The 10 Best Raclette Grills
This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in June of 2015. Thinking of getting fancy for your next dinner party or brunch? Consider one of these raclette grills, which are ideal for preparing not just the traditional Swiss dish of melted cheese and potatoes, but all kinds of vegetables, meat, and even gooey delicious desserts, as well. You will have your guests ooh-ing and aah-ing over your culinary inventiveness and wishing they'd bought one, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 11, 2020:
Raclette grills, for the most part, use the same general design, so one of our priorities during this update was to ensure each of our selections had differentiating or distinctive features to help suit many needs. That meant including options that come with granite stone cooktops, like the Milliard 8-Person, Swissmar Stelvio, and NutriChef 1200 Watt, as well as those with reversible surfaces like the newly-added Techwood 2-in-1 and the Swissmar Classic. Each of these is basically a raclette grill and electric griddle in one.
We also wanted small models for personal use and those unwilling to give up storage space, which is where options like the charming Boska Holland Partyclette To-Go and compact Boska Holland Milano come in. If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck, the Milliard 8-Person is a good choice that comes with three cooking surfaces, while the Hamilton Beach Indoor provides eight people with the Swiss dining experience at a budget-friendly price. This one has a 1300-watt heating element though, whereas the standard for this size tends to be 1400 or 1500.
To make way for our new selections, which includes the attractive Artestia Electric, we removed the Gourmia Electric Vertical and King of Raclette 2-in-1, both of which became unavailable. The Artestia model is one of the few out there that is genuinely aesthetically pleasing, using housing that looks like wood but in reality is convincingly-patterned polypropylene. This one is pretty generously sized and looks good enough to leave out on the table, making it a solid choice for raclette lovers who plan on using it often. It also sports small touches that make using it easier, like raised ridges on the paddle handles to ensure they don't slip during removal and grooved edges to keep juices from spilling off the granite top. As with anything that is granite, be aware that this natural stone can easily and quickly stain, so you'll likely need a special cleaner to keep it looking its best.
May 23, 2019:
In the world of raclette grills, Swissmar remains a solid, popular choice, with the Classic arguably the best model they offer. The reversible grill top extends the overall usefulness, helping to justify both the space it requires for storage and the price. And because it is amply sized and has trays with stay-cool handles, it's simple enough to use. We did decide to remove the Swissmar Swivel, however, as its design is interesting but perhaps too gimmicky and occasionally frustrating to use. But if you want something a little different, we still think the Gourmia Electric Vertical is a fine option, since it allows you to boil broth, cook meat, and melt cheese all at once. It's a little tougher to clean than traditional flat models, though. And for anyone who wants to cook off-grid, we selected the Boska Holland Partyclette To-Go, which heats and melts with candles. But, unlike most, it only has one moderately sized tray instead of many small ones. Of course, this also means less to clean.
Boska Quattro 110V Concrete Base Raclette devotees only interested in heating the cheese should consider this selection from Boska. Suitable for a quarter wheel, it serves as a table centerpiece and features a heating lamp and rotating copper stand that allows you to melt the cheese evenly on both sides. The concrete base ensures that the raclette remains sturdy and stable on any surface. boska.com
Raclette Corner Founded by a Swiss-German living in America, Raclette Corner offers everything raclette related, from grills and melters to scrapers and recipes. One of its most compelling features is the wide array of authentic raclette cheeses that are sourced from Switzerland and France. The Swiss offerings come from different parts of the country and are available in traditional wheels and square blocks perfect for slicing. raclettecorner.com
What Exactly Is Raclette Anyway?
Once the cheese had softened to a suitable degree, they would scrape portions of it off and enjoy the softened cheese with bread, potatoes, meats, or with pickled vegetables.
The first mention of the foodstuff known as raclette can be traced all the way back to the late 13th century. Various German language texts from locations spread around present-day Switzerland mention the dish, which is still enjoyed by locals and tourists alike to this day.
