Electric skillets (also known as electric frying pans) are useful kitchen appliances especially designed for pan-frying and sautéing. Capable of conducting heat over a wide surface with precise temperature control, they’re also suitable for deep-frying, steaming, and grilling.
Whether they’re used for frying food or as an additional cooktop when your other burners are unavailable, they’re versatile enough to handle almost all the common cooking tasks. The best electric skillets are even more energy-efficient than a range burner or a full-size oven.
Is Getting an Electric Skillet Worth It?
If you plan on hosting a small buffet party, but worry that your flavorful stir fried veggies will dry out over time, investing in a reliable electric skillet could be the best decision you’ve ever made.
Equipped with the keep warm function, this gadget allows you to keep food at serving temperatures. With a good skillet, you can prepare food in advance for parties much easier.
The electric skillet’s large cooking capacity also makes it a life-saver when it comes to cooking for a crowd. An extra-large electric skillet can even allow you to cook multiple dishes at once. It helps take the hard work out of preparing a big meal to entertain your guests.
Beyond holding a steady temperature better than regular pans, electric skillets also release less heat than traditional ovens. This is especially great during the hot summer months. Since electric skillets come with many advantages, having one in your kitchen is a great bonus. But if you’re unsure which one to choose, our reviews can make the decision process easier. Read on to learn more!
How to Buy the Best Electric Skillet
A typical electric skillet features three main parts: a thermostat control probe, a circular or rectangular pan, and a tempered glass lid. All parts are usually fully immersible with the exception of the thermostat control probe.
It also features a wide range of temperatures (175° F to at least 400° F), giving you more options for preparing a variety of dishes. As a matter of face, skillets that are able to achieve higher temperatures can cook faster than their peers. It also can conduct heat much more efficiently. So we recommend picking one with the widest temperature range you can find.
Most electric skillets heat up thanks to a resistor. The resistance to electricity flow, caused by the resistor, enables the electrical energy to be converted into heat energy. This heat naturally rises, heating the surface of the skillet. A built-in thermostat helps to maintain the desired heat setting.
While most electric skillets work well enough, they usually differ in terms of how long they take to heat up, how evenly they cook food, how easy they are to use, and how much space they take up on your counter.
Below are some unique features that set some skillets apart from others.
Circular or Rectangular Pan
Skillets can have either a circular or rectangular pan. They usually have a heavy-gauge cast aluminum construction and a non-stick coating of Teflon. While aluminum is an excellent conductor of heat, it can leach into your food and pose potential risks to your health. So we recommend you avoid using metal utensils on the cooking surface. Since their sharp edges could cause the non-stick coating to flake off, increasing the risk of accidentally ingesting aluminum.
There are also electric skillets with stainless steel coating. These models come with the advantages of being dishwasher safe, exceptionally durable, and non-reactive with acidic foods. However, stainless steel isn’t non-stick. That means food can stick to the surface unless you remember to add enough oil or fat.
Tempered Glass Lid
The primary benefit of a glass lid is that it allows the cook to check on the cooking process without letting essential moisture escape. Most glass lids that come with electric skillets today are tempered glass. Compared with conventional glass, tempered glass is about four times stronger. So it’s less likely to break with temperature change or if accidentally dropped.
Ideally, you should find a tempered glass lid that comes with a steam vent to let pressure escape. By this way, it can prevent the liquid from boiling too high. Without the steam vent, if there is a pressure buildup, your lid might wiggle and shift a bit to let steam escape. When the lid starts to do this, there’s a greater chance you will end up splashing liquid all over your counter.
Thermostat Control Probe
Your skillet can come with a detachable or fixed thermostat control probe. Because electric skillets with fixed thermostat control probes cannot be immersed in water, they may be more difficult to clean than those with removable probes.
After years of use, the thermostat can get damaged for many reasons, even with proper maintenance. For best long-term use, you should avoid rough handling in use and storage.
When your skillet doesn’t respond to temperature setting changes, it could indicate a need for a thermostat replacement. Since this add-on is inexpensive and easily accessible, you should replace it as soon as you notice it failing in order to prevent any malfunction.
Most electric skillets are designed with two side handles. For secure grip, it is important to make sure that the handles are heat resistant. This makes it safer to bring your tasty dish from kitchen to table.
There are three sizes of electric skillets: small, medium, and large.
1. Small-Sized Electric Skillets
The cooking surface of small-sized electric skillets is usually between 6 and 10 inches wide. This is large enough to feed 1-2 people. Compact yet versatile, these models are perfect appliances for tight spaces, such as dorms, RVs, and single apartments.
