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Best crepe pans: cast iron or carbon steel?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a good crepe pan. Is it better to buy a carbon steel crepe pan or a cast iron griddle?

I can't seem to find a large enough carbon steel crepe pan, and just found a lodge cast iron 10-1/2" griddle that seems like it would be perfect - but never thought of using cast iron for crepes before.

Thanks!
post #2 of 14
I use one of my two Le Creuset omelette pans - great results every time.
post #3 of 14
How often are you planning to make crepes? The problem with a specialized carbon pan is that if you use it once in a blue moon, it'll stick. For me, making crepes once every couple of months, I've found that any heavy skillet will work fine if you allow for a couple of "test" crepes.
post #4 of 14
Why wold you use a 10 1/2 grid pan for 8 inch crepes / ?
Use teflon omelette pans. :chef:
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
8" crepes? How sad! My crepes have to be at LEAST 10"!! OK, I can leave with 9", or 9-1-2" but 8" is definitely smaller than I'm used to. Back in France we used to make 14" crepes, NOW you're talking!!!!

It is a mystery to me why people make/eat such small crepes.

I make an entire "crepe evening" about once a month.
post #6 of 14
I gotta' state that while studying at the Sorbonne in the early 70's, I'd always eat lunch at La Bonne Creperie in the Latin quarter and the crepes themselves measured around 12 inches in diameter or so. WIth a couple of eggs and ham, man oh man. And it looked to me like she was using either a cast iron or solid steel surface to cook on.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #7 of 14
I vote carbon steel.

Here's a link to medium sized, carbon steel, crepe pans: Matfer Bourgeat BOURGEAT BLACK STEEL ROUND CREPE PAN WITH IRON HANDLE

Here's a link to larger ones: debuyer | Kerekes Bakery & Restaurant Equipment, Inc

(I really like the Bourgeat crepe pans and culinary cookware as an e-tailer. In general deBuyer are the next step down from Bourgeat, but I don't suppose that matters at all in a crepe pan. They don't see any rough duty. I haven't had any experience with kereke's -- it's just the first hit for a 12" pan I got on google. For this purpose, as long as it's carbon and the right size, the cheaper the better.)

I disagree with Chris to the extent that the first crepe, and often the first two are a waste anyway. Think of them as an opportunity to make your dog happy. Once you've got a couple off the pan, it will behave beautifully -- even if it was hung for a long time and regreased just before cooking (no need to cure again).

The primary advantage of cast over carbon is temperature stability at the time the food is introduced. Not important with crepes, because they're not much thermal load. Cured carbon is every bit as "non-stick" as cast, and requires exactly the same amount of care. Carbon is just so much easier to handle.

Modern commercial creperies in France, Canada and elsewhere, even cart mounted, use electrically or gas heated cast-iron griddles. You don't often see pans anymore. Here's a link to an e-tailer with the sort of things you do see: </title></head><body>" + printReady.innerHTML + "<br><br><center><font size=-1><br>Client's name goes here!</font></center></body></html>"; PrintFrame.focus(); PrintFrame.print(); } else if (ns6) { parent.PrintFrame.document.body.innerHTML = document Heavy griddles make sense in a commercial setting because they can be heated, kept hot economically during long idles, and are ready to go when the crush comes. Pans of any sort take a certain amount of fiddling before you get that good "assembly-line" action going. Plus, you can't just leave them on the heat unloaded forever. Warp's 'em.

BDL
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Great, thanks again BDL. Looks like I'm getting a 12" Debuyer! Great.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well after all I'm opting for cast iron - for health reason. My baby just got diagnose with anemia, and my wife has been anemic for a while too. I've been reading up on it and a lot of people suggest simply cooking in cast iron to get more iron in your diet.

So now I'm opting for this:

Matfer Bourgeat CAST IRON CREPE PAN

Hoping to use it for crepes and eggs sunny-side up at least, maybe I'll find other uses too? Oh and I guess so goes my dream of becoming the best crepe-flipper in town (to be honest I've been making crepes since I was a kid and never flipped them - I find it easier to turn them with a spatula).
post #10 of 14
Why 8 inch, because I use them for apps only. 14 inch is enough for 2 people.:chef:
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post #11 of 14
You get a 5% bump (about) from new cast iron as opposed to cooking with aluminum. Compare to carbon steel, probably about 1%. Your child will get more dietary iron from a single serving of applesauce than from a months worth of eggs and crepes cooked in a cast iron pan.

Science aside, the cast iron griddle you've chosen looks like a great choice for so many things.

Now this I find very disturbing. A spatula? Why? What's wrong with your fingers?

BDL
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post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Shhhhh! First, how the funk did you know???? And second, I'd rather you don't tell everyone on this board!!! :lol:

So you're saying you get some iron from cooking in a carbon steel pan as well? Hmmmm...

If I decide to go for the cast iron griddle, what else do you think I could use it for, aside from eggs and crepes?

Thanks!!
post #13 of 14
>>how did you know
because that's how everybody does it.....other than newlyweds with them there fancy doohickies.

>>get some iron from cooking in a carbon steel pan as well?
"steel" is cast iron that has impurities removed/converted by oxidation. (see Bessmer, et. al. - history indicates Bessemer did not 'discover' steel, but he did 'invent' / perfect(?) a practical method to make steel on a commerical/large scale....)

there is no element/molecule of the ilk "steel" - it's essentially all iron (Fe on the periodic table)

and - as mentioned - a handful of <a great number of foodstuffs> will put more Fe in yer system than cooking everything you ever eat since and after "forever" in/on cast iron - so although cooking in cast iron adds iron to your diet, it's not really a percentage player.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Excellent info. Would you believe I never really realized what steel was? Thanks Dilbert.

PS: I'm definitely studying iron-rich food carefully as well.
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