Can you make air fryer pancakes? We test out the TikTok hackon February 21, 2023 at 14:17 Tech Advisor


A few days ago, UK tech retailer Currys posted an air fryer pancake hack on its TikTok channel.

You can see the TikTok for yourself but, essentially, dollops of pancake batter are poured onto sheets of baking parchment in an air fryer, to make a stack of pancakes that cook all at once. The video then cuts to a perfect pile of pancakes.

A number of websites jumped on the bandwagon, embedding the video, dubbing it the ‘Currys air fryer hack’ and giving vague and dubious tips as to how to replicate this perfect pancake triumph.

As you might have guessed, in the time since it was posted, the original video has been widely debunked as nonsense.

But is it? As a service to culinary science, we decided to try and make pancakes in an air fryer to find out the truth.

Pancake batter

We used a BBC Good Foods pancake recipe. For that, you’ll need:

100g plain flour2 large eggs300ml milk1 Tbsp oilPinch of salt

To be clear, this is a crêpe recipe. If you prefer American-style pancakes, you can use this Martha Stewart recipe instead. Either way, good luck to you. Whether or not you add a pinch of baking soda or a bit more or less milk or flour, it won’t help you in the wars ahead.

You’ll also need:

A whisk: you can whisk by hand but I’m lazy, so I used the excellent Breville HeatSoft mixerAn air fryer: I used a Dreo 3.8 litre air fryer

Add the ingredients to a bowl and whisk gently. Pour into a jug.

Now you have your pancake mix. I used this in four separate air fryer pancake attempts, detailed below.

Pancake 1

I preheated the air fryer, using a three-minute preheating setting, and poured the pancake batter straight onto the non-stick surface of the cooking drawer. I cooked it for around four minutes at 175°C.

I think the best way to describe the resulting pancake is sad. I feel guilty for bringing it into this world. It had a pallid, flabby look but I was reluctant to cook it more as it had already taken on the texture of a gel insole.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

I delivered it to the tester, who having been promised pancakes, attacked it gamely.

Tester’s verdict: “Rubbery. This is not good. I think a lot of people just wouldn’t eat this.”

Pancake 2

The difference here was that I laid down a sheet of greased parchment paper and poured the pancake mix on that. I wanted to know what would happen if you cooked a pancake the way they do in the TikTok video.

As it turned out, my thirst for knowledge had a high price.

It’s hard to identify all the failures that led us to a pancake that looks like a block of halloumi. For a start, the baking parchment folded up in the corners, creating an unappetising square.

The pancake mix then pooled in the centre. If you were to sell the finished product, it would probably be illegal to call it a pancake. You’d need to label it as “pancake-style food block”.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

I did, however, serve this misshapen pancake to our tester.

Tester’s verdict: “Slightly worse than the previous one. This isn’t great. This is kind of horrible. It’s liquid in the middle. Why am I eating this?”

Pancake 3

This time around, I cut the baking paper into a circle, to avoid a repeat of the square pancake debacle, and cooked it in the same way as the previous pancakes.

It was at this point that the air fryer rebelled against being used for a purpose so wildly against its nature.

An air fryer is just a mini convection oven, and convection ovens work by circulating hot air. When I opened the cooking drawer, I discovered that the air fryer had flung the ingredients around like a possessed child in a horror film. It was unholy.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

Given the disturbing nature of this iteration, I didn’t give this pancake to the tester. Instead, I decided to bag the whole mess up and bury it in the woods.

Pancake 4

I needed a whole new approach. Perhaps, I theorised, at this point, the problem was that particular air fryer. I’m also testing the brilliant Ninja Speedi at the moment. It has an incredible non-stick surface, so I pre-heated it and then poured pancake batter straight onto the cooking base. I cooked it for around four minutes at 180°C.

Ninja can be proud of the fact that it didn’t stick at all. However, no-one can be proud of anything else at all in this experiment. The best we can say about this bulbous, malformed creation is that it was least like a pancake of all the attempts and therefore can’t really be called a bad pancake.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

Tester’s verdict: “It tastes leathery. It tastes like eating fabric. Why? No, don’t do this.”


Not only is making pancakes in an air fryer a terrible idea, but making pancakes in a pan is so simple it’s something that really doesn’t need a hack.

How to (actually) use an air fryer when making pancakes

Pancakes are quick and easy to make in a pan – and that’s honestly the best way to cook them. However, what often happens is that you end up making and eating pancakes as you go, rather than sitting down and enjoying them properly.

The best air fryer pancake hack is to use your air fryer to keep your cooked pancakes hot before dishing them up. Pre-heat your air fryer while you’re making your pancakes and then deposit the pancakes into the air fryer one by one as they’re done, separating them with a piece of parchment paper.

Have a look at our round-up of the top air fryers we’ve tested to see all the best air fryers for not cooking pancakes.

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