**Please note: To see the photos contained within a post, you must click on the title of the post to open it separately. Why? I don't know. I just know that it needs to be done to see the pics. :)

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omelette1

I have never been much of an omelette girl and have gone through my entire life without having ever made one. A while back, however, I came across an article and video from Bon Appetit that gave directions for making the perfect French omelette, and I was intrigued.

What also intrigued me is that I have two cast iron chef’s skillets in stock (one to be listed soon – one has gone into my rotation), so the opportunity was ripe for me to give omelette making a try.

Bon Appetit’s recipe calls for butter, butter, and more butter. I watch my caloric intake, so I used just a small amount; less than a tablespoon. I filled mine with about 2T chopped scallions.

While, according to Bon Appetit an omelette should not be brown in any area, mine was a bit just on one part. Not bad for a first try! And a great use for the chef’s skillet!

Bon Appetit recommends a non-stick pan, saying  “[n]othing is more important to achieving the perfect roll than using a nonstick pan.” Really, Bon Appetit? What’s up with that? My Griswold chef’s skillet worked just great, even though it has just one layer of seasoning on it!

Enough said. On to the recipe!

I did make a video of my effort. It’s not the best video I’ve ever made or seen by a long shot (sorry about my hair hanging into the shot!), but it does demonstrate the process. The video is below the recipe.

Omelette in Cast Iron Chef’s Pan

Ingredients

3 fresh large eggs 1 chopped scallion (about 2 T) 1 pat butter Pinch of seasoned salt (because I really like my Lawry’s seasoned salt!)

Directions

Crack the eggs into a bowl, and briskly whisk Add your seasoning to the eggs (I added a dash of seasoned salt) and whisk it in to the eggs Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat Melt pat of butter in the skillet Once skillet is hot and butter is melted, pour the eggs into the chef’s skillet Using a spatula, move the egg mixture around the skillet (explained better in my video, below), covering all areas of the cooking surface as evenly as you can When the eggs start to set, lift and move the skillet, tilting in each direction to have the eggs cover all areas of the cooking surface Sprinkle the scallions onto the middle of the omelette While the eggs are still slightly runny, begin rolling the eggs onto itself into a tube shape Roll the eggs right out of the skillet and onto your plate and then into your mouth!

My omelette was delicious! I have been making them just about every day now; I have added the Griswold chef’s skillet to my personal collection.

Cleaning the Pan

Even though my pan had just one layer of seasoning on it, there was just a small amount of egg that stuck to the skillet. To clean, I took the pan while it was still warm (not hot), and poured a small amount of warm water into it. I used a plastic bristle brush to lightly scrub the pan. I removed the remainder of the stuck on bits using my chain mail scrubber. I dried the pan with paper towel, gave a light spray of Pam and rubbed it around with another paper towel. Viola! Done and ready for the next use!

Here’s a vid of me cleaning the pan after making the omelette.

Have a Question?

Mark C from Michigan sent a note to Ask The Pan Handler and said:

“I’ve recently acquired a Griswold Block EPU smooth-bottom No. 10 skillet that “has never been used” (according to the seller). The pan appears to be in amazing condition and probably never used, as they said. Overall, the pan is appropriately weighted, shows nice consistent casting thickness, and the markings on the bottom of the pan seem 100% correct. However, a couple minor things are causing me slight concern.

I have several other Griswolds (#3-6 & #8 block EPU, #10 slant EPU Erie, and #10 pre-Griswold Erie) and I was surprised by the significantly less-polished interior surface of this skillet. My other Griswolds are extremely smooth inside, and you can usually see (what I think are) the polishing marks going in a ring around the circumference of the walls. That’s not evident on this skillet–could it be because of the thin rusty build-up, or are they not always super smooth?

Additionally, I have seen on many pans some “grinding” done around the edges to smooth things out, however this one shows a significant of saw-tooth type grinding left around the handle; all my other handles are molded quite nicely here. Have you ever seen this on the #10 skillets?”

Mark attached three photos of his skillet.

