First of all, full disclosure, I usually just use a box mix. There is no shame in using a mix… However, using a mix doesn’t really make it automatically easy. You still have to make pancakes out of it!
Tip #1. Do not overmix your pancake batter!
Even with a box pancake mix, do not overmix the batter. Just mix it until it’s wet and the large lumps are out. Small lumps are fine, and if you work on trying to get those out, you’ll definitely overmix.
Overmixed pancake batter will taste very rubbery and tough.
Tip #2. Let the batter sit for at least 5 minutes before you use it.
When you let the batter sit, it thickens a bit and the liquid gets fully absorbed. Those little lumps will also take care of themselves.
Tip #3. Use something with a pour spout to help you pour your batter onto the griddle.
I personally use the Pampered Chef small batter bowl and use it’s pouring spout to help get my batter out evenly and without a lot of drips and mess. But you can use anything with a pour spout.
Tip #4. Use a non-stick griddle.
I find a griddle pan is the best pan to use when making pancakes. I have easier access to them for flipping. It also has a flat surface so the heat is evenly distributed.
Tip #5. Make smaller pancakes.
I make smaller-size pancakes because I find they tend to be easier to control. Plus, as my son says, small pancakes are adorable! I make mine a little larger than a silver dollar.
Tip #6. Make sure your griddle pan is hot enough.
You need to start with a hot pan. If you drip a few drops of water on the pan, they should “dance” a little.
Tip #7. Be patient and pay attention.
I find that pancakes need a lot of special attention. It’s easy to burn them or forget them otherwise.
Once the pancakes are on the griddle or in the pan, watch how they get bubbles on the top. That’s the key!
Once you have a few bubbles across the surface, and the edge is dry, put your spatula under it and flip it with one swift motion.
If you start to put your spatula under it, and you are starting to notice it’s not ready and they batter is too wet, stop and wait a little longer. Your spatula should easily slide under it when it’s ready to flip!
When I mention that you should pay attention, really do that. If they are too brown, turn your heat down a little. If they aren’t getting as brown as you want, turn it up. Trust yourself to be able to adjust things as you go.
Tip #8. Don’t freak out when the first pancakes don’t turn out.
For some reason, the first batch of pancakes never seems to turn out just right. Even Bobby Flay said so on his TV show, so it must be a universal truth!
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