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Best raclette grills: +Tips on picking the perfect tabletop party grill

Looking for the best raclette grill for your needs? From key features and various models, here are my best recommendations, + tips on choosing a tabletop party grill.

By Annie André ⦿ updated January 10, 2024  
Best raclette grills: which one is best for your needs?
Best raclette grills: which one is best for your needs?

Choosing the best raclette grills of 2023

Individual raclette pan

As a self-proclaimed raclette expert living in France, I’ve hosted and attended countless raclette parties. 

So take it from me. When it comes to choosing the best raclette grill, also known as a party grill, you need to choose the one based on your needs, the size of your group, the amount of cheese you plan to melt, and the type of cooking or grilling you plan to do.

You also need to consider the options and models available, ranging from basic ones to more advanced and specialized designs.

Some familiar names in the industry include Boska, Swissmar and T-fal.

T-fal is a popular French cookware and small appliance manufacturer, but their raclette grills may be harder to find outside of Europe. 

All these different choices can make it challenging to choose the best raclette grill. 

Don’t worry. I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve owned and tested dozens of different grills over the years, so I can guide you in making the right choice for finding the best raclette grill. 

Before we dive into the list, let’s quickly go over what they can and cannot do and what features you should consider. 

You might be interested in 100 gifts for cheese lovers by personality and budget

What is a Raclette Grill?

raclette table top girill is a great gift to give your Francophile friend

A raclette grill is a versatile cooking device that’s great for melting cheese, but you can also grill other foods depending on the type of raclette grill you have. 

It’s named after raclette cheese, an Alpine cheese traditionally used with the raclette machine. However, you can use other hard and semihard cheeses too.

Electric raclette grills: For home use

grilling eggs, mushrooms vegetables on an electric French raclette machine..

Let’s talk about the versatility of raclette grills.

While it’s no secret that these tabletop grilling appliances are perfect for melting cheese, they can also be used to cook a variety of other foods. 

Imagine preparing a spread of bite-sized meats, veggies, potatoes, and seafood for your guests to grill themselves while enjoying the raclette experience.

But the fun doesn’t stop there.

With the individual raclette pans, you can also melt chocolate. Some grills even have reversible griddles that you can use to make omelettes, pancakes, grill meats, and veggies.

So don’t be afraid to get creative with your recipes and explore all the different dishes you can make!

What’s the difference: Raclette grill vs regular tabletop grill or hotplate?

a bunch of raclette pans loaded up with cheese and various food

A regular tabletop grill typically has a single, flat cooking surface, like a griddle on which food is grilled, while a hotplate is used to keep food warm or simmer liquids, but they don’t usually have a grilling surface.

So, while all of these appliances are used for tabletop cooking, the main difference between a raclette grill and other tabletop appliances is that raclette grills have individual grill pans and spatulas.

The mini skillet pans are placed under the griddle for cooking individual portions of food and melting cheese, making them great for social and interactive dining experiences.

Where are raclette grills popular?Raclette is popular in many countries, especially Alpine countries, France, Germany, Switzerland Austria to name a few

Raclette grills are popular in countries where eating raclette cheese is popular, especially in the Alpine areas of France, Switzerland, Germany, and even Austria. It’s also a popular meal to eat after a day of skiing in the Alps, at Christmas market.

Some people even serve it for casual French Christmas meals. 

Luckily, raclette is gaining popularity in other countries outside Europe, where they may be called by different names in English.

I’ve seen them described as:

  • Party grills
  • Tabletop cheese melters.
  • Raclette machines
  • I’ve even seen some describe them as a type of Korean BBQ grill. 

I think they’re described this way in areas where raclette cheese and the term raclette grill are not common or not known. 

What you should not use a raclette grill for. 

Slices of extra rare steak: blue rare steak on a wooden chopping board.

While a raclette grill is a versatile tabletop cooking appliance that can do various types of cooking and grilling, there are some things it can’t or shouldn’t be used for. 

