How To Reheat Pancakes For A Breakfast Revival

It's the prefix of pancakes that really buries the lede. Eating cake for breakfast? OK, Marie Antoinette, but we all know your decadent lifestyle will catch up to you in the end. But freshly cooked pancakes are always a welcome addition to the breakfast table, but making fresh batter daily would mean significant sleep sacrifices that, for most of us, outweigh the benefits.

The good news is that properly stored, pancakes can be reheated to perfection in just a few minutes, with minimal clean-up. It's simply a case of scaling up your special occasion batch of batter so that you've got plenty of extras to put away for later use. Pancakes will stay at peak quality for up to two months in the freezer but have no specific time limit if kept at zero degrees. The even better news is once you've got your routine down, you can make even more fresh pancakes and freeze them. Of course, you don't have to freeze pancakes to reheat them, they'll last up to five days in the fridge, so you can make a week's worth if you want.

The possibilities for reheating vary. You can use a toaster, air fryer, microwave, oven, and of course, a pan. However, not all these methods are equal. Some stalwart devices can ruin all of your hard prep work, but plenty of others pump out reheated pancakes that are as good, if not better than, the fresh ones.


The blessing and curse of the office breakroom, a microwave is most people's first port of call when it comes to reheating or defrosting anything. But for pancakes, it really should be the reheater of last resort. Rather than applying direct heat, microwaves make the water within the food vibrate, heating the whole thing up from the inside out. This works well for many things, but microwaving pancakes can lead to bad, soggy results.

A microwave will reheat pancakes, but as they cool, changes in the starch will them tough and/or crumbly — which is a confounding combination of textures. You should use a microwave to reheat pancakes only if you don't have access to other reheating methods.

If you have to use a microwave to reheat pancakes, make sure to spread them out in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels. Ideally, they shouldn't even be touching, if have a lot of pancakes to microwave, do it in batches. This ensures more even reheating. Cover them with a paper towel also — having layers of absorbent paper surrounding the pancakes as they reheat helps pull the steam away from the starch, reducing how tough the pancakes will become, but it's far from a perfect solution. Microwave on high power for 15 seconds per pancake — and eat them as quickly as possible, to get ahead of undesirable textural changes.


This method is perfect if you want to create the illusion that you've really made fresh pancakes — after all, nobody looks for a bowl of batter on the countertop when there's a plate of hot pancakes, fresh from the pan in front of them! Beyond aesthetic considerations though, a hot pan is a pretty solid way to reheat pancakes. They can get a good crisp, and it's also an opportunity to add more butter to the situation, which is never a bad thing when it comes to pancakes. Besides, if you've already made pancakes, you clearly have access to the necessary equipment.

However, it's a fine line between reheating in a pan, and overcooking in a pan — burning the pancakes is a real possibility here. Because of this, reheating pancakes on the stovetop is a much more active process than the other methods. Because the heat is only being applied to one side of the pancake at a time, you'll need to keep flipping them to ensure even reheating, and to make sure the underside isn't getting too dark.

To reheat pancakes in a skillet, set the pan over a low heat. Lightly grease or spray the pan, and brush the pancakes with a little butter if desired for extra flavor. Don't overcrowd the pan, and flip each pancake every 10 or so seconds. After about a minute, they should be warmed through and slightly crisp on the outside.


Reheating pancakes in the oven is the most family-friendly way, but it takes quite a bit longer than the other methods. Unlike the other pieces of pancake reheating equipment, your oven needs to preheat for about 20 minutes before you can put the pancakes in. However, if you have quite a few mouths to feed, it could still end up being a timesaver. The great thing about reheating pancakes in the oven is you can put them all on one tray, put the whole tray into the oven, and come back 10 minutes later when they're done. Moreover, if you're really not in a rush, or for whatever reason need to delay breakfast, you can just turn the heat down and the pancakes will be kept warm in the oven for between 30 minutes and an hour.

There are two points to remember to get the best results when using an oven to reheat pancakes. Firstly, don't crank the heat too high — gentle, consistent heat gets the best results. Secondly, be sure to cover the tray with aluminum foil, sealing the sides in order to keep the moisture in and stop the pancakes from drying out too quickly.

To reheat pancakes in an oven, preheat your oven to 350F. Place the pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 5-10 minutes. To keep pancakes warm, turn the oven down to 200F.


The transformative effect a toaster can have on a frozen pancake in a matter of minutes is a modern kitchen marvel. On a per-pancake basis, this is hands down the best way to reheat pancakes. The downside is obviously that you're limited by the number of slots in your particular toaster. With heat applied directly from both sides, pancakes go from insipid pucks to the kind of food that makes you salivate just by how it feels in your hand, let alone the glorious smell of toasting pancakes.

Another potential pitfall of reheating anything other than plain pancakes in the toaster is that chocolate chips, juicy berries, or other melty mix-ins might drip down into your toaster's mechanism and start to smoke. As trusty as toasters are, everyone knows they're a nightmare to clean at the best of times, you don't need a bunch of burnt blueberry juice adding to the problem — not only is it a hazard in terms of fire safety and setting off smoke alarms, until you properly clean out the offending substance, everything you cook in that toaster will have an acrid, burnt aftertaste.

To reheat pancakes in a toaster, simply set your toaster to high, and toast for up to two minutes. Enjoy immediately.

Air Fryer

It's impossible to talk about reheating pancakes without mentioning the internet's favorite reheating tool — the air fryer. This little countertop dynamo combines the reheating speed of a toaster, with the pancake flavor versatility of an oven. It takes just a minute or two to preheat, which means a lot less energy is wasted than during the 20 or so minutes an oven needs to get up to temperature. Air fryers are known for being fantastic at reinvigorating crunchy foods, from bacon to fried chicken, and if you reheat your pancakes in an air fryer, you can look forward to satisfyingly crispy edges.

However, the multifunctional kitchen appliance of the moment also comes with several drawbacks for reheating pancakes. Firstly, what it makes up for in power, it lacks in size. It's best practice to avoid overlapping pancakes as you reheat them — to do otherwise is to invite sogginess or toughness into your breakfast — given the small size of air fryer compartments and the girth of a generous pancake, this means that you might need to reheat each pancake one at a time. Moreover, to ensure even reheating, you'll need to flip the pancakes halfway through cooking, which, for something that is supposedly convenient, is comparatively involved and time-consuming.

To reheat pancakes in the air fryer, preheat your air fryer to 325 F. Place a single layer of pancakes into the tray, and cook for 30 seconds. Flip the pancakes and cook for a further 30 seconds — consume immediately.