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They banned my Weber - need outdoor electric grill recommendation

  • f
  • Formerly Woodside Jun 13, 2006 03:48 PM

Last night I had to dismantle my 22 inch Weber Performer grill. After two years, the insurance company of my co-op decided that all grills on our building roof-deck area were a fire hazard and had to be removed (despite presence of fire proof mats, fire-blankets, extinguisher and bucket of water at all times). We never used the propane attachment.

Looks like my friend in is about to inherit the grill – having previously inherited my Weber Genesis Silver C when I moved here.

I’ve been looking for an electric alternative. Chef’s Catalogue has a DeLonghi model described as a “heavy-duty grill integrates an enameled cast iron grate over a 1,500-watt heating element”. Or is the George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill a viable alternative? Or should I just accept that I’ll only be grilling when I go to visit my friends.

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  1. I'd probably move but I do have a friend who lives in a condo with a screened porch. She and her husband have been very happy with their Forman stand type grill on the porch. But it holds little appeal to me. You cannot get the flavor and smokiness that you do with a regular or gas grill. You might as well be using a grill pan indoors or your broiler or even better for steaks a hot cast iron skillet. I think the appeal to my friend is that it is outdoors and her home does not pick up any cooking odors.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Candy
      f
      Formerly Woodside

      I agree - and I do use both my grill pan and cast-iron skillet when things are desperate. Unfortunately, NYC is hot enought today to remind me why I don't want to cook indoors right now.

      1. re: Candy

        Yea, it's tough. Few options will appease your insurance companies. The only one I've had luck with is the smokeless Meco.

        http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/B0007XXN...

      2. We have a DeLonghi and really like it. It gets used in the winter time when it's dark and wet outside. Does a good job for what it is. Cook steaks, chicken, lamb chops and burgers on it with no problem. Cleans up easily and doesn't take up a lot of room storing. But, remember, it is an indoor grill, not charcoal. Ours does have a little container that sits below the grill where you can put wood chips however.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Monty
          f
          Formerly Woodside

          Do you know if your's is the DeLonghi BG16 Indoor Grill? From what I can tell on Amazon, that's the one with the "Aroma Scenter".

          I like the Chef's Catalogue one because it mentioned having a cast iron grate, but unforunately, it doesn't give any further information.

          1. re: Formerly Woodside

            Mine is a couple of years old and it doesn't have a number on it. I know it's 1500 watts and has a cast iron grate. It also doesn't have a top as I've see some advertised with a glass lid. It's completely washable and actually very easy to clean up.

            1. re: Formerly Woodside

              I just wish I was your friend to inherit your charcoal grill castoffs!

              Anyhow, I think I have the Delonghi model you are talking about - with a little bowl thingy under the grate in the middle for "aromatics."

              I've probably only used it once or twice in the past 2+ years. The biggest problem I see with it is that there is virtually no ambient heat with it. So, the only heat comes directly from the grate itself. Not sure if that makes sense, but what it means is that if something isn't directly in contact with the metal grill, it doesn't get cooked. For example, I did kebabs on it the first time I tried. Some of the pieces were slightly smaller than other pieces. Those that didn't directly touch the grill (even if only 1/4 inch away) were completely raw. With a real grill or even a cast iron grill pan, there's a lot of ambient heat to cook much more thoroughly. With this, which doesn't produce nearly the amount of heat, it couldn't really cook it well at all. So, next time, I ended up taking some heavy duty foil and, while putting a steak on, covered the grill with foil to fashion a lid of sorts to trap some heat. Worked just OK, but I haven't used it since. Just didn't seem to be worth it.

              That said, I don't live in a charcoal-grill restricted area, so there wasn't that motivation to try to make it work.

              I think a foreman type, with a top and bottom, would work much better and cook more evenly. Never used a foreman, but just my hunch, since it would solve the ambient heat problem.

              I hope all of that makes sense. Good luck.

          2. I'm trying to think of solutions. I inherited a Brinker electric smoker, the bottom section is also a grill. It is better than cast iron (which I like), but not as good as my Weber. Is the roof top wired adequately for electric grills. They use a lot of juice. Can you use the ground floor or parking lot for a picnic type grill? As a final act of retribution, get everyone to plug in their electric grills simultaneously , blow the main circuit board and go out for BBQ!

            1. Oddly enough I own both the Performer and the George Foreman stand up, The only time the foreman sees any action is either when I have a lot of veggies to grill and the weber is already occupied, or I'm too lazy to start up the Weber for shrimp or fish. Even then the Foreman still suffers from cold spots{Furthest away from heating element} and never gets hot enough to do justice to any kind of meat. The DeLonghi does sound like a better choice but I fear after owning a Weber, everything else will pale in comparison. I would move.Good luck.

