Raclette Grill Buying Guide

Raclette grills are your ultimate ally if you are looking to host the best party in town. They allow you to cook some of the tastiest dishes that you can imagine and they are a fancy asset that has the ability to wow a lot of your guests. From our experience though we have found that people can have a hard time determining what the best raclette grill on the market for them is. What is a decent price per grill?

A lot of questions that can end up pushing people away from the experience because of the natural fear of not wanting to throw away money, to be honest! We want to help change that and to do so we want to let you know what you need to look for in these types of grills and what their limitations are amongst other things. Plus, we will talk about some of the best grills in the market that you should take a look at!

What Is A Raclette Grill?

A raclette grill is an indoor grill that as typically placed at the center of a table and allows people to cook their food as they continue to socialize with guests. Typically the grills will come with a bottom compartment below the grill itself that gives you the opportunity to do things like cook vegetables or melt cheese simultaneously as you are grilling on the grill top. This makes these types of grill really a perfect asset for parties and all sorts of gatherings.

The bottom line though is that you want to find a grill that you can rely on to cook all of your ingredients just the way you like them in a reasonable amount of time! Trying to find the perfect grill could be easier said than done! Let’s go over some of the advantages that these grills give which are assets you would do well to keep in mind when you are out shopping for one of these grills!

  • You get the chance to cook and socialize at once!
  • Cook various ingredients simultaneously to speed up the cooking process.
  • Turn guests into their own personal chef, we can all cook at once!
  • Keep your food warm as you dine. This allows you to get to chatting more comfortably without fear of your food getting cold!

Now that we got the introductions out of the way it is time to get down to business really. There are many different types of raclette grills out there. So finding the right machine for you could be a daunting task. One of the things that you would do well to keep in mind is the type of food that you are going to be cooking on it.

The reason that we say is that, is that some grills actually have a hard time with things like chicken and steak. They actually will advise you to go ahead and pre-heat the steak. If you happen to be an absolute meat lover then you may want to think about going down a different path so to speak! We want to help each and every one of you. For that, we assembled what we believe are the top 7 raclette grills!

Our Ranking

How Did We Come Up With This Ranking?

Before we get around to telling you about each and every one of the grills that we have placed on our ranking we thought that would be a good idea to let you know how we actually came up with this ranking. We know right off the bat that there are certain people that are going to disagree with the way that we have ranked these grills.

We are actually fine with that. The bottom line for us really that you have to find the grill that you believe will fit what you are looking for in the best way possible. For the most part, we are ranking these grills based upon which one of them is more versatile or checks the most boxes overall. This is not necessarily how you would go about the buying process.

Power Is Everything … Right?

We really want to single this concept out before we start talking about each individual grill. The reason that we want to do that is the fact that not all grills are made equal. That is just a fact of life, at times though we may have gotten a bit frustrated with a grill for asking it to do a bit too much. You cannot think of raclette grills as a way to fully replace some of your outdoor grill sets.

A lot of these grills just won’t have the power to get your steak from fully raw to ultimately well done or even medium rare for that matter. This may see you ultimately pre-cook the meat before you actually put it on the grill. Knowing the type of power that your grill ultimately posses is a good way to chose the right cooking method. We took points off some grills that we felt totally lacked power, but maybe that isn’t what you are going for. So, is power everything? Well yes, and no!

How Did We Actually Test These Grills?

Again we want to make sure that you get a clear idea of where we are coming from so that you can judge our reviews ultimately accordingly. The way that we actually tested a lot of these grills varied. The reason that it did was the fact that we knew ahead of time that we could not give all of the grills a thick steak test and grade them from one to ten based on that. Since as we mentioned not all of the grills are built to handle the same type of foods. We actually cooked pancakes with some of them. Other times we went out and melted cheese for burgers. We did it all!

A lot of our grading system then was based on the overall experience that we had when testing these grills. We paid special attention to some of the details that people had complained about in the past to make sure we could give a verdict on that. Whether it be, these people are right, they probably used an improper technique.

