The Versatility of an Electric Skillet and the Top 5 Picks
I have a big family. Meal times are always like party times. The fewer cooking pans and equipment I use to prepare each meal, the easier it is to clean up after. I have been using an electric griddle and it was great! I recently bought an electric skillet. Believe me when I say that these two are not redundant pieces of equipment in my kitchen. Why did I buy an electric skillet when I already have an electric griddle?
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Electric Skillet vs Electric Griddle
Whatever it is you are cooking, an electric griddle and an electric skillet can make your kitchen chore a lot easier. These electric kitchen equipment lessens the mess in the kitchen and cuts cooking time to more than half.
While both these cooking equipment provide almost similar benefits, they are two different equipment. The difference between them dictates the types of food one can do much better than the other.
An electric griddle has a flat cooking surface with a heating element. Once desired temperature is reached, it is maintained all through the cooking process. This is the main reason even cooking is possible. This cooking equipment is ideal for cooking bacon, eggs, crepes, pancakes and all breakfast food items including bread.
Flipping food items in a breeze with a griddle because the surface does not come with any walls. The nice thing about electric griddles is you can simultaneously cook your entire breakfast in it. The downside though is you will not be able to cook any food with sauces or any food that requires water.
An electric skillet is a flat heated surface. Once set temperature has been reached it is maintained thereby ensuring even cooking. Unlike an electric griddle, an electric skillet heated surface comes with a wall. It also comes with a cover.
The walls and cover are what separates an electric skillet from an electric griddle. The walls enable food to be contained within the cooking surface thus mixing and stirring ingredients is easier. Adding liquid to your ingredients is something you can do in an electric which you cannot in an electric griddle.
There are cooking methods that can be done in an electric skillet yet cannot be done in an electric griddle and vice versa. An electric skillet though is more versatile.
The Best Electric Skillets
Presto 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet (06857)
This electric skillet heats fast and maintains temperature very well to ensure even cooking. It is ideal for a large family. It is made of durable cast aluminum with non-stick interior and exterior surfaces and tempered glass cover.
It comes with a spout which is for easy pouring of liquid and heat resistant handles. The spout can also double as a spoon rest when skillet is used as a serving platter. Except for temperature control, all components are dishwasher safe. For easy storage, skillet can be detached from the base. The handles fold and the base can be placed inside the skillet. Temperature setting is 200 – 4000F.
- Wide base is ideal for shallow and deep frying.
- Built-in spout allows easy pouring of sauces and liquid.
- Dishwasher safe except for the temperature control.
- Energy efficient at 1500 watts.
- Comes with a side vent to allow steam and moisture to escape.
- Clicking sound after long hours of use.
- It tends to heat up too fast or sometimes too slow causing uneven heat distribution.
Presto 16-Inch Electric Skillet (06852)
A versatile kitchen equipment which can roast, braise, fry, stir fry, deep fry, grill, bake and do almost all cooking methods. It can also be used as a serving dish. This 16-inch electric skillet is made of durable cast aluminum and superior non-stick interior and exterior.
Non-stick cooking surface prevents the sticking of food and makes the skillet easy to clean. The temperature control allows the skillet to heat up fast. Set temperature is maintained for even cooking. It comes with a tempered glass cover with heat resistant knob and side handles. Skillet is dishwasher safe except the temperature control.
- Heats up fast.
- Temperature control is accurate
- Cleans easily.
- Legs and handles need to be tightened often.
- No steam vent.
- No rubber feet to prevent it from sliding while stirring.
Presto 16-inch Electric Skillet (06850)
This is a dependable electric skillet. It comes with a non-stick cooking surface. The temperature control allows the cooking surface to heat fast. Once reached, set temperature is maintained to allow even cooking.
Skillet is made of dense cast aluminum and comes with a tough cover that is warp and dent-free. Side handles are heat resistant. It can fry, stew and bake making it a versatile kitchen equipment. It is perfect for deep frying as temperature can reach up to 4000.
