Crepe makers are so fun and exciting appliances to use but are they really worth buying and using at home? Most people who want to cook pancakes use a frying pan or griddle so is having one at home worth while?
Crepe makers are worth buying if you plan to make crepes and pancakes multiple times a week. Though crepe makers aren’t overly expensive it is another appliance to store. If you only make crepes once or twice a month it is not worth buying.
In this article, I am going to talk about what a crepe maker does, whether you can use a crepe maker for cooking other foods and whether I think they are worth buying or not.
What Does A Crepe Maker Do?
A crepe maker is typically a small appliance that is roughly the same size as a small saucepan or crepe pan. Typically, one side of the main body of the appliance will be made of non-stick steel which heats up to extremely high temperatures.
Then, the batter is either poured onto the hot metal, or the hot metal is dunked into the batter. Whichever method you opt for, the resulting effect will be an exceptionally thin layer of crepe batter on your crepe maker.
A crepe maker will cook this batter through in roughly ninety seconds, at which point you should be able to easily and quickly slide the crepe off the appliance.
Sometimes, crepe makers come with other attachments that can do assorted things. Sometimes, a crepe maker may have a small spreader attachment of included utensil which is designed to spread out the crepe batter to an exceptionally thin layer to facilitate quick and even cooking.
Some crepe makers actually include a small bowl which is almost exactly the same size as the head of the crepe maker itself. This bowl is typically used to make the crepe batter, and then the heat of the crepe maker is dipped into the bowl, allowing for quick coating.
After the batter has been applied, a crepe maker will typically continue to provide heat to the cooking surface so that the heat can be carried throughout the crepe itself, leading to even cooking. Most crepe makers will have a small light that will flash to indicate heating.
When the appliance’s light has been turned off, you can usually remove the crepe as it will have been fully cooked.
Can You Use A Crepe Maker For Anything Else?
You certainly can use a crepe maker for other things! It is worth saying, however, that due to the domed shape of the cooking surface on a crepe maker, people typically would only recommend using a crepe maker for things that are, roughly, crepe-shaped.
This could include crepes, of course, but other things like tortillas or flatbreads would also work well.
The impressive thing about some crepe makers is that they can get exceptionally hot. This means that they can cook things that otherwise may only be cooked in cast-iron style pans, which retain a lot of heat during and after cooking. This high heat threshold means that you can use a crepe maker to make tortillas.
Typically, tortillas are made from a simple dough that only needs a few moments on an exceptionally hot surface to adequately heat it through. That’s definitely a job for a crepe maker!
It is worth saying, however, that tortillas need to be pressed into their rounded shape during the preparation process. Therefore, it would be worth sourcing a tortilla press if you’re planning to make a lot of tortillas. If you’re only planning to make tortillas infrequently, you can easily use the base of a plate to press tortilla dough.
Flatbreads themselves can be really easy to make, and some absolute classics in the genre include naan and dosa. Making naan is easy on a crepe maker, as it’s a very similar process to making tortilla. The only real difference, however, would be the thickness of the naan bread.
Generally speaking, naan bread is roughly one to three centimeters thick. This means that during the cooking process, you may need to flip your naan bread, as they won’t cook through from one side being in contact with the cooking surface.
Can You Make Crepes In Other Ways?
You can make crepes in a number of different ways – they’re a really simple and versatile dish that has been made for decades across the world.
The classic way to make crepes is with a crepe pan. Typically, the thing which separates a crepe pan from any other, similar, cookware is the height of the pan. A lot of pans have a rim at the edge which is designed to keep all of the ingredients within the main body of the pan.
A crepe pan doesn’t typically have this. If it does, it may only be half a centimetre or so tall – just enough to keep crepe batter in.
Crepe pans are almost always non-stick to ensure that you can flip your crepes when you might need to. This means that almost all crepe pans are typically also very light. The lightness of the pan means that you can easily manipulate the pan to spread the batter, as well as flipping the pancake with an impressive hand movement.
Another good way to make crepes is by using a wok. Woks are quite unexpectedly well-suited for this purpose as they are typically quite shallow, but very wide with a flat base. This means that you can easily add a little batter to the base of a hot wok, and watch it cook through very quickly and efficiently.
Another point in the favor of woks is that they’re typically very long lived. As long as you take care of a good wok, you’ll be able to use it for as long as you might possibly need to. A good wok is really versatile too, meaning that you can use it nearly every day in your kitchen for something new every time!
How Much Is A Crepe Maker?
Crepe makers vary a little in price.
The crepe makers heat up a large plate for you to pour the batter directly onto are typically around thirty pounds. You can find them at slightly higher or lower prices, though, depending on if the crepe maker has any additional features which might come in useful.
For example, some crepe makers allow you to have a greater degree of control over the heat of the cooking surface, which may come in handy the more crepes you make.
You can get more expensive crepe makers, however. For example, if you’re looking for a semi-immersion-style crepe maker, then you ought to budget roughly £50. The uptick in cost is steep, but it’s also worth opting for.
A more freestanding unit such as the kind you’d kind in a semi-immersion-style crepe maker is likely easier to use, allowing for a simpler brunch process.
If you want to make several crepes at once, then you might be considering a crepe maker which has several small moulds for filling with batter. Those crepe makers are also roughly £50, though they may be a little more difficult to use.
Having to deal with a large number of small rims may make accessing the crepes more difficult, leading to a more frustrating cooking experience.
Are Crepe Makers Worth It?
If you’re planning on making crepes every Sunday as part of an exciting and enormous brunch, then we’d recommend looking into a crepe maker. It will mean that you don’t have to worry about finding the right temperature in your pan ever again, plus you can make a huge stack of crepes in no time at all.
If you are planning to make large stacks of pancakes when you can, then we’d recommend investing in one of the semi-immersion-style crepe makers. These crepe makers are generally slightly easier to use, which is always welcome in the mornings.
If you aren’t planning to make crepes anywhere near that often, then we’d have to advise against buying a crepe maker for your home. Making crepes every once in a while means that a crepe maker would spend more time gathering dust than cooking crepes. Therefore, you may be better served by a sturdy pan.