“ Raclette „
I bought this Tefal raclette grill about three years to replace my old one which I had owned for about twenty years and really needed replacing as it had had so much use. I was first introduced to raclette by a very good friend of mine who comes from Strasbourg and I must admit I had never heard of them until then. The very first time I saw it I hadn't got a clue what it was or how it worked but my French friend explained and showed us what to do with it. The raclette isn't really suitable for a quick snack or meal as it does take some time which is why it is probably so popular in France as they generally take their time a bit more and pace themselves when eating rather than eating quick and convenient food.
--- About the grill ---
The grill is made by Tefal and if I remember I paid around £30 from Amazon. You can still get this from Amazon and other online suppliers for around £45, but if you go to France you can pick other makes up for around £20 as they are used far more over there. It came in a big box which contains the round raclette grill, six trowel shaped grilling pans, six wooden spatulas and instructions to use. The cord is about four and a half foot in length which isn't very long and I often have to use an extension according to where my table is at the time. There isn't an on off switch and the grill starts to get hot as soon as you plug it in.
It is around a foot wide and about eight inches tall and the base has small legs which lift it up from the surface where you are using it. In the middle part there are six shaped sections where you place your individual grill pans and the top section is the grill with a hotplate on the top which you can use to cook peppers, mushrooms, chicken and really anything that you need to cook on there. It is Teflon coated however I usually brush a thin coat of oil onto the hotplate before using it just to make sure that things don't stick. This top part is removable for washing afterward and the small grill pans have plastic handles so even though the actual pans are very hot the handles remain cool enough for you to handle.
--- My use of the grill ---
The most time consuming part is preparing the food beforehand and this mainly consists of slicing and chopping the meat, cheese and vegetables ready for your guests. It is recommended that you use proper Raclette cheese which smells absolutely awful but is delicious when melted. At one time I could only get it from France so when my friend would pick me a few packs up when she went to visit family and I would separate it and freeze it, but you can now it from Waitrose and it is £3.49 for200g. After I have sliced the cheese and laid it onto plates I will cover it up straight away to stop the smell from wafting through the house as I don't want this to be the first thing that greets my guests. Also you need to wash your hands really when after you have handled the cheese but please don't let this put you off, as the smell seems to disappear when it is cooked and it really does taste lovely.
You have to stop yourself putting too much into your grill pan as it just won't cook but it is tempting especially when you first start eating to pile it on but you do slow down a bit after the first one and you get a sort of rhythm going with the next pan cooking whilst you are finishing the one you are eating. On the table I will usually put onions, mushrooms, peppers, hot cooked potatoes, cold meats, coleslaw, potato salad, rice salad, chicken and the raclette cheese. I will put onions and lardons into my grill pan and then two slices of the Raclette cheese and the pop it under the grill. It takes about five to ten minutes until the cheese is bubbling nicely and in this time I will fill my plate with the cooked meats, salads and a hot potato which I will cut in half. If you want any chicken or other meats, or pepper or mushrooms cooking on the hotplate this is the time you need to put them on. When my grill is cooked I will tip it onto the cut potato and it melts down onto it. If you find that the food is stuck onto the grill you use the small wooden spatula to help to scrape it off.
When I have finished I will usually wash the grill pans and spatulas in a bowl of hot soapy water and wipe the hotplate with a hot cloth and it usually cleans quickly. Occasionally there are bits of food which have splashed down the side but these can also be wiped off easily.
--- My opinion ---
I absolutely love this raclette and have introduced it to my family and other friends. It is something a bit different and as a hostess it does make for an easy dinner party as the guests really cook their own food, all you have to do is to buy the food, chop it up and cook some potatoes. This six serving raclette is okay for six people on a round table but if you have an oblong table the people at the ends might find it a bit difficult to reach. The one I had previously was for eight people but when I did have eight people round, I borrowed my friends raclette as well as you do need to be able to reach it easily from where you are sitting, as I find you do have to pull the grill out to check if it is done several times.