We have actually seen this happen a lot. People who do not even take time to read the manual, and they are not able to get their machine working properly. Instead of trying to figure out what they may have done wrong they take to message boards and Amazon to bash the product. We did not want to do that, ultimately we wanted to be as unbiased as we could all along!

Key Points Under Evaluation

While we did maybe put a big weight of overall grade on, look and feel we did take a couple of key points into consideration. As we mentioned it is a little tough to do that and come out with a fair grade. Since basically all of the grills are made to do different things. Still, we want to let you know some of the key points that we focused on!

1. How Long Does It Take To Heat Up

This was a major issue for some people on certain grills. We think that the main problem that people had was the fact they expected at times for a lot of the smaller grills to heat up a lot more than they actually do. There are certain grills that actually let you know that you should go ahead and precook a lot of the meat that you want to cook on them. Still, having to wait for 10 or 15 minutes for the grill to be ready for you to cook on it is not the best thing in the world.

2. Does It Cook Evenly?

This was definitely another one of the issues that we had with some grills. If we could not count on the grill to actually cook evenly we really limited the types of dishes that we attempted to make. So as you can imagine it is not fun at all to have to limit what you want to do because the grill just will not allow it! Most of the times through the majority of the grills cook just fine as long as you are allowing them to cook something that they can actually handle. We cannot judge a grill based on something that we where already told it was not!

3. Versatility

We just love to have this in our grills no doubt about it. If you can cook a steak, an omelet, pancakes, melt cheese and get veggies steamed to perfection on the same grill you really have something special! There is no way that we are going to hide this. We loved it when the grill that we where testing was completely versatile and reliable!

4. Durability

One thing that we want to make sure that you don’t do after reading this is go ahead and buy a grill that is going to break down in under a year. Obviously, a lot of these grills are pretty delicate. They are not going to be able to take some pretty rough use so to speak. With durability though we are judging those grills that seem to totally break down on their own. If you have a grill that is going to break down when you are not even using it there is really no reason to buy the grill at all in our book. As we mentioned before there were a lot of complaints about this in some reviews that we read. We sort of tag some of the grills that we feel may have these types of issues just so you can be careful when going out and buying them!

5. The Price Tag

There is really no way around this. The only real way to know if you have made a good bargain with one of these grills is to compare the price that you paid for it up against the amount of use that you got out of the product. Most of these grills are not overly expensive. The price tag on them is usually south of 100 dollars. We actually took the liberty of saying that certain grills could be bought to try and get into the whole raclette experience. If you are new to the game then you may want to start out slow. Dishing out over 100 dollars on a product that you are not sure if you are going to have a practical use for can be a steep mountain to climb!

Extra Categories That We Judged

A lot of what we just talked about had a lot to with things that you could measure or see. We took those measurables as some of the most important points that we judged these grills on because those are things that you can get a read on and actually compare them directly. We have said though that a lot of times we took our own experience with the product and really gave that some decent weight in the overall grade.

Personal Experiences

Anyone can look at a product and sort of study it all the way through, right down numbers and pick the one that did the best on the tests so to speak. We liked though to actually test out these products in parties with other people that were not necessarily part of our projects. That way we could actually recreate the environment that you may be using it in. As with any type of comparison, there were some products that ended up being a fan favorite without actually being one of the ones that did well on the tests. That is why we keep saying that ultimately the best grill is the one that fits you the best!

Food Taste

We know that this is a very subjective thing to try and grade. It really depends on what you like, who cooked, what they cooked and things of that nature. We obviously, understand all of that. The main issue that we want to make sure that we can “avoid” is recommending a grill that is going to change the overall taste that certain ingredients have. There are certain grills that do that, and we would never recommend them!

