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Pancakes Are Sticking to My Pan

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Help!

Everytime I try to make pancakes with my stainless steel frying pan, they don't work out. The bottom stays stuck to the pan and I can't flip them.

:confused:

I usually cook on low heat because that's usually how I cook with my ss pan since any higher than that leads to burned food and the manufacturer mentioned that if things stick, the pan is too hot. I've been trying different things, like making sure my pan is hot and the oil is hot before I put in the batter, but to no avail.

My pan seems clean, but I've heard cleaning them with salt can renew them, but the manufacturer (Lagostina) doesn't recommend it.

What can I do to enjoy pancakes from my ss pan? Any help will be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks,

Sara

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post #2 of 20
Hey oh

I hate pancakes for this exact reason. However, a few things that I have learned that work 7 times out of 10, is that my best element heat for my stove is 6 (exactly what 6 means, I have no idea, I just know its not as hot as 10 and a whole lot hotter than 1) Also, I find that adding oil to the frypan only invites trouble. I add the oil to the batter mix and not the frypan and they work! Oh, and NO butter! Oil.

:D I am as interested in the professionals opinions too :D
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post #3 of 20
Salt and oil usually works best in cast iron skillets. The salt acts as the abrasive and scours the pan. I heat the pan up and add a little oil and scrub it with a paper towel with the salt added. Then I place the pan in a HOT oven for about one hour to finish seasoning it.

I don't know about stainless as much. I'd make sure the pan is at the right temperature and add a little cooking oil to it. Let is sit for a few minutes so that the oil heats up to the pan temperature. The first few cakes might be a little oily....I also would try making sure the pan is not directly on the elements (electric range). I place an old coat-hanger between the pan and the element to keep indirect contact.

See if any of this helps...

Great Luck!
post #4 of 20
Is it a sacrilege to say use non stick?

Jock
post #5 of 20
The pan should be on medium-high you need to quickly sear the pancake on each side to prevent sticking. The same is true for meats and other things. And use the non-stick, we won't tell anyone! :D
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post #6 of 20
YOU'RE HIRED!! :lol:
post #7 of 20
SaraP:

You have it backwards. Low heat lends itself to sticking. When you sear a protein you need high heat to caramelize the exterior and produce that seared crust. That prevents sticking, (Iin addition to intensifying flavor). If the heat is to low, you don't produce a good sear.

Pancakes, of course, are not a protein but the same general principle applies, albeit with some modifications. You wouldn't need quite as high a heat for pancakes as a steak, but defnitely not low heat. If you're not going to use a non-stick pan or griddle do this:

Heat the pan first over medium maybe medium-high heat. You could use butter but you run the risk of it burning. Use a butter/oil combo or just oil. Add the fat to the pan and allow it to get hot before adding the batter, (this is a vitally important step). Then pour in the pancakes and leave them alone until they are fully browned on the one side.

If you follow this you may still get a little bit of sticking, (the stainless steel will have microscopic cracks that cling to the batter), but it shouldn't be as bad.

Mark
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post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
You guys are awesome. I will take all your advice and whip up a batch soon.

Thanks for all your help!

Sara
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post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Awesome! Thanks for the help

I used everyone's advice. Thanks Markv and everyone for the great tips, and to those of you who told me to turn up the heat. We made some delicious pancakes last weekend that DIDN'T stick!!

My husband didn't want to stop making them in case we couldn't get it just right again! We ate a lot of pancakes :) But since then, we've made pancakes, eggs, and more without anything sticking. I appreciate all the help!

Sara
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post #10 of 20
Medium heat usually works best for me on a non stick pan and quickly turning on each side reapeatldy also does the trick.
post #11 of 20
A little off subject , but last week (when the kids where at Grandma's) I got up early and headed to Balmain , a trendy "foodie" village in Sydney and picked up some French butter , French sourdough , some organic free range eggs and some fresh organic Jersey cow milk.
Came home and cooked my wife french toast on my little well seasoned raw steel pan.
Perfection ! Medium heat and no sticking !
Fresh coffee , Sunday papers and a couple liesurely of hours . Sometimes I forget why I love to cook , but other times its so just easy.

