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Old 06-23-2013, 12:06 AM   #11
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Why do my pancakes look like this?
Welcome jed! I'll give the silly answer and say to make pretty pictures, like the clouds do on a summer day. The bottom pancake has two cocker spaniel puppies with their heads together, the top one looks a little like a sea turtle swimming off to the "northeast".

Give yourself credit for them turning out round. I know someone who always seems to have them shaped like one of the states. With time and practice you'll gain more skills. At least you're trying and asking questions. Lots of people would give up and hit a diner.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:27 AM   #12
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When you put down the batter on the butter, it creates this pattern and the brown crispy edges. The batter soaks up the butter, so after flipping there is no butter on the pan so it will come out smoother, unless you put it on a spot with more butter. You could try melting the butter in the pan and wiping out the excess, almost wiping it clean. This should solve the issue. By looking at the edges, they look fried so that tells me that there is a decent amount of butter on the surface of the pan. You can also try thinning the batter a bit and turning down the heat a bit. If you are using a nonstick pan, you really need no fat at all in the pan.

I like pancakes cooked this way with crispy edges.
This is what I was going to say after looking at the pic. I purposely cook them this way sometimes. They are tastey.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:48 AM   #13
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could be not enough fat (butter), not enough heat (so the fat absorbs into the pancake), or too hot of a pan which cooks them too quickly.

are they raw inside after flipping and cooking the second side? if not, you can rule out too hot of a pan. look towards the first two.

where's the chief when we need him? king of the pancakes, he is.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:10 AM   #14
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Also the fat in the pan, especially with a non-stick pan, will puddle or bead up, so when you pour the batter over it, it creates this interesting pattern. The batter pushes the fat to the edges of the pancake and makes them browner and crispier on the edge. I actually like when this happens especially with hoecakes.

I always have one side that looks similar to this and one side that is evenly brown and more smooth looking.
From your description, I have to agree with bakechef. I've been cooking pancakes all my life (or at least since I was tall enough to reach the stove top). When you have enough fat in the pan to pool (more than a light sheen), the moisture in the batter steams as it reacts with the hot fat. This lifts part of the batter, and the portion that contacts the pan heats faster due to the hot fat touching it, than the rest of the batter. And bakechef's description is perfectly accurate. And like him, I like that little bit of crunch on the edges.

If you want perfectly even colored pancakes on both sides, type in Chief Longwind's Pancakes, in the search engine. If you follow the directions, the pancakes will be super light, moist, and evenly colored, and smooth on both sides. I give you my word on that.

Hint: If you use bacon, or sausage grease as your fat, instead of butter, not only will you have less cholesterol in your diet, but they will add another great flavor to your "crispy-edge" pancakes.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:12 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
From your description, I have to agree with bakechef. I've been cooking pancakes all my life (or at least since I was tall enough to reach the stove top). When you have enough fat in the pan to pool (more than a light sheen), the moisture in the batter steams as it reacts with the hot fat. This lifts part of the batter, and the portion that contacts the pan heats faster due to the hot fat touching it, than the rest of the batter. And bakechef's description is perfectly accurate. And like him, I like that little bit of crunch on the edges.

If you want perfectly even colored pancakes on both sides, type in Chief Longwind's Pancakes, in the search engine. If you follow the directions, the pancakes will be super light, moist, and evenly colored, and smooth on both sides. I give you my word on that.

Hint: If you use bacon, or sausage grease as your fat, instead of butter, not only will you have less cholesterol in your diet, but they will add another great flavor to your "crispy-edge" pancakes.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
My post got the approval of King Pancake of the North! (kinda has a good ring to it, yeah!) I'm honored!

If you use chief's pancake recipe you'll be rewarded with pancakes better than any mix out there. I know that you are just starting out, but this is a really good introduction to a scratch made batter, as it is really easy to do. You already have a bowl and measuring cup out, it's only a few more steps!
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:31 PM   #16
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so I tried without butter on a non-stick pan and dialed back the heat a bit and they came out much more normal looking. I'll try to make the batter from scratch next time. Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:43 PM   #17
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so I tried without butter on a non-stick pan and dialed back the heat a bit and they came out much more normal looking. I'll try to make the batter from scratch next time. Thanks!
Yay!!
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:57 PM   #18
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so I tried without butter on a non-stick pan and dialed back the heat a bit and they came out much more normal looking. I'll try to make the batter from scratch next time. Thanks!
Excellent news! I thought that might be your problem. There's a simple test you can use to check the surface temperature. I'll admit it's not very scientific, but it works. Simply take a few drops of water and sprinkle it in your preheated pan. If your pan is the right temperature, the drops will sizzle and jump around for a few seconds before evaporating. If the water immediately turns to steam, the pan is too hot. If it sits there in the pan for too long, it's not hot enough.

Also, regarding fat... I use a non-stick electric griddle to make pancakes. Even though it's non-stick and technically no fat is required, I nevertheless take a little butter on a paper towel and rub it very lightly over the surface before pouring out batter for the first cakes. That little bit of fat seems to help create a nice golden brown pancake. Just don't use too much, or it will puddle on the surface and create uneven browning.
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:43 PM   #19
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I say too much oil/fat and the surface is too hot.
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:48 PM   #20
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The question I have, is how do they taste? How's the texture? That is really what more important than the look itself.


As far as kingship goes, there is a debate about that.
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