Essentially, electric skillets are flat or rounded skillets with an electrical heat source in the bottom of the device that heats the cooking surface quickly. Pack an electric skillet when you go camping, set one up on your back patio or deck for breakfast, or use it as an additional cooking surface in the kitchen.
However, before jumping into learning about the products listed, you may want to consider several important factors, including the material, shape, and capacity. With these factors in mind, you can determine which attributes you want and the features to help you find the best electric skillet for your household.
- BEST OVERALL: Presto 06850 16-inch Electric Skillet
- RUNNER-UP: Elite Gourmet Deep Dish Electric Skillet
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: BELLA Electric Ceramic Titanium Skillet
- BEST BUDGET: Presto 06620 11-Inch Electric Skillet
- MOST VERSATILE: Zojirushi EP-PBC10 Gourmet d’Expert Electric Skillet
- BEST FOR FAMILIES: Dash DRG214AQ Family Size Rapid Heat Electric Skillet
- BEST SMALL: Nesco, Black, ES-08, Electric Skillet, 8 inch
- BEST FOR STORAGE: Presto 06857 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Electric Skillet
Before investing in a shiny new kitchen appliance, take the time to learn a few important product features to help select the best electric skillet for your kitchen.
While deciding on an electric skillet, consider whether you want a stainless steel or cast aluminum base. Both metals are durable and have a long service life; however, stainless steel cooking surfaces don’t have the same natural non-stick qualities as cast aluminum. However, products made with either base metal typically have a non-stick coating on the cooking surface that makes up for this weakness.
The non-stick surface of the cooking plate may have a thermosetting phenolic resin or plastic coating, though this coating is susceptible to damage at very high temperatures. It also may be made with a ceramic material with a titanium-reinforced non-stick coating that’s resistant to the scratches that metal cooking utensils can make. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for directions in best cooking practices and recommended utensil usage.
Electric skillets, like other types of cookware, come in a variety of shapes, including square, rectangular, circular, or oval. Choose one according to preference, or consider the locations where you plan to use the skillet. For instance, if the electric skillet will be used as a serving dish, then you may want to choose a skillet that matches the shape of your dining table.
Similarly, in a smaller kitchen with relatively few storage locations, choose a size and shape that can be stored when the skillet isn’t in use.
Capacity is often the first concern for many shoppers, especially for those with large families or who entertain regularly. Alternatively, those who live alone or need an electric skillet only for camping may prefer a smaller product.
Manufacturers often recommend an approximate serving capacity. With this in mind, make a rough estimate to determine the appropriate capacity for your family by comparing the size of the electric skillet to the size of a frying pan that you regularly use for similar cooking applications.
Handle and Lid
Handles are normally used to lift or carry an electric skillet, but some may fold up to lock the lid in place or fold down to make the skillet more compact for storage. Fortunately, handles that are cool to the touch are the most common option.
The lid of the average electric skillet is normally made of glass, though some models use a durable, heat-resistant plastic. A glass lid allows cooks to see the food they’re preparing without having to remove the lid. However, the lid can get very hot, so use caution. Plastic lids are opaque, so they must be removed to check the food. However, they’re a better insulator, so less heat escapes the skillet.
Many electric skillets have a non-stick coating to help prevent food from sticking. It also makes cleaning the surface of the skillet relatively easy, though users should avoid using metal scrub brushes or steel wool because these abrasive cleaning tools can scrape the coating off the pan.
Another benefit of using an electric skillet with a non-stick coating is that large quantities of oil aren’t required when cooking. This feature is ideal for frying, braising, or even slow cooking meals without the risk of ruining the skillet or your food.
Controls and Heat Settings
When trying to decide on the type of controls in a new skillet, consider the temperature range you typically use to cook. Some cooks prefer more precise temperature controls, while others want simple low, medium, and high settings.
To use the skillet for slow cooking, find a product that can be set as low as 200 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, the skillet will cook at too high of a temperature, burning the food. “Keep Warm” or “Warm” settings generally range between 125 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. As their name implies, they are designed to keep food warm without burning it, an especially useful feature when the electric skillet is also used as a serving dish.
When shopping for a new electric skillet to add to kitchen or camping supplies, you may want to consider products with built-in safety features such as cool-touch handles and controls, anti-slip feet, a removable electrical cord, and a removable heating element.
- Cool-touch handles are made with a heat-resistant insulating material that prevents them from conducting heat. This feature allows the skillet to go straight from cooking to the table.
- Anti-slip feet are simple heat-resistant rubber feet that help grip the surface underneath the skillet so it doesn’t slide while in use.
- Removable electrical cords detach if too much pressure is placed on them. This helps prevent the skillet from being pulled off the table if someone trips on the cord.
- Removable heating elements allow the electric skillet to be washed without the risk of electrical discharge or damage to the skillet.
Our Top Picks
The following products are among the best electric skillets in terms of quality, features, and price. Take a look at these products when considering a new electric skillet for the kitchen.
Use the Presto 06850 electric skillet in the kitchen, bring it to the table to use as a heated serving plate, or take it camping to plug into a generator or campsite outlet to cook breakfast in the great outdoors. It’s a suitable option for families of four to six people.
