Cuisinart CEG-980 Outdoor Electric Grill Review
Outdoor electric grills can be a very welcomed sight for someone living in an apartment complex where traditional charcoal and gas grills simply aren’t allowed on the deck or patio. There are several different styles, most are meant for indoor use and can occasionally be brought out onto the patio table on a nice day.
The Cuisinart CEG-980 Outdoor Electric Grill is specifically designed to work out on the deck and has the durability to withstand the elements a little. Yet it’s telescoping legs easily retract so you can easily store it a cabinet or a large drawer in your kitchen. When it’s secured it can technically live on your deck or patio. Still, if there’s a hard rain or some big wind forecasted, I would bring it in, or store it in a garage.
It runs off a standard household outlet. The 1500 watt serpentine shaped electric element generates 5120 BTU’s of heat. This is more than enough to put a nice sear on steaks, burgers and chicken breasts. The grill grate itself is coated in a nonstick material and provides 145 square inches of grilling space.
When the telescoping legs are folded up and the lid is secured, its light enough to carry around. This means you can bring it with you if you need a portable grill for camping or tailing where electricity is available.
It’s important to keep in mind that the Cuisinart CEG-980 Outdoor Electric Grill was only designed for outdoor use. If you attempted to use it indoors the amount of smoke it generates is likely to trip a smoke alarm. You should also make it a point to check your apartment’s rules in regard to using electric grills on the deck or patio. Some may still restrict electric outdoor grills.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
This grill requires only a small amount of assembly. With some basic tools and paying close attention to the instructions, you should be able to get it put together in a little over half an hour.
For an outdoor electric grill in its price range, the Cuisinart CEG-980 Outdoor Electric Grill is made from relatively durable materials. Most of its competitors have far more plastic components to them. The telescoping legs remain firmly attached, and they are a nice innovative feature.
Still, it isn’t the broadest base, and someone walking by who accidentally stubs a telescoping leg or a foot could knock the grill over, so be sure to put it out of the way of high traffic areas.
The Cuisinart CEG-980 Outdoor Electric Grill generates up to 5210 BTU’s of heat on its highest setting, which is enough to nicely sear a Steak or a hamburger patty. One thing to watch out for though, it’s the electric element’s habit of cycling on and off. This is relatively common with this type of electric element, which is basically a large electric resistor. If you are going to grill something that benefits from an initial high heat sear, like a filet mignon steak, you might want to time it out so that you are placing the steak down on the grate just as the element is cycling on.
Grease can be a real issue with the Cuisinart CEG-980 Outdoor Electric Grill. Just like a lot of electric grills, there’s always an issue with airborne spatter, especially when you are grilling up something fatty. The grease trap itself is also a little on the small side, which means it can leak onto the floor if you don’t keep an eye on it.
You also need to be wary of excess grease in the bottom of the cooking chamber. If it accumulates too much during the course of a single high heat grilling session, the grease can start to smoke and on rare occasions even catch fire! Things like ring sausages should be left whole, to limit the amount of grease that is released. If you’re going to grill a large number of 80/20 hamburgers, you might want to stay close at hand.
The grill grate provides 145 square inches of grilling space, and it is coated in a non-stick material that helps with cleanup. Cuisinart claims that this is enough space to grill up to 8 hamburger patties or even 8 small steaks. Still, it’s more like four large hamburger patties, and if you got an A in your high school geometry class you might be able to fit two full-size porterhouse steaks on the grate.
The versa stand with its compact design and telescoping legs is one feature that has the Cuisinart CEG-980 Outdoor Electric Grill stand apart from its competitors. With other grills in this class, they either can only live on the tabletop, or they sit on a stand that takes up too much space to make them portable.
The Cuisinart CEG-980 Outdoor Electric Grill’s versa stand comes attached and stays attached. You simply collapse them when you want to store it away or take it with you.
Ease to Clean
The Cuisinart CEG-980 Outdoor Electric Grill can be a little tricky to clean. The electric element isn’t easily removed, and probably shouldn’t be removed. This makes it a little difficult to clean excess grease out of the lower part of the grilling chamber. Small salad tongs with a paper towel might help you reach some of the hard to reach places.
The Cuisinart CEG-980 Outdoor Electric Grill comes with a limited three-year warranty. However, it only applies under certain conditions, and the warranty does not apply to things like unevenness and color variations in the enamel coating. Damage caused by improper assembly or disregard of the manual. Damage resulting from modifications or inappropriate use. Damage caused by improper maintenance or repairs by an unauthorized person.
An electric grill can be a very handy thing if you live somewhere that prohibits traditional charcoal and gas grills. The Cuisinart CEG-980 Outdoor Electric Grill can certainly provide you with years of preparing food on your deck or patio as well as the portability to take it with you.
Just keep an eye on the grease situation both in the grease trap and inside the cooking chamber. Also be sure to set it up in a place where it won’t be easily bumped or jostled.
- Versa stand collapses for easy storage
- Lightweight and portable
- Gets hot enough to sear the meat
- Friendly price point
- Superior warranty compared to most competitors
- Small grease trap
- Spatter may be an issue
- Grease in the bottom might smoke
- Not for indoor use