Here we will discuss why it is that your pancakes keep sticking to the pan or griddle, and how to fix this problem. Most individuals that make pancakes for the first time experience this problem. In some situations this is a problem, but in others, it is not. We will explain what is going on with your pancakes in both situations.
Since waffles are very similar to pancakes, we will also cover that too, explaining why waffles get stuck in waffle irons. Explaining what is going on in a waffle iron with a waffle, will hopefully give you a better understanding too; and confirm some suspicions you might have about why your pancakes are sticking in your pan.
Many people will advise that you use a non-stick pan to cook your pancakes in, which is what we also advise. This can be the quickest and easiest fix to preventing your pancakes from sticking. For waffles, use a non-stick waffle iron.
However, there are still some things that you need to know before you begin using your pan or waffle iron to make pancakes or waffles, whether it is non-stick or not:
Pancakes and waffles will still stick to the pan or waffle iron, even if you are doing everything the right way. This is natural, and doesn’t always need to be fixed.
It is also a good idea to use a thin coating of butter or cooking oil for the first pancakes that are being cooked. Usually you don’t need to put more butter or cooking oil in a pan or on a griddle after the first time for the rest of the pancakes, if it was coated thoroughly. You might have to do it again once or twice again if you are cooking a lot of pancakes. It is okay to do it again every time you cook a new pancake or waffle too, just do it lightly to prevent oily pancakes or waffles. Some individuals coat their pan or griddle with butter that has been wrapped in a paper towel, coating the pan or griddle with butter done through the paper towel.
If for some reason you forgot to use oil or butter and you are cooking pancakes right now, and they are sticking, they may burn, but it is best to let them cook first before trying to pry, peel, or scrape them out of the pan beforehand. Just charge it to the game and let them finish. It will just tear and and make a huge mess, meaning that your pan may be temporarily unusable with torn pieces still stick to the pan. Depending on what you are cooking on, the pancakes or waffles may not turn out all that bad.
For waffles, using golden malted spray to spray both sides of the waffle iron before trying to cook waffles in it, works the best. It can also work for pancakes in a pan or on a griddle. It is what restaurants and hotels use to keep their waffles from sticking.
Failing to coat the waffle iron with the cooking spray before placing a waffle in it to cook, can result in the waffle heavily sticking to the waffle iron, even after it is fully cooked. This means that it has to be ripped out, or intentionally overcooked until it becomes too hard or nearly burns before it will loosen its grip. It is best to wait until it gets to this point before trying to remove it before it is finished cooking. It will keep you from having to pick out torn pieces of waffle that is still cooking and sticking in the waffle iron.
Pancake or waffle batter is a pretty messy and gooey mix to begin with, so it should be expected that they will stick when they are initially cooking in the pan, on a griddle, or in a waffle iron. This is a normal and natural occurrence, regardless of what they are cooking on or cooking in, under normal circumstances.
If the temperatures are correct (ideally around 350 degrees Fahrenheit) when cooking the pancakes or waffles, then the initial sticking of the pancakes or waffles to the surface of a pan, griddle, or waffle iron is a good thing. It is an indication that your pancakes aren’t done cooking yet. If the right temperatures are being used, then don’t freak out when this happens. When the pancakes or waffles are ready to stop sticking, then they will be ready to flip with the spatula. Don’t try to pry the pancakes or waffles off of the surface of the pan, griddle, or waffle iron before they are cooked. Waffle iron should not be opened until the waffle is cooked, else they may tear apart.
If you have coated your pan, griddle, or waffle iron with a cooking oil or butter and the right temperatures are being used, then just wait for the pancake/waffle to finish cooking. Pancakes will bubble on its surface and have holes all throughout the top surface when they are ready to flip in a pan or on a griddle. If for some reason the pancake is still heavily sticking to the surface after this point, then you should be concerned, as now it has a possibility of burning if it doesn’t come up.
A pancake can still stick to its surface at this point, but it should be a lot easier to pick up with a spatula without have to pry it to the point that it is ripping and tearing. If this is the case where the pancake is tearing, then you either did not let it cook long enough before trying to lift it up to flip it (which is noticeable by its undercooked appearance on the side of the pancake that was cooking), or you didn’t apply the cooking oil, spray, or butter well enough before the pancake started cooking.
These same things also apply to a waffle that is sticking in the waffle iron, except that the waffle will not have bubbles or holes on its surface to indicate that it is finished cooking. This is because it is cooking on both sides simultaneously. For waffles, it is best to make sure that the temperature is set to a standard temperature and kept there (around 350 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended). A timer should also be set and kept at or near that same time everytime the waffles are being made. Waffles come out the same shape and size due to the waffle iron’s imprint never changing. It is generally easier to cook waffles, and prevent them from sticking, than pancakes, because of this reason. Pancakes can also be made like this using a pancake press.
Is The Temperature The Main Reason Why My Pancakes And Waffles Keep Sticking?
No. The temperature is not the main reason why your pancakes or waffles are sticking to the surface of what ever they are cooking on or in. It is imperative that we tell you this, so that you don’t assume that the temperature is the main culprit. As stated, it is natural for pancakes and waffles to stick to the surface of what ever they are cooking on. It is virtually inevitable, if you don’t plan on cooking them in an absurd amount of cooking oil or butter. However, after they have cooked for some time, they will stick less and eventually lift off of the heated surface. This cooking time can vary depending on the cooking temperature.
We have tested cooking pancakes and waffles at low temperatures, and they do stick to the heated surface of what ever they are cooking on, just like they would at higher temperatures. Ultimately it is the individual’s lack of patience or inexperience with cooking pancakes or waffles at lesser temperatures that cause a pancake or waffle to tear or rip apart when trying to lift it when it is cooking at lower temperatures.
In other words, it is not completely true that the temperature is the main culprit behind pancakes or waffles that are sticking to a heated surface, if they won’t lift off of the surface before they burn; because of a low temperature being used. If temperature was the main culprit, then there wouldn’t have been individuals that have/are successfully cooking pancakes and waffles using lower temperatures than normal.
There are also individuals that cook great pancakes at higher than normal temperatures, that do not stick, or barely stick, to the heated surface they are cooking on.
This means that there is no specific temperature that will prevent pancakes or waffles from sticking while they are cooking. However, around 350 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended for most pancakes and waffles, which is generally optimal to cook most pancakes and waffles in a reasonable amount of time to avoid impatiently trying to pry it off of the heated surface and ripping it.
From our experiments, cooking pancakes or waffles at temperatures that are significantly less than the normal is unnecessary, unless you are aiming for some kind of perfect golden brown consistency on the pancake’s surface. You may be also using ingredients that may not be normally used in the typical pancakes or waffles that could effect why they have to be cooked at lesser temperatures than normal, if lower than normal temperatures are being used.
Pancakes or waffles that are cooking at lower temperatures than the normal will simply need more time to cook before they can be lifted off of their heated surface, without them sticking heavily and tearing or ripping.