Bring classy French cuisine into your home with the help of freshly prepared crepes. Originating in the northwestern region of France, a crepe is a very thin style of pancake prepared in a special pan. Since crepes are also versatile enough to serve either sweet or savory, you can enjoy this meal or snack virtually any time of the day.
What is the Difference Between a Crepe and a Pancake?
Many gourmets define the crepe as a very thin version of the pancake. However, there are two particularly important differences between the two dishes. The first important difference is that crepe batter does not include baking soda or baking powder. While pancakes need baking powder to rise and become soft and fluffy, crepes lack baking powder so they can remain thin and versatile.
The second difference is that crepes require a special type of pan. This pan acts as a griddle to thin and spread the unleavened batter. Once finished, the preparer can then fold or crease the crepe and serve it with desired sweet or savory toppings.
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Both differences hail from the origin of each food. The word pancake comes from the Greek tiganos, a word used for any type of hot cake prepared in a skillet. In contrast, the French word for sweet crepe (crêpe) comes from the Latin crispa, referring to the ability to fold a crepe into creases and serve it with fillings or toppings. Similarly, the French word for savory crepe (galette) refers to how French cooks originally used large stones or pebbles to thin out the batter before serving a crepe with savory toppings.
Benefits of Using a Crepe Pan
There are a host of benefits and advantages in using a special crepe pan. Usually made of cast-iron, steel, or aluminum, these pans feature a non-stick coating for easier crepe preparation. Due to their design, you can also heat crepe pans to temperatures much higher than regular or non-stick skillets. This enables safer preparation than other methods.
Other key benefits of using a crepe pan include the following:
- Portable and Lightweight – Once you perfect the recipe, crepes are very easy to make. You might easily find yourself wanting to make them for breakfast, brunch, dessert, parties, and holidays. Buying a crepe pan means a portable and light option for any occasion. In fact, the portability of the crepe pan is a contributing factor to why crepes are now a popular street food around the world.
- Easy Cleaning – As non-stick pans, these are very easy to clean compared to regular skillets.
- Easy Flipping – Cooking crepes requires that you flip them at least once during preparation. A special pan makes it easy to flip crepes without spoiling the recipe.
- Easy Usage – Special crepe pans usually come with handles that make it easy to tilt and spread the crepe during preparation
- Defined Edges – Pans with undefined edges leave it up to the person to properly shape the crepe.
- Economical – Buying a special pan is more affordable than purchasing crepes from restaurants or attempting to use a crepe-maker machine.
- Versatile – In addition to crepes, you can also use a crepe pan to make tortillas, pitas, injera, blintzes, dosas, and naan.
The Best Pan for Crepes – Reviews
Features and Benefits: Without question, the Cuisinart 623-24 is most of the most celebrated crepe pans on the market. This classic pan has a non-porous, hard-anodized exterior reminiscent of crepe pans found in French restaurants and creperies. For the interior, the crepe pan features patented quantanium that creates a non-stick surface for easy cooking and cleanup. The pan has a tapered rim that maintains crepe shape while preventing spills, and it comes with a non-heating steel handle for easy flipping. And if you end up needing to put it in the oven for any reason, the pan is oven-safe for up to 500 degrees (F).
- Classic crepe pan similar to those found in professional kitchens
- Hard-anodized, non-porous exterior resistant to wear, chipping, abrasions, or stove burns
- Patented Quantanium interior that creates a non-stick surface that is resistant to scratches and requires a minimal amount of oil
- Suitable for very hot stoves; also oven-safe up to 500 degrees F
- Non-heating, stainless-steel handle for easy flipping
- 10-inch diameter pan with shallow interior for perfect crepes and tapered edges to prevent dripping
- Includes warranty
- Not compatible with induction cooktops
- Not dishwasher safe
Features and Benefits: Those accustomed to using a traditional griddle pan will appreciate the features of the Cooks Standard crepe pan. Made of a hard-anodized exterior, the outer surface is thicker and more durable than stainless steel. The interior is made of heavy-gauge aluminum that distributes heat evenly and helps prevent hot spots or burns. This interior also supports a non-stick surface for aesthetically pleasing crepes and easy cleaning. The pan has a stainless-steel handle that stays cool on the stove, but you can also put the pan safely in the oven for temperatures up to 450 degrees (F). Cooks Standard crepe pans work equally well on gas and electric stoves.
