Americana Lock ‘N Go Electric Grill Review
Some apartment buildings prohibit traditional gas and charcoal grills on their decks or patios. However, many will still allow a safety-rated electric grill in outdoor spaces. To answer this segment Americana offers its Lock ‘N Go electric grill.
It is UL approved in the United States as well as CUL approved in Canada. The 1,500 Watt coiled electric element produces considerable heat for the 176 square inch grill grate.
The grill is supported by a stable pedestal and the entire unit is covered with high heat powder coated paint. There are air control dampers that help you dial in the heat, and the lid locks firmly for the times when you need to use it as a portable grill. There is also a small removable drippings cup at the bottom to capture any grease or spilled marinade.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
Electric portable grills frequently come under fire for being cheaply made. This is due in part to the price point and size. Americana, which is under the Easy Street corporate umbrella made an honest effort to infuse this grill with some quality.
You see this in the heat resistant paint and the stable base as well as the secure electrical connection. They even went so far as to earn UL listing in the United States as well as CUL listing in Canada. This might not sound like much, but some apartment managers will not allow outdoor electric grills on a tenant’s deck without some type of safety accreditation.
There are also some quality knocks with the Lock ‘N Go electric grill. The metal of the lid is a little thinner than you might expect. This can be an issue with heat retention in cold conditions. The drain pan at the bottom is also very small and difficult to pull out.
It only weighs in at 12-pounds which makes it highly portable. The locking lid is also a nice touch as it spares you having to carry the somewhat awkward pedestal base.
When it comes to assembly, there isn’t a lot to it. Unfortunately, the instructions are somewhat hard to decipher. You should plan for at least a half an hour or more to get it put together.
Electric grills with an exposed coil element have a reputation for hot and cold spots across the grill grate. This holds true with the Americana Lock ‘N Go. The center, where the coil is the tightest tends to be the hottest. It’s definitely the place to set down steaks and chops that need a good sear.
The cold spots, which are more pronounced by the voids in the coils are better for times when you want to grill a “Bone-In” piece of meat or a something like a stuffed pork chop. It’s also the place to lay down a piece of meat that has a lot of marinade or one that renders out a lot of grease, which could cause flareups. This type of element can also be prone to failure if a lot of drippings pour on the element.
It’s also important to note that while this is technically an electric grill that’s been recognized for meeting safety standards, it is still only meant for outdoor use. It will certainly produce too much smoke for an indoor smoke detector to ignore.
If you want to add some smoky flavor to the food you grill, you can put some wood chips in a heavy-duty aluminum foil packet. Then lay it in the grill in the void between the coils. Just don’t let it touch the coils. If you live in an apartment, this might not be allowed, as the wood chips could light on fire.
The thin metal of the lid can make heat retention difficult in cold weather. Placing it where it is sheltered from the wind will help. It also takes a little while longer than you might expect for the Lock ‘N Go to fully preheat. Give it a solid ten minutes before placing the food down on the grate.
The stainless steel grill grates provide 176 square inches of cooking space. This is just enough to handle two ribeye steaks or two large chicken breasts. There is no warming rack to speak of.
The drippings cup isn’t necessarily all that special. Still, it’s not something you always find with other grills in this niche.
Ease to Clean
The drippings cup is frustratingly small and hard to pull out. Lining it with some heavy-duty aluminum foil will help with cleanup and grease disposal.
The grill grates are particularly sticky. Lightly greasing them before putting down the meat will help reduce the amount of scraping you need to do.
If there is excess grease in the bottom, you will have to wait for everything to cool down before wiping it clean with a fresh paper towel.
The Americana Lock ‘N Go electric grill comes with a 90-day warranty from the initial date of purchase. This is a little bit less than most of the competition who tends to offer a one-year limited warranty. Though there are other manufacturers in this niche, who don’t off any form of warranty.
If you accept that an inexpensive portable electric grill is going to have some foibles and quality issues, then you won’t suffer a lot of buyer’s remorse with the Americana Lock ‘N Go. It’s not perfect, but you will waste a lot of time looking for a “Perfect” grill in this niche.
If you live in an apartment that allows safety rated electric grills on the deck or patio, then this little grill should be on your list. Just make sure to line the small drippings cup with aluminum foil, and give it a full ten minutes to preheat
- UL Listed in the United States
- CUL listed in Canada
- Heat resistant paint
- 1,500 Watt coiled electric element
- 12-pounds and portable
- Lid locks firmly
- For outdoor grilling only
- Small drippings pan
- Confusing instructions
- Only backed by a 90-day warranty