Although it may sound simple, buying a barbeque grill can be confusing. Homeowners are often torn whether to purchase an electric grill or a gas grill. There are many considerations to take into account. Do you intend to use it for family outdoor meals on a sunny day? Or, will it be for preparing your favorite grilled meals on any weather?
When it comes to grilling, the most debated choice is whether to do it under an open flame or a heat source from an electrical outlet. The gas grill gives the meat an authentic and unique flavor, but the electric grill is more convenient. Which is better?
This article shows the differences between electric vs gas grill. The pros and cons of each are also listed.
What are the Difference between Electric Grill and Gas Grill?
These two types of grills vary in many aspects, such as temperature control, fuel source, and space requirement. The choice depends on how you roast and the consistency of meat you want to achieve.
|Electric Grill||Gas Grill|
|Fuel Source||Electricity||Natural Gas or Propane Gas (LPG)|
|Size||Comes in more sizes||Medium to industrial size|
|Temperature Range||Intense temperature until it heats the coils and turns on once the temperature drops||Steady temperature range from 225 to 250 degrees F|
|Cleaning||The parts can only be cleaned with a clean, damp cloth||The components can be submerged in water|
|Maintenance||Check the wirings, cables, and coils to prevent a faulty connection||Check the gas connections and ignition for possible leaks and tears|
|Storage||Portable electric grills are safe in small storage areas||Gas grills should have dedicated room considering the gas tank and connections|
1. Gas Grill vs Electric Grill Fuel Sources
The gas grill uses either of the two types of gas sources: a natural gas or a propane gas. Both of them burn cleaner than the charcoal so they are both environment-friendly. However, they still have differences.
The natural gas has a lower emission of carbon, but it could dramatically increase your bill when installed in your home. The propane gas is less eco-friendly but it provides more heat than the natural gas.
The gas source is enclosed in a portable tank that connects to the grill through a valve and a regulator. This assembly needs to be placed outdoors as a safety hazard and precautionary measure.
On the contrary, an electric grill is powered by an electrical power source. You can use it indoors or outdoors as long as the power cord reaches the outlet.
Portable models of electric smokers and grills usually have a shorter cable making them appropriate only for indoor grilling. It is not dependent on a gas tank, but it can increase your electric bill.
2. Compare the Size
Both electric grill and gas grill comes in different sizes. Gas grills are usually large and even comes on a massive scale. Restaurants use the industrial gas grill for cooking an enormous amount of food at once. Electric grills have more variety of sizes – small ones for the kitchen countertops and bigger ones for the outdoors.
If you love grilled fish or meat for dinner, a portable electric grill is suitable for you. But if you like having picnics or meals on your backyard, a larger rack is the better choice. The number of people you intend to feed is the primary consideration for the grill size.
3. Temperature range
Gas grills produce a high temperature that ranges from 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this, you can’t cook food at low heat, especially on a longer duration. The significant advantage is you can set the temperature to cook the meat at a steady high heat. Searing is possible.
Electric grills vary model by model. Generally, they create extreme heat on the coils, and then they turn off. On some units, the coils are re-heated automatically when the temperature drops. On the other models, a timer re-heats the reels. Although you can’t sear food, you can cook at a low heat by placing the food when the coils reach the required temperature.
4. Cleaning and storage
Electric grills are made of stainless steel plates, cables, coils, and other heating elements that can’t be plunged in the water. You can clean the parts by wiping them off with a damp cloth.
Some models have non-stick surfaces, so they’re more convenient. You also need to check the wiring regularly to prevent unsatisfactory performance and accident. When not in use, you can store the grill inside the cabinets or on the counter-top.
In a gas grill, the removable parts such as the grates, heating coils, and trays can be submerged in the water immediately after use. However, storage is a slightly complicated. You need to consider the space required by the gas grill because it is connected to a propane tank. Propane tank can explode. The gas connection and ignition should be free from leaks and tears.
The Advantages of Electric Grill
Many people agree that electric grills are more convenient than gas-fueled grills. Among the benefits are the following:
- Thermostat control for consistent temperature: Electric grills have a thermostat control through which you can adjust the temperature based on the kind of food you want to cook or the kind of roast you want to achieve.
- The grill for all season: Electric grills allow you to prepare grilled meals regardless of the weather or season. They are suited for indoor use, but you can bring them outside too for picnics and snacks on the patios.
- No gas leaks: With electric grills, you don’t have to consider possible gas leaks when placing it anywhere.
- Requires less storage space: Space requirement is not that much of a problem too. You can keep the electric grill on countertops or inside the cabinets.
- Easy to clean: Although you can’t submerge the entire unit in the water, the electric grills are easy to clean. Some even have non-stick plates that you can wipe off the grease instantly.
The Drawbacks of Electric Grill
Although electric grills seem like a desirable option, they have some drawbacks that will limit your grilling experience or preference.
- Less authentic taste: With an electric grill, you can’t come up with a taste that is as authentic as the food grilled under the charcoal. Smoker wood chips for turkey or other tasty BBQ are often added to achieve the authentic flavor and smell somehow.
- Increased electric consumption: Electric grill draws energy from commercial power. Any appliance that draws heat from the electricity dramatically contributes to your electric bill.
- You can’t sear food in electric grills: Electric grills provide a consistently high temperature for an extended period. Unfortunately, searing is not possible.
- Electric grill can’t be washed in water: When you forget to clean your grill right after you cook, you will have a hard time getting rid of the grease and debris. In these moments, you wish you can dump and soak the entire electric grill in the water-filled basin, but you can’t.
Advantages of Gas Grill
A lot of outdoor lovers has utilized gas grills since their invention because of some reasons:
- Smoky taste and aroma: These grill types are the most sought after when you refer to real grilled food. Any food that you dump in the grills will have a smoky texture that you won’t achieve in electric grills.
- More energy efficient: Gas grills use propane to heat the grill plates. Propane gas is more efficient and can turn into reusable fuel. When cooking large batches of meat, the gas grill is more energy-efficient. This advantage is the reason why commercial establishments utilize gas grills instead of electric grills.
- All parts of the grill are washable: You can throw the components in the water for cleaning. For some users, this is a more natural way of washing out grease and stains that accumulate in the various parts of the grill.
Drawbacks of Gas Grill
Some disadvantages that you should consider in gas grills as the following:
- Requires more safety precautions: Gas grills require safe storage space. It should be away from flammable materials or objects that obstruct the blaze. Gas grills are intended for outdoor use only.
- Cleaning the grill plates is a challenge: The food easily sticks to the grill plates. Especially when you don’t wash them immediately after cooking, the deep-seated debris and grease will be harder to wash out.
- Not for low heat cooking: Gas grill cooks food at a high temperature. If you want to grill in low heat, a gas grill is not a convenient option.
Which One Wins: Electric or Gas Grill?
Aside from the above-mentioned factors, another thing to consider is how much time you have. Gas grills are the best for recreational outdoor activities. Their large grill plates can accommodate up to 15 servings of meat.
On the other hand, smokeless electric grills are more convenient for preparing everyday meals. Some people consider it as a substitute to ovens, stove-top, and microwave.
I spent most of my life fascinated by food, and the outdoors. I can’t think of a more fitting combo that leads to mastering the art of BBQ one day. I ended up decent enough to grill the perfect burger and choose the best equipment after years of improvement. I create this website for outdoor cooking enthusiasts, who are fueled by interest but lacking in help, feel educated when they leave because I see my past clueless self in them.