12 Chefs Share 19 Secrets for the Best Pancakes Ever
Let’s face it: if your go-to pancake recipe involves more than boxed mix and water, you’re already ahead of the pack. But if you’re looking to add a little finesse to your flapjack game, why not steal a few secrets from the pros?
So, inspired by our Taste of Groupon campaign, we talked to a number of our favorite chefs and restaurant professionals from across North America, who prove that something as simple as clarified butter may be all that stands between you and the perfect pancake recipe.
(1) Use unbleached flour. The first two pancakes are not to be eaten, but [use them] to check that you have the right mix [consistency]. (2) Make your mix thick. … You can always add liquid.
– David Fhima, executive chef at Faces Mears Park in Saint Paul
I love to (3) blend some blueberries and bananas and add it to the pancake mixture. It adds a great flavor and color!
– Justin Frank, director of operations at S&M Sausage and Meat in San Diego
(4) Adding cornmeal [to replace half the flour in] the pancake batter makes for a delicious, textured pancake. I also love adding bananas or blueberries to the mix. Nothing like warm fruit melting in your mouth!
– Chef Patricio, sous chef at Austin's Ale House in Queens, NY
When making totally from scratch, (5) whip egg whites to stiff peaks, fold with finesse, and (6) use clarified butter when cooking.
– Ryan Primo Nuqui, chef de cuisine at Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas
Once you mix the wet ingredients with the dry ones, (7) don't overmix. The gluten in [the mix] becomes too tough. … Lumps are OK. Also, after mixing, (8) let the batter rest for several minutes before cooking [the pancakes].
– Ali Omar, chef and owner of Ceedo's Eatery in Stow, OH
Don't be afraid of (9) spices and surprising ingredients. Fresh toppings and (10) homemade whipped cream or simply switching maple syrup for (11) birch syrup or fruit syrups (Summerland Sweets makes some delightful flavours) will surely elevate the modest pancake.
– Kristina Walgenbach, kitchen manager at DeaFined Restaurant in Vancouver, BC
Whatever measuring cup you use—favourite mug perhaps—use it [to add an equal amount of] flour to milk. (13) Grate a green apple into [the batter] before cooking (trust me).
– Russell Auckbaraullee, owner and chef of Penthouse Catering in Toronto
Toasted (14) walnuts, high-quality dark chocolate, and fresh white peach.
– Sami Mousattat, general manager at Dark Table in Vancouver, BC
(15) Sift your dry ingredients before mixing. Your pancakes will be fluffier, and you won't have any lumps.
– Kristin Beringson, executive chef at City Winery in Nashville
(16) Real butter and frothed-up egg whites: the frothy eggs add a light airy texture, melted butter into you batter adds flavor.
– Kevin Savoy, executive chef at Max’s Wine Dive in Denver
Add a bit of (17) honey and cook at a (18) med-low heat to avoid burning.
– Demi Carmona, executive chef at La Table du Marché in South Miami
My best tip for better pancakes would be to (19) have my papa make them. [When I was] growing up, he made the best breakfast and best pancakes everyday. He's 84 and still makes breakfast every morning.
– Lakesha Reed, executive chef and owner of Beaucoup Bar & Grill in Houston
Illustration by Kelly MacDowell, Groupon
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