Separating Eggs Is The Key To Fluffy Diner-Style Pancakes

Diners seem to have a trade secret for perfectly golden, thick, and fluffy pancakes with a texture so airy that the discs melt like puffy clouds in the mouth. No matter how hard you try to replicate diner-style pancakes at home, they never seem to hit that spot and often turn out either too thin, too dense, or simply not as soft as the ones that diners dish out.

As it turns out, there are certain tricks that diners use to make their stack of pancakes so airy that customers can't help but keep going back for more. IHOP's vice president of culinary innovation, Marie Grimm, told Delish that the breakfast chain swears by using liquid ingredients at an ice-cold temperature for pancake batters. As for the even golden crust on the pancakes served in diners which always turns into a bubbly, lacy mess at home? It's likely because you're using butter or oil to grill your pancakes — a rookie mistake that diners like iHop never make.

A splash of buttermilk or white distilled vinegar is also widely believed to be the reason why pancakes at a diner melt as soon as they hit the tongue whereas food chemistry guru Harold McGee reports that letting the pancake batter rest overnight is the scientific explanation for evenly cooked delicate pancakes. But there's one other trick that's stopping your homemade pancakes from becoming diner-style fluffy hotcakes and it's got to do with how and when you add eggs to the pancake batter.

Stir in the egg whites without the yolk

Typically when making pancakes, whole eggs are cracked into the batter and whisked in one go — both yolks and whites. The Kitchn, however, finds that for best results, egg yolks and egg whites should be separated from each other and added to the pancake batter at different stages.

Per the site, you should whisk egg yolks with other liquid ingredients first and combine the yolk mixture with the dry ingredients to make the batter. Only then should you add the egg whites and stir the batter till it turns into a thicker consistency. This method is similar to the one used to make Japanese soufflé pancakes that are famous for their jiggly bounce except in the case of soufflé pancakes, egg whites are whisked into a meringue before being folded into an egg yolk batter.

This trick uses a shortcut so that you don't have to vigorously beat the egg whites in a separate bowl till they form a meringue. Instead, simply stir the egg whites directly into the pancake batter as long as they are added at the very end. Egg whites only add a delicate, puffy, and airy texture when they aren't weighed down by the density of egg yolks and by separating the whites from the yolks and adding them later, you'll be close to replicating diner-style pancakes at home!