Makes consistently sized crepes
Uneven cooking surface
Small crepe size
Difficult to store if you don’t keep the box
We purchased the Salton Crepe and Tortilla Maker so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Crepes, which are essentially thin French pancakes, make for delicious breakfasts, dinners, and desserts. Whether filled with sweet whipped cream and fruit or layered with savory herbs and meats, the delicate treats are fun, but they can be challenging to master. For starters, crepes need to be super thin and perfectly round. To do that, you need an even cooking surface set to the right temperature. Read on to see if the Salton Crepe and Tortilla Maker, one of the many crepe-specific devices on the market, hits the mark.
Design: A crepe-dedicated appliance
The Salton Crepe Maker features a two-part design with a base and removable pan. The power cord is attached to the base and can be wound into it when not in use. A notch on the side makes room for the cord so the base remains flat while cooking. The nonstick pan, which is cordless, has a 7.5-inch diameter, and that’s the size of the crepes it produces. That might be smaller than crepes you’re used to, so keep that in mind before purchasing. The pan rests on the base when heating and is then removed and dipped into the batter to cook the crepes.
The Salton also comes with a shallow batter tray and spatula. Once the batter is poured into the batter tray, you hold the pan in the tray for three seconds, moving it slightly until the pan’s surface is completely covered. Then, the pan is placed back on the base for cooking.
With a weight of roughly 3 pounds, the pan is light and easy to maneuver. We’ve used frying pans in lieu of a dedicated crepe maker before, and by the time we got done, our wrists were tired.
The nature of the design really does make this a single-purpose kitchen appliance, but it handles its one task quite well. Yes, you can use it to make or warm tortillas using the recipe in the instruction manual, but that’s a variation on a crepe, so really, we would still consider it a dedicated appliance. If your kitchen space is limited, this may pose a problem, of course. The crepe maker measures 10.3 x 16.8 x 3.8 inches, so you’ll likely want to tuck it away. If you don’t have the cabinet space to do that, you may be better served by a multi-use appliance like a griddle.
We found the two-part design to be a brilliant way to make consistently thin, perfectly round crepes.
Performance: Fast crepes with a little practice
The design of the Salton helps solve the biggest crepe-making challenge: How do you make crepes of uniform size and thickness? We’ve made crepes in frying pans and crepe pans before and found they are nowhere near uniform in shape, size, or thickness. The Salton completely solves this problem. It does take some practice, though.
Our first few crepes weren’t perfect. The batter was bubbly at first, and we could see the bubbles in the crepes. You have to slowly move the pan in the batter to get the surface evenly covered. Learning how to do that while only holding the pan in the batter for the recommended three seconds took some practice. But after four or five crepes, we had it down.
While we found the two-part design to be a brilliant way to make consistently thin pancakes, the base isn’t the sturdiest. It’s incredibly lightweight and can easily move while you’re cooking. That being said, the quality of the crepes didn’t suffer even though the base moved around. Had it been heavier, it would have stayed in place while making crepes.
The Salton crepe maker has only one heat setting. We found that to be a good thing because we didn’t have to adjust the heat to find the perfect temperature. It also heated incredibly fast so there was no waiting around. An indicator light turns on when the crepe is done, but we found that looking at the crepe’s surface or watching when the steam dissipated was a better indicator of the crepe’s readiness.
Cooking each crepe didn’t take long—only 35 to 45 seconds each. The included instructions state that you don’t need to cook the top side of the crepe but when we tried that, we found the top was sticky and undercooked. After a few fails, we tried letting the crepe cook longer to see if that solved the problem. It did, but then the underside of the crepe was overdone.
The solution? Just flip the crepe. The Salton comes with a spatula, which we used to flip the crepes at first. It worked, but not particularly well. We already had a wood crepe turner from another model we were testing, so we used that instead. The flipping went much better, and both sides got cooked.
The Salton still performed much better than other models we’ve used as it consistently produced tasty and professional-looking crepes.
The most disappointing thing about the Salton is that the cooking surface is slightly uneven. We could see where the heating elements are as those parts of the crepes browned while the middle and edges stayed light. There was no way to cook the crepes fully without some brown spots, but they weren’t burnt. While that was annoying, the Salton still performed much better than other models we’ve used as it consistently produced tasty and professional-looking crepes.
Cleaning: Fast and easy
Cleaning is really fast and easy with this crepe maker. You simply wipe down the surface of the nonstick pan with a wet cloth or paper towel and make sure the cord and electrical elements are kept dry. The side of the pan does have some grooves between the cooking plate and plastic and some batter can get caught in there, so make sure to clean them each time you use it. The batter tray can be hand washed, as can the spatula.
Storage: Keep the box
Whatever you do, keep the original packaging! The electrical cord can be wrapped around the bottom of the base, but the pan sits very loosely on the base and can easily fall off while in the cupboard. Then, you add in the batter tray, and you've got an appliance that can't be stacked. The crepe maker’s box is the answer. It’s not too big and holds everything together.
Price: Affordable but not versatile
The Salton isn't too expensive with a price tag of roughly $40. There are comparably priced models that are multi-use, however. Models that function as a griddle allow you to cook eggs, sausage, and pancakes as well, which really helps justify the price. That said, if you don't mind single-use appliances, the Salton is an effective and affordable device.
Competition: Versatile competitors
NutriChef Electric Griddle and Crepe Maker: The NutriChef is one model that can function as a griddle as well as a crepe maker. It has a much larger surface (12 inches) than the Salton, a more even cooking surface, and far more uses. You don't get the perfectly uniform crepes that you do with the Salton, though. The two devices are similar in price, so if you want a model that's multi-use, the NutriChef is a better choice. If you want a dedicated crepe maker, the Salton makes more sense.
Le Creuset Cast Iron Crepe Pan: If you want a crepe maker that will stay with you for the rest of your life and possibly that of your children, the Le Creuset is more durable and versatile than the Salton. Its 12-inch surface makes bigger crepes and can be used for eggs, sausage, and pancakes as well. It's significantly more expensive (around $150), though, and should only be bought if you're ready to make an investment. It’s also much harder to make uniform crepes with the Le Creuset.
- Product Name Crepe and Tortilla Maker
- Product Brand Salton
- SKU CM1337
- Price $39.99
- Weight 3.45 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 10.3 x 3.8 x 16.8 in.
- Warranty 5-year limited
- What's Included Crepe maker; detachable base; batter pan; spatula