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New (to me) Omelet Pan--Who Woulda Thunk It?

So there I was, wasting time on eBay, and I see this thick aluminum omelette pan. I mean T-H-I-C-K, even thicker than the famous, so-called Julia Child pan sold by Pan Shop of Boston. Marked "Rudolf Stanish Omelet Pan" on the bottom. No bids. So I bid the minimum on a whim, and won for $9.99. I measured it on arrival, and it mikes slightly >6mm. To give you some idea of the heft, this 10" pan weighs 3.3 lbs in *aluminum*.

Cleaned her up, seasoned her last night per the PSB instructions, and WHOA! *Less* stick than non-stick.

Had no idea who Rudolf Stanish is/was. Then I find this: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/l... Quite the story!

Anyone else have one of these, or similar extra-thick dedicated egg pan? Anyone know who actually produced the pan? Do you observe the rule that it is NEVER washed, just wiped out?

Based on this honeymoon omelet, I think my last remaining PTFE (a Swiss Diamond) is getting donated to the thrift store.

Aloha,
Kaleo

 
 
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  1. What a nice story (and pan). Thanks, K.

    1. I'm jealous! And will now be keeping an eye on ebay.

        1. re: breadchick

          There's another on Ebay, but it's interior is pretty beat up.

          1. re: breadchick

            Hi, breadchick:

            Now I want his omelet cookbook!

            Aloha,
            Kaleo

              1. re: breadchick

                Hi, breadchick:

                Chef Stanish's book arrived yesterday--$5.99 (used) from Amazon. 70 pages of pearls, much of it on cookware. Among them: "A special pan should be kept solely for making omelets and crepes. It should be of cast aluminum...The pan should never be washed in a detergent. To clean away small egg particles that may remain, use a little salt and wipe out with a paper towel...The pan should never be washed again."

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  "The pan should never be washed again."

                  That would definitely keep it safe from anyone else in MY house ever using it!

                  :-D

                  1. re: Eiron

                    I've read the same about never washing cast iron, but I wash mine anyways.

                  2. re: kaleokahu

                    Hi kaleo,

                    So, this pan can be treated similar to carbon steel. Now, if you run water over the surface, does it bead up? I never realized aluminum would do that. Hey, at least it won't RUST, lol!

                    Happy omelet making!
                    bc

                    1. re: breadchick

                      Hi, bc:

                      Yes, water beads. But I think carbon steel's seasoning relies on actually polymerizing the oil (which among other things, darkens the pan), whereas this method leaves the pan visually unchanged.

                      Regards,
                      Kaleo

            1. Kaleo,

              Wow! What a pan! Nice score.

              I'm curious now. Do you have any idea how thick the pot shop's pan is? (I live about 4 miles from Vincent's shop, so I really should just head over there one of these days.) I wonder how the two pans compare.

              I see that these pop up on ebay regularly, but almost all of them seem to be "club" pans with plastic handles, and they honestly look thinner. They also seem to be lighter, as all stated weights are less than 3 lbs. Do I see correctly that yours has a metal handle? Did you come across anything in your research about variations on this pan (early thick pans and later thinner club pans, etc?)

              Thanks!

              Jeremy

              1 Reply
              1. re: jljohn

                Hi, Jeremy: "Do you have any idea how thick the pot shop's pan is?"

                Not directly. At the time I was musing bidding on this one, there were two 8-inch PSB pans on ebay. You know from your copper shopping how a smaller pan of the same thickness always looks thicker, so I judged this 10" to be thicker visually. It'd be nice if you could get Vincent to tell you the actual thickness. The PSB pan looks to me to be a tad shallower.

                "Do I see correctly that yours has a metal handle?" Yes, it's either SS or chrome plated steel, pretty short handle. And it does weigh 3.3 pounds.

                Nope on the research. I mostly was interested in Stanish himself. Turns out the chef he trained French under was himself a student of Escoffier! Cooked for JFK at his inaugural brekkie? Princess Di and Marilyn Monroe? Paul & Bunny Mellon's personal chef? Amazing story, really.

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

              2. Nice find.

                I'm curious - what were the PSB's instructions for seasoning?

                1 Reply
                1. re: cowboyardee

                  Hi, cowboy:

                  The seasoning instructions are basically:

                  1. Wash with soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly.
                  2. Coat inside with vegetable oil and heat to near the oil's smoke point.
                  3. Turn off heat and let sit overnight.
                  4. Pour out oil. Heat pan again. Add 1T salt and wipe it around pan, then out. You're done.
                  5. Do not wash the pan. No water, ever after, just wipe it clean.

                  Works really well so far.

                  Aloha,
                  Kaleo

                2. Nice! And a wonderful back-story on Mr. Stanish, as well.

                  Related question: How's your wood stove project going?

