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Pancakes are one of those comfort foods that isn’t too difficult to make. But even with the best pancake griddles and pans as we’ve outlined in another article, you might still dislike the idea of standing around, waiting for the pancake batter to cook, and then flipping them manually.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could put the batter down, leave it for however long it takes to cook, and then come back to perfectly-cooked pancakes?
We loved the idea, and after trying out, we’re never going back.
In this article, we discuss how electric pancake makers make your life easier, what to look out for when shopping for one, as well as our list of top picks for the best electric pancake makers or in popular terms, the best pancake maker machines.
If you’re looking for the overall best pancake maker for a typical home cook, our recommendation is the iSiLER electric crepe maker.
For a more budget-friendly option, the Dash round electric griddle is our top pick. The mini 3-unit set from Dash is also a good alternative if you’re fine with the small sizes. This includes a grill, a griddle, and a waffle maker.
For a premium waffle and pancake maker combination unit, check out the Cuisinart model. Not only does it offer more options, it makes perfectly-crispy waffles and pancakes.
Table of Contents
Are Pancake Makers Any Good?
The answer to this question all depends on your cooking habits, and how badly you want to avoid being stuck at the stove while waiting for the pancake batter to set.
Starting with the obvious, an electric pancake maker would allow you to go about your tasks while waiting for the pancakes to be ready. That being said, don’t expect to be able to put the batter in, and come back to a full stack of pancakes ready to eat. Most pancake makers only fit one pancake at a time, while the bigger ones usually only accommodate up to four.
Apart from that, if you’re not particularly good at making perfect pancakes, these units are able to help with that. Most, if not all models come with at least an indicator light that lights up when the pancakes are done. You would then have to turn the unit off, because most models don’t automatically turn themselves off.
Pancake makers also have the added benefit of not needing you to hold up heavy griddles. Because they’re a countertop unit, you don’t have to hold or move the griddles around the stoves. This is particularly useful for those who are arthritic or have trouble handling heavy objects, who are now able to cook on a large surface without picking up heavy cookware.
Other than that, a small advantage is that electric pancake makers get hot a tad quicker than heating a griddle on the stove. This is because of the integrated heating elements in the units, which in some cases also improve the heat distribution across the cooking surface.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look For in Pancake Makers
If you’re looking to do some shopping around for an electric pancake maker, we have a few ideas here on what you should be looking out for.
We have previously stated in our article for the best pancake pans and griddles, that the optimal size for cooking pancakes is around 9.5” to 11” across. This is no exception for electric pancake makers.
Seeing that the common sizes for pancake makers are either 12” or 8”, we recommend going for the 12” models when possible.
Indicator light and sound alert
Most, if not all models come with indicator lights nowadays. For this reason, absolutely skip any models that do not have it.
A rare feature that a few models on the market offer is the existence of audible indicators. While not an important feature for most of us, with this you’re able to have peace of mind knowing that you’ll never burn your pancakes.
Every electric pancake maker that we know of has a cooking surface with non-stick coating applied. It is very difficult and almost impossible to cook pancakes without these types of surfaces.
Teflon, being the most popular non-stick surface, is used in almost all of the models. If you’re avoiding Teflon in your cookware, look for ceramic-coated ones instead. Admittedly though, it is rather difficult to find these on the market as of now.
If you’re confused as to why some would avoid Teflon, read our article here as to why it might be harmful to you, and in what scenarios. The gist of it is basically that Teflon breaks down at high temperatures and releases potentially toxic chemicals. That being said, it’s more of a worry for high-heat cooking techniques like searing, and does not really affect pancake-making. This is because the cooking process won’t even go near the riskier side of temperature levels anyway.
Our Top Picks of Best Pancake Makers
Before we start, in our terms, pancake makers refer to electric ones, or referred to as pancake maker machines. That is what this list is all about.
If you’re looking for the best pans and griddles for pancakes, we’ve written an article on that as well, which you can read here.
Being an open-top crepe/pancake maker, this model offers more versatility than closed-lid ones. Apart from just pancakes and crepes, you’re also able to make the likes of blintzes and tortillas on it. It also doubles as a basic electric griddle!
Constructed with food-grade aluminum, the cooking plate is non-stick and ensures safe and easy use. It has quite a high power output – not as high as the higher-end models though – but sufficiently so to get the job done well. The large surface also makes it highly flexible and usable for many types of foods.
What this model does well though, is its heating. The heating element underneath the plate is designed in a way to provide even heating throughout the surface, which translates really well into real-world use. It also comes with overheating protection, which never lets the unit go above around 430°F.
We were very pleased with the product, and especially at this price range, it might as well be the best non-stick electric pancake maker.
