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Best Indoor Electric Grills – Tested & Reviewed

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When all else fails, breakout the indoor grill.

Here’s the thing, your indoor grill won’t get as hot a traditional gas or charcoal grill. Many of them aren’t designed well enough to reach and maintain internal temperatures of 400+ degrees. To get a good steak sear you need about 475°F and for chicken you want around 400°F.  While our roundup of indoor grills can produce temperatures hot enough for grill marks, they’re no replacement for the real thing. In short, if you have a dedicated space for an outdoor grill we recommend you purchase a gas grill and pass on the indoor varieties listed here.

However, you may not have a choice but to purse a way that you can grill with limited space. Electric grills are a good thing to have on hand for those cold winter days, if you live in an apartment, or for all those times you go outside to fire up the grill just to realize you’re out of propane. The time has come for some “smokeless” indoor grilling.

What’s So Great About Smokeless Indoor Electric Grills?

The obvious reason is grilling indoors but beyond that, electric grills offer a true hands-off approach to grilling — just plug it in and set the dial. So, even if you have a grill sitting out back you might enjoy the simplicity of an electric grill. No charcoal? No propane? No problem.

Not to mention, they are easier to clean and maintain. With no need to worry about grill Additionally, they’re portable and can go where traditional grills can’t.

Finally, since there are no flames, technically, there is no smoke.

10 Smokeless Electric Grills for 2021

1. Philips Smokeless Indoor Grill HD6371/94

Philips Infrared Smokeless Grill our top pick for indoor grilling.

One of the highest-quality electric indoor grill you’ll find, it excels at searing meat, which as it turns out, is a lot to ask. Several of the grills in our lineup (the last three on the list) really struggled at yielding sears expected you’d expect from a traditional grill.

How the Phillips IR Grill Works

It works using infrared heating units located on the side of the grill and reflected onto the cooking surface.

This design creates an evenly-heated surface. It helps reduce smoke up to 80% — according to Philips — as it prevents grease from dripping onto the heating element. So it’s while no cooking is ever completely “smokeless”, it’s one of the most smoke-free in our Top 10 round-up.

With 1660 watts of power (14 amps) it’s gonna require most of what your standard home circuit can handle, but this is pretty standard when it comes to these electric grills. Phillips advertises a max temperature of 446F – which we clocked at 425F, close enough.

using IR gun to test heat

The manufacturer also boasts reaching max temperature in 8 min, again, we found that more or less to be true with a reading of 410F; which is more than we can say for several of the electric cookers we looked at. Now, here’s the one thing with IR cooking, you’re not supposed to look directly into the light, but there’s no real way to avoid it. These heat lamps get very bright, you can’t make it out in the picture, but I assure you, the first time you fire it up you’ll be surprised.

Cooking the Steak

When we dropped the steak on the grill it instantly gave us the sizzling sound we were looking for. But as the Phillips only has two settings (all the way on, or warm) the idea was to flip the steak as much as we could to achieve a nice sear as well as a medium cooked steak.

closeup of strip steaks searing
A close-up shows the brightness of the IR lamps. If you look closely you can see a faint layer of smoke emitting from the fat that splatters onto the sides of the inner walls below the grate. 

After the first flip things looked excellent, nice sear marks, the second time we turned the steak over we weren’t as impressed; likely due to the fact that the rods had cooled a bit as compared to when we first dropped the steak on. It’s worth noting, the nonstick rods allowed for the meat be flipped without losing its crusted marks.

All in all, we ended up with a steak that looked the part of grilled meat.

perfect hash marks
Medium cooked steaks with great hash marks, cooked in about 10 minutes.

As for its “smokeless” performance, it didn’t seem to produce a great deal of smoke (as shown in the pictures) but still set off our test smoke alarm mounted on the vaulted ceiling directly above the grill.

With the grill fully loaded you can get a feel for the amount of smoke produced — fairly minimal when comparing it to the others on our list, or what you would expect when searing on the stove using a pan/skillet.