Look & Feel

In a lot of the reviews that we have done for these types of products, we talk about how important it is to have a grill that looks the part. Since these products are made to host parties and to make you as the owner look good you won’t want a grill that you can tell is made from cheap plastic and things like that. The kind of conflicting idea here though is the fact that you may be able to find other indoor grills that actually work better. The problem is you can’t really consider them raclette grills. So, with that in mind, we went through and tried to find those grills that are going to give you that elegant look! We incorporated that ultimately into our final decisions.

Are They Easy To Use?

We sort of considered this also in our grading system so to speak. This is also something that we want to cover because we saw a lot of comments from people trashing these grills that we thought where unfair. If you have never used this type of grill, but you have a good overall knowledge of how to cook you are not going to have too much of a problem. For the most part, these grills are just plug in and play. You can then control how high you want the heat on in the grill. Using non-stick kitchen products prior to cooking can also be a good idea. Overall most of the grills are easy to use, but it wouldn’t hurt if you read the manual. Especially if you are having trouble setting it up!

Why You Can Trust Us

We have a vast experience in this raclette grill market. We have been using these types of products for years and we have gotten around to using each and every one of these products. Plus, we have gone through multiple sites that talk about these products to try and compare and contrast a lot of what other people say with our own personal experiences. As we have mentioned before we do have a ranking, but we understand that certain grills will fit certain people better. 

Our Top 7 List

Now that you know how we have graded these grills it is finally time to take a good look at each of them individually. If you feel that you could use more information on any of the products that we are talking about in this document you can always click on the link to take a look at our full-length review of each of the products on the list. Let’s get started then!

7. Boska Holland Partyclette To-Go Taste, Mini Tea Light Raclette Set

We really do not like comparing this product to an actual grill. There is no doubt about the fact that when it comes to size and power it cannot compete with other grills on the market. The problem is this product is being marketed as a Partyclette To-Go. We get the to-go part that makes is a good novelty product.

The grill is essentially powered by a set of candles. Which is sort of unique in a way. It is good because you can take it wherever it is that youu need to go and you are not going to have to worry about finding a power outlet. The real issue for us that you probably won’t be able to cook many things on it. It is a great way to be able to melt cheese. So if you have a large outdoor grill spot and you want to melt some cheese for some burgers on your campsite this is great.

What we kept saying to ourselves and even in the review what that this product was an add on. Something that could be kind of cool to have. We could say that overall it is pretty limited. What it does like melt cheese it can do well. Overall though limited is the word that comes to mind. At a low price tag though it can be considered a solid buy.

You are able to bring that plus to your outdoor bbq efforts. The design kind of wants you to lean towards more of a fondue party. It is kind of like fondue for two a time though so we really liked it more for burgers. You could say it is a little fancy looking, to use it for that. In our mind, though at that price, if it works well for you however you want to use it, it could end up being a decent purchase!

6. Hamilton Beach 31612-MX Raclette Indoor Grill

This is by far the least expensive actual grill on the list. To be honest, though we kind of drove it down a little bit though to the fact that it does not give that fancy raclette look that other products give. If we were just going off real performance though this is a great steal at that fifty dollar price tag. This is a grill that comes with the 8 individual plates and spatulas that work for cooking directly underneath the grill.

Here is where we find the first little problem with this particular grill. We did not love the way that it melted cheese. We believe it is a little below the regular performance that, other types of grills are able to provide. Other than that though when it comes to performance even though you are not getting that “fancy” look you won’t be too disappointed.

If you are someone who is just getting into these raclette grills or has some curiosity and wants to try them out this grill could be one of the better options on the market. You are getting a grill at 50 dollars that you can literally test out. If it works out for you then you may want to move up to a fancier grill. Especially if you are buying this type of product to adorn your parties.

This grill can work well if what you are trying to do is make some grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids on the weekend and things like that. That also gives it more points in our book. One of the things that we don’t like is to have a grill that you are only going to be able to use on special occasions. With this grill that is just simply not the case. You could actually use it on a regular basis if you feel that you have to!