2. Medium-Sized Electric Skillets
Medium-sized electric skillets have a frying surface of between 12 and 14 inches wide. You can use them to saute 4-6 chicken breasts, prepare family-sized stir-fry veggies, or simmer a pound of spaghetti. Offering a decent amount of cooking space, medium-sized electric skillets should serve families of 4-6 people well.
3. Large-Sized Electric Skillets
Large-sized electric skillets often come with a cooking surface of at least 16 inches wide. They are popular choices for families of 6-8 members. With the potential to function as a buffet dish, your large-sized electric skillet will also be suitable for small parties or gatherings. If a large-sized electric skillet is your best fit, but your counter space is at a premium, consider models that can fold compactly for easier storage.
Ease of Cleaning
In general, electric skillets with non-stick coating will be easier to clean than their stainless steel counterparts. Becuase these models usually offer strong food release. While some manufacturers claim that their non-stick skillets can be cleaned in the dishwasher, the abrasive nature of dishwasher detergents could ruin the cooking surface. To avoid damage, hand washing is highly recommended.
Stainless steel coated electric skillets are easy to clean. But if food burns and gets stuck to the cooking surface, some scrubbing may be required to remove burnt-on food. This makes the cleaning process become more labor intensive.
Reviews of the Best Electric Skillets in 2021
- Presto 06857 – Best to Buy in 2021
- Zojirushi EP-PBC10 – Best Value Electric Skillet
- BELLA 14607 – Best Non-Stick Electric Skillet
- Hamilton Beach Durathon – Best Ceramic Electric Skillet
- Breville BEW600XL – Best Stainless Steel Electric Skillet
- Nesco ES-08 – Best Small Electric Skillet
- Elite Gourmet EG-6203 – Best Large Electric Skillet
1. Presto 06857 – Best to Buy in 2021
Featuring a spacious cooking surface with extra high sidewalls for added serving capacity, the Presto 06857 is a great choice for every meal, from breakfast to dinner and entertaining. It comes with a budget-friendly price and offers several notable features that you can find in more high-end models, including a warp-proof aluminum base, premium non-stick coating, and an anti-scratch tempered glass lid.
- Heavy cast aluminum base
- Deluxe non-stick cooking surface
- Stay-cool side handles
- Dishwasher safe
- Large capacity
- Can be made more compact for storage
- Shallow handles
- The lid doesn’t have a steam vent
Why You’ll Like It
The non-stick surface allows your tasty food to stay in-tact and look beautiful on the plate without the need for added cooking oil. The heavy cast aluminum construction promotes longer lifespan and more even heat distribution.
The glass lid is claimed to be good at sealing in flavors. But actually, the seal around the lid could leak when upending, leaving a mess on your counter. And because it doesn’t have a steam vent, it can get extremely hot when heated at high temperatures. So make sure to use a potholder when removing the lid as well as keeping your face away from the stream of escaping steam from the skillet— which can result in serious steam burns.
The Presto 06857 is one of a few electric skillets on the market where the side handles can fold down, the base fits inside the rectangular pan along with the probe, and the domed lid sits compactly on top for hassle-free storage. Despite its large footprint, it fits neatly on your counter or in your cabinet without overwhelming the space.
Like most electric skillets, the Presto 06857 allows you to select temperatures from “Warm” to 400°F. We like that it can be set low enough to serve as a buffet dish. It also can reach the highest temperatures for deep-frying tasks.
The skillet is dishwasher safe with the thermostat control probe detached. But we recommend you only wash it by hand to prevent the nonstick coating from chipping off. With the Presto 06857, clean-up is as easy as one, two, three, with a little dishwashing soap and warm water.
In agreement with many buyers, the skillet’s handles are too shallow for a secure grip with your fingers. Many people like the spout it has but are concerned that because there is no slope to it and no way to tilt the skillet, they have had to use makeshift solutions to help move grease and the like along.
Master heat control and extra large serving capacity make the Presto 06857 especially convenient as a buffet server. If you need something simple for quick cooking, this reliable application will get the job done without breaking your budget. But be aware that while the skillet is brilliant in many ways, there are a couple of things that could be improved upon.
2. Zojirushi EP-PBC10 – Best Value Electric Skillet
Costing twice as much as the top pick, the Zojirushi EP-PBC10 is the most expensive electric skillet on our list. But it’s entirely worth the investment, given its great versatility, consistent performance, and intuitive heat controls.
