One of the most common questions that I receive is, “How do you get the recipes right the first time?”.  Quick answer, I usually don’t.  A lot of times it takes a little practice to get a recipe ready for the blog.  Sometimes the ideas are so out there that they take a few takes to get right.  Take for instance the chicken fried bacon post.  That one took 5 takes before it came out just right.  However, every once in a while there is an idea/recipe that after 10 takes just totally sucks.  These ideas/recipes are labeled EPIC FAILURES.  I wasn’t going to post about them, but after talking to friends they said it would be fun to read.  So in the interest of comedy here is EPIC FAILURE #1: Deep Fried Pancakes.

The picture may look alright, but they are horrible.  So bad.
The picture may look alright, but they are horrible. So bad.

I was hoping to make a quick and easy pancake that could be portable and fun to eat.  In theory this could be awesome.  In real life, well it is an epic failure.  I used a basic pancake recipe, but I added a bit more flour to the recipe to make a thicker batter.  I was hoping that this solidify the dough enough to make it stable and able to fry.  If added enough flour so that it was still a pancake, but not too much that it turned into a cake.  I wanted deep fried pancakes not doughnuts.

The recipe – I am only including this in the event that someone has a solution.  I think the idea is there.  It just needs to be tweaked a lot.  Remember we still want pancakes in the end, not doughnuts.

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tbs cooking oil

I mixed the ingredients together to form a thick batter.

The batter was thick and tasted delicious.
The batter was thick and tasted delicious.

The next thing was to setup the deep fryer.  Well my deep fryer was out of commission so I made one using a cast iron skillet, a turkey fryer thermometer and a kettle.  Yeah, I was feeling a bit MacGyverish.  Just give me a second to pat myself on the back.  Ok, so I filled the skillet with oil, clamped the thermometer to the pan, and then propped the thermometer on the kettle.  The kettle was key as turkey fryer thermometers are 14 inches long and my skillet was only 3 inches deep.  The kettle provided a way to angle the theremometer so that it was in the oil, but not touching the pan.

Looks like crap, but works amazingly well.
Looks like crap, but works amazingly well.

Next I waited for it to come up to temp.  350 degrees sounds nice.

Now that it is at temp, it is time to start.
Now that it is at temp, it is time to start.

Take 1

Pour the batter in with a 3oz ice cream scoop.  That way I can make uniform, good sized pancakes.  This was just a bad idea to begin with.  3ozs of batter in a shallow deep fryer.  The batter hit the bottom of the pan and came out of the oil by an inch like an island.  By the time the dough released from the bottom of the pan, it looked like a piece of charcoal.  It was black, hard, and burnt to a crisp.

Take 2

Silver dollar pancakes, fried at 350 degrees seems natural.  Well for pancakes it is not.  Within a matter of seconds the pancakes turned into black hockey pucks.  Yep.  It also smoked like crazy.  Solution, don’t fry pancakes at 350.  Its too hot.  If you try this at home, make sure you have lots of ventilation.

Take 3

Silver dollar pancakes fried at 300 degrees.  This seemed to work.  The pancakes went in the oil, retained their shape and cooked perfectly golden.

300 turned out a great looking pancake
300 turned out a great looking pancake

The only problem was that when I flipped the pancake, it spread like wild fire.  The batter didn’t cook in the middle and when I flipped it, the batter took over the pan.

The attack of batter
The attack of batter

In the end there was a single pancake that was not cooked all the way through.  Not good.  At this point I was starting to get a little mad.  Why couldn’t I fry pancakes.  There has to be a solution.

Take 4

I cranked up the oil to 325.  This actually worked.  The silver dollar pancakes browned on all sides.  After about 10 pancakes I determined that it would take 2.5 minutes on each side to cook all the way through.  Got it.  Totally going to make deep fried pancakes.  They were a little browner than I wanted, but I had successfully deep fried pancakes.

They stack nicely
They stack nicely

The pancakes flipped, retained their shape, and came out golden brown.

Lets add some syrup and taste.

They are pancakes, they need syrup.
They are pancakes, they need syrup.


