undercooked pancakes
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Can You Eat Undercooked Pancakes? (And How to Fix Them)

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Pancakes are delicious snacks that can be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are super easy to make and oftentimes very quick — plus they go great with a bunch of savory and sweet toppings!

Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems that people run into with these tasty treats is cooking them to perfection.

So, can you eat undercooked pancakes? It depends. If you have a pancake mix without eggs, you won’t likely get super sick from the undercooked flour, but the possibility is still there. But if your batter contains eggs, you should never eat it while it’s undercooked.

Today, we will take a look at the science behind this answer. We’ll discuss when undercooked pancakes are safer or less safe to eat, what causes undercooked pancakes, and how to fix them.

We’ve also included a quick and easy guide that will help you completely prevent undercooking them from the get-go!

Why People Say You Shouldn’t Eat Undercooked Pancakes

Most people would immediately say yes or no for this or that reason — however, the answer isn’t as straightforward as many people make it out to be.

There are actually a couple of factors that can help you more accurately decide whether or not undercooked pancakes are safe to eat.

So, first, look at what type of pancake you are making. Are you making homemade pancakes from scratch? Or are you making pancakes from a pancake dry mix?

1. Raw Eggs

If you are making box-mix pancakes, look at which ingredients you have to add. If you have to add water or milk to the dry ingredients, it is likely safe to eat undercooked pancakes. It’s not recommended, but the risks aren’t as high.

If you need to add eggs to your dry pancake mix, you shouldn’t eat undercooked pancakes. There are many very serious risks involved with eating raw and undercooked eggs (which we will get to soon).

The same kind goes for homemade pancakes. Most recipes will include eggs, but because there are so many people on vegan, vegetarian, or egg-free diets, there are also great alternatives used in some recipes (like bananas or flax eggs).

If your homemade pancake recipe requires any addition of eggs, then you cannot eat the pancakes when they are undercooked — the risks are too high.

2. Raw Flour

So, this is the main reason many people say, “absolutely never!” And it’s not a bad reason. It’s the same reason your mother always preached, “Don’t eat the raw cake batter or cookie dough; you’ll get sick!”

When flour is partially hydrated but not fully cooked with heat, it does expose you to dangerous germs that haven’t been killed — like E.coli.

And no, just because the flour has been bleached doesn’t mean these germs don’t exist. Many of these bacteria are introduced during or after the production of the flour.

Just like how eggs need to be completely cooked to a safe eating temperature, so does the flour.

Bottom Line: Can You Eat Undercooked Pancakes?

If we are completely honest, the raw-flour part of the argument isn’t likely to make you sick.

undercooked pancakes

We aren’t talking about raw batter here — we are discussing whether or not undercooked pancake batter is too dangerous to eat.

When it comes to flour and how risky it is, it depends on how undercooked the pancakes are. All germs will be killed at 165ºF (74ºC). But it still isn’t extremely likely that the flour will make you sick.

You can bake the flour before using it in your pancakes to make sure the bacteria is completely killed.

The real risk is in the eggs. It is far more likely that you come across Salmonella in eggs than it is E.coli in flour.

So, the bottom line: it is best to avoid undercooked pancakes, especially when they are made using eggs.

If they are just water-based pancakes or eggless pancakes, you are less likely to get very sick if the pancakes are mostly cooked. But never eat the raw batter!

How to Tell When Pancakes Are Undercooked

The best way to test whether or not your pancake is undercooked is to use a toothpick or thin cake testing needle.

You can insert it into the center of the pancake or the thickest area.

If the toothpick comes out completely clean, the pancakes have been perfectly cooked (hopefully not overcooked). But if some pancake batter sticks to the toothpick and comes out with it, they should be left to continue cooking.

Another way to test the doneness of a pancake is to use a probe thermometer.

Bacteria are effectively killed at 165ºF (74ºC), so that’s what the thermometer should read. This is the most accurate way to test for perfectly cooked pancakes, but it is a little labor-intensive.

And finally, you can eyeball it. Take a look at what the actual pancake looks and feels like. The center will cook last. So, if you still see jiggly or raw areas, the pancake needs to continue cooking.

The texture of the pancake should also feel soft and fluffy, but not squishy. Squishy means that it isn’t cooked. Soft and fluffy means that the structure has been set and everything has been cooked.

How to Fix Undercooked Pancakes

There are a couple of ways you can prevent or fix undercooked pancakes.

1. Keep Cooking Them

This method is a great way to prevent undercooked pancakes. If you test their doneness while they are cooking, you can easily continue cooking them. Allowing the undercooked pancakes to cool before cooking them in a pan again isn’t ideal.

So, if you’ve done your tests and your pancakes are undercooked, simply leave them in the pan for another couple of minutes.

If they are browning too much or too quickly, lower the heat. Sometimes it is even necessary to remove the pan from the heat completely.

Keep cooking them until they are done. Try to avoid flipping them too many times — they should ideally only be flipped once during the initial cooking. You can turn them once again to continue cooking the raw parts on the other side.

2. Cook Them in an Oven

If your pancakes have cooled before you realized they are undercooked, the best way to fix them is using an oven. A toaster oven will work great too!

The reason your oven works better than other appliances is that it provides dry, indirect heat. It will “slowly” cook the pancakes without drying them out or making them rubbery.

You can preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Place the pancakes on a lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake them for a couple of minutes until they are perfectly cooked.

The exact time will mainly depend on how undercooked the pancakes were. But generally, this doesn’t take longer than 5 minutes.

What Causes Undercooked Pancakes?

The biggest reason that pancakes come out raw is that they haven’t been cooked long enough — but other reasons may contribute to your problem!

Improper mixing of the ingredients could be another contributing factor. Some parts will contain far too much liquid, which takes longer to cook. In turn, it creates an uncooked area while the rest of the pancake starts overcooking.

Another problem is not letting the pancake batter rest. For many recipes, this is an essential step or else the pancakes won’t hold their shape effectively, which can lead to some parts being thicker than others, as well as uneven cooking.

You also have to ensure that you cook the pancakes at the right temperature. Many people use too low of heat — this can make it almost impossible to cook the pancakes without causing them to become rubbery.

And finally, you should flip the pancakes at the right time. If you flip them over too early, the first side may not have cooked sufficiently.

On the flip side (pun intended), you should avoid flipping them too many times. That will cause them to cook unevenly, leaving some areas still raw.

How to Cook Pancakes Perfectly

So, let’s look at how to perfectly cook pancakes on the stovetop. You can use the information we have provided so far as a guide to avoiding undercooking the pancakes!

pancakes with maple syrup

1. Preheat the Pan

Place a pan over medium heat — we think non-stick pans work best for making pancakes.

You can add some cooking spray or butter to help lubricate the surface. It will also help the pancake to develop a nice golden brown color.

2. Add ¼ Cup of Rested Batter

Once your pan is heated, add ¼ cup of pancake batter. Don’t add it too quickly, or it will spread too much.

3. Cook the Pancake Until Bubbles Form

Leave the pancake to cook for a couple of minutes. Once the entire top of the pancake is covered with tiny bubbles (holes), you can carefully flip the pancake over.

4. Cook the Other Side of the Pancake

Once the pancake is flipped over, leave the other side to cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the pancake is golden brown.

5. Remove the Pancake

Don’t leave the pancake inside the pan. Once it is golden brown, remove it and set it aside on a tray. If you want to keep them warm before serving, leave them in a preheated oven at 104ºF–122ºF (40ºC–50ºC).

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