Food & Drink

Propane BBQ vs electric grill

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 9th, 2020 9:05 pm
[OP]
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Feb 16, 2003
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Propane BBQ vs electric grill

With the winter I usually store away my propane BBQ grill and have been looking for an indoor grill and I end up buying the Hamilton Grill Searing grill.
I got it this week and after only using a couple times it made me wondering about the difference between an outdoor propane grill vs the indoor grill.

One difference that is significant is that the propane grill cooks alot faster than the electric grill. Why is that?
I mean if the propane grill gauge shows that it has reached 350F and the electric grill is set at 350F, doesnt that mean that theoretically they should cook the same or the grid alot hotter in the propane grill?

The other question is flavour, they do not taste the same.
Why is that? The cooking mechanism is very similar because with the propane grill the food is not cooked by direct flame but by the grid that is heated by the flame while the electric one uses electricity to do the same.

Im just curious about this stuff.
3 replies
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Aug 16, 2010
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Aurora
In my amateur opinion, these are my thoughts on why outdoor propane has a different flavour than indoor electric:
  • The electric grill is capable of much lower temperatures than the propane grill.
  • The electric grill is (mostly) smoke free.
  • Because of the first two points, the electric grill doesn't create a cooking atmosphere of gaseous oil and smoke in which the cooked ingredients are seasoned/infused with.
  • As well, the grills of the electric grill are likely to be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water every use, whereas the outdoor propane grill will remain seasoned after a brushing or scraping.
  • In short, the propane grill is "dirtier" than the electric, resulting in better flavour.
[OP]
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Feb 16, 2003
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Yeah for flavor I agree with all the points.

Your 4th point is intersting because altough we brush up the propane grill after each usage there is always food left that will burn off the next time.

What about cooking times, doesnt it take less time with the propane?
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Jul 7, 2017
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SW corner of the cou…
Could hot the heat is transferred. Physics says there are 3 methods: conduction, radiation and convection.

I would think gas-fuelled grills use all three while electric uses only conduction (through the metal contact surface) and radiation from the elements and other surfaces heat is reflected off (a shiny new foil under the elements is desirable, I imagine). No moving air for convection unless there's a fan (tip: convection oven works great for searing/charring).

Proportion of heat source also differs between type of carbon fuel grill. Most of these grills don't radiate heat well (except through those radiant shields that I don't think have enough thermal mass). My grill (bought used at a thrift shop for C$300, last new list price was USD 3,500) has a whole whack of ceramic briquettes to absorb and radiate heat. Trouble is is takes a lot of gas to reach this stage.
Almost too cheap to shop through RFD

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