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A Portable Electric Grill That Turns Your Kitchen Into A BBQ

As a general rule, grills come in two basic options: gas and charcoal, neither of which are smart choices for moving the BBQ indoors. Electric grills aren’t nearly as common, but they have one major advantage—they work equally well indoors and out (assuming you have easy access to an outlet in your backyard). Kenyon, with its classic Frontier portable electric grill, is one of the best-known names in electric grills, and the brand’s new Kenyon G2 Grill promises to be a formidable option if you’re looking for a portable electric grill that can hold its own with gas and charcoal models.

An evolution of the Frontier grill, the G2 is an incremental upgrade—it has a larger cooking surface in a smaller footprint. And it’s easy to setup, use and clean. Kenyon sent a model my way, and I’ve been using it to make a slew of dinners—including some amazing steaks and veggies—for the last month or two. Here’s my experience with the Kenyon G2 Grill.

Kenyon G2 Grill Review

Kenyon G2 Grill In A Nutshell

The Kenyon G2 is designed to be portable and features a pair of rail-style handles on either side, making it easy to pick up and carry around. Well, “easy” might be something of an overstatement; it weighs 37 pounds, so it has some heft. Even so, I’ve had little trouble carrying back and forth from the closet to the back deck and on a couple of occasions moving it to the trunk of my car to grill at a friend’s house.

It’s made out of marine-grade stainless steel; the G2 has a professional look about it, and it cleans up easily (Kenyon includes a small bottle of stainless steel cleaner in the box to get you started). When you open the lid, you see the heavy-duty grill surface that easily pops out, revealing the heating elements. Those heating elements make direct contact with the grate—there’s no air gap between them—which adds up to better and faster heat distribution across the grate. And they hinge at the back and snap up and out of the way, giving you a clear shot to insert or remove the drip tray, which is a tub that forms the entire base of the grill.

The controls are simple to master. There’s a single knob on the front that lets you dial in the temperature, and a status light that tells you whether it’s actually running. The heavy-duty electrical cord lets you set up about six feet away from an outlet.

Kenyon G2 Grill Performance

There’s a lot of surface area here to grill on. The grilling grate measures about 14.6×14.6 inches, giving you around 210 square inches of cooking surface—plenty for at least four steaks, a whole chicken and veggies, or a party’s worth of burgers and hot dogs. Kenyon says it’s about 35% more cooking surface than its older models, but the real takeaway here is that it’s plenty for a family of four. As a point of comparison, it’s roughly half the grilling area that you would expect to find a typical backyard gas grill.

The grill comes with a short user manual and a single-sheet quick start guide, but the only thing you really need to know is that you need to fill the drip tray with about two cups of liquid (like water) before turning it on to let the grill come up to temperature. The guide also suggests using a flavored liquid like wine to infuse your meat with extra flavor. I tried that, and wow—it actually worked.

Though I’ve made a few dishes in the G2, but to be honest, I’ve mainly used it to finish off steaks that had been bathing in my sous vide machine. After an hour or so, I tossed the medium-rare steaks on the grill which had been set to the highest temperature and preheated for 10 minutes. One-to-two minutes on each side to sear, and then off to plate. The results? Astounding. The G2’s grilling surface gives your meat deep, rich grill marks, and because the 1800-watt grill reaches about 550 degrees at its highest level, it literally only takes a minute on each side to finish off a steak, preserving the redness inside.

Kenyon G2 Grill Cleanup

And here’s the best part: The steaks, veggies, chicken and burgers basically slide right off the nonstick grate. After the cook is done, you just need to shut off the grill and let the grilling surface cool enough that you can remove and wash it. I’ve found cleanup to be ridiculously easy—I give the grate a quick cleaning in the sink with dish soap and an ordinary sponge and then put it in the dishwasher for a thorough bath.

When the grill has completely cooled, it’s easy to flip the heating elements up and out of the way to remove the drip tray, which—filled with a few cups of water or wine—virtually cleans itself with a fast rinse.

Final Thoughts On The Kenyon G2 Grill

The G2 is quite a grill—in my time using it to whip up various meals, I found it heated very evenly and consistently, making excellent grill lines that looked like they came off my usual gas grill. But even better, cleanup was always fast and easy, thanks to a thoughtfully designed system that comes apart easily and cleans up in the dishwasher.

Need more space? You can also get a warming rack for an additional $30 as an option when you buy the grill, or you can pick it up separately afterwards.

Of course, we are talking about an $800 appliance, so it’s worth acknowledging that this is not inexpensive and probably won’t be an impulse buy. But if you don’t have access to an outdoor gas or charcoal grill, or want the flexibility of preparing grilled foods indoors or out, the Kenyon G2 solves that problem superbly.

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Kenyon Frontier Grill

Looking for another indoor/outdoor portable grilling option? Consider Kenyon’s Frontier electric grill. This model is similar to the G2 in many ways. The 1300-watt burner can reach 600 degrees over its 155 square inches of grilling surface. Like the G2, it’s made of stainless steel and can be used indoors or out. Unlike the G2, which has a know to control the burner temp, the Frontier features a touchscreen controller that sits off to the side of the grate and lid.

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