- Hard-anodized exterior resistant to wear and tear
- Aluminum that distributes heat evenly and helps prevent hot spots or burns
- Non-stick interior for easy cooking and cleaning
- Stainless-steel handle that remains cool for easy flipping
- Oven-safe up to 450 degrees (F)
- Works on gas, electric, glass, ceramic, and halogen stoves
- Can double as a griddle or grill pan
- Not compatible with induction cooktops
Features and Benefits: Interested in following one of the oldest and most authentic methods of preparing a crepe? Look no further than the MINERAL B crepe pan. As the name implies, the MINERAL B is made of 100-percent natural iron. This means you can get the same authenticity as using a cast-iron pan found in traditional European kitchens. Naturally non-carcinogenic, this pan produces a non-stick surface after careful application of oil or melted butter. Imported from France, this crepe pan features an attractive beeswax finish and can also double as pan for sauteing and stirring.
- Authentic natural iron pan with no added chemicals
- Made in France
- Naturally non-carcinogenic and preserved with beeswax
- 100-percent iron quickly sears food, thereby preserving important vitamins, nutrients, and flavor without scorching
- Includes ergonomic handle for easy handling and flipping
- Compatible with induction cooktops
- Oven-safe for up to 20 minutes at 400 degrees (F)
- Useful for sautés and sauces
- Must oil pan after each use (to preserve life of the pan)
- Not dishwasher safe
- Must de-glaze with hot water before hand-washing the pan; must use coarse salt to cleanse and sterilize the pan
Features and Benefits: If you need a larger cooking surface, the Nordic Ware crepe pan is a solid option for you. Inspired by the crepe-making process in Northern European kitchens, this pan features a durable aluminum exterior with a non-stick aluminum interior. This means your crepes can glide easily from the pan without needing any additional oil. With its great heat distribution and generous size, you can use this pan to make everything from crepe cakes to brunch platters.
- Larger cooking surface (than the average crepe pan)
- Wear-resistant aluminum exterior
- Non-stick aluminum interior
- Aluminum construction helps distribute heat evenly
- Compatible with induction cooktops
- Sturdy handle for easy flipping
- Not dishwasher safe
Features and Benefits:
Individuals with induction cooktops and dishwashers need not feel left out of the crepe-making process. Instead, try using the CHEFMADE crepe pan. Made of stainless steel and a bamboo spreader, this non-toxic pan is compatible with electric, gas, induction, ceramic, and halogen cooktops. The stainless-steel exterior construction is durable and heats fast, thereby searing food quickly without scorching. In its interior, the pan includes food-grade silicone coating to prevent sticking. Although it is perfect for most cooktops, it is also safe to put in the oven at up to 446 degrees (F). And unlike many crepe pans, the CHEFMADE is also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
- Made of stainless steel and bamboo spreader for durability and even heat distribution
- Non-toxic and non-carcinogenic
- Interior coated with food-grade silicone to prevent sticking
- Dishwasher safe
- Compatible with induction cooktops
- Oven-safe for up to 446 degrees (F)
- Additional bamboo spreader accessories available
De Buyer’s French Crepe Pan is available in two sizes. One can choose from a 9.5″ or 7.5″ form factor. This French Crepe Pan is constructed from blue steel. Combined with the pan’s nonstick surface it will build up taste and patina without creating a mess.
De Buyer’s French Crepe Pan uses expert engineering to help create the perfect crepe. The pan’s flattened sides work with a lower depth interior to make flips easier than ever. This construction means that one can make crepes easier than ever before. However, it also helps for any thin or delicate food. Pancakes, eggs and even pan seared meat will benefit from this pan’s construction.
