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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.

                        1. I've been tremendously pleased with a pair of 8" Revere Ware omelette pans. Keep an eye on eBay for these or for a Rudolph Stanish cast aluminum pan

                           
                          5 Replies
                          1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                            They look really nice. Since they are stainless pans, I have to ask, how much oil do you use to keep the eggs from sticking?

                            1. re: Angelus2013

                              This is a perfect omelette pan from Ikea and it's $20.00. It is balanced nicely and is super slippery. It's is made from the newest generation of Teflon which is quite a bit harder than the rubbery texture earlier stuff and does not contain PFOA. Unless you want a carbon steel pan this is the pan to get.It is also induction capable. Spending more than $30.00 on an omelette pan is silly.
                              http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/pro...

                              1. re: zackly

                                I've seen those on Ikea. I picked one up and I thought it felt rather flimsy. Then again it was a show piece so it could be that.

                                1. re: zackly

                                  We have that pan and are pleased with it. We were fortunate to buy it in a set. The set included the Ikea 365+ 5 quart saucepan, 3 quart saucepan, and 1-1/2 quart saucepan, all for $20.

                              2. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                                Thanks for this. I found a 9" after your suggestion and I love it. They did something right. I wonder why there aren't more pans this good?

                              3. I've cooked mine in bare cast iron for years.

                                1. For French Omelets, I'd recommend a simple non-stick aluminum pan. I used a carbon steel pan for a year or so, but, in my experience, unless you make omelets several times a week, you will have trouble getting and maintaining the necessary seasoning. I bought a Volrath (US made) Thick aluminum pan with a very durable non-stick finish, and it works like a charm.

                                  1. My vote is for the thickest uncoated aluminum pan you can find--5mm and up. Season it and use it *only* for omelets.

                                    1. Thanks everyone - I decided to try the de Buyer carbon pan and have added a Rudolph Stanish search to my ebay watch list.

                                      Will let you know how I fare....

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: bagnut

                                        Look at this on eBay:

                                        8.5" SEARS BROWN ENAMELED CLUB CAST ALUMINUM OMELET CREPE CHEF SKILLET PAN

                                        http://bit.ly/KezkYm

                                        (Pardon the caps - that is clip and paste!) This IS the same pan made by Club Aluminum as a Stanish pan but branded for Sears. I'd jump on it for that price.

                                        1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                                          Hi, CJ:

                                          Good eye! Yes, Club made the Stanish pans, and this looks to be a rebranded one of the *later* Stanish pans. As far as function goes, I think it would be the same as with the earlier restaurant-grade (no coating, metal handle) Clubs-cum-Stanishes.

                                          I think this is an excellent value. If I didn't already have one, I'd jump.

                                          Aloha,
                                          Kaleo

                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                            But Kaleo, who has time to wait when making two omelettes? Of course you need a second! :)

                                            1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                                              I should, I know, but I would want them to match.

                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                  A solution (in jest):

                                                  I'll find you two club Stanish omelet pans and will trade them for your one earlier Stanish omelet pan :)))))

                                                  1. re: alarash

                                                    Hi, Ala:

                                                    I'll take one club Stanish and a fort or extra fort fish pan avec anse en fer.

                                                    Aloha,
                                                    Kaleo

                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                      I'm not sure why, but these are about as common as hen's teeth. I'm thinking it's just tradition to use brass, kind of like the brass loop handles on stock pots and stew pans, which also only uncommonly are found in iron.

                                        2. I used a 10" coated All Clad for several years, but it had gotten sticky.

                                          about that time I found an 8" Swiss Diamond that I love for eggs over easy; just a little snatch and you can flip two eggs without breaking the yoke.

                                          so I tried a 10" Swiss Diamond, but the sides were too steep to flip an omelette--and in the space of maybe 3 months, the coating started to blister.

                                          The Swiss Diamond warranty, however, is adamant about refusing to replace a pan with blistering--they say it is evidence of using too much heat.

