Crepes are a dish loved by everybody. There are so many different kinds: thin, thick and tall, with sweet fillings, meat, mushrooms or fish. Not to mention a variety of sauces and toppings!
But the thing is — even the most popular recipe does not guarantee that the crepes will come out perfect. The main secret of ideal crepes is the “right” crepe pan. Such a pan is unlikely to make your crepes burn or stick. I offer your attention the criteria for choosing crepe pans, as well as the description of the materials used in production of this type of cookware. You can read more about the best models of crepe pans in the article of the DiligentChef website.
Choosing It the Right Way
So, what should a crepe pan be like? And which type is considered the best? You are very lucky if you have inherited a frying pan from your mom or a grandmother. It has been tested by years of cooking and thousands of prepared crepes. But today’s selection offers good crepe pans too. The main thing is to understand what you want, because the variety is vast, and each model has its pros and cons.
A good crepe pan should be:
- With a thick, smooth bottom and walls for even heating and heat transfer
- With low walls to make it convenient to flip even the thinnest crepes
- With a handle made of the material that does not get hot
- Comfortable size: ideally, it should not be larger than 26 cm and not smaller than 20 cm in diameter: heating will be even and flipping crepes will be easier
If you are not a fan of classics style, you can buy a square crepe pan, but all other requirements must be considered. And do not try to save money when it comes to buying this type of cookware, because a good crepe pan will give you delicious crepes more than once.
What Types of Crepe Pans are out There?
Now, let’s move on to more detailed information. We are not going to talk about the shape or exterior design — these factors do not affect the quality of crepes. But the material of the crepe pan plays a huge role here. Nominally, the variety of crepe pans can be divided into 2 types:
- With non-stick coating
- Without non-stick coating
Each group includes several kinds.
And here is the main secret: with proper care and preparation, almost all of them can be used to make crepes!
When choosing, it is important to rely on your own preferences, since everyone has their own ideal. I will tell you about advantages and disadvantages of crepe pans in more detail now.
Pans with Non-Stick Coating
Thanks to modern technology, we can buy unique frying pans that will fry product perfectly, even without adding fat. We are talking about cookware with non-stick coating. It is very convenient, it looks attractive and unusual, and it is light.
But there are also some disadvantages:
- Limited service life depending on the type of coating
- There should be mandatory compliance with the rules of using and caring for them
Most often you see frying pans with titanium or ceramic coating.
Such a coating cannot be too thin — the thicker, the longer the service life. On average, such cookware can serve for up to 6 years, maximum 10 years. This non-stick coating does not sustain mechanical damage; therefore, metal utensils definitely cannot be used with them. Any cleaning products and scrapers must not be used either.
A crepe pan with titanium coating can last up to 25 years, provided you follow the rules and take proper care of it, which are exactly the same for less expensive pans with non-stick coating. Keep in mind: quality cookware with titanium coating cannot be cheap.
Ceramic non-stick coating is totally different from the rest — it comes in a variety of colors, it sustains mechanical damage and it is more environmentally friendly, as it is made of sand. You can even cut food inside it. But ceramics does not tolerate temperature differences, so it is better not to buy this type of pan for making crepes. Or ensure that the crepe batter is not cold: the warmer, the better. The service life of such pans is pretty short because avoiding temperature differences during frying is very problematic.
All other names of non-stick coatings are usually variations of those described above, so read the description and specifications by the manufacturer carefully.
Steel, Aluminum, Cast Iron
There are also crepe pans without special non-stick coating. Usually, these are steel, aluminum and cast iron.
Steel is good for its light weight, resistance to deformation, affordable cost and durability. Quality cookware will last as long as you want. But for making crepes such frying pans are not a good idea — it is too difficult to prepare the pan to avoid burning the crepes. It is necessary to carefully heat it up several times — first with salt, then with butter. And always add oil to the dough. If you have managed to fry a crepe using this pan, do not use it for anything else — the effect will be lost.
Aluminum frying pans are even cheaper and lighter. But since this type of metal is very soft, the cookware made of it gets easily deformed. And if you decide to buy a crepe pan made of aluminum, choose the one with very thick walls and bottom; this way you will preserve its original shape much longer. Preliminary preparation of the aluminum pan — for crepes to be able to come off easily — is the same as with the steel one.
And now, my favorite pan for crepes — cast iron. Such pans would be passed on from mother to daughter. It will serve for 100 years; if, of course, you do not plunge the hot pan into the icy water — the porous cast iron can crack. The rest — abrasives, iron utensils, etc. — are not a threat to cast iron. On the surface of cast iron, after calcination with oil, a natural non-stick layer is formed. And crepes are easily made — now worse that on the modern ones. Its only drawback is its heavy weight, but it’s a matter of habit. The price of good cast iron cookware is not cheap, but there are domestic manufacturers whose prices are quite democratic. To be honest, it is the cast iron crepe pans that I consider the best for making crepes — mine has served me for more than 10 years. During this time I changed at least 3 inexpensive non-stick pans.
There is another kind of pans for making crepes, or rather, not pans: it is a modern kitchen appliance called a crepe maker. This electric device is intended solely for preparation of crepes and pancakes. As a rule, they have a non-stick coating. It is very convenient, but not cheap.
As you can see, the options are endless; the main criteria — go for quality and don’t try to save money on buying cookware.