Raclette is the name of a few different yet closely related food items. It is the name of a Swiss dish, also very popular in France, where cheese is melted and scraped onto foods like meat, potatoes and vegetables. It is also the name of the type of cheese typically used for the raclette dish. And it is also the name of a special type of two-tiered grill.
The best raclette grill for most is the Artestia Electric Raclette Grill. Three different types of cooking surfaces with adjustable temperatures and eight raclette pans easily cover any raclette-related needs.
There are three main types of raclette grill styles: basic, tabletop and premium.
Basic: This is an entry-level raclette grill. Basic raclette grills are typically smaller and usually have just one nonstick cooking surface, in addition to raclette pans.
Tabletop: These raclette grills are made for larger groups and are bigger in every way. You’ll get larger cooking surfaces, more raclette pans and better features like stronger heating elements and higher quality cooktops.
Premium: A premium raclette grill could have any number of special features. Larger, changeable cooktops, deeper raclette pans and attachments for fondue or special desserts are some of the bonuses in a premium raclette grill.
The size of your raclette grill often dictates the variety of features and uses available to you. Most raclette grills are small in size or large in stature.
Small: Small raclette grills typically serve two to four people maximum. It can be used indoors and out, depending on your needs, kitchen size and dining room size.
Large: Large raclette grills can feed up to a dozen people and are almost always meant for use outside, though they still can be used inside if you have the space for one of these massive beasts. Some are so large they have partitioned cooking surfaces for cooking different foods at the same time.
The power of your raclette grill’s heating element determines what kinds of food you can cook and how long they’ll take to cook. If you have specific foods in mind you wish to cook with a raclette grill, make sure the grill you’re considering has a high enough capacity to cook your food properly.
Watts are the power measurement for raclette grills, with most having between 1,000-1,500 watts. Some premium raclette grills include variable temperature control, which lets you set a precise temperature for cooking.
Raclette grills typically have a nonstick or granite cooktop (some have both) and each has its own pros and cons.
Nonstick: This type of surface is simple, easy to clean and able to reach high temperatures. Most raclette grills use a nonstick surface, with common materials being ceramic, aluminum and Teflon.
Granite: Usually an option for only the most expensive raclette grills, granite is far more efficient than a nonstick cooktop. This is because the heat on a granite cooktop spreads evenly along the surface, but the drawback is that granite cooktops don’t reach the same high temperatures as nonstick cooktops.
Most raclette grills are bundled with various tools, pans or bonus goodies. Raclette pans for the bottom of the grill, spatulas or tongs for controlling the food on the cooktop and sometimes a reversible grill top with flat and ridged surfaces are common extras.
You can find very small raclette grills that feed two people for less than $50 and large/advanced raclette grills that easily feed a dozen people for more than $150, but most raclette grills for your needs will be between $50-$150.
A. Not only yes, but you should! Most cookware of any type requires cooking liquids like oil, butter or water according to the specifications of the dish.
A. While you’re busy grilling on the upper tier of the two-tier raclette grill, you place your cheese into the raclette pan on the bottom tier and the nearby heating element melts it down.
A. “Raclette” comes from the verb “racler” in a French-Swiss dialect meaning “to scrape.” The traditional method of making raclette is to heat a large wheel of raclette cheese cut in half and scrape the melted portion onto your food. The cheese and dish going by the same name is probably due to foreigners misunderstanding and combining the two and then spreading the terminology while traveling. The grill is called raclette because that’s what it’s made to make.
What you need to know: The three different included cooktops cover all the grilling bases.
What you’ll love: The adjustable heat and maximum temperature of 375 degrees make it easy to grill almost any kind of food.
What you should consider: With all the extra bells and whistles come lots of extra cleaning time.
Sold by: Amazon
What you need to know: This is a reversible flat/ridged cooktop that gives lots of flexibility while feeding large groups.
What you’ll love: It’s packaged with eight wooden spatulas, plus the raclette pans are dishwasher safe.
What you should consider: It’s not the strongest raclette grill, taking more time to heat the cooking surface than most.
Sold by: Amazon
What you need to know: The granite cooktop is durable and easy to clean, plus it’s easy to transport.
What you’ll love: Eight spatulas are included and the raclette pans feature stay-cool handles.
What you should consider: While it’s marketed for eight people, it’s better suited to four in practice.
Sold by: Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.