There are life skills that are crucial to being a functional adult, such as doing taxes and time management. Then there are life skills that are not necessary, but can bring you great joy. Being able to flip a pancake without making a mess falls in the latter category. You could use an instrument such as a spatula or a plate to help, but it takes away much of the satisfaction. Here are some tips on how to flip a pancake successfully.
Firstly, the bottom side of the pancake needs to be cooked enough that it will maintain its shape during the flip. You can judge this by looking for bubbles rising to the top surface and checking that the top is not runny.
Secondly, the pancake must not stick to the pan. Use plenty of oil to start with on a non-stick pan, then slide the pancake around in a circular motion to confirm that it will easily slide off the pan.
Thirdly, the flip must be a smooth, rounded motion so that the pancake flips just the right amount. Tilt the pan forward so the pancake sits near the rim, then flick your wrists upwards so that the pancake slides up the rim, making an arc in the air, flipping 180 degrees. With careful hand-eye coordination, catch the pancake in the middle of the pan just when the uncooked side is facing the ground.
But above all that, the most important factor is confidence.
If you are not confident enough and don’t flick the pan enough, the pancake will not make a full 180 degree turn. It will quickly fall back into the pan on an angle, crumpling or folding it. If it wasn’t flipped high enough, you won’t have enough time to catch it properly and it may land on the edge, making a big mess.
If you are overzealous and flick it too hard, the pancake will go flying off or it will turn too much, causing the same problem as above.
Much like so many other things in life, finding the balance and having just the right amount of confidence can bring you great joy in the form of a delicious pancake.