- Large 12” cooking surface
- Anti-slip rubber base
- Comes with an LED light that indicates the surface has reached the set temperature and is ready to cook
- Heat pipes designed to facilitate even heating across the surface
- Overheating protection ensures the temperature stays below 428°F
- Includes a wooden spatula and a crepe spreader
- Does not have an on/off switch, so to turn it off you’d have to unplug
Sporting the same design and style as the previous recommended model (suspiciously similar, even), this also offers the same versatility that the last one provides.
Coming with a non-stick aluminum surface, making pancakes on it and cleaning up afterwards are both very easy tasks. The included wooden spatula is of the right size to complement the pancake making process. If you’re looking to make the thinner alternative, crepes, a crepe spreader is also included.
Overall, it is a really well-built product. Using it is a pleasant experience and we’ve not encountered anything undesirable with it. It is however, priced higher than the iSiLER, but includes a handy recipe book according to the manufacturer. Worth it or not, it all depends on how much you think you need it.
It’s pretty easy to find recipes online so we don’t particularly fancy the added goodie. But the book does provide an effortless list of recipes ready-to-go without requiring any researching online.
- Large 12” surface
- Has an indicator light that goes off when the set temperature has been reached
- Includes a recipe book for crepe makers, a wooden spatula and a crepe spreader
- Remaining batter wipes off pretty easily
- Does not have an on/off switch, so to turn it off you’d have to unplug
- Priced a little high for a crepe/pancake maker
Although a pancake maker wouldn’t break your bank, this offering from Dash allows you to own one for an even lower price.
Even though it offers the bare minimum, with no controls whatsoever – not even for the temperature – we really can’t complain about the price. It starts heating as soon as you plug it in, and only stops doing so when you unplug it. There are no controls for temperature at all, so you’re stuck with the pre-set temperature it comes with. One flaw we’ve noticed is that one side of the surface heats up more than the other, which might result in some uneven cooking.
Apart from the aforementioned caveats, it is a pretty well constructed piece. The dual surfaces are PFOA-free non-stick, and perform quite well in actual usage, so long as you’re aware of the heat differences between the two surfaces. It also includes a recipe book as a bonus.
If you’re looking for a serious pancake maker with at least some amount of control, you’re probably not interested in this. But if you’re looking for a small, compact model for the occasional quick pancake-making, this is a pretty good pick for the price.
- Quite compact at only 8”
- Dual PFOA-free non-stick surfaces
- Anti-slip feet
- Includes a recipe book
- No on/off switch, so to turn it off you’d have to unplug
- No temperature controls, only heats up to a pre-set temperature level
- One side of the surface gets hotter than the other, which results in unequal cooking on both sides if you close the lids
If you’re looking for a pancake maker that is able to handle more than just your flat cakes, this is the model to go for.
Honestly, Presto has done such a great job, we almost can’t believe this is being sold at its listed price tag. Big and wide, well-constructed with heavy cast aluminum, and offering high wattage at the same time. Use this for a few pancakes, or a full-on family breakfast on a Sunday. It’s able to handle both use cases really well.
Apart from the basics, it also has extras such as a slide-out drip tray, and removable handles with a fully immersible griddle. These features make cleaning much easier on this large piece.
Of course, nothing is perfect, especially at this price point. A major flaw we have noticed is that the surface heats up slightly unevenly. In particular, the right side seems to get hotter much quicker than the left. If you cook across the surface, you might also find some dark stripes across your food due to areas that are hotter than others.
With the price it’s being offered at though, it is probably nitpicking at this point. While it comes with uneven heating, it doesn’t negatively affect the cooking experience and the results too much. Overall, it is a very enjoyable and useful piece of appliance.
- Highly versatile with its 22” rectangular cooking surface
- Heavy cast aluminum base for warp resistance
- High wattage for maximum flexibility in heat levels
- Slide-out drip tray makes cleaning easier
- Fully immersible with heat control removed for washing
- Cheap for the value it offers
- Slightly uneven heating, particularly the right side of the griddle (on the side of the temperature controls) gets a little hotter than the other half
- No protective edge around the griddle which is hot if accidentally touched
If you’re looking for a robust option that would probably last you a long time down the road, we recommend considering this one from Cuisinart.
It comes with removable plates that allow you to make waffles, or pancakes. But that’s not all. If you’re looking to squeeze a little more versatility out of this piece, you could also use the pancake plates to cook stuff you would normally on a basic griddle. We particularly loved cooking eggs on these.
Not only is it well-equipped, it actually performs better than we expected in real-world usage. For some reason, the design and construction of its inside, paired with its heat output, makes hot and crispy pancakes and waffles. For us, we found the sweet spot to be at temperature setting 4 or 5.
While it certainly is an expensive option, if you’re able to afford it though, we suggest going for it. This is as close to a restaurant pancake maker as you can get at this price. A really high quality appliance which we’re certain will continue to serve and satisfy you for years to come.
