The Ultimate Guide for the Best Electric Skillet
Electric skillets (aka frying pans) came on the scene decades ago during the mid-1900s, and have remained a popular small appliance ever since. Whether they’re used for food prep, cooking large meals, or as a replacement for a broken stove top, there are so many things that you can do with this kitchen tool.
Not only can you fry, saute, and sear foods in an electric frying pan, some larger models with lids can also be used to bake cakes and cook casseroles. If you like to entertain and want to really wow your guests, try cooking up shabu-shabu or sukiyaki at the table with an electric skillet — people will talk about your dinner party and remember it fondly for years to come.
Advantages of Using an Electric Skillet
Many wonder why they should even bother with an electric skillet if their kitchen has a stove. It’s actually a very handy, versatile tool that’s invaluable in the kitchen if you frequently entertain or fry. Because electric skillets usually have straight sides and a wider surface area than traditional pans, they maintain heat more efficiently.
The types of foods that you can cook in an electric frying pan, as well as the number of ways to prepare dishes, is seemingly endless. Paella, pancakes, bacon, French toast, fried chicken, stews, sauces, steaks, and so much more can all be prepared with this tool and come out great.
If you’re trying to cut down on your energy use an electric skillet will help you save on utility costs, especially if you have a traditional stove that tends to use a significant amount of gas. During the warmer months of the year, electric frying pans have another key advantage: you can get a meal on the table without heating up your house by turning on your regular stovetop.
For holiday gatherings when big meals are the norm, having an electric frying pan to handle an extra dish of food or help the cooking along can be a huge time saver. This is also true any time of year if you have a smaller stove or frequently entertain and don’t have a large range.
Here are some other great uses for electric skillets:
- Since electric skillets maintain temperature so well, they’re great for deep frying chicken, potatoes, fish, donuts and pastries, and just about anything you could think of. Instead of buying a separate deep fat fryer, an electric skillet can multi-task and give you a better value.
- You can easily make larger quantities of food with them.
- Use an electric frying pan to keep prepared foods warm and at a proper eating temperature, such as a buffet warmer would do.
- If you have a temperamental recipe that calls for a very steady temperature, an electric skillet can help your dish turn out successfully each and every time.- Electric skillets are fabulous to use when a dish requires low heat poaching — try it with fish or eggs, and you may never want to go back to using a traditional pan.
- Set the heat low, and you can use an electric skillet for cheese or chocolate fondue.
- Those who live in a place where a kitchen isn’t available, such as in a dorm, find electric skillets useful for preparing meals.
- If your stovetop ever stops working, an electric frying pan can stand in temporarily. Some people end up using them long-term.
Because they’re such excellent multi-taskers, electric skillets are often the gift of choice for weddings and anniversaries. They’re also favored by individuals who don’t cook often, but want a reliable piece of equipment when they do decide to step into the kitchen and make a meal.
Choosing the Best Electric Skillet
Now that you understand just why having an electric frying pan is a great idea, you’re probably wondering how to go about choosing one. There are so many electric skillet reviews online that can be helpful when deciding, but the best thing you can do is consider what you’re most likely to use the skillet for. If you’d like one because you enjoy throwing dinner parties or you have a large family, ensure you choose a larger skillet that can hold enough food for your guests and act as a chaffing dish.
Need the frying pan to cook in a small space, such as a dorm, RV, or camper? Get a compact electric skillet or one that with parts that can easily be nested for storage. For frying, choose a deep electric skillet. If you’re going to use yours as a supplement or replacement for a cooktop, check to see that it has the temperature range that you need.
Most electric frying pans are composed of aluminum with a nonstick coating, and the models with lids are typically made of glass. Busy individuals who tend to be on the go should look for a model with parts that can be placed into the dishwasher for easy cleanup. Aside from buying a model with features that will be most relevant to your lifestyle, you want to ensure that the skillet you choose will last for the long haul. This means looking for a brand that is known for making quality kitchen products.
To avoid having to buy a new skillet every few years due to them breaking down, aim to purchase a well made one from the start. While you may think that paying a small amount up front will save money, in the long run buying multiple poorly made electric skillets will cost you a bundle.
With that in mind, here are four electric skillet models that you can depend on to create delicious meals.
#1 - Presto 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet
The Presto 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet has a convenient feature that makes it the best electric skillet for those who are short on space: nesting components that quickly stack together for compact storage. Its cast aluminum base is heavy and built to be reliable and last for many years.
