6 Cardinal Sins of Pancake-Making

There is never a bad time to learn how to up your pancake game. I have pretty much always stuck with making waffles because they are so much easier to me to get them to turn out as expected. That being said, I believe there is almost nothing better than a stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, but heaven knows I do not know how to achieve a perfect fluffy stick of buttermilk pancakes!

I stumbled upon a little video on YouTube shorts for some common pancake mistakes people make and I realized why my pancakes never turn out the way I want them to! I followed up with some research on the important matter at hand and wanted to share with you the lessons I learned. I can’t wait for brunch this next weekend to test out all my handy new tips.

The funny thing about doing this research is almost every one of these tips involves the words, “avoid the urge to ______”. For some reason, when making pancakes, a lot of us apparently have some almost uncontrollable urges to do some strange things that don’t make for the best pancakes. So when it’s time to make your fluffy flapjacks, get focused, get ready, and let’s do this!! Here are a few of the biggest mistakes people make when making pancakes and how to avoid them.

1. Don’t Even Think About Overmixing!

For some reason there is an urge when mixing your batter to mix, mix, MIX until it is 100% smooth and there isn’t a flour clump in sight. As much as you might want to do this, please understand that this just creates dense pancakes. You are overmixing and working the gluten too much and this will make them too dense. Instead, mix until the wet ingredients are just incorporated and don’t worry if you see any clumps, your pancakes will turn out better for it.

2. Give it a Rest.

One of the best things you can do for your pancake batter is to let it rest, anywhere from 5-30 minutes, depending on what your recipe states. This allows the gluten in your batter to rest and settle, and the starches in the flour to absorb the liquid more to give it a thicker consistency, ultimately resulting in more soft and tender. pancakes. This step is most important for recipes like Dutch babies or crepes. You can use that time that you let them sit to get your toppings ready or clean up.

3. Get that Pan Nice and Hot!

You want to make sure your pot is really nice and evenly hot before you pour your batter on. If the pan is not hot enough, it will simply absorb all the butter and make for really greasy pancakes. Make sure the pan is hot enough that your oil or butter is very hot, but not smoking, before adding your batter and your pancakes will turn out with the desired delicate and buttery exterior edges, with a soft and fluffy interior.

4. It’s all About the Air Bubbles, Baby!

I think we all know that you’ve got to wait until you see it bubbling on top--but you should actually leave it on a little longer than you might think! Not only do there need to be bubbles, but you need to resist that very strong urge to flip them until the bubbles in the middle of the pancake actually POP! If you do it sooner than that, they could be undercooked in the middle and nobody likes that!

5. Just Flip AWAY!

When it is time to flip those babies, flip them away from your body so you don’t splash any oil or grease onto your clothes. That’s a pro tip, so if you find yourself doing this, you know you’re basically a professional chef at this point ;)

6. NEVER Smoosh!

Possibly the greatest cardinal sin of making pancakes is after the flip, some people smoosh down on their pancake with the spatula for some reason. Not sure where this urge comes from either, but resist that one as well! Fluffy is the goal here, not sad, flat bricks!

Have you been guilty of doing any of these grievous pancake errors? I know I have! Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! mary@dvo.com

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