Electric bbq grills can be great choice for those barbecue lovers who want to turn the grilling from weekly or even monthly occasions to daily eating treats.
With major advantage in fast, easy grilling with green energy source, electric barbeque grills and smokers are widely spread for their suitability with indoor cooking. Its convenience allows you to cook bbq anytime during the year, even if it's cold snowy winter or wet rainy weather outside.
While not being able to provide authentic smoked taste as with charcoal burners, the ease of use and time saving factors are usually attractive enough to even savvy barbecue grillers.
Popular indoor electric grill names include: George Foreman, DeLonghi, Sanyo, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach and many more. These types of grills often come in two designs - the double sided contact grills and single side - open grills.
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These bbq grills cook the food from both sides - using removable top and bottom heating plates, similar to Panini sandwich makers. Many electric clamshell grills can be opened 180 degrees to use as open grill that results in double cooking space. Most models also come with flat grilling plates that can be used as griddle - a nice complementary add-on feature.
This concept was first introduced in 1898, when the Bridge and Beach Co. began making vertical cast iron stoves. They were designed to flame broil meat on both sides instantaneously. At that time vertical broilers used custom hinged steel wire gridirons. These parts were slid in and out of the stoves pressing the meat while it heated evenly on both sides, similar to today's oven racks.
The major benefit of contact electric barbeque grills is that you will get steaks and meat grilled very fast - in matter of minutes. There is little to no spill over or splatter of fat and grease normally associated with gas barbecue grilling. The food also comes out moist and tender thanks to short cooking time.
While high end expensive and quality products from George Foreman or the Cuisinart Griddler GR-4 do great job at searing steaks and thick meat like beef, port chops, chicken thighs and etc., some less pricy makes are not very good at even heat distribution and do lack the power to properly handle big barbecue pieces.
Another downside is for those who don't like to squash their food under the contact presser. Designed as double-sided contact grills, these bbq makers won't be as effective if you decide to use them as open grills.
The versatility of removable grill plates also means that they are unstable and can accidently fall off the grill during the cook if not carefully secured. The parts which are used to secure the heating elements - locking latches are reported to weaken and can even break over time with frequent repeated use.
Similar to most charcoal or gas grills, open electric bbq grills only cook the food from a single heating element (metal grate) with drip pan placed underneath to catch the dripping fat and grease. This type of electrical grilling often provides better heat distribution across the cooking surface and is very easy to operate. Some models have extra glass dome cover to eliminate splatter and speed up the cooking process.
The obvious advantage is that the food won't be squashed. The Sanyo Indoor Electric Grill HPS-SG3 is an overall very good value for price if you decide to buy one of these.
On the other side, their drawbacks are longer cooking time and less versatility. The grilling plates on single sided electric barbeque grills are usually fixed to the machine itself, so in most cases you won't be able to use them as flat griddles or sandwich pressers. Cleaning often involves wiping off the grates to avoid short-circuiting of electrical conductive elements, even though some cookers have waterproof and dishwasher safe grill parts.
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