Pancakes are, arguably, the quintessential crowning jewels of breakfast royalty.
From a basic buckwheat and oat base to eccentric fruit fusions, nothing quite greets the day like a big stack of pancakes.
These affordable, easy to make treats have existed in various forms for thousands of years. Ancient Greeks ate pancakes, often sweetened with honey.
Elizabethans enjoyed their pancakes with rose water, sherry, and spiced apples. Indicators of pancakes were found in the remains of Otzi the Iceman, one of modern man’s strongest links to the Neolithic era.
The lexicographic influence of pancakes is also remarkable: the expression ‘flat as a pancake’ dates all the way back to 1611, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
No Breakfast Left Behind
The tradition of serving pancakes with breakfast is primarily a North American custom. American Cookery, Amelia Simmons’ seminal, first-ever cookbook of all-American recipes, has two different recipes for preparing pancakes…
One for ‘Johny Cakes,’ and the other for ‘Hoe Cakes.’ Though neither of these names has endured, the basic recipes have.
International House or Local Home?
Everyone loves a lazy Sunday morning, complete with a family trip to your local pancake house. The tantalizing approach of a waiter bringing a tray full of pancakes to a hungry table is a savory image, trademark of a cozy morning.
However, true customization and satisfaction in pancake palate come in the form of homemade pancakes. Pancakes are simple enough to make and certainly affordable.
That said, it is important to consider several factors in making your own pancakes at home, for a true down-home dining experience.
The Perfect Pancake
Although a basic recipe is certainly simple, there are several components to the perfect pancake.
Of course, the variety of flour used will have a great effect on the quality of the finished flapjack.
Stone-ground whole-grain flour is a stalwart, while pastry wheat flour offers a fluffier, tender pancake—emphasis on the ‘cake.’
Double-acting baking powder, which activates when moistened and again when heated, is necessary for the lightest, most textured pancakes.
Naturally, half the pleasure of pancakes is in the toppings. From a conservative butter and maple syrup blend to esoteric yogurts and fruit cocktails.
There is truly no limit to what can top a stack of pancakes. For many, the pancake operates more as a vehicle for the toppings than as the desired food in itself.
Once all of the components of the pancakes are selected, the other very important factor must be considered—the surface upon which you are grilling your pancakes.
Heat retention is important—an even heating surface that does not vary much in temperature is crucial to getting an even sizzle.
Sure, a basic frying or sauteing pan works, but with so many specific pancake griddles on the market, it would be a shame to not maximize pancake making with the right tool.
Here are a few things to consider…
Though there are some quality circular models available, many appropriate griddles are square or rectangular.
That way, the available surface area is maximized. Consider the size as well—a smaller griddle is perfect for solo pancake eating, or in limited company. A larger crowd warrants a larger griddle.
Electric griddles conveniently do not take up room on the stovetop, though they may not heat as effectively.
Stovetop griddles are the classic models, though they can inconvenience breakfast preparation, especially if you are making more than just pancakes.
Cast aluminum is popular with electric griddles, as it heats up rapidly. Cast iron is a popular choice for stovetop griddles, as it retains heat very well, and adds necessary iron to pancakes (and everything else it cooks).
Solving the Griddle Riddle
So you’re convinced you’d like to make the jump from skillet to griddle. Well done!
Griddles make a better pancake every time. And they are more flipper friendly, as you won’t have to deal with frustrating sides of pans and skillets.
Here are a few excellent choices for your new pancake griddle…
Victoria Reversible Cast Iron Round Griddle
The Victoria Reversible Cast Iron Round Griddle features removable cool-touch handles, which won’t burn your hands.
Durable cast iron lasts a lifetime and provides excellent heat retention for an evenly cooked pancake. This griddle is pre-seasoned, meaning it will be non-stick from day one.
Presto 07047 Cool Touch Electric Griddle
The Presto 07047 Cool Touch Electric Griddle is an exemplary electric model. Its rectangular design maximizes usable surface area, meaning you can cook numerous pancakes at once, to meet any home need.
Don’t be misled by the presence of electronics—this whole griddle is submersible, allowing for quick and easy cleaning.
The control master heat control maintains proper cooking temperature automatically, removing any guesswork from making the perfect pancake.
Durable cast aluminum cooking surface heats quickly, allowing you to get cooking quickly!
Farberware High Performance Nonstick Aluminum 11-inch Square Griddle
The Farberware High Performance Nonstick Aluminum 11-inch Square Griddle is everything you need in a griddle.
Its square design allows for maximum usage of the surface area. The solid cast aluminum material is entirely non-stick, and heats up quickly, facilitating rapid pancake production.
