Making Crepes on a Griddle 101
Can I Make Crepes on a Griddle?
Crepes, a type of very thin French pancake, are both incredibly delicious and incredibly versatile. Drench them in maple syrup for an indulgent breakfast, or stuff them with cheese and ham for a delicious midday snack. While crepes are traditionally made in a sauté pan, a griddle can be a great alternative. The smooth surface and even distribution of heat guarantees quick, perfectly cooked pancakes in less time than you can say voila!
How to Make Crepes on a Griddle
Making crepes on a griddle is a quick and easy process, but there’s a couple of things to bear in mind to avoid disappointment. For the perfect crepe, try this simple, foolproof recipe.
- A spatula
- A plate
- A griddle
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp sugar for sweet crepes or 1 tsp. for savory
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 tbsp melted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1) Beat the eggs well in a large bowl.
- 2) Whisk the dry ingredients into the beaten eggs until just incorporated – don’t be tempted to over- whisk.
- 3) Add the milk to the mix and whisk briefly.
- 4) Add the butter to the mixture and give it another quick whisk.
- 5) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).
- 6) Grease your griddle. Unseasoned griddles require a liberal coating of grease; seasoned pans need less.
- 7) Preheat the griddle to a high heat (test the heat by flicking a drop of water or oil on the surface- if it sizzles and evaporates, it’s ready).
- 8) Turn the griddle down to a medium-high heat and add about ¼ cup of batter. Using a spatula, quickly spread the batter circularly around the griddle to create a thin crepe. If you’re cooking multiple pancakes at once, make sure to leave sufficient space between the crepes to allow enough space to flip when the time comes.
- 9) Cook until the edges of the crepe start to brown, and the surface is a mass of bubbles.
- 10) Flip the crepe and cook on the other side until lightly golden.
- 11) Remove from the pan and enjoy while still hot.
Is it Better to Cook Crepes on a Griddle or a Skillet?
The main difference between a skillet and a griddle is the surface: a skillet has a flat surface, whereas a griddle has a raised surface. A griddle plate, meanwhile, is similar to a skillet, but has a raised lip rather than sides. You can make fabulous crepes on both a conventional griddle, a griddle plate or a skillet, but if you’re unused to flipping, the low sides of a griddle plate may make it the easiest option to get you started.
Crepe Pan vs Griddle
For the uninitiated, a crepe pan is a flat or round bottomed pan that is perfectly shaped for a crepe. They come with shallow sides that make it easy to get under the crepe with a spatula when it comes time to flip. Whether you choose a crepe pan or a griddle is, of course, a personal choice. While crepe pans are great in their own right, the key advantage of a griddle is its versatility. Unless you’re lucky enough to have unlimited space in your kitchen, you may find you prefer to have pots and pans that can be used for more than just one purpose… which is where the griddle comes in handy. Unlike crepe pans that are useful for…. well, crepes, griddles can be used to cook pretty much any and every dish you could wish for. If you’re looking for a versatile, multi- purpose appliance, the griddle is the outright winner.
Why are my Crepes Sticking to the Griddle?
If your crepes are sticking to the griddle, the first question to ask yourself is whether you probably seasoned the griddle before you started to cook. If not… you’ve found your problem! Fortunately, it’s easy enough to solve. Every time you clean your griddle, season probably before putting it away ready for next time.
If you’ve seasoned your griddle and your crepes are still sticking to the surface, consider the temperature you’re using. Long and slow is not a good idea when it comes to cooking crepes: upping the temperature to a medium high heat could be all that’s needed to solve the problem.
Why are my Crepes Rubbery?
If your crepes are rubberier than you’d like, it could be down to one of several reasons. Thankfully, it’s a simple enough problem to fix with a little know-how.
The main ingredient in crepes is flour, and the main ingredient in flour is gluten. If you over-beat gluten, it turns into gluey consistency that translates into a rubbery crepe. Stop the problem before it develops by avoiding the temptation to over-whisk: as soon as the ingredients are just about incorporated, put the whisk down and step away from that batter!
- Problem 2: Insufficient Resting Time
Resting the batter can help eliminate a rubbery texture: once mixed, pop the batter in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before using. This will allow the batter time to “relax” and give any lumps and bumps the opportunity to smooth out.
- Problem 3: Adding Too Much Batter
Given how delicious crepes are, you may be tempted to try and make them as big as possible, but remember, bigger isn’t always best. Crepes are designed to be thin and light; don’t be tempted to add more than ¼ cup of batter for each crepe, and make sure to distribute the batter evenly around the pan surface to ensure a uniform thinness all over.
Can you Make Crepes on an Electric Griddle?
Cooking crepes on an electric griddle will give you perfect, effortless results in no time at all. For best results, follow these simple instructions: -
- Make your crepe mix according to your desired recipe.
- Allow the batter to rest for 2 hours (or more) in the refrigerator.
- Just before you’re ready to start cooking, preheat the griddle to a medium high. Allow it to heat for around 10-20 minutes.
- Lower the heat slightly and add around ¼ cup of batter per crepe. Spread the crepes evenly around the pan with around 1 ½ inches between them.
- Once small bubbles have formed on the crepe’s surface and the edges start to turn light brown, flip the crepe and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Electric Griddle Temperature for Crepes
The ideal temperature is a medium high, but for best results you should always preheat to a higher temperature than you ultimately cook on. Preheat for around 10-20 minutes at 375 ˚F then, just before adding the batter, lower the temperature to 360-370 ˚F.
