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An electric barbecue is an easy way to prepare grilled foods without having to deal with propane or charcoal fuels. These types of barbecue grills are convenient for both outdoor and indoor use. Consumers can choose from smaller tabletop appliances or larger free-standing units, depending on how much food they plan to barbecue at a time. Some electric grills come with convenience features such as timers and dishwasher-safe accessories. Consumers may wish to look at a variety of models before deciding on the feature set they want.
The first step in selecting an electric barbecue is for the customer to determine what size of grill he wants and where he intends to use it. Smaller electric barbecues are generally designed for use inside the home and will usually fit on a countertop. Consumers should look for grills that can be positioned near a ventilation system, such as the hood over a stove or an open window, which can remove smoke from the kitchen. These barbecues are useful for smaller families that want to grill meals in colder weather or lack the outdoor space for a larger grill set-up.
Many larger electric barbecue models are designed as stand-alone grills intended for outdoor use. Unlike traditional charcoal and propane barbecues, these grills can provide a heat source without the purchase of additional cooking fuel. Many of these grills come with extra features, such as side trays and rolling carts, which can hold various cooking accessories. Some of the more expensive models feature timers and other programmable features that can assist the chef while he is grilling. If the electric barbecue is going to be kept outdoors year-round, then the consumer may wish to invest in a grill cover that can help protect it from the elements.
Regardless of which type of barbecue the consumer is looking for, he or she should look for features that will make the grill easier to use and clean. Dishwasher-safe grills and drip trays can save hours of scrubbing. Consumer also should look for reliable manufacturers that will offer limited warranties on their products and provide replacement parts. Barbecues can suffer from corrosion and wear over time, so it may be necessary to replace grilling surfaces from time to time. Owners also should remember to buy an extension cord rated for the wattage of their electric barbecue if they are planning on setting up the grill away from an electrical outlet.