                  Between this pan, your love of copper, & your wood stove, I now know your true culinary plan!

                  First, break out the copper mixing bowl & whisk:
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaSxtr...
                  As shown above, the omelettes must be whisked until the whites start to set!

                  Next, trowel some butter into your new pan, melt the butter, FILL the pan with nearly-set eggs & place IN the fire:
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc2LQ6...
                  Be sure to have your plate ready!

                  YUM !!! :-D

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Eiron

                    Hi, Eiron:

                    Thanks for the links. Very interesting. I think I need some of those 4-foot-long handled pans! If you look closely, you'll see the pans are placed on trivets, not directly in the coals. But there is so much flame, it's difficult to see.

                    The Monarch woodstove has been in for about 5 months now. Went really smoothly, but I had to have some stovepipe cut and one piece custom-made. It's been a learning experience cooking on it--2 dampers, 2 drafts, the coal/wood grate choice, the separate oven diverter, wood choice, etc. all make for nothing staying constant, but you learn to know what direcion it's heading and adjust. Fully stoked and wide open, it will get the oven to 450F and the lids over the firebox to 900F. The lids to the far right will simmer at that burn. A full load of coal will burn about 12 hours, but it eats wood at a gluttonous rate.

                    The photo in my OP is of a propane 2-burner sitting atop the Monarch. I've been using that for quick dishes where I don't have time to build up a good fire. By the time cold weather hits, I expect it'll be lit most of the time. Wonderful heat and smells...

                    Any progress with the knife biz?

                    Aloha,
                    Kaleo

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      "Any progress with the knife biz?"

                      I have finally finished building my own knife-making grinder & have taken one 'practice knife' all the way from 'scrap metal & wood chunks' to a finished piece. I did this first one solely to understand the process of shaping & thinning the steel, & attaching & finishing the handle. It's not as well-finished as my actual product will be, but the point was to learn the problems I'll face, not to make it pretty.

                      I'm now cutting out blanks from the production steel & will start working on them as time permits.

                       
                    2. re: Eiron

                      WOW! If that is a true omelet, I've never had one...maybe never will. Is the whisking done over heat, I can't tell from the video? Has anyone else documented this recipe? How many eggs per, looks enormous? Any ingredients besides eggs and butter, salted when?

                    3. That is an interesting obituary. The pan looks like a bargain.

                      1. I have to agree with everyone else - awesome pan! And thanks for including the link; what a neat story!

                        1. I inherited this pan and accompanying cookbook, "A Small Collection of Recipes for Omelette, Crepes..." from a dear departed friend. Her strict instructions were to NEVER wash it (wipe it with a paper towel), only use it only for omelettes & crepes, and use butter was the oil....I have honored her request and this pan makes one incredible omelette!

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Scout58

                            I'm still having trouble understanding how one "seasons" aluminum.

                            1. re: Bacardi1

                              Hi, Bacardi1:

                              I'll leave it to others to speculate as to *how* it works. But the difference it makes is amazing. Since getting this pan, I've tried doing the same thing with basically ALL of my skillets (tinned, SS, black-enameled CI, "smooth" ECI), and it's improved every one to varying degrees. Obviously, washing is necessary with some preps, but you can easily habituate to the salty oil scrub.

                              Aloha,
                              Kaleo

                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                I have an anodized aluminum omelette pan that, just as described here, is perfectly non-stick if I use it only for eggs, and just wipe it out after use. Never wash it. If someone does me a favor by washing it out, the next few omelettes stick badly.

                                1. re: zhenya00

                                  But since just wiping the pan out must leave a film of oil in the pan, doesn't that eventually turn rancid?

                                2. re: Bacardi1

                                  I have been trying to really get how seasoning aluminum works myself. As far as I can tell when one speaks of seasoning aluminum it isn't the process of polymerization of oil unto the surface as is done with cast iron & carbon steel cookware...

                                  Again (as far as I can tell, reading everything I can) to "season aluminum" is to essentially make certain there is an oily sheen that may be slightly dried. Sort of like the layer of oil you might get on a glass if you hand wash it in dishwater AFTER you used the water to wash an oily/fatty dish.

                                  At least that is what I have been able to surmise reading the different techniques and experiences. I could be wrong - hope someone who knows better will chime in and set me right if I way missed the mark.

                                  1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                                    Hey Jospeh,
                                    Have you ever tried that seasoning method on your Revere Ware omelette pans? I tried that method on my All-Clad 7.5 inch frying pan and it works well for omelettes.

                              2. Congratulations Kaleo!!!

                                Here is a prime example of keeping old posts open. I was in the north woods of Wisconsin when you originally posted this.

