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Jan 11, 2007 02:13 PM

Pancakes-browning failure

I am unable to produce pancakes with that irregular patterned browned look that you will get from an old-fashioned griddle that doesn't have a non-stick surface. Not only is the appearance affected but also the taste and texture of the pancake as well.
I am using a new non-stick griddle to make the pancakes. The griddle is set at 350 deg F (water droplets will sizzle and bounce), then lightly grease the griddle w/butter and add the pancake mix. The results are a uniform bland light beige look.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Probably not your pan or temperature, but your recipe. I've found that any recipe which adds quite a bit of sugar produces the evenly browned dark tan color, but less sugar means less carmelization.(sp.)

    You might try tweaking your recipe.

    Edit: One further tip - I've always found that the first pancake is a total loss because the pan is too well-greased, but after that, all pancakes are perfect, with no further butter added.

    1. Hmm, I just made pancakes yesterday--a recipe with no sugar whatsoever--and in a lightly buttered nonstick pan and the pancakes had that lacy browning you describe. But I think my pan was much hotter than 350• -- the butter was just this side of smoking.

      Good luck and good pancakes!

      1. I use a seasoned, cast iron griddle from Calphalon that sits over two of my stove burners. When I do my pancakes, I'm sure that the temperature is closer to 400 degrees. So, I think that insufficient heat is your issue.

        4 Replies
        1. re: bogie

          I have to agree. The problem is lack of heat. As miss louella suggested above, the butter should be on the verge of smoking (about 395). From your description, I think your griddle thermostat may not be accurate. The temp would have to be lower than 350 to produce beige pancakes. Throwing water on the griddle doesn't prove much, since water boils at 212 degrees.

          1. re: Roger Spark

            The water test is one that works for me. I just tried it with a couple of skillets that I have. When I had it on medium heat, the drop of water rolled around for a few seconds and then evaporated. When I turned it up to medium high, the drop of water bounced, sputtered and disappeared.

            1. re: raj1

              Naturally the water is going to evaporate before hitting the actual pan with a hotter surface, causing it to bounce, but at what temperature? I doubt one can judge the difference between 325 and 375 or even 400 degrees using the water test. I may be wrong, but I would be curious as to what the actual surface temperature is when the water starts bouncing. If I get the time, I will get out a thermometer and a camera, and do some experiments.

          2. re: bogie

            I checked the Calphalon website for the cast iron griddle and found only non-stick aluminum products. Maybe you have an old griddle that is no longer in production. I think a seasoned cast iron surface will give me the results that I am looking for. I believe the non-stick surface is the problem. I wonder if there is a way to season a non-stick surface!

            1. Flick a drop of water off your finger onto your griddle. It should sputter, spin and dance like crazy before disappearing into oblivion. That's how hot your griddle needs to be. The edges of your pancake should start looking dry and set in about 45-60 seconds and then bubbles and holes should appear across the top. Then flip. Adjust your griddle temp as needed if they brown too deeply.