Communal eating is still a part of most family households. Everyone gets together to enjoy some hot pot, maybe a fondue and or even some grilling, even if it’s just on the weekends.
If like most of us, you’re doing your part by staying home during these troubling times, then you’ll want to enjoy a nice meal. So, to make your next meal more fun, maybe think about grilling some meat and pouring yummy cheese all over it. How? Well, with a raclette grill of course!
Don’t worry if you’re confused about the dos and don’ts of raclette cooking. This article should give you all the information you need on how to use a raclette grill.
What is a Raclette Grill?
A lot of you may be wondering what exactly is a raclette grill? Well, it’s essentially a grill designed to work with fondue. Fondues are melted cheese dishes that originate from Switzerland and have now been popularized at every dinner party.
A raclette grill is something that not only helps melt the cheese but also grills whatever vegetables or meats you want with it. These grills can cook just about anything, except for chocolate. They typically come with two levels, the top one being for bread, veggies, meat, or even seafood.
The lower level has individual stoves where you can place as little as two and as many as 8 pans. You can place your grilled foods in the pans and then just pour some melted cheese on top and voila!
The main idea behind a raclette grill is to have everyone cook, eat and have fun together. There’s no cooking involved. Simply chop up your ingredients and set them around the table in front of your grill and you’re good to go.
Raclette Grills Are Versatile
While raclette grills are available in various models and sizes, most are designed for more purposes than just melting cheese.
A lot of tabletop grills include three parts: electric coils to produce heat, a grill top, and melting trays for the cheese.
The ideal way to make use of these raclette grills is to make meal plans beforehand so that you can multitask and use each surface simultaneously. In this way, you won’t waste any electricity and save yourself both money and time while cooking. Also, all your meals are planned and prepped at the same time, so each dish stays warm and gets served immediately.
It’s the best thing to have all your meals hot and ready for everyone to enjoy.
What Can You Make On A Tabletop Grill?
Like I said before, raclette grills can cook just about anything, and I mean anything. You can cook different meats like steaks and sausages, bread, vegetables, eggs, and even fruits! This means you get to have a large spread of just about every food imaginable.
And since a raclette grill comes with melting trays for different cheeses, you can pour your cheese directly over the food that’s been grilled. Even if the name implies you can only cook raclette, trust me you can use whatever cheese you’d like.
So, What about Raclette & What Cheeses can I Cook with a Raclette Grill?
I need to explain some things to people who may not be familiar with raclette. This food item is a cheese that originates from Switzerland. It’s semi-hard and used to make a dish of the same name that incorporates potatoes, dry meat, and pickled onions with the raclette.
A lot of people confuse cheese cooked on a raclette grill as raclette Itself. I should clear up that raclette grills can be used to melt and pour any type of cheese you’d like. However, the cheese or dish would not be referred to as raclette. If you want an actual raclette, you need the specific cheese for the dish.
But that’s a moot point. You can still make amazing cheese dishes with a raclette grill even without a raclette.
How To Use It?
On to the important part, how to use the grill? Before starting, I suggest you season the grill in much the same way you any other cookware. That’s because it helps prevent food from sticking to the surface while cooking.
Heat the grill, either on a hob or the raclette. Then brush the surface with some oil (preferably one with a large smoke point like rapeseed oil). You can brush the top multiple times to ensure you have a non-stick cooking surface throughout the process.
Unwrap your raclette and place the base on a strong table. Keep in mind that you can eat outdoors and indoors, but make sure the table you have is level. Raclettes don’t retain any fats or oils on their surfaces, which is great from a health standpoint but can create a mess on the sides. To prevent this, place your raclette on a tray before use.
Now we move on to the cooking! Keep everything prepared beforehand so that you can avoid any back and forth from the kitchen while cooking. Cut your meats into strips. As you cook the meat, you can involve your guests in the cooking by having them grill their favorite foods the way they like them.
Cut your veggies and make a big salad bowl. The most common side dish you’d have is a bowl of boiled potatoes with melted cheese poured on top. But again, let your friends do what they want! Just place your potatoes on the table and let the guests decide to choose how they want to eat them.
The actual cooking method is pretty simple. All you have to do is use the temperature dial to heat the raclette grill to the way you like it. Then, cook everything according to your preference. There isn’t a right or wrong way to go about it. As you gain more experience, you’ll learn new techniques, discover more tastes and finally perfect your raclette grill cooking.