for those who live in apartments or other properties where traditional grilling isn’t possible.

Get Your Grill On: The Sizzling Range of Electric Grill Temperatures

When it comes to grilling, temperature is everything. Electric grills are no exception, and they can get hot enough to cook most foods to perfection. Here are some key points to keep in mind about the temperature range of electric grills:

  • Electric grills can reach high-temperature levels of about 500 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, making them ideal for searing meats and vegetables.
  • The temperature range of electric grills is typically adjustable, allowing you to dial in the perfect temperature for your specific dish.
  • Some electric grills come with built-in temperature gauges, making it easy to monitor the temperature and ensure that your food is cooking evenly.

Grilling with Precision: How to Use Temperature to Your Advantage

While electric grills can get hot enough to cook most foods, it’s important to use temperature to your advantage to achieve the best possible results. Here are some tips for using temperature to your advantage when grilling with an electric grill:

  • Preheat your electric grill before cooking to ensure that it reaches the desired temperature.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your food and ensure that it’s cooked to the appropriate temperature.
  • Adjust the temperature of your electric grill as needed to achieve the desired level of doneness for your food.
  • Keep in mind that different foods require different cooking temperatures. For example, steak should be cooked at a higher temperature than vegetables.

Electric Grills: The Perfect Temperature for Every Dish

Whether you’re grilling up a juicy steak or roasting vegetables, electric grills offer a wide range of temperature options to help you achieve the perfect level of doneness. Here are some examples of the ideal temperature range for different types of food:

  • Steak: 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare, 450 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit for medium, and 500 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit for well-done.
  • Chicken: 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for bone-in chicken.
  • Fish: 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for most types of fish.
  • Vegetables: 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for most vegetables, depending on the type and size.

With the right temperature settings and a little bit of practice, you can use your electric grill to cook up delicious, perfectly grilled meals every time.

Choosing the Perfect Electric Grill for Your Cooking Needs

  • Think about the type of food you want to cook and how many people you need to serve
  • Consider the size of your cooking area and how much storage space you have available
  • Ask your local store about the best brands and types of electric grills that match your kitchen

Look for Important Features

  • Make sure the electric grill has proper temperature control and power to deliver excellent performance
  • Check if the unit is easy to clean and has built-in storage for accessories and tools
  • Consider if the electric grill requires a bit of practice to use effectively and if it needs to be stored carefully

Choose the Right Size and Model

  • Smaller electric grills are ideal for people who want to cook for a few people or have limited storage space
  • Larger electric grills are great for people who want to cook for a lot of people or have a big cooking area
  • Look for modern models that come with a lot of features and are designed to match your cooking needs

Follow Proper Maintenance and Storage Practices

  • Always make sure to clean the electric grill properly after each use and store it in a dry area
  • Be careful not to pour water on the hot electric grill, as this can cause damage to the unit
  • Read the manufacturer’s guide to make sure you are using the electric grill correctly and safely

Maintaining Your Electric Grill: A Guide to Keeping Your Grill in Tip-Top Shape

Just like any other appliance, it’s important to give your electric grill regular check-ups to ensure it’s functioning properly. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Check the power cord for any damage or fraying.
  • Inspect the heating element for any signs of wear and tear.
  • Make sure the temperature control is working correctly.
  • Check the drip tray and remove any excess grease or debris.

Cleaning Your Electric Grill

Cleaning your electric grill is essential to maintaining its longevity and ensuring that your food tastes great. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always unplug the grill before cleaning.
  • Use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe down the exterior of the grill.
  • Remove the grates and soak them in warm, soapy water for 10-15 minutes.
  • Use a grill brush to remove any excess debris from the grates.
  • Wipe down the interior of the grill with a damp cloth.
  • Empty the drip tray and wash it with warm, soapy water.


So, that’s how you get the most out of your electric grill. It’s not as difficult as you might think, and pretty soon you’ll be grilling like a pro. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the mess of charcoal or propane, so it’s perfect for beginners! So, go ahead and give it a try!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.