The 8 Best Quesadilla Makers
8. Bella 8-Inch
7. Nostalgia 6-Wedge
6. Brentwood TS-120
5. Deni Cooks Essentials Nonstick
4. Black & Decker 8-Inch
3. Betty Crocker Red
2. Hamilton Beach 25409
1. George Foreman Electric
The Benefits Of A Quesadilla Maker
When it comes to tasty foods that are easy to both cook and eat, it’s hard to top the quesadilla. A cheesy favorite with kids and adults, this simple dish makes an excellent meal, snack, or appetizer, and the variations you can try are virtually limitless. But to really do the quesadilla right, you can help yourself by investing in a quesadilla maker. These machines, which are essentially electrically heated plates that press together around the food, offer several benefits over old-fashioned methods of making quesadillas, such as by heating them in a skillet.
For example, a quesadilla maker is designed to give you even heating and remove some of the guesswork from cooking. Many have lights that indicate when the device is properly preheated, and because they don’t require that you flip the food, you can cut down on the amount of time and effort you’ll need to expend in getting to the savory goodness. If you live in a hot climate, such a device prevents you from having the burners or oven going, cutting down on unnecessary heat added to your home.
Many also make cleanup much simpler, as well, since they may have a non-stick coating and/or a drip tray. Instead of scraping gooey cheese, all you have to do is wipe your machine clean, then put it away. This may even help you reduce the amount of oil or butter you need on the outside of the quesadilla, helping to make a snack that could potentially be loaded with calories a little bit healthier.
And if you’ve got kids or guests, you’ll probably appreciate that the best quesadilla makers have ridges that create cutting guides in the finished foodstuff; no more guesstimating and listening to a child complain that his brother’s slice is bigger. Or, if you’d prefer to enjoy one all to yourself (we don’t blame you), it’ll be easier to create neat slices for dipping, perhaps with the aid of a pizza rocker knife.
Lastly, many quesadilla makers help you cook other food items, making them multifunctional. Some can handle pancakes, omelets, and pizzas, while others can serve up giant desserts — and who doesn’t want a delicious, oversized chocolate chip cookie?
Jazz Up Your Standard Quesadilla
After you’ve tried a few different foods and quesadilla recipes in your quesadilla maker, you’ll probably be ready to branch out and try some new and different flavors. Cheese is certainly amazing, but just think about all the delectable foods that complement cheese so perfectly. To get you started down new flavor paths, we’ve selected a few avenues you might try.
Although it’s true that the quesadilla is most often associated with Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, there’s no reason it can’t be dressed up in the flavors of other nations. For instance, you might try a pizzadilla, which can be made simply by placing mozzarella, pepperoni, and pizza sauce between the tortillas. Or, how about a teriyaki quesadilla? Cook some shredded chicken in your favorite teriyaki sauce, then throw a handful of cheddar cheese into the mix.
Perhaps you’d like your quesadilla to be a bit healthier. You might try one with low-fat cheese and a range of veggie superfoods: sprouts, zucchini, kale, tomatoes, spinach, and broccoli all make excellent, nutrient-rich additions. You could even sprinkle the vegetables with nutritional yeast, a deactivated yeast that offers protein, iron, and a rich, nutty flavor.
You could, on the other hand, go the opposite way and create a meat-lover's dream with the cheeseburger quesadilla, a popular Americanized take on the dish. For 1-2 servings, brown a half a pound of ground beef in a skillet along with a quarter of a chopped onion, salt, pepper, and a dash each of garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. When the meat is finished, sprinkle some over a tortilla, then add your favorite shredded cheese on top. Before you add the top tortilla, a dash of ketchup and mustard will complete the flavor sensation. Avocado and tomato slices are popular additions, as well.
A Very Brief History Of The Quesadilla Maker
It’s hard to accurately pinpoint who first had the idea to cook a quesadilla with a dual-plate device. Cooking a food between two hot plates, electric or otherwise, isn’t a terribly new concept, and it’s one that’s undergone a range of changes and improvements. On the whole, however, Thomas Edison is usually credited as the first to create a dedicated sandwich press. It didn’t quite catch on at the time and was discontinued in the 1930s; it wasn’t until Breville began marketing a press in the 1970s that this method of preparing a hot sandwich became more widespread.
Then, in the 1990s, an inventor named Michael Boehm developed the George Foreman grill. Actually, he had an idea for a slanted surface, two-sided grill and went to Foreman with it, hoping that the latter would be the charismatic spokesperson that could propel the device to fame. The strategy worked, and a cooking heavyweight was born. Unfortunately, Boehm was working for a home electronics manufacturer at the time, and the creation and business deal were realized under his normal work — meaning he didn’t receive any extra monetary compensation for the wildly successful machine. He continued to invent, though, and one of his creations was a quesadilla maker, which many people claim was the first.
Of course, quesadillas themselves are much, much older, but the “prime moo-ver” (because it’s cheese, get it?) is just as murky. Most people state that the food, whose name comes from "queso" for cheese in Spanish, issued from the northern and central parts of Mexico around the 16th century. Although the Aztecs were already eating corn tortillas with vegetables, it wasn’t until the Spanish settlers introduced the widespread consumption of dairy products that cheese was added to the dish. The food gained and retained popularity, eventually growing to become the food that’s beloved around the world today.