                                          I suppose I do "rush" preheating the pan sometimes, but sheesh--it really does sound like their pans are not up to the realities of a typical kitchen

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: smarbawa

                                            Basically, Swiss Diamond has no guarantee. Love it or stuff it. (I have done both)

                                          2. I'm in the market for a new omelet pan myself. My current Teflon coated Bialetti pan is getting scratched up. I'm considering this one but I can't get much information about it except for Amazon customer reviews.http://www.amazon.com/TeChef-Blooming... I'm concerned about weight balance. I prefer a traditional thin blue steel French omelette pan with a long handle that we used to buy for under ten bucks back in the seventies but I want it Teflon coated. This one has a new generation of Teflon that supposedly more scratch resistant and safer.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: zackly

                                              I just ordered this one:
                                              http://www.amazon.com/TeChef-Blooming...

                                              I also want to get this one:
                                              http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/pro...

                                              Both have the harder Teflon that allows you to use metal utensils and is PFOA free.

                                            2. I was given the All Clad D5 omelet pan as a gift. It's perfectly fine, but I tend to prefer my old Calphalon non-stick pan that I probably paid $15 for about 5 years ago. The D5 lists for $155 but is widely available for $100. I can't see spending $100 for a nonstick pan especially since you'll likely only use it for eggs. I much prefer getting a cheap one which will work just as well, and can be discarded and replaced after the nonstick gets gunky in time. I must admit that I'm thinking about trying one of the newer ceramic nonstick omelet pans that go for ~$25-30.

                                              1. Just want to add that de buyer now makes an omelette pan in their mineral b range.

                                                33 Replies
                                                1. re: Sirrith

                                                  But is it really worth the cost of the deBuyer when any really cheap nonstick pan will work really well for eggs (which is the only time I use nonstick)?

                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                    For me, yes. IF I needed an omelette pan. Why get nonstick which will be replaced several times in my lifetime (even with gentle care) when I can get something which is still quite nonstick and will last much longer and produce better results (I find carbon steel makes eggs that taste nicer and have better texture than eggs on nonstick)?

                                                    1. re: Sirrith

                                                      Eggs cooked on a carbon steel pan "taste nicer" than those cooked in a nonstick...really?

                                                      1. re: josephnl

                                                        Since the egg sticks to carbon steel at the onset, it cooks differently to on nonstick, which gives different taste, as does the caramelisation which takes place on carbon steel to a greater extent than on nonstick

                                                        1. re: Sirrith

                                                          Don't quite understand. When you cook eggs in a nonstick, the only things you should taste are the butter (if used), the eggs, and any seasonings you might use. If eggs taste differently when cooked in carbon steel, the only thing additional that can be adding taste are the layers of seasoning the pan may have acquired over years of use. This seems pretty unlikely. With regard to flavors developing during the cooking…caramelization (by definition) can only occur when sugar is present (it's not in eggs)…so we can rule this out. The only other factor is browning which can occur when frying eggs…this is oxidation or burning, which with eggs can produce off-flavors, and can occur with all cooking surfaces. So, I'm not really sure why eggs fried on a carbon steel pan should "taste nicer"?

                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                            Even l like my dosa cooked in carbon steel crepe pan than my nonstick pan. The dosa comes out crispy and tastes better than the nonstick ones even using the same amount of oil or may be less. I haven't touched my nonstick pan in 6 months after getting carbon steel crepe pan.

                                                            1. re: 2babymom

                                                              I only use a nonstick pan for eggs. IMHO there is no other pan that does eggs better. For everything else...where searing, crusting, sautéing, etc. are needed, there are many better alternatives to nonstick...carbon steel, cast iron, stainless, anodized aluminum, etc. This thread is supposedly about omelet pans, and for me nonstick works best.

                                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                                I prefer cast iron for my omelets and see no point at all in owning a teflon egg pan.

                                                                1. re: rasputina

                                                                  I prefer carbon steel for eggs of all kinds. I like teflon for reheating things. Today I reheated spaghetti in my 10" frypan. It's really superior to a saucepan for reheating almost anything but soup.

