It is very dissatisfying when the pancakes turn out doughy, soft, raw in the middle, or gooey after cooking them. Today we are going to fix that, and set the course for making well cooked pancakes for years to come.
There is some common fixes that are suggested that people are offering to fix the problem. Though the information they are giving can be correct, they aren’t explaining to the individuals having the problems with doughy pancakes, why their pancakes aren’t turning great when they use these techniques.
Here we will explain when these common techniques should be used to avoid pancakes that are raw in the middle. Hopefully by the end of this, you will be able to cook thick and thin pancakes alike, without them turning out wet and gooey.
How do I stop my pancakes from being raw, soft, and gooey in the middle?
To stop your pancakes from being this way, find the right temperature for the pancakes that you are cooking. Following someone else’s advice for your pancakes is the main reason why the pancakes still end up undercooked.
It can also cause the pancakes to burn on the outside, but still be raw in the middle.
This is one of the main things that individuals trying to help other individuals fix their uncooked pancakes will give as a solution. Many of them will immediately tell the person with the problem, “The temperature is too high”. Temperature ultimately decides the cooking time of foods, but isn’t a clear indicator to cooking pancakes the right way.
However, from personal experience and other very important factors (which will be thoroughly covered), this information is, simply put, incorrect. Why? Because everybody’s pancakes are usually different.
They may have a completely different batter texture, or could be aiming for certain types of pancakes (thin, fluffy, extra ingredients, or bready for example).
Restaurants use a high temperature (350°F) to cook their pancakes. This is the optimal temperature for cooking most pancakes. Finding out how to cook your pancakes the correct way at this temperature, could be the first start to fixing the raw pancakes. However, there are other more practical solutions..
Optimum Temperature For Thin Pancakes
The optimum temperature for thin pancakes is a high temperature. Pancakes that are flat and thin can be cooked at this temperature. They can even cook at the highest setting on most stoves, and come out perfect with no problem. The reason for this is because, they are already less dense.
How to know if the pancakes will be thin when the batter is poured, is by the batter spreading out easily once it is poured into the pan to cook. If it looks like any slight motion of the pan (after the batter is poured in the pan), will cause the batter to go everywhere, then you are cooking thinner pancakes.
In 30 seconds or less on the highest setting on the stove top, these pancakes can finish cooking on one side (then flipping it to cook for 30 seconds on the other side) with a nice golden brown outside, and a well cooked, but not gummy or gooey, inside.
Optimum Temperature For Thick Pancakes
The optimum temperature for thicker pancakes (fluffy) is a low temperature. The way to tell if the pancakes will be thick, is by thick batter that is difficult, or slow to pour into the heated pan.
Usually, once the thick batter is poured unto the heated surface, it stays piled on the top of the rest of the batter and doesn’t move much. It will settle down due to the gravity over time, but form a thick circle-like blob instead of spreading out quickly on the heated surface.
This is the type of pancakes that individuals usually have trouble cooking, which end up mainly doughy, raw, wet, gooey, slimey, and soft in the middle. If these types of pancakes are too thick, they will absolutely come out raw in the middle if the temperature is set too high. At best, the outer layer will be burnt if the middle isn’t raw in the end in these conditions.
Experts cook these type of pancakes on a really low heat, and have them set to cook on their first side for 2 to 3 minutes before flipping them to cook on the other. Basically at this point, when the pancakes are this thick, you are treating them as if you are baking a small thin cake. They just have to cook at a lower temperature to come out right.
The inside of the pancake will come out very bready, and possibly fluffy on the inside.
Now, if you are just aiming to just stop the inside of the pancakes from being raw and gooey in the middle, then it is best to just make the pancakes thin as they are intended to be.
To fix pancakes that are thick, more water needs to be thoroughly mixed into the batter so that it becomes thinner and more loose. This will fix the problem of the raw and undercooked pancakes when they are cooked at higher temperatures. This way you won’t be in the kitchen cooking one pancake for 6 minutes, or 10 pancakes for an hour.
