So I’m just going to say it. I make awesome pancakes. And I love them. More importantly where family harmony is concerned, my extremely picky daughter lists them as her favorite food of all time. I tweaked recipes, fiddled around and finally settled on a combination that worked for us. The remaining problem: my griddle. I’d been using an electric non-stick griddle with great results. The big cooking surface allowed me to finish all of the batter in a couple of rounds and made it easier for me to eat while there were still people at the table. However, the non-stick issues nagged at me. When the surface of my beloved griddle became discolored, showing signs of obvious wear I found it hard to ignore those concerns. The time had come for a safer choice. I’d tried to cook my amazing pancakes at other people’s houses in other people’s cast iron pan with crispy and charcoal-y results… Nonetheless I was determined to use the cast iron pan I already owned for our Sunday morning indulgence.
The first couple of weeks were not terribly encouraging. I used too much oil (which is just about any, by the way). I turned the heat up too high. I had the heat too low. I turned them too soon. I burned them. It was a mess. And then I remembered what my Dad said about pancakes: “You have to let the pan get hot all over or they’ll burn every time…” or something like that. Cast iron pan hot all over, not a two minute proposition. The solution: the oven. So now on Saturday night after I mix the dry ingredients for the pancakes (saves time in the morning when my son’s appetite leads to extreme grumpiness) I put my beloved cast iron pan in the oven, set the “Delay Oven Start” for about 7:30 and set the temp for 350. By the time they wake me, I mix the wet and dry and let the batter rest for 10 minutes the pan is hot all over. If the seasoning on my pan looks in good shape I add ZERO oil or butter. If it looks dry, I swipe lightly with an oiled paper towel and wipe some off after I finish. I watch for firm edges and a few bubbles. Flip. Serve. Awesome delish pancakes. No boxed mix in sight, no teflon in tummies. Glorious.