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Feb 22, 2012 10:03 AM

Re-creating those perfect diner, IHOP, or Denny's pancakes?

Well I consider myself a quality cook and baker however pancakes have always seemed to fail me. I can NEVER get the kind of buttermilk pancakes you find at IHOP or Denny's or a diner, thin and golden, you know like these ..

i feel that's the best picture ever as far as representing the texture and look and color I am aiming for.

these are pictures I am NOT looking for:

I literally don't know what they do in those IHOP kitchens or what they are using that makes them come out like that first picture! Mine got a lot better when I read that the secret is using a griddle, so I started using one of those that I am fortunate to have at my house, however it's really strange the first 1 or 2 might come out semi ok (still far from the first picture) however after that they start coming out terrible. . . . and then i never know what temperature is best..One of my secret things is that I don't add sugar to the batter, the sugar comes from the syrup, I read IHOP doesn't add sugar to the batter as well . .

Would a pancake dispenser help at all?

I just don't get how to do this at all. I am looking for results just like the first picture, could someone help me out with tips and recipes? I have tried IHOP copycat recipes, even if the taste was there the texture was horrible, which of course says nothing about the recipe it was my fault.. I am specifically trying to avoid any boxed kind of product.

Hoping we could start a little thread where we discuss how to achieve such results! Any positive input would be greatly appreciated, thank you :)

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  1. Unfortunately, the chain pancake houses all use 50 lb bags of pancake/waffle mix. Each is partial to a certain brand, don't know about IHOP specifically. Probably the fact that their grills are dedicated to breakfast stuff and commercial grade build doesn't hurt either.

    Buttermilk is a big thing in mixes (and also in my homemade) in case you haven't tried that. And sometimes malt. Your first picture looks like they might have malt.

    1 Reply
    1. re: coll

      I agree about using buttermilk. When I can get it I use the full fat, expensive kind. It really makes pancakes so much better.

    2. we had the blueberry pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream yesterday, and I think these whip the egg whites????

      1. I am virtually certain "that first picture" is a plastic model, like those that you find at restaurants in Japan. I've seen it before. Do you notice how the "butter" on top of what should be a pretty warm steaming pile is not showing ANY signs of melt, even at the base? Or how, despite having 11 pancakes on top of it, the bottom pancake shows ZERO signs of compression?

        PS: here is a real picture. Note the melt at the base of the butter. Also note the puddling of syrup on the plate. Where is that on your picture? Finally, on a real stack of pancakes, the syrup ON the pancakes shows signs of soaking in, leaving a matter finish, where in your picture, the "syrup" doesn't penetrate at all.

        Very truly yours,

        Sherlock Holmes.

        Did you miss the April 1 posting deadline?

        1. D'oh. Didn't notice I was calling out a 3 year old post.

          1 Reply
          1. Great pancake recipes, ideas, & similar thread on CHOW at: