We know what you’re thinking. Why do I need an electric skillet when I’ve already got a perfectly good stovetop and a frying pan? We hear you. That does sound silly, doesn’t it? Well, only if you continue to think about electric skillets in such a small-minded manner. Oh sure, a frying pan might be able to prepare many of the same items as an electric skillet. But, you can also make toast in your oven. That doesn’t mean that toasters are useless. There’s a reason that these items exist and should be a part of your kitchen.
The main reason to consider an electric skillet is of course convenience. After all, it’s a one-stop shop for a meal that only leaves you with a single item to clean up. It’s ideal for small kitchens with limited stove space. Beyond that, there’s the portability factor. Oh sure, you can make pancakes or fajitas in a frying pan and then struggle to bring them into the dining room without them going cold. Or you can actually cook these items on the dining room table with an electric skillet, serving them straight to the plate with no down time. Fajita fillings can sizzle away right there on the table, just like going to a restaurant.
Beyond that, there’s also some practical advantages. It’s an easy way to prepare home cooked food in a dorm room or on a camping trip. Or if you find that your small apartments heats up rather uncomfortably while blasting an oven at the peak of a summer heat wave, an electric skillet is a simple solution to keep making the food that you love and crave without having to strip down to a Speedo to survive the cooking session.
There are so many undeniable reasons why having an electric skillet around your house can be useful. However, the only challenge is deciding which one to bring home. There are so many wonderful electric skillets out there and sadly, you can’t have them all. So, you’ve come to the right place to help narrow your electric skillet search. Below, you’ll find a list of all of our favorite electric skillets that are currently on the market. Below that, you’ll find a definitive buyers guide that outlines everything that you need to look for in an electric skillet. In other words, by the end of this article, you’ll know everything there is to know about electric skillets and will be fully prepared to bring the right one home to your family.
Best Gourmet Electric Skillet — Zojirushi Gourmet D’Expert 1350-Watt Electric Skillet
We may as well start with the best before we get to the rest. If money is no object and you truly want the finest electric skillet on the market, then The Zojirushi Gourmet D’Expert 1350-Watt Electric Skillet is your only choice. There are no less than two pans in this beautiful machine. One deep dish inner pan designed for soups, roasts, fondue, and so forth. Then there’s a ceramic grilling surface that is titanium enhanced and non-stick. Toss in a tempered glass lid and you’ve got a cooking appliance that is so incredibly impressive, it’s almost most doesn’t feel right to call it an electric skillet. However, it’s certainly not the most affordable, portable, or easily storable electric skillet on this list. So if those qualities are important to your skillet needs, then consider some of the other options on this list instead.
- Stunningly designed on an aesthetic and practical level.
- Titanium coated cooking surface.
- Two separate pans.
- Tempered glass lid.
- Heats up to an impressive 480 degrees.
- Large and bulky size makes storage difficult.
Best Foldaway Skillet — Presto 06857 16-Inch Foldaway Skillet
If you’re looking for a more practical skillet than the decidedly gourmet option listed above, then the Presto 06857 16-Inch Foldaway Skillet is likely the best option for you. The base and arms of the unit are collapsible and can be stored inside the pan itself for easy storage. The cooking surface is large and deep, offering a rich and satisfying cooking experience. There’s also a spout to pour out any liquids collected for gravy or cleaning. Plus, the skillet pan is removable from the rest of the unit and dishwasher safe, making cleaning a breeze. Quite simply, this impressive item offers absolutely everything one could want out of a skillet. So, if you’re looking for a skillet that is equally effective and practical, then this is likely your best option.
- Compact and foldable unit designed for easy storage.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Drainage Spout for excess liquid.
- Tempered glass lid.
- Non-stick coating.
- Non-stick coating can wear away through cleaning.
Best Affordable Electric Skillet — Sunbeam Oster DuraCeramic 12-inch Electric Skillet
If you’re a first time electric skillet owner and don’t want to spend too much money to find out if you even like these appliances, then the Sunbeam Oster DuraCeramic 12-inch Electric Skillet is the one for you! This is a highly affordable electric skillet with positive reviews, non-stick coating, and a glass lid. Sure, it doesn’t have many of the bells and whistles or foldable form of the other electric skillets on this list. However, it does basic skillet needs as well as any of them and won’t drain out your bank account for the privilege. Perfect for students or anyone looking to dabble in the world of electric skillets without making a major financial commitment.
- Non-stick surface.
- Glass lid.
- Non-stick coating can wear away through cleaning.
- Temperature control is awkwardly positioned
- Pretty basic.
Best Stainless Steel Electric Skillet — Precise Heat Stainless Steel 16-Inch Rectangular Electric Skillet
If you’re looking for an electric skillet that will fit into the sleek stainless design of your kitchen, don’t worry. There’s an electric skillet for that too. Let me introduce you to the Precise Heat Stainless Steel 16-Inch Rectangular Electric Skillet. It’s got a large, non-stick cooking area, insulated handles, adjustable temperature control, and a stainless steal lid. It’s everything that you could want out of an electric skillet. The only downside is the price, which is quite high for an electric skillet that’s pretty simple in terms of service. However, if you’re trying to put together an all stainless steel kitchen set, then cost probably isn’t much of a concern.
