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Best omelet pan?

I'm in the process of replacing my All Clad original Master Chef cookware with (mostly) copper. I'm also new to omelets and need a good pan.

Suggestions? A stop into WS yielded the suggestion of the All Clad D5 omelet pan.

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  1. I've never seen an omelet made better than by Jacques Pepin.... he uses a simple medium gauge non-stick coated aluminum pan. Commercial kitchen grade can be had for under $25...15 for when on sale

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57afEW...

    17 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      It's weird to see him attack that pan with high heat and a fork. I mean, he can probably afford to throw the pan away every time he makes an omelet, but I wonder how best to adapt his technique to a home kitchen. I've been using gentler heat and a wooden spoon, but I'm debating whether to switch to carbon steel.

      Do you use his technique as prescribed? How long do your pans last?

      1. re: Scrofula

        You are correct about the fact he probably hasn't paid for a piece of cookware in years....and the use of his fork with the nonpstick pan....but today's more expensive pans are a little more durable....I use a Silicone Spatula myself. I'm not in the habit of banging my pots or pans.....but I do employ the shake method shown for Scrambled Eggs and Omelets

        As recommended by others, Seasoned Carbon Steel is excellent with only the need of minor oil added. Here are a couple of pans I picked up in a thrift store this past year for under $10 for both....a 24 and a Crepe Pan(20?)

         
         
        1. re: fourunder

          fourunder.. completely jealous of your CS pans. someone let those get by them! Dang! great save!

        2. re: Scrofula

          I've tried his method with a wooden fork.

          1. re: Scrofula

            That video definitely made me cringe and shake my head. I would imagine that you could use a silicone flat whisk for whipping of the eggs.

            As for the carbon steel, I am curious as well. I like that you can season them, that really seems desirable for eggs.

            1. re: bakon

              I haven't used it for French-style omelettes, but I've fried or scrambled a few eggs in a carbon steel wok at high heat, and it works pretty well. If I ever buy a dedicated omelette pan, I'm going the carbon steel route.

            2. re: Scrofula

              I occasionally have made the "classic" omelet Pepin style. Mine comes out precisely like his (but only in my dreams). Actually mine are not too bad...and yes I use a fork on a cheap aluminum n/s pan (~$20 pan). I think the pan will remain useable for at least 20 omelets...so the utensil cost is not too bad if you like this kind of omelet. I use the same cheap pan for over easy eggs which I've just learned to flip in the air. Great fun. For me, cheap n/s pans are perfect for eggs. I use them for nothing else.

              1. re: josephnl

                I dream of flipping eggs. I know the technique, I'm just afraid to try. I'm killer with veggies, never use a utensil of any kind, but eggs scare the bejeezus out of me. I'm pretty sure it's fear of flying yolk.

                1. re: DuffyH

                  Duffy...learning to flip eggs is really not that hard. It took me perhaps 2 dozen eggs over a few week period. You might want to look at my thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/960482
                  A few things: watch a few of the many videos on YouTube, practice with a piece of dry toast, use a n/s pan at least while learning...the smaller the better, I was unable to find a pan smaller that 8", so my workaround is to keeps the circumference of the eggs smaller is to tip the pan when I first put the eggs in, then as the whiles are firming up I coax them into a smaller circle with a silicone spatula. Make sure they move easily before flipping, use plenty of butter, and of course, start with one egg. Go for it...it's not a big deal, and it's really fun.

                  1. re: DuffyH

                    Try first with one egg. You will fail if you don't flip with gusto. I've flipped two (connected) at once, but my last time, one went onto the stove. It cleaned up ok. Point is: keep trying! When it works, it feels great!

                    1. re: danlind3

                      I've been doing it for 3-4 months now, and have become pretty much a pro. It's not that hard and it's fun. The main trick is to make sure the eggs move freely in the pan, and then flip briskly without hesitation. Although I've broken a few yolks, I've never missed the pan, but I still flip over the sink. Go for it...or as the folks at Nike would say "just do it"!

