Pancake Day: Top tips for making great pancakes from a professional chef

Sidwell advises using vegetable oil to cook with, since it has a higher smoke point than butter (Getty Images)
Sidwell advises using vegetable oil to cook with, since it has a higher smoke point than butter (Getty Images)

In the run-up to Pancake Day tomorrow, the in-house chef of CookServeEnjoy, Peter Sidwell, has revealed his top tips for the perfect pancakes every time.

His tips include recipes and instructions for traditional crêpes, American-style pancakes, and vegan pancakes, as well as advice on cooking gear, creative topping ideas, and recipes for using up leftover batter.

Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Tuesday, falls on Tuesday, February 21 this year.

Use oil instead of butter in your pan

Sidwell advises using vegetable oil since it has a higher smoke point than butter, which may burn, and because it doesn't change the flavour of your pancakes the way olive oil would. Try adding some melted butter to your batter if you still desire that buttery taste.

Use a silicone spatula when flipping

The non-stick coating on your pans can be scratched by metal turners, so save them for cast-iron or stainless-steel cookware. Silicone won't shred your pancakes.

Don’t waste the first pancake

When a frying pan isn't hot enough, it produces a rough, flat crêpe, thus people frequently discard the initial pancake. Pour a little water into the pan. You're ready to start cooking if it sizzles and starts to boil.

Rest your batter

This way, the flour can absorb more moisture and release starch, which is the real key to making beautifully light pancakes. Since you want more height with the American style, this is crucial. Give your batter at least 30 minutes to rest.

Give your pancakes an American twist

American-style pancakes are thick and fluffy because baking powder and self-raising flour are used. Making a batter that can spread in a circle while also being loose and thick enough to hold is the key.

Make pancakes plant-based

These days, it's really simple to discover plant-based alternatives in stores. Simply substitute an egg, such as the Crackd variety, and I advise using soy or oat milk.

Unexpectedly, apple sauce works wonderfully to tie the components together and makes a great replacement for eggs. Use a quarter cup of apple sauce in place of one egg as a general rule. Because apple sauce can be rather sweet, you might want to reduce the amount of sugar in your pancakes.

Don’t throw away unused batter

Batter can be stored for up to four days but freezing your pancakes will keep them fresher for longer. There are numerous recipes that use leftover batter such as fermented bread, Yorkshire puddings, and mini-muffins.