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Raclette is the name of a semihard cheese and dish using that same cheese. Like many of our favorite foods, raclette started as peasant food—cowherds would take a wheel of raclette out with them on their journeys and melt it over bread at the campfire for dinner.
Now, it’s a traditional party food melted over roasted vegetables, pickles, meat, and bread. In Europe, it’s often enjoyed with tea, but it’s lovely with wine or a favorite cocktail, as well. It’s warm and soothing in the winter and great in the summer when you don’t feel like cooking. Move over fondue—raclette is simple to prepare, easy to customize, and both a party and dinner all in one.
Here are the best raclette grills.
Best Overall: The Rock by Starfrit Raclette 17-Piece Grill Set
The Rock by Starfrit Raclette is an electric 17-piece set complete with a detachable, dishwasher-safe plate. Its details and design aren’t hugely different from some of the other options on this list, but what makes this set standout are all the well-designed details that you only notice once you start using it.
Grill your veggies, meat, and bread on the top piece while you melt your cheese in the the four trays beneath. This allows you not one, but four different varieties of cheese flavored by various herbs, spices, and other tasteful combinations. Reviewers love that it heats up quickly and it's easy to control the temperature. It's even kid-friendly. Raclette night is for everyone.
Best Budget: Swissmar Nordic Foldable Candlelight Raclette
If you’re not sure about this whole raclette thing or you want a portable option, the Swissmar Nordic Foldable Candlelight Raclette is a clear winner. It only costs about $20, is lit with tea lights (so you don’t need a gas or electric power source), and folds down to half its already diminutive size. If not for yourself, it's a fun and thoughtful gift for any cheese lover in your life, and could be the makings of a romantic date night. At this price, the cheese will likely cost more than the set itself. Reviewers love its portability and how easy it is to wash.
Best Two-Tier: Salton 8-Person Party Grill and Raclette
So, you want to throw a raclette feast. The electric Salton 8-Person Party Grill and Raclette makes it easy to do so. The nonstick grill pan on top of the unit leaves plenty of room for everyone to grill their choice of meat, veggies, seafood, and bread. The set comes with eight pans, meaning everyone can customize their raclette flavors—think garlic, extra spices, other melting cheeses added, and so forth—and everyone gets a hot portion when they’re ready to start eating. Reviewers love its family-friendly nature, saying that raclette night is a favorite tradition in their home that’s easy to execute with this set.
Best Compact: Boska Mini Raclette Cheese Melter & Grill
If you’re a food lover with a small kitchen, listen up. The Boska Mini Raclette Cheese Melter & Grill was made for you. Boska is known for its cheese products—especially the cheese knives it’s crafted for the past 100 years. This two-tier electric grill comes with two dishwasher-safe enamel pans and spatulas, and takes up almost no room in your kitchen, but is well-designed and sturdy enough that you can use it for a date night or family dinner with no problem at all. If you need a small grill that you can count on, look no further.
Best Large-Capacity: Boska Raclette Party Set
If you’re looking for a larger set that can accommodate different people, the Boska Raclette Party Set comes with eight little scrapers and raclette pans. It's powered by tea lights, so you can set it up wherever is most convenient, regardless of whether it’s by a power outlet, which also makes it ideal for camping or a picnic. The design, featuring two rows of four pans, makes it easy to gather around, which will inevitably lead to people chatting and swapping their favorite flavor combinations. With this set, any dinner becomes a memorable event.
Best Old-School: UncommonGoods Tableside Raclette Melter
Many raclette sets come with little grill pans and scrapers, where you can melt your cheese with any herbs, spices, or additions, and then scrape it onto your plate of veggies, bread, or meat. This set takes inspiration from the cowherds’ raclette experience, holding a quarter-wheel of cheese on the sturdy concrete and copper grill. It makes a grand centerpiece and is just as simple to use. Just scrape the top layer of melted cheese from the wheel onto whatever you want covered in a gooey blanket of fromage. This won the coveted Red Dot award for product design, making it both beautiful and highly functional.
Have a fun night with the kids over melted cheese, meat, potatoes, and more using our top pick: the simple-to-use and easy-to-clean The Rock by Starfrit Raclette 17-Piece Set (view at Amazon). Those on a budget can enjoy the same pleasures with the compact, eco-friendly, and extremely inexpensive Swissmar Nordic Foldable Candlelight Raclette (view at Amazon).
What to Look for When Buying a Raclette Grill
The size of your raclette grill becomes an issue when you're feeding more people than the grill you purchased can handle. Decide what you're going to be using it for most, whether it be a romantic dinner for two or many guests. This will help you determine what size grill you need.
Circular, square, or rectangular, which shape is going to feel best and work best for you? It's a personal preference, but while deciding, picture how you and your guests will be gathered together cooking.
Check the wattage before purchasing one of these grills to make sure it's going to be able to melt the cheese and cook what is on the grill portion, too. Some raclette grills are powered by tea lights rather than by power cords and will take longer to cook your food. If buying one with a cord, look at the cord length to see if you'll be able to place it on the center of the table so everyone can access it while seated, or if it will have to be placed on the counter near an outlet due to the shortness of the cord.
What is a raclette grill?
This small, tabletop type grill provides the capability to melt cheese and grill meat, veggies, and even bread for dipping all at the same time. Small individual portions are cooked so everyone can make their own.
What is the difference between a raclette grill and a fondue pot?
The idea of everyone making their own meal is the same, and both involve melted cheese. So what's really different? The basic fondue consists of melted cheese in a pot in which everyone is dipping bread, whereas the raclette not only melts the cheese but provides a grill to cook the meat, veggies, bread, etc. to go with the cheese.
Can you use other types of cheese besides raclette on a raclette grill?
Any Swiss cheese that melts well, such as Gruyère, Fontina, Emmentaler, or Appenzeller, can be used in place of raclette.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Writer and professional cheese eater Christine Clark teaches cheese and pairing classes throughout the United States and is especially fond of raclette, as it combines her two favorite things: cheese and potatoes. While raclette might sound like a fancy and complicated event to put together, Christine firmly believes that everyone deserves melty cheese over potatoes, meat, and good bread every once in a while. Her cheese adoration is so strong that she has a whole podcast dedicated to it. She is a Certified Cheese Professional through the American Cheese Society.