                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                    I agree, I find nonstick pans to be the best for reheating. Especially if they have lids.

                                                                    1. re: Angelus2013

                                                                      Old school pyroceram CorningWare is my re-heating cookware of choice. Thanksgiving Friday is always a re-heated feast in French White in my home as it was in my mother's!

                                                                    2. re: DuffyH

                                                                      Interesting how we differ. To me, the only reason to use non-stick is to cook "sticky" things such as eggs. I have 2 NS pans that I use only for eggs or omelets. I would never pull one out to reheat other food. What advantage does NS have for reheating anything, other than perhaps being slightly easier to clean?

                                                                      1. re: josephnl

                                                                        It's the nonstick factor. Take, for example, that leftover spaghetti. Straight out of the fridge, it's cold, clumped together and a bit dry. In a stainless pan, I've found it works best to warm it up slowly,stirring frequently to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan. In a nonstick skillet, I can set the heat to medium, cover it and walk away, returning only once or twice to stir it. No sticking, no burning. And yes, it's very easy to clean. IME, a nonstick skillet is superior to other pans for reheating leftovers. I think of things like meatloaf, pasta, enchiladas, so many things.

                                                                        But I don't prepare eggs in those pans. That's where the carbon steel comes in. My Force Blue crepe pan, once seasoned, has only known butter, and makes the best eggs I've ever eaten. It's also excellent for grilled sandwiches, producing an exceptional lacy crust. And of course, pancakes and crepes.

                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                          And adding to the list of reheatable foods on nonstick pans, there is of course the pizza. I never tried it but many claim that it's the next best thing to fresh out of the oven pizza.

                                                                          1. re: Angelus2013

                                                                            I reheat pizza on a carbon steel pan. But any pan will do. The idea is to crisp up the crust. :-)

                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                              Really? Well I guess any pan would work as long as the cheese is easy to clean off.

                                                                          2. re: DuffyH

                                                                            Hmmm...I always reheat leftovers (other than pizza) either in a saucepan, in the microwave, or a combination of the two. Pizza goes onto a preheated pizza stone in the oven. I guess whatever works!

                                                                2. re: josephnl

                                                                  I cant explain why, i just know they do taste different!

                                                              2. re: josephnl

                                                                I'll lend my support to this notion. I have noticed a distinct difference in taste, and my wife, without knowing how I prepared the eggs, has commented on the taste difference. I use a NS pan for omelettes and scrambled eggs only, and I use steel or iron for over-easy. The few times I've inadvertently fried eggs in the NS instead of the steel or iron, they have tasted different--a not good kind of different.

                                                                I don't know the reasons for the difference, but I suspect that it has to do with the flavors created when the egg sticks to the steel or iron and sears a bit before releasing, whereas in a NS pan, these flavors do not appear. It's fine for eggs that you don't want any sticking with (omelettes or scrambled), but it doesn't work for fried eggs in my opinion.

                                                                1. re: jljohn

                                                                  We've noticed this with SS. We always cook our eggs, fried or omelets in the SS now. The taste is just better somehow. We have a non stick pan, but it's stored in a bottom cupboard, buried in other rarely used items. There is no seasoning in our SS, so that wouldn't explain it.

                                                              3. re: Sirrith

                                                                It's an odd claim. PTFE is nonreactive, so the only taste is the eggs, the butter I cook them in, and the salt and anything else I add. Why would I want the pan to impart a taste?

                                                                1. re: GH1618

                                                                  Not really, applying your logic (to the extreme to make my point), there would be no difference in taste between a steak boiled in a cast iron pan and a steak fried in one, which are then seasoned identically. Water is tasteless, so where does the difference in taste come from? Different cooking methods.

                                                                  1. re: Sirrith

                                                                    The difference in that case would largely be temperature profile. We are not talking about boiling here.

                                                                    1. re: Sirrith

                                                                      The difference in that case would largely be temperature profile. Water would interfere with the browning reaction. We are not talking about boiling here.

