Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Char-Broil Patio Bistro Electric - A Score Especially if You Can't Play with Fire

CB hooked me up with the Char-Broil Patio Bistro, since I am always on the look out for a good electric grill.

Now, some people say, "Cyndi, electric isn't really grilling."

I say, "Well, my hair isn't dirty blonde either, but I like it that color. And, there are people who do not do well with fire and others who can't have fire due to regulations in their areas or where they live. Why cut them out of the outdoor cooking fun?"

Nailing an electric grill is difficult, because the United States was first on with using electricity and uses the 110 standard versus the more powerful 220 like for the washing machine. So, it's hard to get heat and especially with any size on a grill.

Char-Broil did a great job with the Patio Bistro which is large enough to hold my grill wok which is pretty good sized and with room left over.

Also, it hit 550 degrees F on the warm up and much faster than expected. I was looking at around 350 F so opened the lid to drop the temperature back down a bit lower for crab.

The top range on the thermometer is 650. I did not run it max out, but it did do a sear on some country style pork ribs. So, yes, it does crank some heat out. That's with the lid down. Heat is lower if you're grilling open style.

No. You do not get a charcoal flavor or smoked flavor with electric. You don't with gas either. I compensate for that with Baxter's wood products. His wood chunks and sawdusts work great in foil packs on gas or electric to provide some extra smoke flavor. And, he has loads of great wood types too.

I must confess that trying out something totally new on a new grill is not a super idea. The crab balls were not spot on in a wok. Basically they needed more binder - eggs etc.

But, I think the best bet for crab would be a casserole in a toss out aluminum pan grilled lid down like in the oven or maybe with mini muffin pans and a little more grease or oil.

As far as the taste, the crab balls were delicous. But they did not turn out so pretty and did not hold together well. But, that wasn't a grill problem.

Fortunately I did have a couple of extra country pork ribs that I put on after I made the wacky grilled crab balls, and they grilled up really nice on the electric Char-Broil Patio Bistro.

Char-Broil has done well with electric grill models. The ratings have been high online. This is the next generation patio electric grill model, and I give it the thumbs up. It has a good amount of space, hits high temps, will do a sear, and the little warming shelf is a nice extra touch.

I do all sorts of grilling and smoking and even have a fire pit in my yard where I use wood and grates or Dutch Ovens. But, that is not the reality for everyone. If you can't have flames or just are not comfortable with charcoal and gas, get an electric and go for it. And, if you always wanted blonde hair and didn't get it, go get you a box of color too. Life is too short not to make some fun of it.


Less is More said...

good day !!! wow perfect barbeque stand for gatherings or weekend get together. i think this help for us to cook food easily while relaxing at your patio while hearing the chimes and watching the wind spinner more relaxing i love it . . thanks for the ideas and the post i learn from it .

Anonymous said...

I am really Glad i discovered this web site.Added barbequemaster.blogspot.com to my bookmark!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing! I just got one for my apartment patio. If you find good recipes please share!

Unknown said...

Beautiful pictures!

I really enjoyed this review, you hit the nail on the head by talking about using woodchips to get that authentic grilled taste while using an electric grill.

In my opinion, Char-Broil really delivered with the Patio Bistro model. It is compact, nice looking, and heats evenly. If I could grill all the things you could, my family would be one happy family. Nevertheless, this grill knocks out more simple things like dogs and burgers without a hassle. I wrote a full account of my thoughts at http://grillrankings.com/electric/in-depth-review-char-broil-patio-bistro-electric-tru-infrared-grill/ . All in all, this grill delivers great results.

Do you think electric grills are smart buys for even charcoal grill lovers?