What is an Electric Skillet?
In the following review, we are comparing the most popular electric skillets available on the market. A skillet (basically, a large frying pan) is a usual kitchen appliance that millions of people can't do without when cooking delicious dishes. Most skillets are stovetop but the technology does not stand still - it is developing every year and so electric skillets are now getting more and more widespread. Its advantages are clear - no gas supply is required in your house and you can cook in it and serve a dish right in a skillet. Let alone the situation when you move to your cottage for a couple of weeks and need a frying pan - an electric skillet is indispensable in this case. You can cook a lot of dishes in an electric fry pan: from a simple omelet to a shrimp stew and from French fries to an appetizing turkey. Any electric skillet goes with a lid which speeds up the cooking and keeps your kitchen clean.
If you like grilling, pay attention to our review of the best electric griddles - these compact appliances is a great electric alternative to conventional outdoor grills.
What Features to Compare
If you think a choice of the best electric skillet is easy, you are totally wrong. There are so many of them in any large store but still people get confused and very often get really poor appliances. That is why we have decided to make our electric skillet review as simple for a common buyer as possible, and yet, provide as much necessary information as you need to make the best pick.
First of all, you are buying an electric fry pan for cooking and if you are not an experienced wife or husband, you might not even put your finger on what exactly you can cook with the help of this appliance. Therefore, begin with Cooking Options - find out what kind of food you can make in an electric skillet. Of course, an electric frying pan is big enough to cook nearly anything - from your favorite French fries to a beef stew with potatoes. However, some electric fry pans are designed to accommodate the whole turkey, for example. Also, skillets are deeper than usual frying pans which means you can have pleasure baking: make pies, biscuits, and a lot of other stuff. Next, any electric skillet is perfect for cooking stew - you can make a stew and serve it right in a pan, without a need of another dish - most skillets are designed with a removable thermostat. Also, it is easy to roast in a deep frying pan and you can sometimes roast a whole turkey for Thanksgiving Day! No need to say, the cooking abilities heavily depend on temperature every electric skillet can provide. Most of them support a temperature from 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (not Celsius - be attentive!). You need at least 375 degrees for cooking poultry, beef, pork, or veal. 300 degrees are enough for frying sausages or eggs whereas baking requires 300-400 degrees. Also, some electric frying pans have a Warm mode which is convenient if you need to keep a dish warm for some time before serving it.
Next feature you need to consider is the Cooking Surface of an electric skillet. Honestly, you do not need to know how much a whole frying pan weighs but what you truly need is the dimension of the frying pan. They are usually square, round, rectangular, or oval. The shape is usually important for cooking: a rectangular one is the most suitable for a turkey, fish, or a hen, for example. But if you are buying an electric skillet for baking - a square form will be the most convenient. Next, consider the capacity of the pan - it depends on the depth. 3-inch deep skillet will not be suitable for roasting a hen or turkey, so you need a deeper one (at least 5 inches). Naturally, if you have a big family, a small skillet will not be enough, so choose a big one.
Also, pay attention to the Material a frying pan is made from. Most skillets are made of aluminum or aluminum alloys and weigh around 4.5 pounds. However, stainless steel pans are more durable. All electric fry pans have a special non-stick coating which requires particular care since if it gets damaged, you might need to buy a new skillet. However, it is better to buy a pan with a reliable coating than save up some money and then throw a skillet into a trashcan.
Finally, make sure to choose a skillet with a decent level of Convenience. The best electric skillets boast a transparent tempered-glass lid through which you can see what is going on and control the cooking. Also, good lids have a small vent hole through which excessive steam goes out. Some frying pans also boast a special spout that facilitates pouring liquids (it is particularly important to remove oil, for example). And do not forget to check if a frying pan is dishwasher-safe since if it is - the cleaning will be just a piece of cake.