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I really enjoy cooking and try to buy the best equipment I can afford. I have several Le Creuset pans as I think they are well made and worth the high price tag. I bought my 20cm omelette pan a few years ago from a supermarket in Southern France and have used it on a regular basis. I really can’t remember how much it cost but the RRP in the UK is £68. However Amazon has it for £57.60.
What you get for your money.
The omelette pan comes in several colours including orange, red and pale blue. I opted for blue as it matched my kitchen tiles.
The pan is made from hand crafted premium cast iron and has an integral handle. The inside of the pan is coated with tough satin black enamel that is designed to be chip proof. The *patina*as it is known is designed to form a brownish/black film that builds up over time from the oils used in cooking and released from the food cooked. The film should not be washed off as it will help to keep the food cooked moist and also stops food from sticking.
The pan is can be used on all heat sources and it can be placed into the over to brown toppings such as cheese. The pan is dishwasher safe although I always hand wash in warm soapy water to ensure the patina is not destroyed.
This is definitely a well made, and will hopefully last me for many years. When I first used it to make an omelette I was disappointed as the eggs stuck in the bottom of the pan. However after several uses the patina built up and this prevented food from sticking. I use the pan for all sorts of dishes and find it is brilliant for cooking a perfect steak. I have also used it for a single portion stir fry, pancakes and scrambled eggs.
I really like the integral handle as the pan can be placed into the over.
The pan is easy to clean as I have described. Just be aware that the pan will improve the more you use it as far as cleaning and sticking goes! The surface of the pan is designed to seal in the juices of food and I can confirm that it really does work. To make the perfect omelette I use a low to medium heat. The pan retains heat well and cooks evenly. The other thing to mention is that you don’t need to use much fat in this pan as the patina builds up., so food not only taste better but has less calories!
The only negative point for some may be the weight of the pan. It really is very heavy! However I really would have no hesitation in giving this pan my recommendation!
This Le Creuset pan has been a staple in my cookery cupboards for several years and really it is a pan I couldn't live without now.
What is it?
This pan is a small 20cm diameter cast iron pan. The handle is integrated into the body of the pan as it is cast as just one piece. The back of the pan is coloured enamel in my case it is bright blue enamel in keeping with all of my other Le Creuset cookware. The pan I have is the non stick version this is still available in a lot of shops but most has changed now to the satin black enamel interior. The pan is oven dishwasher and freezer safe as well as being suitable for the stove top. Understandably as it is metal it is not microwave safe.
As I have mentioned I have had this pan now for over 5 years the non stick element of the pan remains fabulous and even when cooking omelettes and other delicate things such as pancakes the surface is still so good that the items being cooked don't stick. The non stick surface is also good as it means I need generally to use less oil or fats to cook the food so it certainly helps with the healthy heart benefits
When cooking with this pan I follow the recommendation that you heat it up on a medium heat to allow the iron to heat gradually and more evenly. The times when I have blasted this on a full gas ring there has been an uneven heating to it. Equally as the pan retains the heat so well I have found if you blast it straight away to warm up it then is harder to control the warmth and the subsequent cooking ability. By heating it gradually especially when cooking things like omelettes and pancakes it gives me a greater control on cooking these. Equally I often find that it retains it heat so well (after being heated for about 5-7 minutes) that when I am toasting spices or pine nuts the heat retained by the pan often allows me to finish these off without the gas ring being on.
One of the many things that I like about this pan is that it can be transferred from hob to grill or oven so easily, so items such as omelettes can be finished under the grill to toast the cheese on the top. Equally if I am doing a tart tatin for example I caramelise the apples or pears I am cooking and then put the pastry top on and place it straight into the oven.
The size of the pan is just perfect for a 3 to 4 egg omelette with other bits in it like mushrooms tomatoes and cheese. I also find that this size is suitable for cooking pancakes and there is room enough to fry two eggs without them sticking to the pan or each other
As this is a one piece cast iron pan the handle does get hot but here my trusty pan holder also from Le Creuset comes in and this just slips over the handle allowing me to control the pan and what I am doing on the stove top.
One of the things about using this cast iron pan is that it really is better if you avoid using metal kitchen utensils on it as this can starch the surface. I personally use only wooden spoons and spatulas on mine bar a palette knife for losing the omelette's to take it out of the pan. By doing this I am sure I have maintained the lovely surface of the interior of the pan. This equally means that washing this pan must really be done with either a soft cloth or a washing brush as using a something like a brillo pad would damage the interior of the pan. Equally with cleaning don't put this straight into the water allow it too cool for a few minutes first or you may crack you pan or enamel due to the sudden change in temperature as I know my dad did with one of his pans!
The only draw back really to using cast iron cookware and this pan in my opinion is that it is a little heavy and if you have weak wrists or arthritis in your wrists hands or arms it can be tricky to use the pan.
These are not cheap pans at £40 being the average cost sometimes up to £50 but given that these have a long life and are something that will remain in your cupboard for years I do personally think they are worth it. The reason being my dad still has several Le Creuset Pans he got when he and my mum got married 40 years ago so I hope I still have plenty of life left for this pan. I think these are a good investment buy for the kitchen and would definitely recommend them especially as they are good for more than omelettes. At present they are on offer for £40 from the following retailer
This is a fab little addition to any kitchen. Ours is in the grey granite colour to go with the rest of our Le Creuset stuff.
It is made of the quality (and heavy!) cast iron that all the Le Creuset metal ware is made of, except this was the addition of a very hard wearing non stick surface.
The non stick is so good you don't really need to use any oil, except of you want it for flavour.
I do all my fried eggs and omlette's in this pan and have never had any problems with sticking, the omlette's especially just slide straight out into the plate! As the handel is also cast iron the whole pan can be put in the oven/under the grill, this is especially useful for omlette's as it means none of that akward trying to flip it over to cook the other side, you can just pop it under the grill for a couple of miniutes and it is done.
As the omlette pan is small it obviously isn't as heavy as some of the other peices in the range, but there is still a noticable weight difference between this and standard omlette pans.
It has also been through our dishwasher many times and is no worse for wear.
Ours came as part of a set so I am not sure how much you would pay for it seperatly.
20cm / Kitchenware & cookery products / Integral iron handle allows use on the hob, under the grill and in the oven.