Le Creuset White enamel - EGGS STICKING!
I am the proud owner of several Le Creuset pieces, as of Christmas 2009. I have, since I started using the white enameled small skillet, run in to a specific problem.
I cook omelets almost every morning in it- (eggwhites or eggbeaters) and they stick EVERY TIME! I heat it on a med- low heat for about 2 minutes, and then I add the oil- and then I turn the hear down to low (3 on my stove) - then add the eggwhites . . . and inevitably they stick and leave an egg crust inside the pan.
I was told this was the skillet to buy for eggs! What am I doing wrong that they stick?
Please help!! Thank you,
Problem with using a cooking spray is that you aren't supposed to spray onto a hot pan, but Rule #1 about keeping food from sticking is to add fat ONLY to a hot pan. Heat the pan, add your oil or grease, bring that to temperature and add your food.
I personally avoid using enamelled ware for everyday frying - the only frying I do in mine is browning/searing something I'm going to braise in there. For eggs it's bare iron.
I watched an old Julia Child episode (her very first, in fact, I believe) and she was making omelets in a pan similar to the long-handled Le Creuset skillet. She gets the butter sizzling and JUST before it starts to brown, adds the eggs and then--over medium to medium HIGH heat; that was new, to me--flurries the eggs around with a fork, rapidly, swish swish scramble!...then she scoops underneath the congealed mass and flips it right out!
I started cooking this way--but I use a handy dandy silicon spatula thing (
http://www.amazon.com/Chefn-Switchit-... ) I just adore--and it works beautifully every time.
laurajane, the best omelette pan you can buy, for my money is a rolled steel, also called a blue steel or carbon steel crepe pan. This is of course, assuming that you have decided nonstick is not for you.
In my not at all humble opinion, Le Cruset is too heavy and the enamel too porous to serve as a good pan for eggs. It may be that it will take time and seasoning, I accept that but I have not so far had the patience. In any event, the rolled steel pan will only set you back about $10.
If you are truly married to the Le Cruset, then I agree with the previous poster. By your account, your pan has not been heated adequately. Let the record show, however that the rolled steel is my first choice.
I disagree with pretty much everyone. Protein sticks when heated too quickly. This is a transition phase which if left alone with gradually release (when it's browned). When someone puts a cold (from the refrigerator) item in a preheated and/or overheated pan (regardless of the type of cooking surface) the protein will immediately stick. Think about it -- the whole non-stick cooking pan industry is based on this problem. People are in too much of a hurry. Take the eggs out of the frig at least 20-30 min before you need them and let them come to room temp. Put them in the pan when it is still cool and let them cook slowly rather than trying to force them done in a few seconds. I realize I'm suggesting something that's pretty difficult in today's hectic world. So maybe omelets aren't the best choice for a fast breakfast before rushing to work.
Remember a good chef can make an perfect omelet in ANY pan so as always it's not the tool.
BTW, no one can tell you how long to preheat YOUR pan unless they know the thickness and material (SS, Aluminum, coated/uncoated etc) and the BTU for your burner at the knob setting you are using.
re: Ernie Diamond
I think Richard and you are both correct and looking at different angles. It is certainly true that one can make good omelet from almost every pan if one knows the technique, but it is also true that some pans require less skill to use to make a good omelet.
Enameled cast iron actually would not be my first three choice of cookware for eggs. I would argue that a decently seasoned cast iron pan works better -- just my experience.
I'm not surprised to hear eggs are sticking in the LC. I would never use anything but a nonstick pan for eggs. I'm sure other things are possible, but I like what's probable ... no, I like what's 100% guaranteed, and that's what you get with nonstick. If you don't want all the weird chemicals, there are still good nonstick options ... I use ScanPan nonstick, but I'm sure there are equally nontoxic options for less $$.
I no longer own any nonstick and while I prefer my non enameled cast iron for eggs I've definitely used the LC. I agree with PP that it's probably a combination of rushing the process. Getting the eggs out while you do your other morning things and then cooking them when they've warmed a bit is a good idea and sound practice.
laurajane, your technique differs from ours in so many respects that I cannot be sure you can even adapt yours to ours. But our pan of choice for scrambled eggs (we don't do omlettes) is a white (interior) enamel Descoware (Julia Childs's favorite enameled cast iron, made in Belgium, later bought out by LeCreuset). Our only sticking (which is very slight) is a smidgen well up the sides of the pan.
First off, we use whole eggs, so everything that follows may be irrelevant.
We start as you do with medium low heat and give the pan pleanty of time to warm up. Then we use a fairly copious quantity of butter. Sorry, but for us, the scrambled eggs are essentially a butter delivery mechanism.
We use a silicone spatula -- only -- and we resist the temptation to try to slide it under the eggs too early. The timing is important: not too soon, but before there is the slightest hint of browning of the eggs. Other than from experience, I know of no way how to make that judgement.
Following this technique, the eggs do not stick.
Wow! Thank you everyone for the extraordinary advice! I have many things to try. I am intrigued by the rolled steel pan . . . but will currently try to stick with the Le Creuset and figure out the best way to avoid sticking.
. . . . and to Richard, yes, my mornings are rushed. I will take my eggs out right when I wake up- and when I'm ready, head to the kitchen and begin the steps. hmmm. . . I am intrigued.
I noticed no one was opposed to me using PAM. I guess I'm safe? I would hate to ruin my LC.
