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It goes without saying that food is central to any tailgating party. Back in the day, we would use some pretty standard grills to cook our food. Nowadays, we have so many grills with different shapes, sizes and functionalities that it has become so difficult to decide which one to buy. This is probably why you’re checking out Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill reviews to know whether it’s the right choice for you.
Well, here at Simply Tailgating, our goal is to best assist you in reaching that ultimate decision on which grill to purchase for all of your future tailgating events. I don’t mean to scare you, but you may want to read this Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill review first as some truths about it may shock you.
About Cuisinart Grills:
Cuisinart is an American manufacturer of home appliances, owned by Conair Corporation. It was founded in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer and their headquarters are in Stamford, Connecticut. They manufacture and sell ice cream makers, microwaves, kitchen tools and portable grills, including the Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill.
Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill Features:
The Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill strives to be an energy efficient grill. But is it really that good? Let’s take a look at some of its features:
- 145 Square-inch Cooking Space – With that much space you can comfortably feed 6-8 people.
- Porcelain-enameled cooking grate – If you hate cold spots on your cooking area while grilling, well anything porcelain-enameled should solve that problem right away with its even-heating capability.
- 5,120 BTU, 1,500 watt stainless steel burner – This electric grill sure does have some decent wattage in the firebox with a good 1,500 watts lighting it up.
- Telescoping stand (VersaStand)- It’s sister model, the CGG 180-T that runs on gas, may have foldable aluminum legs, but this one has a telescoping stand that stretches out, making the grill a stand-alone full-sized grill.
Other Notable Features:
- Briefcase-style carrying handle
- Lid with safety handle
- Plugs into any standard outlet
Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill Cleaning & Maintenance:
Since this is an electric grill, you can’t really take a casual approach to its functionality. That said, here’s how you go about cleaning, storing and maintaining your CEG-980.
- First off, unplug it from any supply circuit before performing any cleaning or maintenance.
- Do not use metal scouring pads to clean the unit. The small bristles may break off the pad and interfere with the burner, and let’s just say it won’t look pretty if that happens.
To clean the exterior of the grill:
Use a clean cloth and a mild dishwashing agent or baking soda. Make sure no grime on the surface escapes your sight. For stubborn stains, use warm, soapy water solution and a nylon scrubbing brush. Rinse and allow the surface to dry fully before plugging anything in.
To clean the heating element:
Now, the next step may require a little bit of electric DIY knowledge, but the manual should come in handy here. Remove the heating element by unscrewing the nuts on the flanks and carefully lift the element out. Using a damp cloth, gently clean the heating element. Neither scratch nor immerse the heating element in water. Once you’re done, reinstall the heating element, and reinsert the temperature control knob in place.
When not in use, the temperature control knob and power cord should always be turned off. To store it away, tuck it in nicely under a grill cover to keep things dry and bug-free. Grill covers go for as little as $20 on Amazon if you don’t have one.
Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill Portability:
Most outdoor electric grills are compact, and the Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill is no exception. The unit weighs just 16 pounds and measures 22 inches from left to right, 11.8 inches wide and 17.6 inches deep. Plus, the 3-position telescoping stand gives you more freedom while choosing a setup area.
Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill Warranty:
With the CEG-980, you get three years of warranty from date of purchase. But you should let the manufacturer know within 30 days if you notice any enameling damage. The warranty is deemed void if you use spare parts not supplied by the manufacturer, if you have butter-fingers and spoil the grill, inappropriate use and if an unauthorized person repairs the unit.
Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill Accessories:
Any toy is better with some accessories, right? What good would your car be without a booming sound system? Anyway, with the CGG-980 grill, here are some parts you can accessorize with.
- Digital temperature fork
- Grilling tool set with grill Glove
- Stuffed grilled pepper rack
- Cross Action Nylon Grill Brush
- VersaStand grill tote cover
You can get these accessories on Amazon.com for the best price and amazing deals like the 1-2 Day FREE Delivery if you are a Prime member.
Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill Replacement Parts:
With the Cuisinart CEG-980, you can only replace the drip tray, burner unit and the temperature control and cord. All other parts of this grill require replacement by the manufacturer in case of damage.
Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill Cost:
Scoring a great deal on an amazing product makes shopping online all the more worthwhile. With that in mind, the Cuisinart CEG-980 costs around $140. You can get the Tabletop version of the same grill – the Cuisinart CEG-980T for $115. For the best price, check it out on Amazon.com for discounts and offers plus FREE 1-2 Day shipping if you are a Prime member.
What Do We Like?
The Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill is a compact grill, designed to feed 6-8 tailgaters, no stress with no mess. With that in mind, here’s what we like about it:
Portable – It only weighs 16 pounds and can fit into just about any trunk. Remember, it’s electric, so instead of carrying a sack of charcoal or gas canisters, all you need here is the electric cord, and probably an extension cable.
It’s cleaner and safer – Compared to gas and charcoal grills, electric grills are much safer and cleaner. You don’t have flames to deal with (actually run for a fire extinguisher if you see flames while using this grill) and charcoal can be messy.
Energy-efficient – Everyone seems to be going green nowadays, Tesla leading the way. In any case, electric grills are much more energy-efficient. So if you’re thinking of going green, here’s the grill for you.
Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill Complaints:
Well here’s the part of this Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill review where we even things out with the bad and ugly about the unit. So read along and decide for yourself whether the grill is worth your money.
It doesn’t get hot enough – Forget searing your steak or getting that crusty cover on your pork belly while using this grill. Going by popular opinion, the element just doesn’t get hot enough. But it’s ideal for slow cooking, grilling burgers and chicken breasts and things like that. If you insist on throwing in some steak, do it before the sun rises.
The temperature control knob is not durable – Some customers say when they plugged the grill into an outlet it immediately tripped the breaker. The fuse in the cord may save you from frying, but the temperature control knob gives in easily if there’s a fault in the igniter, or your outlet.
It won’t feed a crowd – With just 145 inches of cooking area and slow-cooking capability, don’t expect to keep more than 8 people satisfied.
Other Tailgating Grills to Consider:
If the CEG-980 doesn’t fit your profile, feel free to check out some other grills we’ve reviewed before:
- Weber Q 2200 – Also small – a charcoal alternative
- Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 – Tabletop gas grill with more BTUs
- CGG-180T Gas Grill– Sister grill, same features but uses gas
- Blackstone 36” Griddle – Bigger, can feed up to 20 tailgaters
Should You Buy the Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill?
Well, you won’t get the heat you need to sear your meat or create sizzling hot meals with this unit, but it’s pretty compact and lightweight. It’s electric, so you get all the benefits that go along with that in one grill. It’s also quite efficient, given that you don’t need to refill your energy source from time to time. So, all in all, the Cuisinart CEG-980 is a good tailgating grill for a party of around eight. If you’re leaning towards this grill, check it out on Amazon.com for the best prices, deals and discounts. You can even save on shipping with the 1-2 Day FREE Delivery if you’re a Prime Member.
- Electric efficiency
- Highly portable
- Easy to use and assemble
- Doesn’t get hot enough
- Small cooking area
- Weak temperature control knob
Well, that’s all you need to know about the Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill. Do you have thoughts, opinions and experiences you wish to share? Feel free to chime in at the comments section below. If you have any questions about this unit, you can find answers to FAQs about it on the product’s Amazon page.
6 thoughts on “Cuisinart CEG-980 Electric Grill Review: Useless or Flawless?”
Hey thank you for the awesome review! This electric grill is awesome looking! I have been looking for a good one for the tail gate parties I’m going to be throwing in March next year, and my wife has been asking me what I want for Christmas. I think I may convince her of the awesome value of this grill! I’m also glad to see that it is portable, because here in southern Kentucky there are many places we can go for good tailgate parties!
Hi Jessie: It’s always nice to hear from fellow tailgaters. I’m glad you found this review helpful in your search for the perfect portable grill. If portability is what you are looking for, then the CEG-980 may be the grill for you. Hope you get this grill and other great gifts for Christmas. Thanks for chiming in!
I have been using it since 2017, Sometimes I grill in the winter on the patio with it. It is fine to cook steaks, I have put three one lb porterhouse and/or T-bone on it. if you are grilling a lot at once, a plastic bucket or something similar is advised to catch a small amount of grease when the drip tray fills. It is easy to do and the grill is highly recommended.
Thanks for your input, Steve. We always appreciate hearing from others about their personal experiences with the products we review. The more information the better!!
Not able to remove the heating element of the Cuisinart Portable electric grill Model CEG-980. On page 10 of the Owners Guide it states to “remove the heating element by unscrewing the wing nuts and lifting the element out.” There are no wing nuts holding the heating element in place on my grill, but rather a phillips head screw with an associated spring on each side of the heating element. One of the screws along with the accompanied spring was easily removed. However, when attempting to remove the screw on the other side of the heating element, I was not able to remove the screw because the screw and its female receptacle both turned counterclockwise together preventing loosening of that screw. Evidently the female screw recptacle was not fixed in place. I have tried to contact Cuisinart Customer Service at 866-994-6390 multiple times a day and always got a recorded message that agents were with other callers and to leave a message. I have left messages for a call back and left my cell phone number. Obviously to date, I have yet to receive a call back from Cuisinart. We have had other Cuisinart products and as a result I do not have confidence in Cuisinart quality. Why did I buy a Cuisnart Grill? I didn’t. It was a gift this past Christmas.
Hi James: Thanks for you feedback on this grill. It is always helpful for my readers to hear from other’s about their experiences with these products, good or bad. Since you’re not hearing back from Cuisinart, maybe do an internet or Youtube search to assist you with removing the heating element. Hope it all works out!