A raclette party is a unique group dining experience as well as an excuse to eat lots of melted cheese. Raclette grills make it easy to make delicious raclette and are also a lot of fun to use.What Is Raclette?
Raclette is a Swiss food consisting primarily of melted cheese. It is named after the Raclette variety of cheese, which is still the traditional option for making raclette, but other cheeses with good melting properties can also be used. Traditionally, raclette was served with potatoes, pickles and pickled onions. Cured meat and various vegetables are also often added. The concept is quite similar to fondue but fondue consists of a dipping pot of cheese melted with wine while cheese is scraped from a heated block onto diners’ individual plates for raclette.The Raclette Grill
According to tradition, raclette was invented by Swiss cow herders who would place their cheese by the campfire to melt. In modern times, raclette is more often prepared using an electric grill. A typical raclette grill consists of at least two layers. The bottom layer is used to melt cheese in individual raclette pans, and can also be used for sauces. The upper decks are for cooking dipping foods like meat and vegetables. Cold ingredients can be kept on the table in serving bowls.The basic design scales very well so you can choose the right size of raclette for the number of guests that you expect.Raclette Grill Top Materials
Non-stick raclettes use a metal grill top, typically made from coated aluminium. This prevents cooked ingredients from sticking to the metal which can make them difficult to retrieve and can lead to burning. However, care should be taken not to use metal utensils on the grill as this can damage the non-stick coating. Guests can use nylon or wooden spatulas or specialised raclette scrapers. The other common option is granite. Granite takes some extra time to come up to temperature but it is tougher than non-stick grills and easy to clean. It also looks nice and traditional.Alternative Raclette Uses
Raclette grills aren’t only good for melting cheese and are actually much less specialised than they might sound. Creative cooks can use raclette equipment to make all kinds of other food like pizza, pancakes and fajitas. Some models even come set up for this with optional crepe pans and other accessories. You can also get more exotic by using a raclette grill to make other types of grill-it-yourself food from around the world. A raclette grill and a teppanyaki grill are similar enough that some raclette grills sell their designs as both.