Gas or electric grill? In this article, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of gas or electric grills to help you decide which one for your patio, balcony, trailer, or wherever you need a grill.
Before deciding on a grill, it is important to know which type is best for you and your needs.
What is Gas Grill ?
They run on propane or natural gas and use one or more burners to grill food over an open flame. The food rests on a grill over the flame and regulates the intensity of the fire up and down to control the temperature.
The best gas grills offer a real flame-cooking experience without coal pollution. Instead, you just have to make sure you have a constant gas supply.
This means buying propane tanks, usually 9-10 kilos, or connecting them to a natural gas line to ensure uninterrupted fuel flow.
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What is Electric Grill?
Unlike all other types of grills, electric grills do not use combustion to cook food. Grilling on one is more like using an electric grill inside.
Simply plug the device into an electrical outlet and instead of heating the grill and the space around the food with fire, the electricity does the job.
You will still get grilling marks from raised ridges on the surface. What you don’t get are shoots that burn your food. They are very easy to use and deliver consistent results right from the start.
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Gas Grill or Electric Grill: Comparison Table 2023
|Characteristics||Electric Grill||Gas Grill|
|Fuel||Electricity||Natural Gas or Propane|
|Size||Small worktops or table tops are available that supply 2 to 6 people at the same time. There are also large ones available for the outdoor or inner courtyard that cater for 12 to 15 people at the same time.||Gas grills are available in sizes from small, single steak grills to large ones. Industry-sized restaurant grills can feed a hundred or more people.|
|Space requirements||It can be used indoors or outdoors; Not much space is needed.||Preferably outside; Most gas grills take up a lot of space and must not be placed too close to flammable materials.|
|Temperature range||About 120 ° – 260 °
The electric grill generates intense radiant heat and then switches its heating coils off and on again after a certain time or when the temperature drops. Searing thicker foods may not be possible as this requires intense heat over a long period of time.
|About 120 ° – 260 °
In a gas grill, you can control the heat at a constant temperature. Gas grills are difficult to maintain at low temperatures (~ 225-250F), especially over long periods of time.
|Cleaning||The heating element of an electric grill cannot be immersed in water and must be disconnected from the mains when cleaning. All removable parts can be cleaned.||All washable parts of the grill, including removable hot plates, grids and fat trays, can be washed thoroughly with hot water.|
|User Friendliness||Very easy to use; little or no learning curve||It is not difficult to use, but not as easy as an electric grill.|
|Weatherproof||It cannot be used outdoors in rain or snow.||It can be used in any weather|
|Running costs||Low; about 0.13 – 0.25 kWh. Depending on the local electricity tariffs||Natural gas approx. 5 – 6 cents kWh; Propane approx.0.50 – 0.55 $ / hour|
|Price||Lowest average entry price||Large price range, but more expensive averages for decent quality.|
|Taste||Electric grills do not offer the same authenticity as gas or coal grills. Grilled appearance; little or no smoky taste||Food tastes better with gas grills than with electric grills, but not comparable to coal. Some smoke and charcoal taste possible.|
|Popularity||Electric grills are not very popular.||Gas barbecues are very popular and there is a lot more variety.|
Gas or Electric Grill Aspects
It is time to address some important issues to consider when choosing a perfect gas or electric grill:
Electric or Gas Grill Ease of Use
Electric grills are extremely user-friendly and can be configured wherever there is a power supply. Anyone who has used an electric cooker or iron will have no problem using any of these useful devices.
The temperature can be set quickly, easily and precisely by turning the rotary knob.
Gas grills light up immediately with a built-in ignition system (or with a match if necessary).
As with electricity, you can set the temperature with just a few turns of a button. However, it may take some time to find the right settings for different types of grilling.
While both offer greater ease of use and convenience in front of the charcoal grill, the electric grills gain the simplicity of the competition over gas.
Electric or Gas Grill Versatility
If you feel like using your grill creatively, you will find that your electric grill is very limited. Yes, you can give good security to foods with high heat capacities and they grill your food to the point you want. But that’s all.
