Why do pancakes and waffles taste better in a restaurant than at home?
But that’s not to underestimate the value of well-researched techniques, for which established chains are science. To make a killer dough, the wet ingredients need to be “ice cold,” Mary Grimm, vice president of culinary innovation at IHOP, revealed to Delish. Using cold eggs, milk, butter, oil and water prevents the ingredients from heating the gluten in the flour prematurely, explains Grimm, who is responsible for creating the springy bounce that IHOP pancake lovers love and expect from their shortbread variety.
Another advantage is better equipment. While the grills themselves will likely vary from one restaurant chain to another, almost all diners work with a waffle iron or griddle that’s already hot. IHOP, for example, requires frying pans to be heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and uses Crisco instead of butter to grease them, Grimm says. IHOP also has custom grills that never cook anything other than pancakes, John Kotez, IHOP’s senior director of field operations support, told Restaurant Business. Waffle House, on the other hand, mixes the batter in a special device called a Bain Marie, which is a huge double boiler that heats the batter evenly for perfect, consistent cooking every time.