How to Keep Pancakes from Sticking

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The right pan is crucial to prevent pancakes from sticking.
Image Credit: Anna Pustynnikova/iStock/GettyImages

Nothing ruins a perfect breakfast like a pancake that gets stuck to the pan. While there isn't a "nonstick pancake recipe," there are a few steps you can take to prepare the pan to reduce the risk of your food getting stuck.

Read more: 10 Easy Pancake Recipes That Your Waistline Will Love

Step 1: Choose Your Pan

Get out a nonstick frying pan — the best type of pan for pancakes. Nonstick pans boast a special coating that helps to prevent food from sticking to the pan during cooking.

Heavy pans work better for cooking pancakes that don't stick. Thin pans can heat unevenly, causing pancakes to stick to their surfaces even if they have a nonstick coating.

Do not use metal implements on your nonstick pan to avoid scratching the coating, which can result in food sticking to the scratched area. Choose wooden or plastic utensils, as advised by Iowa State University.

Step 2: Rinse and Dry

Rinse and dry your frying pan before getting started. Even if you previously washed the pan, remaining food residue that you cannot see can and will make your pancakes stick.

Step 3: Coat With Oil

Dip a paper towel in vegetable or canola oil and wipe the bottom and sides of the pan with the dampened paper towel until the pan has a light sheen of oil.

Step 4: Turn on the Burner

Place the pan on the stove and set the burner to medium-high.

Step 5: Test the Temperature

Test the pan after several minutes to ensure that it's hot enough by wetting your hand and flinging several drops of water onto the pan's surface. In a properly heated pan, the drops of water will bead up and sizzle before disappearing. A hot pan slightly sears the outside of each pancake, preventing the batter from sticking to the pan.

Step 6: Add Some Butter

Drop a small spoonful of butter into the pan. This provides your pancakes with a rich, buttery flavor while simultaneously lubricating the pancakes and preventing them from sticking to the pan. Allow the butter to melt completely.

The amount of butter you will need will vary significantly, depending on the size of the pan. The larger your pan, the more butter you will need. Pancakes soak up butter while they cook. If you plan on making a large batch of pancakes, periodically add more butter to the pan.

Butter contains a significant amount of unhealthy saturated fats — 7 grams per tablespoon, according to the USDA. Saturated fats can contribute to heart disease, according to the American Heart Association, so you should aim to eat less of them. To reduce fat content, substitute a cooking spray for the melted butter.

Step 7: Cook Your Pancake

Pour the pancake batter into the pan until your pancake reaches your desired size. Cook the pancake.

Wait until the pancake's edges begin to bubble before flipping it. Bubbling edges signify that the bottom of the pancake has solidified. Turning the pancake too early not only makes a mess, but also increases the risk that your pancake will stick to the pan.

Read more: These Banana Pancakes Are Just 40 Calories Each

Things You'll Need

  • Nonstick frying pan

  • Paper towel

  • Vegetable or canola oil

  • Butter

  • Pancake batter

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