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.
For precision cooking
Scanpan’s Titanium classic omelette/crepe 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 (not induction) and you can even put it in the oven. It isn’t cheap but you’ll use it all the time. From £58, seasoncookshop.co.uk
For a bit of fun
How cool is this? A Tefal pan illustrated with an owl (or penguin), so that when you cook your pancake it comes out looking like an animal! 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 owl or penguin on the pan’s base, so it looks pretty cool too. £20, Tesco in stores and online
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. 20, 24 and 28 cm sizes are available. From £17.99, greenpan.co.uk
The easy option
The Lakeland non-stick 24cm crepe pan is very good value and feels solid and dependable. Plus, it makes excellent pancakes. It works on all hobs and you can stick it in the dishwasher. £18.99, Lakeland.co.uk
Force Bleu or blue steel
If you want a pan that looks the part, and frankly is very reasonable, then a De Buyer blue steel crepe 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 go into the oven happily. Iron retains heat, so it won’t behave like a lighter weight non-stick number; you’ll have to keep an eye on the heat. Plus you’ll have to season it and look after it, but it will last you a lifetime.
Be warned: 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 crepes. £15.99, devidmellordesign.com
Our best pancake recipes
Now the pan is sorted, it’s time to get flipping! Try one of our brilliant pancake recipes here.
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