A glorious morning is marked by a few simple things: no alarms, a good cup of coffee, and pancakes!
Whether you like to eat them with some maple syrup on top, with chocolate, whipped cream, and jam, or simply on their own, pancakes are the perfect way to begin your day.
But what if you are ready to dive in, about to give your first bite, and notice your pancakes are raw in the middle?
That’s a huge bummer. Are they still safe to eat? Will you get food poisoning? Read on to know more about undercooked pancakes and how to fix them when they are still a little gooey on the inside.
How to tell when pancakes are done?
It is pretty easy to see when pancakes are done. As one side of your pancake is cooking at the bottom of your pan, you will notice the top side bubbling.
When that side of the pancake is covered in tiny bubbles, it means it is time to finally flip it. If the pan is hot enough, it will take no more than two minutes to be ready.
Once the pancake takes on its signature golden shade or even a light brownish on both sides, they are done and ready to eat.
Although the process to know when pancakes are done might seem pretty straightforward, there could be a few, minor bumps in the road every once in a while.
It might happen that your pancakes inevitably end up cooked on the outside but raw in the middle. On the odd occasion, they might even turn out a little mushy too.
One easy way to verify if your pancake is still raw in the middle is to insert a wooden stick, like a tooth picker, right in its center.
If the wooden stick comes out clean, it means your pancake is ready. When there is a little bit of batter when you take out the wooden stick from your pancake, it means it still needs to cook a little bit more.
If you end up with a slightly uncooked pancake batch, it is not the end of the world. It is not hazardous to eat pancakes that are a little soft in the middle.
On the other hand, it would be a radically different situation if you tried to eat raw pancake batter. Anything containing completely raw eggs and flour might be a safety hazard.
Raw flour might contain germs that can be dangerous to humans’ guts and overall health. The same thing goes for raw eggs. Store-bought eggs are looked after, but the risk of getting salmonella is still moderately high.
So, always make sure to check your pancakes are evenly cooked and know the difference between rubbery pancakes and raw pancakes.
Rubbery or doughy pancakes are not the best to eat and enjoy during a nice, cozy breakfast, but they are still safe to consume. It is equally possible to add one or more toppings like chocolate, whipped cream, strawberries, or maple syrup to make them taste a little better.
On the other hand, if they are still raw even after cooking them for over ten minutes in a pan on medium heat, that is not a prudent thing to do and it is best if you throw them away and try again.
What happens if you eat undercooked pancakes?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention highly encourages people who are planning on cooking breakfast with their families to not eat raw pancake batter or raw pancakes.
They even encourage people not to let kids play with raw pancake batter and advise people to clean their kitchen tools and bowls right after cooking.
This is because of the elevated risk of salmonella that might be contained in germs that live in flour and eggs.
If you happen to consume undercooked pancakes though, it is a slightly different situation. If your pancakes are slightly undercooked, for example, they are a little mushy in the middle or they are a little gummy, it is most likely safe to consume.
That is because the batter has come in close contact with the high heat of the pan. Even if it did not cook through properly, the intense heat typically eliminates the germs contained in the batter making it relatively safe to eat.
How to fix undercooked pancakes
Once you remove the undercooked pancake from the heat of the pan, there is not much you can do to fix it. But there is plenty you can do to fix your pancakes beforehand!
How to make pancake mix
First of all, make sure to use fresh ingredients. If your flour has been sitting in your cupboard for months and months, or even years, do not resort to it.
Although it might still be edible, it will not help you achieve the fluffiest pancake possible. In point of fact, it will do the exact opposite: the result will be a batch of gummy pancakes.
Make sure the eggs are fresh too. Double-check the expiry date and try not to use eggs that are too close to their expiration date.
Not only your pancakes will benefit from these choices, but using fresh ingredients is also great for your health’s interest.
Let your pancake batter rest. It is not a great piece of advice if you do not have enough time in your hands, or if you require your pancakes here and now.
Once you finish whisking your ingredients together, cover the bowl with your pancake batter with a clean cloth and let it sit for five minutes, up to 30 minutes.
A rested pancake batter will give you softer and more importantly fluffier pancakes. This happens because, during the whisking process, the gluten contained in the flour gets ‘agitated.’
Enabling it to sit on the counter for a reasonable amount of time will contribute to giving it the chance to rest and sit nicely in the batter.
While the pancake batter is resting, you can use the free time earned to prepare your toppings and to get your pan ready.
How to cook pancake to perfection
The third step to getting incredible pancakes is to get your pan hot enough before pouring your batter in.
It has to be hot, but not too hot, otherwise, your pancakes will come out burnt. The best way to test if your pan is ready is to pour one or two drops of pancake batter into it.
If those drops burn in less than 20 seconds, it means your pan is way too hot for your pancakes and it is best to turn down the heat.
If the pancake batter tests burn in more than 20 seconds, it means your pan is not hot enough. But do not turn up the heat! It is better to wait a little bit more on medium heat than risk having a way too hot pan.
How to know when to flip a pancake
The answer is pretty simple: you always have to watch out for the bubbles. Once you pour your pancake batter into the preheated pan, patience is key.
Wait until the side of the pancake that touches the hot pan heats up properly. After a few minutes, you will be able to see bubbles starting to form on the top side of your pancake.
Once it is completely covered in small bubbles and the center of your pancake looks cooked and firm, it is time to flip it.
After you have flipped your pancake over, you will notice the cooked side is going to be golden and slightly crispy and perfectly cooked!
Another small piece of advice is to flip your pancakes only once. It does not take long to cook one pancake, so if you flip it over more than once you are going to risk burning it.
Can you eat undercooked pancakes?
The answer is yes, but also no. It all depends on how raw the pancake is. It is a big no if the pancake batter is still raw and runny. Or if you eat raw pancake batter straight from the bowl.
As we mentioned above, raw pancake batter can be incredibly dangerous due to the germs contained in raw flour and eggs. Although store-bought eggs should be okay to eat, it is safer not to risk them.
If your pancakes have been cooking in a hot pan but once you go to eat it, it still is a little soft in the middle, it should be fine to consume.
Although the middle of your pancake is still a little soft, it still has come into contact with the high heat of the pan. The heat typically burns the germs in the food, so the risk of food poisoning or salmonella is relatively low.
Worst case scenario, it might be possible to get an upset stomach or even get a little sick. But nothing too serious that will put you at risk.
In any event, if you eat raw pancake batter and start to experience nausea, stomach aches, or other serious symptoms, do not hesitate to call your doctor or head over to the ER.
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