How Do You Know When To Flip A Pancake?

Pancakes are a favorite breakfast meal in America. Whether you like them plain, filled, or topped with butter and sugar, everyone can agree that pancakes are delicious.

Making pancakes is a fun way to spend time with your family or friends. It is also not too complicated so it makes for a good beginner cook recipe. Pancakes are not totally foolproof however, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you encounter some trouble.

One problem that some people have when making pancakes is knowing when to flip the pancake. Some people have even had incidents where the entire pancake ends up flipped outside of the pan and into the floor due to attempting to flip it too early or incorrectly.

Know your oil

how do you know when to flip a pancake

Once you have your batter recipe down, the next trick is knowing when to flip your pancake. Unlike regular pancakes, these delicate cakes require a bit more work.

Because these pancakes are so thin, they cook through very quickly. Once the bottom side is browned, you can try to flip it, but it may still be raw in the middle.

If that is the case, then try again once the other side is slightly browned. You can tell by smelling it and looking at the color- if it smells cooked and looks brown all over, then you are good to go!

Once it is flipped successfully, let it cook for about one minute on the other side before trying to check if it is done. If it is still soft in the middle, then keep cooking until it is not! Once it is crispy on the outside and not doughy inside, you are done.

Know your batter

how do you know when to flip a pancake

Pancakes are a dish where knowing your batter well can save you some headaches. The best pancake batters are slightly thicker.

If your batter is too thin, your pancakes will be hard to cook through and may break apart when you try to flip them. If they are too thick, they will take much longer to cook through and may burn by the time they do.

Some recipes call for adding more than just milk and flour- this is fine! Adding things like baking powder and buttermilk can help give your pancakes that little something extra. Some people add things like chocolate chips or fruit as well!

Once you have mastered the art of flipping pancakes, you can get creative with them! Add some cinnamon and lemon zest for a classic Greek flavor, or some chocolate chips for chocolate chip pancakes.

Flip constantly

how do you know when to flip a pancake

Pancakes require a bit more attention when flipping than normal pancakes. This is because of the nature of vegan pancakes.

Traditional pancakes are made with all-purpose flour, which has a higher protein content than brown rice flour. This gives the pancake better structure and ability to hold its shape when frying.

The flaxseed replaces the egg used to bind the ingredients together. This makes it easier to flip the pancake as it does not need to be cooked at a higher temperature or have any form of structure like an egg does.

To ensure your pancake does not break down and fry into the pan, it is imperative to constantly flip it. Once it looks done on one side, check if it is able to be lifted up easily with a fork or pancake turner. If so, then you can safely flip it!

Make sure to keep an eye on both sides so that it does not burn or get stuck on the pan.

Use a timer

how do you know when to flip a pancake

When flipping a pancake, do not look down at the pan! Look at the timer and then quickly flip the pancake.

A timer helps ensure you do not take too long to flip the pancake, which could result in burnt sides due to too much time on one side.

A timer also helps prevent stress as you do not have to worry about watching the timer or the time it takes to flip the pancake. You can just focus on flipping the pancake correctly!

A few seconds difference between pancakes does not matter. Once the brown color reaches half way across the pancake, it is ready to be turned. Try not to make them too similar in color or size or you will have trouble knowing when to turn them.

General tips: remember that your pancakes will not be perfectly circular, and that is okay! Most of the time, they come out more round on one side than the other, so having an even number of points of brown color helps identify when it is done.

Let the heat do the work


When flipping a pancake, do not try to flip the whole pancake at once. Instead, let the heat of the pan do most of the work for you.

Once you have flipped the pancake, wait until it browns on the other side. Once it looks like it is solid enough, then you can turn it over and finish cooking it!

This is why many people have cooked pancakes that look like a rainbow circle. The color is from the batter being poured onto a hot pan, and then when it tries to cook on top, it does not quite get cooked all the way through because of how thick it is.

The best way to avoid this is to pour slightly thinner batter so that it cooks all the way through before turning brown.

Use a spatula


When flipping a pancake, do not use your hands to fold the pancake over. Use a spatula instead. Spatulas are usually provided with the purchase of a pan, and they are very easy to find and replace.

Spatulas have a thin blade that is rounded at the edges. This allows you to slide the pancake onto the other side without cutting into it or breaking it. You can also adjust the thickness of the pancake by how far away from the edge you slide it.

The blade is also long enough to reach across the pan, so you do not have to try and flip pieces that are broken apart. You can simply pull up the whole piece and set it down on the other side!

Pan-frying pancakes can be tricky, so do not be hard on yourself if you break one now and then.

Make sure the skillet is hot before adding batter

how do you know when to flip a pancake

Flipping a pancake is not only fun, it is also an important part of the process. If you do not flip the pancake, it will not turn out right!

Once the pancake batter is poured into the hot skillet, you need to let it cook until its surface becomes firm and bubbles start to form. Once this happens, you can slide your pancake flipper under it and start to flip it.

At this point, your skillet should be very hot. If your skillet is not hot enough, then your pancake will stick to the pan and may break apart when you try to flip it. It may also not cook all the way through before being flipped, which would make for a sad pancake.

Avoid flipping it too soon

how do you know when to flip a pancake

When you are ready to flip your pancake, make sure you wait until the other side is browned. If you try to flip it before then, it will either drop into the griddle or break apart.

If you try to flip it when it is still pale and soft, it will probably break apart due to not being set enough. Once it is set, it will be easier to flip.

Once you learn how to tell when a pancake is ready to be flipped, then you can start practicing your flipping skills. Make sure to have plenty of batter so that if you miss the flip, you can try again.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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