Best Overall: Lodge 10.5-Inch Cast Iron Griddle
Lodge is known for its hard-wearing, no-frills, cast iron pans that do well at home or in the woods. So you may be surprised to find that they also have the best pan around for making delicate and thin crepes.
You may already be familiar with Lodge’s infamous cast iron skillet, one of my personal favorite pieces of cookware. Well, their round griddle is virtually the same pan but with an extremely short sidewall.
This is an important feature of the best crepe pans. It allows you to easily spread the crepe batter as well as get under the crepe to flip it.
The heavy, solid cast iron is another asset for a crepe pan. Not only is it incredibly durable, but it provides some of the best heat distribution and retention around.
It may take a few extra minutes to come up to temperature, but once you’re there, the cooking surface should maintain a very even and consistent temperature. That allows you to cook over relatively low heat and in turn, provides very even browning without worrying about burning.
While cast iron has incredible cooking benefits, it does require a little maintenance in order to keep it from rusting and functioning at its best.
Luckily, Lodge ships their cast iron crepe pan pre-seasoned, so you’re off to a good start. But, putting in a little extra effort for a better seasoning will pay dividends when it comes to food release.
There are several routes you can take when it comes to seasoning a cast iron crepe pan. I like to use the same method that I do for my carbon steel pans. It’s fast, doesn’t require much oil, and you can add as many coats as you’d like.
The round cast iron griddle from Lodge isn’t just the best crepe pan – it’s a great all-around pan, period. It can be used on any cooking surface, or directly over a fire, and will easily last multiple generations.
Plus, it’s always a bonus when the “best overall” option is also the most affordable on the list.
- Very inexpensive
- Excellent heat distribution
- Incredibly durable
- Requires some maintenance
Best Upgrade: Le Creuset 10.75-Inch Enameled Cast Iron Crepe Pan
If the Lodge crepe pan sounded good but you don’t want to deal with the ongoing maintenance, you’re in luck. But, it’s gonna cost you.
The Le Creuset enameled cast iron crepe pan performs similarly to a raw cast iron version, but the enamel coating makes it easy to clean and maintain.
Le Creuset is the king (or queen) of enameled cast iron cookware. I swear by just about every dish they make and use their Dutch ovens religiously.
The cast iron core of their crepe pan distributes heat as good or better than anything else. And, they are known to use the best, most durable enamel coatings in the industry.
The big benefit of enameled crepe pan is that it completely solves the problem of rust and corrosion. This crepe pan doesn’t need to be seasoned, it can be scrubbed with soap and is even dishwasher safe.
While the enamel layer is durable and easy to care for, it won’t develop the same non-stick qualities that a raw cast iron crepe pan will. So, you do trade some non-stick performance for convenience.
Now, I did say that this pick would cost you. You can usually find this crepe pan priced around $150, which is close to 10 times more expensive than the Lodge griddle. But, it does come with a rateau (crepe spreader) as well as a crepe spatula for easy flipping.
A small but useful touch that may make the high price an easier pill to swallow.
So, if you’re on a budget, this is not the choice for you. But, for Le Creuset loyalists or anyone who wants a crepe pan of the highest quality, this is a beautiful and easy to maintain option to add to your collection.
- No maintenance required
- Very even heat distribution
- Includes crepe spreader and spatula
- A very expensive crepe pan
Best Nonstick: Cuisinart 10-Inch Tri-Ply Non-stick Crepe Pan
Non-stick crepe pans don’t have the same durability that cast iron offers. But, they definitely make up for it in convenience and ease of use.
The Cuisinart tri-ply, nonstick crepe pan will have you turning out beautiful, evenly cooked crepes like a pro.
Heavy cast iron is one of the best when it comes to even heat distribution and retention. But, a fully clad pan is a great alternative for impressively even heating.
The core of this crepe pan is pure aluminum which is one of the best heat conductors around. The aluminum core is surrounded by stainless steel. This offers durability and makes the pan compatible with an induction cooktop.
On top of all that is a durable non-stick coating. Put everything together and you get fast and even heating so that crepes come out beautifully browned from edge to edge.
