Why Would Anyone Purchase an Electric BBQ Grill …?
You may be of the opinion that buying an electric BBQ grill is not a very good idea because you would never expect to get the same quality of barbecue-grilled food from an electric grill as you would from a gas grill or a charcoal grill. But you couldn’t be more wrong. With the Weber Q 140 electric grill can cook barbecue-grilled meals that are almost indistinguishable from the ones you would get if you were using a gas or charcoal BBQ grill.
But if the chances are that you will always get a slightly better barbecue-grilled meal if you cook on charcoal or gas, why buy an electric BBQ grill? Well, for some people the electric BBQ grill is the only option they have. If you live in a city or large town in a small apartment with very little open space (perhaps just a balcony) a gas or charcoal grill may be neither sensible nor safe. My aim in this article is to describe the three things that Weber has done in designing the Q 140 that bring the delights of open-air barbecue-grilled food to barbecue enthusiasts who can’t use or don’t want to use either gas or charcoal.
1. The Q 140 has the Power Needed to Cook Well
A BBQ grill needs to get very hot as quickly as possible. Weber’s Q 140 is powered by a 1.5 Kilowatt electric element that heats a porcelain coated cast-iron cooking grate.
The heat radiating from this element is very intense. If you either own or have ever owned one of those old-fashioned one two-bar electric fires that radiate heat you’ll understand how hot the element of the Weber Q 140 can get. However, this element produces mainly radiant heat, but to heat the BBQ grill effectively you need convectional heat as well. Weber deals with this by trapping as much heat as possible in the firebox. It makes this possible by lining the whole of the inside of the firebox with an aluminum skin. The aluminum reflects the radiant heat back into the grill and the gap between the skin and the cast aluminum firebox helps to provide insulation against heat loss.
This clever Weber design works well. When the heat control of the electric grill is set to maximum the cast iron grate gets hot enough in 15 to 20 minutes to sear a steak beautifully. The grilling area of the grate is almost 190 sq ins, so four medium-size steaks can be cooked in this way simultaneously.
There is a downside to cooking with this grill though. Weber doesn’t recommend using it for much more than one hour at one time. For this reason its not possible to use the grill for traditional barbecue meals, many of which require long cooking times with the lid of the barbecue grill down.
2. Avoiding Grill Flare-ups
Weber has recognized that because this electric grill is likely to be used in restricted areas it has to be safe, and one big concern with any barbecue grill flare-ups. With gas and charcoal grills grease produced during cooking either burns off or drops down to the bottom of the firebox. Flare-ups, when they occur are generally small and quite harmless providing your not leaning close to the grill. On the Weber electric grill however, the intense radiant heat can ignite any pockets of grease that might be around and cause flare-ups much more easily. Weber has dealt with this potential problem by shaping the internal aluminum skin so that it funnels grease that drops from the grate straight down into a drip tray at the grill bottom well away from the element (Weber calls this its “grease management system”). I’ts important to keep this drip tray really clean though, because if large amounts of grease are allowed to accumulate in the tray flare-ups are still possible. Weber sells aluminum foil liners for the drip tray to make cleaning quick and easy.
3. Moving the Q 140 Around
I am sure Weber designed its electric grill with the apartment dweller in mind. He or she is likely to be using the grill on a balcony, so it must to be light enough to be stored inside and carried out very easily. To achieve this Weber decided to base the design of its Q 140 electric grill on the popular Q 120 gas grill. This grill and all the other Weber Q Series grills are made of cast aluminum (firebox) and glass-reinforced fiber (frame, handles etc), and so they are very light. Both the Q 120 and its bigger brother the Q 240 have handles at each end and are light enough to be stored inside and carried outside when needed. If the balcony space is big enough to store either of these grills you can buy a Weber Q Series grill cart to hold them. These carts are mobile, so the grilling unit can be moved around easily. Also, when the grill is fixed in the cart this frees up the table that would otherwise be needed to position the Q 140 at a convenient height for grilling.
Summary – Why Purchase a Weber Q 140?
If you live in an apartment and have a limited amount of outdoor space available (e.g a small balcony) the Weber Q 140 electric grill is an ideal choice of BBQ grill. You probably wouldn’t be able to use a gas or charcoal grill but with the Weber Q 140 you’ll still be able to produce high quality barbecue-grilled meals for yourself, your friends and your family.
There are some big pluses with this grill for those with limited space. Apart from the fact that its very compact, you will not have to store those large propane gas bottles (one for current use and one spare) or large bags of charcoal, and keeping the electric BBQ grill clean is easier than either a gas or charcoal barbecue grill.
And the best news is that you don’t have to miss out on high quality barbecue grills. Yes, there are some limitations to what you’ll be able to cook, but you will be able to enjoy your grilled steak, fish and veg as often as you like. Also, protected by your covered balcony, you will not be troubled by the rain when it comes!
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