Best raclette grills for enjoying a cheese feast
A staple of French dinner parties, a raclette grill allows you and your guests to melt cheese and cook meal on the spot for an indulgent feast
If you've never enjoyed a raclette evening, we urge you to add it to your culinary to-do list right away! A raclette grill is an ingenious tabletop contraption which allows you to cook meat and veggies on a grill-plate while also melting cheese in individual trowels inserted beneath.
Like its equally indulgent sister, the fondue pot, raclette originated in the cheese-loving Alps, and takes its name from a Swiss French word meaning 'to scrape'. Traditionally, raclette cheese would placed beside an open fireplace, with diners using a trowel-like implement to scrape off slices as they melted and pour the deliciously gooey cheese over boiled potatoes, to be eaten with charcuterie, cornichons and pickled onions.
In the 1950s, the modern electric raclette grill was introduced to mimic this process, with slices of cheeses placed in miniature pans ranged under a hotplate which can itself be used for grilling meat, vegetables and other accompaniments. The result is a fun and laid-back dining experience with minimal effort, and the communal aspect makes a raclette set a fab choice for dinner parties and other social gatherings.
Interested? Read on for our pick of the best raclette sets available to buy in the UK...
Best raclette grills on the market
Hengbo Raclette Grill
An easy-to-use raclette set ideal for a first purchase, the hengbo raclette grill caters for up to eight people. The set includes miniature pans for your cheese slices, and wooden spatulas to make sure you get every drop. The heating element reaches a scorching 260C within minutes, meaning you won't be waiting long for your delicious dish of melted cheese. The temperature dial can also be adjusted for a gentler cooking experience.
Plus, the serving pans and removable grill plate are all dishwasher-safe, so clean-up should be quick and easy.
Giles and Posner EK0767G Raclette Grill
If it's a bargain you're after, look no further! This set by Giles & Posner is a steal, available from £24.99 at the time of writing. Catering for up to six people, it comes with individual cheese pans and a 900W hotplate. Just plug in and switch on to get started.
The grill-plate non-stick, so once cool simply wipe with warm, soapy water to remove any lingering grease or residue.
Appenzell raclette set
If you want to hark back to the traditional fireside method of cooking raclette cheese, but you don't have an open fire, this clever raclette grill from Klarstein uses a clamp to let you mimic the historical method of grilling a large piece of cheese and scraping off the melting layers.
While not quite as easy to use as the single-slice options - you'll need to keep an eye on your cheese to prevent it becoming too liquified and dripping away - for an authentic experience, it can't be beaten.
Paxton and Whitfield Cheese Raclette Set
Perfect for a romantic soirée, this two-person raclette set is heated by tealights - admittedly a little slower than an electric grill, but so much more romantic. What could be cosier than a cheese feast by candlelight? Just remember to cut your cheese slices thin to reduce the melting time.
The set is made in Switzerland and comes with two pans, two spatulas and a set of eight tealights to get you started.
Klarstein Fonduelette Raclette and Fondue
Now this, we like! Klarstein's 'fonduelette' set combines an eight-person raclette grill with a 1 litre fondue pot to create the ultimate gastronomic experience for cheese-lovers.
The pot sits in the centre of a generously-sized hotplate with an adjustable temperature control, meaning you can still enjoy grilling meat, fish and veggies even while your fondue simmers away. Or use the grill to toast bread to give your fondue dipping some extra crunch. The set includes eight non-stick mini pans and eight stainless steel fondue forks.
Princess 01.162910.02.001 Raclette
A stylish modern take on a centuries-old tradition, this electric two-tier raclette grill is the ideal option for feeding a large group with minimal effort.
With two 21cm x 23cm hotplates - a ridged griddle plate and a flat baking plate - you'll have plenty of space to get your desired finish on everything from veggies to bread, meat or fish. The set also include eight cast iron miniature pans, with cool-touch bamboo handles for safe handling.
We also love the bamboo frame, which gives the set a cool contemporary finish.