An electric skillet is a useful thing to have in a kitchen. It heats quickly and get the cooking done in half the usual time it takes for a conventional oven to cook stuff. It’s also energy-efficient and very versatile.
But when you need to braise, fry or sear, a ceramic electric skillet is the most handy appliance to use. That’s because it’s non-stick and absorbs less oil. They are also four to ten times more durable than non-ceramic ones.
Now here’s the thing: despite its name, a ceramic electric skillet isn’t exactly made of ceramic. At least not the clay-based material.
When it comes to cooking pans, the word ceramic refers to the coating that metal pans use on its cooking surface to prevent food from sticking to the pan.
This ceramic non-stick coating goes by different names and are often made from different materials. The most basic is a sand-based coating that has a slick, glossy surface. Some may have a silicon oil-based coat that’s bonded to the surface which is slowly released during cooking.
Some may even carry some fancy marketing names if only to emphasize that their coating is different from Teflon non-stick coating. For a time, Teflon coating was the darling of cooks everywhere until studies showed that they had toxic effects on the body. This led to the ceramic coating becoming popular because it was marketed as a safer alternative to Teflon.
Still, experts would say it’s only safe because there is not enough evidence to prove that ceramic coatings are also toxic. So if that doesn’t bother you, then a ceramic electric skillet will definitely be a worthy addition to your cooking arsenal.
Generally, skillets with ceramic finishes can withstand higher temperatures which makes them more durable than a traditional nonstick. But the main attraction for these appliances is that they are so easy to clean. Some brands will only even require just a thorough wiping with a paper towel or cloth.
Here’s a tip: wiping a skillet clean with a paper towel is one way of seasoning your pan so that you get flavorful omelettes or sunny side up eggs.
If you decide to get a ceramic electric skillet though, you need to manage your expectations. No coating will last forever. It’s just the nature of heat. It will degrade any substance.
Depending on the quality of the ceramic coating, you can get a nonstick skillet that will last around 1-2 years. The more expensive brands will extend their warranty by a few more years.
There are not that many ceramic electric skillets in the market but I’ve managed to round up the best ones on Amazon.
The Best Ceramic Skillets
- Presto Electric Skillet, 16″, Grey Ceramic
- Hamilton Beach Durathon Ceramic Electric Skillet
- Oster DuraCeramic Electric Skillet
- Caynel 12 x 12 Inch Nonstick Ceramic Electric Skillet with Glass Lid
- Cuisinart GreenGourmet 14-Inch Nonstick Electric Skillet
1. Presto Electric Skillet, 16″, Grey Ceramic, 1500W
This skillet is made from heavy cast aluminum which the manufacturer says is warp proof. It's coated with ceramic nonstick surface inside and out to make it easy to cook and clean.
It can be used to roast, fry, grill, stew, bake or make casseroles. It has a wide cooking space with high side walls to prevent spillage and to provide extra food space.
The heat control is removable and skillet is fully immersible. Comes with tempered glass cover that enables the skillet to double as a buffet server.
This product comes in three variations: as a standalone electric skillet, or paired with a griddle or a waffle maker.
- Includes a warm setting
- Heats fast and evenly; the heating element is around the bottom of the pan
- Lid is not vented
- The placement of the temperature dial below the wide side handles makes it difficult to read for some people
2. Oster Dura Ceramic Electric Skillet
This skillet comes with its own unique non-stick ceramic coating called Dura Ceramic. It’s been certified as free of PTFE and PFOA chemicals with the manufacturer saying that this coating is 4 times more durable and scratch-resistant than standard nonstick coats.
It has a large 12×12-inch cooking space that’s capable of cooking for a large family. It cooks 20% faster and browns meat evenly.
It comes with a tempered glass lid with steam vent, cool-touch handles, and a removable, adjustable temperature control for easy cleaning.
