Electric skillets: Quick buying guide

Electric skillets are a type of cookware that plugs into a power outlet and heats up with electrical power. They have their own electric ten attached to them and are versatile appliances that can be used to cook a variety of dishes, from frying to baking, roasting to scrambling, and sauté to boiling eggs. 

They have different settings for controlling the temperature, either low, medium, and high, or a dial that sets the heat to a specific degree, generally between 200º and 450ºF. 

When it comes to buying an electric skillet, there are several factors to consider.

Size, shape, and capacity

One of the first things to consider when buying a skillet is the size. Electric skillets come in various sizes, from 6 inches to 16 inches or more. 

The size affects the capacity and portability of the skillet. Larger skillets can cook more food at once but take up more space and may be harder to store. Smaller skillets are more compact and convenient but may not be enough for large families or parties.

Another factor to consider is the shape. The shape affects the cooking surface area and the versatility of the skillet. 

Electric skillets can be round, square, rectangular, or oval. 

  • Round skillets are more common and can fit most pots and pans. 
  • Square or rectangular skillets have more surface area and can accommodate larger or odd-shaped foods. 
  • Oval skillets are good for roasting meats or poultry.
An electric skillet with a cord, on the table, filled with ingredients
Source: Shutterstock

Materials

Electric skillets can be made of cast aluminum, stainless steel, ceramic, or nonstick coating. The material affects the heat distribution, durability, and maintenance of the skillet. 

  • Cast aluminum is lightweight and heats up quickly but may warp or dent over time. 
  • Stainless steel is sturdy and long-lasting but may not heat evenly or require more oil to prevent sticking. 
  • Ceramic is eco-friendly and scratch-resistant but may chip or crack if dropped. 
  • Nonstick coating is easy to clean and reduces the need for oil but may wear off or release harmful chemicals if overheated.
GreenLife's ceramic nonstick electric skillet
Greenlife’s ceramic nonstick electric skillet. Source: Greenlife

Temperature control

Electric skillets have different settings for controlling the temperature, either low, medium, and high, or a dial that sets the heat to a specific degree, generally between 200º and 450ºF.

  • Low heat is ideal for simmering sauces, slow-cooking stews, braising meat, and cooking beans. 
  • Medium heat is suitable for frying eggs, pancakes, bacon, and burgers. 
  • High heat is good for searing steaks, stir-frying vegetables, and making pizza. 

Some electric skillets also have a “Warm” setting that keeps the food at a constant temperature for serving.

Ease of cleaning

Depending on the material and design, it can be hard or easy to clean. Some electric skillets are fully immersible or dishwasher-safe with the heat probe removed. Others require hand washing with mild soap and water. 

Some electric skillets have a nonstick coating that makes cleaning easier but may peel off or scratch over time. Others have a ceramic or stainless steel surface that is more durable but may need more scrubbing or soaking to remove food residue.

Additional features

These could include a glass lid, a removable temperature control, or an adjustable steam vent.

Summary

By considering these key features, you can choose an electric skillet that meets your needs and allows you to cook delicious meals with ease.

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