How Not to Burn Pancakes


If the sweet smell of maple syrup and pancakes so light and fluffy they melt in your mouth sounds enticing, the odor of burnt pancake batter can quickly ruin your appetite. Whether you use a commercially prepared mix or you make them from scratch, cooking pancakes is easy once you get the hang of it. Follow a few simple steps to ensure tasty, unburnt pancakes.

Things You'll Need

  • Griddle or nonstick frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Measuring cup
  • Teaspoon
  • Spray the griddle with nonstick cooking spray and heat to 375 degrees or heat a nonstick frying pan on the stove over medium heat. The temperature should not be set higher than this as the pancake will cook too fast on the outside, leaving the inside of the pancake undercooked and doughy.

  • Use a teaspoon to drop a small dot of water on the hot griddle or pan to test the temperature. The griddle or pan is hot enough when a drop of water sizzles on the hot surface. Pour ¼ cup of batter onto the hot griddle.

  • Cook the pancakes until the edges begin to appear dry and the center is bubbling. Use the spatula to gently lift the edge of the pancake; the bottom of the pancake should be golden brown. Watch the pancake closely; if you do not turn it when it begins to bubble the pancake will quickly overcook and burn.

  • Use a spatula to flip the pancake to the other side and cook until that side turns golden brown. Remove from heat and serve.

Tips & Warnings

  • Different stovetops heat differently so there is no set time in which to cook each side; the key is to watch the pancakes closely for any signs of overcooking.

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  • Photo Credit pancake breakfast image by William Berry from pâte à pancake 2 image by aline caldwell from pancakes image by Mat Hayward from
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