In this post, we’ll explore the art of pancake cooking and share with you foolproof tips and tricks to achieve perfect pancakes every time. Flipping pancakes can be a daunting task, but fear not, we’ll demystify the process and give you clear guidelines on when – and how – to flip pancakes.
Flipping Pancakes makes for a perfect Sunday morning
I love to make pancakes as a special treat for Robert’s breakfast on Sunday mornings from time to time. To my mind, the key to a good pancake is cooking it through to a golden brown color, without drying it out. Read on and I’ll share with you my tips on how to cook a perfect pancake, including when to grease your griddle (or skillet), what’s the best cooking temperature, and when and how to flip a pancake.
The Perfect Pancake Flip: The best way to cook pancakes on a griddle
In my cooking classes, I often get two questions about pancakes – how to keep them from sticking to the pan, and when is the best time to flip.
Flipping Pancakes 101
There are few key steps to follow in order to make sure your pancakes don’t stick:
- Use a nonstick or well-seasoned griddle or skillet. I’ve found that my pancakes don’t stick if cooked on a nonstick surface, or one that’s well seasoned (like cast iron).
- Lightly grease before heating. Lightly grease your griddle when it’s cold, before preheating. Use a neutral oil (grapeseed, canola or vegetable). Don’t use butter at this point – it could burn. (Note: if you are using a seasoned cast iron skillet, you can skip this step.)
- Preheat. Preheat griddle or skillet to medium-high (375 degrees).
- Reduce heat and grease again. Once hot, reduce heat to medium (350 degrees) and lightly grease again. At this point, you can use oil or butter.
- Clean between batches. Wipe off the skillet or griddle between batches and lightly oil/butter again before adding batter for the next batch.
When to Flip a Pancake
Now, when is the best time to flip those pancakes over? The pancakes themselves will give you clues!
- Bubbles form in the batter – not yet.
As the pancakes cook, you will see bubbles start to form in the batter – don’t flip yet.
- Bubbles pop.
Once the bubbles have popped and there are holes in the batter, it’s time to flip. Also, as you will see, the edges of the pancake start to firm up. For most pancakes, this step takes around 4 minutes.
- Pancake shouldn’t stick.
A second way to tell if the pancake is ready to flip is that it shouldn’t stick to the pan. Gently put your spatula under the side of a pancake; if it easily lifts up, it’s ready. If not, cook it a bit longer.
- Finish cooking.
Cook on the second side until it’s a nice golden brown, around 2 to 3 minutes.
How to Flip a Pancake
Here’s a detailed description on how to flip a pancake:
- Grab a spatula. Use a flat plastic spatula – plastic is best on nonstick cookware, and also pancakes won’t stick to it.
- Slide the spatula under the side. Gently pick up the spatula to make sure the pancake is releasing from the pan and not sticking. If it isn’t letting go, let the pancake cook a bit longer and try again.
- Use your fingers. This method comes from The Pancake Parlour and it’s brilliant! Grab the spatula by placing your first and middle finger under the handle and your thumb on top. Once the pancake isn’t sticking to the griddle or skillet, slide the spatula completely under the pancake so it’s completely off the pan. Lift the pancake an inch or two off the pan, then drop your thumb down while you turn your two fingers to the top (in a clockwise direction) to flip the pancake over. Another method is to hold the spatula as you normally would and turn your wrist to flip; just make sure you do it gently!
When to Flip Pancakes: How long should a pancake cook on each side
How long to cook pancakes is a bit dependent on the ingredients. However, always cook them longer on the first side than the second. Generally, expect to cook pancakes for around 4 minutes on the first side and around 2 to 3 minutes on the second.
Pancake recipes to try out your Pancake Flip
When to Flip a Pancake FAQs
They should have bubbles that have burst, the edges should be firming up, and the underside should be golden brown.
No, it’s time to flip when the bubbles pop, not when they first appear.
Grab the spatula by placing your first and middle fingers under the handle and your thumb on top. Once the bubbles on top of the pancake have popped, the edges are formed, and it isn’t sticking to the griddle or skillet, slide the spatula completely under the pancake so it’s completely off the pan. Lift the pancake an inch or two off the pan, then drop your thumb down while you turn your two fingers to the top (in a clockwise direction) to flip the pancake over. Another method is to hold the spatula as you normally would and turn your wrist to flip; just make sure you do it gently!