There's nothing quite like having a summer barbecue with friends and family or freshly grilled meat any night of the week. In the past, gas grills were the only option for a fast grill, and not everyone could afford them.
As you consider your options for purchasing your first or a new grill, you have the option of getting an electric grill now. Electric and gas grills are great tools to quickly get a delicious meal on the table.
If you find yourself stuck having to choose between electric grills vs. gas grills, knowing how they compare and what makes them different can help you make a decision. Both are great options, but one might be the better option for you. Here's everything you need to know about electric grills vs. gas grills.
Gas grills are the original type of grill that most people think of when you say the word 'grill.' However, electric grills are the newest option on the market, and they're incredibly convenient and portable.
They're healthier when comparing the health aspects of electric grills vs. gas grills. Since they're powered by electricity instead of propane or another gas, the carcinogens released into the air from grilling are minimal compared to a natural gas grill. As you shop for an electric grill, there are two types to consider: open grills and the clamshell contact grill. You'll also get to choose between an indoor or outdoor electric grill.
The George Forman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill
Regardless of the type you purchase, your electric grill should come with a drip tray so you can quickly dispose of the drippings or use them for something else you're cooking.
Overall, an electric bbq grill is an excellent option for those who love grilling but want something other than charcoal grills or another type of gas grill. An indoor electric grill is also weatherproof - you'll still be able to grill if it is stormy - not the case with an outdoor grill.
Gas grills, usually run on propane and, are what most people think of when you think of grilling. Most of them have a gas flame from whatever fuel source they have, and you'll be able to cook your food directly on the heat, unlike with an electric grill. Another propane grill option is a flat-top where the food does not get exposed to a direct flame.
Cooking Burgers and Vegetable Skewers on a Gas Grill
These grills are dependable and will ignite very quickly with the turn of a knob or flip of a switch, depending on your model. People must be aware when using a gas grill that there's the possibility that it uses propane and that the tank can leak and cause a hazard.
They're not nearly as portable as electric grills, but if you have a smaller one, you might not have an issue moving it from one place to another.
Now that we've gone over a general overview of gas and electric grills, it's time to dive deep into what makes these two grills different. Here's a look at the key differences between these grills, such as the sizes you can find them in, their temperature ranges, and how to care for them.
One of the most apparent differences between electric and gas grills is the fuel source they use to cook your food. Electric grills use electricity which heats up the heating element that resides beneath the grill grate.
Replacing the Heating Element in a Char-Broil Electric Grill
They'll come with a cord attached to the grill that you'll plug into a wall outlet. If you use an extension cord, you need to ensure it can handle the voltage of the grill to avoid fires or damage to the power cord.
Gas grills use gas to heat the surface. These grills usually use propane or another natural gas, whether a direct flame or a flat top. More often than not, they use a propane tank, but they can connect to a natural gas line.
To be clear, if you use wood pellets or charcoal, you have a wood pellet grill or a charcoal grill, not a gas grill. They are similar to gas grills in the sense that they provide an open flame, but other than that, they're not the same.
Electric bbq grills and gas grills are available in a variety of sizes. Electric grills can be as big as gas grills, but you can find compact electric grills online and in stores.
You can find electric grills in a compact form that are perfect for grilling in your kitchen. You can place them on countertops or even a table. If you prefer to keep your electric grill outdoors, you can find larger ones that work well in your backyard or patio. The larger ones can make enough food at one time for 12 to 15 people.
Gas Grills Can Have a Very Large Cooking Area Surface with Multiple Burners
Gas grills typically are bigger. Since they take up more space than electric grills, placing them outdoors is ideal. They can cook approximately the same amount of food as large electric grills, but you can find industrial-sized gas grills that serve 100 people at once if you need a large-scale grill.
Seasoning your food isn't the only way to manipulate the flavor of what you're cooking. For example, when you're grilling with a gas grill, you completely control how hot or cool the grill gets. This aspect allows you to have extra control of the cooking time and, therefore, how the flavor will infuse into the food you're making.
Since electric grills are harder to control when it comes to the heat, you'll have much less control over how the flavors infuse into your steak, chicken, veggies, or anything else you're making.
When purchasing a new bbq grill, you'll need to consider where you can or want to place it. If you're going to put your grill indoors, you'll want an electric grill.
Since most of them don't take up too much space, indoors is better for these grills. Most indoor grills aren’t approved for outdoor use.
