Ah, the skillet. I use mine every day. Whether your menu features eggs, veggies, stir fry, or pasta, your skillet is there for you. My skillet is the real MVP in my kitchen.
But what if you run out of stovetop burners? What if you want to cook while camping? What if your stove is slow to heat?
That’s where the electric skillet comes in handy.
An electric skillet gives home cooks flexibility in the kitchen.
From the space-challenged and dorm dweller to the avid traveler, an electric skillet’s portability and ease of use make it a convenient kitchen addition.
I found the Presto 06850 16-inch (40.6 cm) Electric Skillet to be the best in terms of value and performance.
But is that the best electric skillet for everyone? Are there other viable options? What do the best electric skillets have in common?
Read on to find out the answers to those questions and more.
Electric Skillet Buying Guide
What is an electric skillet?
Electric skillets offer a convenient alternative to stovetop cooking. Instead of heating up on the stove, an electric skillet simply plugs into an outlet.
Just like a regular skillet, the electric versions typically have flat bottoms and rounded sides. They come in a variety of materials. They usually include a tempered glass or metal lid.
These pans range in their electricity usage. Smaller skillets run on anywhere from 600-800 watts, while the larger pans will typically use 1200-1500 watts.
One significant advantage of an electric skillet (vs stove top skillets) is how fast it heats. Cooking on a cast iron skillet is great, but cast iron is slow to heat.
If you’re in a hurry, an electric skillet will get you cooking much faster.
Another benefit of an electric skillet is that they’re portable. If you like to go camping, you no longer need a stove to cook a full meal.
Using an electric skillet is just a matter of having an electrical hookup.
How is an electric skillet different from an electric frying pan?
An electric skillet is the same thing as an electric frying pan. You will see those terms used interchangeably in this article.
Electric Skillet Uses
Electric skillets uses include any thing you would use a normal skillet for. They are especially great for pan frying and sautéing as they provide a consistent, even heat.
You can fry up a breakfast, or prepare meals including chicken, fish, meat and vegetables.
How do you use an electric skillet?
One of the best things about electric frying pans is that they are easy to use. Simply insert the temperature probe into the base and plug it into an electrical outlet.
Set the thermostat to your desired temperature. Once the skillet preheats, it’s time to get cooking!
It is essential to let your electric skillet cool down before cleaning it. Extreme temperature changes can crack or chip your pan.
Can You put an Electric Skillet in the Dishwasher?
You should never put the whole skillet in the dishwasher, but you normally don’t need to.
If you have an electric skillet with removable pan, then you can put the pan in the dishwasher on its own.
Otherwise check the manufacturer’s instructions. Some electric skillets have a fully immersible base. Others do not. You will always need to remove the thermostat, even from dishwasher-safe electric skillets.
How do you clean an electric skillet?
Be sure to read the instruction manual, including how to clean your skillet.
For pans that cannot go in the dishwasher, you can hand wash them by wiping down the surface with a wet, soapy sponge. Rinse by wiping with a damp cloth. Allow to air dry or wipe with a clean, dry towel.
The last thing you want is to purchase a new electric frying pan only to have it ruined the first time you clean it. Read those instructions and keep your kitchen equipment safe.
What size is best?
Electric skillets come in a variety of sizes. Small 7-inch (17.7 cm) pans can handle 1-2 servings, while large 16-inch (40.6 cm) pans will yield 4-6 servings.
What shape should I get?
You will find rectangle, square, oval, and circular electric skillets. You might consider counter space, as well as surface area. For instance, a 12-inch (30.4 cm) square frying pan will have more cooking surface area than a 12″ circular skillet.
My choice? I like the rectangular pans, but it really comes down to personal preference.
Electric skillets range in their temperature controls. Some only have low and high settings, while others have temperatures listed on the dial. Obviously, more exact temperatures will produce more consistent results.
Some electric frying pans top out at 400°F (204°C), while some go all the way up to 450°F (232°C). Many electric skillets even include a warm setting to keep food warm.
Personally? I rarely crank up my skillet to high heat, so 400° is fine. Of course, that depends on your preference.
If you plan to sear steaks at high heat, you will want a skillet that can reach high temps.
Many skillets have auto heat control. It works like this:
When you set the temperature, the skillet preheats. Once it reaches that temperature, the skillet switches off. This is supposed to prevent overheating.
So what’s the problem?
Sometimes, the skillet cools too quickly. Then, the skillet has to reheat. This cycle of cooling and heating can be a disaster for even cooking. The best electric skillets have steady heat control.
Another thing to consider is how well the temperature probe fits into the skillet base. A loose-fitting gauge could be a fire hazard.