                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                        As I said, extreme example to make a point. Nonstick surfaces do not behave in the same way as other surfaces, therefore it is only logical to assume there will be some difference despite everything else remaining equal. As I've said in 2 separate replies, I don't know how to explain it exactly, I just know there is a difference.

                                                                    2. re: GH1618

                                                                      It's not about the pan imparting taste. Water is tasteless, yet you'd probably agree that a poached eggs tastes different than one that's dropped into a NS pan and fried, and that would taste different than an egg that is dropped in a bowl and microwaved. In all three cases, we have the same ingredients--an egg. The method and the tools alter the precise nature of the cooking process which alters the taste.

                                                                      1. re: jljohn

                                                                        I think if a fried egg tastes different when cooked in the same way in a steel pan compared to a nonstick pan, the pan must have imparted some flavor to the egg. My fried eggs, cooked in butter, taste the same, as far as I can tell, to soft-boiled with butter added. The difference is one of texture more than taste, if the doneness is not the same.

                                                                        With poached, the question is whether the noticeable effect of water is properly "taste," but I think that's splitting hairs. The important thing is, when frying eggs by identical method (as far as possible) in two different pans, which do you prefer?

                                                                        Microwaved eggs are outside my experience. A comparison to a pan-fried egg tells nothing about the contribution of the pan, because the cooking method is different.

                                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                                          We always use oil or butter, and prefer a stainless steel cooked egg. Maybe it's a difference in the reaction of the fat to the cooking surface, and in turn a reaction of the egg to the fat. It seems non-stick always repels, (beads up), fat to some extent.

                                                                    3. re: Sirrith

                                                                      Sirrith,

                                                                      I agree about the eggs tasting different in carbon steel. Until I purchased and used mine, I never ate eggs. Hated them. Made some for my husband, and they smelled so good I tried a bite. I can't explain it, but there it is.

                                                                      Maybe it's the seasoning, maybe the butter reacting with the pan - who knows?

                                                                      I'm going to make some fluffy scrambled right now.

                                                                      1. re: breadchick

                                                                        Yes, i don't quite know exactly how to describe it or the actual reason behind it, i just know there is a difference that i notice.

                                                                        1. re: Sirrith

                                                                          Cast iron (and I'm assuming) carbon steel pans leach iron into food cooked in them. That's considered a good thing. As GH1618 mentioned Teflon (PTFE) is non-reactive so you are tasting a purer product.

                                                                  2. re: Sirrith

                                                                    Yes, and it weighs about three pounds, about the same as my Mineral grill pan. That's a heavy pan.

                                                                    1. re: Sirrith

                                                                      one nice thing about carbon steel is how fast and evenly it transmits heat. It even seems to cool very quickly, when you back off the flame.

                                                                      Physics tells us that carbon steel is one fifth as efficient in heat transfer as aluminum, but 2 1/2 more efficient than stainless steel.

                                                                      so I would conjecture that some of the unique effect of carbon pans others have noted is due to the immediacy of the heat transfer.

                                                                    2. I thought my elderly tinned copper skillet was as good as it got for omelets, then when we were staying with a friend for a week I used her nonstick aluminum pan and was amazed at the ease of scrambling eggs. When we got back home I looked over several kinds of nonstick and settled on a 10" Orgreenic just because it hefted right and was just $14. Turns out it's great for omelets too, though of course only small ones.

                                                                      Now, I'm following Eric Ripert's advice about omelets, using low enough heat so the butter doesn't sizzle and taking my time, which gives a tender omelet that can be hard to roll. However, the ease with which they can be flipped, with a little practice, allows me to roll them up that way, with two or three partial flips. But the copper pan remains second-best.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                                                        Hi, WO. I've read that these are induction-capable but I've been fooled once. If you have a magnet handy, could you see if it 'sticks' to the bottom of that skillet please? TIA.