On the other hand, you should only use gas grills outside. They're typically bigger and therefore need more space. But, they also use natural gasses, which can pose a carbon monoxide danger in enclosed spaces. They also need to be placed far away from any material that could easily catch fire from their open flames or gas.
Everyone has their preference on which grill they want, but as you shop around, you'll notice that based on inventory and options alone, gas grills tend to be much more popular. That's not to say there isn't a decent selection of electric grills to browse, but you'll find far more options with gas grills.
You can find gas and electric grills that are comparable in price, but the features and sizes might not be equal. For the most part, gas grills tend to be more affordable than connected electric grills.
You can find electric grills for under $100, but some cost well over $1,000. Most gas grills are between $100 and $1,000 for a standard size. You can get a great gas grill for no more than $500, making it a more affordable option when you want a standard-sized grill.
A connected electric grill has three heat settings: low, medium, and high. When you turn on the grill, heat will radiate throughout, and the grill will power off when the temperature drops and reheat as necessary. It can make traditional grilling or searing difficult, but they're great for low temperatures of 225-250°F.
With a gas grill, you'll have several heating options. You'll see the temperature gauge as degrees, allowing you to produce a continuous temperature throughout the cooking process. In addition, you'll be able to provide intense temperatures, 250°F and higher for however long you need without the grates cooling down.
Being able to manipulate and control the temperature is critical, especially with prepackaged meats with cooking directions. You'll be able to see what temperature to cook them at and get a precise sear or perfectly cooked meal on a gas grill that you might not be able to with an electric one.
How to care for and maintain each type of grill differs. With electric grills, you can't submerge the heating plate underwater. You can wipe it down and use water to clean it, but not submerge it. As always, be sure to unplug the grill before any cleaning. Storing the grill is easy. All you have to do is unplug it and then put it wherever you want to.
When caring for a gas grill, you can remove all the removable parts and wash them with hot water. You must do this after every use to ensure your grill stays in the best shape possible.
There's a little more maintenance with gas grills since you'll need to replace the ignitions, flavor bars, connections, and gas tank as they wear. Before storing your gas grill anywhere, you'll need to ensure the propane tank is completely off and sealed well.
The amount of burners depends on how much food or how many types of food you're making. All gas grills will have at least two burners, depending on how large the grill is. Some will have four to eight burners. They will vary in size so you can accommodate different types of food.
Each burner has a different ignition, so you can control the temperatures for everything you're cooking. Electric grills have one burner and typically can only heat to one temperature at a time.
So, how do you choose between electric grills vs. gas grills? The one that's best for you might not be the best option for your friend. You'll want to consider a few factors when choosing between an electric and gas grill.
Depending on where you live and what type of housing you live in, you might have laws or restrictions regarding grills. For example, if you live in an apartment or condo, they might not allow you to have a gas grill, even on your balcony.
If that's the case, then the choice is made for you, and you'll need to go with an electric grill to abide by these laws. You might find them annoying, but they're there for your safety and the safety of your neighbors.
Your budget will impact your choice to get an electric or gas grill. Since the price points of these grills can vary greatly, it's essential to know how much you're willing to spend.
You need to browse around for grills that fit your price range before deciding which one to get. You might find an affordable electric grill, but it doesn't have as many burners as the larger gas grill that's most expensive.
Grilling is a great way to prepare meals, and it's fun! But buying a new grill that can easily fit into your home is important. If you don't have a backyard or enough room for a larger grill, then a smaller electric grill might be a better fit for your lifestyle.
Indoor Grills Have the Advantage of Taking Up Very Little Counter Space
On the other hand, a gas grill you can store outside could be the better option if you have backyard space but minimal storage space inside your home.
You can create delicious meals on a grill. How you marinate and season the meat and veggies will impact the flavor considerably. While that's true, if you want a classic grilled flavor to infuse into your meal, you'll need to go with a gas grill since an electric one can come close, but not always exactly mimic that gas grilled or charcoal grilled flavors.
You'll need to think about the size of the grill. Not necessarily in the same aspect, as you would when thinking about where you store it, but how much food you want to be able to prepare in one session.
Electric grills that you can store in your home aren't going to allow you to serve a more considerable amount of people at once. However, gas grills outside can serve many more people and are better for larger families or those regularly serving a larger group.