- Extra-high sidewalls
- Stovetop compatible
- Anti-scratch ceramic non-stick coating
- ETL listed
- Cool-touch side handles
- Not dishwasher safe
- The lid doesn’t have a steam vent
- Quite expensive
Why You’ll Like It
With its 10.5-inch round cooking surface and 2.25-inch sidewalls, this skillet offers enough capacity for all types of dishes. From roasted chicken and grilled cheese sandwiches to beef stew and seafood hot pot, your electric skillet can do it all. Though it cannot give you the same results as the solely-dedicated outdoor grills, when it comes to cooking at the table, this skillet might certainly be the best alternative.
The Zojirushi EP-PBC10 is the only electric skillet on our list that doesn’t feature the removable heat control probe. It has a control lever to let you set the cooking temperature from 176°F to 430°F instead. It also has a display panel that provides you with everything you need to know, including the selected temperature setting, light indicator, and cooking functions.
The Zojirushi EP-PBC10 features a plastic main body with an aluminum heating plate. Its circular pan features a ceramic nonstick coating, which is anti-scratch and can last three times as long as its conventional non-stick counterparts. If you remember to avoid using metal utensils on the cooking surface, your pan can retain its shining interior for years to come.
You may be happier to know that the pan is stovetop compatible. You can pre-cook stew dishes directly on the stove-top burner and then transfer it to the table for serving using the two-side handles. In this way, you can shorten the cooking time by a tremendous amount. Just keep in mind that this part is not dishwasher safe. But it can be removed entirely from the base for easier handwashing.
Like our top pick, the skillet’s glass lid doesn’t have a steam vent. When the inside liquid is boiling, the lid has to rattle to let steam escape, causing spills on the sides. Some people find this very annoying since they have to remove sauce splatters on the stovetop much more often. While others consider this an advantage, letting them know when the food has reached the right temperature.
Be advised that there is a gap between the lid and the pan, which can lead the steam to rise up and hot oil to splatter out. To avoid steam burns, make sure you remove the lid carefully using a potholder or dry cloth.
As a high-priced electric skillet, the Zojirushi EP-PBC10 comes with tons of unique features that you won’t find in cheaper models. Imagine how convenient it will be when you can use the pan directly on the stovetop burner for quicker heating and then set it on the main body to cook at the dining table.
3. BELLA 14607 – Best Non-Stick Electric Skillet
The BELLA 14607 is a 12-inch electric skillet with a copper-colored non-stick interior. With many advanced features including a dishwasher safe tempered glass lid, a durable cast aluminum base, and cool-touch side handles, this multifunctional appliance ensures to improve your cooking satisfaction.
- Copper-colored ceramic nonstick surface
- Dishwasher safe
- Warming setting
- Heats up quickly
- Short cord
- Difficult to rotate controller
Why You’ll Like It
Compared with electric skillets with standard non-stick interior, the BELLA’s unique ceramic non-stick coating is eight times more durable as well as can shorten your cooking time by up to 30%. Reinforced with titanium, your cooking surface ensures efficient performance, resistance to scratches, and protection against corrosion.
The easy-to-use temperature control dial allows you to set from 300°F to 450°F. Once food reaches the desired doneness, you can rotate the temperature controller down to a Warming setting —the perfect function for keeping dishes at serving temperature during parties. The only disadvantage is that it’s quite difficult to rotate the dial since it sits right under the handle that restricts your visibility.
Keep in mind that all parts except the temperature control probe are fully immersible but only the skillet’s lid is top rack dishwasher safe. And to avoid scratching the non-stick surface, the use of nylon, plastic, wooden, or rubber utensils are necessary.
Like the Hamilton Beach Durathon, the cord of this skillet is a little short (less than a foot long). As we mentioned above, short cords are good since they help prevent users from catching them unintentionally which could result in the whole appliance being pulled off the counter. But with the BELLA 14607, the cord could be too short to reach its location, making its placement limited by outlet proximity.
At an affordable price tag, the BELLA 14607 promises to be a great addition to your kitchen. Whether you’re going to use it as an extra cooktop or a portable warmer for hotpot parties, its special ceramic non-stick coating will remain its functionality without any signs of rust or corrosion.
4. Hamilton Beach Durathon – Best Ceramic Electric Skillet
The Hamilton Beach Durathon is one of the few ceramic electric skillets on the market that conducts heat well, has a steam vent lid, and is built with a solid construction.
