How do you cook pancakes on an induction cooktop?

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One of the favorite breakfast foods is pancakes because they are easily made and delicious. There are only a few ingredients. The batter is quickly prepared and can be cooked on a cast iron griddle and nonstick and stainless steel frying pans.

Pancakes are one of the many dishes that can be prepared using an induction burner whether you are on the road in your RV, camping, or home. We will show you the right pans to use and guide you in the process of how to cook pancakes on an induction cooktop.

To read the recipe and how to cook pancakes on an induction cooktop, click here.

Choose the Right Pan to Cook Your Pancakes

Induction cooktops require the use of certain types of pots and pans. They must contain a ferrous metal so the magnetic field can produce a concentrated current.  Pans made of cast iron, enameled cast iron, carbon steel and, magnetized stainless steel will work on induction burners.  

You can check to see if your pan will work by placing a magnet on the pan’s base. If it sticks securely, then it will work with the induction cooktop. 

cast-iron griddle is a popular choice to use when making pancakes. Some cooks prefer a nonstick frying pan because the pancakes are released quickly from the pan and easy to clean. Another option is to use an induction friendly stainless steel frying pan. As long as the pan is appropriately pre-heated, the pancakes won’t stick to the pan.

It is possible to use any pot or pan if you place it on an induction interface (converter) disc. These discs are usually made of magnetic stainless steel.  The induction burner heats the disc, and the heat from the disc is transferred to the cooking vessel. However, this is not recommended unless you have no other options as a lot of efficiency of the induction cooktop is lost using a converter disc.

Pancake Cooking Tips

There are a lot of variations of pancake recipes. We used a basic pancake recipe to develop the process of cooking pancakes on an induction cooktop.

Regardless of the recipe used, there are general tips that may help you make delicious pancakes.

Pan size

Whether you decide to use a nonstick or stainless steel pan or a cast iron griddle, make sure the pan is not larger than the cooking surface. This allows the pan to heat evenly when you cook the pancakes.

Preparation

Since induction cooktops heat up quickly, you will want to have the batter made and resting before turning on the cooktop.

Baking Powder

Make sure the baking powder has not expired.  

Weighing the flour

Some cooks weigh the flour instead of spooning it into a measuring cup. The weight may differ according to the brand.

Measuring flour 

  • Fluff the flour in the container.
  • Scoop the flour into a measuring cup with a spoon without shaking the cup or packing it.
  • Level the flour across the measuring cup with a knife or any utensil that has a straight edge.

Mixing the Batter

Mix the batter until the wet and dry ingredients are combined but not smooth. The reason is that over stirring can deflate air bubbles and cause too much gluten to develop in the batter resulting in tough and chewy pancakes.

Here is a simple explanation of this rationale.

Air Bubbles

When you add baking powder to water, milk, or buttermilk, carbon dioxide is created. This puts bubbles in the batter. If you over-stir the batter and carbon dioxide escapes, you end up with flat pancakes. To keep as much air in the batter as possible, you’ll want to stir gently.  

Excess Gluten

Here’s why you only want to stir pancake batter until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Two important proteins found in wheat flour are gliadin and glutenin. When flour and water (the water in milk also creates gluten structure) are mixed, these two proteins can move around and form bonds with other gliadin and glutenin molecules. This creates a relaxed weblike network of protein (gluten).   

As you stir the batter, more bonds are created, and the gluten network is strengthened. If you over-mix the batter, the weblike gluten network will be large and strong, resulting in too much gluten. When this happens, there is less space for fluffy air pockets between each gluten protein. The result is tough and chewy pancakes instead of a fluffy pancake.

Resting period

Some pancake recipes recommend resting the batter before cooking the pancakes. Some recipes call for 10 minutes and others for longer times.

One reason to rest the batter is that it allows any gluten that has formed to relax. Even if you are careful not to overmix the batter, there will still be tight bonds between the gluten molecules. This resting period allows these molecules an opportunity to loosen, so your pancakes don’t turn out tough. 

Another reason to let the batter stand is to allow the starch to swell (the starch molecules absorb the liquid in the batter) and any air bubbles to pop. This results in fluffier pancakes.

Now that you have some tips for making pancakes, we'll get to cooking the pancakes.

There are many different recipes to use to make pancakes. This is the recipe and process we used to make pancakes on our Duxtop 9600LS Induction Cooktop.

Cooking Pancakes on an Induction Cooktop

Step 1: Gather Equipment

  • Skillet or griddle
  • Large bowl for dry ingredients
  • Small bowl for wet ingredients
  • Measuring cups for dry foods
  • Measuring cup for liquids
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spoon (use to put flour in measuring cup)
  • Wire whisk, spatula, or rubber scraper
  • Turner spatula
  • Fat (canola, vegetable, or coconut oil, cooking spray, butter)

Step 2: Gather Ingredients  

  • One cup of flour  
  • One tablespoon of sugar  
  • Two teaspoons of baking powder  
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • One tablespoon butter (melted & slightly cooled)  
  • One cup of whole milk (use a glass measuring cup) microwave for 30 seconds
  • One large egg, beaten
  • Canola oil – use to coat the pan 

Step 3: Mix the Ingredients

  • Melt one tbsp butter.
  • Warm milk in the microwave (30 seconds).
  • Aerate the flour. Measure 1 cup flour; spoon into measuring cup.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a well for the dry ingredients.
  • Beat the egg.  
  • Whisk the eggs, butter, and milk.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients.
  • Stir the ingredients until the batter is evenly moistened. There should be some small lumps in the batter. If it feels too thick, add a bit more milk. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to remove excess flour.  

Step 4: Rest the batter

Let the pancake batter rest for 15 minutes before heating the induction cooktop.

Step: 5: Cook Your Pancakes

An All-Clad Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan was used to develop this process. Wipe the inside of the pan with a lightly oiled paper towel (I used canola oil).

  • Place the pan on the cooktop and turn the unit on.
  • A medium setting will produce the best results. If your induction cooktop has settings from one to ten, you will want to use five.  
  • On Duxtop 9600LS, press “menu” (the default power setting is five).
  • Preheat the nonstick frying pan. Test it by flicking water in the pan. When the drops sizzle and several dance, the pan is ready for the batter.  If they sit there and don’t sizzle, the pan isn’t hot enough. If they disappear immediately, the pan is too hot.
  • Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop the batter and put it in the pan. An ice cream scoop works well also.
  • When the bubbles are popping, and one of the holes are not filling in, check with a flat spatula if the underneath is golden brown. If it is, flip the pancake. If not, wait a few seconds and recheck the underside. After the first pancake, the others took around one minute to cook on the first side and roughly half that time to cook on the other side.

Conclusion

Cooking delicious pancakes on an induction cooktop is very easy. You can get great results by aerating the flour, not overmixing the batter, mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately and then combining them, having the pan at the right temperature, and using fresh baking powder. 

Whether you use a nonstick griddle or a nonstick frying pan, the pan should in the center of the cooking zone. There are many different pancake recipes to try and see which one you like the best.