- Its design combined with the high wattage makes crispy waffles and pancakes
- Makes waffles and pancakes equally well with removable Belgian waffle plates as well as pancake plates
- Removable plates are dishwasher-safe
- Comes with 6 temperature levels
- LED indicator plus audible alert for when the appliance is hot enough to be used, also when cooking is done
- Includes tongs and recipe book
- Pricey option
- The outside of the appliance gets a bit hot when in use
Another one from Dash, this is catered for a slightly different demographic. This set is more suited for a single person staying alone, for a dorm room, or maybe even a camper.
If you were confused by the listing on Amazon for some reason, this bundle includes three separate mini units, and not interchangeable plates. However, all of them are sufficiently small and compact, and take up very little space on the countertop.
In terms of actual usage, it gets the job done really well. Seeing that it’s being sold at such a low price as well, the only real downside is its size (depends on if you see it as a pro or con). If you’re looking for something like this, then perfect. But if you’re considering and not sure if you can put up with the small cooking surfaces, we really recommend you look somewhere else!
- Includes a mini grill, mini pancake griddle, and mini waffle iron in the pack
- Compact and lightweight at only a little over 1 pound each making it very portable
- Includes a recipe guide
- Cleaning is easy with the non-stick surfaces
- 4” of cooking surface is really insufficient for anything more than one serving
Just a heads-up before anything else. This is primarily a waffle maker, but because of a flaw of its heating, produces results that more closely resemble pancakes which look like waffles. If you’re fine with this and all for the few unique advantages this product offers, read on!
The cooking surface is coated with ceramic non-stick, instead of the typical Teflon. This presents a huge plus if you’re conscious about not using Teflon. If you’re out of the loop of why that might be, we’ve written an article about the potential risks of using Teflon in your cookware.
Apart from the inner surface, the exterior also features a few advantages. For one, it comes with a drip tray underneath, so you don’t have to worry about the batter making a mess on the countertop when you’re flipping. The looks are also quite premium-looking in our opinion. The stainless steel construction with faux copper lining is sure to blend well into most kitchen aesthetics.
This is closest to a flip-over pancake maker we could find. If you do decide to get this, keep in mind that it’s primarily a waffle maker, but its results are closer to what would be waffle-looking pancakes!
- PFOA- and PTFE-free ceramic non-stick coating
- Comes with a drip tray underneath
- Adjustable temperature control
- Stainless steel with faux copper linings look really good on the countertop, in our opinion
- Removable waffle grids and drip tray are dishwasher-safe
- Ready-to-cook indicator lights
- Not really meant for pancakes, but makes waffles that are soft and textured like pancakes
- On the other hand, don’t hope for crispy waffles out of this even when it’s a waffle maker
How to Pick for Your Use Case?
If you’re still not sure which one to pick, read on and we’ll help you choose the right one for yourself. We’ll first list the models that you might want to consider for special circumstances, and then go into the best overall for the typical home cook.
If you want a big and versatile one that doubles as a family breakfast griddle, the Presto 22” electric griddle is the one to go for. Large surface area with high wattage, it is highly flexible and can be used in a number of scenarios.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for portability in something compact, the Dash 3-pack mini set is a good pick. The only downside is its limited surface area and output wattage, which isn’t that big of a deal if it’s what you were going for in the first place anyway.
If you’re picky about Teflon-coated cookware, the Hamilton Beach is worth considering. The cooking surface is coated by ceramic non-stick, instead of Teflon. Although it is actually a waffle maker, the results are more like waffle-looking pancakes. If you’re not a fan of this idea though, we recommend looking elsewhere.
Lastly, if you want to be able to make top-notch pancakes, and also, waffles, the Cuisinart waffle and pancake maker is a good choice. The design and construction, combined with its high wattage, makes crispy and near-perfection waffles and pancakes. Being a high-quality appliance with many years with use ahead, it is reasonably priced a little high.
And if you don’t have any of the previously mentioned needs, the overall best option for most home cooks would be the iSiLER 12” electric crepe maker. Offering a large surface area with sufficient wattage output, there is no real downside to this model. It also comes with indicator lights as well as overheating protection, providing more value for an affordable price.
A pancake maker is a must-have for any pancake lovers. Easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to make perfect pancakes, it really is the perfect appliance if you cook a lot of pancakes!
Apart from making your life easier, you’ll be able to make flawless pancakes in a much shorter time. Our short guide on the top electric pancake makers should help you pick the perfect one for yourself, in which case be sure to follow through the links to check the latest prices. But if you’re a little more adventurous and love to shop, keep our buyer’s guide handy!
If you’re a fan of pancakes, you might also be interested in the best pancake pans, if you prefer putting in some manual work sometimes. Another range of products in the same category that is very similar would be omelet pans – you can use them for almost everything a pancake pan is able to do.
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