- Reversible design
- Exclusive ceramic non-stick surface
- Reasonable weight
- Dishwasher safe
- Beautiful copper-colored interior
- Short cord
In terms of performance, it doesn’t work any better than our top pick— the Presto 06857. But we do think this skillet is totally worth the more expensive price tag. This is because its ceramic coating can ensure stronger food release, has a higher scratch resistant rating, and is four times more durable.
Why You’ll Like It
The skillet’s cooking surface is even clad with an attractive copper-colored layer, giving it a more distinctive and classy look. Indeed, this skillet will be a great addition to your kitchen.
The 12-inch rectangular pan lets you roast, saute, simmer, and deep-fry hundreds of delicious family-sized dishes. With a reasonable weight, it can be easily lifted out from the base for easy serving at the table, and cleaning. Except for the cord, all the skillet’s parts are dishwasher safe, but for best long-term use, hand washing is recommended.
The Hamilton Beach Durathon also stands out from the rest with its reversible design. Thanks to this unique feature, users can flexibly set the temperature using the thermostat controller on either the left or right side— a great bonus for left handed people.
The cord is quite short to help reduce the hazard of becoming tangled in or tripping over a longer cord. However, this does limit your range. So for proper performance, you may need to place the skillet close to the outlet. In case a longer cord is required, you can use an approved extension cord. Just keep in mind that the electrical rating of the extension cord must be equal to or greater than the rating of your product.
If it is a completely safe nonstick skillet that you want, the Hamilton Beach Durathon should be a great option. As a healthier option over its traditional nonstick counterparts, its coating ensures to give you a great sear on meats without its properties chipping off or emitting hazardous fumes. Yes, the device is a bit pricey. However, with fewer problems you’ll have to handle, it is less likely to be very expensive after all.
5. Breville BEW600XL – Best Stainless Steel Electric Skillet
The Breville BEW600XL is an oval electric skillet that comes with a solid stainless steel base, a removable thermostat heat control, and a dishwasher safe die cast wok bowl with a quantanium non-stick surface.
- Quantanium non-stick surface
- Unique AssistTM Plug
- 15 heat settings
- Dishwasher safe
- Compact yet efficient
- The cooking bowl is difficult to remove from the base
Why You’ll Like It
Of all of the stainless steel electric skillets on the market, the Breville BEW600XL is one of the most efficient models. It heats up fast, responds to temperature changes quickly, and distributes heat from the bottom to the sidewalls very evenly. The extra high sides help protect against spatter and make this skillet perfect for hot pot menus. The 14-inch diameter circular pan provides a decent amount of cooking space for 4-6 chicken wings, 3-5 pieces of toast, or 5-7 cornmeal pancakes.
The thermostat control probe is easy to use. It allows you to switch between 15 heat settings for more accurate temperature control. It can be removed from the wok base so that you can immerse the whole bowl into the water for easier cleaning and storing.
Be aware that after years of use, the cooking surface could become discolored. This will not affect the performance of your skillet. To extend the non-stick coating life, the use of plastic, silicone or wooden utensils is recommended.
The Breville BEW600XL is shipped with a unique AssistTM Plug, which has a finger hole in the power plug for easier and safer removal from the electric outlet. The skillet also includes a tempered glass lid with a steam vent. While the lid is specially designed to be stronger, more durable, and safer than traditional glass lids, it still could break or weaken if accidentally dropped or struck extremely hard.
The only thing that we don’t like about the Breville BEW600XL is that if you want to remove the bowl, you have to unlock it first by turning the cooking base upside down and then rotating the Quick Release Knob counterclockwise. Because this can’t be done when the bowl is full of hot cooked food, you cannot bring the pan itself to the table to use it as a serving dish.
Any electric skillet with a stainless steel construction seems to be particularly well-suited for high heat cooking tasks, and the one in this deal is not an exception. With great heat retention, the Breville BEW600XL will make the short work of browning, roasting, stir-frying, and pan-frying without its coating degrading and leaching into your food.
6. Nesco ES-08 – Best Small Electric Skillet
Despite the small size, the Nesco ES-08 comes with all the handy features that you can find in larger models, including the adjustable temperature control, heat resistant side handles, and a sturdy glass lid with a stay cool knob.
- Compact size
- Ultra non-stick PFOA-free coating
- Heat resistant side handles
- Sturdy glass lid
- Not dishwasher safe
- Inaccurate thermostat control probe
Why You’ll Like It
Measuring about 15 inches wide, this electric skillet will occupy minimal space on your countertop or table, while its heavy-duty rectangular pan ensures to withstand high-volume uses. The skillet is even compact enough that you can put it in your bag for travel use.
