Whipping up, or should we say flipping up, a stack of fluffy hot pancakes can be a delicious, yet challenging endeavor. Many pancakes lose their perfect round shape after an ill attempt at flipping it over. It’s not uncommon to make several bite-sized pancakes from the splashes of batter that disengaged from the surface of the uncooked side of the pancake mid-flip!
We’ve all been there, and your far-from-perfect pancake flipping skills are about to change once you know the chef-approved trick to knowing exactly when to flip a pancake.
We asked Dana Murrell, the executive chef at meal kit delivery service Green Chef, to give us a helping hand (literally) on how to properly flip a pancake. Here’s what we learned to set ourselves up for success every time, plus the trick to flipping a pancake like a pro.
First off, the type of pan you use matters.
“The ideal type of pan to use is a flat, nonstick griddle,” says Murrell. “By using a flat griddle, you are able to get the turner spatula at every angle to assist in the flip.”
The right temperature can set you up for success.
“I like to cook my pancakes over medium-low so that the pan is hot enough to give a nice golden brown color, but not so hot that it burns before it is ready to flip. You should see steam coming off the pan, not smoke,” says Murrell.
Greasing the griddle adds an extra boost.
The chef also says that she prefers using butter over a cooking spray because “butter melts, meaning you can put in in the center of the pan and it will melt away, under the pancakes.” It makes the pancakes taste that much better, too.
“I usually add a pad of butter before I pour the batter, then another small one to the pan after I flip, allowing for a nice butter browned exterior on both sides,” she says.
Stop using the wrong kitchen gadget to flip pancakes.
Murrell suggests using a turner spatula that is big enough to scoop under at least most of the pancake, if not all of it. This will prevent any part of the batter from slipping off during the flip.
The number-one trick to flipping the perfect pancake: Timing the flip when you see bubbles throughout—not just around the sides.
“Plain pancakes will always flip better. The more solid particles you have in the pancake, and the bigger the particles, the more places you risk the pancake breaking upon flipping,” says Murrell.
“Lighter batters are best, not necessarily for flipping, but for even cooking. You know it’s time to flip when you see air bubbles rise to the surface throughout the pancake—not just the sides. A dense batter may take longer for air bubbles to reach the surface and could result in burning the first side.”
Gone are the days of ending up with pale, undercooked patties or burnt edges!
Now that you know the key secrets on how to flip a pancake, your flapjacks will never fall flat again, making you a true breakfast master.