... will I use my tiny stove to make pancakes!
Our apartment has a tiny stove and oven. The stove has one big burner and three small ones. If I use my big burner and need a small one, I can only use the small one that is diagonal to the big one. Otherwise the pans don't fit. I don't have a griddle pan. When I make pancakes I use my frying pan on the big burner, and small skillet on the small burner diagonal to it. So basically my whole stove is taken up. I can make 3 medium-sized pancakes at once in my frying pan and 1 in my skillet. So 4 at a time.
I've been thinking I wish I had an electric griddle. The pancakes are awkward to flip in my frying pan because of the high sides. The ones in the skillet are awkward to flip because they're in the back corner of the stove and I'm only 5'2" and don't have long arms. I figured when I had time I'd research electric griddles and ask for one for Christmas from my family.
Well... It occurred to me recently that I already have one! My 3-in-1 wafflemaker has plates that are smooth on the other side. I've used it as a sandwich press for making Ethan grilled cheese sandwiches and it's great for that! But... The maker also opens flat. Part 3 of the 3-in-1 is that it's also a griddle! DUH :-P
So tonight I figured I'd try it out on my homemade pancakes. I was making a big batch so if the first ones I made didn't turn out good, no harm done. I'd just take out my pans and do the rest on the stove. No biggie.
I checked the manual and it said to put the maker on high.
Advantage #1 over the stove - The ready light cycled off when the maker was the right temp :-) No guessing involved!
Advantage #2 - They were so easy to flip! I could reach all of the pancakes easily and with no sides to contend with, flipping them was a breeze!
Advantage #3 - Instead of being able to cook 4 pancakes at a time, I could cook 4 slightly smaller ones (but not much smaller!) ON EACH SIDE! So even though they took a little longer to cook than on the stove, I could fit twice as many at a time. Which means start to finish it didn't take as long:-)
Advantage #4 - The temperature stayed more constant. On my stove I'm constantly having to tweak the temperature a bit. I think it's because the stove is old or maybe it was always like that. It definitely wasn't new when we moved in 8 years ago. But even though the maker cycled, I didn't notice a change in how fast the pancakes cooked. They didn't threaten to burn, they didn't decide to not cook as fast as the ones before. So no babysitting the dial :-)
Advantage #5 - Clean-up! Let me say I'm not a big fan of nonstick. I know it releases chemicals into the air, and likely into the food. But the maker on high doesn't get as hot as my stove on medium. And most of the harmful effects of nonstick surfaces happen at high temperatures. So I'm not as concerned about this one thing I have that's nonstick. So back to the clean-up. Nothing stuck! Normally I have to soak my nice tri-metal bottom stainless steel frying pan and skillet in hot water with Dawn for them to come clean easily after pancakes. At some point the pans get too hot (the aggravating temp problem mentioned above) and the nonstick spray I use burns to the pan in places. The only clean-up I'll be doing this time is a quick wipedown with a soapy sponge and a warm rinse. DONE. Even after it sitting overnight.
I wonder if I'll be making pancakes more often now? My guess is, probably not. It will just be a lot easier when I do ;-)