Like most electric skillets, the Nesco ES-08 has a non-stick PFOA-free rectangular pan to let you fry, grill, and even roast your favorite food without all the extra calories. The pan itself is 8 inches wide and 1.75 inches deep, which is an ideal size for singles, couples, or families of 3 people.
To protect the non-stick coating against damage, avoid immersing the pan in water or placing it in the dishwasher. You should only wipe it with soapy water and then dry it with a soft cloth. The only dishwasher safe part is the lid, but for best results, you should wash it by hand.
There are several complaints about the detachable temperature controller which doesn’t seem to match up with the actual heat. For example, if you set the temperature at 390°F, your skillet will actually work at 325°F. Be aware of this issue so that over a few uses, you can quickly get to know your controller for more accurate temperature settings.
This stainless steel electric skillet works comparably well to other models on our list, but it costs less and is portable than most. All the advantages given by its small footprint are simply unparalleled. So, if you have a tiny kitchen and intend to cook just 1-2 portions at a time, go for this item.
7. Elite Gourmet EG6201 – Best Large Electric Skillet
We appreciated the reasonable price, PFOA-free marbleized honeycomb non-stick surface, and clearly labeled control probe with trigger-release mechanism of the Elite Gourmet EG6201. Still, it has a poorly-designed pour spout, and the cool-touch handle on the probe side can get incredibly hot when heated at high temperatures.
- Black lacquer finish
- PFOA-free marbleized honeycomb non-stick
- Large capacity
- Rapid heat distribution
- Balanced weight
- Tempered glass lid with steam vent
- Trigger-Release control probe
- Poorly-designed pour spout
- Handle can get hot
- Quite hard to clean
Why You’ll Like It
With a 12-inch cooking surface and 3.15-inch high side walls, the Elite Gourmet EG6201 is big enough to feed 6-8 people. Its honeycomb surface is good for flipping and stirring things like fried veggies or sauteed meat, but seems to be less handy when it comes to searing.
The honeycomb surface texture also makes the cleaning process much trickier. Instead of washing the pan in hot, sudsy water using a soft washing sponge and a simple wipe-down, the inside surface should be wiped clean with a scrubber and constant scrubs in circular motions need to be applied to get it entirely cleaned.
The tempered glass lid has a useful ventilation hole for steam release. Escaping steam is noticeably hot, so make sure to keep your face away from the skillet when it is cooking.
Despite its large capacity, the Elite Gourmet EG6201 cooking pan has a reasonable weight, allowing you to transport it for table service without any problems. For easy removal, this skillet is equipped with a trigger-release mechanism.
To remove the pan from the base, just firmly hold the cool-touch handle on the side, press the quick-release lever, and then gently pull out the control. While this add-on is not really useful— it doesn’t make it any easier to remove the pan than other skillets, we truly like the idea.
The Elite Gourmet EG6201 is one of the quickest electric skillets on the market. But we found that it doesn’t heat up evenly, given that the thermostat side runs 10-25% hotter than the other sides.
What differentiates the Elite Gourmet EG6201 from its competitor’s is the honeycomb coating, spacious cooking area, and fast heating up. Although there are some downsides, for the inexpensive price tag, you will certainly be surprised at its reliable performance and moderate durability.
Top-Rated Electric Skillets Comparison Chart
|Product||Diameter||Dishwasher Safe||Temperature Range||Warranty
|Presto 06857||16-inch||Yes||200°F - 400°F||1|
|Zojirushi EP-PBC10||10.5-inch||No||176°F - 430°F||1|
|BELLA 14607||12-inch||No||300°F - 450°F||2|
|Hamilton Beach Durathon||12-inch||Yes||200°F - 400°F||1|
|Breville BEW600XL||14-inch||Yes||Up to 425°F||1|
|Nesco ES-08||8-inch||No||275°F - 425°F||1|
|Elite Gourmet EG-6203||16-inch||No||200°F - 400°F||1|
All in all, the best electric skillet should come with a solid frying pan, scratch resistant glass lid, and a thermostat control probe with a wide range of temperatures. In particular, we prefer a skillet with a non-stick coating due to its affordable price, ease of cleaning, and strong food release capability.
But it’s worth mentioning that the traditional non-stick coating could potentially chip off over time. So if you want to buy a more durable skillet, go for the one with a ceramic cooking surface.