Electrical fires? I’ll pass. Make sure the temperature gauge fits nice and snug into the skillet.
Like other pots and pans, electric skillets come in a variety of surfaces. Many skillets have an aluminum interior with a non-stick coating. You can also find stainless steel and ceramic skillets, as well.
Sometimes a dark ring appears on the surface. This usually matches the shape of the heating element underneath. It usually is just a cosmetic issue.
Have you ever had bacon that was burnt on one end and undercooked on the other?
I have one word for you: inedible.
That is usually caused by uneven heating. This is more prone to happen with an electric frying pan.
The shape of most heating coils is different from a stove burner. Since an electric skillet heats up quickly, this can potentially cause hotspots. Both of these contribute to uneven cooking.
For that reason, you want a surface material that has even heat distribution.
How should I store my electric skillet?
A kitchen counter overstuffed with small appliances is not inviting. Instead of saying, “Cook here,” it screams, “Clean me!”
Storage is definitely a consideration when buying an electric skillet. If you have limited counter space, you might look at an electric foldaway skillet with sides that fold down.
Some pans allow you to store the cord and temperature gauge inside the skillet and invert the lid. This storing method takes up less room.
If your cabinets are not deep, you may opt for a rectangular pan over a square pan. If you plan to use your electric skillet in a camper or when traveling, you will want a compact pan.
Skillets with removable handles or legs can help if you’re short on storage space.
Ready to find out which skillets pass muster? Let’s dive in.
Electric Skillet Reviews
I’ve reviewed here some of the top electric skillets.
Presto 06850 16-inch (40.6 cm) Electric Skillet Overall Best Electric Skillet
Presto has been making electric skillets for decades. My mother had one she would use to cook all types of food. It was sturdy and lasted for years.
This Presto 16-inch electric skillet is large enough to handle several servings. It can keep a family of 4-6 well-fed.
The signature high-domed lid and deep walls are suitable for cooking larger cuts of meat.
Users love how easy this top electric skillet is to use. In particular, the temperature controls work well and are very precise.
Unfortunately, there is no pouring spout, which I would have liked to see. Yet customers report that it pours well from the corners.
The manufacturer claims this pan is dishwasher safe and fully immersible in water. Be sure to remove the heating control first.
This Presto electric skillet also comes with a one-year limited warranty.
This is a great all-round choice for a family electric skillet.
- Heavy cast aluminum base
- Large size
- Warm setting
- Accurate temperature settings
- Dishwasher safe (with heat control removed)
- Easy to store removal legs
- Long-lasting and durable
- Lid is not see-through or vented
- Reports lid can stain/be hard to clean
- No pouring spout
- Includes PTFE (Active ingredient of Teflon)
Bella Electric Ceramic Titanium Skillet – Best Budget Electric Skillet
This 1200 watt electric skillet comes in a 12″ (30.4 cm) square shape. Its large size is great for cooking family meals.
The copper-colored ceramic coating is reinforced with titanium, making this non-stick electric fry pan scratch-resistant (not scratch-proof!).
Bonus? The coating is free of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the active ingredient in Teflon.
The cast aluminum base is immersible in liquid, which makes it easy to clean.
This skillet performs well and is easy to clean. This size is suitable for a family of 4. But don’t expect to feed a crowd with this skillet.
Still the price is reasonable making this the best affordable family-sized electric skillet.
Customers raved about the non-stick coating, but many complained about hotspots and uneven heating. Some also reported a black ring stain around the heating element.
- Safe for metal kitchen tools
- Titanium reinforced ceramic non-stick coating is PTFE & PFOA free
- Fully immersible base and tempered glass lid
- Warm setting
- Good value, affordable
- Side handles hide temperature dial
- Uneven heat distribution
- Short power cord
- Reports of staining
Nesco Black ES-08 Electric Skillet -Best Small Electric Skillet & Best 8 inch non-stick electric skillet
This 8-inch (20.3 cm) square electric skillet is on the smaller side–not always a bad thing. It works well for 1-2 people. At 800 watts, it uses less electricity than others.
This die-cast aluminum pan includes a glass lid, nonstick coating, and stay-cool handles. The lid is dishwasher safe, but not the base.
Don’t immerse this electric skillet in water.
Even though this skillet heats up quickly, some customers complained that the temperature runs hot. This pan might be better suited for searing and sautéing. If you plan to do a lot of simmering on low heat, this skillet may not be the best fit for you.
This 8 inch electric skillet is ideally suited to a single person or couple. It’s perfect for traveling or a small apartment/dorm.
