This year has been a real surprise to me, a bit of a record breaker really. This year’s sales of electric barbecues, grills and griddles, have beaten sales of charcoal and gas barbecues by a huge amount, a factor of x3+. These are my own figures, based on sales in the UK that may be different in other countries. Also, my figures are based on my own online figures, so do not include retail sales from supermarkets or other offline suppliers.
Regardless of all that, here in the UK we make our own choices, but our thought processes and decisions are very often swayed by the one thing that we cannot change – Our weather!
In spite of the weather, a whole lot of people are buying electric grills, barbecues and griddles, and there are many benefits. One benefit that most UK residents won’t realise we have, is the fact that our standard mains voltage is 230 volts. In the USA the standard mains voltage is 120 volts AC. If you plug in a 2000 watt electric griddle in the USA, it will use just over 16.6 amps, which is quite a lot. In the UK the same griddle (rated at 230volts) would use about 8.7 amps. This occurs because when you double the voltage you halve the amperage.
Higher mains voltage, as in the UK, Australia and many other countries, has many benefits. An electric barbecue grill will recover lost heat more quickly at higher voltage. Additionally, because higher voltage reduces the amperage a household grill or barbecue requires, cables can be thinner. If you look at large electric pylons, you’ll notice how thin the cables appear to be. This is partly because you are seeing them at a safe distance, and partly because the voltage in these power lines is well over 120,000 volts. This high voltage allows a massive amount of current to flow.
There are other absolutely excellent reasons for having an electric barbecue, grill or griddle. One reason, though not the most important, is that they are so cheap to buy! Here are a few more good reasons for owning one:
- As already mentioned, the price
- They can be used indoors regardless of the weather
- They do not emit clouds of poisonous carbon monoxide gas
- You will not suddenly find that you have no charcoal, or that the gas bottle is empty
- Completely acceptable to be used on a balcony or patio where open flames may be banned
As well as standard grills, like for instance, the brilliantly functional George Foreman range, they also come in far more exciting designs and types. Andrew James has some fantastic electric grills, griddles and BBQ’s. Andrew James’ Red barbecue grill is a modern design masterpiece. Another fabulous electric grill that Andrew James has made incredibly popular is the Teppanyaki style grill / griddles. These grills are made mostly for indoor use, though they can be taken outside weather permitting. Teppanyaki style grills have extremely large cooking areas that would lose a lot of heat in windy conditions. Clearly, this is not an issue in still conditions or when used indoors.