Raclette Buying Guide
There are a plethora of raclettes to choose from. In this section, we will review some of the currently available raclettes on the market and explore why different types of raclette may suit different circumstances.
The Basic Model
Raclettes need some kind of heat source, be that electrical or chemical, space to melt cheese/warm sauces and a cooking surface. With that basic criteria in mind, my first recommendation is the VonShef Raclette Grill with 6 Mini Pans, Non-Stick Plate and Adjustable Temperature Control – 6 Person – 900W. It has a medium size cooking area which is more than enough to cook for up to 6 people and part of the cooking surface is flat to provide a bit of versatility. This was the first raclette I bought and as a result of the many great summer evenings I spent using it, I have bought bigger and better raclettes. This raclette is great value for money and ideal if you want to try out ‘racletting’ without much of a financial commitment. I love the wooden styling on this model, which adds a touch of sophistication to an otherwise basic model.
The Standard Model
To truly get the full ‘raclette’ experience, you need to be cooking on a stone surface. This is because stone, such as granite, gets to a temperature that can truly allow you to ‘sear’ meat, thus locking in the moisture and thus the flavour. I have found a noticeable difference in the tenderness of steaks cooked on metal raclettes (such as the VonShef above) versus stone-surfaced raclettes. So with this in mind, my next recommendation is the Cooks Professional Raclette Grill Traditional Non-Stick Natural Stone Hot Plate.
The Party Model
The raclettes above are ideal for 2 to 4 persons. So what happens when you want more of a party feel? There are bigger, more versatile raclettes available. As you would expect, the cost increases with the size. My next recommendation is the Milliard Raclette Grill for Eight People, Includes Granite Cooking Stone, Reversible Non-Stick Grilling Surface, and 8 Paddles. This raclette features two cooking surfaces. One is a standard stone surface, whilst the other half is a two-in-one. On one side, it is a griddle pan for cooking meat, fish and so on. On the other, you have a handy mini-crepe pan. The cooking surface is 18 x 9¼ inches, so more than enough room for multiple guests. It is both easy to assemble and easy to clean.
The Advanced Model
Once you have mastered using a raclette, you may want to think about bigger surfaces for more people, deeper pans for more flexibility, and even other features such as integral fondue attachments. There a two or three advanced-level raclettes on the market, but my recommendation (and my personal current model) is the Severin RG 2348 Raclette Grill Fondue Combination, 1900 W, Brushed Stainless Steel/Black. This model has a cooking area that can cater for up to 8 people and also comes with a grilling stone. Unlike other Raclette grills this model combines a grill and fondue set, getting the best of both of these dinner party experiences. the fondue pan replaces the grill and can then be used for chocolate, oil, stock or cheese fondues. This is a raclette that really does have everything and I cannot recommend it enough.
What do you think makes a great raclette? What other types of raclette have you used? Join the discussion below: