Best Electric Skillet on the Market- Reviews & Buying Guide
Like most of us, your days are busy. There’s work, kids activities, housework, time for recreation, and trying to relax. That’s a full day for anyone. Somewhere in the middle of all that activity has to be a meal.
If you’ve spent all day trying to accomplish all the above-mentioned tasks, you don’t have a lot of time to prepare a complicated meal for your family. Electric skillets have been around for a long time. Our mom’s probably prepared many meals for you in one. As time has passed, electric skillets have improved.
They are easier to use and easier to clean. If your life leaves you little time for cooking, this list of Best Electric Skillets will help you choose the right one for your cooking needs.
What to look for in an electric skillet
Looking at the electric skillet for an all-in-one appliance to save some room in the kitchen? The great thing about the electric skillet is that you can practically cook anything in it. All you need to do is set the desired heat, put in the food and leave it in for a few minutes according to what you’re cooking.
If you have been doing some research you’re probably wondering which one you should get. Especially if you search online, there’s a TON of selection out there and sometimes it’s a bit difficult to choose what exactly you want, especially since you can’t really ‘try’ it out.
How much do you want to spend?
For many of us, the cost of a new appliance is important. You want the best product you can purchase, for the least amount of money. It’s not always crystal-clear which product will come closest to that price/value factor.
Purchasing a cheap skillet will undoubtedly cause more problems compared to the money saved. On the other hand, purchasing a more expensive skillet can leave you with a complicated, time-consuming product.
By doing a little research, it will be possible to make the appropriate purchase for your needs. Also, don’t be afraid to do a little out-of-the-box thinking. Just because a skillet looks different, or operates differently than what you’re used to, doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you. Keep an open mind.
How big is it?
Now that you’ve decided how much you’re willing to spend you’ll have more practical choices to make. A major consideration will be the size and shape that will work best in your kitchen. The majority of electric skillets have a diameter between 10 and 16 inches. Part of that decision will be based on the number of people you’re cooking for. Another consideration will be the counter space available in your kitchen.
Will it be difficult to keep clean?
The convenience of an electric skillet suffers if it takes longer to clean up than it took to cook your meal. Unlike the skillet your mom might have used, modern skillets come equipped with non-stick cooking surfaces. This is an important factor if you don’t have a dishwasher, or if the skillet isn’t dishwasher safe. If you have a dishwasher, then remember that most electric skillets are dishwasher safe. That’s a feature that can save a lot of time during your busy day.
What can I cook in it?
Cooking temperature is an important factor for an electric skillet. Think about what kinds of meals you’ll prepare. If your cooking will be basic meals that won’t require extremely high temperatures (over 400 degrees), then you’ll be satisfied with basic temperature controls. If your meals will sometimes need a higher temperature, perhaps for fried chicken, then you’ll need a skillet that can heat up to 450.
Mealtime doesn’t always happen at the same time every day. Sometimes the food is ready, but not everyone is ready to eat. A skillet with a warm setting will allow you to keep your food ready until everyone can make it to the table.
Other important features
- Glass lid – Seeing the food as it cooks is important. With a glass lid, you won’t have to remove the lid. Glass lids also help keep the heat locked inside the skillet, making your food cook faster
- Drainage – If your meal requires you to remove grease, then a drainage notch is important. Drainage makes it possible to remove grease or broth without having to remove the rest of the meal. It also makes cooking safer.
- A locking lid – Sometimes a locking lid will add a few dollars to the cost, but it’s worth it. If you need to move the finished meal to the dining room, possible spillage is avoided. Having a locking lid also makes transport easier and safer if you’re taking a meal to a friend’s house or to an outside function.
- Handles that are heat resistant – No one likes to burn their hands on a hot skillet. With heat resistant handles, that won’t happen.
- High skillet sides – If you do a lot of deep-frying a high-sided skillet is a must. The same goes for cooking large amounts of food.
Recommended Best Electric Skillets
Now that a few of the guidelines for choosing the best electric skillet have been set, here are our reviews of the Best Electric Skillets.
1. Proctor Silex 38526 Electric Skillet
Anyone who has done much cooking is familiar with the Proctor Silex name. They have been producing quality kitchen appliances since 1960.
Your mom probably owned one or two when you were growing up. This electric skillet is the latest in Proctor Silex products.
As with most Proctor Silex products throughout the years, the 38526 Electric Skillet is a very affordable appliance. Even with its low price, this skillet is built with modern, essential features.
Easy and variable temperature settings
With a “warm” setting of 200 degrees, and a high setting of 400 degrees, the 38526 can cook about anything you want. You’ll know when your desired cooking temperature has been reached as the red indicator light will turn off.
It can cook many different foods
While some may use an electric skillet only for breakfast, this skillet is capable of cooking many different foods. If you like stir-fry meals, the Proctor Silex 38526 shines, especially with its lower temperature settings. The 38526 can also be used when you want to saute’, fry, simmer or braise.
Doubles as a serving dish
With its tight-fitting glass lid and heat-resistant handles, you can use it as a serving dish.
Clean up with the 38526 is easy. Both skillet and lid are dishwasher safe. If you’re still hand-washing, it can be safely washed in soapy water.
The Proctor-Silex 38526 is versatile, well-made, and a good value. If you’re looking for an inexpensive electric skillet, this is a great option.
2. Presto 06857 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet
Here’s a mid-priced electric skillet. The Presto 06587 16-inch Foldaway Skillet is certainly a step up from the lower prices, basic models.
Unlike higher-priced skillets, the Presto has basic temperature control. In no way does the lack of programmable cooking controls detract from the value of this electric skillet.
