How Do Electric Grills Work

How Do Electric Grills Work

Electric grills have become a popular alternative to charcoal and gas grills due to their efficiency and safety. It is fast as it takes a short time to heat to the optimum temperature, and you can use it comfortably without risking fire safety.

But, understanding how an electric grill works will help you maximize the benefits of this equipment.

Electric grills don’t use any form of combustion to cook food as they have a heating element either embedded within the cooking surface or directly below it that uses electricity instead of charcoal or gas. A drip pan is found below the elements which catches grease and fat that cooks out of the meat.

How Does An Electric Grill Work

Electric grills depend on electricity to heat the cooking element, which cooks the food.

They have a simple design and can be compared to a big metal heating plate with a surface containing ridges. The ridges are for stimulating the grill whenever it is being used.

The plate also features a lid which you can use for covering the plate if cooking with indirect heat.

The main advantage of electric grills over other types is that they distribute heat evenly, resulting in even cooking.

You don’t risk burning your food even if the lid is closed. Let us go through the different parts of an electric grill.

Cooking Grate

Any grill, whether gas, charcoal, or electric, has a cooking grate. The grate gets closest to your food and makes great sear marks that we love on food.

This tool is the workhorse of the grill, and no model can do without it.

Cooking grates on electric grills are located above the heating elements. But bear in mind that these grates may differ depending on the grill’s brand.

Some manufacturers make theirs using stainless steel, while others opt for cast iron.

Regardless of the material used, regular care and maintenance are essential. Since the grates are the part that’s mostly exposed to wear and tear, you need to clean and season them regularly to ensure longevity.

Grill Lid

Electric grills come with a lid that users use to cover the plate. Whether to close or open the plate depends on what you are grilling and how you cook it.

For example, if you are cooking meat, leaving the lid on will ensure that it cooks perfectly and even doneness.

Leaving the plates open is recommended when cooking foods like thin steaks, burgers, fish, shrimp, vegetables, etc.

Also, if you are using indirect heat, it is better to leave the lid cover on.

Heat Plates

Heat plates, also known as heat tents, are a must-have on any grill. They help distribute heat evenly throughout the cooking surface.

You can eliminate uneven cooking and maximize your space to fit more foods.

The type of heat plates used depends on the manufacturer. Therefore, consider your grill brand and size if you need to replace yours.

Drip Pan

Electric grills come with a drip pan which helps collect juices that drip from the meat and other liquids.

Since most of them are removable, you can use the drippings to make sauce or stock.

Drip pans are also useful in preventing fire flare-ups, and sometimes, they can help absorb heat from the heating element and reduce temperature.

The drip pan in electric grills is found under the components to allow it to catch drippings from food easily.


Many electric grills models come with a thermostat to allow users to adjust the temperatures accordingly.

This device is usually located behind the temperature control handle on the grill’s belt plate.

If you can use your grill as a top oven, you can control it with a thermostat. You can use high or low heating depending on what you are cooking with your thermostat.

Many basic models only have low and high-heat settings. However, some top-notch brands design grills that let users set the temperature to an exact degree.

Do Electric Grills Use A Lot Of Electricity

When buying a device, it’s wise to consider its electric consumption. The good news is that electric grills don’t use a lot of electricity.

Well, the exact amount they use depends on the construction. But experts agree that the electricity used is not as much as many people think.

So, before purchasing an electric grill, you need to find out whether it uses too much electricity.

The average power consumption is approximately 1400 watts per hour. Since many people don’t grill every day, this amount is affordable.

The size of your grill influences the amount of electricity you will use. Smaller grills tend to use more energy than larger ones.

Additionally, the time you use your grill affects the electricity you will use. If you grill daily, your energy consumption will be higher than someone who grills a few times a month.

How Well Do Electric Grills Work

Electric grills work well and tend to produce great-tasting food. Well, the food may not have a smoky flavor as that grilled with charcoal or gas grills, but it will still be tasty.

These grills are affordable, low maintenance, and great alternatives to charcoal and gas grills.

They provide even heat distribution, meaning your meat will never be undercooked.

Also, the grills ensure safety when working with them. Since they don’t produce flames or smoke, you can be assured of your safety, and you will also get healthy foods.

Remember that charcoal grills make smoke that has carbon monoxide. Inhaling these gasses may have a severe impact on your health.

Do Electric Grills Get Hot Enough

Yes. Electric grills get hot enough and can thus be used for grilling different foods.

Many models can achieve a high temperature of 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, as mentioned, most come with a thermostat that helps you regulate heat when cooking.

The heat control feature is what makes these grills popular. Individuals can adjust the temperature to be hot enough for the food they prepare.

The lowest temperatures are usually 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and they may attain high temperatures up to 650 degrees F. But this temperature range depends on the grill model in question.

Electric grills take about 15 minutes to heat up to the highest temperature for searing. And they can take 10 or fewer minutes to achieve a temperature suitable for slow cooking.

But many people prefer heating their electric grill for about 20 minutes to allow them to get hotter. However, this depends on what you plan to cook and the electric grill you use.

You can cook pork chops, kebabs, and steak in the highest heat. Medium heat is suitable for cooking hamburgers, vegetables, and fish.

And low, medium heat is ideal for cooking sausages and chicken.

How Long Do Electric Grills Last

All types of grills can last for a long time because they are designed to be durable. You can expect 5-15 years of longevity from your electric grill.

However, this depends on how well you care for and maintain your grill. Knowing how long your grill is expected to survive is essential as it can help you plan and budget yourself.

The model of the grill usually influences its durability. Remember that manufacturers use different metals and materials to make their grills.

Some use high-end ones like stainless steel, while others use cheaper materials. Of course, low-quality materials won’t offer you long-term service compared to grills made with high-quality materials.

Helpful Tips To Know About How Electric Grills Work

As we have seen, electric grills depend on electricity to work. They are safe, affordable, and easy to use.

However, to get the most out of your electric grill, you need to have certain things in mind. Here are some tips to make your grilling experience excellent with this cooking equipment.

  • Preheat your grill while preparing your food. You need to give the grill enough time to heat to the right temperatures. Preheating while you prepare makes the process less time-consuming. Remember that your grill won’t heat up again once you start cooking.
  • Always ensure the grill is on a level surface before turning it on. This keeps it from tipping over and hence will not cause a fire. Also, keep pets and children far from your grill when using it. The heat produced with this equipment can cause severe burns.
  • Clean your grill after cooking. If you want your grill to last long, proper care and maintenance are needed. Please don’t leave it with food particles or moisture. Remember rusting is a real challenge with grills. So ensure that you wipe it down and season the grates to prevent rusting.

Final Thoughts

Electric grills are perfect for you if you are worried about food health and safety. They offer fast cooking without releasing smoke or flames.

Plus, they are affordable and easy to maintain. We hope that you now understand how they work and how to care for them.

Drew Thomas

My name is Drew Thomas and I’m the creator of Fun In the Yard, your one stop site for all your outdoor games, sports, party activities, outdoor gear, and lawn & gardening tips.

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