During my pancake experiments this week, I produced quite a range of shapes—plump and flat, circular and oval-like—none exactly matching any other.
I love a nice touch of handmade irregularity, but found myself at times wishing I had one of those handy-dandy batter dispenser contraptions, the ones that release just the right amount of batter into a consistent circle every time.
I’ve admittedly never had the luxury of trying one of these guys out, but they seem to help make the process quicker and cleaner, especially if you’re making a big batch. You may have seen them used in restaurants and at little crepe stands. You just pour your batter into the top, hold the dispenser over your pan and press the little lever.
You can use batter dispensers for a number of things other than pancakes, like waffles, cupcakes, petit fours or hush puppies. You can find a nice, sturdy stainless steel one for about the same as plastic, which sometimes comes with measuring marks.
While definitely handy and convenient, I’m not sure if I’d rate them a must-have. You can get similar batter control by using a measuring cup with a spout or a squeeze bottle (either recycled or specialized), if not quite as clean or efficient.
Plus, I find the mismatched, hand-ladled short-stack kind of endearing. And of course, going with the gadgets means you won’t get any of those cute little baby pancakes from dripping on the pan!
For the total convenience lovers, check this out—Austin is home to the much-adored Batter Blaster pancakes in a can, which are organic, kosher, and come in flavors like double chocolate and whole wheat. This is the epitome of no-hassle hotcakes: You just squeeze the batter from the can to the pan and then pop what you don’t use back in the fridge.
And then there’s this “Perfect Pancake,” a double-sided, individual pancake pan that (as seen on TV!) that comes with a dispenser AND the cutesy heart rings. It seems like it’d be a little tedious for a family-sized batch, but they’d sure stack up in a pretty, even pile.
Perfect pancakes—from no-fuss to fancy. Your choice!