                                When I read your post, I had a suspicion, but when I saw his picture, 45 years disappeared in a flash. He gave demonstrations and classes at Gimble's Department store in Pittsburgh during the late sixties and early seventies. Even skipped school to go to the noon time ones at the downtown main store.

                                Buying his pan was not in the budget for Mom or I, but I still remember his disdane for the new, improved omelet pan with a hinge and teflon for easy flipping and no sticking.

                                1. Hi Kaleo,

                                  I've been on the lookout for your Stanish pan for a while now but could only find the Club version with the plastic handles. :(

                                  I thought I would have to "settle" for the thinner Pot Shop Of Boston omelet pan and finally bought one on ebay. To my surprise, it wasn't as thin as you guessed it to be. After measuring, it came out to a thickness of 7mm. It was also in great condition as the black painted handles weren't chipped at all. I also prefer the handle's design to the more expensive pan sold today. Just got it and now its time to season. That being said my pan is the 8" sand finish version. Its quite possible that the 10" may be made with thinner aluminum as your pan definitely looks thicker than the PSOB's 10" version.

                                  Now im just looking for a great book to accompany it. Might buy "Omelets, Crepes, and Other Recipes" by Rudolph Stanish or "The Art of Cooking Omelets" by Madame Romaine de Lyon. Then there is "The Omelette Book" by Narcissa Chamberlain. Cant really decide. I may just take a gamble on this but hopefully the surprise is just as glorious as when I measured my pan.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: VongolaDecimo

                                    Hi,VD:

                                    Great buy! I hope you get a lot of good use out of it.

                                    My guess as to thickness was based on eyeing the PSOB photos. So I'm happy I was wrong. It is also possible that yours was made thicker than current offerings.

                                    Enjoy!

                                    Aloha,
                                    Kaleo

                                  2. I seasoned my Stanish pan per Kaleo's instructions and it was beautiful and my omelets did not stick. However, this morning I made scrambled eggs and they did stick.

                                    I know the pan is supposed to be dedicated to eggs, but does that mean omelets only, not scrambled?

                                    Also, I know you are never supposed to wash your egg pan, only wipe clean, but this morning, I had no choice but to soak it to get the egg residue off (didn't use detergent though).

                                    Why did my scrambled eggs stick and the fact that I soaked it in warm water, does that mean I now have to re-season the pan?

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: omotosando

                                      Hi, Omotosando:

                                      Chef Stanish wrote to reserve the pan only for omelets and crepes. I will have to consult my McGee, but I think there is something about unmixed eggwhite which is troublesome. Have you ever noticed how a simple fried egg sticks a lot at the periphery?

                                      I would reseason your pan. It's pretty easy.

                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                        Thanks Kaleo. I haven't yet tried a fried egg (and perhaps won't). I will reseason.

                                        It was just such a shock when the scambled eggs stuck since the omelets slid out like the pan was Teflon. Perhaps the difference was when making a scramble, I put the pan at a low heat for the scramble and scrambled for quite a while as opposed to high eat and quick for the omelet. The whites were mixed with the yolk for the scramble just like with an omelet.

                                      2. re: omotosando

                                        I have one of the newer Stanish pans (bought after reading of your win Kaleo). I use it for fried eggs rather than omelets, and, with care, the eggs slide straight out the pan. The trick seems to be to put the eggs in before the pan gets too hot and keep the heat at medium. Not tried scrambled in it yet.

                                      3. I'm keeping an eye out for a Club Alumiunum red (poppy!) Stanish pan if only to complete my set.

                                        (I got a nice vintage set for a total song on eBay that came out of someone's vacation cabin. I just wanted the Dutch ovens - but the whole set was cheaper than most DOs were selling for!)

                                        In the mean time I have dedicated a 7" vintage Commercial Aluminum (pre-Calphalon) pan that I got off an estate on eBay (pretty sure it was NEVER used given the pristine condition. I use it only for eggs and melting butter, hand wash with only hot water - eggs slide right off.

                                        1. Hi Kaleo,

                                          What a wonderful story to hear. I had the amazing opportunity as a young man, to meet on several occasions and work and be taught by Rudy himself the art of making the perfect omelette. We worked together at several church benefits near his hometown. I wish you the best of luck with that awesome pan he helped create, it truly is the best omelette pan in the world. Here is a picture of me with Rudy and one of the nice ladies from his church. Also the inside cover of his book he had autographed for me. Best Wishes Kaleo.

                                          Sincerely

                                          Brian

                                           
                                           
                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: johnsonbl2

                                            Hi, Brian:

                                            Wow, what a great story. It adds a personal dimension to know someone who knew the man--and as Rudy.

                                            I happen to be enjoying an omelet for lunch as I write this.

                                            Aloha,
                                            Kaleo