Does your family love barbecues? So do we, even in winter! We have decided on an electric grill and are so happy about it, we want to tell you about our experiences with it.
We love to barbecue. The family comes together and we enjoy the atmosphere while barbecuing. And of course the delicious food. However, the barbecue pleasure is marred when the temperatures drop. If you want to enjoy the barbecue without freezing despite the cold temperatures, you should think about an electric grill.
For grilling in winter, we have decided on a contact grill for the family and winter-proofed the gas grill. As with gas and charcoal grills, electric grills have many advantages but also a few disadvantages. So you’ve got to know what you want before you buy one.
Advantages Of Electric Grills
An electric grill is very quickly put into action. The only thing you need is electricity. After a warm-up phase, which is very fast compared to a charcoal grill, you can get started. What we love so much about table grills like the Swiss raclette or a contact grill is the sociability. We all take time to eat and in between wonderful conversations are created. And every time it is an experience for all people involved.
Barbecues are fun outdoor experiences, but an electric bbq grill is great inside, too. Since most electric grills are also approved for indoor use, you can grill anywhere you want: in the house, on the porch, in the garden or while camping. You can even take it along with friends. Because the grill is small, it is easier to transport in comparison to a gas or charcoal grill.
Here is another clear advantage: If it’s too cold outside or if a thunderstorm starts, you can simply continue grilling inside with an electric grill. So nothing stands in the way of our barbecue pleasure in winter
Spicy Honey Chicken and Sweet Potato Kebabs
- (12-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes prior to use to prevent burning
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 medium, sweet onion cut into 1½-inch chunks
Spices and Honey Glaze
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tsp garlic salt
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 6 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Place potato cubes into a small saucepan. Fill with just enough water to cover the tops. a Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook for 4-5 minutes, partially covered, until potatoes are nearly cooked but still slightly firm. Remove from the heat; cool slightly.
- Prepare the spice mix: mixing together the garlic salt, chili powder, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and crushed red pepper. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the honey and cider vinegar and set aside.
- Add chicken to a medium bowl; lightly drizzle with olive oil and toss with half of the spice rub. Repeat with the potato pieces and onion: drizzle with olive oil and toss with remaining spice rub.
- Put the chicken, sweet potato, and onion onto the pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Brush with half the honey glaze.
- Preheat the grill on medium heat; grill the chicken skewers for 8 minutes, turning often.
- Remove from the grill and brush the skewers with the rest of prepared honey glaze as desired. Serve immediately.
Manual Temperature Adjustment
Depending on the model, you will have various options. Some of them even allow you to select automatic programs that regulate the grill temperature for you. With others, you can adjust the temperature manually. The clear advantage is that you decide the temperature for grilling your food. Thus you avoid strong heat fluctuations and can grill healthy.
There are also electric barbecues on the market with two separate grill areas. So you can make steaks at higher temperatures on one grillage and vegetables at lower temperatures on the other. An ideal solution when barbecuing with vegetarians or vegans, too, as the juices don’t mix.
Pay attention to the minimum and maximum temperatures of the electric grill and in which gradual manner you can regulate them if necessary. If the heat is not strong enough, you will have raw food.
Duration And Preparation Of The Grilling Process
With a contact grill, your food is ready faster, because it is grilled from both sides at the same time. It is important to pay close attention to the quality of the meat. If too much drip comes out, the plates cool down and you have cooked steaks instead of grilled ones. With a raclette, grilling takes a little longer. But the atmosphere here is simply unbeatable.
The preparation of food does not really differ from a gas or coal grill. Since we serve many small bite-sized pieces with a raclette, we feel that the preparation takes a little more time. However, in this way, wonderful leftovers can be used. If you go for a contact grill, on the other hand, you will not need more time for preparing steaks and burgers as with any other BBQ grill. In contrast to the charcoal grill, however, the electric BBQ grill is ready for use very fast.
Safe Grilling With Children
Especially at a barbecue evening with a raclette, you can cater to everybody‘s wishes. Favorites are small pieces of meat, sliced cheese, and vegetables. But you can also eat grilled fruits from an electric grill. Our kids‘ favorites are banana, apples, and pears. If you like it a tad more exotic, try pineapple, avocado or common fig. Grilled peaches with blue cheese are simply perfect to grill with an electric barbecue. Just let all guests grill their favorite food or bake it in the pans.
Children must be introduced to safe cooking. This is also the case when grilling. A huge pro for a family barbecue with an electric grill is the absence of open fire. So you don’t have to beware of flames and can enjoy an electric barbecue with all family members. Let smaller kids put their selected foods in a grill pan and assist them with putting it on the grill. They will enjoy watching their dinner getting ready from such close distance.
Electric Barbecue – One Grill, Many Options
To mix things up, you can buy different grill plates with a contact grill, depending on the model. So besides the classic grilling of steak and burgers making waffles or panini are no problem. We also think it is great that nothing can slip between the grates. Juices also don’t flow into spots that are hard to reach. Hence, grilling vegetable slices or sandwiches as well as cleaning up afterward is easy.
To clean the electric grill all you have to do is remove the plates and wash them off. Most manufacturers say you can put them in the dishwasher. However, this reduces the lifespan considerably. So always wash them by hand. This will save costs and trouble in the long run. The non-stick coating makes this very easy.
Disadvantages Of An Electric Grill
Despite the many pros of an electric grill, there are some downsides, too:
- Many people miss the typical smoky taste associated with barbecuing. Proponents of the “right” BBQ compare electronic grilling to roasting in a pan. Would you like to smoke, fry or bake in addition to the normal barbecue pleasure? Then you should look out for kettle barbecues. They are available not only as charcoal and gas but also as electric grills. So you get the best of both worlds.
- With an electric grill, however, you can control the temperature manually, but this applies to the entire grill. With a gas or charcoal grill, you can use different temperature zones. So it really depends on the skills to make individual preparation of food possible.
- As advantageous as electricity is, it is not available everywhere. Especially in the great outdoors, a charcoal grill might be more helpful than an electric grill. When going camping you should consider bringing a backup as well, when you are not familiar with the campground. There are still smaller areas where not every lot has access to electricity.
All in all, for a winter barbecue with your friends and family, an electric grill is a great idea as it is safe and offers so many options. Does your family like grilling, too? Tell us in the comments about your experiences or talk to your relatives about the pros and cons of an electric barbecue.