Review: Weber Q140 Electric Grill

Normally we think grills with electric heating elements are a dumb idea. That was until we used the Q140.

After we got over our prejudice against a grill that uses neither gas nor charcoal for heat, we realized that the Q140 was a pretty effective cooker. Its heat-reflecting lining and oval shape direct BTUs at your grillables, and closed-lid cooking provided excellent results on fish and veggies. Keep the lid closed, though: Despite the benefit of plugging into a 120-volt outlet, this 1,560-watter struggled to reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit in our tests; those who want to seriously sear their burgers and steaks should look elsewhere.

The grill provides an ample 189 square inches of cooking space, second largest in our test, allowing a dozen burgers to be easily zapped simultaneously. Of all the food we cooked, chicken fared the poorest, finishing with a rubbery outside that is typical of electric ovens, rather than the char that comes with flame. The heat-up test provided the slowest results in the comparison, taking 27 minutes from plug-in to boil a pint of water.

For condo and apartment grillers who don’t have yards, the Q140 likely solves the “no barbecues on the balcony” rule by eliminating the hazardous flames. However, it is still strictly an outdoor-only grill, as the heating element can be dangerous in enclosed places. We also stumbled over the power cord on occasion, which may be a compliment to how well this grill ended up performing alongside its fiery cousins in the test.

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