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Pancake Problems

So, every time I cook pancakes, they ALWAYS turn out like this. I use a general homemade pancake batter, and they always have this weird, spirally scorch mark pattern. They still taste fine, but it'd be nice to have that lovely golden brown pancake-y goodness. Any tips?

 
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  1. Mine look just like that I never thought twice about it.

    Homemade batter, hot cast iron pan, spritz of vegetable oil=deliciousness

    1. I just made Johnny Cake pancakes this morning and they looked, ahem, homemade to say the least. But they tasted good.
      Normally, I do a better job of making decent looking pancakes using my Calphalon pan or electric griddle, but I've really never been able to turn out flat-top brown, IHOP-stack, fluffy hubcaps.

      1. Lower the temp of your skillet a tad. Too hot a skillet causes the batter to immediately release steam, lifting it from the cooking surface.

        When you pour the batter into the skillet, it cools the surface down. By the time the bubbles form in the batter, the cooking surface is much hotter. When you flip the pancake, the steam from the batter creates a less than perfect surface. Which is why there is a presentation side to a pancake.

        1. Your cooking surface may actually have too much shortening on it. Before you pour your batter, after the surface comes up to temperature, take a paper towel and wipe the surface so that you have only a scant film of butter or oil. I find that my first batch often look like yours but my second are almost always perfect -- a function of my griddle being hotter and having less fat on the griddle by bath no. 2. ( I'm always too impatient to wait so that the first batch will look better.)

          1. Your cakes look completely normal.
            The only time I get close to a uniform golden brown is when I cook them over low heat with a very thin film of oil.
            Takes two to three times as long to cook that way and everyone wants their cakes "NOW" so I usually don't bother.