How to flip food in a pan (Video)

[Video Link] You aren't supposed to lift the pan. You're supposed to slide it back and forth. Thanks, Chef John! (Via Doobybrain)


  1. This is one of the handful of truly useful things (along with obsessive use of tongs and hand towels, how to handle a chef’s knife, and mis en place) that I learned working in a trashy diner kitchen. It remains the only one that actually impresses anyone.

  2. That’s all fine and dandy if you happen to be pan frying cheezypoofs (who does that?), but let’s see him try to flip an omelet without lifting the pan. 

      1.  I was wondering about a pancake/omelette, it looks like the cook does the forwards and back, then Lowers the pan to give the large surface area object more time to rotate. If you watch the second flip where they elevate the pan while flipping, the pancake almost misses and they have to move the pan forwards to catch it properly

    1. I think i’ll throw off the crutch of using a spatula assist this weekend and flip my 3 fried eggs with one hand!

      Btw, you really shouldn’t have to flip an omelet :p

  3. The vid doesn’t mention how important the slope of the sides of the pan is. The proper type of pan is called a saute pan and the verb saute in French means “jump” which describes this flipping cooking technique.

    Strangly enough there are lots of things called saute pans with the wrong sides, i guess which shows that for many people “saute” has lost its “jump” meaning.

    1. Nope, those things actually are saute pans.  The “jump” meaning is still present; it refers not to flipping (which almost requires a sloped side) but to the bouncing around that happens as the food is stirred or as the pan is shaken.  The straight sides are needed to keep the food in whilst bouncing around.

      1. ding!
        and to flip in a straight sided pan, as far as i can tell, it has to be lifted, even with cheese-balls or mirepoix.

  4. Like the first poster, this and cutting with a knife were the two great skills I picked up in GreasySpoon 101 in college. The chef who taught me how to flip had me use slices of bread. They’re just a bit harder to flip than eggs, so if you can do bread, eggs are no problem.

  5. My old crusty kitchen rat friend told me that if you flip it more than twice “your playing with it.” He said “your trying to fucking cook it, not put on a show.”

  6. It’s also useful to practice this using a handful of beans in a small ziploc bag. Easy to flip, won’t get all over the place, and has internal motion like a mass of real food.

  7. Here’s my short list of kitchen essential skills:
    Efficient chopping
    Flipping and stirring sans utensil
    Touching hot things bare-handed
    Basic eyeball measurements, tsps, Tbs, cup, half cup, etc.
    Memorize key recipes and methods: pancakes, bread, pie crust, noodles, velouté sauce, Bechamel, hollandaise, etc
    How to test meat doneness by touch and sight
    How to organize prep for 4 or 5 dishes simultaneously
    How to clean out the fridge for a great meal
    And, since becoming a parent, how to hide vegetables in everything

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