We spent 57 hours testing over 20 different brands and models of electric skillets to come up with this top 5 list of the best electric skillet. We factored in non-stick, features, dimensions, multi-functionality and dishwasher safe as the main guiding criteria for our tests and subsequent review. The number one spot goes to Presto 06857 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet because it satisfied every single checklist item.
Electric Skillet Reviews
One of the biggest selling points for electric skillets is they are able to control temperature or ensure a consistent temperature better than you would be able to on a traditional stove. We took it upon ourselves first to find the best selling and most popular skillets. We picked 25 that we were satisfied with on surface value and put them to the test. We prepared a variety of meals including frying doughnuts and took notes for the purpose of ranking the top 5 best skillets.
We paid attention to non-stick surfaces or precisely whether the food stuck on the skillet or not. Closely related to this checklist item is how easy it is to wash the appliance, preferably dishwasher safe. We also checked for multi-functionality, or how many different types of foods we could cook on each skillet. We considered useful features as well as extras that you can do without but are still convenient. Finally, we also factored in dimensions because the size of the skillet determines how much counter space it occupies and the number of servings you can make per meal.
Presto 06857 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet
- Heavy cast aluminum base features a deluxe nonstick surface, inside & out. skillet pan & cover are dishwasher safe with the heat control removed
- Built-in spout for pouring liquids from skillet doubles as a spoon & spatula holder when cooking & serving
It was no surprise that the Presto 06857 came in the first place simply because the brand name is one we recognize in cooking circles. Reputation aside, this skillet measures 20″ X 12.5″ X 8″ when fully spread out so you can use it comfortably with little counter space. We also love the foldable handles which shrink the size even further for easy storage.
In matters cooking, we used this skillet for baking, stewing, roasting, grilling and frying and we were happy with the result each time. What we loved most is the automatic temperature control so the equipment pretty much cooks all on its own. There is little chance that you will be burning food anytime soon or serving rare roast unless you want to.
The temperature dial goes all the way to 400 degrees so it’s hard to imagine any meal you wouldn’t be able to make. This is actually one of the deeper electric skillets we tested at about 3″ so it’s great for frying if most of your cooking involves dipping food in hot oil.
The Presto 06857 features seem to revolve around convenience. For one, there is a handy pouring spout which you will find very useful with stews or gravy. The spout also acts as a handy spatula or spoon holder. The skillet detaches easily from the base (which has controls) so you can stick in the dishwasher (it is dishwasher friendly). Still, on the detachment, the handles are on the skillet so you can detach it from the base after cooking and use it as a serving plate. The handles stay cool during cooking and serving.
We loved the exemplary consistent temperature and the proof was in the delicious meals we were able to make. We were overall pleased with this Presto electric skillet and gladly recommend it to anyone from a college kid who only knows how to make instant noodles to the housewife famous for her delicious meals.
Nesco ES-08 Electric Skillet, 8-Inch
- 8-Inch electric skillet with deep interior for roasting or frying
- Easy to read, adjustable temperature control
The Nesco ES-08 Electric Skillet almost half the price of our top choice and still a very good electric skillet to buy. This is the perfect size for a single person or couple. We liked the decent depth in which we comfortable cooked chicken. It also heats up very quickly which cuts down your cooking time and convenient for warming food.
The temperature control is very easy to figure out if you have never used an electric skillet before. Some brands are complicated in this area so you don’t have to worry about burning or undercooking food.
The steam vent is a nice safety feature that we would like to see on more skillets. The vent allows steam to escape so you don’t burn your hands when checking on food or while serving. The clear lid allows you to see what’s going on so you don’t have to keep opening the lid to investigate. The handles stay cool while cooking or serving, another great safety feature.
We took away some points on the dishwasher safe issue. The product is marketed as dishwasher safe but the instructions clearly say that the skillet shouldn’t be immersed in water which in practical terms means you shouldn’t put it in your dishwasher. Still, it’s strong non-stick surface makes it easy to wash by hand.
We recommend this for college kids, single living or couples as a cheaper and easier to store alternative to the Presto 06857. It’s also a good choice if you plan to use your electric skillet once in a while and aren’t willing to spend a lot of money.
Oyster CKSTSKFM05 16-Inch Electric Skillet
- Electric skillet set with large 16- by 12-inch cooking surface
- Tempered glass lid helps trap heat and moisture
This Oyster CKSTSKFM05 is very durable owing to the fact that it’s made from stainless steel. We liked that it’s very light for a stainless steel appliance (it weighs about 4.5 pounds) and is almost the same size as the Presto at 19.8″ X 13.4″ X 6.8″. The Teflon coating is a nice material for a non-stick pan and is surprisingly easy to clean after grilling.
We used it for grilled cheese sandwiches, omelet, fried chicken, stew and casserole and the results were great each time.
The temperature control is very easy to figure out and adjust. It’s also dishwasher safe and overall a good choice for an electric skillet.
The main reason it doesn’t appear higher on the list is it is only marginally cheaper than the Presto yet it lacks a few of the latter’s features. It doesn’t come with adjustable handles and the base doesn’t separate from the skillet itself which can make the appliance cumbersome to wash and store.