All the grills produced some level of smoke (see more on this at the end of the article).

Cleaning

Since the Phillips is designed to provide more of a “true” grill, you’ll note the one downside: it’s not easy to clean the inner reflective shields. The grate rods clean just fine with some water and a wipe down, but since the inside of the grill ends up with fat drippings on the side panels where the lights are it leaves a trace of burn marks from the drippings which are hard to get off. However, we feel this is a small price to pay for grilling in your kitchen.

Final Take

All in all, we were happy with the overall performance of the Phillips, delivering (more or less) as advertised. The Phillips grill from the Avance collection is the best performer on our list for someone seeking food that looks like it was grilled outdoors. And at its price-point, you can’t beat it.

PROSCONSSPECS
– Even, smooth, infrared heating.
– Heats up to needed temps for searing
– Less smoke than heat plate or coil based grills we tested
– Best looking sear
– Good non-stick surface.
– Can be hard to clean.
-Only has two settings (on and warm)
– Power: 1660 W
– Size: 280 Sq. In.
– Fits: 4-6 steaks, 10-12 chicken breasts
– Non-Stick Rating: 4.5/5
– Grilling Score: 5/5
– Ease-of-Use: 4/5
– Smoke Factor: 4/5

Check Price at Amazon ➤
 

2. Weber Electric Grill Q 2400

2 - Weber Q2400

The Weber Q 2400 is a high-end indoor grill, like the Philips Infrared. It’s got a 1560-watt heating element and a 280 sq. in. grilling area, which lets you easily fit 6-8 large chicken breasts. The cast-iron grates are coated in a non-stick porcelain that is easy to clean, and pair that with the 500F max temperature and cool aluminum liner that Weber built in that retains heat and radiates it evenly.The cast iron grates lend some nice browning. One complaint is that it can take forever to preheat up to 20 minutes. The controls are also difficult to use when the grill is hot, as they sit uncomfortably close to the hot cast aluminum body. But for a solid electric grill that cooks chicken well without creating any smoke, the Weber Q 2400 is another great choice.

PROSCONSSPECS
– Quality. Solid Construction.
– Aluminum Build + Cast Iron Gets Hot.
– Cooks Perfect Chicken. Good Grill Marks.
– Non-stick surface is easy to cook, easy to clean.
– Takes a long time to preheat.
– Controls difficult to use when hot.
– Power: 1560 watts
– Grill Size: 280 Sq. In.
– Fits: 8-12 chicken breasts
– Non-Stick Rating: 5/5
– Grilling Score: 4/5
– Ease-of-Use: 3/5
– Smoke Factor: 5/5

Check Price at Amazon ➤
 

3. Livart LV-982 Electric Barbecue Grill

3 - livart grill

The Livart has an open-face design and grate, designed for Yakitori-style cooking and kebabs but that works well for regular grilling, too. It gives you some extra freedom for handling food in small areas and is even height-adjustable. It also heats up quickly, with 1450 watts of heating power behind it.

Since there is no lid for the grill, however, it can take a bit longer to cook food all the way through, without the lid reflecting heat. And the cooking area is very small – roughly 70 square inches – and can’t fit more than a couple of chicken breasts simultaneously.

This unit, sits closely behind our top pick, the Phillips, for a “true” grilled experience. For cooking some chicken or beef skewers and kebabs, it works fine. You won’t get perfect sear marks, or do any cooking for large groups, but it’s an okay choice for cooking on your countertop without creating tons of smoke. The main knock is the limited cooking surface which makes less than ideal for cooking up two meaty steaks at once.

But, all in all, it’s cheap and it works.

