Why You Should Never Press Down On Cooking Pancakes

If you're someone that just can't resist an amazingly light and fluffy stack of buttermilk pancakes for breakfast, then you might be wondering how you can get them even more cloud-like. While there are all kinds of tricks to making light pancakes by incorporating different ingredients that can provide extra lift as the pancakes cook, the real trick might be even simpler. You should never press down on pancakes with your spatula while they cook.

You've probably noticed when you first pour pancakes onto the griddle that the tops begin to bubble after a couple of minutes, which is how you can tell that the pancakes are cooking and getting done on the griddle-side. But those bubbles do more than just serve as an indicator for when to flip. According to Martha Stewart, when you press down on pancakes as they cook, you are pressing those "natural air pockets" right out of the pancake batter. But it's the air pockets that help make pancakes light. Essentially, you're compressing the pancakes rather than letting them rise to new fluffy heights.

This is what you should do to pancakes instead

Instead of pressing down on the pancakes — and hearing that signature sizzle you know you love, it's important to just let the pancake cook. By doing this, you'll end up letting the batter rise like it should for a much lighter, fluffier pancake. Nikki Cervone, an associate editor of Foodal.com told Eat This, Not That!, "The trick is to touch the pancakes as little as possible as they cook." When you are not constantly poking at the pancakes you'll let the heat cook and puff up the batter. It's hard, but patience is the key to getting perfect pancakes.

Just like you shouldn't touch the pancakes with your spatula as they cook, another similar problem is flipping them too many times. If you need to check to see how done one side is, be very gentle as you lift one side to look underneath. Otherwise, Cervone recommends sticking to only flipping the pancakes one time. It's a rule that's right in line with touching the pancakes only when absolutely necessary to keep from knocking the air (and fluff) out of the pancakes.