Quesadillas originate from Mexico, and while they’ve changed a bit north of the border, they’re still one of the most popular items on any Mexican restaurant’s menu.
The first quesadillas were made from folded corn tortillas. Today, we usually see wheat tortillas used for this meal.
Oaxaca cheese has been replaced by and large with cheddar and other European alternatives.
The spirit of fun and sharing inherent in the quesadilla’s design is one of the few things that hasn’t changed over the years.
Quesadillas are one of the few Mexican dishes essentially everyone loves.
Even those picky relatives who ‘don’t really like Mexican food’ can’t complain about a crispy, cheesy quesadilla, especially if they get to choose the ingredients themselves.
These cheesy treats make excellent finger food, lunches, and snacks. Unfortunately, they also tend to make a mess.
Cooking a quesadilla in a skillet leads to a lot of burnt cheese and a big mess. Quesadilla makers make the cooking process vastly easier.
All you have to do is plug in the machine, lay out your tortillas, and pick your filling.
Like any home appliance, however, not all quesadilla makers are created equal. Some leave you with warm tortillas and cold cheese, while others are almost impossible to operate without burning yourself.
We’ve gone through some of the best quesadilla makers and compiled a list of our top ten to make your choice easier.
Our reviews will help take some of the guesswork out of choosing between the most popular quesadilla makers on the market.
We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of basic features, which includes cooking area.
In this list, the cooking area/diameter feature can also be read as the maximum tortilla size the quesadilla maker will hold.
Below the basic feature list, we go into depth about each product’s amenities and materials.
If you’re in a rush, check out our pros and cons lists to get a snapshot of the quesadilla maker’s performance.
For serious buyers, we’ve included a price and value comparison to help ensure you get your money’s worth.
|Picture||QUESADILLA MAKER Name||Rating|
|Hamilton Beach 25409 Quesadilla Maker||SEE REVIEW & RATINGS|
|George Foreman Quesadilla Maker||SEE REVIEW & RATINGS|
|Betty Crocker Pizza Maker||SEE REVIEW & RATINGS|
|Santa Fe Quesadilla Maker||SEE REVIEW & RATINGS|
|Elite Cuisine Non-Stick Quesadilla Maker||SEE REVIEW & RATINGS|
|Nostalgia Fiesta Series Quesadilla Maker||SEE REVIEW & RATINGS|
|El Paso 10023 Quesadilla Maker||SEE REVIEW & RATINGS|
|Black & Decker Quesadilla Maker||SEE REVIEW & RATINGS|
|BELLA 13506 Quesadilla Maker||SEE REVIEW & RATINGS|
|IMUSA Quesadilla Maker||SEE REVIEW & RATINGS|
Our evaluation criteria help us decide which quesadilla makers are the best, even though each product is slightly different.
By applying this objective list in our considerations, we’re able to separate the manufacturer’s claims from the actual value of a product.
We’ll go into depth about what every criterion involves below.
- Quality of Materials and Construction
- Ease of Use
- Core Performance
Quality of Materials and Construction
This is by far the most obvious of our criteria. When we look into materials and construction, we’re looking for materials that will last a long time, are less likely to break, and won’t be affected by the product’s job.
In the case of quesadilla makers, this means ensuring that cheap plastic covers won’t melt or warp when the heating element is engaged.
Household appliances are responsible for a shocking number of house fires, and poor construction is a key factor.
The best quesadilla makers use metal, preferably steal, for the vast majority of the design. Since metal gets hot, however, and users will need to open it immediately after the quesadilla is cooked, quesadilla makers also need reliable, heat-proof grips and locking mechanisms.
Substandard grips and locks contribute to the vast majority of burns users get from these machines.
To prevent this, there need to be wide, firmly attached grips that one’s just snap off after one or two uses. Since these grips are often paired with the locking mechanism, it’s especially important for locks to be sturdy and made from quality materials.
Unfortunately, bargain brands often scrimp on these features, and that reduces the item’s overall value.
Nonstick coatings are part of our materials consideration. Since every good quesadilla includes cheese, this coating is an essential part of any quesadilla maker. If that coating starts to flake off or bubble up, the appliance’s days are numbered.
It’s important to note that shipping damage usually falls under this category.
If a company invests quality materials into a machine, they typically package it well. Steel is also significantly less likely to break in the mail.
