Gas, charcoal and pellet grills are great for taking your cooking outdoors, but a lot of people live in apartments and other spots where open flames aren’t permitted. At CES 2024, Current Backyard debuted two all-electric grills that can be used in those places since the heating element for both isn’t much different than an oven or stove. And because grilling has entered the modern age, both of these are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connected, so you can monitor progress and adjust temperatures from your favorite comfy chair.
Current is a startup backed by W. C. Bradley Co., the parent company of established grilling brands like Char-Broil, Oklahoma Joe’s and Pit Boss. As such, the electric grilling entity has the support of an organization with decades of backyard expertise. The first two grills from Current, both called Model G, have similar designs which can be customized with extra storage, either at the time of purchase or at any time afterwards. Even though they look nearly identical except for the front-mounted display, they’re designed for two different types of cooking.
“There have been electric grills for a long time [and] they don’t have the performance,” Current Backyard CEO Tom Penner explained. “This is an infrared cooking system that uses both technology to control the electricity and to adjust the system to understand the cooking environment.”
The Model G Dual-Zone Electric Grill has a cooking surface that’s divided in half, allowing you to set two different temperatures if needed. Current says this is the only full-sized 110-volt electric grill on the market that can hit a max temp of 700 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the grate design, the company is promising fewer flare-ups than gas grills, which is also partially because there’s no open flame. It also explained that you shouldn’t need to dump the grease tray too often as much of that burns off during cooking, thanks to the infrared burners. And when there is too much buildup, a SmartClean mode can be activated either on the grill or inside the company’s app.
To cater to the flat-top trend, the Model G Electric Griddle can hit 600 degrees. In fact, Current says it heats faster and hotter than any other electric griddle in this category. The Model G is larger than the competition, too. An Auto-Seasoning feature helps you keep the cooking area ready for foods and the grill’s cooking system keeps temperatures consistent.
“It’s a smart grill that we have dialed in the software and the algorithms to run the griddle separately, to keep that even temperature across the surface,” Penner said. “And regardless of if you open or shut your lid, it’s adjusting all the time.”
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Similar to most connected grills these days, both of the Model G units work with Current’s mobile app. Here, there are guided recipes to assist novices or to serve as inspiration for experienced outdoor cooks. The app will also display time, ambient temp and food temperatures, with the latter coming from two wired probes that ship with the grills. SmartClean and Auto-Seasoning modes can be triggered from the software and you can shut the grills down without having to venture outside. For safety reasons though, you still have to start both Model G options by setting the temp and pressing a button.
Both the Model G Dual-Zone Electric Grill and Model G Electric Griddle are available for preorder now and will begin shipping on February 5. The grill starts at $899 and the griddle at $799, with those prices including the standard cart. You can upgrade to a storage cabinet for $100 more. The company says both models will be available in major retailers as well, so you’ll likely be able to see one in person before committing.
We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.