Flipping is further aided by a contoured handle. The handle design ensures one won’t fumble a crepe flip. While the pan’s lightweight design makes it even easier to handle.
The blue steel construction does require some extra care when washing. Blue steel retains flavor in a similar way to cast iron. One begins by scrubbing the pan with soap and hot water. After the pan dries the owner should add enough cooking oil to fully coat the bottom of the pan.
One to two tablespoons should be enough oil to offer an acceptable coating. As the pan heats up the oil will begin to smoke. Once that process begins it’s time to turn off the heat, discard the oil and wipe it off the pan. The end result is a cast iron style seasoning with a blue steel and non-stick construction.
The Eslite Life crepe pan provides a large 11″ x 11″ form factor. The shallow 2″ is perfectly sized for easy flipping. The entirety of the pan is coated with a non-stick granite stone coating. This helps owners stay on top of even the finickiest recipe. Its light weight makes it even easier to use with recipes which call for flips or more complex maneuvers. At only 2 lbs it’s an easy item to use through even the most demanding recipes.
The pan’s bottom is fully induction compatible and helps to keep heat distribution consistent over the entirety of its interior. Heavy duty cast aluminum helps provide additional support and ensures that warping will never be an issue. The Eslite Life crepe pan provides additional resources to work with heat by providing a magnetized base. This helps to speed up heat transference while ensuring the pan will still hold up to the test of time.
The special attention to heat distribution also makes it perfectly suitable for use with gas, ceramic, electric, induction or halogen stoves. Eslite Life’s pan is even compatible with glass cooktops.
The pan’s handle is heat resistant and will stay cool no matter how hot the stove heating elements become. The handle is also designed to help aid people who want to flip, grill or otherwise move delicate foods around during the cooking process.
The Le Creuset’s 15.8″ x 10.6″ size provides an impressive amount of space. The pan’s form factor is directly inspired by French aesthetics. The design helps to provide a feeling of authenticity for cooks working with French cuisine. The pan is hand-inspected by French artisans to ensure users are taking part in France’s rich culinary history.
The pan’s cast iron construction ensures that heat is evenly distributed throughout its interior. The interior of the pan is layered in a light black enamel. The enamel doesn’t require the seasoning found in most cast iron or blue steel pans. The pan’s handle uses an ergonomic design to help one handle and flip crepes or other fluffy foods.
Le Creuset’s pan is designed for use with any type of heat. This includes induction, gas, oil, coal and wood. The pan will also handle both slow cooking and high-temperature searing. Le Creuset’s design is highly functional and will help one master the art of crepes. However, the pan’s most remarkable feature comes from the sense of authenticity lent by its classic French design.
Gourmex’s crepe pan comes in a wide variety of sizes. Users can choose from 8″ up to the largest size of 12.5″. The pan is constructed from a strong cast aluminum which can stand up to most heat sources. This includes cooking with electric, coal and gas. It also provides special protection to keep induction stovetops safe while cooking. This is made even easier thanks to the pan’s magnetized base.
Glass top stoves are often a difficult combination with heavy pots. However, the Gormex crepe pan should be compatible with most glass top stoves. One should put a little extra care into using this pan on glass stoves. But the pan’s construction makes it more compatible with glass surfaces than many others.
The pan’s non-stick surface ensures that crepes will flip easily and won’t congeal during the cooking process. It also prevents burning or sticking when cooking meat, fish, vegetables or any other light food. The pan’s flat even surface ensures that everything from eggs to crepes will cook smoothly.
The pan should be hand washed and doesn’t need any additional seasoning. One should simply rinse it with soapy water after every use to remove grease or oil. The non-stick surface of the pan ensures that users should never need to scrub it.