The non-stick coating also makes cleanup as easy as wiping the pan out with a soft cloth. It is dishwasher safe, but handwashing will go a long way in preserving the non-stick coating.
It’s also very important that you never use metal utensils on this pan and always stick to wood or silicone.
You can definitely find non-stick crepe pans that are less expensive than this fully clad model. But they likely won’t offer the same heat distribution, which plays a big role if you want the best, evenly cooked crepes.
I usually don’t recommend non-stick as a top choice since they lack durability. But, if you only use this pan for crepes, and you follow some basic non-stick guidelines, this could be a great cookware addition that will last for years.
- The easiest pan for cooking crepes
- Good heat distribution
- Polished stainless steel is very attractive
- Less durable than the other options
- On the expensive side for non-stick
Other Options That Are Great But Didn’t Make The Cut
De Buyer 10.25-Inch Carbon Steel Pancake Pan – Hot and Fast Cooking
Carbon steel is one of my favorite materials for a frying pan, where hot and fast cooking is essential. But, for more delicate items that require a consistent, moderate temperature, it can be more difficult to get even results.
Don’t get me wrong, this is an excellent pan that can achieve impressive nonstick properties and turn out great crepes. But, I find cast iron a little easier to use and more forgiving if you turn your back for a second too long.
Cook N Home 10.25-Inch Nonstick Crepe Pan – Light and Affordable
For an inexpensive and easy-to-use crepe pan, this is a solid choice. It’s built from one piece of aluminum which makes it my lightest option and provides good heat distribution.
For around $20 this is a good choice for those who want to make crepes occasionally. However, if you plan on hosting crepe brunches every weekend, you’d be better off with something a little more durable.
Buyers Guide: Choosing The Best Crepe Pan
Material: Weighing The Pros And Cons
There are a few different routes you can take when it comes to the material your crepe pan is made from. Each cookware material comes with its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s helpful to take a moment and consider which factors are most important to you.
Raw cast iron is my preferred material for a crepe pan. It’s durable, distributes heat exceptionally well, can be very nonstick, and is inexpensive. The downside is that it must be seasoned and maintained.
I enjoy watching as this type of pan changes and becomes better the more it’s used, but it does take a little work.
Enameled cast iron is the next best choice. It has most of the benefits of raw cast iron without any necessary upkeep. The downside to enameled cast iron is that it tends to be much more expensive and won’t develop the same nonstick properties.
Carbon steel shares a lot of similarities with cast iron. It’s an uncoated material that must be seasoned and maintained, and it’s incredibly durable. The big differences are that it’s thinner, smoother, and a bit more expensive than raw cast iron.
The perfectly smooth cooking surface of a carbon steel pan makes it great for crepes and allows it to take on impressive nonstick attributes. The downside is that the thinner construction means it heats very quickly and doesn’t distribute heat as evenly. So, crepes may not come out quite as evenly cooked as with cast iron.
Crepe pans with a non-stick coating are definitely the easiest to use (and clean). Crepe batter should rarely stick, and flipping is a piece of cake. I really like the Cuisinart crepe pan with its tri-ply construction. That makes it durable, induction compatible, and very good when it comes to heat distribution.
The thing to be careful of when it comes to nonstick pans is the durability of the cooking surface. Handwashing and only using wood or silicone utensils will go a long way in ensuring good nonstick performance. Even then, a nonstick crepe pan won’t last as long as carbon steel or cast iron.
Size & Weight: Heavy Is A Good Thing
Most crepe pans for home use are between 10 and 11-inches in diameter. That’s a good size for most home stovetop burners. Don’t stress when picking sizes – the difference between a 10.5 or 10.75-inch crepe won’t make a material difference in how your pan performs on most stoves.
The weight of a crepe pan is a more important factor, and definitely worth considering before you buy. You may have noticed that all of my top picks are pretty hefty options. My nonstick pick is the lightest of the bunch but still comes in close to 3-pounds.
A heavy pan may take a little longer to heat up, but it should also heat more evenly and stay hot when you add cold batter to the pan. This helps ensure faster cooking times and more consistent crepes.
