Today’s kitchen essential is one that I know is not truly an essential, but it is a tool that I think makes life in the kitchen so much easier and it is one I love and have used for years.
Today I want to talk about electric skillets
and electric griddles.
I have owned either an electric skillet or an electric griddle since I got married. My mom has been making her sourdough pancakes on an electric griddle for years. In fact, she still uses the same one she used when I was growing up. It has seen years of use and she loves it.
Now a pan like this does not work for everything, but for things like pancakes, french toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, and even eggs they work perfectly.
When I get asked questions about making pancakes from scratch at home, my number one tip is to use an electric griddle or skillet. I have always had much better success cooking things like pancakes in an electric pan. They turn out so much better.
Why is an electric skillet or griddle better than cooking on a stove top?
It heats evenly.
When cooking on a stove you tend to get hot spots on the pan, with an electric one you do that get that. It heats evenly all the way across.
It stays the right temperature.
With a pan like this you can set the temperature at 350 degrees and it stays basically that temperature. There is not the variance in temperature that you get cooking on a stove top. It stays a consistent temperature without you doing a thing.
I can cook a lot at one time.
A pan like this is perfect for a family. I can cook eight pancakes at one time, on one pan. In order to do that on the stove I would have to use several pans at once.
Over the years I have owned both an electric griddle and an electric skillet and I like both for almost everything. The advantage to a skillet is that is has sides and because it has sides it is more versatile. I love to make hash browns, fried potatoes, and even fried rice in an electric skillet and because it is so large, I can make a lot at one time.
Now I will admit in my small kitchen it is not easy to find storage for an item like this, which is why I have often stored in on top of my refrigerator or in another not so convenient location, however, I think they are well worth the space they take up.
What are your thoughts on electric skillets and griddles? Are they an essential in your kitchen?
sarah k. @ the pajama chef
I’ve never owned one but have used them at retreats when cooking for a group. They are handy! I’d love one someday but I have no room anywhere… and I use all my appliances so I don’t want to weed those out!
Rita @ Creatively Domestic
I use my electric skillet primarily for pancakes and fried eggs, too, but it cooks a lot more things than I thought it would when I bought it. When I was growing up, my mom used hers for making one-dish meals (I think because it was larger than her pans?) but when we re-did our kitchen and I had no stove for awhile, my electric skillet saved us from eating too much fast food! It is awkward to store, but I use it pretty often so I think it’s worth it.
Definitely worth the space! I am legally blind and have a large electric skillet. It allows me to cook a variety of food items in the same area under the good light. As my peripheral vision deteriorates, I can still prepare meals! From pancakes to potroast my electric skillet helps me EVERY DAY!!!
Kimberly in NC
I have that exact skillet and I love it. I asked for it for my birthday this month last year and my in-laws blessed me with it. I thought about the griddle and had your thoughts exactly that the skillet had more use because of the sides and decided it would benefit me much more. I use it for pancakes, fried potatos, fried chicken, fried anything in quantity come to think of it! I can slide it straight into one of my lower cabinets just fine, but I have a nice big kitchen. It is such a useful kitchen item!
I could not survive without my electric skillet, though it is sometimes a pain in the butt to store (but since I use it so much who cares). I use it for everything, and the eveness of the heat is wonderful.
I’ve never owned an electric griddle, but wouldn’t be able to function without my electric skillet (I have the exact model as your picture). I do everything from pancakes to pot roast in it. It was the best kitchen investment I’ve ever made.
I too have the same as in your picture. I got a smaller one when we were first married. Then we moved temporarily for 6 months to another state, leaving almost all of our kitchen stuff/appliances behind. I bought a new one because I was having a hard time making pancakes, etc. on the stove. 🙂 I have 4 kids & even with my big skillet, I had hardly keep up with the way they eat. (My old one was pretty much done at that time too. ) I use mine almost everyday too – pancakes, fried eggs, crepes, grilled cheese, eggrolls. My mom used hers to make sweet & sour meatballs, enchiladas, pancakes. We have also used ours, with little pyrex cups, to melt different colors of chocolate for candy making.
I love using my electric skillet! My kitchen wouldn’t be complete without it!
I love my electric griddle. My husband got it down out of storage about a year ago and now we always use it for pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches. I love it!
I just don’t understand the advantage over a stovetop frying pan.
A good cast-iron frying pan doesn’t seem to have these ‘hot spots’.
I’d have to disagree about a cast-iron skillet and hot spots. My 12-inch Lodge skillet has difficulty on an old apartment electric stove with uneven heating and hot spots. I wouldn’t blame the skillet, but the electric stove. A gas stove would probably be better for the large 12-inch surface, but even my smaller iron skillet that fits on the burner better heats a bit unevenly. My copper bottom Revere ware skillets don’t seem to have hot spots, but alas, they have issues with sticking unlike the cast-iron.
When I DID have an electric skillet, I only had issues with hot spots if I was trying to make pancakes (which is really not its ideal job). For frying or one dish meals, I never had a problem.
was thinking about griddle vs skillet. both being electric. my mom used to make cheeseburgers on a electric griddle.loved the taste but what a mess from the splatter. would an electric skillet give the same taste? was thinking since it had a lid to put on it would contain the grease splatter? but want the taste of the open griddle.
I think the answer to this depends. An electric skillet has sides so the grease doesn’t splatter quite as bad as on an electric griddle. Yes skillets have lids and for many things that is great, but for hamburgers I don’t like to use the lid because it traps all the steam in and gives you a little bit different texture. I own both, but if I had to choose one or the other I would probably choose an electric skillet because you can do basically the same things in it that you can do on a griddle plus a lot more. It is a lot more versatile since it has a lid, but you can still cook things like pancakes and hamburgers with it. I hope that helps.
I gave mine a prime location in a drawer in my remodeled kitchen (ten years ago), and I use it more all the time. My favorite non-traditional things to use it for is cooking bacon (nearly carefree one turn and way less grease splatter. Second is to keep things warm like tortillas and french toast,
I’m going to be the only dissenting opinion here I guess, I hate them. Prefer cooking in a gas stove, with cast iron or stainless or cast aluminum. Much better heat control. Stuff stocks in not stock electric skillet all the time, flavor not good, and they are a pain to wash.