What to Consider When Buying a Crepe Maker for the First Time
There is a fine art to cooking the perfect crepe – as Shrove Tuesday shows us year after year. From ensuring the pan is hot enough to making sure not to over-flip, advice on the topic abounds. Get it wrong, and your delicate crepe can quickly become a char-grilled mess!
Fortunately, the job has become a lot easier with the advent of the crepe-maker. But with some models costing several hundreds of dollars, how can you be sure which one to invest in? Bearing the following points in mind will help you make the right decision.
The first and most important question to consider is: how big do you like your pancakes? The larger the hot-plate, the more versatility you’ll have in terms of size. Some models are capable of producing crepes of up to 13-inches in diameter! The obvious downside to the larger models is that they take up a lot of space – which is not so ideal for a cooking device that may only get used occasionally. Some alternative models see the hot plate divided into small recesses, allowing you to produce multiple mini-crepes at the same time. Your decision here will ultimately come down to how much kitchen space you have, and how regularly you intend to be serving crepes on the menu.
What the crepe-maker has over the pan is its ability to distribute heat more evenly across its cooking plate. This is after all a key reason in investing in one! Some models offer ‘temperature control’ features, where the hot-plate will automatically cool down to prevent burning. If getting the temperature right is something you’ve struggled with, it may be worth investing in a pricier model for this feature alone. At the very least, you should consider a model that has a range in its temperature gauge to allow for appropriate heat adjustment.
If you’re a complete novice to crepe-cooking, you should look for any convenience features that the model has to offer. Some are ‘easy clean’, which mean the batter is less likely to stick to their hot-plate, and many models come with additional tools and spatulas for spreading out your batter-mixture evenly. A key feature to look for is a ‘lip’ around the hot-plate, which will prevent spillages over the sides.
When it comes to speed, not all crepe-makers are born equal! If you’re purchasing online, read the reviews to see how fast the hot-plates are capable of reaching their required heat. The very best models will see your crepes cooked in around 3-minutes – which is perfect if you’re cooking for many hungry mouths! A fast-heating hot-plate should also lead to more even cooking, preventing any breakages when you flip your crepe over.
In the END, how much you choose to invest in a crepe-maker will depend on how much use you’re planning to get out of it. For occasional crepe-making, a mid-range model may be more appropriate. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that crepes are a very versatile dish that can be eaten as both a savory and a sweet course – and you may find you get more use out of your crepe-maker than you expect. Whatever model you opt for, you should recognize that the whole point of the crepe-maker is to make your life easier! You should therefore look for models that will aid the cooking process, and provide advantages over the traditional frying pan.
The crepe maker that we, Linda and Luke own, is the one from CucinaPro, the Crepe Maker and Non-Stick 12″ Griddle by CucinaPro, available on Amazon for sale. We would come back with a review of the crepe griddle later, and with many delicious crepes recipes. We also use it when we prepare the traditional American pancakes, as well as the Norwegian version of them, the Lefse pancakes.