15 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Pancakes
The secret to diner-perfect pancakes may be more science than art. Here’s how to tweak your batter, your frying pan, and your flipping technique to ensure fluffier, tastier pancakes.
Mistake: Not fully preheating
Be sure to preheat the skillet fully before you add the batter, or you won’t get those crispy edges you know you want in your perfect pancake. It should sizzle when you pour your batter (you can test that with a drop of water, which also makes the sizzling sound).
Mistake: Using the wrong fat
Butter tastes great, but it browns too quickly on the high heat of your skillet to be useful for making pancakes. A good pancake requires a fat with a higher smoke point—such as canola oil, shortening, coconut oil, or even ghee or clarified butter. Coconut oil’s slightly sweet taste makes it an extra attractive option if you’ve got it.
Mistake: Crowding the pan
If you crowd the pan, your pancakes won’t crisp up at the edges because the relative coolness of the batter will cool down the cooking temperature of your pan. So be patient, and keep your pancakes at least one inch apart. (This’ll also give you more space to flip them.)
Mistake: Not paying attention to the heat as you go
If you don’t have an electric skillet, you’ll need to pay attention to the heat as you go. The general rule of thumb is to use medium heat. Too hot means you’ll burn the outside before cooking the inside. Too low means you won’t get crispy edges. If while you’re cooking, the skillet starts to smoke, the heat has become too high—turn off the burner and wait a few minutes before continuing. Make sure you avoid these other breakfast mistakes when you’re cooking.