Because of this, any time an item arrives damaged, or doesn’t function straight out of the box, those points come out of this criterion.
Ease of Use
Ease of use covers the user experience. How easy is the product to use, and did you enjoy it?
Quesadilla makers are designed to make cooking a fun, quick experience. They are not a terribly practical appliance, and they have a single, limited use.
That said, they ought to perform that particular task very, very well.
Anyone can make a quesadilla in a frying pan, but a quesadilla should remove all the hassle of flipping, crimping, and sectioning. If the product turns making a quesadilla into a nightmare, then it won’t do well in this category.
Certain features boost a quesadilla’s ease of use score. Storage is a major concern. When space is at a premium, bulky appliances have to adapt or lose their appeal.
While some people do make quesadillas every day, or nearly every day, the vast majority of users will probably only use these appliances once a week.
Some may only use their quesadilla maker a few times a year. Modern kitchens are not usually as big as homeowners would like.
It’s easy to run out of room. An appliance you don’t use every day will definitely need to be stored in a cabinet or cupboard.
Those cabinets need to store other things, too, and unless they can store upright, quesadilla makers take up a ton of room.
On/off and ready lights also weigh heavily in the ease of use category. As we discussed above, quesadilla makers get very, very hot.
Since most mid to low price options don’t necessarily have an on/off switch, this light alerts users that the quesadilla maker is operating. This is important for two reasons.
First of all, if you leave a quesadilla maker plugged in indefinitely, it will use a lot of electricity. The on/off light serves as a memory aid to help users save on their energy bills.
More importantly, the on/off and ready lights serve as critical safety measures. The light reminds users of the dangerous temperature of their appliance before they reach for it.
It also helps reduce the chance of an appliance fire. Unplugging your quesadilla maker after each use isn’t just an eco-friendly habit. It prevents the machine from overheating and scorching your counter or combusting nearby flammable materials.
A beautiful, well-built quesadilla maker that easy to clean and comes with a blinking array of warning lights is entirely useless if it doesn’t make quesadillas.
Core performance examines whether the product lives up to its claims by producing tasty quesadillas each and every time it’s used.
The advertised size of tortilla needs to fit easily in the machine, for starters. Buying a 10” machine only to find that it is better at making 8” quesadillas is a very sad experience.
Also, makers who claim their machine has deep pockets needs to be validated by user experience.
Quesadillas should be hot, crispy at the edges, and have a lovely, melted filling. If quesadillas come out hot but soggy, the machine receives a poor core performance rating.
On the other hand, reliable, crispy quesadillas score well. Quesadillas also need to be well-sealed.
The sections should be clearly blocked out, and the outer edges need to be crimped to avoid losing the filling during cooking.
The trickiest part of the core performance criterion for quesadilla makers is the question of over-stuffing.
Unlike your skillet, quesadilla makers have a limited amount of space for quesadilla fillings. Even cheese can escape and flood down the sides of the machine if you aren’t careful.
While it’s important for these machines to leave enough space for fillings, they also need to remain a certain size in order to properly cook the quesadillas.
Many buyers are unwilling to accept this trade off. Many users also don’t understand the physics of quesadilla making.
For instance, did you know that cheese expands as it cooks? This means that even though you think you put in a reasonable amount of cheese, you may be putting in far too much.
Because over-stuffing is a problem for all quesadilla makers, we only counted leaks and overflows against a machine if there were rampant reports of salsa lava flows and sticky cheese oozing over countertops.
A quesadilla maker should require extremely little maintenance. The interiors are usually wipe-clean, and ideally, the cooking plates are the only messy parts of the machine.
We know that life doesn’t always go as planned, however, and overflows are pretty common for quesadilla makers.
With that in mind, there should be as few gaps and crevices as possible for rogue cheese to hide in. Removable drip trays make cleanup vastly easier, especially for seasoned cooks who know their appliances well enough to avoid overflows.
The highest maintenance scores go to appliances with dishwasher safe cooking plates. Only one item on our list has these, however, so it’s an extremely rare feature.
So long as the quesadilla maker is truly wipe-clean, and the drip tray is removable, the product should get a pretty good maintenance score.
Q: Why does my quesadilla maker hold so little filling?
Although we discuss this briefly in the explanation of our criteria above, we’ll go into further depth to your question here.
