Electric Skillet recommendations
I purchased a Rival rectangular electric skillet (glass lid) about 3 years ago, when my house-renovation-from-hell began. When I was in my makeshift kitchen/dining room in the basement for 15 MONTHS (not a typo), this electric skillet, along with an electric roaster, my toaster oven, and my espresso machine (thank heaven for my espresso machine), were the only cooking appliances I had. Even my beloved outdoor grill, hooked up to the house's natural gas line, was out of commission for a number of months due to construction on and around the back terrace.
I made everything in the electric skillet that I would have ordinarily made on my cooktop. It did a great job, although there were times that I wished its surface area were not so large (when making simmered dishes, for instance).
I should probably write a book about cooking without a kitchen. I made great chicken soups, pea soups and cabbage soups in my roaster, lots of good pan-fried, steamed, and braised dishes in my skillet, and terrific chicken, beef, and veal roasts in my toaster oven.
However, since I've gotten my new-and-improved kitchen back, the electric skillet is collecting dust in the basement laundry room; haven't used it since.
Just curious, sandpiper: why are you considering buying one?
Thanks everyone for the suggestions.
I currently have an ancient (ie. 30 y.o.) GE electric skillet that has served me well over the years, although I have not used it much in the last several years. I make certain dishes in it like pan fried chicken, pan sauteed razor clams (which are long), but more recently I've been getting into making popcorn in it (like my mom used to), only popped in duck fat. It has a high dome and vent, which is great, but the cord seems a bit wary, not to mention the skillet is kinda beat up now. I have an electric cooktop and am afraid to use it for making popcorn (don't want to scratch it).
Any more suggestions would be most welcome! Thanks.
I love love my electric skillet - great for frying, since it has temperature control, and you can use it outside or anywhere. I got interested in having one after being stuck in a cabin with one as the only cooking option outside building a fire...and I have fond memories of my mom cooking with hers in the basement when it was ungodly hot in the summer.
Mine is a cheap non-stick one (I think...it was a requested gift!) by Rival. It looks like this http://www.amazon.com/Rival-S12P-12-I... but not sure if that's the exact model. It's pretty large and deep, which I highly recommend. Came with a weird specialty tongspatula thingee. The lid fits well, and there's a vent to let steam out - v. important.
I've had it for a couple years of *not* heavy usage.
I love mine, it's a low end, non stick model but it does an amazing job. I use it instead of a large fry pan for most recipes that call for a large fry pan. I especially like for making latkes and stir fries because it gets hotter than my range. I've also heard you can make Sukiyaki in it. Clean up is a breeze too because it comes apart and can be submerged. If you buy one look for one where lid fits well. Mine can be tricky to place correctly and I have reduced some sauces before they should have been reduced. I'll be interested in hearing what people have to say about the medium-higher end models. I am thinking of demoting mine to the craft room and buying a better model.
I don't know if this will help you, but do to a cooktop disaster I am temporarily trying to cook with other appliances. I borrowed an elec. skillet from a friend but took it back to her after I bought a small electric single burner at Target, $19.99. The temperature ranges from very low as to just keep something warm to high enough to boil. The beauty is that I can use any skillet or pan I own on it and am not limited. When my cooktop is finally repaired I will keep it around as a 6th burner when needed or on a buffet to keep things warm. I can move it anywhere in my kitchen or out onto my screened porch if I want but it is more versatile than an elec. skillet. I am really anti-one function appliances.