- The best electric skillets have even heat distribution, can cook a variety of dishes, and clean up effortlessly.
- The Presto 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet has all of these characteristics. Plus, its parts nest within each other for compact storage, and it can handle large meals.
I was first introduced to the electric skillet as a teen in my dad’s bachelor pad. He’d use it to cook up the finest Hamburger Helper cuisine while some sports game on the TV held our focus. You may be wondering, why would someone use an electric skillet instead of a burner on their stove? There are several reasons why this versatile appliance continues to find its way into homes. Electric skillets are excellent for use in the following situations:
- RVs, tiny houses, and other living arrangements with limited kitchen space
- Keep food warm during a potluck or other event (serving a similar role as a chafing dish)
- Cooking side dishes on Thanksgiving or for other big meals when stove space is at a premium
- Cooler cooking when the summer temps make using the oven or stove unbearable
- Motel rooms, dorm rooms, or anyplace that has little to no kitchen access
- People who just prefer even heating surfaces with a precise temperature gauge
Electric skillets are mainly designed for pan-frying and sautéing, but they also brown meat nicely, deep fry, and serve as a griddle for your morning favorites. Many manufacturers offer electric skillet accessories that allow you to steam or grill.
What to look for in an electric skillet
Most electric frying pans, as they are also commonly known, have the same basic design: a circular or rectangular pan, a tempered glass lid, and a power cord that comes unattached easily when yanked so you don’t have a Three Stooges-style mishap when you accidentally trip over it. The heat settings generally range from around 175 degrees Fahrenheit to at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Aluminum is the most common material used in electric skillets and they’re usually covered by a non-stick coating of Teflon. You typically don’t want to use metal utensils on your pan because it can wear away the nonstick coating, which is a common problem with this appliance in the long term.
There are few game-changing unique features that set a skillet apart from another. So, when shopping for the best option for your needs, you should focus on size and performance. Many models suffer from uneven heating. Others do not maintain a consistent temperature over time. Others still do not live up to their “nonstick” credentials. Therefore, you need to do your research before you buy.
In our search for the best electric skillets, we looked closely at hundreds of expert and buyer ratings and reviews. In the end, we chose the five electric skillets in our guide based on how easy they are to clean, how versatile they are, and their track record of performance.
Here are the best electric skillets you can buy:
- Best overall: Presto 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet
- Best electric skillet on a budget: Presto 11-Inch Electric Skillet
- Best ceramic electric skillet: Cuisinart GreenGourmet 14-Inch Nonstick Electric Skillet
- Best high-end electric skillet: Zojirushi Gourmet d’Expert 1350-Watt Electric Skillet
- Best electric skillet for even heat distribution: De’Longhi Electric Skillet
Updated on 07/18/2019 by Les Shu: Updated prices, links, and formatting.
Read on to check out our top picks.
The best electric skillet overall
If you are looking for an affordable electric frying pan that can cook large meals evenly, then the Presto 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet is your best choice.
The Presto 16-Inch Electric Foldaway Skillet is made of heavy cast aluminum that is nonstick on both the exterior and interior. It can reach temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The pan measures approximately 16 by 12 by 2.75 inches on the interior and has a built-in spout that helps with venting, pouring, and serves as a spoon rest. The lid is made of tempered glass, and the handles stay cool so you can handle them without oven mitts.
The Electric Foldaway Skillet gets its name from how easy it is to store. You can detach the handles and base, and then nest them in the pan. The pan and cover are dishwasher safe. Just be sure to remove the heat control. Presto backs the skillet with a one-year limited warranty.
Consumer Search liked that this skillet is large enough to serve a big family, cooks as well as a stovetop pan, and it heats easily and quickly. Daring Abroad appreciated that the skillet is easy to clean, heats evenly, stores easily, and has a clever design. However, the reviewer noted that there was a dark crust formation near the burner.
The Electric Foldaway Skillet has more than 2.000 5-star reviews on Amazon. One owner gave the skillet 5 stars because of the even cooking, the easy pouring and venting provided by the built-in spout, and that the cleanup was effortless. Other buyers echoed these comments.
Some people mentioned that the skillet does an excellent job of maintaining a steady temperature for long periods of time. Others were impressed with how leveled the cooking surface is, which lends itself well to making pancakes and crepes.
Pros: Heats evenly, parts nest together for compact storage, large capacity
Cons: Non-stick coating deteriorates after several uses
The best electric skillet on a budget
The Presto 11-Inch Electric Skillet can quickly roast, grill, broil, steam, and fry small meals with minimal cleanup, all at an affordable price.
The Presto 11-inch Electric Skillet features a nonstick cooking surface that is easy to clean and requires little to no oil or butter. The “Control Master” heat control knob maintains temperatures between “warm” (about 175 degrees) and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The appliance comes with stay-cool handles so you won’t burn yourself, and a hard plastic lid keeps the steam in to cook your food. Presto claims that this skillet can make meals for up to four people, but from what buyers and experts are saying, it’s better suited for one- or two-person meals.
IdeaHacks found it’s ideal for making fast, easy meals for small families due to its compact size and affordability. However, the reviewer did note that it’s not very deep, which rules out making soups. Daring Abroad rated this pan highly because it’s heavy-duty, versatile, user-friendly, cost-effective, and heats up quickly. The reviewer also liked the deep lid, which can increase the cooking area for items like whole chickens.
The Presto 11-inch Electric Skillet has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon. Buyers appreciated that this model is the right size for cooking single meals for one person or two. People also commented on how versatile the pan is for slow cooking, grilling, broiling, steaming, and frying because it heats evenly and quickly. Also, it allows you to precisely control the temperature.
