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5 Secrets to Making the Best Pancakes Ever!

Whether you make pancakes for lazy Sunday breakfasts, only for brunch when entertaining, or turn out a stack of flapjacks every morning, your hot cakes will be better if you follow our easy steps to pancake success.

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To make a stack as deliciously perfect as this, read on.

If You're Ready to Make Pancakes, Get Our Easy Basic Pancakes Recipe

1. Always use oil (and skip the butter)

You’re eating a pancake: now’s not the time to skimp. A slick of oil in the pan ensures browning and those traces of browned, lacy edges -- without it, the batter’s merely setting into a fluffy vehicle for maple syrup, as the contrast in a pancake between the crisp golden exterior and the soft, fluffy interior is all part of the humble pancake’s charm. And stick to just a slick of oil between batches as needed -- too much will result in the pancake soaking up the excess and being weighed down. And that butter? It burns too easily, that's why oil is essential for pancake making.

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2. Never whisk the batter smooth (aka lumps are good sometimes!) 

Aim for just combining the ingredients -- leave behind the streaks of flour, the lumps. The chemistry of combining ingredients dictates that overmixing pancake batter -- until it’s smooth, for instance -- will turn out flat, tougher pancakes. Lumps in a batter will result in bubbles being trapped between the crisp outer edges of a golden pancake, yielding a lighter, fluffier center

3. Adjust the consistency to match your preference.

For thinner, crispier pancakes, keep the consistency loose so the batter runs more, literally spreading itself thin; use less liquid for thicker pancakes. Using seltzer for a liquid ingredient, or beating egg whites until stiff, then folding them in also aids in fluffiness.

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4. Be Careful with the Add-Ins 

If you are adding ingredients such as blueberries or toasted nuts to the pancakes, sprinkle them over the pools of batter right after they are poured on the griddle; this will help distribute the add-ins evenly -- and prevent berries from tinting the entire pancake.

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5. Flip only when bubbles appear, then pop -- and only flip once. 

The chemical reaction that traps bubbles for a fluffier center is also responsible for the visual indicator on when to flip your pancakes -- when bubbles surface and pop, it’s time to flip. Once inverted, the pancake should be golden on top as it begins to set on the bottom. 

 

And know that the first pancake or two will always be a "test" -- while you gauge if the pan is hot enough and get into the swing of things. 

Learn Everything About Making Pancakes and Get Our Favorite Recipes

Watch Sarah Carey prepare a batch of easy pancakes: 

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