Use the heat control to adjust the temperature from 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or set it on “Warm” when serving food. This electric skillet has a durable plastic lid with a 2.5-inch-high dome shape so you can cook large pieces of meat, like chicken or ham. It’s made of heavy cast aluminum and has a non-stick coating that makes it easy to cook on and clean. With the heat control removed, the electric skillet can be washed in the dishwasher.
This family-sized electric skillet from Elite Gourmet has an extra-large, deep cooking pan with an integrated easy-pour spout to serve sauces or drain water and oils from the pan. The cooking pan is made of cast aluminum, and it has a black lacquer finish that resists rusting and warping. The interior of the pan has a marbleized honeycomb pattern and a non-stick coating for easy cleaning.
This electric skillet uses a dial temperature control to adjust the temperature between 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the adjustable temperature controls and submerge the entire electric skillet for handwashing or clean it in the dishwasher. Serve up to six people with this 7.5-quart electric skillet.
The BELLA Electric Skillet features cool-touch side handles to carry the skillet from the kitchen to the table or even out to the patio where it can double as a serving dish. Adjust the temperature on this inexpensive electric skillet from 300 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, or choose the “Keep Warm” setting.
The skillet is made of cast aluminum, but it also features a copper ceramic cooking dish with a titanium-reinforced, non-stick, scratch-resistant coating that makes cooking and cleanup simple. The entire skillet weighs just 5 pounds. Wash the tempered glass lid in the dishwasher, and submerge the base in water after removing the temperature control.
If looking for an electric skillet for the kitchen or camping, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money, this product is a good option. Use it for roasting, frying, stewing, or braising. It’s made of cast aluminum and has a non-stick cooking pan.
This Presto electric skillet weighs just 5 pounds, and it comes with a durable plastic cover that won’t dent, warp, peel, or bend. It makes food for up to four people at once, and the temperature ranges between 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. After the meal, remove the heat control and place the entire skillet into the dishwasher for easy cleanup.
The Zojirushi Gourmet d’Expert Electric Skillet offers a range of applications. Instead of just frying the food, you also can use this electric skillet for sautéing, stewing, grilling, frying, and braising. Also, use just the cooking pan on the stovetop or plug in the complete electric skillet anywhere with an available power outlet, including a campsite, the backyard, or the table.
The Zojirushi electric skillet weighs just 9 pounds. It’s made of stainless steel but has a ceramic cooking surface with a titanium-enhanced non-stick coating. The electric skillet can be adjusted from “Keep Warm” to “High,” and the stay-cool side handles keep your hands safe.
Feeding a hungry family of six is a task that most electric skillets can’t complete without cooking meals in turns, but the Dash Family Size Electric Skillet solves this issue with a total of up to 20 cups, or 5 quarts, of cooking capacity. The skillet also comes with important safety considerations, such as cool-touch handles, anti-slip feet, and a removable electric probe and cord.
This skillet has a tempered glass lid, so you don’t need to remove the lid to check on the food. The electric skillet heats up quickly to a maximum of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the manufacturer, though the actual temperature control displays only warm, low, medium, and high settings.
Compact electric skillets like the Nesco Electric Skillet are a great option for a range of purposes because of their small size and light weight. Carry it with ease or pack it away in a bag or purse. It fits relatively narrow surfaces around the home, allowing users to make the most of a small kitchen.
The electric skillet has heat-resistant stay-cool handles and a temperature control that adjusts from 275 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s made of die-cast aluminum, and it features a non-stick interior that makes cleanup easy. However, the skillet requires handwashing and shouldn’t be immersed in water. Only the tempered glass lid is safe for the dishwasher.
Don’t sacrifice cooking space with the Presto Electric Foldaway Skillet, which has fold-down handles, a detachable skillet pan, and a compact cooking base that can be stored inside the skillet pan when not in use. The pan has a 3-inch lip to keep water, oils, and sauces from spilling while you cook.
The electric skillet is made of cast aluminum, with a non-stick surface, and it weighs about 9 pounds. The skillet pan and tempered glass lid are both dishwasher-safe, though be sure to remove the heat control beforehand. The temperature control for this skillet ranges from 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and it also has a “Warm” setting.
FAQs About Your Electric Skillet
Continue reading for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about electric skillets.
Q. How do you season an electric skillet?
Seasoning a skillet typically refers to the process of baking on multiple thin coats of oil to protect a cast-iron surface. Since most electric skillets are not cast-iron but instead are stainless steel or aluminum with a non-stick coating, the seasoning process is completely unnecessary. If you insist on seasoning your electric skillet, simply rub the clean skillet with oil; then dry it by hand.
Q. Can an electric skillet be used as a slow cooker?
Yes. Electric skillets can be used for simmering and slow cooking because they can maintain a controlled temperature while cooking without direct supervision for an extended period.
Q. Can you deep fry with an electric skillet?
Yes, electric skillets can be used for deep frying a variety of foods.
Q. Can you bake in an electric skillet?
Baking or roasting involves cooking food using the dry heat produced through radiation and convection, while electric skillets use conduction to heat food directly over a heat source. So, technically speaking, it’s not possible to bake in an electric skillet.