- Deep dish but compact
- Heats up quickly and evenly
- Vented glass lid
- Easy to read temperature dial
- Not dishwasher safe/immersible in water
- Tends to run hot
Presto 07061 22-inch Electric Griddle – Best Electric Skillet Alternative
This Presto electric griddle is a great alternative to an electric skillet. At a whopping 22 inches (55.9 cm), this griddle can handle several slices of bacon or a hearty stack of pancakes.
Customers rave about how food does not stick. The non-stick surface is textured, though. Some customers were not fans of the texture.
Unlike the electric skillets, this Presto griddle has no walls or lid. It does have a removable drip tray to collect excess grease.
Don’t like the thought of keeping the griddle on the countertop? You can remove the handles and store it vertically in most cabinets. What’s more? You don’t need a screwdriver to remove the handles. They snap off.
This Presto griddle comes with a one-year limited warranty.
If your menu frequently includes food like french toast, pancakes, bacon, fresh tortillas, fried eggs, or fritters, this griddle might be a great solution.
If, however, you want to be an indoor grill master, you might opt for the De’Longhi Perfecto Indoor Grill instead.
- Excellent non-stick surface
- Removable stay-cool handles for easy storing
- Easy to use
- Large surface area can handle more food
- Slide-out drip tray for easy cleaning
- Heats quickly and evenly
- Not as versatile as electric skillets
- Textured surface might leave texture on food
- Some complained of uneven heat distribution
- No Lid included
Oster DuraCeramic Electric Skillet Best Ceramic Electric Skillet
When it comes to small kitchen appliances, Oster is a well-known brand. From can openers to blenders to electric skillets, Oster has a wide range of cooking appliances.
This 12-inch (30.5 cm) square electric skillet has a tempered glass lid and non-stick coating.
Unlike others, however, this skillet’s non-stick comes from Oster’s DuraCeramic™. The DuraCeramic ™ is naturally free of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
Some customers had issues with a black ring forming on the surface over the heating coil. The manufacturer claims this stain won’t affect the cooking performance, but some customers said food sticks to the ring. Others mentioned hotspots around the coil.
One thing to note is that this Oster electric skillet heats up very quickly and cools quickly. Temperature control can be a little tricky. This makes it more suitable for frying and searing. Simmering? Not as much.
- Tempered glass lid with vent
- DuraCeramic™ coating is PTFE (Teflon) free
- Cool-touch handles
- Reports of staining
- Complaints of uneven heat distribution
- Short power cord
De’Longhi Perfecto Indoor Grill Best Electric Indoor Grill
This De’Longhi option is actually a grill, not an electric skillet. This De’Longhi indoor grill is 16″ by 12″ (40.6 by 30.4 cm), so it is heavy-duty. It features a non-stick grill plate and a removable drip tray.
Customers love how quickly this grill heats and how well it performs. The cooking surface gives food those classic grill marks.
This grill features a tempered glass lid to prevent smoke and lock in flavor and moisture. The lid is shallow, though, so you won’t be able to cook thicker food.
Even with a non-stick grill plate, this grill is not easy to clean. Many users recommended lining the drip tray with foil to make cleanup easier.
- Cooks evenly
- Tempered glass lid to lock in moisture
- Removable drip tray
- Some reports of missing lid handle
- More difficult to clean
- Takes up a lot of kitchen space
De’Longhi BGR50 De’Longhi Reversible Grill/Griddle – Best Reversible Electric Grill / Griddle
Can’t decide between a grill and a griddle? Why not get both?
This De’Longhi electric skillet is actually a grill, not a pan.
This De’Longhi grill/griddle combo features die-cast aluminum with a non-stick coating. The cooking plate is reversible. It has a ribbed grill on one side and a flat griddle on the other.
The temperature control plugs into the cooking plate. The heat control displays the numbers 1-5, instead of temperatures.
Personally, I prefer to know what temperature I’m cooking at. Using customer numbers creates an unnecessary learning curve.
Some users cautioned against using the grill for foods that require high heat. Want to sear steaks at a piping hot 500°F (260°C)? Maybe stick to the stovetop.
The manufacturer claims it is dishwasher safe, although customers reported mixed results with the dishwasher. However, several user reviews mentioned how easy it is to clean the unit.
- Easy to clean
- Removable grill/griddle plate & drip tray
- No lid
- Some complaints of grease splattering
- Difficult to get high heat
- More expensive than an electric skillet
- Numbers instead of temperatures
Zojirushi EP-RAC50 Gourmet d’Expert 1350-Watt Electric Skillet – Best Versatile Electric Skillet
Zojirushi is known for its high-quality rice cookers and other small kitchen appliances. So it comes as no surprise that the Zojirushi Gourmet d’Expert 1350 watt electric skillet is top-notch.
