Using the Raclette
Congratulations on your purchase!
Before you start, I recommend you season the surface. This is done in much the same way you would season a wok, and will greatly stop food from sticking. Get the surface up to a high temperature, on the raclette, or a hob. Then brush it with rapeseed oil (or any oil that has a high smoke point). You can repeat this two or three times to lock in a non-stick surface.
Unwrap the raclette and set the base onto a sturdy table. Remember you can eat inside or outdoors, but ensure the table you use is as level as possible. This is because raclettes tend not to collect oil and fat on the surface, which makes your food super-healthy, but also means oil/fat drains over the sides! Putting the raclette onto a tray will solve this problem.
Now start thinking about the food! Make sure that it is prepared fully so that once you start cooking you don’t need to keep going back and forth to the kitchen. Cut an assortment of meats into strips. Whilst you can cook whole chicken fillets or halfpounder burgers on the raclette, there is a lot of fun in allowing each guest to cook little bits of food to their liking. Slice an assortment of vegetables and prepare a big bowl of salad. Traditionally, boiled potatoes, such as Charlotte, are sliced or crushed into the pans and these are topped with a slice of cheese ready for melting. Again, let your guests do the work! Bring a big pot of cooked potatoes to the table and let your guests decide what they want to do with them. There are no right or wrongs answers to this!
The actual cooking part is self-explanatory. There is a temperature dial on the raclette, but in all the years of racletting I’ve experienced, the dial is set about to about three quarters and then left for the duration.
There really isn’t any great mystery to using your raclette. As you get more experienced, you will find new cooking methods, discover new tastes and generally perfect your experience.