              1 Reply
              1. re: currymouth

                Time for your co-op to investigate with other insurance companies, or move.

              2. I live in NYC and got an electric grill - it's okay but doesn't ever get as hot as charcoal so I tend to do more chicken and burgers rather than steak.

                http://www.amazon.com/Meco-9359W-Delu...

                If you live in NYC, charcoal grilling w/in 10 feet (or maybe it's 15 feet - I can't remember exactly) of a building is against the fire code.

                1 Reply
                1. re: westvillager02

                  I have one of these (Meco grill). Funny thing is, I've had far more flare-ups than I ever did with a charcoal grill. I just close the lid and let it burn. I just can't bring myself to squirt water on an electric burner.

                2. This happened to us too, many years ago and before we moved into our own house. Some advice that I can offer you, since it has been too many years for me to make a brand recommendation, is consider the amps required and available before you purchase a grill. In our case, the outside outlet was on a circuit that was just a little too low for the grill, and we frequently tripped circuit breakers as a result. That was really annoying.

                  Second tip: Don't use it in the rain. Really. My electric smoker used to trip the GFI if it was raining. The same thing happens with electric grills. If you cover the grill and it is still pretty dry, you will likely be able to get away with it, but it might not be usable all the time. So, I would skip inviting friends over to grill on a rainy day unless the rain has stopped and you have tested it.

                  Finally, consider using woodchips for a more authentic flavor. I found the gas grill flavor better (but not better than charcoal or a smoker) and to me, at least, the electric grill just seemed to impart very little flavor unless I used wood chips. I also agree that it never seemed to get really hot, but that is okay for most things.

                  1. http://www.homeclick.com/web/catalog/... nice looking but expensive electric grill.
                    http://www.homeclick.com/web/catalog/... another one less expensive but still expensive.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Bramble

                      After a ton a research I clicked the link above only to find that Hom Click closed their doors... Searched a little more and found it with free shipping from:

                      www.ibuybarbeques.com

                      They were so big, I wonder what happened???

                    2. 22-inch isn't very big - even in a co-op flat, you should have room to store it to go grill sometimes in a park - is that an option where you live?

                      I just have a little TFal indoor-outdoor grill at my Montreal co-op, to cook fish, sausages, vegetables etc. Ok, but not anything like a real charcoal grill.

                      1. I have a Patio Caddie electric with 15" grill. Used with cover on reaches >700 degrees. It comes with some briquets that help simulate charcoal. I saw an entire condo complex in Aptos Ca. with one on every wooden balcony.
                        http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/s...

                        1. bastards!!!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: duck833

                            +1

                            1. re: duck833

                              x2

                            2. A few people in my condo unit have gotten electric Cook Number grills. I have eaten food off them a few times and everything has tasted great and the grills look really good at a decent price (one thing that I really like about it is that you can sear and grill) ... I am thinking of getting one myself...anyone else used them? www.cooknumber.com

                              1. Try the Dimplex Powerchef... a nice BIG grilling surface (for electric) and actually sears the meat (I got great cross hatch marks), it cooked my steak perfectly ... I got mine at homeclick, absolutely love it!

                                http://www.homeclick.com//web/catalog...

                                1. More and more localities have banned the use of bbq grills on decks for a number of reasons, especially on the decks of individual units. There seems to be no limit to people's ingenuity in setting fire to a building. In one case i knew of the people thought they were being smart by putting down a layer of fire bricks over their wood deck. Unfortunately a cousin decided that was the perfet place to dump the still glowing embers while he went to clean the grill. Yep, you guessed it, small pieces of ember got between the bricks (they were laid loose, not grouted) and set the deck on fire under the brick, where it had a chance to burn in and cause quite a bit of damage. As in many other areas of our lives, we all must pay the price for the misguided inventiveness of our fellow humans.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                    This year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin....

                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                      Years ago my wife and I were apartment hunting and as we entered a unit the manager assured us that it would be cleaned up before we moved in. I realized what he meant when we saw the ring of burnt carpet from where the previous tenant had placed his Weber grill for indoor BBQ.

                                      That reminded me of a story my mom told me. She came from Eastern Europe and told me that when the government relocated villagers to apartment blocks there were numerous instances where they built cooking fires in the bathtubs because they didn't like cooking on stoves.

                                      1. re: ferret

                                        A couple of years ago winter storms knocked out power to many Seattle residents. There were some 15 deaths due to carbon monoxide. While some were caused by faulty generators (or generators in faulty locations), many occurred among immigrants, especially from parts of Africa like Somalia. They were using charcoal grills inside to cook and warm themselves.

                                        http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:...

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          Things like that are really sad because those poor people truly don't understand that they can't use charcoal inside. Sometimes, language problems make it even harder.
                                          I stopped a cleaning lady in the nick of time once from using lye as cleanser. She couldn't read English and didn't know the difference.

                                          Have you ever read any of the annual Darwin Awards? Our fellow countrymen who expire from accidents due to things that somehow seemed like pretty good ideas.
                                          What were they thinking? Or not thinking?
                                          http://www.darwinawards.com/darwin/

                                          1. re: MakingSense

                                            There probably is a big difference in the ventilation of houses between here and their home country.

                                            1. re: paulj

                                              This isn't just a "their home country" problem. Every year, a few born-here Americans die or come close to it when the CO builds up in their homes from using charcoal to grill indoors. It seems pretty harmless but is very dangerous, even if you do it in the fireplace. Not enough way for the CO and other gasses to escape and they build up.
                                              The Consumer Products Safety Commission frequently issues warnings and the media carries them during winter storms and power outages when people are most likely to get these ideas.
                                              It's tempting inside campers and tents when it's raining too.
                                              http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/pr...

                                    2. I just bought the Weber Q propane, I would look at the electric Q. You can get a great foldup stand for it for $50, also a griddle is available.

                                      The new Q will be at Autzen Stadium this Saturday doing Brats.

                                      Go Ducks!

                                      1. Strangely... I live in a house in the 'burbs, big yard lot's of room between me and the neighbours.

                                        3 times this summer someone has called 911 to say my house was on fire, and each time the fire dept has to roll out and see what's up. What's up is the smoke from me lighting a charcoal grill is somehow scary to the neighbours (I think I know which one). As a group we've become so cautious and look to the 'Nanny' to save us from everything.
                                        Sorry to hear about your troubles with your co-op, but it might not be long before insurance companies hike your rates if you grill; no matter where you live.

                                        Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: legourmettv

                                          I use a brush burner that I got at Harbor Freight to light my charcoal. Hook it on a propane tank and you are ready to go. No smoke, no fluid and you are bbqing real quick. The neighbors will think it is a hot air balloon firing up.

                                          1. re: duck833

                                            It would be nice if the OP told us what he got and how it works. Isn't Autzen Stadium just across the river from Skinny Butt park?

                                          2. re: legourmettv

                                            I used to knock on Mrs. P's door (my Brooklyn busy body neighbor) and tell her I was grilling that night so she didn't bother the poor guys at FDNY.

                                          3. I have a Kuuma grill that I've been really happy with. I have the 105 (http://www.nationaltailgate.com/store...) but I'm pretty sure they make a bunch of others. Perfect size for what you seem to be looking for

                                            1. I would move!

                                              1. Would they allow a Big Green Egg? It's so contained.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: runwestierun

                                                  we have a condo on pensacola and they only allow electric grills on the balcony, but they allow our big green egg on the sidewalk, away from the building, but just in front of.

                                                2. Try to buy a Fire Stone LG 20 i/e Legacy Cook Number Grill on Ebay. If you are lucky you can get a slightly used stainless steel model that sells for up to $600 for less than half with free shipping. It is perfect for a Condo and even sears vegetables and meats!

                                                  1. As far as grills go, I think nothing beats traditional charcoal. That being said, if you must switch to an electric grill, you gotta go with Firestone's Cook Number http://www.bobbysbest.com/Fire-Stone-... . Heck, it's better than having no grill at all or *gasp* a George Foreman! haha

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: captainjordan

                                                      I have to agree with you. I did end up purchasing a black porcelain Cook Number electric grill - it was less expensive than the stainless steel model and fits the look of my balcony. They had a promo running when I bought it - 15% off retail of $349 plus a cookbook, spatula and grill cover. The grill cooks perfectly, little to no maintenance, and very durable (I left it outside for the last MN winter....probably not supposed to do that?!?) http://www.outdoorrooms.com/store/coo...

                                                    2. do you want to sell your weber performer is so how much are you asking asmith2139@aol.com

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: asmith2139

                                                        Do you think they still have it 4 years later?

                                                      2. Extremely late to the party, but just in case anyone does a search and is looking for options...

                                                        I live in a wood-framed low-rise apartment building with a "no charcoal" policy for balcony cooking. Given that the previous tenant installed cedar privacy lattice on all sides, cooking with charcoal would be a pretty bad idea even if the policy were not in place.

                                                        My solution was a Traeger pellet grill. It doesn't do direct high-heat searing, but for normal indirect grilling and for low & slow smoking it's been great! It does release a good amount of smoke when initially fired up, but that dies down pretty quickly. The firebox is entirely contained and there's no way a spark is getting out. From a fire hazard perspective it's safer than propane or even an exposed electric element. Heck, it's safer than my toaster oven.

                                                        I've used a George Foreman at a friends place and it's a fine tool for what it is - but it isn't a replacement for a real outdoor cooker.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Khai

                                                          I'm late too, but I owe it to you to tell you about my MECO Model 9325 grill. Because of wind and exposed wood house I can't use a flame type grill.
                                                          The ease of dialing your heat, smoking using chips, and rotisserie has convinced me that I would not go back to charcoal or gas. I love it.
                                                          I got mine from our local power company at a reduced price too.

                                                        2. Does anyone know if associations allow you to use a grill running on a 1 lb tank? I originally posted on here quite awhile back for my condo, and I'm very happy with my purchase of a Cook Number electric Grill... I'm looking to purchase another as a gift for my brother. Was browsing the website and saw that they t offer a "Tailgater" model that runs on a 1lb propane tank. This would be great to take to sporting events AND use at home if possible...and even better, it's less expensive - $299. If anyone is aware of rules for these please share, Thanks! http://www.outdoorrooms.com/store/coo...

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: shim24

                                                            Who knows what sort of rules associations may come up with?
                                                            http://www.zimbio.com/Flag+Etiquette/...

                                                            1. re: wolfe

                                                              "Who knows what sort of rules associations may come up with?"

                                                              Only The Shadow, maybe?

                                                            2. re: shim24

                                                              Where I live you can use either an outdoor electric grill, like my Weber Q140, or a small propane grill, like my Weber Q 120, that use the 1 lb propane tanks. Not considered a high fire hazard per the fire dept. That is why the 1 lb Coleman and other branded tanks are sold inside the store, rather than outside, line the large propane tanks are.

                                                            3. I have the Weber Electric Q240 and LOVE IT!! I also live in an apartment where fire grills are banned. I got this approved because there is no flame. Good luck!!

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: ReneeDavis

                                                                A Lodge Sportsman grill/hibachi or Weber Smokey Joe is easy to setup on a concrete table, sidewalk, parking lot, etc. I have used LP grills in the past but, today I find charcoal more convenient because of it's smaller footprint.

                                                                I would rather use real charcoal in a "common" area than an electric grill substitute. A grill pan on a stovetop achieves the same effect as an electric grill so, I don't really understand that one. What am I missing?

                                                                1. re: Sid Post

                                                                  apartments or condos have fire codes prohibiting the use of charcoal- and large propane tank grills- high fire flash that makes them a fire hazard on the apartment porches.
                                                                  @ Renee- read my post on the Webe Q 140- it is one of the first Weber electrics and I agree with you- makes great grilled food, esp when I upgraded to the newer porcelain coated cast iron grate!

                                                                  1. re: Sid Post

                                                                    A Lodge hibachi charcoal grill or Smokey Joe can be used 20 ft away from the porch. :(

                                                                    1. re: admcmahon2

                                                                      I set mine top of two cinder blocks about 4~5 feet away from the apartment wall on my concrete patio. So far no issue from the management.

                                                                      The 36 inch offset smoker I have my eye might be pushing it a little though. I'm trying to decide about the trailer option to smoke in the parking lot.

                                                                      1. re: Sid Post

                                                                        Just check the the Fire Marshall's office in your community.
                                                                        I also just found out the pellet enclose Traeger is permitted since it is not charcoal.

                                                                2. Hi,
                                                                  I encountered the same issue- had to sell my wonderful Weber Performer, Weber Q 320, Weber Smokey Joe.
                                                                  I then bought a Weber Q 140 electric grill. It is the smaller of the two, but large enough, same size as the Q 120, and is a great choice.
                                                                  Though it takes longer to cook food on the electric Q, it cooks similar to that of the propane Q's. Foot print is the same as the Q 100, 120. The inside has 2 aluminum liners. These, along with the aluminum housing, increase cooking temp by alot- 600 degrees. That and with the porcelain coated cast iron grate, the food gets hot and cooks well without drying if you are mindful of time limits to cook your food. Add also the cord is 5 ft heavy duty, 3 prong. Very safe, easy to clean, including the heating element.