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Electric skillet-anyone using one? What do you make?

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I have an electric skillet that was given to me. It works great, but I never think to use it. What do you make in yours, and is it easier or somehow better than using a pan on the stove?

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  1. it seems less messy to fry in the electric skillet, and easier to control the temp of the fat
    so that's where I fry chicken, and hanoi shrimp cakes (see the COTM threads for September on the Home Cooking board)

    It's also more mobile, so you can have it outside at a party...or when it's too hot inside in the summer...

    1. My mom has an electric skillet that she uses all the time. She fries eggs, makes bacon, pancakes, garlic green beans, zucchini, chicken, hamburgers---pretty much anything you would use a saute pan for. It comes in especially handy during the holidays when the stovetop burners are all full. I don't know if it's "easier", but hers comes with a dial stating what food to cook at what temp. That might be a help to those who don't know their way around the kitchen too well.

      1. Only pancakes. Kinda bulky to store, but works better for me than to use multiple burners & pans on the stove. Tried bacon once, never again, too messy.

        1. I love mine and use it for tons of stuff, I just used it yesterday to make cubesteak with gravy.

          1. Got rid of mine. It can be entertaining to watch stir-fry being made at the table. But it's just one more thing taking up space. Heck, why pay money for a range if you don't use it?

            1. I use mine for pancakes mostly. My husband likes to make grilled cheese in it.

              I use it a lot during the summer. Here in Phoenix, my kitchen gets ridiculously hot for the summer months so I can use the electric skillet out on the patio for something like a spaghetti sauce, rather than heating up the kitchen even more than Mother Nature already does.

              1. Mom used it for every big dinner. Gave her another "burner" on which to cook. Thanksgiving meant canned sweet potatoes, brown sugar and butter simmering in the electric skillet on the other side of the kitchen, away from most of the activity.

                1. They're great for not-so-deep deep frying. Things like fried shrimp, batter dipped veggies, chicken fried steak, and... FUNNEL CAKE!

                  They're harder to clean than a simple pan, so it's mainly the temperature control that's useful, and that's really only useful in certain circumstances, most of which involve frying.

                  1. I have my mothers old electric fry pan and the many memories of her using it in the backyard, so as not to smell up the house, when frying fish.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                      We use ours mainly for frying chicken. Our 95-yr. old kitchen doesn't have a vent fan so we fry in our backyard.

                      Hubby sets it on the grill of the Weber so we don't have to clean up any oil splatter on tables and when we're done frying, we can just close the Weber lid and leave the hot oil & pan to clean up later (our yard is the highway used by the neighborhood skunks, raccoons and possums.)

                      Before getting our rice cooker, I used the frying pan as a steamer -- large bowls of eggs with clams and serving platter of whole fish with ginger and onions. It freed up a burner on my four-burner stove.

                      I've been thinking of replacing it because not only being 30 years old, it's awkward to clean and the temperature control unit gets hot with use now.

                    2. I had one of these, and an electric wok, and the thermostatic on/off nature of their operation made them most unsatisfactory. An even, constant, cooking temperature was never achievable. If there are better ones about (in the UK) then I'd love to know, as the flexibility/mobile advantages mentioned above are exactly why I got them. Now junked.

                      1. I like to cook at the dinner table sometimes-- Benihana style, ha. Just arrange meats and veggies on platters, and put the skillet on the table, and let everyone put the food on it, cook, and eat. It's a fun, different way to have dinner occasionally.

                        1. We used to take ours with us when we rented a house in North Carolina for vacation. Just gave us an extra place to prepare food for a crowd. I've also used it in the past for pancakes or latkes. I have a really old smarmy square one that I keep around in case I need to do some frying in an inch or so of oil, but to tell you the truth I haven't used it in years. Probably should get rid of that one.

                          1. Same here. But, I've got to say, as the perplexed owner of a gifted high-end model (Williams-Sonoma All-Clad), the electric griddle is seemingly the most pointless thing you could ever purchase. Especially if you're interested in healthy preparation. Pretty much, the only thing you can do well is pancakes. Everything else (bacon, eggs, meat) becomes markedly more difficult and/or messier than pans. I admit, however, it is great if you wanna lug a heavy grease-laden electrical appliance outside find an extension cord and fry stuff. But, then, it might be even greater to simply sell it as scrap metal.

                            1. Alton Brown suggests using it for poaching (because you can set it to such a specific temperature). I got one for christmas, and can't wait to give it a try!

                              1. I have the large Cuisinart and use it for everything. It is a terrific way to saute food and you don't have to cook in batches. I like to use it to saute vegetables as well as chicken or veal. My stovetop burners and my oven were well occupied on Christmas so I sauteed brussel sprouts with roasted chestnuts in my electric skillet. I make a dish I found in the Wall Street Journal: veal meatballs that you simmer in chicken stock after you sear the meatballs. The recipe calls for searing the meatballs in three batches. I can make the entire dish at once in my electric skillet and then turn it down to warm until I'm ready to serve it.

                                1. Love mine and use it quite often. I do fried chicken, french fries, eggs, burgers. It's not as messy as frying on the stove and gives me an extra "burner".

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Luvfriedokra

                                    At someone's suggestion I tried making french fries in mine (at 350 degrees using about 1.5 inches of oil). Turned out great, but I wondered if this would damage my Teflon coating due to the continuous high temperature of the cooking oil. Anybody have any idea or experience? Thanks

                                  2. Homemade English muffins, griddle scones, sawmill gravy.