hot spots in my lodge crepe pan???

i just bought a new lodge crepe pan to make pancakes. when i do little pancakes (three little ones will fit on the pan), the pancakes will only brown toward the center of the pan. if i do one big pancake in the middle of the pan, the entire pancake browns. why do the edges (like 2 inches from the side) not get as much heat? isn't cast iron supposed to conduct evenly? would a more expensive cast iron pan behave the same way? i am so disappointed!

  • Posted by: Tashie
  • May 31, 2011


Chef K. May 31, 2011
I have a large cast iron skillet and the problem has been that my gas burner element is too small to heat the pan evenly, so I put the pan upside down and turn the gas on high. The heat trapped and heats evenly. You don't want to have your pan too hot for the crepes, so let the whole thing get hot, and let it cool back down to temp. I let the pan heat until the handle starts to feel hot to the touch. On an electric burner it takes some patience, and the oven will work also. This works well if you want to get a good sear on some meat with cast iron too, because the sides of the pan are hot enough to sustain the heat in the center.
Tashie May 31, 2011
ooo! thanks for that link, that is the best explanation that I have seen.
Greenstuff May 31, 2011
Well, what I'm thinking is that the pan is operating as well as it can and that your expectations were off. As ChefDaddy put it, cast iron will always be hottest under the burner. The best way to correct for hot spots is the long slow heating or heating in the oven. I love cast iron for some things, including my antique Swedish pancake pans, but they do have those hot spot issues. My favorite crepe pan is the thin, inexpensive stainless steel de Buyer.

There's a lot on the web on this topic if you look. I particularly like the explanations in
Tashie May 31, 2011
my gas burner is great. i actually use the front big one, so i don't think the burner is the issue. The funny thing is that I've never had this issue with cheaper regular (toxic!) pans...
Greenstuff May 31, 2011
What's your gas burner like? I had a old stove with very small gas rings and had that same problem with some pans that are definitely not defective. The long (much longer than you think) slow preheating process can help.
Tashie May 31, 2011
i had the same results for all pancakes from beginning to end, and i cook on medium low heat on a gas stove. could i possibly have a defective pan (i bought at william sonoma outlet)? how can the pan be defective?
ChefDaddy May 31, 2011
Also, when cooking a crepe or a larger pancake it can act like putting a lid over it which can help the heat spread to the outer edges. Ever notice that your second or third set of pancakes in a pan are better than the first set? This is the reason.
ChefDaddy May 31, 2011
Cast iron does heat pretty evenly but no matter what the hottest spot will be where the heat source is in contact. This will happen most if you put the pan over a burner and blast the burner on a high setting. Cast iron takes a little patience and time to warm up. I would put it on a lower setting (medium or low heat) and let warm up for awhile slowly. Your patience will pay off in the end I'm sure. And if you have your oven already on put your pan in the oven to warm up. If you want quick use an aluminum non stick pan. Also, your pan is a crepe pan?
sdebrango May 31, 2011
I wish I had the answer, just want to comment that I love Lodge. I have a 12" skillet and 2 pizza pans and they are the best. I have always found the conductivity to be excellent. I have had that problem before but it has to do with my gas burner not the pan and it wasn't in my Lodge pan. When I make pizza the crust browns evenly over the entire pie. I have never seen their crepe pan before maybe it is a flaw with that pan. I always have to make sure that I heat the pan well before I start cooking but with a crepe pan that is not as large I can't imagine it would take that long.
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