Well, you asked for it. Here, Smoky answers the most commonly asked questions. He is direct, honest and offers an insight into the time proven techniques to preparing great barbecue that is unavailable elsewhere. If you are unable to locate the exact answer you are seeking, feel free to contact him directly and ask!
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Topic: Advantages and disadvantages of electric grills as opposed to gas grills . . . .
Subject: Re: Comparing electric grills to gas grills
We are shopping for a new outdoor grill. Our original plan was to buy a gas grill, but have run across several electric grills. Would like your expert opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of electric grills as opposed to gas grills.
Thanks in advance.
Your question goes straight to the core of grilling. Grilling is exposing food to a heat source producing temperatures high enough to brown it during cooking.
Contrary to the claims of the gas grill set, grilling over charcoal or wood embers, imparts flavor absent in food cooked over gas or electrical heat. However, juices and fat from meat dripped onto any heat source will evaporate and produce some flavor.
Therefore, from a taste stand point, gas and electrity are equal sources of heat. Assuming gas and electric grills of equal design and construction, the questions to be answered, then, are initial cost, operating cost and safety.
Initial cost comparisons are simple comparison of selling price. Comparative operating costs will vary upon the location of the user. I would not consider an electric grill that did not use 220 volts because it will not likely produce enough heat and the operating costs will be higher. Natural gas grills will have lower operating costs than grills using bottled gas.
Both gas and electrical grills should provide infinite adjustment of temperature.
As to safety, gas is an explosive, but when properly used has proven extremely safe. Likewise, electrical shock is dangerous. If I were to use an electric grill, I would have the wiring done by a certified, licensed electrician and insist that a Ground Fault Interrupt (GFI) was included in the circuit.
Now, having given you more information than you probably wanted to know, the decision is yours.