There were complaints about users having trouble with baking cakes in the skillet and the nonstick surface flaking off after prolonged use.
Pros: Inexpensive, versatile, accurate and even heating
Cons: Questionable durability of the nonstick coating, compact
The best ceramic electric skillet
The Cuisinart GreenGourmet 14-Inch Nonstick Electric Skillet cooks large meals at higher temperatures while requiring minimal cleanup.
The Cuisinart GreenGourmet Nonstick Electric Skillet features a 14-inch diameter ceramic-based, petroleum-free, nonstick interior cooking surface. The exterior is made of die-cast stainless steel, and the unit has a tempered glass lid so you can watch your food cook without the heat escaping. With the probe-removed, the pan is dishwasher-safe.
Cuisinart claims this 1,800-watt appliance can braise, simmer, griddle, fry, or sear with little to no butter or oil. The temperature gauge goes up to 450 degrees. With your purchase, you get a little booklet with recipes. Cuisinart backs the quality of the CSK-250WS with a three-year limited warranty.
Cozzy gave the skillet high ratings because it has deep sides, reaches temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, comes with a recipe book, and it heats up quickly. The negatives they noted were that the thermostat may not be accurate and the skillet is quite heavy. It was runner-up on Daring Abroad’s list of the “10 Best Electric Skillets” because of its see-through lid, simple temperature adjustment, and effortless cleanup. Yet, they didn’t like that the handles got quite hot.
Around 83% of the buyers on Amazon who reviewed the skillet gave it 4 or 5 stars. Reviewers note that this model is more reliable than past Cuisinart electric skillets, such as the CSK-150. It heats up quickly, maintains a consistent temperature, and features durable nonstick coating. People also appreciate how easy it is to clean.
There were a few complaints about how bulky it is. Plus, several buyers commented that the heat dial is not accurate.
Note: This item has been discontinued by Cuisinart, however, it is available on Amazon as a refurbished product from the manufacturer at nearly half-off its original price. It’s backed by Amazon’s Renewed guarantee, which will refund your money if the product does not work as advertised within a 90-day period.
Pros: Large capacity, heats up quickly and evenly, effortless cleanup, three-year warranty
Cons: Fairly heavy, takes up a lot of space, the temperature gauge appears to be inaccurate
The best high-end electric skillet
The Zojirushi Gourmet d’Expert 1350-Watt Electric Skillet comes with two pans giving it the versatility to serve as a standard skillet as well as a deep-sided pot.
There are two main features that set the Zojirushi Gourmet d’Expert 1350-Watt Electric Skillet apart from other models. First, it comes with two pans. The deep dish inner pan is designed for soups, gumbo, braised roasts, fondue, hot pots, and the like. The flat plate has a ceramic surface with a titanium-enhanced nonstick surface. It’s mainly for grilling and frying seafood, eggs, steak, bacon, and similar items. The other feature that sets it apart is the vented steamer accessory. This is great for shellfish, steamed buns, and vegetables.
The Gourmet d’Expert has a tempered glass lid for monitoring your meal’s progress. And, the unit’s heat ranges from “keep warm” (176 degrees) to 480 degrees Fahrenheit. Zojirushi offers a one-year limited warranty with this product.
The Zojirushi Gourmet d’Expert is at the top of Cozzy’s list of best electric skillets because it features a tempered glass lid, a durable cooking surface of titanium-ceramic, a heat gauge with a broad temperature range, and it comes with two cooking pans. On the downside, the glass lid is not under warranty and the unit is bulky.
Around 75% of the people who reviewed the Zojirushi Electric Skillet on Amazon gave it 5 stars. One buyer used this appliance to replace a burner on their gas stove that went kaput. Reviewers also like using the skillet to make hash browns and the pot for soups.
Buyers did warn others to check that the cord is connected to the base. It’s designed to come free if someone trips on the cord to avoid burn hazards. However, it’s easy to accidentally not plug it in all the way and come back to find your meal is no closer to being ready.
Pros: Titanium-coated cooking surface, comes with two pans, heats up to 480 degrees
Cons: Expensive, the size makes it difficult to store
The best for even heat distribution
The De’Longhi Electric Skillet does an excellent job of getting up to temperature quickly and maintaining a consistent distribution of heat throughout the pan.
The body of the De’Longhi Electric Skillet is made of die-cast aluminum, which tends to conduct heat well for even distribution. The aluminum is covered with a layer of Teflon, which De’Longhi claims is dishwasher-safe, but if you want to prolong the life of the coating, it’s best to wash it by hand.
The input power is 1,500 watts and the skillet reaches temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You adjust the heat using the thermostat that is attached to the removable cord. This skillet is backed by a one-year limited warranty in case you have any problems.
Kitchen Byte likes that it’s affordable, is dishwasher-safe, has an adjustable steam vent, and features Teflon coating. However, the reviewers were turned off by the sometimes uneven cooking and the large size. BestElectricSkillet performed a thorough review of this skillet and appreciated the easy usability, the die-cast aluminum body, and the tempered glass lid.
Of the people who reviewed the De’Longhi Electric Skillet on Amazon, 87% rated it positively. Buyers like the even and fast heating, large interior surface area, and appreciate the presentation. Many reviewers mentioned that it did a good job of keeping food warm and could essentially double as a chafing dish. Other buyers mentioned that the pan and lid are easy to clean.
The only complaints were that the nonstick coating does not last. You can increase the lifespan of the nonstick coating by handwashing the pan with a Teflon-safe sponge.
Pros: Die-cast aluminum body with Teflon coating, adjustable steam vents, even heat distribution
Cons: Questionable durability of the nonstick coating