                  2. re: josephnl

                    Even the most durable nonstick that currently exists out there is bound to get scratches and lose their nonstick properties. It just takes longer to scratch than regular coatings. I would never use Jacques Pepin method to make an omelette in a nonstick pan. A well seasoned carbon steel pan would be another matter.

                    After reading Kaleokahu's thread on her Rudolph Stanish omelet pan I seasoned an aluminum/copper frying pan, that I got on ebay, per the directions of the Potshop Of Boston and I have made successful omelet using his "standard omelet" method but the eggs stick when I try doing the French Omelet method. I think the vigorous stirring scrapes up too much of the seasoning.

                    1. re: Angelus2013

                      < A well seasoned carbon steel pan would be another matter.>

                      I cringed when I saw that fork-in-pan technique. I agree that a CS pan might be an excellent candidate. Or for pity's sake use a silicone whisk or something kinder to that poor nonstick pan.

                      1. re: DuffyH

                        Well, as others have said before, Jacques would just buy another pan once it starts showing scratches.

                        1. re: Angelus2013

                          Or the manufacturer would ship him another case of them.

                          1. re: DuffyH

                            More than likely. His nonstick cookware seems to be KitchenAid nowadays after filming "Essential Pepin".

                2. re: fourunder

                  I have an 8" All Clad stainless 2nd picked up at TJ Maxx for $30. It's my omelet pan. It comes out exactly like Jacques Pepin's first example, so it must be right! Really happy I can get such a nice result without purchasing a non-stick. I hate that crunchy egg paper that cooks on the edges of non stick. Yuck!

                3. I don't like thick based pans, like All Clad for omelette making. I want fast transfer of heat. I cooked in French restaurants in the seventies and eighties and we used thin blue steel pans that were only used for omelettes. They had to be kept "seasoned" and you had to get them hot enough before you added the eggs or they would stick. Nowadays, I use thin, inexpensive Teflon coated pans like this one:
                  http://www.amazon.com/T-fal-Professio...

                  1. Something inexpensive and nonstick so you won't feel bad about tossing it every couple of years. All it takes is one or 2 scratches and that pan becomes very sticky so to speak. Omelets are the egg dish you need nonstick for easy success, especially as a newcomer.

                    I'm currently using a calphalon contemporary nonstick from Bed bath and beyond. A set of 2 (8 inch and 10 inch) for 30 bucks or so. Things slip and slide beautifully.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: autumm

                      And Calphalon has an EXCELLENT replacement policy. No receipts required. I returned 3 pieces last year that were WAY more than a "couple of years" old. Not totally babied, but no abused either... just started being not so non-stick anymore. Cost a couple $ to send to them, but got BRAND NEW replacements in about a week.

                      1. re: kseiverd

                        I wanted to do that, but mine had a big "user error" scratch in it so I knew that would void the warranty. Pretty sure they were stacked and scratched when I packed when we moved.

                        I bought the same pan to replace it, just taking better care of it this time around

                    2. I use a De Buyer la lyonnaise carbon steel pan for omelettes. No stick, wonderful omelettes, cheap, will last forever.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Sirrith

                        I second the De Buyer pan recommendation. I use a 9.5" crepe pan from the Force Blue line for eggs, pancakes and crepes and it's so well seasoned that everything slides right off. If you can deal with the initial seasoning, I think it's a much better investment than a nonstick pan because it's a (multi) lifetime purchase that gets better as you use it.

                      2. In my opinion, the most important thing of an omelete pan is to minimize the sticking between the egg and the pan.

                        As such, a typical nonstick Teflon (PTFE) pan or a seasoned carbon steel pan is probably your best tool.

                        A Teflon (PTFE) pan is a bit easier to work with a bit more nonstick. A carbon steel pan will be longer lasting and is a bit more versatile -- if you want to use it for high heat cooking as well.

                        An All Clad D5 nonstick omelette pan will work, and I see it is on sale for $80 at Williams Sonoma.

