Advantages:

Preseason coating

For those who have cooked over cast iron know what I am saying here. For those who haven’t, it is a non-stick layer which builds up over time. It is not just about the coating. It has a special flavour which makes food even tastier. Basically, it is the accumulation of fat overtime. But it gives that special flavour to the meat. Anyways, it takes time to build so you can shorten the first grilling cycle and supercharge everything.

Space

The amount of space you get on a griddle is amazing. It will definitely surprise the first-time users. You can cook for 20 people without having to fit into everything tightly. And I love the idea of cooking a variety of things all at once, at 4 different zones. I mean you can cook vegetables at one end and make brown fried rice at the other end.
Beat that!

Durability and weight

I hate plastics!

I don’t like things that are breakable easily or are just wimp. They cost less but they never give those Old-American tough feeling. And somehow I have that image in my head. And would like to keep it that way.

Blackstone is all metal. The grilling burners are stainless steel and the cooking surface is also steel. Actually, it is just a big chunk of steel and so obviously weighs a ton.

Portability

I just said it weighs a ton. So portability is of course out of question. But yeah it does have industrial grade caster wheels which roll quite nicely. Just move it wherever you want to and then lock the two of them in place. Then it won’t move an inch. Of course, the griddle top is removable and the legs are also foldable. But it is so heavy. Unless you are a family of hunks, I doubt you are going to take it to a campsite.

Assembly

Don’t be afraid of ordering this one online because it is very easy to assemble. You can do it alone, without any help. All you need is a screwdriver. Of course, you have to be able to lift more than 50 pounds. Or else, just call for help.

Cleaning

After the griddle is all cool from the cooking, just spray some water on it. Then wipe it with a grill sponge and if anything sticks use a scraping tool. You can also use paper towels for wiping. They soak up greasiness pretty well. Then you need to apply a layer of oil for protection, empty the drip pan and bucket.

Disadvantages:

Grease drainage

You know why I don’t own a griddle in spite of the fact that I love them?

Because of the cleaning process. Cleaning griddle top is too easy. No black build-up. But rest of the grill? I hate it.

Unfortunately, the Blackstone grill has some serious flaws when it comes to grease management. Of course there is a drip pan and a whole connection, but still the grease leaks. So you have to put a bucket where it drips. My idea is to line it with a tin foil to shorten the yucky process. But you do have to spend some extra time cleaning after each grilling session. A little sacrifice for amazing food.

Tools

For maintaining a griddle, you will need some extra tools. It needs to be properly seasoned and cleaned. For that, you will need a griddle spatula, a grease scraper, and a griddle cleaning tool. You will get all of them in under $30. But still, it is an extra expense.

Also, the entire unit is made of steel and so will rust really easily. it is high-maintenance. You will need a proper clean-up every time and a rust-proof cover.

Conclusion:

    I don’t like cleaning the grease, does not mean you also can’t. The food is amazing when cooked on a griddle. This one has a controllable heat, propane fuel tank of 20lb and flat top cooking space. Blackstone is well-known for quality products with high durability. It is definitely a yes from me.

5. Char-Broil TRU Infrared Electric Patio Bistro 180 Grill

Most of the times, electric grills are modified hot plates. They cook the food but we don’t want cooked food, we want grilled food. And grilled food tastes different, smells different, looks different. Thank god Char-Broil understands that. Its patio grill is perfect for people grill lovers living in apartments or condos with space issues.



Specifications:

• 1500 Watts for grilling and 120V power outlet
• TRU-infrared heating
• Removable grease tray
• Porcelain coated lid, grate, and firebox
• Temperature gauge

Advantages:

Compact
You are looking for an electric grill which means you have space issues. You don’t live in a place where there is outdoor cooking provision. At the most, you have a balcony. So it’s obvious you need a compact design to fit in a small space. And the Char-Broil 180 fits into a corner even. There are wheels for movement so that is not an issue.

TRU-Infrared Technology
You don’t have to wait around for coal to heat up or gas to burn. That is the plus point of an electric grill. It should be fast. In fact, this machine will reach 550ºF in just half an hour of starting.

Now that’s what I call efficiency.

Infrared grilling means there is heat deflector between the grates and the heat source. Which means, the temperature spreads evenly over the grill. This technology helps keep the meat moist through the cooking process. No hot spots and no cold spots.

Easy to operate
Anyone can grill on this electric grill. Amateurs who start on charcoal grills are usually scared away because of the bad experiences. But an electric grill is a smart way to start. Here you just have to start the grill and keep a track of cooking time and temperature. No major hassles.

Portability
The grill is very convenient. It fits into apartment balconies, patios, and decks. It has got wheels and no weight. You can easily take it to family reunions, office parties, lakeside or anywhere with hungry people. It has safety and no mess.

Durability
The grill is small but sturdy. It is made of ceramic and the grates are porcelain coated. The material holds heat well and weighs less. With proper maintenance, the grill will give you company for a long time.

Cleaning
No grease, no ash, no mess. Cleaning is a breeze. At the bottom of the grill, there is a drain hole so keep brushing while cooking. Also, brush some oil on the surface before cooking so that it becomes non-stick. Those ways you don’t have to scrap afterward. To maintain it for years to come, you will need to keep it clean. After every use takes out the grate and cleans the lid and grates with hot soapy water or baking soda and water solution. Wipe the body with a non-abrasive cleaner.

Disadvantages:

Assembly
Compared to other grills, this one is difficult to assemble. You are going to need tools and 2 hours on hand to build this baby. Many people have had bad experiences when assembling this grill. So if you are not a handy-man I would suggest give it a pass.

Temperature
The temperature is not consistent. It takes a long time to get heated. Sometimes it becomes incredibly hot and then the temperature drops off suddenly. Also, every time you open the lid, you lose like 50ºF.

Yikes!

I would suggest if you buy this one, that you be patient. Don’t keep checking all the time. trust your grill and let the food be cooked. Just open it to flip and let it be.

Power cord
The power cord is short. It’s just 5 feet. That is not enough to reach from power outlet to balcony. Sure you can use the electric extension. But it has a risk of electric fires. You should not attach it to an extension ideally.

The wood flavour
Yes, that wood-fire flavor cannot be achieved in an electric grill. But you know what? I know a trick!

Soak up the wood chips on an aluminum foil sheet and fold it over nice and tight. Poke a few holes in the foil and keep it inside the grill while cooking. The meat will come out smelling like charcoal grilled.

Conclusion:

    It is portable, compact and affordable. But the cons are as much as its pros. So it is really your decision to make whether you like the advantages more and can compromise or not. It is not bad. But it is also not one of the Best Outdoor Electric Grills available.

Parting Thoughts

The grill you finally settle for is always your personal choice and preference. I can’t tell you what to do. But I can surely guide you. I have reviewed in detail, the 5 Best Outdoor Electric Grills here for you. When it comes to confined places, it is better to match the review with your housing management rules and then make a decision. It is a challenge, but not impossible. Happy grilling!

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