The Cook N Home pan provides an interior cooking area of 8.5″ within a 10.25″ x 18″ body. The pan’s thick aluminum design offers quick and even heat distribution. The high heat conduction level helps to prevent hot spots within the pan which might result in uneven cooking.
The pan’s handle is designed to stay cool even when the pan’s achieved a high temperature. Its soft handle design further complements the light weight of the pan itself. These two points work together in order to help people flip and manipulate crepes in as fluid a way as possible. The pan should work with most stoves. However, there is a chance that it might scratch glass stovetops.
The Cook N Home’s nonstick coating also makes it easy to clean. It shouldn’t require much more than a quick rinse with soap and water after use. However, the non-stick coating is delicate enough that some extra care should be put into the cleaning process. As with most non-stick pans it’s important not to use metal utensils or abrasive cleaning tools with it. And even handwashing should be done with some extra attention to the integrity of the pan’s non-stick surface.
How Do I Prepare a Crepe?
Fortunately, you do not have to be a gastronome or French chef to make the perfect crepe. The most important parts of preparing a crepe include having the right pan and ensuring that there are no lumps in the batter. Other than that, cooking a crepe can be quite simple.
Simple Sweet Crepe Recipe
- 1.0 Cup Wheat Flour
- 1.5 Cups Whole Milk
- 3 Eggs
- 0.5 Cup Melted Butter
- 0.25 Cup Melted Brown or Golden Butter
- 1 Tablespoon White Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Pinch of Salt
1. In a large bowl, pour in the flour, sugar, salt, eggs, and vanilla extract.
2. Using a whisk, gently mix the ingredients together while slowly pouring in the milk.
3. Add the butter and give your mixture a final few whisks.
4. This step is crucial. To avoid having lumps or bubbles in your batter, cover the mixture with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least one hour. For good measure, you can also use a blender or hand mixture to eliminate lumps and bubbles. The batter should have a fine consistency before cooking.
5. Once you are satisfied with your batter’s consistency, heat the crepe pan. Using a small ladle, pour batter into the heated pan (as if you are making a pancake).
6. After ladling the batter, tilt and swirl the heated pan in a circular motion so that the batter evenly coats the entire crepe pan.
7. Cook each crepe for about a minute, then flip and cook the other side for another 30 seconds.
8. Since crepes are thin, pile them on the same serving plate to prevent drying out. Just before serving, add your favorite toppings or dust with powdered sugar.
1)To produce a savory crepe, you can omit the sugar and use buckwheat instead of wheat flour.
Following a keto diet? Use substitutes like almond flour, almond milk, and splenda.
What are the Best Fillings or Toppings for Crepes?
One of the top benefits of owing a crepe pan is the ability to serve crepes with numerous toppings or fillings. If you prefer savory crepes, for example, you can make a breakfast or brunch crepe stuffed with smoked salmon and crème fraîche. Crepes prepared with buckwheat flour also pair well with spinach, mushroom, onion, or leeks. Other savory crepe fillings include cream cheese and chives. Prefer to keep it simple? You can simply stuff the savory crepe with ham, cheddar cheese, and eggs.
Sweet crepes also have a range of possibilities. Very popular options include using hazelnut spread (e.g. Nutella) or strawberry topping and whipped cream. Any type of regional fruit preserves or syrups also pair well with sweet crepes, and you can also serve this sweet dish with French cider, coffee, or tea. For dessert, you can easily stack a pile of crepes and coat with marshmallow frosting to make a “crepe cake.” Finally, adventurous home chefs can use this opportunity to grab a cookbook and try making Crêpes Suzette, a famous French dessert consisting of sweet crepes, orange segments, orange zest, and a liqueur flambé finish.
The Bottom Line
With a high-quality crepe pan, you never have to depend on a French bistro to produce a great breakfast, brunch, dessert, or snack. Once you perfect the initial recipe, crepe pans make it easy to produce versatile meals within minutes. To select the best pan for crepes, stay mindful of any stovetop or dishwasher considerations so that you can have the perfect dishware for a host of daily meals.