However, a gas grill offers many more options, especially if you have 2 or more burners available. Those who want to get the most out of their grill will soon learn how to grill with 2 zones, where your dishes are grilled in the hot zone and finished in the cooler area.
You can also fry or add a smokehouse for smoking under the lid.
For everything beyond the simplest grill, gas is the way to go.
Electric or Gas Grill Temperature Range
A wide temperature range opens up more options for grilling. A typical electric grill has a low setting of approx. 120 ° C. This is ideal for warming up food or cooking delicate items such as fish, fruits and vegetables. You can also hold it thanks to the internal thermostat.
High temperatures on an electric grill can really vary. Some very good models reach 300 ° C or more, which is incredible for searing. However, on average, expect a temperature of 250 ° C, which is still good enough to sear meat.
A gas grill has a similar bottom end, but it can be more difficult to keep it there because the flames keep coming up. You need to learn 2-zone grilling for good grilling at low temperature. For the lower end, expect the maximum temperature to be between 250 ° C and 290 ° C. If you want to reach the highest temperatures, you should look for a gas infrared burner that offers temperatures well over 370 ° C and even over 480 ° C and more.
We will take advantage of electricity for constant heat, but the gas grill for the potential as we can reach higher temperatures.
Gas or Electric Grill Size and Space Requirements
Most electric grills are rather small, with the largest approaching the smallest gas grills. It may only take 2 square feet for one, possibly a little more to include a stand with wheels and side shelves.
However, gas grills can range from small to monstrous. The little ones only need a few meters on each side. An average size 3-4 burner grill may take up more space. You can also opt for an outdoor kitchen appliance with a length of 2.5 m or more, which contains side burners and workstations.
Electric or Gas Grill Capacity
The larger electric grills are still pretty small as the grills advance. Don’t expect to find more than 240 square inches of grill space. This is fine for a couple, a very small family, or maybe a couple of friends to camp with. However, don’t expect to organize a BBQ with electricity in the neighborhood backyard.
On the other hand, there are gas grills in different sizes, from very small to very, very large. You can get compact units or ones that are good for a small family, just like electrical ones. However, if you need more than 600 square inches of grill space (think of 20 hamburgers at the same time), gas is your grill.
Gas or Electric Grill Reliability
This category is reduced to “You get what you pay for”. There are some reputable companies that make electric grills, including George Foreman, Weber and Cuisinart. We don’t expect many problems with such names.
The same applies to gas grills. Choose a good grill company and you will minimize the likelihood that something is wrong with your grill.
If something goes wrong (and that’s always a possibility, no matter what you buy), it’s much cheaper and easier to fix your gas grill.
The parts are easy to get and can usually be replaced by the owner. Electric grills are not that easy to repair, especially if a thermostat or electronic component is broken.
Electric or Gas Grill Depending on Weather
Honestly, you can’t use an outside grill in bad weather. Precipitation and electrification should not belong together and electronic components are also not designed for extreme cold.
However, what you can do is bring your electric grill to the garage or even the kitchen as many models can be used indoors as they don’t emit harmful gases and produce a minimum of smoke.
Gas grills can be used in any weather you want to endure. While they may have trouble warming up when the outside temperature drops, it is possible to grill all year round, except in arctic climates. The same applies to rain and snow: if you can stand it, you can grill.
Remember to clean moisture before covering it again to avoid oxidation.
It’s hard to say if any of them are the winners here, but in general we prefer the idea to grill outside in any weather.
Gas or Electric Grill Maintenance
Maintaining an electric grill is a breeze. Keep it dry and clean the grill surfaces. Many have a non-stick coating to make it easier to remove dirt and you can even completely remove the frame.
A gas grill is not difficult to maintain, but it requires more attention. You should burn and scrape food scraps, clean the moisture, check the gas connections, make sure the burners are safe and intact, monitor the oxidation and even the spider webs in the pipes (seriously).
It seems like a lot, but it’s not a big problem, however, it’s more than you’re dealing with an electric grill.
Electric or Gas Grill Purchase Cost
There are some good electric grills at really low prices, some for less than 100 euros. Even some of the best on the market will make sure it’s nothing more than a decent gas grill. There are some super high-end commercial models that cost up to $ 1000, but very few of us need this type of equipment.