The name raclette is derived from the French word "racler," a verb meaning "to scrape." And, indeed, the term is suitable, for at its core, raclette is nothing more than portions of cheese warmed and scraped off a larger chunk and onto bread or directly onto the plate of the diner. The cheese most often used in raclette dining is a semi-firm cow's milk variety usually prepared in large, drum-shaped units that weigh as much as six pounds each.
Traditionally, herders working in the mountain fields of the Alps would carry cheese along with them, and at night would warm sections of the cheese by their campfires. Once the cheese had softened to a suitable degree, they would scrape portions of it off and enjoy the softened cheese with bread, potatoes, meats, or with pickled vegetables.
Today, raclette is something of a national dish of Switzerland, and its enjoyment is predicated as much on the ritual of the heating, scraping, and serving of the food as it is on its actual taste. While commonly served at restaurants and even as a staple home meal all year round in some European households, the winter holiday season sees a marked increase in the popularity of raclette consumption. The communal nature of a raclette meal, with the hands-on preparation of the cheese and the casual nature of the fare, lends itself to a convivial atmosphere enjoyed by friends and families alike.
A modern raclette meal is infrequently prepared using an open fire, but rather by using an electric grill that allows safe and easy access from 360 degrees, and which can easily be controlled in terms of heat and placement.
Choosing And Using A Raclette Grill
Almost all electric raclette grills will feature two common aspects. First, they will have a large hot plate surface. Second, they will come with multiple diminutive pans known as "coupelles." Into these pans will go the sliced or chunked cheese you (or your host) have provided, as well as the various meats, potatoes, traditional gherkins, or other vegetables you wish to mix with your soon-to-be-melted, seared cheese.
Other larger options come with as many as twelve individual miniature platters, making them great for parties.
Raclette grills are unique from other plug-in hotplates or griddles in that they offer an area underneath their heated surface, perfect for roasting cheese until it has browned to perfection. The enclosed area beneath the heated surface allows for perfect heat retention, while also freeing up the top of the unit for roasting meats, grilling vegetables, frying eggs, or for cooking almost any other food you think will taste great with that roasted cheese you're preparing down below.
When choosing a raclette grill, first consider the social aspect of the meals you're likely to make. Many units come with four coupelles, making them a fine choice for families, small groups of friends, or for a pair of couples. Other larger options come with as many as twelve individual miniature platters, making them great for parties. These larger options are also useful serving stations for other types of foods, with the upper hot plates great for appetizer and self-serve hors d'oeuvres, while the coupelles down below can be used to keep dips or sauces warm and ready for enjoyment.
A Raclette Recipe You're Sure To Love
If you want to try a traditional raclette meal -- without the need for a campfire lit in an alpine pasture, of course -- then you are in for a unique culinary treat. Raclette dining is elegantly simple, wholesome, and satisfying when prepared properly.
A good gourmet shop, especially one that focuses on cheeses, should be able to proffer you a fine raclette cheese, which will be rich, tangy, salty, and delicious. You will need about a pound and a half of this cheese for a meal sure to satisfy four discerning diners.
Lay out a few slices of meat on each plate, accompanied by a small pile of pickled gherkins and pickled onions.
Boil six to eight medium-sized potatoes (leave the skin on) until they are cooked through, and then set them aside in a vessel that will keep them warm.
Meanwhile, prepare the platters your diners will soon ravenously consume. The meat served with this meal is traditionally a thinly sliced beef, though almost any of your favorite charcuterie options will do just fine. Lay out a few slices of meat on each plate, accompanied by a small pile of pickled gherkins and pickled onions.
Dust everything on the plate with a bit of paprika and black pepper, slice the hot potatoes and add them to the plates, and then bring the diners to the table.
Now, fill each coupelle with a generous slice of cheese and slide them under the heated grill plate. The cheese should be warmed anywhere from three to five minutes depending on each diner's preference (soft, melted, bubbling, or starting to brown and sear).
Then the cheese is scraped onto the plates, often directly atop the meat. The preparation portion of the meal is now finished, and it is time for you and your fellow gourmands to devour this delicious traditional dish.