A good recipe only goes half way to making a good pancake... a decent pan is equally important. Without one you may never produce a thin, lacy, perfect pancake. What you're looking for is a pan that doesn’t have any hot spots, is non-stick and is a reasonable size. Remember not to use too much fat and to keep the pan nice and hot.
Generally speaking, a heavy non-stick frying pan about 16cm across is best. Heat the pan over a steady medium heat then just before you add the batter brush lightly with melted butter. You can use a pastry brush or just a piece of kitchen paper dipped in the butter.
Pour a little batter in the pan and tilt the pan so the batter coats the bottom. Leave the pancake until you start to see tiny bubbles appearing on the uncooked surface.
Best pancake pans to buy
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Discover 22 easy pancake recipes to make with your new pan!
Best pans for flipping pancakes
The GreenPan frying pan has a Thermalon ceramic coating that is non-stick and can be heated to very high temperatures. It conducts heat well (so no hot spots) and, if you like to flip your pancakes, the sloped edge will help do just that (20cm, 24cm and 28cm sizes are available).
The Eaziglide pan comes with a lifetime guarantee and is a very versatile option, being dishwasher- and oven-safe up to 260C and suitable for all stove tops.
The combination of its damage-resistant, non-stick and shallow lip features means this pan is made for flipping pancakes.
Best pancake pans for a bit of fun
How cool is this illustrated Tefal pan? It's called 'pancake art', and we're totally behind it.
Just wait until the pan is at cooking temperature (indicated by the Thermospot turning bold red), draw the outline in batter so it has time to brown, then fill in the gaps with the rest of your pancake mixture. There's also an enamel, glossy illustration of your sausage dog on the pan's base, so it looks cute, too.
This cast aluminium pan with a non-stick coating is perfect for making pancakes that will make you smile.
It is not suitable for induction hobs but if you have a ceramic, gas or electric stove top you can make six mini pancakes perfect for stacking and smothering with your favourite toppings.
Best all-round pancake pan
'The Pan' is a great-value non-stick aluminium pan, with a stainless-steel base plate, making it suitable for induction hobs.
The shallow curve will help you flip and slide great pancakes ready for adorning with your favourite accompaniments. It works on all hobs and you can stick it in the dishwasher afterwards.
Best non-stick pancake pan
For the eco-conscious, this MasterClass pan is chemical-free, coated with a ceramic non-stick designed to release pancakes without them needing persuasion with a spatula. Suitable for all stove tops, it also comes with a 15-year guarantee.
Best budget pancake pans
Cheap and cheerful, this crêpe pan by Colourworks comes in a variety of colours and a two-year non-stick lifespan. Not a fan of washing up? Just pop it in the dishwasher when you're finished.
This is a small and simple pan that has a black iron composition that evenly distributes heat for perfect pancakes. Season it before use with a little coat of oil and get flipping.
Best French crêpe pan
If you want a pan that looks the part, and is very reasonably priced, then a De Buyer blue steel crêpe pan is the one for you. It’s French and they know a thing or two about crêpes.
Heavy duty, it will work on all hobs and happily go into the oven. Iron retains heat well, so it won’t behave like a lighter non-stick pan, meaning you’ll have to keep an eye on the crêpe. Plus you’ll have to season it and look after it, but it should last you a lifetime.
Be warned though, if you choose a 20cm pan the actual base measurement is smaller, so you’ll end up with neat, petite pancakes. Choose a 24cm pan for bigger crêpes.
Best pancake pans to invest in for longterm use
This iron pan has a handy raised lip for keeping wet pancake ingredients contained while they cook. Coat this piece of kit with a light coat of vegetable oil after every wash and it'll last you for years.
This pan has a low edge and slight slope to the sides, making it very easy to handle. And at 25cm across it’s perfectly sized for big pancakes.
It’s dishwasher-safe, works on most types of hob (though not induction) and you can even put it in the oven. It isn’t cheap but you’ll use it all the time.
Staub's enamelled cast-iron pancake pan is specifically designed for flipping thin pancakes and crêpes, distributing heat evenly across its 28cm diameter by sitting flat and low across the heat source.
It's also suitable for any type of cooker, including induction hobs.
How to make the best pancakes
Generally speaking, a heavy, non-stick frying pan about 16cm across is best. Heat the pan over a medium heat then, just before you add the batter, brush lightly with melted butter - use a pastry brush or a piece of kitchen paper dipped in the butter.
Pour just enough batter into the pan and tilt so that it coats the base. Leave the pancake to cook until you start to see tiny bubbles appearing on the top.
Top tips for making the perfect pancake every time
- Preheat the pan to maximise its non-stick properties
- Lightly grease the pan before use
- Using a folded paper towel, wipe the pan clean of any left-over residue and lightly grease again before adding more batter
Our best pancake recipes
Now the pan is sorted, it's time to get flipping! Discover our brilliant pancake recipes here, featuring vegan, gluten-free and healthy options.