For example, a raclette grilling appliance should not be used for grilling super thick pieces of meat unless you have a model with a heating element that can reach higher temperatures or if you like eating super rare steak (blue rare steak), or rare steak (saignant). Something that is very popular in France. 

Since most have a heating element underneath the griddle, you might think it can be used like a hotplate to simmer liquids or make fondue. Unfortunately, most raclette machines don’t get hot enough to do this unless you buy a particular raclette machine with this built-in feature or one that can reach hot temperatures.

Features to Consider for raclette grilling:

When it comes to choosing the best tabletop raclette machine, there are several features you should consider.

By considering all of these features, you’ll be able to choose the best raclette grill that meets your needs and ensures that your raclette party is a success.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the features.

Size: How many people can you serve?

French raclette grill placed at the center of a table surrounded by bite sized meat and vegetable for grilling.

Size does matter since it determines the number of people you can serve at once.

Most raclette grills come with four to eight mini pans. 

8 raclette pans mean that the raclette grill can accommodate up to eight people grilling cheese at once.

You can also buy a 2-person raclette grill which is popular among students or for intimate occasions. 

Accessories: The essentials for an excellent raclette experience

These are the accessories that are usually included when you purchase a raclette grill. 

  • Mini grilling pan: Individual mini grilling pans. Each person should have their own.
  • Raclette Scrapers or paddles: Used for scraping the melted cheese off the mini pan and onto your plate (usually made of wood.)
  • Additional or bonus accessories: Some multifunctional models, like the ones that can also make cheese fondue, will come with additional accessories.
Non-Stick Coated Mini Cast Iron chees grilling pan
$19.99

Constructed with easy-to-wash, sturdy non-stick cast iron. Dishwasher safe. Handles are different colours, so everyone knows which one belongs to whom.

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02/19/2024 04:56 am GMT
8 mini bamboo raclette trays for Grill Pans

Ideal for placing your grill pan next to your plate so you don't burn the table or muck up the tablecloth.

Size: 14 x 9.7 cm/ 5.51 x 3.81 inches
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Cooking Surface: Non-Stick, removable, Reversible Griddle = Easy to clean

A non stick removable raclette grilling plate is easy to clean.

The cooking surface of the top griddle plate is another important consideration.

A non-stick surface is ideal for easy cleaning and prevents the cheese from sticking to the grill.

Some models have a removable non-stick griddle and or a removable stone griddle for cooking various meats and veggies. These in particular, are easy to clean and are usually dishwasher safe. 

The reversible griddle usually has one side that is ribbed, perfect for making grill marks. The reverse side of the griddle may be flat or have indentations for making crepes

removable and reversible raclette grill plate options

Temperature Control: Adjust for perfect grilling

Raclette grill with adjustable temperature knob

Temperature control is crucial for raclette grilling, so if you plan on melting cheese and grilling other things such as meat, veggies, seafood, or even chocolate, choose a grill with adjustable temperature controls.

Luckily, most electric grills do come with this feature, but not the basic models. 

Power source: 

Tea light powered raclette grill for 2 people

When it comes to heating your raclette grill, you have a few options to choose from, including electricity, propane, candles, fire on a BBQ grill, and stovetop heating.

It’s important to consider which power source will work best for you.

Specialty Features & advanced options.

Some models may have additional features such as built-in fans, drip trays, or interchangeable griddles, while others are more basic in their design.

Best Raclette Grill based on features and needs

Now onto the list.

Best multifunction raclette grill

While a budget raclette grill may have the basic features needed for a good raclette experience, the best ones are multifunctional and are the most versatile because they’re designed for more than just cheese, such as grilling meat, vegetables and seafood.

Some have a flat surface to cook fondue, while others, you can cook omelettes or crepes. They sometimes have an interchangeable or reversible griddle and adjustable heat controls.

Electric combo raclette, fondue & BBQ grill in one.
$109.99

8 mini pans, a 600ML stainless steel fondue pot for cheese fondue. 2 temperature controls for raclette heating element and fondue. 1500w power.

