That Crepe Maker You Impulse-Bought Has More Uses Than You Know
If you are anything like me, at least once in the past year you have succumbed to the siren song of some small kitchen appliance that showed up in your social media feed at a ridiculously amazing price.
For me, that was the crepe maker.
Yes, a countertop electric crepe maker, which called to me not long after I had to cancel the planned 50th birthday celebration trip to Paris. That's the home of the ultimate walking snack: a mid-afternoon crepe, simply garnished with butter, powdered sugar, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Crepes in Paris cost about $5 apiece, so a week's worth of French crepe eating was going to equal $29.99 for a crepe maker. This is how I do math.
Discovery #1: An electric crepe maker actually makes great crepes
Crepes can, to be clear, be achieved perfectly in a nonstick skillet, which I have done for decades. They can also, hypothetically, be made in the eight-thousand-pound cast iron crepe pan we shlepped back from a previous trip to Paris, which has never once been used for that purpose in the eight years since, which my husband reminds me of when the electric crepe maker arrives. Ignore him.
Because it turns out that the electric crepe maker, thankfully, does exactly what you bought it for: It makes consistently great crepes, one after another, with no burning or constantly adjusting the flame, and once you get into the groove of how to spoon the batter onto it and smooth it around with the cute smoothing tool, you can knock them out one after another. This means this hard-working little appliance is terrific for meals, but also for making things like crepe cakes. You begin to dream of a return to entertaining, making fresh crepes to order for houseguests at breakfast, or bringing back crepes Suzette for a future fancy dinner party.
Discovery #2: An electric crepe maker has lots of other uses
But in the meantime, experimenting with the crepe maker to make other things becomes practically a moral imperative. And here is where the crepe maker earns its keep. Because it is essentially a round, electric, nonstick griddle, which as it turns out, is a pretty awesome thing to have on hand. From eggs and bacon to quesadillas and grilled cheese, from pancakes to omelets, this thing is wildly versatile and super easy to use. Here are a few more creative discoveries I've made:
- Warming tortillas for Taco Tuesday
- Making Parmesan frico, those insanely delicious crispy cheese wafers, to garnish salads
- “Baking” tuile style cookies—those little rolled flutes of baked batter. Rather than having to pull cookie sheets in and out of the oven in a traditional recipe, I just spread the batter on a piece of parchment and flip that over onto the crepe maker. The parchment will naturally release when the cookie is fully baked, and then I just slide it off and shape into a cone or bowl or over a rolling pin.
- Making homemade English muffins, which came out perfect! (Next up I may try some crumpets.)
I say, don't hesitate. Because once you have a crepe maker, you will find dozens of fun ways to justify the purchase. Including some killer crepes.
Best crepe maker to buy
I fell in love with my impulse buy, which is from Chefman. I tend to be a fan of their products for niche stuff like this; the products always do what's promised and are super affordable.
Buy it: Chefman Electric Crepe Maker & Griddle ($29.99), amazon.com