Buying Guide to Omelette Pans
5 Things to Know Before You Buy
Simple, satisfying and packed with protein, omelettes are a cheap and easy meal popularized decades ago by the original French foodie herself, Julia Childs. Although Childs once had an omelette pan designed and named in her honor (the Original French Chef Omelette Pan), you don't have to break the bank - or attain foodie fame to whip up the perfect omelette. Here are five facts to help you find egg-sactly what you need!
Fact #1: Curvy & Shapely
Omelettes are best (and by that we mean most easily) prepared in a round or oval-shaped skillet with curved, moderately high, sloping sides (the better for flipping with). Since a 2-3 egg omelette is the most common preparation, a small pan (anywhere from 6-10 inches in diameter) is sufficient. That being said, the art of the omelette is far from black-and-white. A pan of up to 12 inches in diameter will work just as well, as long as one is able to hoist it slightly during cooking.
Fact #2: Hefty, Hefty, Hefty!
There's a reason angry housewives wield frying pans on TV - the best ones are heavy and would definitely pack a wallop. However, aside from vengeance and self-defense, heavy pans are also prized for their ability to conduct heat evenly. Copper pans lined with stainless steel are considered superior at controlling heat and cooling quickly when removed from the burner. Stainless steel (with a Copper or aluminum core bottom), stainless steel-wrapped aluminum, and anodized aluminum are also chef favorites - and provide just the right amount of heft. Another faction of foodies prefers well-seasoned, cast iron skillets. However, we humbly suggest that omelette-making newbies skip seasoning and start with a pan that features a non-stick surface instead.
Fact #3: Non-Stick Solutions
The beauty of a non-stick surface is the fact that it requires less grease (i.e., fat) in the pan while allowing finished omelettes to slip from pan to plate with ease. Although some cooks complain the non-stick surface hinders the heating process and prevents browning, neither of these things interfere with making an outstanding omelette. In fact, just the opposite, omelettes are not meant to brown, and a slow heating pan is not necessarily a negative. For the beginning omeletteer, sticking with a non-stick surface is definitely a plus.
Fact #4: Too Hot to Handle?
The handle of an omelette pan is equally important. The best handles stay cool while cooking, making it easy to grab the pan without a pot holder. It should be noted, however, that wooden handles are not dishwasher safe, and hard plastic handles will not withstand the heat under a broiler - limiting the versatility of both. Need another way to handle the heat? Consider pot holder grips that slip onto the pan handle like a glove.
Fact #5: Flip Over Lids
Whether or not to use a lid while preparing an omelette is a decision as personal as the recipe you choose. Some pans are sold with a lid, while others go topless. The good news: there is no wrong answer!
A chef may tell you that the secret to an omelette is all in the wrist, and while that may be true ... we've told you the rest. A good pan can make the difference. Good luck, and get crackin'.