'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
Electric grills aren't just for cooking up late-night chicken nuggets. Many big names in outdoor grilling like Char-Broil and Weber are now offering electric grills to either replace or supplement your gas and charcoal-fueled grills. An electric grill offers a clean, energy-efficient way to cook just about anything you would for a regular barbecue without the mess and hassle of propane bottles, lighter fluid, and charcoal.
Also: The best air fryers: Crunchy comfort food without the oil
While many models don't really mimic the taste of gas or charcoal-grilled foods, there are a few that allow for cooking fats and juices to vaporize. This helps to give your food that classic grilled taste we all know and love.
To help you find the right electric grill for you, I put together a list of the five best that you can buy. I was able to get some hands-on experience with the Weber Lumin, and did my best to include sizes, temperature ranges, and price points to help you decide which is the best fit for your budget, outdoor space, and cooking needs.
Weber Lumin specs: Cooking area: 237 square inches | Max temperature: 600 F | Dimensions: 23.5 x 19.45 x 12.5 inches | Style: Tabletop/Freestanding
The Weber Lumin is an excellent choice for outdoor electric grilling. I was able to get some hands-on experience with the compact version, pitting it against my gas grill to see how the Lumin compared in cooking times and taste. It was able to pre-heat and cook in similar time frames as my gas grill, and was even able to mimic that classic, charred flavor you get from gas grilling.
It comes with a steamer basket for using soaked wood chips, thawing meat, steaming veggies, or even using the Lumin as a chafing dish to keep finished food at safe temperatures while you finish cooking. The only downside is that it does not come with a leg or stand assembly, since it is meant to be set on a table by default. But if you want legs or a stand, you can purchase one from Weber.
George Foreman grill specs: Cooking area: 240 square inches | Max temperature: Not specified | Dimensions: 39.25 x 22.5 x 11.25 inches | Style: Tabletop/Freestanding
Chances are, when you think of electric grills, you think of the George Foreman brand. Ubiquitous with late-90s and early-00s infomercials, the George Foreman grills were able to back up their popularity with solid construction and ease of use. The latest iteration is no exception. It's rated for both indoor and outdoor use, so you can grill burgers, steaks, veggies, and more no matter the weather.
It also comes with a stand base for outdoor cooking so you don't have to sacrifice a patio table to grill. And since the grill plate itself is removable, it's easy to clean between grilling sessions. It's also super affordable, retailing just under $100 -- great for anyone who is working with a limited budget.
Ninja Woodfire specs: Cooking area: 141 square inches | Max temperature: Not specified | Dimensions: 23.6 x 18.6 x 13 inches | Style: Countertop
If you're like me and can't stand the thought of keeping a single-purpose cooking appliance around, the Ninja Woodfire is a great option for outdoor cooking. Not only does it grill, but you can also use it to bake, roast, dehydrate, and even air-fry.
This means that you can turn your outdoor cooking space into the ultimate BBQ to sear steaks, smoke racks of ribs, make grilled pizza, and more. The large dial lets you set your cooking style while the LED display lets you set temperature ranges and cooking timers, so you never have to worry about overdone or underdone food.
Char-Broil Edge specs: Cooking area: 330 square inches | Max temperature: 700 F | Dimensions: 48 x 22.5 x 45 inches | Style: Cart
Electric grills tend to be on the smaller side, but the Char-Broil Edge is designed to give you similar cooking space to gas and charcoal grills. It features 330 square inches of cooking space, which means you can cook up to 18 burgers, racks of ribs or briskets, and even whole chickens.
The digital display makes setting temperatures and timers fast and easy, while the automatic cleaning cycle helps keep your grill in top shape. The cart is made of stainless steel, which means it won't rust when exposed to the elements; it also means that the delicate electric components will also be protected from the elements, though I do recommend getting a grill cover for an extra barrier.
Zojirushi EB-CC15 - Cooking area: 112 square inches | Max temperature: 410 F | Dimensions: 12 x 18.75 x 3 inches | Style: Countertop
Many electric grills are rated for indoor use, meaning that you can keep grilling well after summer has ended. The Zojirushi EB-CC15 features a uniquely segmented cooking plate that both allows fat to drain away from cooking food and vaporize, so you can mimic gas-grilled flavor. The entire unit disassembles for easier cleaning, and the handles stay cool to the touch for safer cooking and handling.
