Omelet Issues

I’m at the point now where I really think I could make a good omelet, only I’m held back by a cruel and powerful force: a sticky non-stick skillet. David Lebovitz warned me, ages ago, not to flambĂ© in my new non-stick, that it might ruin the coating, and did I listen? I did not. So my punishment is that my omelets, which are beautifully formed, almost always stick when it’s time to roll them up. Take a look.


I’m really not sure what to do. The obvious answer is: “Get a new non-stick skillet” but I’ve tried that, getting a cheap one that lasted for a few months but then the non-stick wore away and it, too, is sticky.

This particular pan is a really nice one, a $150 All-Clad, a gift from my parents from when I started cooking. That’s difficult to replace.

True, I could get an omelet pan…but don’t you have to season a pan like that? And won’t it stick if it’s not seasoned properly?

I’m so tired of my omelets sticking, it’s quite dispiriting. Thankfully, I made a salad of sliced radishes, olives, parsley, red onion, olive oil and red wine vinegar to cover up my mistakes. There’s really not much else I can do.

33 thoughts on “Omelet Issues”

  1. Cast iron. I love my Lodge skillets which were dirt cheap and are completely non stick. I no longer own any nonstick skillets.

    1. Natalia Kleynberg

      I also have cast iron, but everything sticks to it, even though I followed all instructions and re-seasoned it twice already…Cant wait to get to the point when its going to be non-stick, but it seems like I have to wait 100 years for it to happen

      1. heat pan in oven to 250, light, and I mean light coat the pan with melted crisco. let it bake for awhile.
        It will be nonstick, and get better with use. If you use too much crisco you will have a tacky surface.

      2. I, too, had issues with my cast iron in the beginning with it not being seasoned properly, or so I thought. The best way to season your cast iron? Use it! When you wash it, don’t use soap, and then I used a canola oil spray over the whole thing and wipe it down with a paper towel. What a difference it made, also.

  2. Teresa Schneider

    We had the same All-Clad pan, but the truth is all non-stick wears out. We eventually gave in and bought a top-rated, $30 pan from T-Fal (see Cook’s Illustrated’s article on non-stick pans), and I will never buy another brand of non-stick again! Not only does it release and clean up beautifully, but I will have no qualms replacing it in a timely manner because it is so inexpensive…No seasoning needed!

    1. This! I can’t recommend this option enough. I also got the T-Fal per Cook’s illustrated’s reco. Works better than my Calphalon and literally a quarter of the price

    2. Me too…inexpensive enough to save as an omelette pan only ( all non-stick eventually die) but at $30 its easily replaceable and does well with everything you would cook with a non-stick pan. I think its foolish to buy very expensive non-stick. It will wear out eventually.

  3. Emeril Non-clads. Omelet size one was about 20 bucks at Macy’s. Nothing sticks to it but I use that one exclusively for omelets. I also use olive oil instead of butter which might help. When I want scorch & burn stuff I use my stainless steel stuff.

  4. Seconding T-Fal. I’ve got one that’s over two years old, which is like a record in my house. And I used to feel like it was cheap or whatever, but I keep seeing them on videos by actual cooks so…maybe not?

    1. – Second on more butter.
      – Olive oil gets gummy – save it for dressing.
      – I have a “new” pan for eggs and pancakes ONLY.
      – My old “ruined” pan ( hanukkah latkes) is for browning meat, etc. Or I use cast iron for that.
      – again – get a pan just for eggs and pancakes. nothing else.

  5. I don’t know if you have these stores in California, but here, we have a store called Homegoods,. You have to venture to the suburbs, but you can find very nice cookware there. I have personally purchased several AllClad pans and have seen identical in regular cooking stores for much higher prices. I think maybe they sell department store overstock or something.

  6. Whenever I make omelets I brush some olive oil on the bottom and sides, especially near the rivets (?) where the handle is attached. It just adds an extra slide factor to the nonstick surface.

  7. Another vote for cast iron! My lodge pans were pretty well seasoned from the get go and only get better as I use them. I got a small (10″) one that I use mostly just for omelets and it is perfect. And I don’t think it cost more than $15. No more teflon in my kitchen.

  8. Does All Clad still have their lifetime warranty? You could always try to get it replaced :
    So sad… I have Sur la Table nonstick pans and they are actually surprisingly good, not to mention cheap (and usually go on sale twice a year). They don’t have the most even heating (of course, that could also be partly my electric stovetop’s fault) but they are a great nonstick skillet for the price.

