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Dedicated Omelet Pan?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Recently I came across a book about cooking eggs, and in many instances a carbon steel omelet pan was used. The pan looks as though it would be great for making wonderful, buttery omelets. The sides have a nice angle to aid in sliding the eggs out of the pan, and the material and thickness of the pan suggests quick, even heating and rapid cool down.

How might a dedicated omelet pan compare to a good quality clad or disk-bottomed, SS lined skillet, like All-Clad, Calphalon, Demeyer and the like?

After reading some of the recipes and techniques, it seems like it may be fun - and make good sense - to use a dedicated omelet pan. What are your thoughts on this?

shel
post #2 of 10
i know at school and the restaurants i have worked at the we used a good non stick pan. We pretty much only used them for eggs and creps. The carbon steel pan sounds nice, the way you describe it, it almost sounds like a small wok almost. The one thing though that carbon steel(i think) will react with acidic things, so if you make and omlet with tomatos it, it will react.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
It seems that most everyone these days uses orrecomends a non-stick skillet for making omelets and other egg dishes. I've been using one as well. However, it holds the heat rather than cooling down quickly as a wok might (my thought was like yours about the wok analogy)

I don't know how such a pan would react to foods like tomatoes. At least one of the recipes in the book I mentioned shows such a pan being used with tomatoes. Perhaps someone with direct experience in such a situation will comment of the possibility. My initial thought is that a well-seasoned pan, and cooking using an appropriate amount of butter or oil. and, of course, proper care, would minimize or eliminate the problem. Pans like these were used well before non-stick and stainless steel surfaces with good results, and many may have been handed down to subsequent generations.

shel
post #4 of 10
Carbon steel is great for ometettes. Like you noticed, the gentle sloping shoulders of the pan are great for rolling omelettes. Don't worry about reactions with acidic materials--As long as you have some kind of a fat or oil in the pan you have a barrier, the reactions only happen when you have liquids with acidic components in them.

To season a carbon pan do the following. Pour about 1 cup of salt into the pan and heat it, shaking the pan every so often. This will take about 15 mins. when the salt turns brown-grey, pour it out into an empty metal can (it is very hot...) and pour a couple tbsps of the cheapest veg oil into the pan. It'll smoke like crazy. Pour out the oil, Now with a rag rub the pan vigoursly. Smear in some butter, wipe out, and you're set.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
For anyone interested, here's a similar method for seasoning:

How to Season an Omelet Pan

shel
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Another reason for my interest is that I'd like to get back to some older, more traditional, methods of cooking. Non-stick pans, while admittedly very useful, don't seem to have the "soul" of good, traditional cookware.

Further, some of the recipes in the book I've been reading call for lots of butter to be used in preparing omeletes and various other egg dishes. The butter adds a nice flavor. If I'm going to make an egg dish with lots of butter, there's no need for a non-stick pan, so going with a traditional omelet pan might just add another dimension to the cooking experience. For me, cooking isn't only about finding easier ways to do things, but learning about traditional methods and techniques. Non-stick pans are somethig akin to using a short-cut method to solve a problem that, at one time, didn't exist.

shel
post #7 of 10
I have 2 different sizes of Le Creuset omelette/crepe pans. They were part of a wedding gift, more years ago than I care to reveal. They are still going strong and turn out brilliant crepes and omelettes every time.
post #8 of 10
I buy inexpensive non stick pans at the discount store, and cook wonderful omelets in them. As soon as they fail to release, I toss them, and reach in the cabinet for a new one.
post #9 of 10
Chef you are exactly correct. Years ago we had no teflon, Your method is also correct but, you forgot to mention these pans were not subject to washing or water after seasoning in. They were wiped out with a towl with more oil and hidden in ones locker.;)
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #10 of 10
A perfectly seasoned carbon steel omelet pan is more non-stick than a non-stick pan. The problem, for a home cook, is that a perfect patina is hard to achieve and maintain unless you cook with the pan more or less constantly. In the old days, and still in some pro kitchens, carbon steel omelet pans are used to make omelets in considerable numbers every day. This makes maintenance a non-issue. But if you only make a couple of omelets a week or so, you may have trouble.

I suggest that you use such a pan for everything you possibly can, and not just eggs. Watch out for any acidic ingredients -- fruit, tomatoes, wine, vinegar, etc. Your omelets should not pick up flavors from the other things you cook, and your patina should form and remain intact without a lot of trouble.
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