I think this is a fun way of eating and socialising and I highly recommend it. I would say that we probably use it once every two months and myself and my husband will sometimes use it just for the two of us as we love the cheese and all the other accompaniments that go with it. It is a lovely way for friends to spend time together and I find that we are sometimes at the table for hours and hours just cooking and chatting and having a great time.
I cannot say exactly how much my raclette cost me as my other half bought it for me as an anniversay present about two years ago. I am a big fan of Come Dine with Me and this is where I first saw one of these and I went on and on about it so much she decided to buy one for me as a gift. I think they retail for about £100.
This one is by Tefal and is Teflon coated so is non stick and so very easy to keep clean - it is a doddle. It comes in two parts - there is an electric grill under which I place things such as assorted vegetable and potatoes etc and I cover them in grated cheese which melts all over and leaves a lovely golden crisp finish. On the top there is the hot plate which is approximately thirty centimeters in diameter and on here I cook small amounts of fish and meat such as sliced beef or lamb or chicken etc and then we eat it all together.
It is actually designed for use by six people but we find that four to five is the absolute maximum - otherwise people get small portions.
We have used it on many ocacsions when we have had friends round to ours and it is always me who cooks on it - it reminds me of an indoor barbeque. It is electrical though and cannot be used outside but the flex is long and does not require an adaptor. There is no on / off switch to this, which I was quite surprised at - you simply plug it into the wall and it will begin to heat up. Take the plug out and it cools down.
It is great for intimate dinner parties and a good topic of conversation.
I love our raclette and would really recommend it.
This review is also published on Ciao under name of sorehead.
I first came across the Raclette in France last year and have been singing its praises ever since. I don't really understand why it hasn't caught on in the UK but I hope that my review may tempt some of you to go out and have a look at one. The cost is around £45 although they do sometimes come on sale for a lot less in places like Lidl.
The box is pretty large but it needs to be to contain the Raclette. There are 3 layers to the product and each is roughly 30cm wide. When put together and placed on the table it will stand at around 25cm high
- The base unit has an element in it that takes around 4 minutes to heat up. The legs on the base mean you can place it directly on the table without a risk of damaging the table.
- The middle layer has 6 sections that are shaped so as to you allow you to place your trowel like frying pans into them.
- The top layer is a hot plate that is covered in Teflon and is used to cook the meats. There is a small (2 or 3mm) ledge at the edge of the hot plate to stop the fat running off the meat and dropping down onto your table.
As I mentioned you also have 6 trowel shaped frying pans onto which you put your cheese. You then slide these into the shaped sections on the middle layer of the Raclette and wait for the cheese to heat up and melt. The handles are plastic covered so as to allow you to pick them up without hurting your hand and the main sections are teflon covered
Once the Raclette has warmed up you place your cheese onto the frying pans and slide them in the middle section of the Raclette. It is recommended that you use a Raclette cheese as this apparently has the advantage that the fat does not separate when the cheese is heated; however it is fairly difficult to find it in the main supermarkets and I have never had a problem with other cheeses anyway. Once the cheese has melted you can then pour this over the rest of your food - we tend to put it on top of some baked potatoes.
You also put various meats on the hot plate to cook. You will need to purchase some non metallic tongs to turn this over without scratching the teflon.You will need to slice the meat fairly thinly otherwise you will find the cheese will be ready well before the meats are cooked. Take care not to accidentally touch the sides when you reach over as it is obviously very very hot.
When you are finished you will find it is very easy to clean. You just need to clean the frying pans and the hot plate and maybe wipe down the base if any food has dropped onto it. All of these are teflon covered and therefore non stick.
Any problems with it?
If I was nitpicking I would say the cable is a touch short. It must be around 1m50 long which is not much good when you place the Raclette in the centre of a reasonably sized dining table. An extension cable soon sorts that problem.