                                                                      2. Right after culinary school in the mid-1970's I worked for a number of French guys @ different restaurants in CT/NY. They had all come over together to work @ the French Pavilion at 1967 World's Fair. after that they moved on to New York City.Anyway, they would not let us American cooks use Teflon pans to make omelets. They thought it was cheating somehow. I will admit that an omelette made in a thin carbon steel pan looks different than one made in a Teflon pan. To use a house painting analogy, the surface has a more matte
                                                                        finish when made in a Teflon pan while in a steel pan it appears glossier. This probably accounts for peoples claims that they taste different. Fast forward thirty years, they now use Teflon pans to make their omelettes. Evolution?

                                                                        1. Hi bagnut,

                                                                          You didn't mention your heat source, and that changes things drastically. I recently switched from more conventional heat sources to induction, and it's changed my cooking life. An omelette chef likes to move a pan around with one pan, and use a some sort of appliance with the other--which works best with gas for energy and a responsive pan--like the copper pans you mention as potential Master Chef replacements.

                                                                          With induction, everything changes. The pan must be magnetic--neither copper nor aluminum can be used unless there is some sort of cladding interface. The pan and ceramic surface must be in direct physical contact, so the adjustments made by moving the pan up and down with gas are completely different for for induction.

                                                                          The technique changes, and the required pan also changes. The All Clad solution suggested to you by W-S, the d5, is the solution I use with my induction unit, though you would probably prefer copper core. Given your interest in copper, the cost might not be that big a problem. That solution would not only work for induction, but any other conventional energy alternative.

                                                                          If you just stuck to induction, like me, you might consider changing your technique by substituting almost instantaneous temperature adjustments from the induction unit for upward or downward movements of the pan. The alternative pan you might consider at that point might include enameled cast iron, like Staub's "perfect pan."

                                                                          That's what I'm experimenting with right now.

                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                            Hi, drrayeye: "[C]onsider changing your technique by substituting almost instantaneous temperature adjustments from the induction unit for upward or downward movements of the pan."

                                                                            What? First, if the hob isn't... wait for it... electronically hobbled... to shut off instantly--and for good--when the pan is lifted, there should be plenty of residual heat in even a crappy pan to keep on cooking. Second, simultaneously manipulating the pan, a turner/fork, *and* the temperature adjustment would require 3 hands.

                                                                            I think induction might yield fine omelets, but IMO, like on other heat sources, it's heat *stability* that is #1. Rapidly twiddling the heat up and down to try to make a nonconductive pan consistently turn out good omelets makes no sense to me. How do you manage it? Is there a smart phone app for this, or do you have a personal button-pusher?

                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                              Hi Kaleo,

                                                                              The technique is just a little different and doesn't require three hands. Just good step by step preparation. Maybe you'd like to watch a real live omelette chef do it:

                                                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhDLY3...

                                                                              No swirling fork for the presentation omelette chef--just getting it warmed up to the right temperature.

                                                                              I've done pretty much the same thing with my All Clad d5 10" nonstick pan and it works fine, I've yet to try it with the Staub perfect pan.

                                                                              Of course, I'm not an omelette chef. . . .

                                                                              drrayeye

                                                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                Hi, drrayeye:

                                                                                Hmm, from the moment this chef pours in the egg (2:04), I don't see him making any heat adjustment at all. The +/- buttons are stage left, and the only thing I see him twiddle with once the eggs hit the pan is the on/off control, which is stage right.

                                                                                Omelet bars are all about speed and consistency. One chef working two pans on hotplates can turn out around 180 omelets per hour. Constantly adjusting the hobs just destroys this ballet.

                                                                                As between that "omelet" and the ones Jacques Pepin demonstrates here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57afE... (also no heat adjustments), which would you choose?

