Nakamura copper tamagoyaki pan image courtesy of Shokunin
If you work BOH, or are an avid cook, to a sushi chef, I highly doubt I have to call a tamagoyaki pan a “Japanese omelette pan” for you to know what I am talking about because you are here.
There are a number of “tamagoyaki top 7 to top 10” lists, but the vast majority of them are solely intent on monetizing their website and cashing in on being an Amazon affiliate. I would have no issue with that if the content was not solely driven by promoting only the products and vendors that benefit their or Amazon’s bottom line. That sort of douchebaggery is the reason why I do this blog, and I hope to provide you the content that helps you to understand the market at-large and the products (beyond just Amazon) within it without being an Amazon affiliate ho.
Shokunin seems to be the smallest online seller listed, but they have a ton of great imagery and videos regarding Nakamura copper products.
Tamagoyaki Pan Characteristics Overview
- A tamagoyaki pan is either square or rectangular in shape (the two regional styles in Japan).
- Tamagoyaki just means “egg ” (tamago) “grilled” (yaki).
- The vast majority of the pans are made of iron although aluminum to stainless steel options are also available.
- Copper pans are the most expensive although that is common for copper cookware which are known for their great thermal conductivity.
- A few companies offer non-stick coatings/treatments that are PFOA free.
- Some pans come with a wooden lid (used to aid in shaping the tamagoyaki).
- Pan handles range from bare metal, polymer (plastic), silicone wrapped, to wood.
A Summit cast iron pan features a 1.6mm thickness that allows this pan to heat up quickly, and they are sold through Japan Taste based out of Kyoto, Japan.
From Generic Producers, Multi-Generation Craftsmen, to Large Corporations
Everything can come down to price, but if care about the quality of the product, you will care if there is a brand backing the product or a producer with decades of specialized experience.
By Brand with an Online Presence:
- Cuisinart – is an American company headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. The parent company is the Conair corporation, and with their mighty corporation powers, they offer up the number one most affordable “square” pans of the bunch at only $10.
- Green Pan – a Belgian brand with a PFOA and PFAS free coating called Thermolon. The ceramic coating is used throughout their product range, and they tout it as the “healthy cermaic non-stick.”
- TeChef – One of the few Asian based companies with a U.S. presence. The Korean based company has been around since 1982 and has a website with extensive product information (minus no search capability, and that you have to understand their product segment branding to find anything).
By Country of Manufacture:
- China – the vast majority of companies listed have no information beyond their name, and the only association for most, is that they all sell through Amazon, Sears, to Walmart (I did not list them all because there are so many, but here are a few Binpure, Duokon, Li-Gelisi, to Rong Tian X).
- Japan – since tamagoyaki is Japanese, it should not be a surprise that there is a large number of producers and manufacturers. They range from large to small family owned and run operations spanning 80+ years and four generations to well over a century.
- Korea – Only one company comes up as a Korean based and made product, but it looks to be a very competitive product amongst their dozen or more competitors.
Even Walmart carries Kotobuki, so while you are picking out a new hunting outfit, you can also order a tamagoyaki pan.
The Range of Materials for Tamagoyaki Pans
- Carbon steel
- Stainless steel
- Aluminum/stainless steel (induction)
Where to Buy a Tamagoyaki Pan (Beyond Just Amazon)
If you are an American, you will want the fastest and most affordable vendor which is why my focus will be American-centric vendors or vendors who cater to the U.S. market. Although, I will also list international vendors for online buyers, and I will denote where they are headquartered out of because I know many of you are also outside the U.S.
- Akazuki (Azk)- Fukuoka, Japan
- Amazon (Amzn)
- Bento & Co (Bco) – Kyoto, Japan
- Japan Taste (JT) – Amagasaki, Japan.
- Shokunin (Shk) – Kyoto, Japan
- Target (Tgt)
- Walmart (Wmt)
Tamago Pan, Japanese Omelet pan, to Square “Omelette” Pan
However you call it or spell it, this is all of your options beyond just Amazon.