The lip on the hot plate is a little too shallow to be practical and if you fill the hot plate with meats the fat can come over the sides. We just use a kitchen towel to soak up some of the fat before this happens
These are so great at dinner parties. There is minimal preparation for the host (slice up some raw meats, cook some potatos and cut up some cheese) and the guests really enjoy choosing their cheeses and meats, trying out different combinations and making recommendations to others. As there are 6 frying pans you can have up to 6 people using it at the same time: we did get away with 7 people but have found that 4 is ideal - that way there are plenty of cheeses on the go at the same time for people to choose from. The Raclette has been a real talking point every time we have got it out and I cannot recommend it highly enough
Possibly my favourite invention ever: the raclette. I've known about them my entire life as my french grandmother often brings it out when we visit her, and recently my parents bought their own raclette to take back to England (we've never found one in any kitchen shop, or even in department stores).
Raclettes are an unbelievably fun way to eat as each person has a small pan in which they can place most things (I usually put a slice of meat at the bottom, potatoes and vegetables in the middle an cheese on the top), which then goes under a small but effective grill. On the top you are free to cook vegetables, other meat and extras. With our raclette set we bought some little wooden spatulas that are useful in prising the food from the little pan, although food does not tend to burn onto the surface of the pan anyway.
For a small dinner party, the raclette is perfect. It's barely dangerous at all, unless you are daft enough to touch the hot areas. Once you have finished using it you turn it off at a switch and leave it to cool down until you can clean it up a bit. The raclette also comes in several sizes, as my family own a raclette for 8 people. Unfortunately the powercord is rather short, about a metre-and-a-half and my family often find outselves using an extension lead. An 8-person Tefal raclette would set you back just under £60 (according to Amazon.co.uk), although if you visit Europe, you may be able to find a cheaper version, as the Amazon 8-person raclette is sent from Germany. Amazon also produce many lesser-known brands of raclettes, but personally I'd be more inclined to trust Tefal's product.
Cleaning-wise, it is not difficult to clean a raclette - just wait until it has cooled down, get a cloth with a liiiittle bit of washing up liquid on it, and wipe away any grease or burnt cheese blobs. Similarly, a raclette isn't particularly heavy, considering what it is and what it does. Obviously it isn't feather-light but, as a rather weak female, I can lift it without feeling unter too much strain.
Overall the raclette is a wonderful appliance, and it is certainly a shame that the raclette is so little known or used in England as it's extremely fun to use!
I was first introduced to raclette grills by my grandparents about 10 years ago. They brought one back from France and it was a great, fun gadget for dinner parties. I got one of these Tefal raclette grills as a wedding present 3 years ago.
This raclette essentially has two parts:
1) the lower part is essentially an electric grill under which you can put up to 6 triangular shaped dishes. In these dishes you would typically put vegetables, potatoes, etc (anything you fancy really) and top it with cheese which will melt as it grills - be careful not to fill it up too full as there is not alot of space between the top of the dish and the grill element, fill it too full and you burn the cheese!
2) the top part is essentially a hot plate on which you can grill pieces of meat or seafood.
I think this is a great little gadget for a dinner party, its different and interesting and gets people talking. Its great with friends as it can make a nice extended meal as you cook your own food over time. In my opinion this works best with small pieces of meat or fish, trying to cook larger pieces will 1) take a long time 2) not leave very much space on top!
The raclette isn't that big, its meant to be for 6 people but realistically you wouldnt want to have more than 4 people using it. Any more than 4 means there is little space to cook meat or fish on the top of the grill. Its about 30ish cm in diameter to give you a feel for the size. It is also electric so you will need a power socket nearby or an extension lead.
Its easy to use, literally just plug it in and the heating element heats up. There is no switch so you need to unplug it or turn off at the socket. Its also easy to clean, as this is from Tefal its all teflon coated which makes cleaning it easy. The top grill comes off to wash, not sure if this or the individual triangular trays are dishwasher safe as i've always washed them by hand just in case.