                                                                                I put 'omelet' in quotes above because, by classic definition, only herbs and rendered bacon are privileged to enter the pan before the eggs. As Chef Rudolph Stanish instructs, "All other foodstuffs are mixed into the eggs." The reason for this is that the eggs are expected to enrobe the other fillings--if it's all jumbled up by pouring the eggs over a saute, you have a scramble or frittata, not an omelet. As Andre Dumas wrote: "Une omelet est a la cuisine ce que le sonnet est a la poesie." (An omelet is to cooking what a sonnet is to poetry

                                                                                )

                                                                                Aloha,
                                                                                Kaleo

                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                  No basic disagreements, Kaleo,

                                                                                  He makes the adjustments while preparing the saute, which sets the stage for the eggs. Once he "finds" the correct temperature (probably already has the "ballpark" setting preset), he keeps the pan in contact with the induction hob.

                                                                                  I think that I will be able to do the same thing with my Staub perfect pan, since it should hold that stable temperature very well--but it is far from a classic French omelette, demonstrated with the whirling fork--where any perverse fillings are added at the very end. Remember, I'm no omelette chef.

                                                                                  Our American omelette chef would probably be working on a shipping dock in Paris.

                                                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                    Hi, drrayeye:

                                                                                    LOL, I probably shouldn't say this, but the twiddling chef looks an awful lot like Tonya Harding's former bodyguard, Shawn Eckardt.

                                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                      Hi Kaleo

                                                                                      They say to be wary of skinny chefs. Clearly, we need not worry too much, as long as they follow his lead at Vollrath University.

                                                                                      Ray

                                                                                  2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                    Hi K,

                                                                                    It seems to me that a good cook using an induction range that doesn't do an immediate auto-off could make Pepin's French omelet. I think I could make it on mine, it would just be a matter of trial and error to find the right setting and timing. I could make one. Pepin could make a good one.

                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                      Hi Duffy,

                                                                                      No doubt--maybe even better than Pepin.

                                                                                      Several alternate techniques/tools:

                                                                                      1. You could just keep the pan touching the hob--no up or down, but side to side would be fine.

                                                                                      2. You could do it with either instant off Vollrath because they always instantly comes back on to the previous setting on contact.

                                                                                      3. You could use a cast iron pan that holds the temperature at a stable level.

                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                        Hi, Duffy:

                                                                                        No doubt. I only pointed this up to show that there need be no adjustment of heat, and that the pan is manipulated quite a bit more than was done in the earlier video. It's not a matter of pouring beaten eggs over lumps of food already in the pan.

                                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                          Hey, K,

                                                                                          Oh, yes. Abso. I'm still working on my beaten egg cooking technique. I'm sure I'm slow to learn for several reasons, the two most critical being that I don't cook them every month.

                                                                                          We've had the range 5 months, I've made an omelet once and a scramble twice. And I've used a different pan each time. Pathetic.

                                                                                          ETA - Ask me how many times I've made tacos of one sort or another. Every week is about right.

                                                                                2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                  Not all induction cooktops have an "instant off" feature that is activated when the pan is removed. On my GE Profile range I've got 30 seconds before the unit turns itself off.

                                                                                  What I mean is, when I lift a pan, if I touch down again before 30 seconds are up, the hob stays lit. Then I can lift it again, etc... And this happens fast, that it registers the pan is there. Anyway, 30 seconds, that's a long time, in omelet town.

                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                    Good point, Duffy.

                                                                                    The critical advantage of higher end induction units is the ability to instantly change temperature settings--by tiny 10 degree shifts and/or rapidly change settings with a little wheel. That way, you can let your fingers do the talking rather than fussing too much with fork while wiggling around the pan. With a responsive pan, and a sound strategy, an omelette chef can do amazing things with that little wheel.

                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                      drrayeye,

                                                                                      I just watched that Vollrath video you linked and was surprised to see Chef Rich hardly touching the temp. He turned the unit on when he started the veg, shook the pan a little, adjusted near the end of the sauté, and then got the egg going. He adjusted the setting once while cooking the egg. He had access to the same number of settings I do, when I was hoping to see a lot more small adjustments, those 10º increments you have. so color me mildly disappointed by that.

                                                                                      But the kicker is, the whole time the egg was in the pan, he was using a spatula to keep the egg moving. How is that different from a fork and moving pan?