|Asahi||Copper with wooden Lid 18cm||9.92 x 7.56 x 2.44 inches||Japan||$75|
|Asahi||Copper (Cne133)||10cm x 15 cm||Japan||$64.87 Wmt|
|Aux Co., Ltd||Kansai style Copper Pan w leather handle cover.||33.8 x 13.4 x 9cm (L x W x H)||Japan||$149 Amzn|
|Binpure||Nonstick stainless steel (yet they also state “aluminum alloy”).||18cm x 13cm x 3cm, 16cm||China||Wmt $23.48|
|Cuisinart||Mini 5.5″ non-stick square mini aluminum fry pan with silicone handle (5730M-14TQ)||5.5″||“Imported”(wtf)||$9.99 Tgt|
|Duokon||Cast iron, Nonstick Egg Pan||0.39 x 0.39 x 0.39 inches||China||$47.59 Amzn|
|GreenPan||Thermolon healthy ceramic nonstick coating is free of PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium. Aluminum, Ceramic with a silicone wrapped handle||5″||China||$12 Amzn|
|GreenPan||Thermolon healthy ceramic nonstick coating is free of PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium. Aluminum, Ceramic with a silicone wrapped handle||5″||China||$11.95 Wmt|
|Iwachu||Iron with wooden handle||L7 × W5.7″ (L18 × W14.5 cm)||Japan||$74.95 Azk|
|Iwachu||Iron with wooden handle||14.25 x 6 x 1.25 inches||Japan||$79.95|
|Kotobuki||Iron, Non-stick coating|
Traditional rectangular shape
|7.5 x 5.25 x 1.25 inches||Japan||$21.99 Amzn|
|Kotobuki||Iron, Non-stick coating|
Traditional rectangular shape
|Li-Gelisi Trading||Carbon steel and Polymer Plastics Hard Anodized Non-Stick Coating||7.2 x 0.85 x 4.9 inches||China||$12.99 Amzn|
|Nakamura||Rectangular copper pan with wooden handle.||12×16 cm (13x18cm)||Japan||$79 JT|
|Nakamura Douki||Rectangular copper pan with wooden handle.||5.9 in. × 5.9 in.|
0.05 in. thick
|Nakamura Douki||Rectangular copper pan with wooden handle.||13.8×18.2xH3.3cm||Japan||5,800 (JPY) Shk|
|Rong Tian X||Cast Iron with Wooden Handle||5.9 x 1.5 x 7 inches||China||$39.99 Amzn|
|Sanjo||Sanjo iron pan with silicone coating and natural wood handle.||14 x 18 cm (1.6mm thickness)||Japan||$39.90 Bco|
|Summit||Long pan cast iron with wooden handle.||374 x 104 x 70mm (L x W x H)||Japan||$28.00 JT|
|Summit||Cast iron square pan with wooden handle.||(W x L x H): 160 x 390 x 105 mm||Japan||$45.00 JT|
|Takumi||Small Iron (Magma Plate) with beech wood handle and die-cast aluminum clasp.||Width 3.9 × length 12.8 (whole length 6.0 in.) × height 2.3 in.||Japan||$52.22 Amzn|
|Takumi||Medium Iron (Magma Plate) with beech wood handle and die-cast aluminum clasp.||14.69 x 6.22 x 2.4 inches||Japan||$61.22|
|TeChef||Coated with New Safe Teflon Select / Non-Stick Coating PFOA Free / INDUCTION-CAPABLE extra-heavy gauge aluminum construction with stainless steel base||7.5 x 1.2 x 5.5 inches||Korea||$20 Amzn|
|TeChef||Coated with New Safe Teflon Select / Non-Stick Coating PFOA Free / INDUCTION-CAPABLE extra-heavy gauge aluminum construction with stainless steel base||“Large”||Korea||$25.99 Wmt|
|TeChef||CeraTerra Ceramic Nonstick, heavy gauge aluminum with stainless steel base.||8.5″ x 8.5″||Korea||$24.99|
|Tikusan||Copper, Including Specialty Wooden Lid||Pan; 7.1×7.1×1.4 inches 27.5 oz Lid; 7.1×7.1×1.4 inches||Japan||$75|
|Tikusan||Copper, Including Specialty Wooden Lid||an; 8.3×8.3×1.4 inches 43.4 oz Lid; 8.3×8.3×1.4 inches||Japan||$95 Amzn|
The TeChef tamagoyaki pan is a standout from all the competition (designed for induction stovetops and is treated with Teflon Select), and they are the only Korean product/brand listed.
This is TeChef’s CeraTerra coating.
The Belgian based GreenPan offers up the second most affordable tamagoyaki pan.
If you have Martha Stewart money, you go copper, and you go Nakamura.
One of the leading producers of cast iron products in Japan is Iwachu which was founded in 1902, but none of us would know that if it were not for people and sites like Boonie Hicks (www.booniehicks.com), the cast-iron guru’s. They have a great post on Iwachu, and I highly suggest you check out their site because it is all about cast iron cookware/products – this is one of the best sites I have come across in a long time.
Takumi “Magma Plate” tamagoyaki pans seems to have a unique surface that their online seller describes as:
“A uniquely developed plate, finely indented on both surfaces. The indent makes the pan’s surface area larger and heat conduction better, so food can be heated to the core very fast, with its delicious taste kept in. Furthermore, the surface fabrication with the indent enables the cooking oil go in more easily. The longer used, the less sticky!”
Got to respect that TAKUMI is one of the few Japanese companies to market a distinguishable feature of their product.
My Conclusion After My Ridiculous Amount of Research on Tamagoyaki Pans
There are your Japanese tamagoyaki pans made of iron to the high-end copper pans from craftsmen with almost a century producing the products, to the endless amount of Chinese products that are sold through Amazon, Sears, to Walmart.
Although the standouts from the traditional centuries-old durability and “non-stick” usefulness of cast iron that the Chinese and Japanese products both offer, is TAKUMI with their Magma Plate. Magma Plate could be marketing hype, but you can not go wrong with a company such as Iwachu with well over a century of experience producing cast-iron.
Beyond the traditional materials are the Green Pan (Belgian) and TeChef (Korean) products. Both utilize aluminum/stainless steel, but Green Pan utilizes their proprietary ceramic coating,Thermolon where as TeChef employs not only Teflon Select, but also up their ceramic “CeraTerra” coating that is PTFE and PFOA free.