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Crepes are popular in many cuisines. Essentially a very thin pancake, a crepe can be filled with fruit, cheese, vegetables, or even meat, for a meal with a continental flavor. However, some cooks find making crepes a challenge, so they turn to a crepe maker.
A crepe maker is designed to help the cook form and cook crepes evenly. Crepe makers come in a couple of different forms. One kind looks like an upside-down frying pan on top of a concave frying pan. This type of crepe maker is heated on top of the stove before the cook dips the hot flat surface into the crepe batter. The resulting thin film of batter on the griddle top forms the crepe. The cook flips the maker over to cook the crepe on the stove top.
Another type of crepe maker is electric and looks like a standard flat, round griddle on top of a heating element. The cook pours a small amount of batter onto to the griddle and spreads it out, usually with a special wooden tool designed for this purpose. This kind of crepe maker is often used commercially and may be a little pricey for the home cook.
Many cooks, though, prefer a non-stick frying pan with sloping sides to make crepes. They say that these pans will work just as well as a single use appliance like a crepe maker. However, a skillet used for crepes should probably be used only for crepes or pancakes, to keep it in good condition. Crepe recipes can be found in cookbooks or on the Internet. Most will include a basic batter recipe, along with suggestions for fillings and presentations. Although thought of primarily as a French dish, crepes make an appearance in cuisines as diverse as Hungarian and Chinese!
Several manufacturers produce both types of crepe maker, ranging in price from US$35 to $200. Crepe makers from France are usually the most expensive. Crepe makers are available online and in kitchen supply stores. Online reviews of most of the popular brands are available, and the prospective buyer should do some comparison shopping for price and desired features before making a decision.