Outdoor electric grilling is a little different from traditional charcoal or gas grilling. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned after cooking on an outdoor electric grill for a few years.
Start preheating your electric grill while you prepare your food
Giving your grill enough time to reach the right temperature is important. Preheating while you prep helps make the process seem less time-consuming. Once you start cooking, the grill does not heat up more, because the increased opening of the top lets the heat out. Grills with cast iron grates will retain the heat better than steel grates.
Add extra smokey flavor to your food using wood chips
Soak wood chips for 30 minutes prior to use and wrap in thick aluminum foil. Poke holes in the foil to allow the smoke out. Undertake this with care and monitor closely. Most smoke boxes are too large for an electric grill so make your own smoke chip packet. You may find, once you use your electric grill enough times that it will create its own smokey flavor without needing the smoke chips.
Before and after grilling sessions, brush down the grates with a steel brush.
A few times a season I go for a deeper clean. I remove the grates, spray them down with a citrus-based cleaner, scrub them, and wash them thoroughly. I also clean out the drip pan or replace it completely. I also try to wipe out the bottom of the grill below the heating element. Some carbon is good for giving a smokey flavor but too much if becomes excessive. I lightly clean the area to remove loose carbon and chip lightly at the baked-on mess. It won’t be perfectly clean but enough to keep still produce some smoke.