Conclusion: The raclette makes a great dinner party, its a talking point and you can make dinner relaxing and take your time over it. This particular raclette is ideal for 4 people, you would be pushing it to use it for 6 people. It is easy to use and clean so gets a thumbs up!
We own one of these and we do use it on occasion, but it's a bit of a faff getting it out for just two people but it is great fun, and really easy.
I had never heard of this until we had it at a friends house, but after we had tried it, we went out and purchased our own, and it's a great item to keep in the cupboard.
The Raclette is used to heat cheese underneath and meat or seafood or vegetables on the top. It consists of a bottom part, which is a hot plate with triangle dips in. It comes with 6 little trays that fit in these dips, which you can use to heat up bits of cheese, they are non-stick so very easy to clean afterwards.
The top part that fits on is also a hot plate, but it is almost griddle like. You can use this for your accompaniments, we often marinade some prawns, and also cut up loads of veg like peppers, onions and tomatoes. What we do is put lots of options in bowls in the middle of the table, and people just help themselves to what they want and start cooking it on the top plate, while their cheese is melting underneath, it's a bit like a barbecue but everyone is in charge of their own little section, and gets exactly whatever food they want. The top does get messy if you have used marinades and sauces, but that again is non-stick and cleans very easily.
I would say the whole raclette is about a foot wide, so its not huge, and it has a plug that emerges from the bottom of the under section, so you have to be quite near a socket, or use an extension. It's not heavy at all which I expected it to be, but it's very easy to move around and carry to different locations. It does create a bit of smoke, if you cook certain things, prawns and seafood seem to generate a lot of smoke, so I would recommend opening a few windows first.
I find it best to serve this with a couple of small jacket potatoes. As there is not much room on the top you can't fit a huge amount on there at any one time.
This is a great fun thing to have out if you have people coming round, as most people have never seen one, even though I think they have been around for ages. You can get them from around £50.00 depending on what make you get, I would definitely recommend the tefal one though, just as it is so easy to clean. The best thing is that it's so easy, just cut up loads of veg and marinade some meats or fish food the day before and people just help themselves to whatever they want.
A great product to keep in the cupboard.
The first time I saw a Raclette was in France at a family party, I was extremely intrigued as to what this machine was used for and was extremely delighted when I found out. The raclette is used as a cooker for all of the people seated around the table. The top is used to cook meat, fish and in my case vegetarian steak! It can be carefully cleaned with kitchen roll whilst in use to make it easier for vegetarians and meat eaters to cook together or you could have seperate ones. Underneath are six grills that you use to melt cheese in. The type of cheese usually used is raclette cheese but I have found this hard to find in England so use Jarlsberg. You eat it with boiled potatoes, french bread and salad.
My nan brought me the Tefal Raclette 78214 last christmas and I have only just got round to using it!
The general shape of the raclette is good, it fits nicely in the centre of my table (but my table is very small) so would be hard to reach by all of the people eating if it was on a larger table. Also it suggests that it can be used for six people, this is impossible as the top grilling plate is very small, I had one piece of salmon and a piece of steak on the top and it was nearly full. As the main aim of the raclette is to allow people to cook their own food and enjoy eating together this is not ideal because of the size of the thing. For two of us it was fine though. The actual grilling plate is very efficient and cooked both the fish and the meat to perfection. The grilling trays also worked well and the cheese melted very quickly. The plug is a very stupid size. As i'm sure not many people have a plug socket next to their dining room table extension cords are needed.
Raclettes are great and everyone should try them but this one could have been better.
I first used a Raclette in 1995 whilst at a friends house for tea and I was hooked, Christmas 2006 imagine my surprise when I opened a large box from my other half and there was a Tefal Raclette, I was the happiest person on the planet!
For those of you who have not experienced the delight of the Raclette its basically a cooking experience like no other, its a great device to use at a dinner party as it gets everyone chatting and helping each other.
You have the base unit which houses the heating elements and on top of that you have the grill plate, you get 6 small frying pans to use meaning you can have up to 6 people at your dinner party, i've never had more than four as it can get pretty crowded round the table. Once you have plugged the unit in it takes a few mins to heat up then you are ready to go.
The housing is heat resistant plastic, and the grilling plate and trays are all removable for easy cleaning
At the time of writing this you can purchase a Raclette Grill for £45 from Amazon.
I understand that the traditional method of Raclette is to grill meats and vegetables on the top then melt Raclette cheese in the grill pans and eat together, I've never done this so I'm going to review the Raclette Grill the way I use it!
In my household we are huge fans of Asian Cuisine and we use our Raclette a bit like a Teppanyaki Grill I usually chop various vegetable like Mushrooms, Peppers, Water chestnuts, Okra, Chilli, Beansprouts, Cabbage, onion etc and place in bowls around the table then I have raw meats like steak, chicken and pork and raw fish and seafood. I make Chinese, Thai and Indian sauces to add and I give each of my diners a grill pan.
You are then invited to oil your pan and add the ingredients you would like to eat, we stir the food with chopsticks for ease and watch our creations cook, once everything is done you tip out the contents into your bowl and enjoy its as simple as that!
I use the grill underneath to cook deserts like bananas with honey or grilled pineapple.
Like I said earlier, I don't use my grill in the way you should with vegetables meats and Raclette cheese but I find my way is just as fun! Everyone who comes for a dinner party loves the Raclette and its the best present I've had!
This is definitely my new favourite piece of kitchen equipment! In order to put things into perspective I would like to point out my culinary skills (not just cooking but using most appliances) are limited - but hopefully developing.
I was introduced to the Tefal Raclette when my girlfriend and I were invited to dinner by my brother and his French girlfriend he had been raving about it since returning from France a few weeks earlier and when he explained the concept I too was excited (providing an easy Christmas present decision),
The main aspect of the raclette is the use of cheese (I love cheese!) with raclette being a type of Swiss cheese. The machine, which is electric, is turned on and allowed to heat up. Once this is done you take your individual tray and place your cheese (you can use different ones to raclette such as gouda or emmental) in it and place it under the grill plate to melt. After a few minutes you remove your tray and pour your semi-molten cheese onto whatever it is you are having. I tend to have baked potatoes and French bread with hams, pickles, salad and various vegetables.
Whilst the cheese aspect is sometimes enough for me, the machine has a grill plate on which you can cook whatever you wish. My personal selection usually involves peppers, mushrooms and onions.
I find the whole concept pleasing as you can cook a bit, eat a bit, cook a bit more and eat that (you can see I'm an advanced cook!).
The machine comes with 6 individual cheese trays and can be stored relatively compactly. It is also easy to clean. The instruction manual that comes with it also offers a few different suggestions, a few of which I've tried and work well.
The raclette machine currently retails for £44.95 online with John Lewis.
In response to some of the questions raised about this product -
The whole item is what I would consider to be light with the grill pan be particularly light - I weighed it at about 500g. I think the picture of it gives the impression of a thick piece of metal, however it is quite thin with rounded ends. It is not too big either, the grill plate having a diameter of about 12" - about the same size as a large dinner plate - and th base unit being slightly larger.
It is non-stick as you would expect from Tefal and the grill plate and trays are dishwasher safe.
If there is anything anybody else would like to know then by all means ask and I'll do my best to answer.
The Tefal Raclette is perfect for fun cooking around the table / It has a modern design grill with 6 individual grilling trays to gently melt raclette or other cheeses / The large round grilling plate enables you to gently grill your meats or vegetables whilst the cheese in melting / For added safety, the housing is heat resistant plastic, and the grilling plate and trays are all removeable for easy cleaning / It also comes with a free recipe book to give you ideas on its versatility Tefal, ideas you canÈÃÍt live without / Tefal's product design communicates the brand's identity: They are ingenious and guarantee success / They are useable by everybody in the family / They are pleasant to use / They find their place in various styles of living environments / Short name: Tefal 78214