- Sleek stainless steel design.
- Non-stick surface.
- Large cooking area.
- Insulated handles.
- Pretty basic.
Things To Lookout For
Consider the following factors before selecting the electric skillet that’s right for you:
This is obvious yet important. Electric skillets come in a variety of sizes and the one that’s right for you will depend on your specific skillet needs. Do you plan on cooking eight pancakes at once? Well, then you’ll probably need a big ol’ skillet. Are you living in a dorm room and need something that can be easily hidden away between skillet sessions? Then one of the smaller skillets is probably best for you.
The Nature Of The Heat
This sounds like a no brainer, but not all electric skillets are created equal. It’s important to find one that heats evenly. You see, most electric skillets heat from a single coil that rests under the pan. The trouble with that design is that it’s rare for the entire surface of the pan to heat evenly. The areas directly above the coil will heat faster and hotter than the rest of the pan. While some are better than others, this is unfortunately a problem with most electric skillets. Over time, you’ll learn how your skillet is laid out and adjust your cooking patterns accordingly.
Handles might not seem like they should be a priority in your skillet shopping quest, but these can actually be quite important. The handles on electric skillets tend to vary widely in form and function depending on the brand responsible for manufacturing the machine. This can be a real make or break element of a skillet. There are two big things to look out for. First of all, you want to make sure that those skillet handles are sturdy and strong, otherwise they might fall off and send a dangerously hot mess flying all over your kitchen. Next, you’ll want to make sure that the handles aren’t too close to the hot pan. Sometimes designers put the handles too close to the heat for the sake of condensing the size of the skillet and when that happens these handles can heat up while cooking and become dangerous hazards to avoid. So while the handles of your electric skillet might not be something that you consider important, it is vital to keep these two potentially hazardous design flaws in mind as they are far too common and transform an electric skillet from your best friend to your mortal enemy.
This could be a real dealbreaker depending on your skillet needs. These products tend to come with a variety of cord lengths and if you’re in a tight kitchen filled with outlets or at a camping site with only a single outlet, you’ll obviously have drastically different needs. The key thing here is figuring out what makes the most sense before committing to your skillet. Obviously extension cords are available, but they tend to be bulky and cumbersome. So make an effort to ensure that the cord attached to your new skillet will be the right length to meet your needs. It might also be a good idea to ensure that there is a breakaway feature, which could be a real spill and burn saviour if someone ever snags your skillet cord in the middle of a hot sizzle session. We don’t generally think about power cords before choosing an appliance, but with something as hot and potentially dangerous as a skillet, this is actually quite important.
Cleanup And Storage
This is important as well, because one of the advantages of an electric skillet is that you won’t have it out in the open all the time. You’ll want to make sure to find one with a relatively simple clean up and storage procedure. Making sure the cooking surface is non-stick is a good start. See if you can find one with a removable pan for the easiest and best results. Something that folds for storage is likely the best option as well. There are a variety of styles of electric skillet out there, so take some time to consider which one makes the most sense for your lifestyle and your kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How expensive is an electric skillet?
This can vary wildly depending on the brand and design of the electric skillet in question. In general, we find that electric skillets fall within a price range of $30-$200. The basic function of all electric skillets is the same, but design, consistency, and technical specs can vary wildly on either end of the price range.
How much power does an electric skillet use up?
Again, this can vary from skillet to skillet and there’s no getting around it: skillets suck up a lot of juice. A hefty 1400 watts of power to be precise. That’s a heck of a lot of power for one appliance. Since this heat created by a coil, that’s just guaranteed to take a substantial amount of energy to function. There’s nothing you can do about it, however be careful about using any other appliances on the same circuit as your skillet and certainly don’t operate two skillets at once on the same circuit. That’s just asking for trouble.
Aren’t skillets and griddles the same thing?
While it may seem that way sometimes, they absolutely are different products. Sure, they both fry things on a flat surface. However, a skillet generally has high sides while a griddle is just one flat top (this makes skillets more versatile appliances as you can cook sauces and other runny dishes on a skillet that would be impossible on a griddle). Skillets often also have a lid. They are essentially a self-heating pan, while a griddle is more of a large, flat cooking surface. In general, skillets are more versatile (if not as large). Anything that can be made on a griddle can be made on a skillet, but not everything that can be made on a skillet can be made on a griddle.
Where is the best place to use my electric skillet?
Well, one of the main benefits of choosing an electric skillet over a traditional stovetop one is that you can use your skillet anywhere! Just make sure that the area is well ventilated, you have access to a safe electrical outlet, and you aren’t close to any children, pets, or potential fire hazards. Other than that, feel free to use your skillet anywhere that you please!