Mark’s Griswold number 10 large block logo EPU cast iron skillet, photo 1.

Mark’s Griswold skillet, photo 2. Close-up showing texture of pan.

Mark’s Griswold skillet, photo 3. Close up of grinding marks on outer edge of rim.

Hi, Mark. It looks like you have a very nice Griswold skillet that just requires some rust removal and re-seasoning prior to use.

As to your question about the grinding marks: Photograph 3 shows a close up of the grinding on the outer rim. To me, it does not look unusual. As you can see in the Lodge video which is embedded in a previous “Ask The Pan Handler” post, the outer rim of the skillet is ground in the finishing process to remove any sharp edges or excess iron left in the casting process. Sometimes the grinding marks appear smoother than what you see in your photo; sometimes they do not. I would not be concerned.

As to your question about the texture of the iron on the pan: It is difficult for me to tell from photograph 2 what the texture and appearance of the pan will actually be once the rust is removed. How did the seller know that the pan had never been used? Was the seller the original owner? You often – in my experience usually – do see spiral grinding marks on the cooking surface and inner side walls of new old pans, but I suppose it is possible that they would not be present. I have seen pans that have been sand or bead-blasted, however, and they can sometimes have a texture similar to that which appears in your photo. Once the rust is removed, the coloration of the pan might indicate whether the pan had been blasted – a lighter grey lightly pebbled surface can be a giveaway of a blasted pan. I would have to see it after cleaning to be able to give you a more conclusive opinion.

In any event, it looks like a nice pan and one that will be a great user after you get that rust removed. Do send an after photo so we can admire your handiwork.

Thanks for your question!

Hearts1

Corny, I know. But isn’t this a beautiful picture? I love it.

In keeping with the “heart” theme, we do have Griswold heart patty molds, the Griswold heart and star gem pan, and several heart waffle irons. Any of them would sure be a sweet gift for your sweetie!

In addition to the “traditional” use of fried patty shells, try shaping and then baking puff pastry over the heart patty molds, and fill the heart bowls with berries and cream – or whatever your tastebuds desire – for a tasty treat! I have more heart patty molds available than you see on the site – feel free to email me to inquire.

Griswold heart patty molds

Nick’s Panna Cotta in Griswold heart patty molds.

Griswold heart and star waffle iron, Griswold heart patty molds, and Griswold heart and star gem pan.

Have a Question?

Fred M. from Massachusetts wrote Ask The Pan Handler and said:

“Hello:

Before I put a wire bailed Griswold pancake pan into a bath, would you have any experience with anything bad happening to the bail? I’ve done dozens of regular iron pans, but never one with a bail before.

Thanks!”

Fred, I love it that you call your pan a “pancake pan.” I bet you are a master at making pancakes!

For those readers who are not familiar with a wire “bail handle,” here is a photo of a griddle with a wire bail handle:

Fred, I have cleaned many, many wire-bailed pieces in lye bath with no ill effects, so in my opinion it should not pose a problem.  Good luck with cleaning that pancake pan!

fire-damaged-cast-iron-pan-vintage

Some people believe that cleaning cast iron kitchenware is easy – just throw it into a campfire! The iron will get red hot, all gunk will turn to ash, and voila! Clean pan!

Please, please do not do this. If you put your cast iron cookware into a fire to clean it, it will irreparably damage the pan. The pan may crack; it will surely warp.

When you come across a vintage pan and it has an odd red color to it (not rust), I bet you that it will rock and / or spin when you press along the upper edge. That is because someone tried cleaning it in fire, or placed it into a fire, and the high heat changed the composition of the pan and it turned that odd color and also warped.

Here are a few pics of a vintage Griswold number 8 slant logo EPU skillet that has been heat damaged. This pan has been cleaned to bare iron, but has not been seasoned. The red you see is not rust; it is fire damage.

And here’s that same pan, when pressing along the upper rim:

So please, don’t even think about cleaning these precious old heirloom pieces by throwing them into a fire!