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          I have to disagree about a nonstick pan for an omelette. It changes the texture of the part of the egg that is against the pan in a way that is not pleasing, in my opinion. I would say carbon steel is the way go to. See my recent post dated Dec. 16, 2014.

                          1. re: Jessiet

                            Respectfully disagree. From multiple posts here, friend's experience, and YouTube videos, is is very apparent that it is quite difficult to cook an omelette in a carbon steel pan without some browning. I very much dislike the taste of browned eggs. N/S pans cook omelettes beautifully without browning!

                            1. re: josephnl

                              That's certainly not scientific....I have both Non-Stick and I have a French Carbon Steel. I don't like any hint of brown egg as well. I can make a brown free omelet with either pan without sticking.... it only requires low flame or heat, even moderate is okay, but it requires your attention....a little fat helps

                              1. re: fourunder

                                Obviously, it is possible to avoid browning eggs in a steel pan, but as you note, it requires low heat and care to do so. That's probably why most professional chef's such as Jacques Pepin (as you've also noted), Wolfgang Puck, and many others use n/s pans. In general, I'm not a big fan of n/s, but for eggs, that's all I use.

                                1. re: josephnl

                                  Yes, you are correct that it is possible to avoid browning, but a good omelet should be cooked quickly to avoid making its' texture dry. It is a trade-off. You can choose to use a n/s pan, and have an (in my opinion) compromised texture of the exterior of the egg (that which was resting against the pan) or, you can use a carbon steel pan on fairly low heat and have minimal browning with a lovely moist interior. I choose the latter.

                                  1. re: Jessiet

                                    Hi Jesslet,

                                    <...but a good omelet should be cooked quickly to avoid making its' texture dry.>

                                    I'm not sure of your point here. I used a thick aluminum nonstick skillet on my induction range to cook a 2-egg omelet over medium heat in under 30 seconds. It was very moist and creamy, There was no browning, and the exterior was tender and not at all dry. It looked a lot like the omelets Jacques Pepin and Julia Child were producing. I'll add it was about the 2nd omelet I've cooked in my life. The shape was nothing to write home about, but the tenderness and creaminess was divine. I'm not sure how the exterior could be classified as compromised. Can you elaborate?

                                    For the record, I'm a fan of carbon steel for fried eggs. My deBuyer Force Blue crepe pan practically lives on my range for fried eggs, cooked on med-low heat with zero browning. They take about 3-4 minutes. Any higher heat and the edges start to get all crispy.

                                    Duffy

                                  2. re: josephnl

                                    There's no denying Non-Stick is far easier and produces a quality omelet. I'd through in pan sautee fish as well.

                                  3. re: fourunder

                                    Even 2mm thick carbon steel holds heat so well, I imagine it might be helpful to take the pan off the heat entirely before dropping the eggs in.

                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                      That helps for sure....it's also beneficial to pull the pan of the heat to shake the eggs and or form the curs with a fork or spatula/scraper.

                                      The shake omelet was often cited by Jacque Pepin and Julia Child in their demonstration videos

                                      1. re: fourunder

                                        <The shake omelet was often cited by Jacque Pepin and Julia Child in their demonstration videos>

                                        Shaking and stirring is how I ended up with a shaggy semi-rolled scramble. :-D

                                  4. re: josephnl

                                    It's all a matter of personal taste.

                                    1. re: josephnl

                                      I hate browned eggs, and cook scrambled eggs and omelets in my carbon steel pan all the time. It's all about heat control.

                                    2. re: Jessiet

                                      Everything has its tradeoffs. When the handle on my T-fal pan broke, I tried frying my eggs in my small steel crêpe pan. It imparted an objectionable taste to the eggs which does not happen with Teflon, which is completely inert. Perhaps the problem will lessen with more seasoning.

                                      1. re: GH1618

                                        That's why my small crepe pan only does eggs and grilled sandwiches. Only butter. Eggs taste wonderful.