These were the worst thing that I have ever eaten.  In order to get the pancake cooked all the way through, you have to leave it in the oil too long.  They were like eating a crispy sponge of oil.  I still can’t get the taste out of my mouth.  It would have been quicker for me to just take shots of the vegetable oil.  Not to mention, they were crispy all the way through. They were so light and airy, that the oil seeped all the way through and crisped everything.  There was no flavor left from the batter.

In the end I made 28 pancakes.  Only 3 of the 28 were suitable for taking pictures.  Yep, out of all of that batter, only three silver dollar pancakes came out.  Absolutely none of them were suitable for human consumption.  They were the worst thing that I have ever eaten.  They were also the worst thing that I have ever cooked.

If you know a better way to deep fry pancakes let me know.  As for now, I think that it is a bad idea.  Honestly, I consumed about a 1/4 cup of oil, just trying one pancake.  Yep, Deep Fried Pancakes are an EPIC FAILURE.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.


  1. I'm sorry you wasted so much time and batter on your attempts at deep fried pancakes. I do have a recipe for you though. This is an old Samoan recipe for deep fried pancakes that my mother used to make when I was younger. She hasn't made it in about 10 years but I remember them being amazing. They're actually deep fried banana pancakes. I dont know if you were to leave out the bananas if they would turn out ok but this recipe should at least get you started.

    Visit this website for the recipe

    • Marques,

      Thanks for the link. I am going to have to try that out. I will post about it later this month. Thanks again.

  2. Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes

    How about a swirl of Cinn/Sugar on the top of the cake just before it's time to turn it over. It wouldn't be in the pan long enough for the sugar to burn, I'm thinking…Might work!?!?!?!

  3. I have tried that Kibbeepa but the time it takes to cook each side of the pancake causes the sugar to caramelize and it gets super crunchy. Not the best texture for pancakes.

  4. ugh! know how you feel! I was making pancakes (from a mix) and added 1/3 more water than I should have. I thought it was still going to turn out fine because I didn't want my pancakes too thick/big. It took a looong time to cook and when I flipped it over it got all wrinkly and stuck together and AUGH!! So, I wasted a lot of batter :'(

    • Gerri, Pancakes are a lot harder than most people believe. I might have to revisit the pancake recipe on the site.

  5. ok i've got it. it's not quite deep fried but it works:
    1. you're using the wrong oil. I used bacon grease the first time, and leftover animal fats from when I fry, say, burgers or sausages, etc the second time and it turned out great.
    2. don't completely submerge them. If the pancakes are 1/2" thick, use like 3/32" of oil. It will still crisp the hell out of them, but will also naturally cook the guts without absorbing quite so much grease.
    3. Double your solid ingredients (or at least add way more). I use Bisquick, and the first time I got it right I accidentally put in 2 cups of Bisquick instead of 1. This worked, and I still don't know why…maybe because they become more rigid in structure?
    4. I have no idea what temperature I used to cook them, but I remember it was VERY low, maybe even as low as like 285. Sorry, I just set my dial to like 3/10 and ran with it.
    Anyways the result is that the outside keeps only a little of the oily grossness from the animal solids (which is just the right amount), while the inside stays light and fluffy like a pancake should be. In addition, the outside like 1/64th of an inch is crispy as a potato chip, but the inside is still moist and pancakey, which is what I was hoping to get…I don't know if this is right, but that's what I wanted and that's what I got. Cheers!

  6. possibly make pancakes ahead of time freeze them and when you want them dip in eggwash then crushed up frosted flakes not sure how it will turn out but the frosted flakes are a great addition to french toast 🙂

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  8. Try adding some wheat bran to the mix! It might be just the thing to beef up your batter for this experiment.

  9. Try adding some wheat bran to the mix! It might be just the thing to beef up your batter for this experiment.

  10. Add some vanilla and cinnamon to the pancake mix. Once you fry them roll them in sugar r a cinnamon and sugar mix. They will taste like the fried biscuits from Chinese restaurants. Then after a day they will taste like churros.

  11. bob fairlane Reply

    Interesting idea, but it's way easier to use some coconut grease in the pancake batter recipe, then grill them on a well seasoned skillet.

    If you really want to make deep-fried pancakes, you're probably going to have to modify some other kind of fried pie-dough recipe, and use a lot of egg.

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