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35 Reviews
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive and Practical - as long as you have room to store
We love this electric skillet. We seasoned it the first day and have used it at least 10 times so far with no complaints. It is very large (I can fry up at least 15 rounds of eggplant at once). The temperature is even throughout and the cover is wonderful because you can see through it without lifting it off the food. I love that I can cook up big amounts of food and...
Published on November 20, 2002 by Kim

versus
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good design, flawed construction, Rival has service problems
This is a good idea for an electric skillet. Stainless steel instead of non-stick coating, should last forever. Large size for family size meals. It can cook 4+ pancakes at once, two large pieces of fish, fry a whole chicken. All except the removable temperature control are completely immersable for easier clean up.
So what is the down side? First, terrible...
Published on January 5, 2004 by Crabhain


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive and Practical - as long as you have room to store, November 20, 2002
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rival SS166 16-Inch Stainless Steel Electric Skillet with Tempered Glass Lid (Kitchen)
We love this electric skillet. We seasoned it the first day and have used it at least 10 times so far with no complaints. It is very large (I can fry up at least 15 rounds of eggplant at once). The temperature is even throughout and the cover is wonderful because you can see through it without lifting it off the food. I love that I can cook up big amounts of food and freeze the rest for quick dinners. Cleanup is very easy and it says it can be washed in the dishwasher (but I don't want to do that because the stainless steel is still so pretty!). It's sturdy and the skillet sits high enough off the counter that the counter top does not get hot. It is a very large skillet though -so storing it may be an issue. I keep mine in it's box because my home has narrow kitchen cabinets. You can hang the pan itself on a hook, but the lid cannot be hung (that we have figured out yet). Great buy for the price!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good design, flawed construction, Rival has service problems, January 5, 2004
By 
Crabhain (Burbank, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rival SS166 16-Inch Stainless Steel Electric Skillet with Tempered Glass Lid (Kitchen)
This is a good idea for an electric skillet. Stainless steel instead of non-stick coating, should last forever. Large size for family size meals. It can cook 4+ pancakes at once, two large pieces of fish, fry a whole chicken. All except the removable temperature control are completely immersable for easier clean up.
So what is the down side? First, terrible finish to the bottom of the skillet. When they milled the bottom of the pan they left deep grooves. Kind of like an old phonograph record, only deeper. Gives food a great surface to stick too. Food gets in those grooves, and is horribly difficult to get out. Next, the bottom of the pan is thin. I have only used it twice so far, and the bottom is aready dimpled. Also, thin bottom = uneven temperature.
Finally, I found out after I already had this skillet, you buy Rival at your own risk. I was stunned to read in the other reviews that Rival knowingly shipped units without the temperature controller. That is like shipping a computer without the processor, because none were available at the time the computer was built. What were they thinking? Obviously it wasn't "let's take good care of our customers." I suggest also reading the reviews of slow cookers. Reviewer after reviewer had problems with Rival items. Not just one model, but many different models. Even reviews of other slow cooker brands often start out "after my Rival fell apart, I bought..." And to make it worse, Rival has an unfriendly return policy. Just keep it in mind if you choose to buy any Rival product.
The reason for 2 stars is flawed construction, coupled with Rival's obvious disregard for those who buy thier products. I wish now I had not bought this unit, and will not buy Rival again until they get thier act together. There is no excuse for the kind of disregard for customers that Amazon reviewers have described.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rival - Poor Customer Service, February 13, 2004
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rival SS166 16-Inch Stainless Steel Electric Skillet with Tempered Glass Lid (Kitchen)
I wanted a large stainless steel electric fry pan to replace a 20 year old Hoover stainless steel fry pan that I loved. There are very few out there. This one is very large but I wanted that. It will fit in my dishwasher but takes up most of the lower level. My problem with it is after using it once I noticed a small section of one nylon(plastic)leg had broken off. It still works as it should but am wondering how it will hold up. After much research and time I finally emailed (a phone number was not available) the company and they said I could return it to them with a payment of $10.00 and they would fix it. I am sure it would cost me a least another $10. to ship it to them. I was not happy adding $20.00 to the already $69.00 I had spent on a new item. I replied, asking if they could just send me a leg and I could screw it on myself. I have emailed them this question 3 times and have not received a reply. They are ignoring me. I would probably not buy another Rival product because of this poor service. Rival has shown they do not care about a customer once the sale has been made.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best electric skillet I ever bought, May 31, 2002
By 
W. Sprinkle "Sprinkle" (Chester, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Rival SS166 16-Inch Stainless Steel Electric Skillet with Tempered Glass Lid (Kitchen)
At first I thought this might be too large for my family but once I started using it I was so pleased with the different recipes I could make. It is also wonderful for frying because pieces do not get crowded so they fry to a golden brown and are crispy. Glad I bought this - 100% great product.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ELECTRIC CORD NOT INCLUDED IN TWO SKILLETS, December 17, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Rival SS166 16-Inch Stainless Steel Electric Skillet with Tempered Glass Lid (Kitchen)
We ordered two Rival SS166 Stainless Steel Electric Skillets from Amazon.com. They are just what I have been wanting for many years, however, both of them arrived without the electric cord/temperature probe/controller. Hence, we were not able to use them. This entire episode has been utterly frustrating. A Rival customer representative told us they had a shortage of temperature probes/electrical controllers. Apparently they continue shipping the skillets even though they cannot be used. Although we were forced to rate this on a 1 to 5 scale, we would actually rate this much lower than 1!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Skillet We've Ever Used, October 22, 2002
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rival SS166 16-Inch Stainless Steel Electric Skillet with Tempered Glass Lid (Kitchen)
Our first reaction was that it was very large. But, as it turns out, it is the perfect size for our family.
I don't like aluminum or coatings on my food cooking surfaces. We followed the directions and treated the stainless steel surface. We have a great non-stick surface without the coating.
The grill heats very evenly and we can cook at a lower temperature than our older grills.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Wonderful!, February 19, 2003
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rival SS166 16-Inch Stainless Steel Electric Skillet with Tempered Glass Lid (Kitchen)
I purchased this skillet for a specific purpose: To make paella from my own recipe. I use medium grain rice in the dish, and was having problems getting the rice to cook evenly. I concluded that an electric skillet would make preparation easier. This skillet is wonderful!
Everyone who has seen it has commented on how nice it looks. It looks like an expensive chafing dish, not the typical, cheesy electric skillet. It has some weight, and sits flat on the table, not on top of spindly legs.
I seasoned the pan as the booklet recommended. There was no sticking (which is unusual considering the dish I was making). The skillet cooked my dish very nicely. In fact, this was the best paella I have ever made. The rice was perfect.
I was able to put the skillet on the table for serving (on warm). It looked very nice on the table. Its size was perfect: It held a main dish for 6 people without being very full. It will be perfect on a buffet table. The pan heated evenly across the bottom. It was very responsive to changes in temperature. The pan was easy to clean.
I am planning to use the skillet for a lot of other things. I was surprised how useful such a big skillet is!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best thing that ever happened to my cooking life, February 6, 2003
By 
This review is from: Rival SS166 16-Inch Stainless Steel Electric Skillet with Tempered Glass Lid (Kitchen)
Honestly, I bought this item because it looks good! But now, I am cooking more than ever. The surface is so large I can cook four big pancakes at a time. I can double my Chili recipe (with room to spare)...and watch it cook through the glass cover. I highly recommend this large electric skillet to anyone who cooks for a crowd, and likes to have some leftovers. ("Bar Keepers Friend" is a great powder for clean-ups on the stainless steel.)
FIVE STARS!!!!!!!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Electric Skillet Ever!!!!!, October 1, 2003
By 
Donna Hark (Charleston, WV United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rival SS166 16-Inch Stainless Steel Electric Skillet with Tempered Glass Lid (Kitchen)
I have been a "fan" of Rival Electric Skillets for years and have loved them. However, the teflon coated ones wore out on me too quickly. That's why I was excited when I learned that Rival made a stainless steel one. The quality of the stainless steel is excellent too. I love the fact that it has a tempered glass lid. The lid has a vent built in, so steam is able to escape. That keeps foods from bubbling up through it.
I used it the first night I received it.I am VERY pleased with its performance! Foods cook evenly in it and don't stick; clean-up is quick and easy too. I look forward to many years of usage with it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Defective product/no customer service, October 10, 2005
This review is from: Rival SS166 16-Inch Stainless Steel Electric Skillet with Tempered Glass Lid (Kitchen)
Purchased this product from Amazon as a Mothers Day gift in 5/05 for wife, went to some trouble to find stainless skillet 'cause that's what she wanted. Amazon service great, however, after perhaps 2 uses, obvious electrical problem w/ product. Intermittent power, cord light flashing, caused circuit breaker to trip. Wife procrastinated in returning, so Amazon wouldn't take it back. No problem, has 2 yr warranty from Rival.