Shop Now
02/18/2024 08:52 pm GMT
Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Raclette Grill
$64.99

8 heat-resistant mini pans (Serves up to 8 people). Large removable 200 square inch nonstick grill top that's dishwasher save. Variable heat control, 

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02/18/2024 11:01 pm GMT
Combo raclette grill, reversible griddle for pancakes & egges

8 Trays and Wooden Spatulas serves 8 people. Adjustable Temperature Dishwasher Safe. No need for two separate kitchen appliances anymore. Comes with a 2 in 1 reversible non-stick griddle. The reverse side has a groove for cooking pancakes or omelettes.

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3 in 1 Korean BBQ / Raclette Grill
$99.01 $78.63

A reversible non-stick griddle with a grooved surface / flat surface is suitable for making crepes, pancakes, and eggs for breakfast. temperature control, 4 individual heat-resistant raclette pans, bottom area can grill skewers or place the raclette pans for heating cheese

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02/19/2024 12:01 am GMT
Electric Cheese Raclette grill with two griddles, stone & aluminium
$49.95

This raclette machine is the ultimate cheese melter. It features 8 cheese raclette pans to melt your favourite cheese in minutes. Dishwasher safe Non-stick Grilling Plate and Cooking Stone.

Shop Now See More Choices
02/19/2024 12:11 am GMT
3-in-1 Reversible electric Grill, Griddle & Raclette
$127.49

Serves up to 8 People for Parties & Family Fun. Double-Sided Surface: Switch up your menu with grill and griddle on one side and pancakes on the other. 8 Mini Square Nonstick Pans. Adjustable temperature control.

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02/19/2024 01:06 am GMT

Best raclette grill for a Crowd:

For larger gatherings of 10 people or more, go for a model with multiple heating elements, more individual raclette pans, an adjustable temperature control system and ample space on board. These models allow you to melt more cheese at once and offer a broader range of cooking options, making them great for parties and other social events. You can also purchase additional cheese pans and have people take turns using the raclette grill. 

Triple decker raclette grill with griddle up to 16 people

Two levels to melt cheese for a total of 16 spots. It only comes with 8 Cheese Melter Pans, 8 Spatulas, so you'll have to buy extra cheese pans if you need more. The 3rd tier has a Removable dishwasher safe non- stick grill plate.

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10 person Raclette Table Grill,1500W
$137.99

Comes with a removable grill Stone and a removable non-Stick Aluminum griddle plate for Parties and large families. 10 mini cheese pans and variable temperature control.

Pros:
  • Serves a crowd of 10 people at once.
  • Variable heat control
  • Powerful 1500 Watts
Shop Now
02/18/2024 05:26 am GMT

Best space-saving raclette grill:

If you don’t have much counter space or table space to spare, a space-saving raclette grill is an ideal choice. It’s small enough to fit on any countertop yet powerful enough to cook up 6 to 8 servings of raclette cheese at once. 

2 in 1 Non-stick raclette Grill plate for 8 people

This good-looking raclette grill is great for coking Korean BBQ or a traditional French raclette meal. Has adjustable temperature control, 8 Paddles & 8 Spatulas, and a wooden base.

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Creative-looking raclette grill:

Looking for a Raclette Grill that stands out? Well, you’re in luck because some manufacturers have gone above and beyond to create unconventional or whimsical designs that are sure to catch your eye. These creative-looking grills will not only serve you delicious melted cheese but also serve as a centrepiece for any casual or formal occasion. Your guests will surely appreciate the unique and fun touch!

8 Person Swivel Raclette Grill

Swissmar brand: Aluminum and Stone Grill Top for grilling meat and veggies.  Unfold this unique raclette up to 180 degrees to form one long raclette or keep it folded in its square form. Serves up to 8 people.

Cons:
  • No temperature control
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8 Person Raclette (Faux Wood Base with Granite Top)
$144.95

8 person raclette grill with 8 mini pans and scrapers. Granite stone grill top, the faux wood base for a stylistic touch. By Swissmar.