The drip tray is also dishwasher safe. The cooking element can reach temperatures up to 410 F, which means you can sear steaks, sauté veggies, or quick-cook hotdogs and brats. And if you're worried about safety, the Zojirushi EB-CC15 won't turn on unless it is correctly assembled; this drastically reduces the chance of an electric shock, fire, or other accident.
My pick for the best electric grill is the Weber Lumin. It comes in two sizes, letting you choose the best fit for your outdoor cooking space. It features an open grill grate that allows juices and fat from cooking to drip down and smoke or vaporize, so your food gets that charred, smoky flavor that comes from grilling. It also includes a steamer basket for using soaked woodchips, steaming veggies, thawing meat, or using the grill as a chafing dish.
237 square inches
23.5 x 19.45 x 12.5 inches
Black, dark blue, light blue, yellow, green
George Foreman electric grill
240 square inches
39.25 x 22.5 x 11.25 inches
141 square inches
23.6 x 18.6 x 13 inches
330 square inches
48 x 22.5 x 45 inches
112 square inches
12 x 18.75 x 3 inches
When shopping for an electric grill, you'll want to make sure it has a large enough cooking surface to be able to handle everything you will need to cook either for daily meals or get-togethers with friends and family. You'll also want to make sure that your grill is rated for outdoor use if you're looking to either replace or supplement your gas, pellet, or charcoal grill.
Choose this electric grill…
If you need…
A well-rounded electric grill. It comes in two sizes and can mimic the taste of gas-grilled foods.
George Foreman electric grill
A budget-friendly electric grill. This indoor/outdoor electric grill retails for under $100, making it perfect for more modest budgets.
A multipurpose electric grill. Not only can you grill, but you can also smoke, dehydrate, and even air-fry food.
A large electric grill. It features 330 square inches of cooking surface area so you can grill just about any cut of meat.
An indoor electric grill. The makers of TikTok-famous rice cookers also have a great indoor electric grill.
I did my best to include a variety of indoor and outdoor models from trusted brands as well as models with varying price points to suit a range of budgets. I was also able to do some hands-on testing with the Weber Lumin compact electric grill and used that experience to inform my decisions and make comparisons for the rest of the list.
There are electric grills out there, like the Weber Lumin, that feature designs meant to allow juices and fats from cooking to drip and vaporize or smoke to give your food that classic charred flavor you get from grilling. An open grate like what you would see on a gas or charcoal grill is the key to mimicking that typical grilled taste.
Electric grills with solid plates, like the George Foreman Grill, are great for drawing fat away from meats while cooking, but don't allow steam to escape. This leads to your food looking like it was on a traditional grill but tasting more like it was steamed or sautéed.
Two of the most important factors to look for when is total cooking surface area and whether you're considering it for indoor or outdoor use.
It all depends on the model of electric grill. Smaller models won't draw as much power and won't reach as high a cooking temperature as larger, more robust models. Indoor-only and indoor/outdoor electric grills may also take longer to cook food for the same reasons. In our testing of the Weber Lumin grill, we found that it had similar pre-heat and cooking times comparable to a propane gas-fueled grill.
The George Foreman line of electric grills is no longer your only option if you're looking to replace or supplement your gas and charcoal grills. Weber, Char-Broil, and other brands are now offering both indoor and outdoor electric grills. I've put together a short list of alternative choices that I thought were great:
This is a great option if the Weber Lumin is a bit too expensive or large for your space. It provides 240 square inches of cooking space, meaning you can cook up to 12 burgers at a time.
This is perfect for smaller kitchens, apartments, and condos that don't have enough outdoor space for grilling. It features a single grill plate to evenly distribute heat, while the viewing window in the lid lets you keep an eye on your cooking without having to open the unit.
If you're looking for a way to make batches of veggies, smash burgers, brats, or hot dogs, this is a great option. The solid-construction cooking surface makes it easy to sear, steam, and sauté delicate foods that may not be suited to a grate.