Cast iron griddle 20″ x 9.5″, black coating. Ideal for home or commercial use.
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Using a Pancake Griddle to Make Perfect Pancakes
One of the secrets of making great pancakes is learning the secret of starting with the proper temperature of your pancake griddle and maintaining that temperature while cooking the pancakes.
It’s important of course to start with a good pancake recipe or mix. Search the Web and you will find many excellent pancake recipes and making pancake batter from scratch will give you wonderful results. And while many scoff at premixed options, these are also an excellent alternative and a great time saver.
When the kids are begging for pancakes on a weekend morning, and time is of the essence, a good premade mix and a little water will have pancakes on the table in record time. Poor preparation rather than the poor quality of pancake mix is usually the reason box mixes are looked down upon.
Use a cast iron pancake griddle:
If you want to make excellent tasting pancakes consistently with the least amount of mess and cleanup time, the perfect answer is a cast iron pancake griddle. Using this properly on an electric or gas stove converts your kitchen into a grill just like the ones in a commercial restaurant. A cast iron griddle heats evenly and because of its weight and mass it maintains its temperature much more evenly as you cook.
Other types of cookware such as lightweight Teflon coated frying pans or electric fry pans or griddles are notorious for having rapidly fluctuating temperature control and uneven heating. The tried and true cast iron griddle is a time tested answer to solve these problems.
The main reason people have trouble making good pancakes is that they do not have a good method of determining the proper heat of the griddle before they start cooking. If pancakes are cooked at too low a heat they turn out tough and chewy. If cooked at too high a heat, the outside become crisp and burnt while the insides are raw and doughy.
The next time you make pancakes, take a few minutes to determine the proper settings for heating your pancake griddle with the following method. The trick to this method is known by many cooks but most probably don’t know the science behind it.
The Leidenfrost effect:
When you let a drop of water fall onto a hot pancake griddle, the water drop will dance around and stay in its droplet shape while it skitters across the surface. The scientific name for this is the Leidenfrost effect. When the drop hits the hot surface the water that comes in contact is immediately vaporized and the steam created pushes the remaining water in the drop up and away from the heated griddle.
This will not happen on a surface that is merely warm. In normal cooking situations it is agreed that the Leidenfrost effect occurs when the temperature of the griddle is at approximately 325 degrees F.
Find and record the best setting for your stove:
Since the ‘dancing water’ or Leidenfrost effect occurs at 325 degrees F, and the best accepted temperature for cooking pancakes that turn out perfectly is 375 degrees F, you can use a simple method to determine the setting for the burners on your stove. Start by warming up your pancake griddle to a very warm, but not hot temperature. Make sure it is preheated well but it is not hot enough to exhibit the Leidenfrost effect.
Then slowly increase the settings on your burners until you determine the point where a drop of water landing on the griddle will ‘dance’. Work your way up slowly and give the griddle time to heat between each change in your burner controls. You will want to make sure that the pancake griddle has reached the maximum temperature of your current settings before you test with a few drops of water.
Once you have determined the exact settings where the Leidenfrost effect takes place, make a note of the position of your burner controls for future reference. By knowing these settings you will always be able to reheat your griddle knowing that you have an exact point of reference.
According to some cooking guides, the temperature of 325F or 160C correlates to the ‘medium-low’ setting on your stove or range. The pancake cooking temperature of 375F (190C) is closer to ‘medium-high’.
Record the settings that work best for your stove:
So you will now want to bring the temperature up just a little before you start frying your pancakes. Try a small increase at first for one or two test pancakes and if you feel that it takes too long for them to finish increase the setting and give the pancake griddle time to adjust to the new heat setting before trying again.
Once you have determined the best pancake setting for your equipment make a note of it. You will now find that it is extremely easy and fast to make pancakes in the future. All you will need to do is put your pancake griddle on the stove, turn the burner settings to these predetermined marks and give the griddle a little time to heat up.
Just by using a few drops of water and with knowing how the Leidenfrost effect works, you will easily be able to tell if your pancake griddle is ready and at the right temperature. You’ll be able to turn out great tasting and most importantly properly cooked pancakes in less time than it will take you to finish your first cup of morning coffee.
If you would like more information about using a cast iron griddle to make perfect pancakes just click on these links and visit our site. The pancake griddle you use can be the secret to pancake perfection!
Article from articlesbase.com