The 10 Best Raclette Grills
This wiki has been updated 26 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 recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best raclette grill on Amazon.
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.
What Exactly Is Raclette Anyway?
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 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.
Many units comes with four coupelles, making them a fine choice for families, small groups of friends, or for a pair of couples.
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 comes 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 (or for the very large family). 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.
Raclette dining is elegantly simple, wholesome, and satisfying when prepared properly.
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.
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