If you’ve been on the internet for the past five years, you will have already heard all the praise the electric skillet gets. It’s understandable. You can use yours to cook virtually any food you would normally use a stove-top frying pan for. From preparing delicious breakfasts to whipping up quick and convenient suppers, electric skillets are incredibly versatile.
But before you can make your first electric skillet meal, you need to know how to use an electric skillet like a professional. Luckily for you, that’s what this article is all about. We’re laying out a step-by-step guide on how to use this ingenious gadget, as well as giving you tips for getting the most out of it. Soon enough, you’ll turn into an electric skillet master.
How to Use an Electric Skillet: 7 Simple Steps
Using an electric skillet is surprisingly easy. If you know how to use your stove-top frying pan, you’re halfway there. There are just some tidbits here and there you will have to master.
1. Plug It Into an Outlet
First, plug your electric skillet into an outlet. Make sure it isn’t near an open flame or other gadgets. As you cook with your electric griddle, it will get hot and it may damage any kitchen appliances it comes into contact with.
2. Choose Your Temperature Setting
Then, you need to choose at what temperature to cook your food. Look for the temperature controls attached to the connector cord. Then, choose the heat setting that best works with whatever you’re cooking.
A good rule of thumb is to use your electric skillet as you would a stove-top frying pan. For example, if you’re used to cooking pancakes on high heat, turn up the dial to high on your electric skillet. But if you prefer to cook french toast on a lower heat, turn down the dial. It’s all up to you.
3. Add Oil, If You Want
Adding oil to your electric skillet (be it made of stainless steel or cast iron) can make the cleaning process down the line easier. That’s because the oil will prevent the food from sticking to the cooking surface. Adding a few teaspoons should be enough to get the best results.
However, this is not a mandatory step. You can always skip out on the oil if you’re watching your fat intake or if you simply don’t want to. As long as your electric skillet is non-stick (and the coating is still intact), you won’t run into any problems. Just make sure not to cook foods at too high a temperature to completely avoid having to deal with stuck-on burnt food on the skillet plates.
4. Cook Your Food
The next step is pretty self-explanatory: place your food on the pre-heated skillet plates and wait for it to be done. The cooking times on an electric skillet are very similar to the cooking times on a regular frying pan. If anything, electric skillets will take just a little less time cooking your food.
5. Turn Off the Electric Skillet
Once your food is completely cooked, you should unplug the electric skillet from the outlet, even if your skillet comes with an “off” switch. This is the best way of avoiding any accidents.
6. Let It Cool
You should always let your electrical skillet cool before handling it further. Don’t throw cold water on it to lower the temperature more quickly—doing so could warp the heating elements and skillet plates and ruin them. Instead, enjoy your meal and wait an hour or so for your appliance to be cool to the touch.
7. Clean Your Electric Griddle
The cleaning comes last. We have already written an in-depth guide on how to clean an electric skillet, complete with all the do’s and don’ts it involves. Luckily for you, once you learn the tips we published, cleaning your electric frying pan will be no hassle at all.
What to Make With Your Electric Skillet
The beauty of electric skillets is that you can cook a wide variety of things. In a lot of ways, it’s just like cooking with a stove-top frying pan. Plus, you will find plenty of electric skillet recipes easily online to give you that extra bit of guidance you may need.
Electric skillets make delicious sauteed dishes. Start by sauteeing your favorite veggies and protein in a little bit of olive oil with the heat on high. Then, add your cooked carb (for example, rice or any type of egg noodle you like). Throw in your favorite stir fry sauce and you’ve got yourself a delicious, simple meal.
Of course, you can also use your electric skillet for pan-frying food. In fact, this is what most people use their electric frying pans for. You can make all kinds of breakfast foods using only this kitchen appliance—from cooking pancakes and bacon to hashbrowns and French toast.
Additionally, you can even grill steak, pork chops, chicken, fish, and tofu. Make sure to preheat the plates, add a drizzle of cooking oil, and lay your protein to fry.
On top of that, you could also try making skillet cookies. These delicious brownies are one of our favorite electric skillet recipes—they're easy to whip up and great when served with ice cream.
Your electric skillet will also make delicious braised meals. Get adventurous by trying new flavor combinations, like cherry tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, and ground beef topped with sour cream and parmesan cheese. Since this appliance is so easy to use, you can get creative with your skillet meal.
Follow the same recipe you would for the stovetop and use the same skillet temperatures. For instance, if the recipe tells you to simmer for an hour, lower the heat setting on the electric griddle to the lowest level.
How NOT to Use Your Electric Skillet
Before we’re done, there are still a few more things you should know about your electric skillet if you want it to last you years.
Don’t Use Metal Utensils
Your electric skillet most likely has a non-stick coating on the plates. Metal cookware will easily scratch and damage that finish and remove it completely. Opt for wooden utensils if you want your skillet to stay non-stick for as long as possible.
Avoid Drastic Temperature Changes
Lowering the temperature of the cooking plates too fast can damage them beyond repair. The plates and heating element could warp or the coating could crack. Thus, you should avoid adding cold liquids to a hot skillet. This includes avoiding throwing cold water on a hot skillet before washing it and quickly adding cold stock or cream, for example, during the cooking process.
Don’t Deep Fry Foods in the Skillet
You might be used to frying foods in a deep pot on the stovetop, but you shouldn’t do it on your electric skillet. For one, the oil could splatter or spill since most skillets are relatively shallow. Besides potentially burning you, the hot oil could land on the electrical cord and become a fire hazard.