The aluminum base raises temperature consistency issues so we do not recommend this to anyone who has never used an electric skillet before. We, however, do recommend it to people who are adamant about Teflon non-stick coating on their kitchenware. This is also a good size for family meals or if you have guests over.
De’Longhi BG45 Electric Skillet
- The embedded heating element guarantees the most efficient and even cooking in the shortest time
- Non-stick surface, External dimensions (l x w x h inches):19.29 x 11.81 x 8.47
This De’Longhi BG45 Electric Skillet is a particularly sturdy piece of equipment made from die cast aluminum. This is an extra large skillet perfect for large families or if you like to entertain guests often. This model comes with a steam vent hole which is fairly common on the best electric skillet but the BG45 is this hole is adjustable. This option gives you full control of your cooking especially if you need precise temperatures such as a professional chef would.
We also loved the even heating throughout cooking and the skillet gets hot very quickly dramatically reducing your cooking time (and energy bill). This is also a non-stick surface made from Teflon in case this detail is important to you (some people swear by Teflon while others avoid it all together). It’s dishwasher safe which is convenient. The very effective non-stick surface makes it easy to clean by hand even after grilling.
We used it to make fry fish and chicken and for a star fry among other meals and we were happy with the results every time. This skillet lost points on the extra features. The top doesn’t come away from the base, it doesn’t have adjustable handles and it is actually quite heavy at 9 pounds.
Overall this is a great choice and we recommend it if you want to buy an electric skillet that will serve you for many years to come. This model is one of the sturdiest and most durable we have seen on the market. We also recommend it if you plan on using your electric skillet every day.
Rival CKRVSK11 11-Inch Square Electric Skillet
- 11-inch square cooking surface with non-stick coating
- Tempered glass lid with stay-cool knob and integrated steam vent to trap heat and ensure proper steam release
Finally, the Rival CKRVSK11 11-Inch Square Electric Skillet gets a very deserving place on this list. It is dishwasher safe so it’s easy and convenient to clean after use. The temperature controls are very easy to use and the appliance does a good job at keeping a constant temperature throughout cooking.
The skillet also doubles up as a buffet server. The handles stay cool so there is no danger of burning yourself or your dinner guests. We like that the temperature control probe easily detaches from the skillet which is useful while serving (avoid getting food over it), cleaning (you can immerse the entire thing in water) and storage.
We also liked the non-stick surface which was one of the best quality we have seen. We only needed to use a little oil or butter with our meals. This is one of the smaller electric skillets and we recommend it for a single person or couple. The main reason we didn’t rank this Rival skillet higher on the list is it costs only a few dollars less than the Presto 06857 for a smaller size and fewer features.
Electric Skillet Buying Guide
What is an Electric Skillet?
An electric skillet is just like your traditional frying pan except that it connects directly to an electric outlet rather than sitting over a fire on a stove. Most have temperature control panel that you adjust depending on the meal you are making.
You can use the skillet to roast, fry, stew, steam and more. The main advantage of an electric skillet over a traditional frying pan is it maintains even and consistent temperature while cooking which raises the quality of the food.
What to Look For in an Electric Skillet?
Apart from the criteria we used in ranking the top 5 best electric skillets, there are a few areas you should factor in when choosing one.
Electric skillets come in a variety of sizes including some larger than a stovetop. The size you choose is a matter of personal preference but you may want to consider the size of your family and the size of your kitchen or storage area. A large sized-skillet doesn’t make sense if you are living alone or for a couple. Some smaller sizes such as the Nesco ES-08 Electric Skillet, 8-inch is good for a couple or single living but still big enough for when you have guests over.
High sides or the depth of the skillet determines what you can cook in it. You definitely need good depth if you plan to fry or cook a whole chicken.
Again, this depends on your personal use but you may want a skillet you can deep fry in. Anything more than 400 degrees is a good choice. Multiple or higher temperature levels give you more options on what you can cook in the appliance. The Presto 06857 Electric Foldaway Skillet offers a good variety in this case.
A drainage spout is also extremely useful when draining broth or soup. You don’t have to struggle to keep the food out of the sink while draining. This feature is also convenient while serving gravy and the like.
Steam helps to cook your food faster but it creates a lot of pressure that can easily dislodge the lid. The seam can also be dangerous when uncovering food. A steam vent is a good safety feature to have on an electric skillet. You may want to get a model with an adjustable vent depending on the type or amount of food you are cooking. The De’ Longhi BG45 Electric Skillet stands out as a good choice in this case.
Heat Resistant Handles
Finally, you want a skillet that is safe to hold while serving hot food or while cooking. All the options we reviewed have heat resistant handles. The handles may get warm but not hot enough to cause injury.
We took our time to test, review and rank the best electric skillets so you don’t have to bear the confusion of choosing one yourself. You may find the Buyer’s Guide section useful should you decide to choose a skillet that is not on this list.
A good way to ensure you choose the right electric skillet is to make a checklist of your cooking needs. Consider what kind of cooking you expect to do, the size of your kitchen or storage area and the number of servings you expect to make per meal.