THE SEASONING OF A CREPE MAKER
Why season your crepe maker?
The griddle of a crepe maker is made of cast iron and this material, in spite of its many qualities (robustness, heat resistance, inertia...), has two defects: the surface is not smooth and it rusts. Without treatment, you can't imagine cooking food properly, as it would stick!
Seasoning consists in making the crepe maker non-stick by filling the microscopic cavities of the metal surface with oil cooked at high heat. The varnish that forms also protects the cast iron from corrosion. No more worries!
Are there crepe makers that don't need seasoning?
Professional crepe makers are generally made of cast iron and require seasoning.
On the other hand, crepe makers for domestic use are made of enamelled cast iron: a thin layer of glass is applied to the cast iron in the factory to prevent it from sticking. It is not necessary to season these crepe makers. This is the case for the following models from Krampouz: Kemper, Diabolo, Domino and Crêpière de Bretagne.
When should a crepe maker be seasoned?
Before cooking your first crepe - when it is new - as the cast iron is untreated. By the way, I have never understood why manufacturers do not season crepe makers before selling them, just like cars whose engines no longer need to be run in (for those who remember!!).
In the event of prolonged use (or poor maintenance!) the seasoning will tend to come off in small patches. This is normal. It is then necessary to sand deeply the coating (known as "stripping") and then to reseason the surface (all the details at the bottom of this page).
How to season a crepe maker?
It's quite simple:
- Turn on the crepe maker and set the temperature to 270° C (500° F),
- Pour a tablespoon of sunflower oil and spread the oil with the grease pad,
- Wait until the griddle is dry (5 to 10 minutes) and repeat the operation 3 times with 1 tablespoon of oil, then 4 times with half a tablespoon of oil.
Duration of seasoning: 8 x 5-10 minutes, i.e. approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Good to know: your griddle, initially light grey in colour, will become dark brown, almost black. This is normal! The darker it is, the better the seasoning will be!
Some advice from the chef 😉
- the seasoning gives off a lot of smoke, and it smells really bad. So if you don't have a professional extractor, do the seasoning outside, otherwise it's hell. Believe me!
Not to mention setting off the smoke detectors and the complaints from the neighbours.
- Oil heated to 270° C (500° F) becomes particularly liquid. So make sure that the griddle is perfectly horizontal because otherwise it's guaranteed to spill over (that's what almost happened in my video!).
What to do if the seasoning is unsuccessful?
If you put too much oil or if you don't spread it evenly, small "puddles" will form and the surface of the griddle will not be flat. Don't panic: finish cooking, turn off the crepe maker and lightly scrape the surface when the griddle is warm to smooth it. The scraped area will lighten, but it is of no consequence.
How do you reseason a crepe maker?
There are 3 main reasons for having to reseason your crepe maker:
- bad storage (long storage without greasing the griddle or humidity),
- a mechanical shock (especially during transport),
- intensive use (cooking residues accumulate until they form a thick crust that falls off the griddle in shavings).
In order to reseason, it is necessary to remove all the residues of the crust that are still adhering to the crepe maker. There are 3 methods:
- the most efficient way is sandblasting. To entrust to a professional that you will find on the net or through customer service. Krampouz, for example, can do it in a day in its workshop in Quimper (France) for €39, and even remove the seasoning and reseason for €69.
- sandpaper. It is compulsory to use paper for metal, 180 grammage. This will not affect the grooves in the cast iron in the same way as sandblasting, but it is generally sufficient.
- the abrasive stone, shown in the video below. The stone costs €20 and can be found at Metro (famous European Cash and Carry) or on the internet. Heat the crepe maker to 120° C (250 F) and sand with circular movements. It takes a long time (about 20 minutes) and is quite messy.
Once you have finished stripping the seasoning, you should reseason: 8 applications of oil if you have sanded, and 4 applications for the other methods.