How to Use a Crepe Griddle
If you or your family are crepe- crazy, a crepe griddle is a great investment. Along with crepes, a crepe griddle can be used to cook blinis, eggs, pancakes, and more besides. When it comes to crepes, the crepe griddle will produce reliable, fast results, but mastering batter spreading and getting to know the optimal temperature can be a slightly tricky. But worry not… with a few simple tips, you’ll be whipping up platefuls of delicious crepes in no time at all.
- Before launching into your first full scale attack, try testing out the griddle to get the hang of it. The surface of a crepe griddle is probably a lot smaller than you’re used to, so try pouring out a small amount of batter (around half the quantity you would normally) into the center of the griddle and get used to spreading it around the smaller circumference.
- Remember to spread in smooth, clockwise motions, and keep the spreader within the griddle limits. Add a little more batter each time, until you get the technique down to a tee.
- Don’t forget to season the griddle before using: seasoning before use will give it an almost non- stick surface, ensuring your crepe don’t end up caked to the surface.
- If you choose not to season, make sure to coat liberally in oil or butter before starting, and re-oil the surface after every 3-4 crepes. Use just a light spray of oil or a smear of butter if already seasoned.
- Heat the griddle to about 400˚F.
- Pour batter into the center of the griddle (about ¼ cup per crepe is sufficient).
- Using a water wet batter spreader or spatula, spread the batter in a clockwise motion from the center out.
- Using a spatula, flip the crepe after about 45 seconds (or once the edges start to darken and the mixture starts to bubble). Cook for a further 30 seconds.
- Try to avoid adding filling to the crepe while its still on the griddle: this increases the chances of overcooking, resulting in a tough, unpleasant result. Be especially cautious about adding any high-sugar filing to the crepe while it’s still cooking: the sugar will stick to the griddle and be very tricky to remove.
How to Clean a Crepe Griddle
Cooking crepes might be a breeze, but the cleanup afterwards can be a downer. Depressing though it is, it’s also unavoidable. Fortunately, you can make the process a little easier with a few simple tips. Follow the below instructions to get your griddle sparkling in no time.
- Cool. Never try to clean your griddle while it’s still red- hot (your fingers won’t thank you for it, trust me!). Equally, don’t wait for the griddle to cool completely – cleaning tends to be easier when the griddle is still slightly warm, but cool enough to touch without burning yourself.
- Scrape. With a metal spatula (or some other similar scraper) remove any remnants of food from the griddle’s surface.
- Scrub. Once you’ve scraped away as much food residue as you can, remove any last traces by scrubbing the surface with a pumice brick or abrasive stone. Make sure to scrub in the direction of the grove patterns to avoid damaging the griddle’s surface.
- Clean. Using a dish cloth soaked in detergent and warm water, wipe over the surface of the griddle. Once the griddle is completely clean, leave to air dry or blot dry with a rag.
- Season. Once the griddle is dry, heat the griddle to around 550 ˚F. Coat the cooking surface evenly with about a teaspoon of oil (a neutral flavored oil such vegetable, rice, or sunflower works best). Allow the oil to burn for 5-10 minutes, or until the griddle surface turns dark. Repeat the process 10 more times, slightly reducing the amount of oil you use each time. Seasoning will produce a lot of smoke, but don’t worry – this is completely normal. Just make sure to complete the process in a well-ventilated area to avoid any smoke inhalation.
The Best Tips for Perfect Crepes
- How to Flip: Use a metal spatula to flip the crepe. Gradually ease the spatula under the crepe from all sides towards the center, until the crepe separates and lifts from the pan.
- When to Flip: As it cooks, bubbles will start to gradually form on the crepes surface. Once the top is all bubbles and there’s no liquid crepe batter left in the pan, its ready to flip.
- How Long to Cook: If you’re cooking on a stove-top griddle, your first crepe will take slightly longer to cook that than the rest. The pan will continue to heat as you cook, meaning subsequent crepes will be exposed to a higher heat and cook that much faster.
- How to Stack: After removing each crepe from the pan, stack them one of top of the other on a plate. You can then peel them singly from the stack when you’re ready to serve. To prevent the crepes from sticking to each other, try brushing each crepe with a thin layer of butter before adding the next layer.
- How to Add Flavor: For sweet crepes, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the uncooked batter for some added yumminess.
- How to Oil: If your pan is seasoned, a very light greasing before cooking will be all that’s needed. If your pan is unseasoned, grease with a liberal amount of oil or butter beforehand to prevent sticking.
- How to Store: If you’re cooking in advance of time, store the crepes in a resealable plastic bag. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for a few months.
- How to fill Sweet Crepes: Nutella, Chopped Nuts, and Sliced Banana; Sliced Banana and Caramel Sauce; Fruit Compote and Mascarpone; Lemon Curd; Chocolate Sauce; Maple Syrup; Fresh, Chopped Fruit and Sweetened Whipped Cream; Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream and Sliced, Toasted Almonds; Caramelized Apples and Whipped Cream.
- How to fill Savory Crepes: Shredded Ham, Shredded Cheese and Chopped Chives; Wilted Spinach and Ricotta; Smoked Salmon and Creme Cheese; Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms.
Finally, Don’t Forget the Three Golden Rules:
- Don’t over-beat the batter,
- Rest the batter before using (2 hours to overnight) and
- Don’t be tempted to add more batter to the crepe than the recipe calls for.