 

PROSCONSSPECS
– Cheap
– 1450 Watts. Gets Hot. Heats Up Quickly.
– Good size for countertops, tables.
– Good for skewers, Yakitori, kebabs, etc.
– Tiny Cooking Area
Power: 1450 watts
Grill Size: 70 Sq. In.
Fits: 3 chicken breasts
Non-Stick Rating: 4/5
Grilling Score: 4/5
Ease-of-Use: 3/5
Smoke Factor: 4/5

Check Price at Amazon ➤
 

4. Hamilton Beach 25361 Electric Grill

4. hamilton beach

This Hamilton Beach Grill is a step-up from the Gotham Steel electric grill while price similarly. It has 118 sq. in of cooking area, which Hamilton Beach says is enough to fit “8 servings”; it’s more likely to fit about 6 burgers, 2-3 steaks, and maybe 4-6 large chicken breasts.

How does it perform? For such an inexpensive grill, this one delivers, cooking chicken breasts smoothly and evenly without any sticking or burning. It can reach a decent 450F, which is enough to get some browning going on with your chicken and keeps them juicy without creating much smoke. Combine that with the non-stick surface and it performs well for cooking chicken.

The grill plate and drip tray come off and go in the dishwasher. The lid also has this cool viewing window, so you can keep an eye on your chicken as it cooks. It would be nice if the top lid was easier to clean, as it does not go into the dishwasher and is a bit large. Not much else you could ask for in an indoor grill. It’s not as nice as the higher-end grills but costs far less.

 

PROSCONSSPECS
– Gets to 450F.
– Great For Grilling Chicken.
– Non-stick surface is good for chicken and easy to clean.
– Viewing window on lid
– Lid is hard to clean.
Grill Size: 118 Sq. In.
Fits: 4-6 large chicken breasts
Non-Stick Rating: 5/5
Grilling Score: 5/5
Ease-of-Use: 4/5
Smoke Factor: 4/5

Check Price at Amazon ➤
 

5. Hamilton Beach 25601 Grill & Electric Griddle

smokeless electric grills

This one is more griddle than grill, but we felt it was worth including for that reason. The 100 sq. in. of grill space and additional 100 sq. in. of griddle let it cook almost anything, even pancakes, and eggs, in addition to juicy chicken. There’s even a fancy kickstand to tilt it upwards for collecting bacon grease. Both cooking surfaces come out for cleaning and are dishwasher safe.How well does it grill? Well, it takes a very long time to heat up, but when it does, it’s hot enough to get a decent piece of chicken, with nice grills marks and a decent amount of juice – browning the meat without creating a lot of smoke. And the non-stick surface flips chicken easily without tearing it.

It’s not anything to write home about, but its affordability and versatility earn a spot on our list.

PROSCONSSPECS
– Super Inexpensive.
– Doubles as both Grill and Griddle; 2 cooking surfaces
– Even temperatures.
– Good for chicken.
– Slow to heat up.
– No On/Off Switch.

Grill Size: 100 Sq. In on each side, 200 total
Fits: 4-6 chicken breasts per side
Non-Stick Rating: 5/5
Grilling Score: 4/5
Ease-of-Use: 4/5
Smoke Factor: 4/5

Check Price at Amazon ➤
 

6. Power Smokeless Grill with Tempered Glass

Best smokeless electric grills

The Power Smokeless Grill has something very unique; a fan that captures smoke, making it perhaps the most smoke-free indoor option. Couple that with some excellent cooking and grilling capabilities, and this is one sweet grilling machine with a mid-range price tag.The non-stick ceramic grate fits about 4 or 5 large chicken breasts at once and heats up to 450F – perfect for searing both chicken and steak. And it can be easily controlled it via the cool LED temperature dial and requires almost no pre-heat time. Our biggest complaint is the lack of cooking surface. At only 110 sq. in, there’s only room for about 3-4 steaks or large chicken breasts.

But Again, the real draw here – besides the excellent grilling performance is the built-in turbofan, which captures what little smoke is created and “extracts it.” There’s even a tempered glass lid to help keep smoke contained.So if want as little smoke as possible, don’t want to compromise your grilled chicken, this is the grill you need.

