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Old 06-22-2013, 04:15 PM   #1
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Why do my pancakes look like this?

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Old 06-22-2013, 04:22 PM   #2
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I don't know. What's your recipe, and how do you cook them? We have some awesome pancake folks here, they should be able to help.
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:24 PM   #3
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Looks like uneven heat distribution on the cooking surface to me.

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Old 06-22-2013, 04:44 PM   #4
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I'm going to venture a guess that, if we could see the other side of these, they would be evenly browned. If so, it's nothing more than the fact that when the batter is poured, it lies flat in the pan. But when the first side is done and it's turned, the second side is partially cooked and has bubbles and uneven spots, so different parts contact the surface better than others. The dark outer rim makes me suspect one pancake occupies most of the pan, and the edges of the pan are hotter, when you use a smallish pan on a gas burner. I imagine the problem is aggravated by a pan that doesn't distribute heat as well as an iron griddle or heavy iron pan.

Further, the pan is fully heated when you pour the batter. After cooking one side, you flip the pancake onto a pan that is still reheating and doing so unevenly.
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:44 PM   #5
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Does the other side look the same? Usually when you cook pancakes, the first side down cooks evenly to a nice light brown. The second side usually looks more like what you have.

Pancake batter is loose and spreads when you put it on the hot griddle. As a result, a uniformly flat surface is presented to the griddle and you get that nice even color. When you flip them to the second side, the batter has set somewhat and doesn't flatten out onto the surface so you get uneven browning.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:36 PM   #6
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My theory is that the griddle is too hot, and this is causing you to have to flip them too early. I would try dialing back just a notch so they brown more evenly and get done on the inside.

I also wonder if you are using too much shortening on the cooking surface.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:39 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:00 PM   #8
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alright so a little more detail:

firstly, this side is the first side down, which is why I find this so weird but it happens every time. as for the way I make them: I use pancake mix because that's what my mother keeps in the house; I cook them in a pan (I have no sort of griddle); I use butter as my non-sticking agent; I cook them one at a time.

I'm not very experienced in the cooking field so feel free to state things that may seem obvious.

Thanks!
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jed View Post
alright so a little more detail:

firstly, this side is the first side down, which is why I find this so weird but it happens every time. as for the way I make them: I use pancake mix because that's what my mother keeps in the house; I cook them in a pan (I have no sort of griddle); I use butter as my non-sticking agent.

I'm not very experienced in the cooking field so feel free to state things that may seem obvious.

Thanks!
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.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:06 AM   #10
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Your pan is too hot.
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