The Gourmet d’Expert electric skillet is oval-shaped and features a titanium ceramic non-stick cooking surface.
This large electric skillet includes a deep dish pot for soups, fondue, and stews. It also comes with a flat plate for cooking eggs, steaks, and other food.
Not enough for you? It also comes with a vented steamer for cooking veggies, steamed buns, and more.
Basically, the Zojirushi Gourmet d’Expert Electric Skillet is a heavy-duty cooking beast.
It is important to know that the skillet cannot go in the dishwasher. Cleaning the d’Expert 1350 watt electric skillet requires hand washing.
Of course, as with other non-stick, be sure to use silicone or wooden utensils to avoid scratching the cooking surface.
One of my favorite features is the knob on the lid.
Normally, I never know where to put lids when I remove them. They roll around, getting condensation all over the countertop. Not with these. The flat knob means the lid stays put. No more rolling lids!
The Zojirushi EP-RAC50 is well-suited for those who want a deluxe skillet with lots of cooking options. If you can’t take a hit to your counter space or wallet, maybe pass on this option.
Let’s quickly look at the Gourmet d’Expert 1350 Watt skillet:
- Includes deep-dish pot, flat plate, and vented steamer
- Large capacity
- Tempered glass lid with flat knob handle
- Versatility- multiple cooking layers
- First-rate construction
- Takes up a lot of space
- Not dishwasher safe
- Significantly more expensive than other electric skillets
Maxi-Matic Elite Cuisine Electric Skillet Best Occasional Use Electric Skillet
This 7″ (17.7 cm) square electric cooking pan is one of the smallest options on the list. It has a non-stick coating and a glass lid.
While the Maxi Matic is one of the least expensive pans on this list, it does come with some drawbacks.
Many customers had a problem with the nonstick finish peeling and scratching. The lid is tempered glass, but several customers complained about the lid shattering.
Furthermore, the heating coil is very close to the bottom. Some skillet reviews said it burned or melted their countertops.
This 7 inch electric skillet is great if you want a cheap electric skillet for occasional use. It won’t last very long but doesn’t cost a lot either.
- Easy storage
- Only low/high settings on temperature dial
- Non-stick finish might peel and flake
- Complaints of glass lid shattering
What is the advantage with an electric skillet vs stove top skillets?
Electric fry pans are more portable than a stove top skillet and can literally be used anywhere there is an electrical outlet.
This can include boats, rvs or even bedrooms.
This also means that an electric cooking skillet can add options if cooking large batches with all the burners on your stove top in use.
Is electric cookware safe?
Electric cookware is as safe as any other cookware. Obviously it’s important to not leave it unattended while cooking, and ensure it’s turned off when you have finished.
Just as you would with stovetop cookware.
One slight wrinkle is that you may need to be more careful with water around electric cookware.
Best Electric Frying Pan – Verdict
Best Electric Skillet for frying
A great family electric skillet is the Presto 22 inch electric griddle. It’s big enough, easy to use, and pretty affordable. It’s the best big electric skillet.
Is it even a skillet though? I think of a griddle as a kind of flat electric skillet. With this electric griddle you can whip up big family breakfasts, but obviously won’t be doing any deep frying or sautéing!
The precise temperature control and non-stick surface make it easy to use and clean. It doesn’t hurt that it’s dishwasher safe as well.
The removable legs help with storage, though it is quite big.
Overall this presents the best value for money and the easiest option if you’re unsure what to get.
Best Budget Electric Skillet
Do you just want a good, affordable electric skillet? I would recommend the Bella Electric Ceramic Titanium Skillet.
The copper color makes this pan attractive. The comfortable side handles stay cool. Staining over the heating coil can happen, though. You might also have trouble seeing the temperature dial under the handles.
A quick recap of the Bella Electric Ceramic Titanium Skillet:
- Attractive non-stick coating, safe for metal utensils
- Easy to clean & dishwasher safe
- No specific temperature settings under 300°F (148°C)
- Difficult to see temp dial when cooking
Best Small Electric Skillet
Counter space is precious real estate. If you want to save on space, I would recommend the Nesco Black ES-08 Electric Skillet. I like the way this compact skillet performs.
This skillet is an excellent option for those who want to cook while traveling. This skillet is ideal for cooking in a studio apartment or dorm. This pan can get hot, though. You’ll want to keep an eye on the temperature.
A breakdown of the Nesco Black ES-08 Electric Skillet:
- Small and easy to store
- Easy to use
- Base is not dishwasher safe
- Can overheat quickly