Perfect Pancake

The $20 Perfect Pancake promises to pump out one fluffy, round pancake after another.

"A lot of people can't use a spatula very well," explains Marcia Schlueter. "Sometimes you flip it and it spreads out. It doesn't make the perfect pancake then. Ha ha!"

Marcia is known among many people in Cape Girardeau as being a great cook. She's not formally trained, but knows her way around a kitchen. She whips up a batch of pancake batter, and puts the Perfect Pancake to the test.

"Butter,oil or non-stick spray is optional," she mumbles as she reads directions carefully. We opt for the healthier choice, and use nothing. Directions say to use 1/2 cup of batter, and cook over medium heat.

"Cook pancake with the lid open for four minutes, or until the edges are light brown an bubbles appear," reads Marcia. Cooking time and burner settings will have to be adjusted to your own stove, of course.

"It actually looks pretty good," she says as it cooks. "Now I'm going to do the flip tip... up...flip.... quickly down." Directions say to quickly move your hand up about two feet, flip your hand, and then bring it down. The quick motion is supposed to keep food from slipping out the sides.

" Oh! I should have pre-conditioned it!" Marcia exclaims, as the pancake sticks to the top and little batter bubbles drop to the bottom.

While you don't have to use oil or butter, you ARE supposed to WIPE the pan with oil, to pre-condition it. We wanted to try it bare first, like you can with other non-stick pans. Well, you saw how well that worked!

"Poncho up! Good boy," says Marcia, as she feeds the flop to her pooch. "How is it? It's good enough for you, isn't it?"

By now our second try is ready for flipping. "Up two feet, flip, and back down," she says as she flips." Ha! It didn't do it! Even with pre-conditioning, it's still sticking."

Marcia tries closing the lid and shaking it... giving the Perfect Pancake every opportunity to let loose! But the cake refuses to drop. So once again... "Up! Good boy," she gives her dog a treat.

For our third try, we coat the bottom and top with cooking spray. We don't wait four minutes this time, because the cake is looking too done. "Let's go up two feet, oh! It fell this time!" Marcia exclaimed as the cake perfectly plopped to the bottom of the pan.

So, oil, butter or spray prevents the Perfect Pancake from being a perfect flop. We coat the pan again with spray, to try our fourth and final test... an egg.

We're not having much luck with the Perfect Pancake. But if you have a pet bird, you may want to forget about it all together. Directions say "caution, keep pet birds out of the kitchen because fumes from overheated non-stick pans may give them respiratory problems."

Back to the egg. "That's pretty well cooked, so let's try flipping it... away from the burner," Marcia flips it again. "It's not coming down either." And that's WITH cooking spray. "I'll finish cooking it for Poncho!"

The pooch doesn't care that the egg is runny in spots, but pretty well-done in others. "It looks like plastic play food!" says Marcia, as she feeds it to her dog.

The $20 Perfect Pancake is dishwasher safe, and cleans up easily. But keep in mind it doesn't work dry. "It's not practical," says Marcia. "And almost everybody already has a non-stick frying pan that will do the job."

And you can only make one at a time. Plus, many viewers contacted Amy Jacquin to say they have trouble with the flip... slinging batter out the sides while trying to turn the pancake.

"You might as well give your money to a good cause," suggests Marcia. We agree. Or spend that $20 on a good griddle instead. The Perfect Pancake barely passes with a 'D.