We Tried It: Pancakes in the Air Fryer

Social media is a breeding ground for all kinds of food experimentation. It definitely has the power to push trends way into the forefront of our feeds. You’ve probably seen people making some crazy things in air fryers, for example. We wanted to find out if one of the latest trends, pancakes in the air fryer, worked. Was social media onto something? There's only one way to find out!

The result? The viral videos on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram of people making pancakes in air fryers may in fact be a complete flop. Much like the haunted French bakery that gives out the crepes, this so-called hack left us frightened. After some serious attempts, we were left cleaning the cake out of the pan, and definitely worn thin. To keep you from being burned and battered, let’s break down the flap, Jack

This is what happens when you use aluminum foil and air fry a pancake. Is it even a pancake? Read on and find out. We're not so sure . . .

Pancakes in the Air Fryer?

A pancake is a thin, flat, round cake made from flour, sugar, milk, and eggs, typically cooked in a pan and usually eaten with maple syrup for breakfast. People also tend to use butter, olive oil, or coconut oil. Pancakes cook best over low-to-medium heat, especially when cooking a stack of pancakes for the family to enjoy. If the temperature is too high, the pancakes tend to burn or cook unevenly.

Air fryers work like a mini convection oven. That means the heat is generally higher than what you might use on a stovetop griddle. Given this information you might be wondering, why in the world would someone want to air fry a pancake? 

There are so many recipes for various types of pancakes. It's a little cuckcoo. For our air fryer pancakes, we used this recipe! It's the one that's been circulating in the viral videos on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. 

Sorry, Bob's Red Mill. We love your products, but we bet your recipe developers never tried the air fryer. Perhaps it's not meant to be?

Air Fryer Pancake #1: Parchment Paper

In the first test, we used the parchment paper method. The instructions were straightforward: Pour the pancake batter between layers of parchment paper. And then stack them on top of one another. 

The verdict? Unfortunately, the heat was unable to reach the tops of each layer of pancake batter. And as a result, the top exposed layer was the only one that cooked. In the end, we created one decent pancake. The rest? Undercooked. Result? FAIL!

Using parchment paper in between each pancake seemed like it might be smart, but nothing cooked right. So sad! #pancakefail

Air Fryer Pancake #2: Aluminum Foil

For the second test, we used aluminum foil instead of parchment paper between each layer. The idea is that aluminum foil would help with the heat disparity since the metals in the aluminum foil would heat up across the sheet itself, unlike parchment paper which merely allows heat to enter the pancake covered. To this method’s credit, it did leave the pancakes slightly more cooked than the parchment paper method. However, much to our chagrin, the pancakes still came out undercooked.

Does this even resemble a pancake? It sort of looks like a wet, undercooked roll! Amiright?!? How did people get this to work? I

Why Do Pancakes Fail in the Air Fryer? 

Not everything cooks well in all air fryers. Lots of veggies (the sturdier the better) work well in the air fryer. But cakes and battered foods will not air fry well because of the thickness of the batter made of sugars, creams, and flour getting dried out or not cooking thoroughly. Perhaps it is the limited heat and airflow compared to a traditional frying method of an oil bath. If you are craving a pancake or even Adventure Time bacon pancakes, it is best to use a regular pan on the stovetop. 

What Do Air Fryer Pancakes Taste Like? 

Now, don’t judge us, we still tasted the parts of the pancakes that were cooked just to get a sense of what was going on flavor-wise. In both cases, the pancakes tasted rather disgusting as the recipes did not call for butter or oil, which left the pancakes dry and not fluffy. They tasted like a rubbery cloth more than a hot, delicate, fluffy, buttery, cake. If this was the hot mess Marie Antoinette meant when she supposedly said, “Let them eat cake,” we can see where all the hubbub came from. These air fryer pancakes were time wasted, money down the drain, and more deadpan than Steven Wright jokes. 

If you want to make some great-tasting pancakes that actually work, whether for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or even meal prepping, we have your family covered with this list of 8 pancake recipes for your family to enjoy!

1 Comment

  1. I think this supposed 'air fryer pancakes hack' isn't actually for real pancakes but in fact for what could be regarded as american 'stodge-cakes'. Not the traditional lemon/sugar type light, thin crêpe but the thick, synthetic ones which appear to have become 'fashionable'😒

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