PROSCONSSPECS
– Smooth, even, hot grilling.
– Gets Up to 450F quickly.
– Turbo Fan extracts and collects smoke. Essentially, smoke-free.
– Decent cooking area.
– Small grilling area

Grill Size: 110 Sq. In.
Fits: 4-5 large chicken breasts, 3-4 steaks
Non-Stick Rating: 5/5
Grilling Score: 5/5
Ease-of-Use: 4/5
Smoke Factor: 5/5

Check Price at Amazon ➤
 

7. Delonghi BG24 Perfecto Indoor Grill

Best indoor smokeless electric grills

This Delonghi Indoor Grill stands out mainly for a large grill area of 260 square inches one of the largest on our list–that is coupled with a comfy price tag, giving you a spacious indoor grilling experience on a budget. It doesn’t get as hot as others, like the Power Grill, but does have five heat settings to choose from. It also does not heat consistently and can result in some uneven cooking.It can also be hard to clean, with the non-stick coating flaking off when scrubbing or washed frequently.But, for the price, you can get some decent grilled chicken; the glass lid helps trap juices for a juicy piece of meat, and the grill surface lends itself to decent browning – despite the flaky non-stick coating and uneven heating. If it heated more consistently, the Perfecto would be perfect for its price. As it is, it’s a decent choice for plenty of grill space on a budget.

PROSCONSSPECS
– Cheap.
– Large Grill Area.

– Uneven heating surface.
– Non-stick coating flakes off
– Hard to clean.

Grill Size: 260 Sq. In.
Fits: 10-12 Chicken Breasts, 6-8 steaks
Non-Stick Rating: 3/5
Grilling Score: 4/5
Ease-of-Use: 3/5
Smoke Factor: 4/5

Check Price at Amazon ➤
 

8. George Foreman GFO3320GM Electric Grill

Best smokeless indoor electric grills

Everybody knows the George Foreman appliance line. This model is an inexpensive, compact grill ideal for everyday kitchen use. The George Foreman signature sloped design helps fat to drip away and collects it, resulting in much less smoke than a conventional grill. This may sacrifice a bit of juicy flavor but makes it possible to grill indoors in tight spaces.The 240 sq. in. of cooking surface fits a bunch of chicken breasts, several steaks, or even a whole chicken or two – so you can cook for more than two. The unit can be used on a tabletop or counter, as well as on the stand outside. The stand is kind of wobbly and doesn’t feel secure, but you likely won’t be using that indoors.

It’s also very slow to heat up and doesn’t get very hot; it needs to be maxed out to get any kind of searing temperature. This makes it poor for steak, but it still makes a decent piece of chicken. It’s not as hot as other units in our roundup, but with patience, you can get some decent browning and grill marks. If you’d like a George Foreman grill without spending a lot of money, this one will do.

PROSCONSSPECS
– Inexpensive
– Small and portable. Fits on tabletops and on the stand.
– Practically smokeless. Collects fat drippings.
– Decent for grilling chicken

– Wobbly stand isn’t sturdy.
– Doesn’t get very hot and slow to heat up.

Power: 1400 W
Size: 240 Sq. In.
Fits: 4 Large Steaks, 6 Chicken Breasts
Non-Stick Rating: 5/5
Grilling Score: 3.5/5
Ease-of-Use: 3/5
Smoke Factor: 5/5

Check Price at Amazon ➤
 

9. Gotham Steel 1619 Smokeless Electric Grill

Best electric grills

The Gotham Steel 1619 is another affordable smokeless electric grill, with 120 sq. in. of grilling space and a sweet non-stick surface made from a Titanium-Ceramic combo – essential to grilling chicken. It also has a removable drip tray that blocks grease from getting onto the heating element and burning, which prevents it from making much smoke.Unfortunately, that’s about the best part of this grill. It’s small, easy-to-clean and doesn’t stick well, and doesn’t create much smoke, but isn’t very good at cooking chicken. It’s not hot enough to create a good sear or browning, and the heating surface is very inconsistent, cooking foods very unevenly.