  9. We have had 3 T-Fal skillets and they all eventually developed a warped bottom surface, a condition which T-Fal will not warranty. With a warped bottom, the oil collects around the perimeter leaving the center high and dry of oil — unless you are using a lot of oil. We finally tried the KW marble coated pan and we love it. It is going on three years now with nearly daily use, and it truly is the best non-stick skillet that we have tried. Just Google for it if you are interested in it.

  10. You have to get a Scanpan. I learned about them when I worked at Sur La Table. They’re made of solid ceramic titanium so there’s no coating and they’re made in Denmark, not China. I have one and it does everything a nonstick pans needs to do (it even browns chicken!) They’re about the same price as a good AllClad and totally worth it.

    1. Maureen, Milwaukee

      This is sort of scary – all of you out there still using pans where the non-stick lining is damaged. Hmmm, I’m worried about you! There’s so much info out there – from manufacturers themselves, plus independent research – that shows damaged pans slowly, but surely, release some pretty awful chemicals into the food once they’re reheated. Even if your pan cost $150, why not chalk it up to experience and stop eating food with – gulp – slow-acting poisons that like to adhere to body cells? A little $39 Vollrath pan rubbed with some neutral oil, like canola, with each use, and not cooking over high heat with eggs, will reward you with a beautiful omelet. Dear AG – stop mourning the pan, and get with the plan!

  11. What about ceramic? I picked up a 12″ and 10″ ceramic skillet at Marshalls for a song and they have held up fairly well oover the past year. The 12″ is getting sticky but that was only after my husband overheated the pan while trying to cook goyoza. I was annoyed, since he has a habit of doing things like that. The 10″ is my go-to pan for anything i want to fry or sautee and not stick without having to use too much fat.

  12. Tip from my grandmother: use butter and add a tiny pinch of flour to the melting butter, prevents eggs from sticking!

  13. There are several techniques that you could use to get your non-stick pan
    back in shape providing that there is no damage and the pan was in good
    condition when you purchased it.

    Use bacon grease so you don’t have to use Fat. :-)) Meaning that you probabl should re-season the pan. First wash it in the sink with a good detergent and a plastic mesh sponge. Rinse well and dry. Pour vegetable oil into the pan andput it into a 350 deg oven. (this should be lower than the smoking point of the oil). TURN OFF HEAT and let pan and oil stand over night. Pour off oil and DON’T WASH. Just wipe with a paper towel till dry and put it away. It is now seasoned.

    2nd technique for seasoning would be to wipe the pan with an oil drenched
    paper towel and place on hot stove, WATCHING carefully as the temperature
    mounts. Just before it begins to smoke, take it away from the heat and let
    it stand un-disturbed overnight. Then wipe dry and put away.

    A truly good non-stick pan really doesn’t have to be washed at all after
    you remove the cooked food. Just wipe the pan with a paper towel. If there
    is some residue just pour some SALT into the pan and use a paper towel to
    use the salt as an abrasive to remove the material. Then just put the
    pan away — no washing needed.

  14. Adam, All-Clad has really stands behind their products. If you contact their customer service, they will give you the mailing info to return the pan. They say they repair, but my experience has been that they actually replace. I have returned/replaced at least 5 pans since purchasing them in ’97. My parents have also had pans replaced by All-Clad. That’s the great thing about purchasing expensive, high quality items- the company stands behind them.

    I also have the same problem though. Non-stick still sticks. I think cast iron (well seasoned) is the answer.

  15. Definitely a Scanpan. I loved my mine so much I bought another. You can use metal utensils on it…gently, of course. You can get good deals on them through Chef’s Catalog.

  16. My husband recently heard that you shouldn’t use PAM on non-stick pans, because it ruins the coating. Has anyone else heard that?

  17. rub the skilet with oil, one or two spoon of oil in the skilet fire up, place half spoon of fine chopped onions and same amount of fine chopped tomate, do not beat the eggs too much add a little bit of salt and same amount of sugar mix and drop when you can smell the onions but look at them if start to become brown the onions drop the eggs inmediatly I use a wood spoon and mix well the onion and tomato I keep on mixing. i was teach this by my great grand mother the little bit of sugar gives the scramble egg a great taste for me. some people also like to ad other veggies or red peppers fine chopped
    after cooking wash the skillet with soap and water dry it and rub oil all around and put it away

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