Top critical review
101 people found this helpful
Good, but needs a major lid improvement
on December 14, 2010
My grandma gave us a 12-inch square electric skillet in the 70s, but we hardly ever used it and eventually gave it to Goodwill. It offered no advantage over stovetop cooking.
My wife got the Green skillet for me last month. The 14 inch size makes it very versatile. You can brown a lot of mushrooms without having to batch-cook them. I'm sure it will fry a lot of chicken too.
The heat distribution is good. At 450 F, you can't sear steaks--leave that to 550F+ cast iron or Staub's enameled iron grill pans-- but golden-browning is wonderfully easy to achieve.
For open-pan cooking, I would give it 4-5 stars.
I must however, subtract two full stars for the patently inadequate lid design. How many of us use lidded pans without using their lids to cook? It would be nice to use the Green skillet to steam, simmer or boil things, but the condensate on the lid underside flows directly to the pan rim, gathers, then bubbles, spits and drips all over the countertop and onto the temp-control module. I have to put a towel over the latter, not knowing if an electrical short could otherwise occur, and even then I have to wipe up the countertop afterwards. Or I have to "crack" the lid (which lessens dripping and directs it to one area). Not a fatal issue, but indicative of less-than-fully-thoughtful attention to functional detail by Cuisinart.
Two design modifications to the lid would greatly improve things. 1) a much larger vent hole with a sliding shutter to adjust the size of the orifice, and 2) a glass or metal circular rim on the underside running maybe a half inch from the lid's edge, to force lid-condensate to drip into the pan instead of flowing to the lid/pan-edges interface and sputtering out.
All in all, we're using this pan a lot, as it works really well for open-pan cooking, and then using the lid to keep food warm.