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Feb 28, 2009 11:48 AM

How to practice the flypan flip

Or, alternately, "How not to flip half an omelet directly onto the burner."

Yes, I stink at flipping large things in my nonstick All-Clad frypan with a flick of the wrist. I know what the problem is: I choke at the last second and lose my confidence. People who do it well just jump in without overthinking it.

Those of you who've mastered it -- how did you get to that point? Are there good (cheap) practice foods? Or maybe some clever non-food trick to try?

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  1. Rule #1, keep the pan over the burner.
    Rule #2, think about what you are trying to accomplish. First, visualize it happening.

    Practice with a bean bag or a small spice package. Use a cold pan. You want to make an elliptical motion with the pan that tosses the items upwards as you quickly move it forward, then upward. Quickly then pull the pan back towards you, lowering it and getting back under the falling items just in time to catch them. Keep practicing. Most folks master it in a few minutes.

    1. there's a julia child video on youtube of her making an omelette.

      1. Why would you flip an omelet?

        1 Reply
        1. re: AHan

          That's my question too. Why would you "flip" and omelette? They're typically folded.
          But, to get to your question about "flipping", I don't believe any written description could help much. Perhaps a written description coupled with a visual, which is the best method I can recommend.
          I flip pancakes, pan breads, eggs (but not omelettes) crepes, and the like. It's really not that difficult to master. Mix up an easy batter of any kind and oil up your pan, then start practicing. With batter it might be better to practice over the sink rather than the stove, but I' m confident that you'll be pretty good at it within about fifteen minutes.
          If batter makes you nervous, try scrambling an egg and flipping it after the top firms up. You can always cut it up and use it as an ingredient in fried rice after practice.
          If you don't want to jump right into a complete flip, try practicing flipping to mix:

          Practice with a piece of toast:

          Another toast practice routine. It's a good way to get the feel for how to move the pan out, up, back and out:

          The Frittada method:

          A novice (he likes getting a lot of air) but it worked:

          This guy has it down pat:

          I included some examples that reflect how some people are having the same difficult you appear to be having. Perhaps that'll give you some confidence. Remember that the guy in the last video started just where you are.

        2. Put a layer of dried beans in the bottom of the pan, then practice flipping. You'll have the motion down pretty quickly.

          1 Reply
          1. I started with pieces of loaf bread, and it really does have to do with confidence. I'm not saying I haven't dropped a few eggs on the stove ever...but I'm getting better.