Wife contacted them in 8/05, they agreed to send 'replacement' - for $9 s/h (which I would not have agreed to - seems strange to charge s/h - especially that much - to replace their defective item) - and they didn't seem at all interested in getting the defective product back. Early 9/05 received Rival model SD 165 as 'replacement' - see on this site for $20 less than original product, and not really even a skillet (it's a 'dutch oven' - and can't really be used like you'd use a normal electric skillet). So not a 'replacement'.

I contacted Rival immediately via e-mail. Clearly stated my very reasonable expectations - offered to send them both items back, just want a $60 stainless skillet that works - or in some way make this right. Now almost a month later - no response. So they apparently don't intend to resolve this issue (I'm out $20 because they send me a $40 item as a 'replacement', and they hosed me another $9 for s/h to replace their defective - and potentially dangerous - product), and don't care that they have a dissatisfied customer and a defective/potentially dangerous product out there, etc.

Bottom line - buy this trash and deal with Rival at your own risk - 'cause you won't get any help or satisfaction from Rival. My only resort at this point is to report this to CPSC (based on our experience, I do believe the product is unsafe) and to the state Dept of Consumer Protection about Rival ripping us off, although doubtful that will get anything accomplished.

You buy what you want - but based on this experience, I'll never buy another Rival product (or anything from Holmes - parent company) again - and don't recommend it. Wonder why it's no longer available from Amazon...
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