If you’d just like an inexpensive electric grill that won’t create smoke, and don’t need a lot of grill space, it might do the trick – but there are better options out there.

PROSCONSSPECS
– Cheap.
– Good Non-stick, Titanium-Ceramic cooking surface
– Drip-tray catches grease and prevents it from burning. Little smoke.

– Doesn’t get very hot.
– Heats very unevenly.
– Cooks chicken poorly.

Grill Size: 120Sq. In.
Fits: 6 chicken breasts
Non-Stick Rating: 5/5
Grilling Score: 3/5
Ease-of-Use: 3/5
Smoke Factor: 4/5

Check Price at Amazon ➤
 

10. George Foreman GFO201RX Indoor Grill

electric grills

Rounding out our Top 10 is another George Foreman Grill. This one’s a bit more expensive but packs a decent 200 square inches of grill space and a variable temperature control, in addition to the signature slant for collecting grease and fat.How does it cook? The non-stick grill surface gives decent grill marks, but the grill itself doesn’t heat evenly. It’s also wobbly on its stand, though if you’re using it indoors, you don’t really care about the stand.

An okay choice for an indoor grill with large grill area, but you can spend less for a better cooking experience even with the DeLonghi Perfecto or Hamilton Beach Smokeless Grill.

PROSCONSSPECS
– Large cooking area
– Slanted cooking area

– Doesn’t heat and cook evenly.
– Unstable stand.
– Creates little smoke

– Cooks chicken poorly.

Grill Size: 120Sq. In.
Fits: 6 chicken breasts
Non-Stick Rating: 5/5
Grilling Score: 3/5
Ease-of-Use: 3/5
Smoke Factor: 4/5

Check Price at Amazon ➤
 

Benefits of Compact Electric Grills

They’re Super Easy To Setup And Start

Unlike gas grills, which run off propane, and charcoal grills, with their need for fuel, fire starter and time, electric grills are practically effortless to “fire up” (if you can call it that): Simply flip the switch, turn the dial to your desired temperature, and you’re in business. And speaking of the desired temperature:

Indoor Grills Give You Very Precise Control

All you must do to control the grill’s temperature is turn the knob to exactly where you want it kind of like using your oven. There’s no fiddling with gas or trying to control the size of the charcoal fire, making them good for those just starting out or simply trying to grill in the most effortless way possible.

They’re Cheap

This one might go without saying, but you can generally find very inexpensive gas grill. You can also spend a bit more for a nice, higher-end one.

They’re Smokeless (Sort Of)

Without burning gas or charcoal they have substantially less smoke than cooking with one of those methods but doesn’t mean they are entirely smokeless.

The smoke these grills do create is more a result of what is being cooked on them. Chicken and other meats will eventually smoke if they start to char or burn on the outside, as, of course, will any oils you’re cooking with olive oil, butter, etc as well as the chicken grease that burns up.

While it may sound like a good idea to drag this to the office and cook up some dogs for your work buddies, it’s best to leave that for a weekend BBQ. Using any of these grills in a location where it’s not okay to set off smoke detectors is a good rule of thumb. As we previously mentioned, these grills did not set off the existing smoke detectors placed around our home when testing, but they all set off the test smoke detector we installed on our ceiling directly above our cooking area.

testing grills with smoke detector
Installing a test smoke detector directly above the cooking area (equipped with a mute button).

The smoke produced would then be comparable to the smoke produced cooking on the stovetop; if going smokeless is very important to you, you’ll need to be careful not to burn any chicken or cooking oil.

Drawbacks to electric grills.

Despite these perks, there are a few things about these units that miss the mark.

