In gastronomy, the term raclette refers to a variety of Swiss cheese, the recipe that is prepared with it, and the utensil used to prepare it. Although it has its own Swiss designation of origin, raclette cheese is also made from raw cow’s milk in various regions of France.
In this article we will focus on the utensil used to make raclette, the ancient recipe that Swiss shepherds prepared as early as the 12th century. Nowadays, the dish can be prepared very easily with raclette or electric raclette, devices similar to the most popular fondues. Would you like to know more? Keep reading!
The multifunction raclette – equipped with steel or stone grill plates – are the most versatile and are among the best-selling. However, there are traditional models in which even half of the cheese can be melted.
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Enjoying a raclette in the company of family and friends is, perhaps, the greatest of its advantages. Furthermore, the variety of food that we can prepare in a raclette will be limited only by our imagination.
To choose a good raclette, you must first take into account the number of guests you usually have at home. You also have to decide whether to opt for a multifunctional model or a more traditional one. We will talk about these and other purchase criteria in the final purchase section.
There is a wide variety of raclettes. Some models are inspired by the ancient tools used by Swiss shepherds. Others, more modern, combine a cheese grill and a plate for roasting meat, vegetables and fish in a single device. For our selection we have chosen some of the most popular raclettes by online shoppers.
- The best multifunction raclette
- The best traditional raclette for fondue
- The best multifunctional raclette for 4 people
- The most affordable multi-function raclette for 8 people
The best multifunction raclette
The Princess Raclette Pure 8 is the best-selling and best-reviewed 8-person option by buyers who find it versatile, solid and also very beautiful to look at. It has an area of 41.8 × 23 cm and has 3 hobs, making it one of the most spacious multifunction raclettes on the market, while maintaining the typically small size of products of this type.
It is complete with two double-sided pans (striped and smooth) that divide the upper level, 8 10 × 10 cm pans, and 8 wooden spatulas. It has an adjustable power up to 1200 W and is mainly made of die-cast aluminum, with bamboo finishes.
The best traditional raclette for fondue
The Klarstein Appenzell 2G is the traditional raclette that enjoys the best reviews for its category, and is appreciated for the quality of the materials as well as the efficiency in making fondue. It has an adjustable power of 600W, which allows you to quickly melt the cheese and then keep it in this state for the rest of the time.
The power cable can also be removed completely, so you can use it at the table without clutter. It is suitable for 2-4 people.
The best multifunctional raclette for 4 people
The Stone Grill Party produced by Princess is a compact and functional raclette for 4 people, characterized by an excellent quality-price ratio. It is made up of an upper 21 × 21 cm granite stone plate, while the lower level houses 4 pans. It has an adjustable power up to 600 W and 4 spatulas are included.
The power cord is a bit short, but buyers reward it for its low cost, cooking efficiency, ease of cleaning, and of course its small size.
The most affordable multi-function raclette for 8 people
The Multi Raclette Fiesta proposed by Russell Hobbs is among the most affordable options in its class, and is a multifunctional for 8 people suitable for savory and sweet dishes. The base houses 8 pots, while on the upper level it is possible to place one of three different cooking plates: one is in stone, one with a grid and smooth section for single crepe, and one for mini-crepe.
For users it is a versatile and complete product, praised for its low cost.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about raclette
From virtually unknown utensils, raclette have become one of the most popular appliances for gourmets. Whether you prefer a more traditional and simple one or if you opt for one with a built-in grill, there will always be a raclette to suit your culinary needs. But if you still have doubts about it, this section is for you!
What is a raclette?
The traditional raclette is nothing more than an electric resistance and a tilting base on which to place the half cheese so that it melts. It is the simplest model. We can also find raclette with steel or stone grilling plates, under which small pans are placed in which to grill the cheese. Some even incorporate a fondue.In reality, modern raclettes are very similar to barbecue grills. The difference from these is that they are much more versatile as they allow, in addition to grilling vegetables and meats, to melt the cheese in small pans. On the market you can find raclette from two to eight mini pans, depending on their size.
