Pancakes are one of those finicky breakfast creations that can sometimes make you wonder if you need to learn how to do magic to cook a perfect one.
Magic isn’t necessary, but learning how to properly control the temperature of your griddle or pan and a few other tips is a great way to improve your pancake game in no time.
What Temperature Do You Cook Pancakes At On a Griddle: Some Tips
While you may be tempted to try to rapidly warm up your griddle, preheating your griddle should be a slower process.
When you heat up the pan at a low temperature over a longer period of time, you’ll find that the heat dissipates more evenly, and the likelihood of getting hot spots disappears.
Griddle on a Stove Top
When you plan to use your griddle on top of a stove, here are the steps you need to follow:
- Put the griddle on your stovetop.
- Turn the temperature to low for about 20-25 minutes.
- Turn the temperature up to medium about five minutes before you’re ready to start cooking the pancakes.
- The griddle is ready once the water “dances.”
For standalone griddles, here are the recommended steps:
- Turn the griddle on to a lower heat than your final cooking temperature. Try something like 300 (medium-low) degrees.
- Leave it to heat up for five to 10 minutes while you let your pancake batter rest.
- When you’re ready to cook, turn the temperature up to 375 degrees (or medium-high).
- The griddle is ready once the water “dances” on the griddle.
How Can I Tell if the Water Is Dancing?
Dropping a small amount of water on a griddle is a great way to determine whether or not the temperature is right for pancakes. So, when you believe the griddle is ready, put a droplet of water on it and then observe the reaction:
- Water sits on the griddle: temperature is still too low
- Water sizzles and evaporates almost immediately: temperature is too hot
- Some water droplets sizzle but “dance” around the griddle: temperature is perfect
It may take some time to learn what this water dance looks like, but eventually, it will be your guide to getting perfect griddle temperatures every time.
Different Pan Types, Different Temps
Another thing that you should be aware of about cooking pancakes on a griddle is that different types of griddles will heat up differently.
From ½” copper griddles to heavy cast iron pans, every pan distributes heat differently.
That being said, let’s go through the pros and cons of different griddle types for pancakes so that you can have an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the pan that you are working with.
- Pros: heats up rapidly, inexpensive, many people own them already
- Cons: gets hot spots, difficult to clean, food tends to stick
- Pros: heats up evenly, durable, cooks evenly, provides a crisp exterior
- Cons: require more long-term care than all other pan types, not necessarily intended for stovetop use
- Pros: heats up quickly, virtually no hot spots, food doesn’t stick
- Cons: must be cared for properly, can get too hot very easily
Pancake Making Tips
Now that you know the answer to the question “What temperature do you cook pancakes at on a griddle?” it’s time to learn more pancake tips that will help ensure you cook a great batch of pancakes every single time.
- If you have a cast iron griddle, try preheating it in the oven at 375 degrees and then put it on your stovetop.
- Only flip pancakes once during the cooking process to prevent dryness from developing.
- Pancakes are ready to flip whenever the batter on the top is covered in small bubbles. This should happen within three minutes.
- Pour pancakes slightly smaller than you want them to be to allow for expansion.
- Allow the griddle to reheat for 30 seconds between pancake batches.
- If you notice the pancakes getting a little too brown, turn the heat down. Some griddles hold too much heat and can overheat during the cooking process.
Now that you’ve learned some extra tips on how to prepare perfect pancakes, don’t forget the essential information, which is the griddle cooking temperature for pancakes.
The ideal method is to start your griddle heating up at a lower heat (medium-low or around 300 degrees) and then turn the griddle up to a medium or medium-high heat five minutes before you start cooking (375 degrees).
While these temperatures should give you a helpful guide on what temperature to use while cooking, it may be necessary to experiment with your specific setup to get the perfect temperature.
Have patience, and soon, you’ll have perfect pancakes.