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New cast iron gas fired crepe griddle nightmare

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I am opening a new sandwich bar and creperie with my fiance. We are just testing out the brand new cast iron griddle and are having a nightmare!!!

The mix I made was; 1 large cup flour, 1 large cup milk, 2 eggs and approx 50g melted butter. I left it to relax for almost 1 hr.

The instructions in the book said the first time it is used, it must be lit and a few layers of oil to be applied and left to cook for 5 mins each layer, so it turns a dark brown colour. We did this approx 5 times, at close to minimum heat level.

Then we turned the heat to minimum and applied some batter. It swirled with the wooden "swirler" no problem. We waited til there was no liquid left on top and tried to turn it - but it was stuck!!! By the time we managed to release it, it was completely burnt on the first side. We tried a second one and the same thing happened. We switched it off and left it to cool. After about 30 mins we tried a small amount of batter on it (still switched off) and it cooked and turned no problem!!! (although it was very pale). It makes me think that the griddle, even at the minimum setting is too hot???? What can we do?


post #2 of 9
I don't think it should be too hot at the minimum setting, I think its a "seasoning" issue. 5 intervals of 5 minutes each does not sound to me to be the best way to season a "virgin" crepe pan -I would do a forum search for "cast Iron seasoning" I'm sure Ive seen it discussed. Have you tried any crepes since the second one?

On a side note, how much exactly is a "large cup" of flour and milk? I would definitely consider being exact with your recipe for batter, -It is the most important part of the crepe!
-Weigh your milk and flour and write down any adjustments you make, once again, be exact! You need consistency first, then you can effect change, then you will be on the road to a fantastic product. A perfect crepe needs only minimal ingredients to be beautiful, however, you can pile all the chevre you want on a mediocre crepe and you're still left with mediocrity.
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much. I will continue to season the griddles today. I cleaned them as best I could with a sponge/scourer and washing up liquid. Now they are mostly black with some silver parts, can I just continue to season them or must I remove all of the black and start again? If so, how do I remove this? I do have grill cleaning gel.

Also, I was wondering about the bottom of the griddles, if I dont season that part, might it rust?

Thanks for your responce on the batter recipe, I will work on that.

post #4 of 9
If all else fails , you may want to try this . Before Teflon we made our own coated non stick egg pans
Cover the scrubbed dry griddle with a layer of salt.
Turn heat to medium
COOK the salt till grayish, brown
dump salt
wipe grill down with a towel saturated in edible oil
rub oil in , put more oil wipe dry and store
do not wash with water or else you will have to do all over again
This should work. Good Luck:D

PS What is a wooden swirlei? pour batter in hot pan, swirl pan with wrist motion , pour out excesss batter. After a while you will know exactly how much batter to put in eliminating any excess, or at least you should. Also no such animal as large cup or small, a cup is 8 ounces or 1/2 pound
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks Ed. What I have is an actual crepe griddle, not a pan, and the swirly thing is a wooden instrument which came with the griddle, used to smooth out the batter when first applied.

I have since reseasoned it, took about an hour this time, and did another 5-6 layers, this time leaving longer between each application of oil, so it could dry better. It has now cooled and is completely shiny all over :D

I also think we may have had the gas regulator too "open" and allowing too much gas through, because even on the lowest setting, it was overpowering just standing next to it. We are going to try another crepe this evening when my Fiance is home.

Wish us luck! I will let you know how we get on.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
OK, so we had another go :D

The first one (as usual) was not up to much. The next 3 were fine. But, despite applying extra oil after each second crepe, the final one stuck and burnt again :@ - we really believe the griddle is getting too hot. We have it on minimum setting and have closed the gas regulator to as closed as it goes. There is a position on the knob where it is much lower than at the minimum setting, it is where the ignition setting is, but it would be very easy to nudge it and the flame would go out and gas might escape without us realising the flame had gone out. It is not a setting that the appliance is supposed to be kept at, other than for ignition.

Has anyone had any such experience with a gas appliance? We are opening on Wednesday!!!
post #7 of 9
Hi there,
I have quite a bit of experience with crepe grills (5 restaurants worth) so here are a few hints without giving away too much proprietary information
  1. I think you need to do some more research on your recipe, butter is usually used when making crepes not when making batter, I know this is going to get a lot of negative feed back from other posters but if you use oil when making the batter it will stay suspended a lot longer than butter
  2. The griddles take a while to season, the best way to do this is to make crepes on them, you will also need some time to master the Zen art of crepe spinning so have some fun.. make a competition out of it, who can spin the most crepes in 30 minutes, who can spin the roundest crepes, who can spin blindfolded, re-create the pottery scene from Ghost (just wash your hands afterwards)
  3. Crepe spinning must be done at a fairly high setting and should not take any longer than 45 seconds tops so if they are burning before you can flip them you may need to get the griddle re-calibrated
  4. you should never wash a crepe grill with water or detergent, you should use a handle free heavy b.b.q. grill brush and scour it in the same direction as you spin the crepe
There are lots more things that you will learn along the way but for now practise practise practise.

Bon Chance and have a crepey day

P.S. the wooden twirly thing is called a rake

P.P.S. let us all know if the Ghost thing works out
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello again! Well here is a quick update.... we have been open for 12 weeks and all is going very well, many customers have said the crepes are the best they have had :D

Just last night though, some tiny flakes of the seasoning started coming off the centre of the griddle and attach to the crepe, now there is an area of tiny holes in the seasoning in the centre. Do we now have to remove the whole of the seasoning and start again? How do we do this? Why has this happened? How can we stop it happening again?

Thanks (again). Claire.
post #9 of 9
This is normal. After a month or so of regular use, you may notice seasoning coming off. You will need to use an abrasive stone (google will show you what this is) and scrub away at least the top coating of the seasoning. Follow this by re-seasoning the griddle 5-10 times and you will be all set again.

I am opening a small restaurant as well, so I am encountering some of the same problems as you are in my "test kitchen". Send me an email through the site if you want to talk about other lessons learned or swap crepe batter recipies =)
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