Both the inside and outside of this skillet are non-stick, which means cleaning up drips that fall outside of it is a breeze. When you’re done cooking, simply wipe away the interior and exterior. In addition, the skillet is detachable from its base and can be put into the dishwasher, as can the skillet’s lid.
Another nice feature of the Presto 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet is that is has a pour spout, which you can either use to securely hold a spoon or spatula, pour away liquids and fats, or serve soups, gravies, and sauces. The size of this skillet is suitable for those who want to cook large meals, as its cooking surface spans 16 inches. Frying, grilling, roasting, and even baking are possible with this electric skillet. You can also use it to keep food warm after it’s done cooking.
After the meal is over and the skillet has been cleaned up, simply fold in the handles, pop the base into the skillet’s interior, and it will be ready to put away without taking up a lot of space in your cabinet. The Presto 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet costs just under $50, which is a good price for all of its features
#2 - Black & Decker SK1215BC Family Sized Electric Skillet
Black & Decker’s Family Sized Electric Skillet is the best electric skillet that you can buy if you need to cook for a crowd or plan to use your skillet for deep frying. It has a cooking surface that measures 12 x 15 x 2 inches, which is perfect for entertaining.
You can easily cook casseroles and family-style dishes in this skillet and then use it as a buffet or serving dish — it looks nice enough to have at the table. The quick release variable temperature probe and tempered glass lid that come with this model are excellent accessories, and the non-stick coated surface of the skillet is tough enough to stand up to frequent use. Virtually nothing will get stuck on it, from bacon and eggs to cheese sandwiches and seared meats.
When it comes to frying, this electric frying pan is a great performer. It has a tilting leg that allows you to pour fat away from the food once it’s done cooking, and the cool touch handles of this skillet will keep your hands safe the entire time you use it.
The temperature range on this skillet is impressive and goes from warm to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If need be, you could easily use this model as a replacement for your stovetop. It costs less than $50, and you can expect it to last through many years of use.
3# - De'Longhi BG45 Electric Skillet
De’Longhi is well known as a quality brand, and the company’s BG45 model electric skillet is well made, attractive, and fantastic to have if you frequently cook.
You truly could use this skillet everyday to make each of your family’s meals, from breakfast to lunch and dinner. It has a non-stick base and an embedded heating element that gets the skillet ready quickly and also holds heat well.
For consistency and foods that reliably come out perfectly cooked, few electric skillets work as beautifully as this one. Lesser quality electric frying pans tend to leave food looking nice on the outside, but with hot and cold spots on the inside. Imagine serving a piece of seared chicken that’s perfect in appearance, but not fully cooked inside — you won’t have to worry about that problem with the De’Longhi BG45.
The tempered glass lid also allows you to use this skillet as a warmer or chaffing dish, and its size — 19.3 x 11.8 x 8.4 inches — makes it an ideal option for serving a crowd. Try keeping your nacho cheese, cocktail meatballs, or hot dips in this skillet and it will stay at the right temperature for your entire party.
This electric frying pan also has steam vent holes that you can use to control evaporation. This is key when making sauces, and would also come in handy for steaming vegetables and dumplings. The skillet base and lid are both dishwasher safe, and the die cast aluminum body of this model is built to last. It also has an accurate detachable thermostat that is fully adjustable and will help you monitor the skillet’s temperature.
At just under $40 this skillet is a bargain, especially when you consider all of its premium features.
#4 - Proctor Silex 38526 Electric Skillet
If you need an electric skillet that’s fairly lightweight, easily portable, and great for smaller kitchens, shared living spaces, dorms, and the like, the Proctor Silex 38526 Electric Skillet is a great option to consider.
It’s also good to take along on camping trips. It measures just 6 x 14 x 12 inches and weighs under five pounds, which is significantly less than most electric skillets. Its cooking surface makes preparing a wide range of foods a breeze, and being nonstick means you can use less oil and make your dishes a bit healthier. This model is also great for using as a braiser and it will create tender, flavorful meats and stews.
The Proctor Silex has an adjustable heat feature and the temperature ranges from 200 degrees to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool touch handles ensure safety while you’re using this skillet, and it’s easy to wipe down once you’re done using it. The lid of this electric skillet is dishwasher safe and so is its base, which is a nice convenience.
Those on a budget will find this Proctor Silex model attractive as it costs just under $25. Many electric skillet reviews note that this is a great option for gifting to college bound students or young adults starting out on their own as it’s very easy to use, affordable, and its size allows it to be easily stored without any hassle.