In this new series we’re reviewing products we’ve received (and love!) that we wish we would have registered for. But the good news? You can!
What It Is:
Kenyon Portable Electric Grill, from $475
Why We Wish We Registered for It:
Since my husband Cory and I recently moved into an apartment that has outdoor space we can actually use (compared to our last two apartments where our patios were basically just for show), we have been SO excited to spend all our time outside.
One of the first things we wanted to get (besides patio furniture) when we moved in was a grill. Because we live in a high-rise apartment building, however, gas and charcoal grills (basically anything with an open flame) are not allowed, so we knew we needed to get an electric grill. Plus, even though we have a good amount of space outside, the grill still needed to be compact and portable. We also wanted something that looked nice that we wouldn’t mind being on display. The search was on!
I started researching pretty much every portable electric grill online and reaching out to friends and family that had grills we could compare. My parents have a George Foreman grill that they says “does the job,” but the Teflon coating on the grates is peeling off and they said they’re not sure they would get another one, so we crossed that off our list. We also looked at other grill companies that offer portable electric grills such as Weber and Char-Broil, but we didn’t love the way they looked. While they had a good price point, I had seen videos where they produced pretty big flare-ups, something we wanted to avoid on our patio for obvious reasons.
After reading several articles on the best electric grills (such as these from The Spruce Eats and Wired) the consensus was that the Kenyon line of electric grills was the closest you could get to flame grilling in an apartment. It was portable, made of marine grade steel (which was a must for us considering we live by the water), looked great, and even though it was more expensive than other portable grills we had researched, it was consistently rated the best when it came to performance. Other features that made Kenyon top our list included:
- Preheats in less than 7 minutes
- No hot or cold zones due to direct contact between element and cooking grate
- Patented concealed electric element eliminates flare-ups and smoke
- Non-stick grate is dishwasher safe (and gives food those coveted grill marks)
- Cooking temperatures exceed 500F for perfect searing
- Marine-grade 304 stainless steel is rust-proof and weather-resistant
Now we just had to decide which model was right for us.
We reached out to Kenyon and picked their Floridian Grill and Cart Package. (Editorial Disclaimer: While we received this grill for free, our reviews are always 100% our own opinion). Kenyon has several different portable electric grills to choose from, including the Frontier and City Grill.
The main difference between the Floridian and the Frontier is the shape of the lid (the Floridian is rounded while the Frontier is angled). The less expensive City Grill operates with a knob control system, while the Frontier and Floridian models have an electronic touch control system with a built-in automatic shut-off timer.
Both the Frontier and Floridian come with a standard electronic touch system, or you can choose the newer IntelliKEN Touch™ technology, which allows you to select the power setting (1 – 16) for the food you’re cooking, or the temperature you want (150˚F – 550˚F). We also chose the Floridian because, well, we moved to Florida so thought it made sense. LOL.
We decided to get the grill and cart package (vs. just the grill itself) because even though Kenyon portable electric grills can be used indoors or outdoors on any flat surface, we wanted a cart to make grilling outside as easy as possible (and the closest experience to a gas grill!). But, the fact that it can work either way (or if you want to take it on a boat or to a tailgate), is a great perk.
As soon as our new Kenyon and accessories arrived, we couldn’t wait to put it to use. (Cory started planning out everything we would grill the day we ordered it, if that shows you the level of excitement.) The grill itself comes fully assembled, so the only thing we had to put together was the grill cart, which took about 30 minutes. We had the entire thing up and running the day we received it, and we were now ready to go!
After plugging the grill in, we filled the drip tray with 16 oz. of water, though you can use liquids such as beer or wine to add extra flavor. Our grill came with a disposable aluminum tray, which you can get several uses out of if you clean it after each use. (SPOILER ALERT: This was super easy.) You can get drip tray replacements on Kenyon’s website, your local grocery store, or Amazon, though Kenyon also has a coated drip tray that you can purchase that won’t need to be replaced.
Cory then pre-heated the grill for about 7 minutes. Your heat setting depends on what you’re going to cook. For example, we were making burgers so we put it to 6-7 bars, though vegetables should be cooked lower at 3-4 bars, according to Kenyon.
We put four burgers on the grill, and discovered we could easily put 7-8 burgers on if we had company over. While Kenyon’s portable grills have a somewhat smaller surface cooking area (155 sq. inches) vs. other electric grills, it’s the perfect size for the two of us while also having space to cook for one or two more couples.
After cooking the burgers for about 3 minutes on the first side, we flipped them and were psyched to see perfect grill marks, something we always missed when we did them on our stovetop or broiler. There was also practically NO smoke, a major difference from cooking them inside, where I practically have to air out the entire apartment after cooking meat on high heat. Three minutes later we added the cheese, turned off the grill, and ate our first barbecue dinner on our new patio. (Read on to see how they turned out!)
After we finished dinner, cleanup was honestly easier than if we had cooked in the kitchen. I grabbed a wet paper towel and wiped off the grill, and once it was cool I just placed the grate in the dishwasher. The grate is made of a non-stick, medical grade coating called Xylan XLR by Whitford that is supposed to be much more resilient (and healthier) than Teflon, which was another big concern for us and reason for getting this grill over other competitors.
Now, on to the grilling! What did we actually think of it?
We’ve grilled several meals on our Kenyon now, and they have honestly all been amazing. We’ve made burger, fish, veggies, and chicken, and the food is the closest to a gas grill that I’ve tasted. The high temps give it a great sear and keep everything we cook tender and juicy, and cleanup has been easier than our one-pot meals. I love that it’s virtually maintenance free, and it leaves such a small footprint on our patio while still being the perfect size for 4-6 people, and looking really sleek to boot. We find ourselves cooking 60% of our meals outside now, which is exactly what we were hoping to do. Consider us city grillers now. 🙂
Check out CookWithKenyon.com and see which electric grill is right for you!
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