Back in the day, it seemed that everyone had an electric skillet. But as time went on and kitchen cabinets began fi lling up with food processors and stand mixers, those electric skillets began to seem bulky and redundant. Couldn’t a stovetop skillet do it all? Die-hard fans said no. After all, an electric skillet uses less energy than a conventional stovetop burner, doesn’t heat up the kitchen, and doubles as a chafi ng dish for entertaining. It’s portable and can be set to a precise heat for even cooking. Plus, the enclosed heating element is safer than an open burner.
Today’s manufacturers have taken notice. There are many new models on the market boasting innovations in performance, design, and safety. Here are our favorites:
Zojirushi Gourmet d’Expert electric skillet
$150 at cooking.com/fc
This skillet is really four appliances in one: a Dutch oven, a wok, a skillet/griddle, and a steamer. It has a spacious 16-1/2-inch interior diameter and top-notch design and construction, including a wide temperature range (up to 480°F) and three removable pans: a 1-1/2-inch-deep nonstick “flat plate” for sautéing; a 2-1/2-inch-deep nonstick “pan” for braising, making soup, and stir-frying (this pan can also be used on the stovetop); and a metal steamer rack that fits inside the pan. Heat is controlled by a sliding mechanism rather than a dial. This model braised chicken, stir-fried, and seared burgers to perfection. It comes with a one-year warranty.