A domestic electric crepe maker can make a great gift to someone or can be a useful appliance to have around your own house. These machines basically free up your hob if you are looking to cook crepes. You don’t have to go the traditional route and cook a crepe in a pan, you can cook crepes on any kitchen surface where you have a power outlet.
There are two basic styles of home use electric crepe machines on the market. The most traditional style is the griddle. This is similar to commercial machines. Essentially it is a circular hot plate that you pour and spread your batter mix onto. Once one side is cooked you have to turn the crepe over to cook the other side.
The second style of crepe maker is the dip, flip and cook crepe maker. These look like a paddle, one side is normally a non stick heating surface. These models are accompanied by a dipping bowl. The idea is you place a batter mix in the bowl and set the paddle to heat up. Once the correct heat is achieved, the user dips the non stick heating surface in the batter, lets excess batter drain off, flips the paddle and leaves to cook the film of batter left on the paddle. The result is a thin, well cooked crepe.
Which Style Suits You?
Both types of domestic crepe maker can produce fine crepes, but each type of machine has distinct benefits and drawbacks.
Griddle crepe machines are usually more powerful and have a larger hot plate. This makes them ideal for households with larger families that want to cook lots of crepes quickly, and for individuals that may want the option of varying the size of crepe to suit younger family members and to reduce batter waste. On the downside, these appliances require more user skill. It will take practice to get the right amount of batter on the griddle to make a crepe of full diameter without being to thick or thin in places.
The paddle type machines are less powerful and have a smaller convex cooking surface. These machines have to be smaller so you are not lifting as much weight when you dip and turn the machine. Consequently the crepes you make are often limited in size and slower to cook meaning these machines are not so great for larger families. The great thing about these machines is that you can operate them with little practice and consistently turn out thin crepes. This is because dipping and letting batter run off the paddle before flipping produces a consistent coating to cook. Gravity does the harder work for you.
If you are interested in a crepe griddle for home use check out the Cucina Pro 1448. This has a 12 inch griddle so you can make large crepes and develop your crepe making technique to emulate the professionals. This model is the cheapest starter option if you want a griddle. If you want a higher level domestic griddle check out the Tibos range. A little more expensive, but more powerful and quicker to cook (this will cook a crepe in 30secs).
If you want a paddle or dip/flip/cook crepe maker then the leading model is the Villaware V5225. This has a 7.5 inch cooking surface and cooks a crepe in 3-4 minutes. Other paddle crepe makers are available such as the Cucina Pro 1447. This is cordless and less powerful than the Villaware but is probably safer to use in a household with small children as there are fewer electrical cords lying around.
What They Cost
The Cucina Pro 1448 griddle comes with a RRP of $49. The more powerful Tibos starts at $140.
The Villaware V5225 starts at $50 although the cordless Cucina 1447 generally comes in at $40.