5. Swissmar KF-77081 Stelvio 8-Person Raclette with Granite Stone Grill Top

We cannot deny that this was the product that we liked the “least” out of the Swissmar products that we took a look at. That is not to say that it is not a grill that could work well for a lot of people. The main issue that we had was the fact that only having the granite grill top really limited the possibilities. At the very least it totally forces you to pre-cook virtually everything.

We don’t want to say that is the worst thing in the world. As a host, it gives you the opportunity to kind of just pre-cook and then let the ingredients sit on the granite grill top to finish out their cooking process. Kind of while they do that you get a chance to prepare other things for the party. So we can totally find a practical use for this grill. If we were just going off of looks this is one of the grills that could compete to be right up there with the best of them.

As we have said before though our main concern here though is that we sort of feel like you should not even try to complete the cooking process here. Especially when it comes to meat and seafood. One of the things that we talked about that was important to us when grading these grills was the versatility that they exhibited.

To be completely honest with you here we sort of felt like this product could turn into a one trick pony pretty soon. We really have bad experiences with these types of products. Usually, because that is going to mean that you are only going to be able to use them on very special occasions. If you are going to be throwing a wine and cheese party every couple of weeks though this is a grill you may want to look at!

4. Artestia Electric Raclette Grill with Two Half Top Plates

The first Artestia grill on our list and it is actually very fitting that comes in right above the last Swissmar grill because what we like about this grill is what frustrated us from the other grill. The fact that you can have the half granite half normal grill spots just give you a heck of a whole lot more possibilities. You won’t have to worry about precooking all that much or making sure you get all of the food to just the right point.

One of the reasons though that we believe we just can’t put this grill a bit higher on the list is the fact that it is missing style points, to be honest. If you take a look at the grill part they could have gone in and used better materials overall. We don’t want to say outright that it is cheaply made. We don’t think that we can get to that point. On the contrary, we would actually say that if you put in the effort to take care of the grill and it could last for a long time. If we bring versatility back on the table without a doubt it is something that you are going to get with this grill.

We kind of flirt with the line of calling this product cheaply made, but we really want to go back to a point that we make in the review that we believe really sums up this product. Even if in the long run you are only going to be able to get two or three years out of this product at its best we feel that it is still a good bargain.

It is not an overly expensive grill that you are going to need to use for the next ten years for you to feel like you have gotten your money’s worth. This is another one of those grills that it would be a good idea to start out on!

3. Swissmar KF-77045 Classic 8 Person Raclette with Granite Stone Grill Top

We had a lot of trouble making this choice. We just got done praising a product for its versatility and knocking another for not being versatile right? What we are going to do now is put a grill with a granite stone grill top at number three although it is not as versatile as we would like it to be? Yes, that is exactly what we are going to do and we are going to tell you why. There are two main things that we believe really set this grill apart. One of those things is quality. We just got done saying that you would be happy if you got two or three good years out of the last grill.

This grill costs north of 120 dollars. So you better expect that it is going to last 7 or 8 years right? To be honest there is a higher risk involved in this case. Obviously, because you are paying a heck of a whole lot more money. Just by giving them a look and feel test though you can tell that this grill is made with better quality materials hands down.

Now, to talk about the second aspect we exalted about this grill. Power, if you are just going to have a granite grill top you are going to need it to heat up well and evenly. From our experience, this grill can definitely get both of those things done with ease. It may not eliminate pre-cooking completely.

This is actually a very important topic and it is good that we got to it. If you are someone who really likes their steak, chicken or seafood well cooked you may want to pre-cook regardless of the grill. The last thing that you want is guests feeling sick at your party. You will be able to tell though if the grill can get the food to that perfect point on your scale.

2. Swissmar KF-77041 Classic 8-Person Raclette with Reversible Cast Aluminum Non-Stick Grill Plate/Crepe Top

We like to call this grill the pancake grill because we actually tried it out with some pancakes, eggs, bacon, you name it we had an awesome breakfast when we tried this one out. To be honest, if we had to go back and rank them again we can’t be sure if this grill comes out at number two. It has everything to be able to fight for the top spot.

