The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.
If you think you can’t cook beautiful meals without an oven, or are simply tired of washing multiple dishes each time you cook dinner, Drew Barrymore’s kitchen line has a new 5-in-1 skillet that does just about everything you can think of.
Available for $59 at Walmart, the Beautiful 5-in-1 Expandable Skillet sautés, steams, simmers and slow-cooks and can be used as a server. Made with a non-stick coating, the 5-in-1 skillet heats up in minutes and eliminates the need for multiple appliances.
The 5-quart capacity expands to 7 quarts with a cast aluminum extender that provides 40% extra depth and includes a steaming tray and lid rest. The skillet has a total rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars, with Walmart customers calling it a “one-stop shop” and “the best electric skillet ever.”
Walmart sent me the Beautiful 5-in-1 electric skillet to test, and I used it to make breakfast, dinner and even dessert to see if it’s worth purchasing.
I first used the skillet to make French toast, which was just as easy as making it on the stove — but actually much faster. The skillet heated up within seconds and each slice cooked in under a minute on low-medium heat.
The French toast did not stick to the pan, so the pieces were easy to flip and remove. The bits that did stick were scraped off without any effort while it was still warm. After the skillet cooled down, it wiped clean with a very small amount of soap and water.
Next up was steamed vegetables, which cooked even faster than they do in the microwave. Then, I made one-pot spaghetti by putting sauce and uncooked spaghetti noodles in at the same time.
For the spaghetti, I simply left it covered on low for about 20 minutes, checking often until I could tell the spaghetti was fully cooked. When it was done, I unplugged it, but left the lid on. Even after a round of second helpings, the 5-in-1 skillet was still warm when it was time to put the leftovers away.
Just like the French toast, the spaghetti sauce that got a bit overcooked scraped off easily and everything washed up quickly with soap with water.
I then made oatmeal cookies, following a recipe specifically designed for electric skillets, but my cookie experiment did not go as well.
The recipe (and most others I’ve found online) called for a specific temperature, but the skillet doesn’t have the ability to get that specific. It can only be set to low, low-medium, etc. There’s no way of knowing what the actual temperature is. Because of that, the cookies burned during my first try on low-medium and then fell apart on low. They either burned or ended up looking more like a pile of granola no matter how much I adjusted the temperature or cooking time.
While I love everything else about the skillet, the lack of temperature control is an issue. Without this, you have to guess how hot it gets on each setting. If you use the skillet often, you’ll likely learn how what the right settings are. When using it as a new device, however, it’s pretty tricky. Even simply putting temperature equivalents in the instruction manual would be helpful.
One more thing that would make the skillet even better is including a recipe book. I have never used an electric skillet, so without recipes, had no idea where to start. I ended up Googling “electric skillet recipes” to find some, but it would be nice to be ready with a few simple ideas to start with.
Because the skillet is so versatile, you could use it for things you might otherwise cook using your stove, oven or microwave … and I think I may find myself using this more often than some of my other appliances.After all, it does not take up much counter space, and it steamed my vegetables even more quickly than the microwave. Plus, being able to make spaghetti in just one dish that was easily cleaned afterward was fantastic. It could also be great to take with you when camping, as long as you have outlets near your campsite.
It is well worth the money even for someone who doesn’t need it, but if you’re using it to replace other appliances, $59 is truly a steal.
You can find other electric skillets on Amazon, though they don’t have as many features. This Black & Decker skillet is priced at $62.75, while this Bella Electric Ceramic Titanium Skillet is just $34.99.
Barrymore’s Beautiful kitchen line also has a handful of other appliances as well, including a ceramic non-stick fry pan for just $19.97 and a tilt-head stand mixer regularly priced at $129, but currently on sale for $99.
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.