- Easy to clean through dishwasher or hand wash.
- Heats fast and maintains temperature for even cooking.
- Keeps food warm when used as a serving dish.
- EverNu cover will not warp or dent.
- Short power cord.
- Does not have a vent.
- Cover is not see through.
De'Longhi Electric Skillet (BG45)
This skillet comes with a large cooking surface ideal for preparing meals for a large family and parties. The heating element is in the skillet itself and not beneath it. This ensures fast and even cooking. Temperature control is precise. Temperature setting includes keep warm and between 200 – 4000F.
Steam vents are adjustable so steam will not build up on the cover and will instead be released to allow even cooking. Tempered glass lid is dishwasher safe. Skillet can easily be cleaned with hot water and dishwashing liquid. Steaming, frying, slow cooking, baking and roasting can be done fast.
- Spacious cooking surface.
- Durable aluminum design.
- Glass tempered lid prevents frequent opening to check on cooking progress.
- Even cooking is ensured by reliable temperature control.
- Easy to clean.
- High price.
- Aluminum body tends to get hot.
- Skillet is not dishwasher safe nor can it be submerged in water because of built-in heating element.
- The inside portion of the lid is made of plastic.
- Grip handle is not too comfortable.
- Sides of the skillet gets to be very hot posing thus utmost care is needed.
Cuisinart GreenGourmet Electric Skillet (CSK-250WS)
This is a ceramic based electric skillet. Ceramic is considered to be a safe, durable and environment friendly non-stick material for cookware. Oil-less or minimal oil cooking is highly possible in the ceramic based cooking surface.
The exterior part is made of durable stainless steel. Tempered glass lid also comes with a stainless steel handle. Side handles are also made of stainless steel. This skillet is ideal for frying, braising, simmering and griddling. Temperature control is precise allowing skillet to heat up fast and allow even heat distribution. It is removable to allow easy cleaning of the electric skillet.
- Cleans easily.
- Nice design.
- Made of healthy ceramic based non-stick coating.
- Precise and easy to adjust temperature control.
- Stainless steel handles can get very hot.
Getting the Most from an Electric Skillet
Most electric skillets are made from either cast aluminum or stainless. Cooking surfaces are either coated with non-stick material or are ceramic based. While electric skillets are made to be tough and durable, they need to be well cared for and maintained to enjoy long years of use. You should employ the right cooking, cleaning, maintenance and storing methods.
When cooking in a skillet, always use nonstick (nylon or silicone) cooking utensils. This is to avoid scratches on the cooking surface metal utensils can cause.
Unplug the electric skillet prior to cleaning so the interior non-stick coating will not get damaged. Removed the thermostat control. Hand wash with soap and water the skillet and lid. Place on the dishwasher components that are dishwasher safe. Make sure electrical parts are not submerged in water.
If grease cannot be handled by dishwashing soap, use baking soda. Add water to baking soda to create a paste. Rub the paste on the tough grease or food stain. Let stand for a few minutes. Rinse the baking soda and the stain. Baking soda is safe to use on the skillet’s non-stick or ceramic base cooking surface.
After each use, wash the electric skillet before storing – hand wash or dishwasher. Wipe the thermostat control with damp cloth. Never immerse it in water. Handle thermostat control with care. Never allow it to fall nor bang it. Doing so will cause it to lose the accuracy of its calibration. Always store the skillet dry.
Avoid using aerosol cooking oil in your electric skillet. When heated, it tends to build up. The effect will not be immediately seen but with continuous use it will coat the cooking surface.
If the cooking surface of your electric skillet is ceramic based, avoid storing it near other cookware especially when also made of ceramic. They can get damage when in direct contact with each other.
One of the main concerns of homeowners with electric skillets is storage. Among the 5 electric skillets reviewed, I prefer the Presto 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet (06857). I love the fact that it easily stores with the handles of the base folding and it fitting inside the skillet.