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Whether/why use electric skillet

My wife and I were just given what appears to be a good electric skillet. 12" with non-stick surface and lid with vent. It also has a temp control which seems easy to use. Thing is, I have never used an electric skillet and it never occured to me that one might be useful. I am looking for ways in which others make use of theirs and reasons why it may be a preferable way to cook some dishes.

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  1. I've never had one and wondered the same thing.
    I did see one being used on a cooking demonstration on TV just the other night and did notice that they were checking the temperature of the oil before putting the food in - I thought - oh, well that's useful.
    Also, I think depending on your stovetop and cookware an electric skillet can give you
    a larger more consistently and evenly heated frying surface.
    Last, most frying pans have the lower sloped sides and that's what most of us have. A french skillet, or an electric skillet, are slightly taller with straighter sides making them more useful for frying in oil, say fried chicken, or larger quantities, or anything with a liquid sauce/ reduction.
    Just my thoughts.

    1. When your stovetop quits working it's a backup.
      When you're cooking a new stove top recipe and want to work on temperatures.
      When you've a house full of company and need to cook a lot of something (pancakes, bacon, anything that can be mass manufactured, but quickly and to spread out the area where the cooks are working.

      1. I don't know why this is, but I can only make great pancakes consistently in my electric skillet. Perfect every time. Every time I try to make them on the stove, no matter which pan I use, I have a hard time and end up ruining some ( read "a lot").

        And, as others have said, it's a good back up cooking source. I only have one oven and 4 burners. If I am having a crowd, I have to get creative with my cooking sources, which also include a good counter top toaster oven, microwave, large slow cooker and two electric skillets. So I have no problem cooking for a lot of people as long as I plan the menu carefully to be spread out over these different cooking (and warming) elements.

        1. i never wanted one, until i saw alton brown use it for low heat poaching. now that makes sense.

          1. My wife and I got one for a wedding present many years ago. I use it for skillet frying chicken and fish because it has the temp control and can be easily set to the desired frying temp. It seems pretty accurate as I’ve checked it with a digital thermometer. It’s convenient to use in that you just put the oil/shortening in, set the temp and when the light goes out, it’s ready to fry. It also recoups pretty quickly after adding the food. You can see this by watching the light again as it goes on when food is added and then goes off when the temp is back to the desired setting. The vent is nice in that you can put the cover on to keep the oil from splashing all over and yet let the steam out. I don’t know that I’d go out and buy one, but I have used it for frying with pretty good results.