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Staub cast iron or Le Creuset non stick crepe pan?

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iliria Jan 24, 2012 12:13 PM

I'm looking to buy a crepe pan and have narrowed it down to either a cast iron Staub or a Le Creuset which has been coated with non stick surface. I quite like the Staub but am concerned about the sticking since it doesn't have non stick coating.

The le Creuset on the other hand does have non stick coating but I don't think it is cast iron.

Anyone have any recommendations?

  1. o
    olympia Jan 24, 2012 04:07 PM

    I'd go for carbon steel/blue steel from de Buyer. It needs to be seasoned like cast iron and produces wonderful crepes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: olympia
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      iliria Jan 24, 2012 05:23 PM

      Those de Buyer products look pretty nice actually. Which one would be best (with better non stick qualities)? The Mineral B, the Force Blue or Carbone Plus?

      1. re: iliria
        o
        olympia Jan 24, 2012 05:37 PM

        I'm sorry I'm not too knowledgeable about the differences in performance. Here's a (huge) thread from when many of us found the crepe pan on sale:
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/741895

        Hopefully you can mine some good information from that!

        1. re: iliria
          j
          jarona Jan 26, 2012 06:12 AM

          I'll tell you--I purchased a de Buyer about five years ago and it is teriffic. I love it. It produces great crepes--it was not expensive--batter doesn't stick and I use it all the time. Can't go wrong.

      2. Chemicalkinetics Jan 24, 2012 06:05 PM

        I do like carbon steel pan. But let me fist answer your first question. The Le Cresuset nonstick hard anodized aluminum crepe pan and a enameled Staub cast iron cookware are very different. The Le Creuset pan in a simple term can be think of as an aluminum pan coated with a nonstick surface. The Staub pan is enameled cast iron cookware. So, not only the coating are different, the core materials are very different (aluminum vs cast iron).

        As for your question about deBuyer, they are fairly nonstick after you seasoned them. The ForceBlue, however, requires less effort to season. They are also different in term of thickness.

        1. paulj Jan 24, 2012 06:34 PM

          Do you have experience with cast iron or carbon steel? With any enameled pan?

          3 Replies
          1. re: paulj
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            iliria Jan 25, 2012 10:09 AM

            Yes, I own a Staub dutch oven and a Le Creuset wok both cast iron and both with the black coating. I did own a Cousances frying pan which had the grey shiny enamel on the inside. I love working with both Staub and Le Creuset but I absolutely hated using the Cousances. I tried fried eggs (used oil of course) and they stuck to the pan very badly. I have noticed that now and again if the oil isn't hot enough a piece of chicken or meat will stick to my Staub and LC too but after a bit they caramelise and come off whilst cooking. Not sure if cooking crepe dough in a Staub cast iron crepe pan will be the same thing though. Plus as it has been mentioned the cast iron pan will be heavier than the other materials and that surely can't be a good feature when cooking crepes.

            1. re: iliria
              Chemicalkinetics Jan 25, 2012 10:15 AM

              "Not sure if cooking crepe dough in a Staub cast iron crepe pan will be the same thing though."

              I still lean toward something you can season. A seasoned cast iron or carbon steel pan is more nonstick

              "Plus as it has been mentioned the cast iron pan will be heavier than the other materials and that surely can't be a good feature when cooking crepes."

              First, cast iron cookware tend to be heavier because they are made thicker. Carbon steel solves this problem. You can make very thin carbon steel cookware.

              1. re: iliria
                g
                GH1618 Jan 25, 2012 10:19 AM

                A heavy pan is only a problem if you want to flip it using the pan. The large crêpe pans don't seem designed for this, as the shape of the pan is different. According to my crêpe cookbook, you can pick up the crêpe by the edge to turn it over (using a tool to lift the edge). I've never done it this way.

            2. g
              GH1618 Jan 24, 2012 09:41 PM

              I don't think anything will work better than a plain carbon steel French crêpe pan of standard design. It doesn't even have to be de Buyer.

              How heavy are these cast iron pans? I hold my 18 cm steel pan in one hand and flip crêpes easily. The heavier it is, the harder it will be to flip.

              The le Creuset nonstick is aluminum, by the way. They also have a cast iron crêpe pan.

              4 Replies
              1. re: GH1618
                g
                GH1618 Jan 24, 2012 10:11 PM

                The Staub 11" iron pan is 4 lb. Nice looking pan, but large and heavy.

                The le Creuset 11" nonstick aluminum pan is 2 3/4 lb, lighter than a steel pan of comparable size.

                1. re: GH1618
                  paulj Jan 25, 2012 09:11 AM

                  I don't flip crepes, but I do roll the pan around to spread the batter. Carbon steel that is heavy enough to stay flat when hot, but light enough to handle like this, is close to ideal. It should also be dedicated to the task to maximize seasoning.

                  But crepe shops use a fixed electric griddle, and spread the batter around with a little T shaped trowel. Another electric design, that seems to have fallen out of favor, has a domed surface that is dipped in the batter.

                  1. re: paulj
                    Chemicalkinetics Jan 25, 2012 09:18 AM

                    "It should also be dedicated to the task to maximize seasoning."

                    +1

                    1. re: paulj
                      g
                      GH1618 Jan 25, 2012 10:08 AM

                      I noticed that the pans mentioned (both large), come with that special trowel. It seems like a lot of fussiness to me, but I suppose it's useful for a large, heavy crêpe pan, or a fixed crêpe griddle.

                  2. i
                    iliria Jan 25, 2012 05:50 PM

                    Pulled the plug and got a de Buyer 24cm Force Blue crepe pan. Shame they don't make them in larger sizes but I suppose 24cm will do.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: iliria
                      Chemicalkinetics Jan 25, 2012 06:31 PM

                      Congratulation. I have a Force Blue as well. You can season it just like any cast iron or carbon steel cookware.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        i
                        iliria Jan 26, 2012 03:25 PM

                        Thank you. Pancake day here in UK is not far away so I'll season it a few times until then.

                        Just one more question if I may: Which one is better to use for making crepe/pancakes, butter or oil?

                        1. re: iliria
                          paulj Jan 26, 2012 06:06 PM

                          In the batter or pan? Butter for flavor is best added to the batter (melted). For the pan, I pour in a bit of oil, and wipe it out with a paper towel. Then periodically while making the pancakes I wipe the pan with the oily paper. When the pan is properly seasoned this is enough lubrication.

                          1. re: iliria
                            Chemicalkinetics Jan 26, 2012 06:21 PM

                            I agree with Paul. I prefer butter in the batter. For oiling the pan, I think a combination of oil and butter works quiet well.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              i
                              iliria Feb 3, 2012 03:03 PM

                              Go the pan a few days ago and gave it a quick seasoning by cooking some sausages on it first. Then rinsed it with warm water and wiped it and cooked an omelet. I must say I was very pleasantly surprised how well it performed. No sticking at all.

                              Although I must say that I did not expect it to be so heavy.

                              I am now seriously contemplating about replacing my other Tefal pans with ones from this range.

                            2. re: iliria
                              breadchick Feb 3, 2012 05:10 PM

                              Hi, iliria:

                              I use melted butter with a bit of veg oil blended in, and brush it on the carbon steel pan in between the crepes or pancakes. Oh, how I LOVE the way the kitchen smells with that warm buttery pan working its magic.

                              The two corgi girls are very happy too, since they get the "first pancake" in the batch! Woof!

                              A glass or two of champagne doesn't hurt either...

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