Forget the SS and non-stick . A well seasoned traditional French made heavy steel fry pan and your pancakes wont even dare stick.
post #12 of 20
Before your very first use with the fan did you season it at all for better cooking?
post #13 of 20
When using these pans for the first time they need to be well cleaned and seasoned. This is done by wiping over some oil or fat and heating the empty pan. There are numerous ways to do this and many of them are listed in this site on the equipment forum. It can be a bit tricky getting them to work really well in the begining (or at least I did) but they certainly do improve the more you use them.
post #14 of 20

Sticking pancakes

A few tips:

use other than stainless steel such as cast iron.
use butter - but that's my preference and it works for me
proove the pan - heat over a long period with salt - and keep pan just for pc's
get the pan really hot
they should'nt be too large - actually traditional pancakes are quite small
some people add a little oil to the mixture
don't wash the pan
if all this fails become a plumber
post #15 of 20
I read this forum because I was having a hard time with my pancakes.
1. I first used an "Emril fry pan," I believe this skillet is actually solid iron, its a very nice pan cost roughly $100 and I use it for everything. If you don't season the pan correctly sometimes it does stick pretty badly but this time it stuck so bad I tossed it to the side.

2. I switched to a basic run of the mill non-stick surface fry pan. Just your run of the mill cheapie with a good non stick coating. Cakes stuck like the Emril pan and I was at arms with the pancake war.

3. I read the discussion about making sure this and that and I adjusted my method. Cakes didn't stick one bit, here is what I did.

I started out by making an entire new batch of pancake mix, I had thinned out the original mix too much and just decided to start over. I then scrubbed out the non stick cheapie pan, I figured the non stick surface was my best bet. Scrubbed it real good and seasoned it with about a half a teaspoon of vegetable oil. I then proceeded to warming the pan up to roughly about 350 degrees and added about a half a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the hot pan. I cooked the pancakes out for about 1 minute per side but I think 1.5 min per side would have turned out a little better as the insides of the pancakes were a little soft for my liking.

NOW, here is the real deal why the original batch of pancake mix had stuck so badly. I had added about 1/3 cup of sugar to the mix. NEVER add sugar to the mix as it will make your pancakes stick like nothing else.

So... In short here is the deal.
1. Make sure pan is completely clean of any grease, debris, or old cooked matter including and most importantly meat fat, or sugar.
2. Pre oil or season your pan cold with a small amount of oil working it into the pan with a napkin or cloth.
3. Heat the pan to roughly 350 or for about 2 min over medium to medium high heat.
4. Add a very small amount of oil to the pan or skillet say about 1/2 a tablespoon per 12inch squared surface. You can use the spatula to work the oil around the surface to coat it evenly.
5. Test the oil with a drip of water if the water quickly pops the pan is ready to cook.
6. Pour 1/3 cup sized pancakes into the pan and they should quickly start to sizzle if you don't hear a sizzle right away turn up the heat. You want to cook the pancakes for about 20 seconds and then slide your spatula underneath them to loosen any stuck edges or surfaces... just gently wiggle your spatula underneath and rotate the cake about 1/4 turn. Cook for another minute and then flip it. You will know when the pancake is ready to flip as bubbles will appear in uncooked batter on the uncooked side of the cake. Once the cake is flipped cook for another minute and 30 seconds and remove the cake from the pan.

Hope this helps!
post #16 of 20

OMG, there's a lot of incorrect information being propagated on this thread! It's basic cooking techniques and knowledge where I see many enthusiasts and fledgling professionals fail.

 

Firstly, only cast or rolled iron pans need seasoning. Stainless steel pans, plain or non-stick, do NOT require seasoning. In fact, by scrubbing a non-stick pan real hard, you will actually destroy the coating designed to prevent your pancake from sticking in the first place. But no amount of "seasoning" will fix this problem once the damage has been done.