What is the difference between a raclette and a fondue set?
The word fondue comes from the French and means “melted”. Like raclette, fondue is a typical Swiss way of preparing melted cheese. However, and despite the common element being the melted cheese, the fondue set has notable differences to the raclette. We already know what a raclette is, let’s see what a fondue is like below.
It is also called the caquelon. This is heated with an electric, gas, candle or alcohol stove. Once the cheese or chocolate has melted, each diner dips bread or pieces of food using special fondue forks or skewers.
Another difference from raclette is that a mixture of cheeses is usually used in the preparation of the fondue. The most common are Gruyère, Comté and Emmental, although the mix can vary. Furthermore, to prepare a good fondue, dry white wine, garlic and black pepper, among other ingredients, cannot be missing.
Why buy a raclette?
Cooking in a raclette is one of the most fun ways to eat in a group. However, this is not the only advantage that raclettes offer to lovers of good food. These are some of its advantages:
- Ease of use . Raclettes are very easy to use. Most models only require you to plug them in and set the temperature with the thermostat, nothing else.
- Discover new dishes . Raclettes, especially multifunction models, are very versatile devices that allow you to prepare a wide variety of dishes. With a raclette at home, it will be hard not to guess the menu, no matter how fussy your guests are.
- All-in-one household appliance . Most raclettes allow you to cook multiple foods at the same time. While grilling meat and vegetables, you can grill cheese on baking sheets and even make a fondue.
- Easy cleaning . Raclettes are very easy to clean, as almost all of their parts can be taken apart. Furthermore, being made with non-stick materials, almost no food residues remain.
- Capacity for several diners . Although there are small models, most raclettes are designed for six or eight people. They have more space to prepare food than, for example, a pan.
- You can use them anywhere . One of the biggest advantages of electric raclettes is that they don’t produce smoke, so you can use them indoors as well.
- It is a fun way to cook . Enjoying a raclette with friends and family is one of the best dining experiences you can have. The reason is that each guest can prepare different foods to their liking.
How do you prepare a traditional raclette?
Although the variety of dishes that can be made in an electric raclette is vast, there is only one way to prepare the traditional Swiss recipe. First, you need to cook the potatoes in a saucepan. Once boiled, drain them well and put them in a bowl. Once this is done, cut the raclette cheese into slices about an inch thick.
Once the cheese slices and potatoes are on the table, turn on the raclette.
Meanwhile the potatoes are peeled and cut into thick slices. When the cheese has melted, it must be poured over the potatoes with the help of a spatula.
This is how the traditional Swiss recipe is prepared, although today it is common to combine it with other foods. Potatoes and cheese au gratin can be served with cold cuts, pickles, roasted meats and vegetables. There are no limits to the recipes you can prepare with an electric grill raclette.
Which cheeses are the most suitable for the preparation of a good raclette?
It is recommended that you use Swiss or French raclette cheese, although you may not find it if you live in a small town. So which one to use to make a good raclette? Here is a list of cheeses you can substitute for raclette. Keep in mind that none of them will offer you the flavor and creaminess of the original.
- Camembert . Very creamy French cheese (45% fat), light yellow in color and with a slightly moldy rind.
- Cheddar . English cheese whose most notable feature is its orange color. It melts very well, so it is commonly used to accompany burgers and sandwiches.
- Gruyere. Swiss like raclette, this cheese is made from whole cow’s milk. It has a slight spicy flavor.
- Mozzarella . It melts very well and is very tasty. especially with some dishes.
- Manchego. Spanish cheese made from sheep’s milk and with a fat content of 50%. It has a strong and savory flavor, slightly spicy in the seasoned versions.
In general, any cheese with a good percentage of fat – at least 45% – will melt in the raclette. Some cheeses are very creamy, which makes them difficult to slice. To simplify the task we can put them in the freezer for half an hour, so that they can be cut into slices much easier.
The best raclette on the market our selection