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Sep 8, 2010 04:25 PM

Electric grill question

Hi all,

Does anyone know if electric grills are supposed to generate a lot of heat, and if so, if there is anything to minimize this (both from a safety and a comfort perspective)?

I just tried a Swissmar raclette grill, which sits on a SS and plastic base with legs, and it heated up the surrounding marble tabletop to an alarming degree after just 30 minutes of use - i.e., the marble was hot to the touch. When I placed the grill on a wooden table, the table also heated up, but felt less hot.

Has anyone experienced this with any grills (raclette or not)? Should I be concerned? I supposed I could put some cloth/insulator on top of the table each time, but would really rather not.

Many thanks in advance!

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  1. Anyone, particularly those with an electric tabletop grill of any type? Don't trust myself on this and would welcome any thoughts!

    1 Reply
    1. re: iyc_nyc

      Although it doesn't directly address your question, if safety is a concern, I'd suggest that you consider picking up an induction heating pad. The pad itself stays cool, and only the grill or frying pan or saucepan or whatever you put on it gets hot. You can even put your finger on top of the induction pad about an inch from a pot of boiling water and just feel a little warmth.

    2. I had an electric grill, but mine was weak and did not heat up the surrounding very much -- which ironically was the reason I didn't take with me when I moved. So I guess I had a different concern than you.

      Only you can tell if it is excessively hot. I just looked up the spec for Swissmar and it is about 1200 watts, so it seems normal to me. My guess is that it is not very bad. Mable can store more energy than wood. Think of it in the opposite way. In a cold winter, the marble will feel be much colder to touch than wood. In a heated environment, like you described, the marble will feel hotter.

      Do you have a oven thermometer or some high temperature thermometer? Next time when you use the electric grill, put a thermometer underneath it and see what it reads after your cooking.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Tanuki and Chem, thank you both very much. I'll look into an induction heating pad - don't know what it is, but it sounds interesting! And chem, when you say that marble can store more energy, do you mean it can store it safely without e.g., catching fire/blowinging up/deteriorating? Sorry, chemistry and physics were not my greatest subjects in high school although my guess is that chemistry might have been one of yours.. :-).

        I was also just interested in knowing whether others with electric grills noticed their tables and any items nearby getting super hot.

        1. re: iyc_nyc

          Hi iyc,

          :) The storing energy part is for explaining why the marble surface felt hotter than the wood surface.

          I have read that marble has good heat tolerance compared to many other materials. Here:

          "Marble countertops are heat resistant to temperatures well above anything that may be used in the kitchen area and will not burn or catch fire, but the finish of the countertop may be damaged if hot items are placed directly on the surface of the countertop. ...."

          1. re: iyc_nyc

            A portable induction hotplate looks like a regular smooth-top hotplate, but instead of getting hot, it uses electromagnetic induction to directly heat up the cookware placed on it. You can use any cookware that is attracted to a magnet (cast iron, Le Creuset, induction-capable aluminum, and most stainless steel). Since the heat is generated within the cookware, the induction hotplate itself stays quite cool. Here's a picture of a typical model available in Japan.