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02/19/2024 02:21 am GMT

Chapeau Tartare “Tartare’s hat” 

A tartare hat grill, also known as a volcano grill, hat grill or sombrero grill, is a multifunctional 3 in 1 cone-shaped electric cooking device shaped like a traditional tartare hat.

The cone or the hat part of the grill usually has 20 or so small hooks to attach and grill individual pieces of meat, fish, and vegetables.

The bottom of the hat or the brim acts like a container to catch the cooking juices as they drip down, which turns into a delicious bouillon. You can also place vegetables in the brim to cook with the juices. The lower part of the device is for placing individual pans for melting cheese.

Electric tartare hat raclette grill combo
$152.62

6 person - 6 Cheese Melting Spatula Pans - Non Stick, FREE Recipe Book

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02/19/2024 12:31 am GMT

Portable Raclette Grills: For RVs, small spaces, and outdoors

Portable raclette grills are designed to be lightweight, compact, and easy to transport, making them perfect for on-the-go cooking, outdoor activities, small spaces and RVs. You’ll want to consider portability, power source, and cooking space. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Portable electric raclette grills: These are compact and easy to carry and work by plugging them into an electric outlet. They typically have a non-stick surface and adjustable temperature control.
Mini electric raclette "Partyclette" Grilling To Go Set
$54.99

2 enamel pans, 2 spatulas, and a removable grill plate serves 2

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02/18/2024 11:21 pm GMT
  • Propane raclette grills: These are designed to be used outdoors and are powered by propane tanks. They are lightweight and compact, making them perfect for camping, tailgating, or picnics.
  • Cast iron skillet for stovetops or ovens: The simplest and most portable way to melt raclette cheese is a mini cast iron skillet which you can place on any stove or portable burner.  You can use any pan for this, but I recommend mini cast iron pans, which you can place in the oven too. 

raclette cooked in a mini cast iron pan on stove or in oven instead of using an electric raclette grill

Mini Cast Iron Skillets set of 4
$29.99

4-Pack of Pre-Seasoned Miniature cast iron skillet pans. Perfect to melt cheese in on the BBQ grill, on the stove. Also great for cooking eggs, mini cakes and individual-sized desserts.

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02/19/2024 02:01 am GMT
  • Raclette grills powered by tea lights: are the most portable and work by placing a candle underneath the griddle. They are lightweight, compact, and perfect for small spaces or use during power outages. But also for camping, picnics or if you just want a small intimate meal. 
Candle powered Raclette grill by Boska
$27.49

Enjoy melted cheese anytime, anywhere with this portable single-pan raclette set - no electricity needed, just 3 tea light candles. The base pan is removable and can be placed on a bb grill or on the stove. 

Shop Now
02/19/2024 12:16 am GMT
Swissmar Alpine Portable Candlelight Raclette, Stainless Steel

2 non-stick pans to melt your favourite cheeses. No electricity. Powered by 4 tea light candles, making it completely portable

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Overall, the portability is determined by its size, weight, and power source, and it’s important to choose one that best meets your needs based on the type of cooking or grilling you plan to do and the size of the group you’ll be serving.

Wrapping up how to find the best raclette grill 

Whether you prefer a no-frills basic model or a fancy multifunctional raclette grill, take your time and look into various options to find the one that best fits your budget, size, and needs before making your final decision.

And don’t forget to pair your raclette meal with some good quality baguette bread and a nice bottle of wine or beer. 

You might be interested in reading 77 French Apéritif drinks explained: A mini guide to predinner drinks🥂

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a 'petite commission' at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my links. It helps me buy more wine and cheese. Please read my disclosure for more info.

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Annie André

Annie André

About the author

I'm Annie André, a bilingual North American with Thai and French Canadian roots. I've lived in France since 2011. When I'm not eating cheese, drinking wine or hanging out with my husband and children, I write articles on my personal blog annieandre.com for intellectually curious people interested in all things France: Life in France, travel to France, French culture, French language, travel and more.

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