                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                        Hi Duffy,

                                                                                        Subtle differences. The pan stayed touching the induction unit. He poured the eggs in over a saute, which had been adjusted to the "right" temperature, then mixed the saute and egg together. He was using the more inexpensive Cadet, which didn't have the wheel to make the adjustments I was talking about.

                                                                                        He's got another video, not making omelettes, which gets more into the adjustments. I think their best example in use of the wheel is melting chocolate.

                                                                                3. Hello all - an update:

                                                                                  I originally went with a de Buyer crepe pan - the seasoning process was pretty straightforward (used the suggested potato peel & oil method) and made several very successful “country” style (per M. Pepin) omelets with it, as well as several batches of fried eggs. (This pan was designated “eggs only” per several of your suggestions.) One small complaint is the low sides (perfect for the pan’s intended crepes) that I think would have made it nearly impossible to do the “classic” French style omelet.

                                                                                  However, after a few uses, even having carefully followed the care instructions, the seasoning seemed not to hold up that well and eggs began to stick. As a few folks mentioned this may have been expected given that I don’t use the pan that frequently.

                                                                                  So, I faced down my limitations with pans requiring TLC (I am also historically not great with plants) and sprang for a Scanpan Classic skillet. It’s definitely not the cheapest nonstick available, but it’s eco-friendly and I like the feel/heaviness of it.

                                                                                  So far so good! Its maiden voyage turned out a _perfect_ classic French omelet!

                                                                                  When/if it wears out I may spring for a Julia Child from PSOB.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: bagnut

                                                                                    Agree...I also have a Scanpan classic ceramic nonstick. I use it only for eggs, but I love it for omelets or over easy eggs (which I flip without implements). It's a great pan.

                                                                                    1. re: bagnut

                                                                                      +1 on the Scanpan skillet. I love mine. Mostly use it for eggs, but occasionally for other dishes. In addition to the superior (in my experience) nonstick surface, I love the shape and handle.

                                                                                    2. Putting in a good word here for cast aluminum, if the pan is only used for omelets (and crepes).

                                                                                      In the 1970s a company called Gourmet, based in northern Illinois, made omelet and crepe pans with walnut handles. They look very similar to the bare aluminum skillets from the same era put out by Copco (I believe those were manufactured in Japan rather than in the Danish foundry where their enameled cast iron was made).

                                                                                      Both of those can be found used on the online sites. [A very similar pan recommended by Julia Child in the same era is still made by a Boston company, but for an unreasonably large amount of money.] Cast aluminum omelet pans last forever if not washed. If anything ever sticks (like a bit of cheese leaking out of the omelet, just let the pan cool a bit and scrub out with kosher salt and a paper towel.

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: ellabee

                                                                                        Before I started using n/s pans for eggs (now have the ceramic n/s Scanpan which I love), for many years used the original Calphalon anodized aluminum for everything, including eggs. It is relatively n/s, moreso than plain aluminum I think, very easy to clean, and non-reactive with acidic foods. I still use Calphalon quite a bit, and like it a lot.

                                                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                                                          That Calphalon is back, called Calphalon Commercial this time around.

                                                                                          http://www.cutleryandmore.com/calphal...

                                                                                           
                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                            The original was also Calphalon Commercial. I have a piece of each. The new version is a little bit different. The surface is a matte finish whereas the original had a smooth finish. The newer handles are different also, but no better.

                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                              All of my older Calphalon which I like quite well, and which holds up really well and still looks pretty much new, is Calphalon Commercial. Is this no longer made?

                                                                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                No. There is a new line of Calphalon Commercial. It is similar but not exactly the same.

                                                                                        2. re: ellabee

                                                                                          Although current production of cast aluminum is slim pickings, there is a lot of uncoated aluminum available for cheap. Any kitchen supply store should have it, and it's easy to find online, too, from Wearever and Update International.

                                                                                          https://www.google.com/shopping/produ...

                                                                                          https://www.google.com/shopping/produ...