Cooking can be challenging, from getting the ingredients just right to using the right recipe to getting the temperature and timing correct. It’s not easy making sure every dish comes out the way it’s supposed to, especially when you have to flip something. Whether it’s burgers, omelets, or pancakes, the flip can be the hardest part. Are you good at flipping, or are you flips usually flops? When it comes to breakfast food, pancakes are always a hit, partly because there are so many ways to make them, with so many wonderful flavor combinations. The great thing about pancakes is that they are not only delicious, they’re also really easy to make … usually. Whether you’re making the batter from scratch (we admire your bravery!) or using a mix from a box, mistakes can still be made. Sometimes they don’t taste right, come out dense and flavorless, and sometimes the flip just doesn’t go down the way you picture it happening in your head.
We understand. We’ve been there, done that! But we’ve learned a few pro tips along the way and today we’re here to share our hard-won expertise with you, in the hopes that your next batch of flapjacks will have your family doing backflips. Here are some of the most common pancakes fails and how to avoid them. If nothing else, maybe seeing how dreadful some pancakes have turned out will give you hope and make you feel better about your own pancake fails.
Common pancake making mistakes:
Adding too many eggs/ forgetting the eggs. The recommended ratio when making pancakes is one egg for every one cup of flour. Add too many and your pancakes won’t come out right. Forget them altogether, and they definitely won’t come out right.
Overmixing. You may need some practice to discover how much mixing is enough and how much is too much. Too much mixing will overdevelop the gluten in the flour, and could definitely cause you some trouble as it will make the pancakes tough and chewy. Chewy is for bubblegum, not pancakes. It’s best to leave some lumps in your batter to help it rise, but you don’t want huge clumps or leftover flour in the bottom of the bowl.
Here’s a pro tip for the perfect pancake: add some dry cereal (yes, we said cereal) or granola to the mix to help with the lump factor. The cereal will provide the right amount of texture to incorporate a little air into your batter and will absorb the moisture in the pancake batter until the two become one. Your family will never miss that ½ cup of frosted flakes! Don’t worry, there’s no extra charge for this pro tip.
Pushing down on the pancake. We cannot stress this enough – DO NOT PRESS THE PANCAKE DOWN IN THE PAN! Restrain yourself or you will regret it. Many people do this, but it is definitely a no-no in the rules of the pancake world. Yep, it’s right there on page one of the Perfect Pancake Making Manual. Violate this cardinal rule and the Pancake Police will come knocking at your door. Pressing the pancake will leave you with a dense, boring pancake as it presses all the air out, which is essential to ending up with a light, fluffy, edible pancake. You don’t want your family falling asleep over your pancakes, so avoid boring as much as possible
Pancakes Sticking to the pan and/ or Burning the pancakes. Burnt pancakes are No Bueno. Are all of your pancakes coming out burnt? Chill out (literally) and calm down on the heat. Turn your dial to medium/ high (350 for an electric griddle). Melt a good amount of butter (or you can use coconut oil for a wonderful flavor). Your pan needs to be moistened with some type of oil in order for your pancakes not to stick to the pan. Skipping this step will leave you very unhappy. Test for readiness with a teaspoon of batter; if it sizzles around the edges and starts to cook immediately, you’re golden to go ahead and pour enough batter for your first pancake.
Flipping too soon. You must remember to be patient on turning your pancakes. Wait for it…when you see bubbles start to form and slowly pop around the edges, you should be good to go with the famous pancake flip. Don’t be shy – the flip must be done with the confidence of a bullfighter facing the bull. He who hesitates is lost, and his pancake will be less than stellar. Ready, set, flip that flapjack!
Flapjack Fails Happen. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, pancake pandemonium happens. Pancakes stick, burn, come out gooey, ugly, tough, tasteless, or just plain disastrous. Anything is possible, even if you play by all the pancake rules. Achieving the perfect, fluffy, flavorful pancake may be more difficult than you think, especially if you are trying a new recipe or something creative, but don’t give up the ship (or in this case, the pan). It takes a certain skill to make a perfect pancake every time, but if you persevere in your quest for the perfect pancake, you and those you cook for will be rewarded with pancake perfection.
During this time of quarantine, due to COVID-19, our doors are shut so the pancake professionals sadly won’t be able to serve you. But this is a great time to practice your own pancake skills and become the master of the pancake. We also enjoy seeing some funny pancake fails so feel free to post your own photos of your abject flapjack failures on our Facebook page!