In any case, you will know that a pancake is ready to flip when the edges of the pancake become more prominent. Also the batter on the top of the pancake will begin to bubble. Literal bubbles will form in the batter and pop on the top of the pancake’s uncooked surface before it is flipped. It will start as a few at first, then it will be all over the top of the surface.
One of the most common reasons why pancakes are raw in the middle, is due to thick batter. Thick batter means thick pancakes. The batter will not spread on the hot surface as much as thin batter would, resulting in thicker pancakes.
If you are in a desperate situation where the pancake is already cooking on the stove at too high of a temperature, and it looks like it is going to turn out mushy in the end, take the spatula and gently mash the pancake down on the cooked side in the frying pan, after it has been flipped.
The excessive batter in the middle of the pancake will ooze out of the side, making the pancake less gooey in the middle when it has finished cooking. It won’t produce a perfect looking pancake in the end, but it could save it from being raw in the middle to the point it would have to be thrown out instead of eaten. If you just need to eat and feed your family, this could be an option.
After the pancake has been mashed and the excessive batter oozes out the sides, that batter will be cooked once it makes contact with the heated surface. After that batter has been cooked, the pancake will have to be flipped again to cook that extra batter thoroughly on its top surface. Pressing these uncooked parts down on the heated surface will ensure that they cook without risking burning the whole pancake.
Once each side of the pancake has been lifted the first time off of the heat and flipped, they will be easier to cook again and will not cook as fast. Pancakes cook the fastest the first time the batter makes contact with the heat. If that side is then cooked again later, it will be much slower, making it easier to cook any excessive raw batter that is still left.
It is also important for the heat to be distributed evenly in the frying pan. Rubbing a thin layer of butter or cooking oil on the surface of the entire pan before pouring the batter every time for each pancake, will help them to cook thoroughly and evenly. Also, use a good pan.
Myths About Why Pancakes Are Undercooked
One of the myths about why pancakes are gooey or undercooked is the overly mixed batter myth. Mixing the batter too much does not result in raw, gooey, or doughy pancakes in the end. It is important to mix the batter thoroughly to prevent the pancakes from being inconsistent.
Leaving lumps does not ensure that these lumps will eventually soak into the rest of the batter while it is resting. There is still a possibility of raw dry dough staying hidden in the inside of these lumps, even after the batter is left to rest. This allows a health hazard of not only undercooked pancakes, but also biting into a pancake with dry raw flour.
Also, letting the batter rest after the batter has been mixed, is how the pancakes become thicker, possibly resulting in gooey, raw, or doughy pancakes in the middle. It doesn’t mean that it will absolutely happen every time, but it increases that risk, especially for amatuers. Just keep it simple, thoroughly mix the batter, and cook the pancakes.
Everyone that I have seen making excellent pancakes have always thoroughly mixed their batter until all the lumps were gone. This applies to both thick and thin pancakes. Restaurants do this too, unless they are just being lazy, or going for some specific type of effect for their specially made pancakes. That last thing restaurants want is for their customers to bite into a pancake filled with dry flour.
The batter is also mixed again after it has been sitting for awhile, to keep everything together, specifically the butter that separates over time from the rest of the batter.
The other myth, is that pancakes should always be cooked at a low temperature. Thick pancakes are treated like small cakes, since they are thicker. Lower temperatures work better for them. High temperatures work better for thinner pancakes.
The higher the temperature used, the easier it is for the heat to penetrate through the pancake; therefore cooking the raw middle portion of the pancake easier. When the pancake is flipped, the heat continues to penetrate, resulting in a fully, evenly cooked pancake that doesn’t have a doughy consistency. The only problem is finding the correct temperature at it’s highest, to get the desired consistency for the thin or thick batter being used.
Adding extra ingredients into the batter can also throw off the cooking of the pancakes, resulting in undercooked pancakes that take longer to cook.