How to get that picture perfect even browning on pancakes?

Had a few people over for brunch, and made pancakes as one of the items. They were great (I've been using the Clinton Street Baking Co recipe for years), but pancakes never brown evenly - yknow, the uniform golden brown from edge to edge. Mine always look a darker brown on the circumference, and then a range of light to dark brown specks in the center. Obviously, the appearance doesn't matter since they still taste awesome, but was curious as to how people get their pancakes to have picturesque even golden brown. Or is it something reserved solely for the cookbooks and diners?

  • Posted by: E
  • March 12, 2017


Headly L. March 30, 2019
I heat up my nonstick pan with medium heat, then apply grass-fed butter (it has a higher smoking point and is actually GOOD for you). I pour in the desired amount of batter and let it cook for about 4 minutes before checking the bottom. I flip it over and wait another 2 minutes.
I usually get golden (no brown at all) pancakes with this method. It works on silver dollar to 14" pan size cakes.
If flavor is added to batter, whether solid or syrupy, I set the heat lower so as not to burn the tasties.
ktr March 12, 2017
I seem to recall something about getting less browning with oil vs butter so maybe try using oil instead of butter to grease your pan.
E March 12, 2017
Ahhh thanks everyone!!

I definitely have messed up on the fat in the pan front, I just let the butter hang out in there, so there's always a decent amount pooling around. I'll try the paper towel technique next time. And same with the heat - I tend to go hotter (mostly because I'm usually hangry and impatient when making pancakes), so I'll try it at a 2 to 3 out of 10 heat level if my results are the same after trying the paper towel / even, thin layer of fat in pan technique.
creamtea March 12, 2017
Heat the pan, then test by sprinkling a small amount of water (I wet my fingers under the faucet, make a fist, then quickly open up my hand over the pan). If the water droplets sizzle, its hot enough. Melt or heat a very small amount of butter or oil in the pan and then add the batter. When the bubbles on top start to open and remain open, flip carefully. The second side takes only a few seconds. Don't overcrowd the pan or they will be hard to flip. One side will always be more uniformly browned, the other will always be speckled. You need very little oil; you don't want any depth to the oil. Occasionally mop with a paper towel lightly moistened with oil between batches to "clean" away cooked bits and to aid in the release.
foofaraw March 12, 2017
1. I got even browning between center of pan and sides of pan when I use good quality, thick bottomed pan and low heat (2-3 of 1-8 scale) - it will be longer cooking though.
2. I found the first batch of pancake on the pan where I just put a new 1 tsp of butter always has speckled surface, but not the rest until I add the butter again. It seems like 'almost no fat' on pan reduce most of speckles. This would need some sort of non-stick surface though (I only use non stick and never use cast iron so don't know about cast iron result). Maybe you want to do Japanese way of oiling pan, damp small paper towel with oil, hold with chopstick and brush the pan with it, then use a clean paper towel to clean of the excess (held with chopstick again)
ktr March 12, 2017
What kind of pan are you cooking them in? I've found mine to be a bit darker when cooked in a cast iron skillet vs a nonstick pan.
E March 12, 2017
Today, I used one of those stove top griddles that goes over two of the burners (I have a gas range). It's cast iron. When it's only two people or just myself, I use a nonstick griddle pan. Have gotten the same results on both. It could be my (lack of) pancake technique, because my mom can make pancakes with that ideal color, but she uses the same type of equipment.
E March 12, 2017
And I do everything my mom does! Yet my pancakes do not turn out looking like hers...
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