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Crepe pan - answer to my omelette making needs?

So I've been searching for a pan that meets my omelette making needs, as I love breakfast and making omelettes. Now I make my omelettes a certain way that I've decided is my favorite way to make and eat omelettes, and it requires a pan that is non-stick, light weight, and safe to use under the broiler.

I had been using teflon non-stick pans in the past, but realized that it's probably not wise to stick them under the broiler and would prefer to avoid teflon in general now. Other non teflon options have handles that aren't safe for high heat as well. A roommate of mine had a Calphalon anodized aluminum pan, but I wasn't impressed with its nonstick abilities, especially over time. Now I love my cast iron pans for non-stick needs, but they're too heavy to maneuver and the rim doesn't have that gradual slope. I stumbled upon crepe pans, and I think they might be perfect for my needs - non-stick, not teflon, light-weight, and oven safe. Is there anything I need to know about these pans, do they really fit my omelette making needs?

I'm mostly torn between the De Buyer blue steel crepe pan and the Paderno crepe pan. I'm considering the Lodge cast iron round griddle as it seems like I can get multiple uses out of it, though it might be too heavy.

Lodge round griddle:
http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-L9OG3-Pre...

Feedback on how these pans perform would be greatly appreciated. Please no advice on omelette making methods - I realize I'm not making a classic French omelette, and you may have methods you think work better, but this is the method that most meets my preferences =).

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  1. In case it is helpful to know how I make my omelettes,
    I stir the egg mixture on medium low heat and swirl the mixture around the pan to evenly distribute and create a sort of crust on the edges. Then I top it with my fillings on one half, place it under the broiler briefly. I then slide a spatula along the edges and hold the pan vertically up by the handle and gently tap it down so omelette loosens up from the pan, then fold over the half without toppings over.

    1. A crêpe pan may work for you, but there are other steel pans which have a more conventional shape:

      http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/k...

      Also, if you get away from the big name brands, you will have more selection in diameter of the pan.

      2 Replies
      1. re: GH1618

        Thanks for the link! I see a lot of options on there. To narrow it down, are there any pans you especially like that you think fit my criteria? After a few quick clicks most appeared to be non-stick. My understanding of "blue steel" is that it can be seasoned to be non-stick like cast-iron; are all the pans in that link "regular" steel?

        1. re: nanobabes

          I don't know about the difference between "blue steel" and other steel pans. I have a generic French steel crêpe pan which I use only for crêpes. It is sufficiently nonstick for that purpose. I haven't tried it with egg, but I expect with good seasoning and some oil or butter it would work for that, too.

      2. I have a crepe pan and a Lodge griddle. The lodge has a very small rim and the omelet pan an even smaller one. If that's what you want then these are a good choice. If you rely on the pan edges to stop the egg when you swirl the mixture, you'd need to be careful with these. If you leave space between the edge of the pan and the egg mixture, then these will work.

        I like the deBuyer crepe pan, but I have a lighter non-stick one. I'd probably get a steel one if I got another so I could use it on indduction. The deBuyer one has a much higher rim then mine so it might work for you.

        2 Replies
        1. re: travelerjjm

          Thanks for the input. I don't think the size of the rim will be too much of an issue, the reason I brought it up was that because the rim of my cast iron has a sharper angle than my other skillets, plus I'm not sure if that area of my pan is as well seasoned as the flat surface.

          What material is your current nonstick crepe pan? I may have misunderstood your post, is your current one a deBuyer pan? When you say you'd get a steel one next time, do you mean the blue steel one or stainless steel? (Gah, so many options!)

          1. re: nanobabes

            Mine is non-stick coated aluminum. from Cuisinart. I am not sure which I'd get. I have a nice carbon steel pan (frying, not crepe) that I really like, so I may get one of those.

        2. I love my De Buyer blue steel crepe pan (used for crepes and fried eggs). I have not used it for omelettes under broiler. If seasoned according to instructions (easy to do), it will give you great nonstick results. It is also very light. I would recommend the 9 1/2 inch size. The lip is not very high so you might want to compare lip height with Lodge lip height. Lodge should work well also, but is going to be much heavier.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wakondatch

            Question about the non-stick performance of blue steel, how does it compare, say between a teflon non-stick and a cast iron non-stick pan? With teflon - when new - it's as if eggs repel from the surface, and even scrambled eggs slide around with ease. With cast iron, I have no problem with fried eggs, though scrambled eggs - since I'm moving it around before its completely "set" - seem to cling a bit, though obviously not as bad as with stainless steel.

            1. re: nanobabes

              Carbon steel will likely fall somewhere between nonstick and cast iron, especially if it's not a newer cast iron pan. Carbon steel is smooth, like stainless steel. I have 2 DeBuyer crepe pans, a 10" heavy Carbone and a light 8" Force Blue (the blue steel you're looking at).

              After seasoning, it's really pretty slippery. You will need to use some butter for your omelets, but it should be slicker than today's cast iron. Sometimes my eggs slide right around, other times they stick a tiny bit, maybe on one edge. Any sticky spots easily release with a little nudge from a spatula.

              To sum up, with butter in it, it's almost as slippery as nonstick.

              EDIT - To find out how your omelets will work, I scrambled an egg in my Force Blue crepe pan a moment ago. I think, given the way you cook your omelet, it will function well. I mixed the egg with milk, then poured it into the buttered pan, preheated on 5/10 (flat top electric hob). It began to set up right away. Within 5 seconds of it hitting the pan, I began to lift and blend the egg. ZERO sticking. I only had tiny bits begin to stick late in the process (about 1 minute in), when there was no butter left to provide lubrication. The pan mostly wiped clean with a paper towel. FWIW, a frypan will work better for a scramble, for the obvious reason. My little exercise took some spatula skill to keep the egg in the pan. ;)

              For your omelets, where you fold as you plate, this pan should be stellar.

