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May 31, 2012 09:20 AM

3-egg Omelette Pan Size

Ok, so after watching a ton of videos from respectable chefs, the majority seem to agree on a 3-egg omelette. There is no consensus on what sized pan to use for 3-eggs, though. I've heard 10-inch (alton brown), 9-inch (fine cooking), 8-inch (french), and 7-inch (jamie oliver). Is there a reason for using a different sized pan? And what size do you all prefer, and why?

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  1. Hi, fingermark:

    Since no one else is answering, let me try...

    The pan's walls obviously contain the egg mixture until it sets, so the smaller diameter the pan, the smaller the floor area, therefore the thicker the egg mixture when it sets. Some folks like just a whisper of egg between their fork and the filling (if any); others like a fritatta-like bark. Goldilocks likes it in between.

    Also to take into consideration is how you are going to finish and present the omelete. Will it be one "taco"-style fold, tri-fold, rolled, or just artfully slithered and coiled onto the plate? IMO, these things are just personal preferences.

    My own preference was formed years ago when I learned to cook on a large, commercial solid-surface stainless griddle. There, a thinned 3-egg mix spreads out like crazy, and it's easy to roll, fold, fill and flip any way you want with turners. I don't have that available to me now, so I prefer a larger pan that still yields thin omelets.

    Final thought: If your home hobs aren't particularly large or even, you shouldn't go with any non-conductive pan (i.e., cast iron) that isn't well size-matched to your hob.


    2 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Nice answer. Thanks. I now need to make a decision on what type of pan. I want something versatile, as I have limited cabinet space. I've currently don't own any non-stick pans, but have read that the All-Clad Non-Stick Frying Pan may do the job for me. Then, I also heard that people have also had success w/ non-sticking eggs on a normal finish All-Clad Frying Pan.

      1. re: fingermark

        Hi, fingermark:

        You're welcome. I urge you to consider, if you know you'll be making lots of omeletes, having a dedicated pan for that purpose and other egg preparations. But if you must have versatility due to space constraints, get a non-stick pan.

        Caroline1 makes a good point about plate size. My default breakfast plates have been ovals for awhile now, so I didn't even think of that.


    2. I have several dedicated omelette pans. They are all 8 inchers. Why? Because an 8 inch omelette fits on a dinner plate better than any other size. I use them for dessert omelettes as well as savory. I don't recall ever seeing a 7" pan. At least not when I was in a shopping mood. I do have a 5", but it's just the wrong size for an omelette! '-)

      1. I find that a 10" fry pan makes a nice thin 3 medium-egg french omelette, like what Julia Child teaches in her famous omelette episode (it's available on youtube). Here I use a hot pan, and after a very short set-up time (5-10 seconds) I keep the pan moving for 15-20 seconds working the eggs over on themselves, and turn it out.

        Putting those same 3 eggs into an 8" fry pan allows me to make a thicker omelette like the ones I grew up on. These thicker omelettes require lower heat and a longer time to set up. Usually, I would allow them to set, flip it once, add toppings, and fold in half, and the whole thing is a good inch or more thick.

        These days I prefer either a pair of french omelettes or one larger (4-5 egg) thick omelette, so in either case the 10" is my go-to pan.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jljohn

          I'm sure that, like skinning cats, there is more than one way to make an omelette, but this is the first time I've ever heard of flipping an omelette. Personally, I do not subscribe to the Julia Child omelette making technique. I prefer a little color with my omelettes. To each his/her own.! '-)