Can You Get That Charcoal Cooked Taste On An Electric Grill?

July 25, 2022
Related Categories: 

With a Bit of Effort, You Can Get Close for Some Food

Are you thinking of purchasing an electric grill? Whether grilling more often is the goal or a need for a new bbq grill is what set off the search, an electric grill is an option to consider. An electric grill makes the grilling process more straightforward and, in many cases, safer than a charcoal grill.

Photo of pork chops on a charcoal grill

It is a challenge to emulate that charcoal-cooked taste on an electric grill, but you can come close

It can be faster too. Electric grills are the best indoor grill option for an authentic grilling experience and can replace standard charcoal grill, wood pellet grill and natural gas grill that runs on propane. The flavor profile is often a genuine concern when switching grills.

Does Food Taste Good on an Electric Grill?

Yes, food cooked on an electric grill tastes delectable. Of course, this wholly depends on recipes, seasonings, the freshness of the ingredients, and the one grilling. However, it is possible to get great-tasting food on an electric grill.

This George Foreman Grill is Appropriate for Both Indoor and Outdoor Use

To have food taste good on an electric grill, start by procuring fresh ingredients from reputable sources. Local farmers, grocery shops with a good reputation, or trusted friends and family are good options.

Season your vegetables or meat well with a great combination of herbs, spices, and sauces. You can add salt to taste. Follow grilling instructions on the electric grill manual or a recipe online. Be sure to watch the grill to avoid burnt or dry food. With these basic steps, you will get food that tastes amazing every time. You’ll no longer wonder, can you get that charcoal cooked taste on an electric grill?

Does an Electric Grill Taste the Same?

The simple answer is no; it does not. You cannot get the charcoal grill cooked fl on an electric grill without some added measures. Electric grills have a lot of advantages over charcoal grills. They are faster and less messy, and most people can operate them. While they have a smaller cooking surface than a traditional grill, this also makes the cleanup process relatively quick.

However, wood and charcoal grills may have a leg up in the flavor competition. That charred, charcoal flavor that many people love in their grilled food can only be obtained by grilling with wood or charcoal. But take heart, there are some ways to get a charcoal-like taste using an electric grill.

How Do You Get the Grilled Taste on an Indoor Grill?

Regardless of the grill you choose, it’s important to practice grilling safety. Charcoal, pellet, and wood grills continue to have a good reputation because of the unique charred or charcoal flavor they give food. Switching to an electric grill does not mean you fully give up that unique flavor. While the exact charcoal flavor is unachievable on an electric grill, you can replicate the smoky flavor or charred undertones even when using an electric grill. This can be done without burning the food using one of the following:

Liquid Smoke

Liquid smoke is one of the easiest ways to get a smoky flavor on the electric grill. If used appropriately, a hazy, tangy flavor will coat the food without the burnt aftertaste.

Photo of an open charcoal grill with flames

There Are Different Ways to Achieve that Charcoal Cooked Taste

Wood or Charcoal Chips

Wood and charcoal chips are the best way to get the charcoal-cooked taste on the electric grill. These small pieces from various trees like maple, hickory, and alder, ignite easily and produce a lot of smoke. They’re used in aluminum foil or a smoker box.

Smoker box

Smoking the ingredients before grilling them will add a layer of charcoal-like taste. Smoker boxes can be found online or at local grill stores and placed on top of the electric grill. Simply add moist wood chips to the grill and use higher temperatures. This will enable the smoker box to absorb the heat faster and produce smoke.


With pre-planned grills, smoking the meat is a great option to obtain that smokey flavor. Choose to buy pre-smoked meat or buy a smoker and smoke the meat before grilling it. Smoked meat can save for many months.

Smoked flavors

Artificial smoke flavors come in many forms. Brewed lapsang souchong tea, smoked beer, blackstrap molasses, or smoked spices will work. These can be used in a marinade for vegetables or meat or sprinkled on the food as it grills.


For those with greater grilling skills, try the charring method for a charcoal-like barbecue taste using your electric grill. Placing vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, corn, and broccoli, over an open flame before placing them on the grill is perfect. This will give them an amazing char-grilled aroma and taste.

BBQ Sauce

The classic barbeque flavor can be obtained with a good BBQ sauce. This sauce can be store-bought or homemade. Use the sauce as a marinade and fully coat the ingredients an hour to 24 hours before placing them on the electric grill. Additionally, bbq sauce can be used to baste vegetables, potatoes, and meat on the grill to add extra BBQ flavor.

Does the Electric Grill Taste Like BBQ?

