Making the perfect pancake is one of those kitchen tasks that everyone thinks is simple, but in reality, it can be a struggle to get them just right!
Cooking pancake batter is one of those skills that we’d all love to master, and one of the secrets is getting the griddle temperature exactly right.
So, what is the perfect pancake griddle temperature? The ideal temperature of a griddle for cooking pancakes is 375°F. This equates to a medium setting if you are using a gas stovetop burner. It is essential to make sure that the pan is thoroughly preheated before starting to cook pancakes on the griddle.
Making the perfect pancakes is a skill worth mastering, so let’s find out everything you need to know about cooking with batter on a griddle!
What Are Pancakes?
We’re sure that everyone knows what a pancake is, but we just wanted to check that we’re all talking about the same thing!
In the U.S., pancakes are made using a batter consisting of egg, flour, sugar, milk, and baking powder. This is ladled onto a hot griddle, to form perfect circles of round cakes.
If you’re eating pancakes in another country, you might notice some differences in the pancake batter.
American pancakes or griddle cakes are thicker and contain bubbles of air that create a fluffy texture. This is because baking powder is added to the batter, which is not the case in other countries.
Whether a raising agent is used or not, the technique for cooking pancakes is exactly the same.
How Are Pancakes Cooked?
Pancakes contain many of the same ingredients as we use in cakes baked in the oven, but they are cooked on a hot griddle. This method quickly transforms the runny batter mix into a light and fluffy pancake, filled with tiny air bubbles.
When cooking pancakes, the secret lies in getting the griddle at exactly the right temperature and maintaining that heat when the batter is ladled onto the pan.
The batter is then left to cook in the pan until you see tiny air bubbles appearing on the surface.
At this point, lift one edge of the pancake to see what color it is underneath. If it is brown and the consistency is starting to become firmer, it is ready to be flipped over onto the other side!
What Is The Ideal Temperature For Cooking Pancakes?
The ideal temperature of a griddle for cooking pancakes on the stovetop is 375°F. If you are using a gas stovetop burner, this equates to a medium setting.
It is essential to make sure that the pan is thoroughly preheated before starting to cook pancakes on the griddle. The main cause of failed pancakes is a pan that is too cool, resulting in a mess of soggy batter mix!
Once your pan is heated to the correct temperature and your pancakes are starting to cook, the temperature can be lowered slightly.
How To Prepare The Griddle For Cooking Pancakes
There are two things you need to do before cooking pancakes on the griddle.
The first of these is to prepare the cooking surface, and how you do this will depend on the type of griddle you are using.
It makes sense to use a non-stick pan to cook pancakes, but this doesn’t mean you can skip the oil or fat. A tiny amount of butter or spray of coconut oil will give your pancakes a delicious flavor, as well as help them to turn golden brown.
If you are using a cast-iron pan, this should also be prepared with a small amount of butter or oil.
The other part of preparing to cook pancakes is to preheat the griddle. This may take longer than you first realize, which is why the last pancake you cook is always the best!
We do have one word of caution here though. Some non-stick pans are not designed to be preheated, and if you are using high heat this can destroy the cooking surface.
So, check your pan carefully, as it may not be the best choice for cooking pancakes!
To check if your pan is preheated and ready to cook pancakes, drop a tiny blob of batter into the pan. It should start to sizzle straight away, indicating that the pan is hot enough to start cooking.
Tips For Cooking Pancakes On A Gas Cooker
Gas cookers are great for cooking pancakes, as they give instant heat and maintain their temperature well.
However, the downside is that you do not have the same level of control over the temperature as you do with other types of stovetop cooking.
You will notice that gas cookers do not have temperature settings on their control dials. Instead, you’ll have a maximum and minimum setting and a few options in between.
Set the gas burner to the medium setting for cooking pancakes, and preheat your pan. Once the first batch of pancakes is sizzling away nicely, you will be able to drop the temperature slightly.
If you notice that the oil is starting to smoke, your gas burner is set too high. Remove the pan for a few seconds to allow it to cool, and turn the burner down slightly.
Tips For Cooking Pancakes On An Electric Stovetop
Electric stovetops give you excellent control over the heat setting you use to cook pancakes, but any changes in the temperature can be slow to take effect. This is a particular problem if you find your pan is too cool, as it will not heat up quickly.
When cooking pancakes on an electric stovetop, the batter drop test is particularly important.
It is a good idea to do this before you add each batch of pancakes, as the temperature can soon drop below the required level for perfect pancakes.
On an electric stovetop, you can help to retain heat in the pan by keeping it on the stovetop as much as possible.
When a batch of pancakes is ready, take the warmed serving dish to the pan, rather than removing the pan from the heat. This will keep it perfectly hot, and ready to cook the next set of delicious pancakes.
Tips For Cooking Pancakes On An Induction Stovetop
Induction stovetops are one of those pieces of kitchen equipment that can be incredibly frustrating until you get the hang of it!
But when you’ve mastered the technique, you’ll be turning out perfectly golden and fluffy pancakes in no time at all.
When using an induction stovetop, preheating an empty pan is greatly frowned upon! Luckily, they conduct heat so efficiently to induction-compatible pans that you will be able to add your batter very quickly.
Heat the pan to induction level 7, adding a teaspoon of butter or oil. As soon as the bottom of the pan is completely coated, ladle batter into small circles around the pan.
Drop the power level to 5, and when bubbles appear on the surface of your pancakes they can be flipped over.
If you’re concerned about preheating your pan, drop the pancake batter into the pan before you turn the induction stovetop on. It will heat up so quickly that your pancakes will be sizzling in no time at all!
Now that we’ve gone over the perfect pancake griddle temperature, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!
Can you reheat pancakes?
Pancakes can be reheated, but they might not be quite so light and fluffy as the first time around. However, they will still taste great, especially when you cover them in tasty toppings!
Pancakes can be stacked on a plate and reheated in the microwave. Place paper towels between each pancake to absorb steam and moisture. Microwave them on high power, allowing 15 seconds per pancake.
Leftover pancakes can also be wrapped in foil, and preheated in the oven. Another option is to pop them into a griddle pan on low heat, flipping them regularly to ensure they are heated through without burning.
Is it better to cook pancakes with butter or oil?
Whether you use butter or oil to cook pancakes will come down to personal preference. Butter lends an unmistakable flavor to the golden cooked surface of the pancake, making this indulgent treat even more delicious.
If you are trying to avoid butter or looking for a dairy-free option, then pancakes will cook perfectly well in oil. Any vegetable oil with a high smoke point will work but bear in mind that they can add unusual flavors to your pancakes.
A good choice is coconut oil, which is sweet and nutty, and will not overpower the taste of your pancakes and toppings.
Should you let pancake batter rest?
Pancake batter should be rested for 5-10 minutes before use. This allows the glutens in the flour to relax, making your batter smooth and silky.
Another top tip when making pancakes is to stir the batter as little as possible. This will ensure that your pancakes are light and fluffy, rather than dense and chewy.