          2. Another thing to consider. The De Buyer crepe pan has an angled handle that may cause a problem in trying to get the omelett close to the broiler heat. The Lodge handle goes straigt out from the pan so would be easier to get the omelett close to the broiler heat.

            1. I don't do my omelettes like you do but, I use both my Paderno and De Buyer crepe pans to make them. I also cook sausage, steaks, and similar things with really great results.

              The De Buyer is a little better but, the Paderno is a LOT cheaper. The Paderno handle will be easier to bend flat if you have broiler clearance issues. Wtih broiler heating, you probably won't notice a difference in the Paderno vs. De Buyer crepe pan differences. For pancakes and similar things, De Buyer is the way to go unless money is really tight.

              15 Replies
              1. re: Sid Post

                The Paderno must be really cheap; I only paid $20 for my de Buyer pan on Amazon.

                Regardless, it bears mentioning that a de Buyer pan needs to be prepped to remove its factory coating, pre-seasoned, and maintained in order to keep it rust-free. Anyone considering one needs to know that going in.

                1. re: MacGuffin

                  There are several grades of these pans. De Buyer has some cheap thinner ones I got for ~$20 but, I do like the thicker heavier "Mineral" pans better.

                  1. re: Sid Post

                    I'm well aware of the different de Buyer lines and have a Mineral B blini pan (gorgeous little thing). But I wanted a thinner pan for crêpes and the Force Blue was exactly what I wanted; the Mineral lines are dB's take on cast iron (although they're not cast). The Mineral pans might be better for under the broiler because I suspect the thinner pans just might warp (I could, of course, be totally off-base). And again, one has to take extra precautions against rust with the dB pans.

                    1. re: MacGuffin

                      Hi MacGuffin,

                      I don't know about broiler use, but some 'Hounds have reported FB warping on high heat. That's largely what prompted me to get a Carbone for my larger crepe pan.

                      1. re: DuffyH

                        Wouldn't surprise me but I find it conducts heat well without cranking up the source, so it's not an issue. Crêpes are very thin, fry in seconds, and don't require very high heat. Mine's a dedicated pan and isn't used for anything else so I don't have to worry about warping. :)

                        1. re: MacGuffin

                          <...it conducts heat well without cranking up the source, so it's not an issue. Crêpes are very thin, fry in seconds, and don't require very high heat. >

                          Just so. My FB pan is dedicated to crepes, eggs and the like. Since seasoning it, I've not had the heat any higher than 5/10, just for preheating. For cooking, I lower it down to 3-4/10, and often finish eggs off the heat.

                          1. re: DuffyH

                            Ah, but my omelettes are done fast on high heat! When I say "dedicated," I mean just that--for one task only (besides, it would be impossible for me to make an omelette my way in a crêpe pan). The omelettes have their own dedicated pans; they're aluminum and, unlike the FB, very thick, quite heavy, much deeper, and only for omelettes. Whatever isn't crêpes, omelettes, or blinis gets prepared in cast iron, including eggs any other way.

                            1. re: MacGuffin

                              Mine pans are not dedicated "SINGLE" taskers so, the thicker Mineral models work better for me. Plus my heat sources are not even so, that is a factor as well.

                              1. re: Sid Post

                                I have a fairly lousy range; fortunately, all of my pans seem to function well for their specific functions despite its limitations. It's the oven's performance that's going to send me to the funny farm. :((

                                1. re: MacGuffin

                                  Me, I'll trade my oven for a decent set of burners. And by decent, I mean not coil or radiant. They're just too slow, and I never seem to have a decent place to park a pan whilst waiting for the damn things to cool down.

                                  My oven performs quite well, bearing in mind that it thinks it's preheated at 220ºF, no matter the actual setting. But it cooks evenly enough for me.

                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                    Cakes and bread don't do especially well @ 220º F. :( I like to bake.

                                    1. re: MacGuffin

                                      Oh! The oven doesn't stop heating at 220º. That's just the temp at which it thinks it's ready. I know better, so wait until my oven thermometer registers the desired temp., which can take an additional 5-10 minutes.

                                      I do think it's hilarious that it takes the same 11 minutes to "preheat" no matter where I set it. 350º for Flourless Chocolate Brownies? 11 minutes, it's beeping. 550º for pizza? Hey, 11 minutes and it's ready! Who'd believe it? LOL

                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                        I just bought an electronic oven thermometer with a probe. It actually frustrates me even more because I now KNOW just how screwed up the oven is. Its awfulness isn't even consistent. Don't count on a non-electronic thermometer unless you're lucky enough to have an oven with a glass door that allows you to observe it. Yet another exercise in futility. :(((

                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                          MacGuffin,

                                          < Don't count on a non-electronic thermometer unless you're lucky enough to have an oven with a glass door that allows you to observe it. >

                                          Explain please? I don't understand.

                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                            I read that ovens regulate temperature by their thermostats' oscillating 25º above and below the target temperature, e.g., if you set your oven to 350º, the oven climbs to 375º, shuts itself off and drops to 325º, after which it turns itself back on to repeat the cycle. IOW, 350º is in effect an average temperature and I assume recipes account for this. If you can't see your thermometer without opening the oven, you not only don't know where in the cycle you're getting a reading (this is assuming your oven is properly calibrated) but the oven will lose heat as soon as the door is opened and you still might get an inaccurate reading. If you can see the thermometer through a window in the door, this isn't an issue.