How to Make Electric Grill Taste Like Charcoal

Make Charcoal Like Taste With Electric Grill

How Can You Recreate That Smoky Charcoal Flavor Using an Electric Grill?

If you compare the charcoal grill head-to-head with the electric grill, you will notice one obvious disadvantage of the electric grill—that it can’t replicate the smoky flavor and aroma of charcoal grilled meat. This is because the electric grill doesn’t emit smoke, nor does it have any flame. But is it entirely impossible to replicate the smoky flavor created by the charcoal grill? 

Well, it is possible to make that smoky flavor using the electric grill. But you need to be familiar with how to get that charcoal flavor and aroma using the electric grill. 

Of course, nothing would beat the charcoal grill when it comes to making that smoky flavor and aroma. Hence, cooking using the charcoal grill is best to impart that charcoal flavor and aroma to your grilled food. Moreover, you can only approximate the flavor and taste of the charcoal-grilled meat using the electric grill. 

Methods on How to Get that Charcoal Flavor Using an Electric Grill

Some experts in grilling are too willing to share their cooking methods on how to get that charcoal flavor using the electric grill. According to these experts, using the electric grill, there are several ways to achieve a seemingly charcoal flavor on your food. If you are aching to use your new electric grill, you can check out the following methods shared by experts to achieve that charcoal flavor using an electric grill:

1) Smoking Using a Smoker Box or Foil

Before you put the meat or food that you will grill on a pan, you need to warm them. You can use an electric oven for this purpose. Then, using a smoker box or foil, you can add a charcoal flavor to this food. You can set the electric oven to medium heat. Then, position the smoker box over it to allow the smoke from it to suffuse the food you are cooking. 

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Allow the food some time to get ready. The food will become softer and charcoal-flavored afterward once it absorbs the smoke from the smoker box or foil.  

If you don’t have a smoker box, you can use foil as an alternative to a smoker box and wood chips or charcoal to recreate this smoky flavor on your food. Just get yourself a few pieces of wood chips or charcoal. Then, put them inside a foil. You can use a toothpick to create tiny holes that will serve as vents within the foil. 

These small holes will allow the smoke inside to get out of the foil and imbue the food you are cooking with a smoky flavor. You can also toss charcoal pieces onto the electric grill’s pit or use a separate pan for the wood chips. Whichever you use to produce smoke, you can indeed impart the needed smoky flavor. 

Wood chips, of course, are small pieces of wood that you can use to smoke or grill food. You can buy ready-to-use wood chips in the market today. They vary depending on the wood type used for the wood chips. 

You can buy, for example, applewood, oak, cherry wood, cedar, alder, and many other types of wood. You should choose a wood that could impart the desired aroma and flavor to your cooking food. Choose likewise something that would complement the flavor and taste of the food you are cooking.

2) Grilling

After smoking the food, you can then grill it afterward. In this way, you can effectively produce that smoky flavor and aroma that you would only get with a charcoal grill. As mentioned above, you will need a smoke box to achieve this smoky flavor. Pour in a handful of sawdust onto the smokebox. Place the food on the wire rack above the smokebox. 

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As the sawdust begins to burn or smolder, it gives off that necessary smoke that your food will absorb. This smoking process may take around ten minutes. It will work immensely well for you if you want to achieve that smoky flavor.

Please don’t over-smoke the food, for it may become bitter. You can also use briquettes to create that smoke. Light the briquettes and position them inside a bowl made of metal. Let vegetable oil drizzle over the briquettes to create smoke. Smoke the food for five minutes. Then, start to grill.

The smoker box can be an alternative to wrapping the wood chips. If you have one, you don’t need to wrap the wood chips in foil. The smoker box can hold several wood chips while allowing the aroma and smoke to vent out of the box. You can place this smoker box at the corner of the grill. The size of this box can be as small as six inches by two inches. It comes with many holes for venting out smoke.

3) Charring

Suppose you are cooking meat or veggies. You can place them on an open flame electric grill. Let them burn partially. You can add charcoal flavors to any vegetables like broccoli, corn, green beans, tomatoes, and many others. Be careful not to over-char the food and be very careful, for you don’t want to activate the smoke detector in your room.

4) Use Liquid Smoke to Marinate Your Food

Using an electric grill without a lid cover, you can also utilize liquid smokes to get that smoky flavor on your grilled food. The liquid smoke is an ingredient that provides a smoky flavor. You can mix this with the ingredients, or you can apply these condiments as a wet rub. 

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When applying the mixture, you can evenly distribute the mixture onto your food when you grill. You can marinate the food using a zip lock bag and let the food soak the flavor overnight. Then, grill the food afterward. Once cooked, you will smell that smoky flavor imparted by the liquid smoke.


If you’ve just bought an electric grill, you may be wondering whether you can produce the same smoky flavor and aroma to the food you are grilling. As mentioned above, you can impart a smoky flavor to your food even if you are using an electric grill. Yet, you need to be cognizant of the abovementioned methods to achieve that smoky flavor. 

Electric grills are easy to use, and they are not messy. But they often fail to completely replicate that smoky taste that we indeed love to savor in grilled food. Nevertheless, with the methods mentioned above, you can at least approximate the smoky aroma and flavor provided by charcoal grills and enjoy your grilled food with gusto.

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