 

Secondly, seasoning means removing the oily coating applied to IRON pans in production to prevent corrosion and then wearing them in. Essentially, it's a long-term process in which a new layer of hot grease residue is added with each use until the pan is basically very much non-stick. Such pans must NEVER be cleaned with washing up liquid.

 

Pancakes aren't exactly rocket science, but a few basic points should be observed. A basic batter doesn't need any more than flour, milk, egg and a pinch of salt. For sweet pancakes add sugar. American pancake batter also includes a raising agent. Once the batter has been whipped up, it should rest for an hour, which, incidentally, makes it far less sticky in the pan. Talking of which, use a non-stick pan and a plastic spatula. Butter for better flavour. Heat over fairly high heat until butter foam subsides, add batter, work the pan so that the batter runs along the edge into a perfectly round shape, fry for a few seconds until lightly browned, flip and continue frying for a few seconds more. Strangely, Side A always looks better than Side B...
 

post #17 of 20

interesting experiences well described but a whole raft of points missed.

first - ueber non-stick "as seen on TV" cookware.
it's mostly junk, as you've learned.
there's Teflon non-stick, there's stuff like "Diamond" which is Teflon with micro-inclusions, there's hi-temp polyester, there's mysterious "ceramic" non-stick and there's mystery non-stick non-specified.  

stuff like "Emeril ware" costs $100 because $80 of that goes to "the name" and not into the quality of the pan.

there is no equal to Teflon when it comes to non-stick.  well seasoned cast iron is a close second.  the rest are marketing bs; as so many report, works for a couple days/weeks, then sticks like crazy.  there is of course the testimonial "it's great, I use it at least once a month and after two years it's still non-stick" - well... if 24 uses fits your bill of "good stuff" - okay.  for most of us, 24 uses is not worth a hoot.

I have made pancakes in squeaky clean stainless, seasoned cast iron, Teflon pans, Teflon coated griddles.  some of the above require adjustments to technique.

not seen a pancake recipe that does not call for some fat in the batter.  old styles calls for melted butter, new styles call for "oil" - the volume of fat, typically expressed in tablespoons, depends on the overall volume of batter.

>> is ready to flip as bubbles will appear in uncooked batter on the uncooked side of the cake.
almost right.
bubbles come up through the uncooked batter right regular as cooking starts,  the classic "key" as to when to flip is when the holes of those bubbles in the batter do not collapse and close up.  a bubble comes to the surface, bursts, hole remains afterwards.  that's when it is time to flip.

>>never add sugar
dead wrong.  
one can add more or less sugar to one's preference for sweet.  
sugar does have an effect:
more sugar = crisper crust/surface
more sugar = browner crust/surface
a faster crust/surface browning / crisper crust both result in a faster / better release from the cooking surface.

the experience of sticking - with or without sugar - is likely due to the batter being too thin or the cooking surfaces not being up to temp.

>>cook the pancakes for about 20 seconds and then slide your spatula underneath them to loosen any stuck edges or surfaces... just gently wiggle your spatula underneath and rotate the cake about 1/4 turn.
dead wrong.  pour the batter, let it cook / set up on side one, flip, cook side 2.
rotating a pancake on side 1 is not in the historical record of "how to" do pancakes.

post #18 of 20

1.Your pan is too old and it can't work well.

2.There are some scratches on the surface of your pan, and it influence the performance when you cook.

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post #19 of 20

I use a Heavy Non Stick restaurant pan. spray it with pam type spray medium hi heat. In my mix I use melted butter an egg, and sugar. Sugar carmelizes and gives better color to pancake. Do not attempt to turn over until little air bubbles start to appear. put on ovenproof plate cover with slightly damp napkin hold in oven at about 225-250 till all are made then serve. Make sure you warm the syrup. Nothing worse then cold syrup on hot pancakes. Put bottle in hot water or nuke it take off cap either way. Room temp butter also.

CHEFED
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post #20 of 20

For a variation on Nutella, try crepes of dulce de leche. Can be served in the classic triangle shape or as caneloni. Somebody use a light caramel to top them; some other put a little caster sugar and caramelizes with a torch or a heavy iron (old school), some other flambé the pancakes with a little Rum or Brandy..

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