It is a well-designed, solid, and attractive skillet. Even with its mid-range price, the Presto 06587 still has a few well thought out features.
The large, non-heat conducting handles, fold down to allow the cooking pan to be used as a serving dish. The handles then can be folded up inside of the cooking pan for easy, compact storage.
Even temperatures on cooking surface
One of the main complaints about lower-priced electric skillets involves uneven heating on the cooking surface. One part will be at the correct temperature, while another will hardly be warm. The Presto 06587 has very uniform temperature all across the surface.
You can bake with it
One feature that sets the Presto 06587 apart from other electric skillets, is the ability to bake with it. Cakes, especially, come out tasting as if they were oven-baked.If there is any drawback to the Presto 06587 16 inch skillet, it would have to be it’s relatively shallow pan depth, only 2 ¾ inches.
The Presto 06587 16 inch Electric Foldaway Skillet is a good value. Even though it lacks features found on higher-priced skillets, the fact that it can be used to bake foods sets it apart. Definitely a good value.
3. Presto 06850 16-inch Electric Skillet
The other Presto product in our review of Best Electric Skillets is the Presto 06850 16-inch skillet. Of all the skillets reviewed so far, this is the first one with a solid cover.
Because of that, the lid is also covered with Teflon, non-stick coating. Compared with the glass lids found on other skillets, the solid lid is more durable. Perhaps also because of the solid lid, the Presto 06850 is heavier than any of the skillets reviewed.
While the extra weight may cut down of portability, it also makes this skillet feel much more solid than lighter units. Other features include:
Excellent heat control
The Control Master heating unit maintains accurate and even cooking temperatures.
Easy clean up
The entire unit (base and lid) is dishwasher safe.
More easy clean up
As well as being dishwasher safe, the 06850 is covered entirely with non-stick surface.
Because of the solid lid, this is probably the best skillet for cooking fried chicken.This Presto skillet can stand proudly with other Presto skillets.
It is built very solidly and is the most durable of the skillets reviewed. If there are any drawbacks, the only one noticed is the lack of a steam vent in the lid. Storage might be a problem for some, as the legs are not removable. This is a great electric skillet for family use. If you have a large family, it might be even better.
4. Black & Decker SK1215BC Family Sized Electric Skillet
Here is a name not normally associated with cooking utensils. Black and Decker has always been known as a maker of quality power tools, but not kitchen products.
This mid-priced electric skillet is, of course, firmly in the tradition of Black and Decker products; solid, no-frills, and functional. In most phases, the SK1215BC is right in line with the other mid-price skillets.
It has a glass lid, cool-touch handles, and serves as a serving pan as well as a skillet. There are a few features that separate the Black and Decker from other electric skillets.
Easier removal of grease and oil
This is the only unit with the “pan-tilt leg” option. It allows the unit to be tilted so that excess grease and oil can be drained away from food without removing the food from the skillet.
The SK1215BC heats up faster than its competitors. It also has excellent temperature evenness over the cooking surface.
Unlike other skillets, this unit cannot be submerged or put in the dishwasher.
Constant heating issues
The heat sensor is extremely touchy. It is prone to turning off the heating element (because of a safety sensor) before the food is fully cooked. The Black and Decker SK1215BC skillet follows directly in the footsteps of its power tool relatives. It is neither really good or really bad. If you purchase this skillet, you probably won’t be disappointed if you don’t expect more than a basic unit.
5. Oster CKSTSKFM-1216R 12-Inch by 16-Inch Electric Skillet
Oster is a name most commonly associated with blenders. Their products have mostly been of good quality and value. The CKSTSKFM-1216R keeps the Oster name going. We also have more Oster Electric Skillet reviews here.
The cooking area is a standard 12 x 16-inch size. It has a see-through glass lid. It is safe to put in the dishwasher. The Oster can cook the same variety of foods as its competitors, although cannot be used for baking.
Higher cooking temperature
Most electric skillets top out at 400 degrees for their cooking temperature. The Oster can be used up to 420 degrees.
Deeper cooking area
Other skillets have ranged from 2 ½ to 2 ¾ inches in depth. The Oster has a 3-inch depth.
Dangerous heating element
The heating element on more than one skillet has simply melted down. Many elements have had difficulties in keeping a constant cooking temperature. In spite of Oster’s history of quality products, this is a skillet that is dangerous. If you really want to purchase a CKSTSKFM-1216R, please check to see if the heating element design has been modified.
6. Oster CKSTSKFM12-ECO DuraCeramic Electric Skillet
Instead of purchasing the just-reviewed Oster electric skillet, you might want to consider the CKSTSKFM12-ECO. It might be a tad smaller (12 x12 cooking surface), but it comes with features that the FM-1216R doesn’t offer.
This skillet is the only one reviewed with a DuraCeramic cooking surface.
It heats up to cooking temperature 20% faster than other surfaces. It is much easier to clean than traditional non-stick surfaces.
Safer than the FM-1216R
No safety issues have come about because of heating element concerns. The only drawback with the FM12 might be that it’s not rated for dishwasher use. That inconvenience aside, this is a high-quality electric skillet. If you’re not cooking for an entire family, then this will suit your needs quite well.
With the exception of the Oster CKSTSKFM-1216R, with its safety issues, any of these electric skillets would be a good purchase.
Remember to first think about your needs before choosing your electric skillet. As for our needs and desires, we find the Oster CKSTSKFM12-ECO to be the Best Electric Skillet.
It’s a great value, with an advanced, more efficient cooking surface. Amazingly, the price is lower than almost all of the reviewed skillets. Try it, you won’t be sorry.