Electric Frying Pan and Alternatives

Our little social club had a new president and a total clean out of the clubhouse. Gone are the 4 old electric frying pans, which we discovered when we went to cook lunch (egg, bacon, etc) and the huge BBQ is far too big to start up for 2 or 4. So I intend to buy a replacement.

Choice hasn’t reviewed Electric Frying Pans for years as they seem to be out of favour. I haven’t used our Sunbeam for over 10 years and remember the teflon flaked off, the temperature thresholds were wide, so that it was either cooling down or burning, the heat was not distributed over the pan. The (small) local electrical shop does not stock any. So I am looking further afield and willing to consider alternatives.

Any suggestions for an electric frying pan or an alternative gadget for occasional use? The club has a microwave & toaster.


You can get the stainless steel interiors, without the coatings, which is our preference. Or buy portable induction hot plates and use any steel/ ferrous frypan, pot or skillet you prefer eg stainless, non stick coated, cast iron. Quick heating, easy to clean, versatile and energy efficient.


Great idea. Just make sure you research that it has heating/controls that allow variable wattage.


Electric frypans offer many advantages: can be used for baking, roasting, steaming, frying.
The temperature can be set and have consistent heat.
Can be taken to the table as a serving dish.

If non-stick, expect coating deterioration after 5 years.

As an alternative:
Air fryer: can be used also for grilling and baking.


Talking to the local (independent) electrical shop - they say there is a shortage of electric frying pans and they have not been able to source any. I tried the next town (about an hour away) and they (small chain store) say they are having trouble sourcing through their distribution centre, but had one left for $175 - more than what the Club is prepared to pay.

Is this a genuine shortage or just unpopular?


Have you considered a large size sandwich press. Fine for patties or a minute steak to cook both sides at once, or leave open to fry an egg or two.


Probably to do with popularity. I have a Kambrook frypan (nonstick but no flaking, only some discolouration where the element is) and the matching skillet. I never use them. You could have them if you lived near Newcastle. I’ve gone back to stove top and microwave oven. If I had space for an air fryer I’d probably go down that path.


What about a gas burner ring and a small LPG bottle?

You can control the heat precisely instead of having it continually cycling between stewing and boiling as an electric frypan does.

We gave both our large electric frypans to Lifeline and very rarely use our small electric skillet.

Another great alternative, although more expensive to buy, would be a Weber Baby Q.


The electric option may avoid or reduce the burning of a fossil fuel to heat anything.


I purchased an Air Fryer oven as shown in link below about 18 months ago . I never use my gas oven now so my gas bill has dropped considerably . Shop around for price as I did not pay the price as shown .



I gave my large Breville Sandwich press to my son. He and his family discovered it makes a great pizza base.


How does using an electric option avoid burning fossil fuels? It will one day, and soon I hope, but not yet.


If you have a solar array on your roof and the sun is out, or if you have a self sustaining PV system+batteries, or like someone we know, is off-grid for starters. Following on some regions are replacing/augmenting fossil fuel generation with solar, eg SA having the lead and some other similar projects popping up.


I used my Sunbeam electric frypan over the weekend after months (perhaps years) of neglect lol. Honestly I should use it more. I agree with others, get stainless steel if you do manage to get one.

Otherwise the gas burner with a frypan might be an option. Just remember to not use gas on too high a heat, that’s what buckles pans. My middle son is an avid cook and recently moved into a flat, choosing one with gas over one with induction Cooktown because he hates the cycling of induction… couldn’t maintain a decent simmer.


Which brand does this? I have kambrook and both the frypan and the skillet cycle. the only set heat, really, is at its max. I remember Mum’s old Sunbeam (it had a long handle, with various settings, and also a little “prop” thingy so you could use it at an angle to drain the fat away whilst cooking)… IIRC those settings were “set” and the pan cooked at whichever temp you set. This has not been the case for any I’ve had since then :frowning:

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This might be of help:


A plug-in induction cooktop and a K Mart frying pan


Plug-in induction still cycles on and off, I believe. And noisily. I’ve decided not to go down that path.

After lots of consultation we bought a Sunbeam Ellise Banquet - a stainless steel, large, deep frying pan with glass lid and donated it. It was $180 which was more than the Club wanted to pay, even with a 5% discount for Not-for-Profit. It was the only frying pan left in the local area, with the shop saying they could not get any from their supplier / distribution centre.

I did the seasoning as per instructions, however they only had spray-on olive oil, and that might have been the problem. The first cooking was eggs which stuck a bit. The dial needed a mark to show where the setting was. The whole unit (but not the plug in controller) can be put in the dishwasher. There’s a tilt bracket to drain to one end. The instruction book (unlike earlier models) has a temperature range that corresponds to the numbers, At Last!

Early days for an assessment of this frying pan, but you might not be able to get one anyway.


I talked to the Club members (predominantly men in their 60’s to 80’s) about frying pan alternatives. Apparently there was a single induction(?) cooker, which I had seen in the bottom of a cupboard and had no idea what it was, which had been donated second hand. They said they did not know how to use it and no one had been able to cook anything. Probably the wrong pans, and it has been chucked out.

The old frying pans were discards from the school. Baked on muck, ill fitting lids, wobbly legs etc and definitely not ‘non-stick’ (also thrown out). The idea of a sandwich press or an air fryer to cook was too avant-garde for them, so I returned to what they knew and loved. I’ll give them a small bottle of olive oil. Being able to cook individual light lunches means they stay longer and chat, and that’s the whole point of this group.

Will review the Sunbeam frying pan after a few months of use.