You write that your mornings are rushed ....... and I understand that you may not have that extra 20-30 minutes for the eggs to stand out of the fridge. Just put them in a bowl of warm water when you enter the kitchen. By the time you're ready to cook, they'll have warmed a bit.
I'll have to vote on the side of not using LC for egg cooking, generally. I use my French crepe pan (rolled steel) for omlettes and cast iron for fried eggs. My husband likes scrambled eggs and most mornings, I set the pan over low heat, put the eggs in a bowl and continue with the other prep. After the pan is warm to my hand (held over top and close to the surface), I whisk the eggs (w/ 1 TBLS cream and dash of salt). I put a generous pat of butter in the pan and swirl it around to coat all surfaces. Pour in the eggs AND DO NOT TOUCH THEM AGAIN until you count to 15. Now stir from the bottom with a wide tool, making certain to pass all surfaces frequently. We like our eggs softly creamy so this whole process takes longer to write than it does to accomplish.
Just so you all know. . . . I CREATED THE PERFECT STICK-FREE omelet this morning!!!! What I did was use Pam. I heated my pan at a medium heat until water danced in it- then sprayed the PAM, then added eggs and dropped the heat to low. Let it sit for longer before flipping, literally until only a smell inner circle was uncooked in the center, then flipped the omelet. AMAZING! Perfect flip, perfect non- stick!
. . . So -to all the doubtful Le Creuset users ---- they proved they can handle eggs!
Thanks for all the replies! I am satisfied at the results!
Rouxbe online cooking classes address this issue
Ina visual and methodical manner We use our Chantsl emel
over steel and copper fusion as well as our LeC enamel over cast iron
And Staub enamel over cast iron for eggs I agree w room temp eggs
But PAN temperature is the crucial thingWe all know what is too
hot (water hissing & instantly evaporating) or
too cold but just right is trickier They describe
Several stages w water drops and the perfect
moment is a mercury ball phase bopping about
Then adding sm Amt of an oil w a higher heat
threshold like grapeseed and then waiting on it to
Reach correct temp looking like fingers as u tilt the
pan and only then adding your egg
Lovely and no stick. If you mess up you can deglaze
W a bit if vinegar when the eggs are out. Like 1-2 T
Room temp not cold. The Rouxbe classes are about
Techniques. We are in cooking adventure mode!! Haha
Rouxbe has a WONDERFUL. Online lesson on cooking without sticking
As a three step event. I thought I knew how but HA I was wrong I showed my DH and he's cooked
on our enamel cast iron and enamel over steel since without sticking once
Info is power. Check out their lessons. Totally worth the money
Le Creuset omelet success story here! i was looking for an omelet pan. After reading a comparison on different options from a food writer in the NYTimes, I ended up going with a Le Creuset cast iron enamel skillet w/ the black coating.
Two omelet attempts in, I was frustrated. Eggs were sticking. Scrape scrape. Almost took it back to the store. Then I read the advice on this forum and tried a new approach.
I let the skillet heat up raw for a long time on medium flame. Like maybe 7 minutes, while I did other prep. Longest I've ever let a pan heat up. Then I threw in a mix of grapeseed oil and a dab of butter. Sloshed it around as it sizzled and threw my beaten room-temp eggs into it, which were not beaten w/ any milk or water. The eggs immediately began to float above the surface of oil. I could tell instantly that this was gonna be a good omelet. I didn't stir the eggs or push them around, just let them cook. Maybe I turned the flame down a bit. Finally I was able to fold the omelets with ease-- used a silicone spatula for that. The finished omelet was perfectly cooked and slipped right out of the pan nice and smooth like a member of Congress slithering from an honest question! Easiest omelet I ever made. Thanks forum folks. It can be done!
Got a link to the NYT article? Is it this one? http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/07/din...
If so, it looks like the author picked new pans, including new Le Creuset. Among her several mistakes in making this a fair test is her failure to adequately season the carbon steel and anodized aluminum entrants.
As I (and many others) have experienced, the happy Honeymoon days of ECI shortly give way to frustration with eggs sticking, uneven heat/hotspotting, and fat running through the jus. Within a time, the enamel will dull and things begin to stick without resort to more fat than most folks want to use.
I've tried all of these, and personally my favorite is completely bare aluminum, but only if you dedicate the pan to eggs, clean it like you would a wok, and keep it "seasoned". My second choice would be well-seasoned carbon steel (actually first if you can't NOT dedicate it to eggs and wash the pan with soap).
But hey, I hope you continue to have good luck with your pan not sticking.
Aloha Kaleo. Yeah I just dug it up:
Doesn't sound like you live in NYC but for anyone who does, I really like Broadway Panhandler, which posted the printed article in the store. Local business, know their products, easy returns, and honestly their prices typically beat even giants like Amazon. Happy egg eating!
I've heard of Broadway Panhandler (and Bridge Kitchenware, among others) in the NYC area. I'll check them out.
I think Le Creuset keeps many indie kitchen stores open and profitable. The margins are high, so it's no surprise that they tend to feature it. Frankly, I'd gladly pay a little more to places like BP or Fantes than Bezozon.
K speaks truth, as he often does. I haven't tried eggs in bare aluminum or ECI, but after trying everything else, including CI, it's carbon steel for me, all the way. I've got a blue steel crepe pan that is dedicated to eggs, crepes and grilled sandwiches. After it's initial seasoning, it's been all butter, all the time.
It is beyond divine. Eggs taste better (placebo effect, much? could be) and the crust on sandwiches is shatteringly crisp (true).