Why Do Restaurant Pancakes Taste Different? Pancakes are one of the most popular breakfast foods in the world. They’re soft, fluffy and come in many varieties.
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Restaurant pancakes taste different than those made at home, and it’s because of a few simple factors.
Reasons Why Do Restaurant Pancakes Taste Different?
1. They use a professional griddle
The reason pancakes taste so much better in restaurants than they do at home is that they are cooked on a professional griddle. This is how a restaurant can guarantee that the pancakes will cook evenly, which is important for keeping the flavor fresh.
Unlike the griddles you might use at home, restaurant models are larger and usually made from cold rolled steel or stainless steel. These heavier metals provide greater heat retention and excellent cooking quality.
Restaurants also have a consistent pancake skillet temperature to keep their pancakes perfectly cooked. This helps ensure that their pancakes are always perfect with every order.
To get pancakes that are perfectly round, the cook must make sure to evenly distribute the batter on the griddle and not overcrowd it. This means that there should be enough room between each pancake to spread it out without running into the neighboring ones, and there should be enough room for a spatula underneath the pancakes as they are flipped.
Another pro tip for perfect pancakes is to use a small measuring cup when pouring the batter so that you have the same amount of batter for every pancake. This will help you create uniform pancakes, and you’ll avoid the rings of color that often form on your griddle once the batter is cooked.
The cooks at IHOP also know that putting their pancakes on the same griddle as other menu items could cause them to absorb flavors from the other foods. This is why they keep their pancakes on a separate griddle from other breakfast items. It prevents any contaminates from affecting the pancakes’ taste and it preserves their pure, distinct IHOP flavor.
2. They use real butter
Pancakes are a morning staple that evokes memories of the breakfast table, but they can be a tricky dish to make at home. Whether they’re too thick, lumpy, or flavorless, many people struggle to make them consistently delicious and perfect.
One of the big mistakes that home chefs often make when they’re trying to recreate the pancakes at their favorite diners is using butter instead of oil on their griddle. This can cause a variety of problems, including rings of color and uneven splotches on the cooked surface.
Another problem with butter is that it burns very easily, especially if the pan is on high heat for long amounts of time. So it’s important to use a non-stick pan, like a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or electric griddle.
You can also try substituting vegetable oil for butter if you’d like to cut back on the calories, suggests cooking expert Christina Cervone. She recommends adding a few teaspoons of oil to the pan before cooking and reapplying after if needed, she says.
It’s also a good idea to whisk the flour with a fork or a stand mixer before you start adding the liquid ingredients. This will prevent the batter from developing clumps of flour that can become tough and chewy.
If you’re having trouble getting the right texture, consider using buttermilk. According to chef David Levy, buttermilk helps tenderize the flour and adds a tangy note that can help make these pancakes more delicious.
It’s also important to use fresh eggs and butter when making pancakes at home. Using eggs that are too warm or room temperature can give the ‘cakes a ‘cakey’ texture, and that can be off-putting to those looking for a lighter and more fluffy experience.
3. They use real maple syrup
When it comes to breakfast, you can’t go wrong with a stack of pancakes with real maple syrup on top. But if you’re not a fan of maple syrup or just want to change things up, there are many alternatives that can provide flavor and sweetness without the added calories of syrup.
For example, you can use jam, nut butter, honey, or even fruit to top your pancakes. These options can be less expensive and also provide some nutrition.
But while they are all great, they don’t always taste as good as a real griddle. And when you cook pancakes on a griddle, it’s important to choose the right ingredients to ensure they have a consistent and delicious taste.
One thing to look for in pure maple syrup is that it should be listed as 100% pure maple syrup on the label, with no other ingredients in there. If there are other ingredients like corn syrup, caramel color, or molasses, then it’s not pure maple syrup at all!
This is because pure maple syrup has more of a complex maple flavor with hints of vanilla, caramel, and prune. While you can find pancake syrups that are made from high fructose corn syrup or a combination of both, they don’t usually have that complex maple flavor.
It’s worth trying both types and finding out what you prefer. You can also do a blind tasting to see the differences. And be sure to buy a quality product so that you get the most out of your maple syrup and pancakes.
4. They use real milk
If you’re a fan of restaurant pancakes, then you’ve probably noticed that they tend to taste a bit different than homemade ones. They’re usually thicker, have more texture, and are served with a variety of toppings ranging from fresh berries to Nutella.
But what’s the secret to making these delicious diner-style treats?
The answer lies in the way they’re prepared. Unlike at home, where a griddle can become a hotbed for rings of color and splotches of batter, diners typically don’t use butter or oil to grease their pans.
According to IHOP’s vice president of culinary innovation, Marie Grimm, using the fat to grease the griddle messes with the perfect finish pancake that they’ve got going on and instead leaves behind a “webbed, lacy” look that just isn’t on par with that golden-brown surface we love so much.
That’s why it’s important to preheat your griddle for a few minutes before adding the batter. After that, the heat will cook your pancakes evenly and crisper.
You can also avoid this problem by using a non-stick griddle. This can be tricky, but it’s the secret to getting pancakes that are as smooth as those at your favorite diner.
Another thing you should do to get the same result is to add some salt to your batter. It doesn’t have to be a lot of salt, just a pinch or two will help your pancakes or waffles taste better.
5. They use real eggs
When we go to a restaurant and order pancakes, we expect them to be piping hot, soft, fluffy, and perfectly cooked on a griddle. We also expect them to be a bit crisper than we make them at home, and they should be flavorful as well.
Pancakes are made from wheat flour, eggs, and milk (often buttermilk). They’re also leavened by baking powder and often have fruit, berries, or chocolate chips in the batter.
A common mistake in making pancakes is not getting them to the right temperature before cooking. This can result in a stale, dense, or lumpy ‘cake that won’t rise as it should.
As we explained earlier, the texture of a pancake depends on two proteins that are bonded together in a process called gluten formation. If you have too much of this protein, the pancakes will become dense and tough.
To avoid this problem, you should use cold eggs and butter when preparing your batter. You can also reheat liquid ingredients, such as milk or syrup, on the stove.
One other way to ensure your pancakes are perfect is by whisking the dry ingredients. This helps prevent big lumps that will cook out when you pour the batter on the griddle.
You should also let the batter rest for a few minutes before you add it to the griddle. This will allow the flour to relax and the eggs to rise.
The extra time will give the gluten in your batter a chance to relax and soften up, which will allow your pancakes to become tender. It also helps the ingredients blend more evenly, giving them the diner-tasting chewiness they deserve.
You can even learn how to make pancakes without eggs with this recipe
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