Versatility: Crepe Pans Aren’t Just For Crepes
Crepe pans aren’t just for crepes.
In my opinion, this dish is very versatile and underutilized by most cooks. The completely flat bottom is perfect for griddled sandwiches, making tortillas, or cooking eggs. The short sides offer easy access when it comes to flipping any of those items.
I also love using a cast iron crepe pan directly on my grill, as a quick and easy flat-top accessory. It’s a great way to cook eggs or bacon to add to burgers, or to keep tortillas warm for an outdoor taco bar.
On the flip side, it’s not a great pan when it comes to anything that uses a lot of liquid or fat. The low sides don’t offer much protection from spilling and splatters and can lead to a real mess on your stovetop if used for liquid-heavy recipes.
Price: You Don’t Have To Spend Much, But You Certainly Can
Crepe pans cover a wide range of prices and my favorites cover all ends of the spectrum. You can choose a high-quality pan for less than $20 or for well over $100.
Crepe Pan vs. Electric Crepe Maker
An electric crepe maker is great for making crepes but is not nearly as versatile as a crepe pan. Good models will heat evenly and have the advantage of coming in much larger sizes. If you make crepes A LOT, an electric crepe maker might make sense. But for most home kitchens, a crepe pan will likely get used more often, for more things, and won’t take up nearly as much counter and cupboard space.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Crepe Pan?
Crepe pans are round, flat bottomed pans, with very shallow sides. They are designed to cook thin battered pancakes that are often filled with sweet or savory ingredients and then rolled or folded.
The flat bottom and low sides allow you to evenly spread the batter and easily get under the crepe in order to flip and fold it.
While crepes are of French origin, many other cuisines have similar flat “pancakes” that are produced using the same style of pan. The Mexican comal pan is also incredibly similar, though traditionally used to make tortillas.
How Do You Use A Crepe Pan?
- Apply a thin coat of butter to a hot pan.
- Add batter and evenly spread as thin as possible, by tilting and rotating the pan or using a crepe spreader.
- Cook until the top of the crepe is set and the bottom is golden brown.
- Flip and continue to cook until the new bottom is light golden.
The whole process goes fast and should only take a couple of minutes.
How Do You Season A Crepe Pan?
If you go the nonstick or enameled cast iron route, then you’re ready to cook straight out of the box, no seasoning required.
For raw cast iron and carbon steel crepe pans, a layer of oil should be cooked onto the pan before using. This acts as a protective barrier and will keep the pan from rusting and help with food release while cooking.
There are many different ways to season a pan. My favorite method for seasoning cast iron or carbon steel and involves wiping a thin layer of oil on the pan and heating it until the oil begins to smoke.
In essence, this is burning the oil onto the pan and creating a very hard layer that won’t easily come off. The process can and should be repeated several times in order to create a more durable coating that provides impressive food release.
How Do You Clean A Crepe Pan?
Crepe pans that require seasoning (i.e. cast iron and carbon steel), should be cleaned with hot water but without soap. Since the pans seasoning is made of oil, soap will work to dissolve and wash away that hard-earned protective layer.
Once you develop a good seasoning, it’s likely that you can easily rinse and wipe the pan clean without any scrubbing involved. If you end up with some stuck-on ingredients a stiff-bristled brush or plastic scraper should do the trick.
What Is A Crepe Spreader?
A crepe spreader is a “T” shaped tool that evenly spreads batter in a circular pattern. The pros make it look easy, but it can definitely take a few tries to get it down.
What Other Pans Should You Have In Your Kitchen?
Every kitchen and each cook’s needs are different. But, having a handful of pots and pans will provide great versatility for any cook and will allow you to make just about any recipe that you want. Check out my list of cookware essentials for inspiration on where to get started building your collection
A crepe pan may sound like a specialty item that’s only good for one use. But, if you choose any of my selections for the best crepe pan, you can make great crepes and have a worthy kitchen multitasker.
I think that cast iron makes for the best crepe pan for both durability and versatility. It’s hard to turn down the value that comes with the Lodge griddle, but if you don’t want to deal with the ongoing maintenance, Le Creuset’s crepe pan definitely won’t disappoint.