How to make an electric grill taste like charcoal? (6 Causes and Solutions!)

how do you make electric grill taste like charcoal
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If you love the taste of outdoor grilling, but don’t have the space (or the weather) to do it yourself, you might be wondering how to make your indoor grill taste like outdoor grilling. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to give your indoor grill a smokier flavor and make it taste more like the real thing.

Why is it so difficult to get my electric grill to taste like charcoal?

Detailed below are just a few of the reasons why you may be struggling with duplicating that oh-so-delicious charcoal grill taste with your electric grill.

1. Not enough smoke. One of the main things that make charcoal grilling so special is the smoky flavor that it imparts to food. Without that, your indoor grill would just taste like another indoor cooking appliance.

2. The wrong kind of wood chips. It’s important to use the right type of wood chips when you’re trying to smoke food. For example, hickory wood chips will give your food a smokier flavor than applewood chips.

3. The grill is too clean. Believe it or not, a little bit of dirt and grime on your grill can help to create that authentic charcoal flavor. When grilling over charcoal, the fire burns up some of the residues on the grill, which contributes to that smoky flavor.

Smokeless grill pan to make the electric grill taste like charcoal

One way to add flavor to your indoor grilled food is to use a smokeless grill pan. These pans have a special insert that allows you to add wood chips or other smoking materials so that your food can pick up that smoky flavor as it cooks. 

You can also try using liquid smoke in your marinades or sauces, or even spraying the grill with it before cooking.

What is a smokeless pan to make an electric grill taste like charcoal?

A smokeless grill pan is a type of pan that has been designed to allow you to cook without the need for a grill. Smokeless grill pans typically have a raised edge around the perimeter of the pan, which helps to prevent smoke and grease from escaping while you are cooking. 

smokeless grill

The raised edge also allows you to put the food closer to the heat source, which can help to speed up the cooking process. Smokeless grill pans are typically made from cast iron or stainless steel, and they often have a non-stick coating to help prevent sticking.

You can purchase a smokeless grill pan online or at many home goods stores. These pans are designed to allow you to cook without creating smoke, so they are perfect for indoor grilling.

Smoking gun to make electric grill taste like charcoal

If you want to get creative, you can also try using a smoking gun to add smoke directly to your indoor grill. 

smoking gun

This is a great way to get that unmistakable smoky flavor without having to use charcoal. Just be sure to use wood chips that are safe to eat, like hickory or mesquite.

A smoking gun for cooking is a device that allows you to infuse smoke into food without having to cook the food. This can be used to add flavor or to create a visual effect.

Smoking guns can be used with a variety of different foods, but they are most commonly used with meats.

Smoking guns for cooking were invented in the 19th century. Early versions were used to smoke foods like ham and bacon. Today, smoking guns are used to infuse flavor into a variety of dishes.

To operate a smoking gun for cooking, you will need to preheat the gun and then place your food on the grill or in the smoker. You will then need to aim the gun at the food and hold the trigger down for a few seconds to get the desired effect.

One option for purchasing a smoking gun for cooking is online through retailers such as Amazon. Another option is to check kitchen supply stores or specialty stores that sell cooking tools and gadgets. You may also be able to find a smoking gun at a hardware store.

Additional ways to make an electric grill taste like charcoal

Some additional ways to make an electric grill taste like charcoal are to use a smoker box or add wood chips to your coals, use a special marinade or BBQ sauce designed for electric grills, and cook your food indirectly by using the heat from the side reflectors.

Smoker box or add wood chips to coals

One way to create the flavor of charcoal on an electric grill is to use a smoker box. This is a small, enclosed container that sits on the grate of the grill and holds wood chips. As the chips smolder, they release smoke that flavors the food.

Another method is to directly add wood chips to the coals. This will also create smoke that flavors the food. Be sure to soak the wood chips in water for 30 minutes before adding them to the coals to help prevent them from catching fire.

Special marinade or BBQ sauce

You can also try using a special marinade or BBQ sauce designed for electric grills. Adding a special marinade or BBQ sauce designed for electric grills can make an electric grill taste like charcoal because it contains ingredients that mimic the flavor of charcoal. 

These ingredients may include smoked paprika, chipotle peppers, and liquid smoke. Adding one or more of these ingredients to your electric grill’s marinade or BBQ sauce can give it a smoky flavor that tastes like charcoal.

Cook food indirectly by heat from side reflectors

Another option is to cook your food indirectly by using the heat from the side reflectors. The indirect cooking method used in electric grills allows the heat to be distributed evenly, which gives the food a more consistent flavor. When you cook food directly over charcoal, the flavors can vary depending on how hot the charcoal is and where the food is placed above the heat source. 

Cooking food indirectly on an electric grill also allows any fat or juices that drip off the food to be caught in a drip pan beneath the grill, which helps keep the food from becoming too greasy. In contrast, when you cook over charcoal, those drippings can fall onto the coals and create flames that can cause the food to become charred or even burnt.

*Make sure to preheat your grill properly and clean it regularly to prevent any unwanted flavors from building up!

What is liquid smoke to make an electric grill taste like charcoal?

Liquid smoke is a type of flavoring that is used to give food a smoky flavor. It is made by burning wood or other materials and then condensing the smoke into a liquid form. Liquid smoke can be used to add flavor to meats, fish, vegetables, and other foods. It can also be used as a BBQ sauce or marinade. Liquid smoke is available in different flavors, such as hickory, mesquite, and applewood.

You can buy liquid smoke at most supermarkets, as well as online. Some people also make their liquid smoke at home. To make your liquid smoke at home, you will need:

-a stovetop smoker or a barbecue grill

-wood chips (hickory, mesquite, apple, cherry, or pecan work well)

-a pan or container to catch the drippings

-a glass jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid

-a fine mesh strainer


-rubber gloves (optional)

-a funnel (optional)

-a dark place to store your finished liquid smoke (like a cupboard or pantry)

Step 1: Soak your wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes. This will help to produce more smoke later on.

Step 2: Set up your smoker or grill according to the instructions. If you are using a stovetop smoker, line the pan with foil first for easy cleanup.

Step 3: Drain the wood chips and add them to the smoker or grill.

Step 4: Place your pan or container underneath the smoker or grill to catch the drippings.

Step 5: Smoke for 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how strong you want the flavor to be. Keep an eye on the level of liquid in your pan or container, and add more water if needed.

Step 6: When you’re finished smoking, carefully remove the pan or container of liquid smoke.

Step 7: Let the liquid cool slightly, then strain it through a fine-mesh strainer into your glass jar or bottle.

Step 8: If you want to remove any remaining particles, line your strainer with cheesecloth and strain the liquid again.

Step 9: Put the lid on your jar or bottle and store it in a dark place. Liquid smoke will keep for several months.

Electric grills are a great alternative to charcoal grills, but sometimes you may want your indoor grill to taste like an outdoor one. There are several ways to achieve this, including using a smoker box or adding wood chips to your coals, using a special marinade or BBQ sauce designed for electric grills, and cooking your food indirectly by using the heat from the side reflectors. With a little effort, you can make your electric grill taste like charcoal and enjoy the flavor of outdoor grilling without having to leave the comfort of your home. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to fire it up and get to grilling!


I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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