They Lack That “Grill Flavor”

One of the main reasons we grill meat in the first place is to get that incredibly juicy, smoky fire-cooked flavor produced by cooking food over open flame and smoke. But electric grills don’t use an open flame, they don’t produce combustion (smoke from coals or wood). This means you’re gonna lack that smokey flavor. Instead, good electric grills are designed to trap the juices that fall from the meat and turn it into tasty smoke. This can be a problem, however, for those looking for a “smokeless” experience. Just be sure, if you’re looking for minimal smoke, you’ll want to grill lean meats like fish, chicken breasts, strip steaks, etc.

Meats that are high in fat will produce a certain level of smoke.

They Don’t Always Give A Beautiful Sear

Again, one of the best parts of a traditional grill is getting that beautiful, brown, charred edges and sear on your steak and chicken. But these indoor models don’t get nearly as hot as gas grills, which makes it difficult (if not impossible) to get that perfect sear (though it can be done, especially on nicer electric grills).

They Require Power

While this seems like an obvious statement, “electric grills require power”, it shouldn’t be overlooked.  The units in our roundup average around 1350 watts of power to run — some a little more, some a little less.

Note: If you’re planning on hooking up your electric grill to an extension cord you need to be sure it’s rated the same or better than what the unit is. Typically this means going with an extension cord that is marked “suitable for an outdoor appliance” or with the letter “W”.

This is not the time to daisy chain all the power cords you own to BBQ down at the pool of your apartment complex. In fact, if you are hooking up to an extension cord, keep the run as short as possible.

They’re Small (Again)

Sure, there are some larger gas grills out there, but most of them are small, with tiny cooking areas. While this makes them a better option for small areas, it also means you won’t be hosting any large BBQs with them. Most will not fit more than a 4-6 chicken breast or a couple of steaks.

Below, we’ll break down exactly how many chicken breasts or steaks each grill can fit.

Grilling Chicken on an Indoor Style Grill

When it comes to grilling chicken, we’re looking for a few things:

High Heat – But Not Too High

The hotter it gets, the easier it will be to cook a good piece of chicken and get a good sear going (at least, the best sear you can get on an electric model). And the higher heat, the faster the chicken will cook, as well. So you want a grill that can get up to at least 400°F, the ideal temperature for chicken. Higher heat than that is great to have but can dry out your chicken.

A Good Non-Stick Surface

We would also, ideally, like to be able to flip our chicken and get it off the grill without it sticking to the surface and shredding as we pull it off. Letting the grate heat up properly before putting the chicken on will also help in this case, as a hot surface stick less.

A non-stick surface will also help you clean up afterward, which is not only convenient but will help you get perfectly-grilled chicken every time.

Grilled Steak with Minimal Smoke from an Indoor Grill

Okay, so if you’re looking to enjoy a seared steak without much smoke, it can be done.

I recommend starting out with a steak that is somewhat lean in fat. Like a strip, sirloin, tenderloin, etc. Save the ribeye for the outdoor grill. Go ahead and season the steak with whatever you prefer — I’ll take salt and pepper on mine.  Be sure to pat the steak dry with paper towels, and let it sit out on the counter while you fire power up the grill and close the lid.

Meanwhile, fire up the oven to 325F.

Once the unit reaches it’s maximum temperature (this usually takes about 10 – 15 minutes). Then take your seasoned steak and toss it on for about two minutes per side.

Then you’ll finish it off in the oven.

This will yield a steak that has great presentation and will taste very close to what you would get on an outdoor gas grill — all without an insane amount of smoke.

Now remember, the best thing that an electric grill has going for it as it relates to flavor, is it’s ability to turn those drippings into tasty delicious smoke, so if you can, open up the windows and doors and let that juicy steak sear and sizzle away.

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  1. I like that you pointed out that we can easily clean the grills after cooking when they have a non-stick surface. I will look for barbecue grills for sale with that feature to make it easy for me to clean up after hosting a dinner party. Since I plan to buy one for the celebration of my birthday in December, and I definitely want to try having a barbeque party which I never had before.

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