A quesadilla maker functions kind of like a mold, a cookie cutter, and a pair of skillets. Quesadillas made in pans or on griddles don’t have a mold, and they rarely have a cookie cutter, either.
This gives you endless room for fillings. Even if some spill out the sides, the sides of the pan keep the mess largely contained, and it isn’t as noticeable.
Most people flip their quesadillas in order to cook both sides, so the pocket full of molten filling never faces any kind of serious pressure.
A quesadilla maker has a very limited space for fillings. Quesadilla makers are designed to pinch off the individual slices of the quesadilla, and they use and outer ring to try to seal the edge.
When the lid comes down, the quesadilla goes under a lot of pressure. Filling on the highest pressure lines has nowhere to go, and typically gets forced out of the machine.
Bigger pockets can help alleviate overstuffing woes, but quesadilla makers have their limits. If the pockets are too big, the appliance won’t be able to cook them thoroughly.
There’s also the matter of pinching off sections. If the pockets are too deep, the side seals won’t be able to hold the quesadilla together.
One of the best ways to get the most filling in your quesadillas is to focus on filling the pockets rather than distributing the filling evening, or simply applying it to the middle of the tortilla.
This will give you an idea of exactly how much space you have to work with.
Sprinkling a little cheese between the segments will help the tortillas stick together, of course, but your focus should be the pockets.
Of course you’ll have plenty of quesadilla sides, so don’t worry, you’ll be filled up after your meal!
Q: What do I do if my nonstick cooking plates are stickier than the manufacturer claims?
First and foremost, see if you can return the item. If the return date has passed, or the manufacturer doesn’t accept used products, then try these tips.
The simplest solution is to use some nonstick spray. It’s cheap, quick, and easy to use.
That said, lots of people prefer to avoid aerosol cans, and some worry about how the thin layer of grease will change the flavor of their quesadilla.
Quesadilla makers are all about doing it yourself, so the best way to find your ideal solution is to experiment.
Coconut oil would do well under such high heat, and unlike many oils, it has a gentle, natural flavor. Keep in mind that a little oil goes a long way, though.
While coconut oil and butter both do well under high heat, not all oils do. Avoid using olive oil, in particular, with your quesadilla maker.
It may sound like a nice, light option, but olive oil undergoes a chemical transformation under high heat. If you’re cooking with high heat, the rules of healthy oils change.
Q: Is a quesadilla maker a way to make healthy meals?
The answer to this is a bit complicated. To some extent, it depends on what you put in your quesadilla maker.
On the other hand, your quesadilla maker can only make quesadillas, and usually these appliances work best with standard white flour tortillas.
That said, there are healthier tortilla options. And, depending on the size of the tortillas, they may have fewer calories than a comparable slice of white bread, but regular wheat tortillas aren’t as healthy as whole wheat alternatives.
Think of your quesadilla maker as a kind of sandwich press. The best hot sandwiches have cheese, which isn’t tremendously healthy, either.
However, certain kinds of cheese have more benefits than others.
Quesadillas also have the potential to squeeze in lots of veggies and spices. Some studies show that eating spicy food helps you lose weight, so that’s a mark in the quesadilla’s favor.
Still, it depends what you put inside. If you have a little cheese and a lot of salsa, that’s a reasonably healthy choice.
Chicken is healthier than beef or pork. Limiting your sour cream helps, too.
In the end, a quesadilla won’t be the healthiest food in the world, but by using a quesadilla maker at home, you can cook with a lot less grease, and you can choose healthier fillings.
Q: What do you put in a quesadilla besides cheese?
Our answer the preceding question is a good place to start. However, you can really put in whatever you want.
Cheese or sour cream is necessary to help bond the tortillas together, but apart from that, you’re only limited by your imagination.
Some may call it sacrilege, but you could make a tasty dessert by adding brie and apple chunks with some cinnamon and nutmeg to your quesadilla.
You could also use fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella for a tasty summer treat.
Traditionally, quesadillas feature cheese, a bit of spice, and fresh vegetables. Meat is also a common filler.
Several of the appliances we investigated come with their own recipe packs to help you get started. If you choose a product that doesn’t come with recipes, you can easily find some online.
Just be careful how much filling you use. Quesadilla makers don’t have as much space as a frying pan, and you should use small portions until you know how much filler your quesadilla maker can hold.
From there, the sky’s the limit!