It’s cool how many suggestions, video links and instructional offers I’ve already received for The Omelet Project. Thanks!
Honestly, my appetite hasn’t been its usual robust self since I’ve been under the weather. So, I’ve spent some of my sick time researching omelet pans.
One of the first comments I received on this topic (via Facebook) was this: “I say, stick with the non-stick. I used to watch the cooks at the 13 Coins and they would lift the edges of the omelet with a rubber spatula in order to let some more of the wet eggs hit the hot pan, they would go around all edges like this. I have tried this with a teflon pan and it works great. The eggs even get a little fluffy and eventually the top gets dry, you can add your cheese to melt, then your other goodies…..ha, imagine me coaching a chef!”
Alas, non-stick is a godsend for eggs. But at this point, I’m committed to protecting my family from all the toxic gases and airborne chemicals I can. Lord knows there are so many others I can’t control.
I’ve practiced conscientious nonstick use by making sure never to heat the pan empty (I add a tablespoon of olive oil to preheat) and don’t let it overheat (I stand over the pan until the point at which it’s ready to receive the beaten eggs). Still, I hate thinking about it at all. What’s more, I know that perfectly excellent omelets were made in the age before non-stick.
Ah, but we must remember that that was also before the non-fat frenzy. Non-stick was the answer to our low-fat prayers, but at what cost? Happily, I am not afraid of a little fat–be it oil or butter–so that’s my non-stick.
The other thing one can’t shy away from if choosing a PFOA-free alternative is practicing good pan maintenance. That means seasoning them well and cleaning with care. (We’ll cover exactly how to do that.) Non-stick is definitely the easy way out.
I browsed through the hundreds of omelet pans–also called skillets and fry pans–on the market, the vast majority of them non-stick. What I settled on surprised me, but how could I argue with a $24 price tag?
I ordered a French steel crepe pan based on a recommendation from Chow.com. And as a control in this study, I also got a shiny new stainless steel omelet pan.
Once I have my new pans in hand, I’ll share my inspiration for one promising omelet technique–and it’s not Julia.