- Heats up really fast
- Easy to use
- Not for deep frying; depth is only 2.5 inches
- Not dishwasher safe
3. Hamilton Beach Durathon Ceramic Electric Skillet
This skillet’s non-stick material is called the Durathon ceramic coating which the manufacturer says is also 4 times durable than traditional nonstick. It’s also PTFE and PFOA free.
Its unique feature, however, is the reversible design of its skillet. This allows you to attach the electric cord on either side so you don’t have to worry about its placement to the nearby electric socket.
The 12” x 15” skillet is also removable from its heating base so that you can bring it conveniently to the table while also making it easy to clean. The pan and its glass lid are dishwasher friendly.
It is has a wide range of temperatures for various cooking options. Temperature levels can be adjusted from 200°- 400° F. The low setting can be used for keeping the food warm.
- Reversible design
- Dishwasher friendly
- Various complaints on the product’s unreliable warranty
- Short length of the electrical cord
4. Caynel 12 x 12 Inch Nonstick Ceramic Electric Skillet with Glass Lid
This skillet comes with a standard nonstick ceramic coating which the manufacturer calls Healthy Eco Coating. It is PTFE and PFOA Free.
It has a large cooking area, with an aluminum base that’s ETL certified. It comes with five cooking settings with the thermostat able to reach up to 460ºF.
It comes with a tempered glass lid with an integrated steam vent and cool-touch handles for safe handling. The base also has cool touch plastic legs with non-slip feet.
- Can be used for deep frying
- Thermostat settings are in numbers, not temperature degrees
5. Cuisinart GreenGourmet 14-Inch Nonstick Electric Skillet
This is a heavy duty stainless steel electric skillet with a ceramic-based non-stick coating that’s petroleum free and contains no PTFE or PFOA.
With its circular cooking surface, it can cook large meals. It has a removable temperature control dial with a handy indicator light can be adjusted from “warm” to 450 degrees F.
It comes with a tempered glass lid and die-cast stainless-steel handles for that elegant look. Built according to North American Electrical Standards, the removable parts are dishwasher friendly.
- Cooks evenly and quickly
- Most durable ceramic based coating so far with a 3 year warranty
- Arthritic people may find this too heavy to lift
Buyers Guide to Picking the Right Ceramic Electric Skillet
The quality of ceramic non stick coatings vary among products so when shopping, pick the one that lasts at least a year. If you can find a pan that lasts thrice as long, then that’s a potential keeper.
Check also its safety labels. It’s standard industry practice to produce non- PTFE and PFOA ceramic coating to make the cookware safe for cooking so always look for those.
There are also some concerns about some ceramic glazes that leach lead or cadmium into the food. If the product is made in the U.S., then there’s no need to be concerned. That’s because there are strict FDA requirements here that mandate all ceramic products to be free of lead or cadmium.
Other than safety concerns, here’s what you should look out for when buying your ceramic electric skillet.
A skillet’s heating element that’s designed in a M shape can cook food more evenly than one that merely encircles the bottom. Check if there are some spots that are more hotter than the rest of the cooking area.
A Warm setting is very useful for keeping food freshly cooked. Skillet temperatures usually range from 175°F to 475°F but not every one has a setting for keeping food warm.
Removable thermostats are better because they make cleaning the skillet easier. Check if the thermostat readings are easy on the eyes and don’t fall off easily from their attachments.
When looking at readings, its more convenient to have them in Farenheit degrees than Celsius or number levels.
A skillet with high sides will keep spillage to a minimum and allow you more space for cooking. Check the design of the lid; does it come with a vent to let off steam and pressure?
A glass lid is better since it allows you to see the insides without lifting the cover and letting the heat out. Check if its tempered, for more durability.
Are parts of it removable? If the skillet is removable, then you can clean it easily and even use it as a buffet server. It’ll also make storage more convenient.
Cool-touch handles are an important feature in skillet design. You don’t want to burn yourself while handling a skillet.
Lastly, is it made here in the U.S.? Does it come with a great warranty? Does it have good after sales customer service? These are important considerations to be made since a skillet is something you will regularly find use for so it has to be durable and consistent enough in its performance.