The low level for gas grills is slightly higher than that for electric grills, but there are many more options. Of course, you can spend thousands of dollars on a gas grill, but most of us don’t.
We give the advantage for the purchase price to the electrical systems, but we will not call this a decisive factor.
Gas or Electric Grill Running Costs
The operating costs of your electric grill depend on how much you pay for electricity. For example, if you operate solar panels, this will cost you absolutely nothing. Very cute!
Now we have to pay for plugging in the network. If you have an average grill and pay 15 cents per kWh (kilowatt hour), this will cost about $ 0.25 / hour. While grilling, this is not that bad.
Depending on how far the pipe has to run, the installation of a natural gas connection can be moderate to very expensive. Once inside, the fuel doesn’t cost much. Expect to pay around 0.15 $ / hour.
Propane is the most expensive of the three options. The actual values depend on your BTUs, but are around $ 0.60 / hour. It is a reasonable estimate.
None of this is a large sum, but natural gas is the most economical if you ignore the installation costs.
Electric or Gas Grill Quality and Consistency of the Dishes
Since it is easy to maintain a certain temperature and there are few or no outbreaks, grilling with an electric grill is very consistent. You can also grill any kind of food without any problems. For example, a firm and non-stick grill area is ideal for fish, so there is no need for a grill cage to protect sensitive meat.
As soon as you master it, a gas grill also delivers consistent results. However, they require more work because the heat fluctuates and fat drops can cause breakouts.
In terms of quality, however, there is no comparison if you enjoy the taste of the grill. A gas grill uses real and open flames to heat the grill, air, and food. Drip juices produce some smoke (not as much as coal, but something), and charred fat and sauces improve the taste significantly.
Unfortunately, an electric model offers little or nothing of this kind of friendliness.
For a really delicious barbecue that tastes like barbecue, a gas grill model always outperforms an electric one.
Gas or Electric Grill Popularity
Electric grills are on the rise thanks to their convenience and the way they fit into a modern lifestyle. No yard? No problem. However, there is almost no community or resources to support your trip. But considering how easy they are to use, maybe that doesn’t matter?
However, gas grills are very popular. They come in all shapes and sizes and are ideal for everyone, from singles to large families. There are many groups and websites where you can find support, encouragement and advice.
Electric Grill Summary
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Electric Grill Advantages and Disadvantages
- Fuel never runs out (Except in the event of a power failure)
- Running costs low
- Easy to use and clean
- Indoor use possible
- You can’t grill without electricity
- You cannot create a really smoky taste
- A large grill area is difficult to find
- It is not possible to grill in 2 zones
What are Electric Grill Suitable For?
- Casual grills
- People with disabilities (apartments, condos, townhouses)
- People who don’t like the taste of smoke or coal
You May Prefer a Gas Grill if …
- You prefer a smoky taste
- You want more options
- They like to grill for a crowd
Gas Grill Summary
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Gas Grill Advantages and Disadvantages
- It heats up quickly
- Many other grill options (e.g. grilling in 2 zones)
- Add real smoke and grilled aroma
- You can grill outside in any weather
- The propane is running low and needs to be replaced
- The connection of natural gas is expensive
- Further maintenance is required
- It’s not usually as portable as electric grills
What are Gas Grills for ?
- People with an existing gas connection
- Who likes the real grill taste
- Large families or groups
You may Prefer an Electric Grill if …
- You are not allowed to grill with gas where you live
- You prefer a “cleaner” taste for your food
- Sometimes like to grill indoors
Gas Grill or Electric Grill Conclusion
Whether gas or electric grill, both types offer a unique grill experience, but if we had the option, we would always choose gas!
The quality of the food, which we consider the most important factor, is much better than that of an electric grill. If you are fenced and have space for safe use, we recommend a gas grill over an electric one.
Keep in mind that an electric grill can be a worthwhile investment if gas is out of the question or if you really want to be able to grill carefree outdoors. For some, this may be the best or even the only option. Of course we choose the electric grill between the electric grill and no grill!