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Yet Another De Buyer Crepe Pan Question

After being confused by different directions, I decided to stop worrying and follow the directions that came with the pan. These were to fry some potato peelings in the pan and wipe it clean. I did this and then decided to get all smart, so after wiping the pan clean I put more oil in, and let it sit on the flame for a few extra minutes....and I forgot until the smoke reminded me!!

The pan has spots that are gummy and brown, especially around the edges. I tried getting rid of this with kosher salt and a sponge, and then with baking soda and a sponge, which worked to a degree but not completely.

I know I didn't ruin the pan but I don't like those gummy, oily spots. Should I just get over it and forget about it, or is there a way to remove them?

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  1. < know I didn't ruin the pan but I don't like those gummy, oily spots. Should I just get over it and forget about it, or is there a way to remove them?>

    First of all, these gummy spots are only on the side, right? I won't worry too much about it. What you did with the salt and baking soda is correct. They are relatively strong enough to remove the gummy oil residue, but soft enough not to remove your seasoning layer.

    If you really do not like the gummy spots, then there are a few things you can do from here. First, we want to know if the gummy residue is very soft or very hard or anything in between.

    If the gummy residue is very soft and thick, then you can use a plastic scraper or even an old credit card to scrap the residue. Again, it is strong enough for the soft gummy residue, but too weak to remove the seasoning.

    If the gummy residue is relatively hard (barely gummy) and thin, then you can put the pan in the oven at 400-450oF for an hour. This will hard it. In time, the hard gummy residue will harden simply from cooking, so you can omit the oven method if you are willing to wait.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Thanks! The gummy residue is mostly on the sides, but also on the main part of the pot. The consistency is between very soft and very hard. You can feel the gumminess with your finger.

      Since you answered and I checked the board (I've been away) I tried more of the the baking soda, elbow grease method and removed some more of the film. I also tried boiling water (thinking that this would help to melt the gummy stuff - also worked a bit.

      Then I said, oh to heck with it and cooked a few crepes. The pan worked beautifully. It's not as cosmetically beautiful as when it came out of the box but cooking a crepe in it was a total revelation.

      I had always had problems cooking crepes before. It always seemed that my batters were too thick no matter how thin they were. Because I wasn't using a proper crepe pan! These practically cooked themselves.

      Anyway, thanks. I have a great crepe pan, I just aged it a little prematurely. I'm annoyed, but I'll survive. More important, the pan survived. Taught me a lesson: leave well enough alone.

      1. re: gothamette

        <It's not as cosmetically beautiful as when it came out of the box but cooking a crepe in it was a total revelation. >

        As long as it cooks well, then you are good. If the gummy residue is soft and thick, then you may still want to phyically scrap it off. If the gummy residue is hard and thin (more than likely), then don't worry about it. In time, it will disappear or rather merge with the rest of the seasoning. Great to hear all is working out.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          What's left is closer to hard and then than thick and resinous. I can feel it with my fingers ever so slightly, that's about it.

        2. re: gothamette

          Many happy crepes to you! I've loved mine, and it's a great feeling to have them warm, buttery and crispy one by one.

          The seasoning thing will work itself out, no worries.

          1. re: breadchick

            Why do they make such a big deal of it? Boil potato skins, don't boil them, fry potato skins, don't fry them....why not just say, coat lightly w/oil, heat well (watch that pan!) and wipe? Of all the things I fretted about, burning ON oil wasn't on the list.

            1. re: gothamette

              I know what you mean. If you want to really make yourself shake your head, head over to the various posts involving seasoning cast iron. Yikes.

              1. re: breadchick

                Isn't it amazing how people were able to cook before literacy was general? And in parts of the world where they still can't read and write and consult the Internet? You'd think that cooking was something handed down from generation to generation, or something. You'd think that cooking was something normal people can do.

                Seriously, it's amazing the difference that this crepe pan made. I used to make crepes in a decent enough pan, but the sides were too high and I suppose there were other issues with the make of the pan, so I could never get the batter thin enough to spread properly. This time, I made a recipe, stuck to it, and cooked it in both the old pan and the new de Buyer - and mon dieu, that batter just spread so perfectly in the de Buyer, I realized how wrong I'd been to put off buying a crepe pan. (I had not wanted to because I have a policy against buying one-shot deal cookware.)

                1. re: gothamette

                  <Isn't it amazing how people were able to cook before literacy was general? And in parts of the world where they still can't read and write and consult the Internet?>

                  Well, to be fair, people use to pass on knowledge from one to another and usually from parents to sons and daughters. So, your father and mother should have been the ones who taught you about cookware seasoning. Unfortunately, as you probably notice that cast iron and carbon steel cookware are becoming rare, so many parents do not know what to do with these cookware. Let's alone teaching.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    That was my point: "You'd think that cooking was something handed down from generation to generation, or something."

                    1. re: gothamette

                      Yes, you are correct, but like many things, older knowledge get lost in time. As we are more comprehend of smartphones, labtops, many people no longer know how to season cookware, sharpening a kitchen knife, create homemade sauce...etc. I am certain that most parents in the Western society can no longer do these tasks. This is why instructions are useful. 100 years, it would make no sense to include instruction for seasoning a cookware. Heck, the fact you have to tell customers not to use a dishwasher for cast iron cookware -- say it all.

                      Good luck with your crepe. :)

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Thanks for your advice. I continue to use elbow grease (and the credit card method), baking soda, and little by little it comes off. It also helps to use b. soda, water, and heat. I think the heat has helped to melt the grease. Of course, I may end up having to re-season the pan, but that's a small matter.

                        I think the problem about traditional knowledge is that even when it does get handed down, there are little differences, which confuse people. As I referred to in my OP. To use a potato or not? That is the question.....

                        1. re: gothamette

                          <Don't worry too much about this.>

                          You said that the leftover residue spots are hard and thin, right? The residue spots on the bottom of the pan will convert to normal seasoning surface. You are better off leaving them alone instead of trying to remove to much and starting to remove the rest of the seasoning.

                          < traditional knowledge is that even when it does get handed down, there are little differences, which confuse people. >

                          I agree. Tommy's mom like to use lad on stovetop, and Suzy's father like to vegetable oil in an oven...etc. Everyone has a different method because all of these methods can work, which is a good thing in a way. Yet, some people only swear by one method because that is the only one they have really tried and succeed. I am lucky (or unlucky) that I have tried many methods, and I can tell you that most of them work. Some better than the others, but they all work to a certain extend. The potato skin method, unlike all the other methods, is relatively new and uncommon. Potato has oxalic acid which makes it effective for removing rust and other oxides. My guess is that DeBuyer wants to use potato skin to remove whatever iron oxide is on the pan and the factory coating.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            "Potato has oxalic acid which makes it effective for removing rust and other oxides. My guess is that DeBuyer wants to use potato skin to remove whatever iron oxide is on the pan and the factory coating."

                            Aha! I wish they would have said that. If they had only given a reason, I wouldn't have been so obsessed about finding an alternate method. I just don't like doing things for no reason, blindly.

                            Thanks!

                            And as regards the gummy stuff, yes it is hard and thin on the main part of the pan. I was working on it because I could feel the border between these spots and the pan. I'm done with these; they are just cosmetic at this point.

                            The stuff on the sides is thicker but as you said this stuff doesn't really matter. I'll only work on them as the mood strikes.