Crepe Maker -- Buying and Using a Crepe Maker
Make Crepes at Home!
Need a crepe maker to make your own crepes? I know that most people who write about crepes invoke images of France, where crepes originated. However, when I think about crepes, I remember Japan.
In Japan, you'd often find crepe shops in busy shopping areas, a way to get a quick snack when you weren't quite ready for a meal. They'd fill them up with ice cream, fruits and cream or savory fillings, like ham and cheese. All in a neat little cone shaped piece of deliciousness.
Trying to make crepes at home in a traditional pan is challenging. You can never get it to cook right without burning and it's hard to flip over. Fortunately, you can find crepe makers for home use and a price that can suit any budget.
Types of Crepe Makers
It's smart to understand your options before you go shopping.
Stovetop Crepe Maker
A stovetop crepe maker is simply a pan that allows you to cook your crepes on your stove's burners. It's large and will heat evenly, so that you can get the perfect crepe, but the edges are a bit different than a traditional pan. First, there is a border, which you need to make sure that the crepe batter doesn't spill over to your stove. However, the edge is much lower than a regular frying pan, which you need in order to be able to easily flip the crepe over.
Electric Crepe Maker
Sometimes called a crepe griddle, an electric crepe maker is a stand-alone electric appliance. You plug it in and the surface heats evenly. You can spread the crepe batter right to the ends of the griddle area and because there are no sides to the maker, you can easily flip the crepe over.
Crepe Maker Features and Accessories
One of the most important things to look for when you're buying a crepe maker -- whether you're choosing an electric or stovetop one -- is the size of the crepe. Some versions make only small crepes -- with a 7 or 8 inch diameter -- while others make much larger ones. If you've ever been to a crepe restaurant, they probably used the large one. When you use this, it's easy to make a crepe with great fillings and have it be a meal.
Another important feature is the ability to regulate the temperature of the surface. If it's too hot, you may burn the crepe, but it won't work properly if it's too cool either. The electric style crepe makers are much easier to regulate than the stovetop versions, but they're usually about $10-20 more.
You'll also need some accessories for making your crepes. Most important is the crepe spreader, which helps spread the crepe batter across the griddle very thinly. It's a long flat tool on the end of a stick, which makes it easy to create the circle. The crepe spatula is long and thin -- it can easily get under the crepe and lift the whole thing. You may also need a special brush for cleaning the surface of your crepe maker. Some models come with these accessories while others do not. When comparing models, look at the total cost -- you may find that a machine that costs more actually costs less because it comes with the accessories that you need.
Using Your Crepe Maker
Using a crepe maker couldn't be easier.
- Turn the machine on so that it can heat up as you prepare the batter. If you're using a stovetop one, you may want to hold off on this step.
- Prepare your batter. Mix a cup of flour, 2 eggs, a half cup of milk, a half cup of water, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
- Pour about a quarter cup of the batter in the middle of the crepe maker. The amount depends on how big the maker is. Follow the manufacturer's specific instructions for best results.
- Use the crepe spreader to evenly spread the batter across the griddle, using a circular motion.
- Wait about two minutes.
- Flip the crepe over using a crepe spatula.
- Cook for about a minute on the second side.
- Repeat until the batter is gone.