The Best Way to Keep Your Pancakes Warm and Tasty
Few things are more rewarding and enjoyable than a plate of warm, fluffy pancakes. On the other hand, few things are more frustrating and disappointing than a plate of cold, hard, and/or mushy pancakes. As you undoubtedly know, pancakes are much, much better when eaten warm.
Furthermore, pancakes are fall beyond "the point of no return" when they become cold. In other words, you can reheat these foods, but you can't get their initial aesthetic quality, texture, and taste back.
That said, don't think for a second that you should give up on pancakes (and other best-served-while-warm foods)! Rather, you should be sure to take some easy, straightforward, and effective steps to keep your pancakes warm. Going into any kitchen setting, especially fast-paced family kitchens without a pancake-warming plan is lunacy; you need to have a strategy!
The following information should serve as just that—a comprehensive strategy. Rather than highlighting a single way to keep pancakes warm, the following text will highlight a variety of ways to keep pancakes warm.
Each of these methods is effective, and you can use one of them, a couple of them, or even all of them as you see fit. Quite a few people do so already, and they're able to experience consistently delicious pancakes as a result.
How to keep pancakes warm:
1. Cook Them "On the Spot"
To keep your pancakes warm, you may want to consider cooking them "on the spot." This tip is particularly useful if you're cooking for multiple individuals.
It might be tempting to create a ceiling-high stack of cakes, but in doing so, the bottom three-quarters will become cold before it's time to eat. Condensation will also gather, and the hotcakes will become soggy and flimsy. And cold, mushy pancakes make for disappointed diners.
So long as you're okay with cooking while others are eating, you should think about making your cakes "to order." In other words, when someone wants a new pancake, you can serve it to them directly from the pan (or whatever cooking method you use).
Besides keeping pancakes warm, this maneuver will help diners to slow down and enjoy the meal before them. Additionally, you'll probably find time to join them, as you can make a couple pancakes for yourself directly after you give them their last cakes.
Lastly, there's something inherently exciting and appealing about serving fresh-as-possible pancakes, and diners will appreciate your doing so.
2. Use the Oven
To be sure, this tip isn't meant to suggest that you should use the oven to cook your pancakes. For as awesome as ovens are, they're simply not cut out for cooking hotcakes. But that doesn't mean that they can't serve a purpose when you're keeping these hotcakes warm.
If you'd rather not cook pancakes "on the spot" (that can be inconvenient if you're dealing with a large group), you can use your oven to keep them warm.
If your oven has a "warm" setting, you should take advantage of it. Otherwise, set it to 100-200 degrees Fahrenheit, place the pancakes on a (greased) baking sheet, and put this sheet on the top rack. (The bottom rack won't hurt, but it's possible that crispiness will result.)
So long as you don't mind removing a large, hot pan from the oven, this warming method is very useful.
Even so, you should keep in mind that the sooner you serve your already-cooked pancakes, the better. Hotcakes that are stored in the oven for more than two or three hours run the risk of becoming slightly dry. As a general rule, remember that fresh pancakes are fluffy pancakes!
3. Use an Automatic Pancake Maker
If you don't care for cooking on the stove (or with a pan), an automatic pancake maker is the way to go. These easy-to-use devices time your pancakes' cooking, pre-set the temperature, and beep when the process is complete.
All you have to do is add the batter and hit a button. If you'd like to sit down with your family or group—and/or if you're not that handy in the kitchen—this is the way to go. (And don't be ashamed of not being a master chef; recognize and adapt to the point before serving less-than-stellar food!)
There's something to be said for having warm, perfectly cooked pancakes made automatically.
4. Heat Your Syrup
Regardless of the cooking/heating method you use for your pancakes, this step is a must! This is where the majority of pancake chefs and diners go wrong. This is how the hottest pancakes in the world become cold and mushy!
Syrup—especially syrup that's stored inside the refrigerator—should absolutely be heated in the microwave before it's used on hotcakes. Cold or room-temperature syrup will cool and harden your pancakes before they can be eaten. And that's the worst!
Be sure to microwave your syrup in a glass bowl or container. Don't use the syrup bottle itself, as doing so can impact flavor and prove harmful to one's health. (As a general rule, plastic shouldn't be put in the microwave—ever.)
Even if your diners don't want to heat their syrup, you should (respectfully) insist that they do so. After all the trouble you (or another chef) will have gone to in keeping pancakes warm, there's no sense in making them cold by using non-warmed syrup.
These tips are sure to help you keep your pancakes warm, your stomach full, and your taste buds pleased. Remember that the effort required to cook pancakes will be lost to avoidable hang-ups—namely cooling and corresponding sogginess—if you don't take one or more simple and easy steps.