Additionally, this griddle and handle are entirely metal, meaning it can be used as a tray in the oven as well as on the stovetop.
Cooksmark Copper 11-Inch Non-Stick Griddle Pan
This griddle is made of a combination of copper nonstick coating that prevents your food from sticking onto the surface of the griddle pan and an aluminum core that is perfect in protecting the pan from rusting and also gives maximum heat retention.
The nonstick coating makes it possible for you to use minimal oil while cooking pancakes, which makes it economical. This is a perfect griddle pan for making delicious pancakes.
Joseph Strauss Induction Crepe and Pancake Pan
This is an amazing griddle pan that comes with a batter spreader. This particular pan has been made to work on stovetops to give you the best experience when making pancakes. The exterior is made of aluminum, which ensures that the pan is rustproof. Its non-stick interior surface ensures you come up with perfect pancakes. The crepe pan has tapered edges that prevent your batter from spilling out during cooking.
NutriChef Nonstick 12-Inch Electric Crepe Maker
This 1200-watt cooking plate is made of aluminum and has an adjustable temperature controller. This is an electric pan that helps you regulate heat when making pancakes or crepes. It has an LED indicator light that allows you to monitor the presence of heat on the pan. It comes with a wooden spatula and batter spreader, which help you in making pancakes or whatever you love. Its broad surface allows you to include bacon and other kinds of breakfast foods. You can achieve your desired temperature by merely turning the knob. It also has a heavy duty cooking hot plate.
NutriChef Lodge LSRG3 Cast Iron Single-Burner Reversible Griddle Pan
This griddle pan has two sides, one ribbed and the other flattened for easy outdoor or indoor cooking. It has an iron cast grill that provides even and fast heating for your pancakes. You can use this griddle pan on a stovetop or in an oven to produce perfect pancakes. You shouldn’t worry about moving this griddle pan around because it has two corners with comfortable grip handles that allow you to lift it with ease. You can also hang the pan when not in use. Some of its notable features include a smooth section for eggs and bacon and a broad surface that measures around 11 inches. You should put it in the dishwasher. Always use a towel to dry it after use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which oil is best for preparing pancakes?
There are different types of oils that you can use when making pancakes, depending on the flavor that you want. It’s not possible to single out a particular oil because preferences and recipes vary. One of the best options is olive oil. It is an excellent oil for people who have heart problems because it contains healthy fat and unsaturated fatty acids. Coconut oil is another oil that you can use in making pancakes. Depending on your preference, look for flavored or unflavored coconut oil. Grapeseed is the other type of oil that I would recommend. It’s clean and light, which makes it an excellent oil for making pancakes.
Is there any other way of preparing pancakes other than by using griddle pans?
This depends on whether you intend to use the oven or the stovetop. If you want to use the oven, I would recommend you stick to the griddle pans to avoid injury. You can use the frying pan if you intend to make a pancake on the stovetop.
What are the best pancake recipes?
There are many pancake recipes out there. Some exciting pancake recipes include the almond butter pancakes, which are made by using almond milk and flour along with other ingredients. You can learn how to prepare salted caramel pancakes or even zucchini pancakes. If you want a tastier pancake, try out cranberry oatmeal blender pancakes. Other options include cinnamon roll pancakes, pumpkin pancakes, pineapple pancakes, and tiramisu pancakes.
How can I avoid making pancakes that are deformed?
Making pancakes with the right shape is simple. All you need to do is put the pancake batter into a squeeze bottle. This is very important because the squeeze bottle will enable you to make virtually any shape that you want. Then you slowly squeeze the bottle, letting the pancake batter out while drawing whatever shape you want. If you intend to make small sized pancakes, you can use a clean syringe to draw in the pancake batter and then press it out.
How can I make my pancakes non-stick on the cooking pan?
Pancakes may stick to the surface of a cooking pan because of uneven heat distribution or the use of small amounts of oil that are insufficient.
Cooking pancakes on a stovetop present the challenge of heat, where you will find it hard ensuring that your pancakes get an even amount of heat on both sides.
When pancakes stick on the surface of your cooking pan they make it difficult for you to turn them.
The best way of overcoming this challenge is mainly by cooking your pancake in an oven, but if you still insist on cooking your pancakes on a stovetop, ensure you have enough oil in the pan and regularly lift and turn the pancakes to make sure they do not stick to the surface.
With so many effective models on the market, there is no reason to not begin making high quality, customized pancakes in your own kitchen. Enjoy the many varieties of pancake pleasure with your own new griddle!