1,000 Pancakes: How Long Does It Take?

  • November 4th, 2017
  • The Pancake God

How long does it take to cook a thousand pancakes? This starts with  one question. How long does it take to make one Pancake? Then the answer becomes easy. This is a common question among pancake lovers including myself, so I decided to find the truth.

You follow the directions on the box to make the pancake batter and you pour the batter on the pan. But Wait! How long do you cook the pancake? It’s a general rule of thumb to flip a pancake when you see bubbles forming. But does that mean you flip when the bubbles start to form or when they begin to pop? Some say that you wait until the bubbles pop and the edges look cooked. Most will agree to a 2-3 minutes to cook a side. These are great guidelines but they will not create the best pancake. A lot of people cook pancakes for too long and eat them overcooked without even realizing it.


Pancakes may not take as long to cook as you think. I have personally dialed in my pancake making technique but I was curious if I was wasting time cooking my pancakes on occassion.

Procedure:

  • Krusteaz pancake batter was mixed like normal for medium thickness.
  • Time recorded for the ideal pancake I usually make, fluffy and golden brown.
  • Different times were tested to see how it affected the look, taste and texture.
  • After times were tested I tried with slightly thicker and thinner pancakes.

What I found surprised me and I’ll make pancakes different from now on.


The pictures show (In order from lightest to darkest) the pancakes cooked with the following guidelines.

30s/side – 60s/side – 90s/side – 180s/side

Medium Thickness

Top of four pancakes

The bottom of four pancakes


Thinner Pancakes
4 thin pancakes
Bottom of 4 thin pancakes


Thicker Pancakes

*I made extra pancake for 5 minutes a side.
5 Thicker Pancakes
5 thick pancakes on the bottom.


Observations

  • The pancakes cooked less were easier to cut chew and swallow. The overcooked pancakes were harder to cut, drier and much less appealing.
  • You can easily have an overcooked pancake that at first glance looks like a beauty. It doesn’t have to be burnt to be overcooked. Many people like myself had made pancakes that looked good but didn’t taste that way
  • Thinner pancakes are more susceptible to overcooking. They will not be as brown as thicker pancakes but they will be overcooked and tough. The thicker pancakes wont be harmed as much by prolonged heat, but as you can see if you cook them long enough it will be noticeable.
  • Regardless of the thickness the ideal time is one minute.  Now this is assuming you’re using Krusteaz pancake batter my frying pan at my house with my burner at the magic temperature. This is to remind you that every pancake is different.

Its possible that every pancake made with white flour will generally take a minute. This something to be tested in the future. This should be enough to convince you that cooking pancakes for three minutes on a side is overkill on most occasions. Even if you don’t think the pancakes that are cooked longer look/taste bad, why waste time cooking when you can enjoy the tasty pancake sooner!?


To Answer The Big Question

We found the best pancakes are cooked for one minute a side. So that means that if a pancake takes two minutes to cook and it takes an average of five seconds to pour batter on the pan it would take 2 minutes and 5 seconds for a pancake. We’ll round this to two minutes for simpler math.

We can write a simple equation to figure this out. 2minutes*1,000 pancakes/Number of pancakes at a time=Time or 2000/x=y

This means roughly thirty four hours to cook 1,000 pancakes assuming the batter was always ready for you. The more pancakes you can cook at once means less time to cook 1,000 pancakes. Lets assume the typical stove top with four burners. This means that with four burners with the above scenario you could cook 1,000 pancakes in 8 hours and 20 minutes.

Assume you REALLY LOVE pancakes (me) and want to make them faster because hey, you want to spend time eating too right? You call all your friends and borrow their griddles and you plug them in all over your house and this allows you to make twenty pancakes at once. Assuming you have those and a constant supply of batter cooking them for the optimal time of a minute a side, you could cook 1,000 pancakes in an hour and forty minutes. Just short of two hours. Now this assumes you have enough people to eat 1,000 pancakes in a short amount of time. You don’t want those pancakes to go to waste!

1 pancake at a time = 34 hours

4 pancakes at a time = 8 hours 20 minutes

8 pancakes at a time  = 4 hours 12 minutes

16 pancakes at a time = 2 hours 6 minutes

32 pancakes at a time = 1 hour

100 pancakes at a time = 20 minutes

1000 pancakes at a time = 2 minutes

This is a basic function in math. It would be a graph shooting toward infinity as it goes to x. Which says that the smaller the value of x the larger the value of y. In the situation x is 0, y will not exist. In our situation we know that you can’t cook less than one pancake at a time so the longest it could take is 2,000 minutes(33hrs) of constant cooking.

The fastest you could make the pancakes is to cook all 1,000 at once. This would put you on the opposite end of the graph at two minutes for 1,000 pancakes. This is the fastest way to do it because if you cook any more you still have to wait two minutes to cook. The time it takes gets exponentially faster as you increase the number of pancakes you cook at a time.

There is an optimal point on the graph where it wouldn’t be worth it to keep adding burners. This is the point where the ratio of time lost to pancakes made at a time drops below one.  At the beginning cooking seven more pancakes at a time gets you done thirty hours faster. If you have twenty cooking at a time and you add seven more burners its only 25 minutes faster, and it keeps getting worse as the numbers increase. Exponential growth is tricky.

School sure would of been a lot easier if they would of related it to pancakes!


For more information on how to make pancakes visit the Ultimate Pancake Guide


Send me with your pancake questions and I will answer them!


LG

The Pancake God

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