If we had to pick something that we maybe wanted more of from this grill it would be that it is missing style points as well! The thing is, this grill is meant to be used for a lot more than just raclette parties. Once you start making pancakes and eggs on Sunday we can bet that your kids or your partner are going to want to see the grill more often.

If we had to pick a main virtue as well it would be the non-stick grill top. That is basically what sets this grill apart. It is large enough for you to be able to cook plenty of different ingredients at any given time. The fact that it really does not stick let’s a chef’s imagination run wild with this grill! You have all sorts of things that you can do.

We already talked about the pancakes. Maybe a little too much by now to the point where we are getting pretty hungry. It is a good thing though that we want to mention what we had because we believe that really shows what our experience was like. Ultimately is not going to go number one because of a certain aspect that we are going to talk about in a bit. Yet, we may believe that it is the grill that can fit a lot more people’s needs!

1. Artestia Electric Raclette Grill with High-Density Granite Grill Stone

The reason that we chose this grill number one was actually the cumulative effect that this grill had on us. With this grill you are getting the power, you are getting the looks, and you are getting the price as well! At the normal retail price, this grill is almost 50 dollars cheaper than what the other Swissmar top grills cost.

There aren’t really many things that this grill can’t do that the others can. The thing that blew us away was its heating ability especially after experiencing a lot of the other grills that just were not able to provide as much power as we wanted. We have not had to pre-cook any of the ingredients that we have cooked with this grill. That saves time and that makes the whole cooking process a lot smoother.

We did have one main issue with this grill and it is definitely worth mentioning here. The size of the grill top itself may be a bit on the smaller side. We kind of let that slide a little bit since we pretty much loved everything else. If you are looking for a grill though for 8 person party then maybe look for a bigger grill or buy two of these!

At this price, it is almost the same thing! Overall it is a very versatile grill because you can use it throughout the whole cooking process if you want to keep the ingredients on the grill when you are done cooking you can turn the heat down. Just enough so that what you will be doing is keeping all of the ingredients warm. Guaranteeing a home run product is kind of hard, but we believe that this grill can really stand up to the test!

Artestia vs Swissmar

There is no denying the fact that we had a pretty tough time picking between some of the best raclette grills on the market. Artestia grills and Swissmar grills where battling for the top spots for a reason. A lot of people that have gone through and read some of our reviews and things like that may say that ultimately we went with a value pick. We can’t say that they are totally wrong if they think this. Swissmar is considerably more expensive than Artestia, so why would we say that Artestia products are better?

We want to clear something up right off the bat. We are not sponsored by any brand. The opinions that we give are solely based on our experience and our personal experiences with the products. Going back to Artestia being the better value pick we would actually take that as truth. As we said the price difference is quite steep. Based on the criteria that we set up we think that a lot of times the value pick just came out on top for one reason. At times the Artestia grills had more durability concerns. That was a fact at least based on the results of our research. That does not mean though that Swissmar products where always absolutely perfect.

As we said if the difference in overall working lifespan is just going to be a couple of years going with the less expensive option may not be a bad idea! As far as Swissmar goes we believe that without a doubt they make the best looking grills on the market. So if what you are looking for is an aesthetic product that is going to fit well with the overall look of your kitchen Swissmar could be the way to go! Which actually brings us to the final point!

Final Observations

Thank you for getting to the end we assure you that we are almost finished up here! All that we really want to say is something that we have repeated since the beginning. The right grill is the one that fits you best. We think it would be a great idea to go ahead and list the priorities that you have or what you are looking to get out of the grill. Put a price range on how much you are willing to spend on one of these grills, read a couple of our reviews if you haven’t already and happy hunting! Raclette grills are a great way to bring family and friends together for quality time. You should really think about buying a grill that you know will allow you to spend that quality time with your loved ones instead of fighting with the grill itself!

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