Off the charts in terms of cooking performance and features. Teflon does not flake. Dishwasher safe. Huge cooking space.
Aluminum body can get very hot while cooking.
Very affordable. Dependable non-stick coating. Cooks evenly. Accomodates large amounts of food.
Smaller than its 16-inch counterparts. Short cord.
Round design with a large capacity. Can hold up to five quarts of food. Heats quickly. Non-stick surface is easy to clean.
Some durability and longevity concerns. Temperatures can be difficult to regulate. Exterior paint tends to chip.
Sports a round design that's deep and spacious enough to accommodate up to seven quarts of food. Combines a sleek, stainless steel finish with an effective non-stick interior.
Expensive. A few customers gripe about damaged or defective skillets upon delivery.
Stands out for the removable base and fold-down handles that make it simple to transport and store. Large enough to prepare food for a family.
Non-stick surface doesn't always work as promised, and is prone to peeling. Temperature knob gets hot. Some longevity concerns.
The holidays roll around, and you're planning on hosting a slew of guests. Sometimes the stovetop doesn't cut it; you can only cook so much on the stove at once. An electric skillet can give you that extra bit of cooking space you need to prepare a meal for a large group of people.
Electric skillets are portable, provide even heating at a steady temperature, and can cook a lot at one time. They’re not just suitable for holiday meal prep; they’re also an excellent option for campers and those who simply don’t feet like getting their stovetop dirty.
At BestReviews, we studied the electric skillet market in order to bring you this shopping guide. Below, you'll find a list of considerations to keep in mind when evaluating individual skillets, attractive features you may want to look for when shopping, and information on how to use your electric skillet safely. Above, you will find our top five favorite electric skillets on the market today.
When shopping for an electric skillet, ask yourself the following questions before settling on a specific model.
If you’re planning to use your electric skillet for entertaining large groups of people, you’ll need a bigger cooking vessel. You can usually find skillets that are sized between 12 and 16 inches, but some are even larger.
If you’re cooking for yourself or a small group, you may wish to buy a smaller electric skillet with a width or diameter of just 10 inches or so.
Just like a stovetop pan, the shape of an electric skillet matters. Electric skillets come in a variety of shapes to suit different user needs. If you are cooking, searing, and browning large quantities of meat, a rectangular pan will allow you to get more done at once than a round skillet.
If so, make sure you buy an electric skillet that can reach a high enough temperature for frying. An electric skillet that can reach a temperature of 450°F is usually sufficient.
If you plan on cooking soups and stews or want to deep-fry foods in your electric skillet, opt for a model with higher sides to contain your food and avoid oil splattering. If you plan to cook foods that might peek out of the top of your skillet, such as large pieces of meat, look for a convex lid shape.
Regardless of the size you buy, make sure you have enough space to store your electric skillet. Also make sure you can handle the weight of the skillet when transporting it from cabinet to countertop.
Electric skillets with bare-bones controls for high and low temperatures are less versatile and not appropriate for precision cooking. However, if you plan to cook mostly stews and soups in your electric skillet, these simple controls should work just fine.
On the other end of the spectrum are electric skillets with highly precise temperature controls.
In fact, some electric skillets even come with a warming setting for buffet-style serving.
Like most kitchen appliances, your electric skillet will last longer if you care for and use it correctly. But some things will dictate overall durability regardless of how you care for your skillet.
For example, materials like stainless steel will no doubt resist wear and tear better than hard plastics, and glass lids are sturdier than plastic ones.
As with frying pans, you’ll find that electric skillets come coated in a variety of different materials. Electric skillets are usually covered with nonstick materials to make cooking easier.
Teflon is a durable coating that does a great job at keeping food from sticking, but there are some concerns about chemicals in the Teflon leaching into food. If you have pet birds in your home, heating dry Teflon at too high of a temperature can let off fumes undetectable to humans that could potentially fatally injure your bird.
Ceramic coatings are just as effective but do not have associated health risks.
Electric skillets are perfectly safe to use as long as you use them correctly.
As with any kitchen appliance, being cautious makes all the difference.
Skillets with a vent allow steam to escape to avoid dangerous pressure buildup inside.
Some electric skillets come equipped with a locking mechanism to help make transporting finished dishes easier. With a locking mechanism, you won’t need to be afraid of accidentally spilling hot foods.
Many electric skillets also come equipped with cool-touch components. These components help protect you from accidental burns.
Whenever you're dealing with an item that requires a power source and produces heat, you should be mindful of safety. Here are a few tips to ensure you use your skillet safely.
Don't forget to turn your electric skillet off and unplug it from the wall when you're done using it. Leaving it on and plugged in can constitute a fire hazard.
Don't try to cook on a wobbly surface, as you could spill hot food on yourself, causing painful burns.
An electric skillet isn't a slow cooker. Don't leave food to cook on a hot skillet unattended.
The skillet itself will heat up as it cooks. Use oven mitts to handle the lid and when moving the unit.
Use wood utensils with your electric skillet to avoid scratching or otherwise damaging its cooking surface.
For effortless cleanup, choose an electric skillet that’s dishwasher safe.
Choose a deeper electric skillet if you’re concerned about oil splatter.
Q. What's the difference between a skillet and a griddle?
A. A griddle has a flat surface with no lid or sides. It's a good choice for cooking pancakes, crepes, and omelets, as those foods require flipping. It's a bit tough to flip something in a skillet because the sides can get in the way.
Q. How hot can an electric skillet get?
A. Most electric skillets can heat up to 400°F. Some can reach higher temps of up to 450°F, which is necessary for situations in which you want to fry food.
Q. What's the best way to clean an electric skillet after using it?
A. Don't try to wash an electric skillet until it's cooled down. Make sure it's not plugged into a power source. Gently hand-wash the pan without submerging it in water. Some units are dishwasher safe or have, at the very least, dishwasher safe parts. Read the manufacturer's manual to ensure you follow the proper cleaning steps.
Q. How much does a good electric skillet cost?
A. Most bargain-priced electric skillets will have simple controls, a smaller footprint, and less-durable materials. That said, there are some good bargain-priced skillets available for about $25. Pricier electric skillets range from $40 to as much as $200. They tend to have tougher glass lids, sleeker designs, and more bells and whistles (such as a “keep warm” setting) than low-cost electric skillets.
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