With added BBQ sauce, it can taste exactly like BBQ. Using wood chips and liquid smoke will add to the authenticity of the BBQ taste. If you don’t use BBQ sauce, food on the electric grill will not taste like BBQ. This is because the electric grill uses electricity to grill and not wood or charcoal.

You Can Still Have Highly Flavorful Meals with an Electric Grill

How Does an Electric Grill Work?

An electric grill works by converting electricity from a power outlet into heat. Electric grills can be small and used indoors, but the most popular electric grills are large and used outside.

They replace charcoal or wood grills. The food is cooked by heat and thus no smoke is produced. For this reason, this makes it one of the safest modern cooking methods available.

The infra-red rays from the infra-red grill powered by electricity fully cooks the food as they have the strongest heat radiation. The conversion of electricity to heat is possible because of converging lenses that emit heat from the infrared rays of the grill.

Benefits of an Electric Grill

Althought they’re not always as popular as gas or charcoal grills, electric grills have gained popularity due to their many benefits. These include:

No smoke

The stench of smoke from charcoal or wood as it burns is not pleasant to everyone. The strong haze it leaves behind seems to coat everything; hair, food, and surfaces. While a smokey, char-grilled flavor is excellent on food, the actual smoke is not.

It can also cause respiratory problems in those who love to grill often. An electric grill makes it possible to have perfectly grilled food without risking smoke inhalation.

Health and Safety

The electric grill does not leak or emit harmful smoke. Also, one cannot get carbon monoxide poisoning from an indoor electric grill. The lack of smoke plus CO makes it an ideal grilling option. It beats out the gas grill because there is no risk of gas leaks when using the electric grill.

In terms of safe grilling options, the electric grill is the safest one. Pregnant women and those with respiratory conditions can be involved in the grilling or around when food is grilling. It is easy to operate and can be used to train children on how to operate a grill with fewer risks involved though they should always do so with an adult present.

Easy to Clean

Grills must be cleaned regularly to avoid the risk of infections and to facilitate the even distribution of heat during the next grill. Electric grills are easy to clean. The grill and other removable parts are washed with warm water and soap. The heating element and cord are wiped with a dry cloth.

Adjustable Temperature

When grilling, the temperature is crucial. Different temperatures give different results, and different foods cook at different temperatures. The electric grill has a knob that allows for temperature adjustment.

Temperature adjustment allows food to cook without burning, ensuring perfect, moist, and fragrant barbecue every time. The wide temperature variation of 80⁰C to 240⁰C allows for many foods to be cooked directly on the grill. This makes the electric grill perfect for casual gatherings and family meals as it accommodates different food options.


While traditional grills may be cheaper to buy, they cost more to run. For avid grill-lovers, this could turn into a massive cost. Buying charcoal or wood is not cheap in many areas. If that is the case, using an electric grill can be a more affordable alternative for those using it more often.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which BBQ Is Best: Charcoal or Electric?

The answer is it depends on each person’s taste. The charcoal grill will be ideal for those who want a traditional grilling experience and an authentic charcoal taste. The electric grill is the best option for those who want fewer fumes, better-cooked food, and an eco-friendly version.
It is also easier and safer to use for a majority of people. The choice will come down to personal preference.

Do Electric Grills Smoke?

Electric grills do not smoke as much as charcoal or wood grills do. No actual fire is started to cook the food, hence no smoke. However, food particles and drippings will cause some smoke to arise. Also, if food burns on the electric grill, it will smoke. If your electric grill is heavily smoking, switch it off and have an electrician check it for any problems.

Do Electric Grills Taste as Good as Gas Grills?

Still trying to figure out, can you get that charcoal cooked taste on an electric grill? Here is the bottom line, gas grills are primarily used outside and provide a better smokey flavor than electric grills. They also have temperature controls for varying temperatures and can be fully washed in water.

Electric grills have removable, washable parts and also allow for temperature control. However, for a charcoal-cooked taste, they are not the best option. Both gas and electric grills lose to the charcoal grill in terms of an authentic barbecue flavor. However, this comes down to preference and taste.

Ultimately, if you can’t live without the charcoal cooked taste, a charcoal grill may be your best option. However, if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone, an electric grill can be a great option.

Can An Electric Grill Get Wet?

Since an electric grill uses electricity, safety precautions must be followed. No water should be near or around the power cord or outlet before or during grilling. Also, cover all exposed wires and have a certified electrician check them to avoid electrical shocks.

Do not immerse the power cord or heating element in water or other liquids. Clean them with a soft, dry cloth. Never use an electric grill in the rain.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
Related Blog Posts
rocketarrow-downarrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram