The Product

Electric Portable Grill

While city living can be great, one of the downsides is that residents of apartments or condos are almost never allowed to use charcoal or gas grills, even on their balconies. The acutal restriction for most buildings invloves not having an "open flame." Portable electric grills by their nature meet this guideline and can make summer in the city a lot more enjoyable.

Recommended
Outdoor GreatRoom Cook Number 20
Outdoor GreatRoom Cook Number 20
Pros
  • Cook Numbers allow you to know exactly when your food is one
Cons
  • You will need to adjust your cooking style for an electric grill, without the open flame cooking takes a little longer and there won't be as much searing on the outside

Previously called the The FireStone Legacy Cook Number Grill, the parent company has recently renamed itself The Outdoor Great Room Company, dropping the Fire Stone name and going simply with "Cook Number Grills" as the product line name.

The Cook Number 20" Electric grill has many features which make it a top pick as a portable electric grills. The Cook Number has 250 inches of cooking space divided between grill area and a sear plate, making it plenty big to flip burgers for all your friends. But, even though the cooking space is big, it is relatively light, weighing only 36 pounds. This means you can take it to your buddy’s house or move it from your kitchen to the balcony in with ease. Second, it gets hot. Good grilling requires high heat, something that many electric grills just can’t deliver. But the Cook Number gets to 500 degrees and retains it well, so that you can make great steaks and chops. The best features, however, are the Cook Numbers themselves. Outdoor GreatRooms has come up with an easy system for you to know when your food is done. Based on the type of food you are cooking and the degree of doneness you prefer, you can set a dial on the front of the grill to one of the Cook Numbers. The grill then uses an internal thermometer to tell you when the food is ready. This means that when you have friends over or small kids running around, you can pay attention to them instead of standing over the grill.

Another factor to consider when looking at the Cook Number electric grill is operating cost. The gas or propane required for regular gas grills can cost anywhere from $1.50 an hour for smaller, 30,000 BTU models to $3 or even $5 an hour for bigger grills. The Cook Number grill, on the other hand, plugs right into the wall and costs only 10¢ an hour to run.

Electric grills sometimes get a bad rap, but everyone who thinks they don’t like them should try the Cook Number grill. It’s easy to use, cheap to operate, and, most importantly, cooks up great-tasting food. City folk need not continue being grill deprived since the Cook Number is electric and is safe to use indoors and on balconies. Best of all, it makes flavorful food that will make you forget all about gas and charcoal grills. We have actually been using this grill at our office all summer where we have a restriction on "open flames," and it's been really great to have.

Highlighted Features

  • Lifetime warranty on stainless steel
  • Uses regular 110 volt outlets
  • Slide-out grease drawer and aluminum tray for easy cleaning
  • Optional grill carts and indoor vent hoods available

 

Models and Variations:

The Cook Number 20" Electric grill comes in three finishes, Stainless, Black Porcelain and Grey. For some reason the Grey model does not have a searing temperature control knob—it sears at only one temperature. The Cook Number also comes in 20", 24"and 36" variations in a gas version.

Thanks again to the folks at The Outdoor GreatRoom Company for sending us one to test out.

 

Devils Advocate

You will need to adjust your cooking style for an electric grill, without the open flame cooking takes a little longer and there won't be as much searing on the outside, it can be a little like baking with the added benefit of contact with the hot grates. Also, while the Cook Number grill doesn't have an open flame and is safe for indoor cooking, smoke can still come off the grill when it is cooking. If you are cooking indoors, we recommend using the optional vent hood, or at least cooking near an open window.

 
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