Can This Kitchen Gadget Make Perfect Pancakes?
I tried to improve my pancake prowess with the OXO Good Grips Precision Batter Dispenser—here’s how it went.
Let me start by saying I’m pretty good at making pancakes. With a thin coat of butter and my trusty nonstick pan, I can achieve one small batch of flapjacks that are mottled blonde in color with lightly crispy edges and marshmallow-soft centers. But I’m typically only making them for myself in my studio apartment, so factors like consistent size and shape—or a messy technique—don’t matter as much as they would when cooking for a crowd.
I recently spent a long weekend in a mountain cabin with my family and was tasked with whipping up a batch of pancakes for breakfast one day. I figured this was the perfect time to try out the OXO Good Grips Perfect Batter Dispenser to see if I could keep things more even and efficient across a bigger batch.
At first glance, this dispenser is well-constructed with many thoughtful design details. The idea is to load batter into the top portion of the tool—which has a wide opening, so this is easy and not very messy—and squeeze the handle to open up the rubber tube at the bottom to release your batter. When you’re done, simply release the handle and the tube will be squished shut to stop the flow.
Right off the bat, I loved that the handle is rubberized, which will keep your grip steady even with buttery or batter-y fingers. It also opens and closes smoothly and is large enough to accommodate any hand size. There is an interior funnel that helps guide your batter toward the dispenser tube and a handy top lid that duals as a drip tray for when you're in between pancakes, so there’s no extra plate or dish towel needed. And there are four different types of measurement markings on the hopper for you to monitor your amount of batter and portion it out evenly.
I’m most interested in simply seeing if this tool does what it claims to do (dispense batter smoothly and cleanly) as well as if it can solve the most prevalent pancake problems: giving each a consistent size, consistent shape, and a less-messy experience overall.
Other considerations include:
- Does it work for both thick and thin batters as the website description claims?
- How much does it drip in the closed position?
- Is it suitable for making both small and large pancakes?
- Does it hold a substantial enough amount of batter for a crowd?
I decided to test out this gadget using Bubby’s Pancake Mix (yes, from the iconic New York eatery and pancake mecca) since it’s notably on the thicker side and I wanted to test the brand’s claim that the dispenser works just as well with thicker batters as it does with thinner ones. Plus, it just produces the most fluffy, flavorful pancakes from a mix that I’ve tried, and are just as delicious sans butter, jam, or syrup.
I prepared two batches: one thick, one thin. The first batch was made according to the package directions which instructs us to keep the batter rather thick and lumpy for fluffier flapjacks. On the flip side (pun intended), I added more milk to create a runnier consistency.
How it Went
I live by the golden rule that the first pancake is always a practice pancake and you cannot judge a batch by its firstborn. That being said, the inaugural pancake from the thicker batter batch was rough. The dispenser needed a good shake of the wrist to get going, and once it began to release batter it came out in little blobs rather than a smooth stream; it produced a pancake resembling a Rorschach ink blot. It’s possible that the rubber dispenser tube causes friction that hinders the flow of batter.
A pro: The dispenser was easily operated with one hand—leaving your other free to hold your pan steady—and had zero leakage when placed back into the closed position, with the exception of a tiny drop left at the bottom of the tube below the closure point.
Next, we gave the thinner batter batch a go. The dispenser still required a few gentle shakes to get flowing, but fared much better. The batter released at a slow-to-moderate pace that’s pretty easy to keep up with, although there’s a bit of a learning curve in figuring out the right speed and motion for your hand (I found slower spirals starting from the center work best). The interior funnel also worked wonders when it came to shepherding batter from the hopper to the rubber dispenser tube, so you won’t get that wasted half centimeter of the stuff stuck inside at the end.
Another plus was that the side measurements printed on the hopper remained easy to read throughout the process—I was initially worried the interior batter smear would be a hindrance here in seeing what amount you actually have left—so you can properly dose each pancake to be even in size. Though, the marked measurements skew on the larger side for at-home pancakes in my opinion—you’ve got to be a wizard with your spatula technique to pull off anything beyond silver-dollar size.
Cleanup & Storage
This dispenser cleans like a dream. It’s technically hand-wash only, but it did fine on my dishwasher’s top rack for an initial clean before use, though I’d say to hand-wash from then on just to be safe. The rubber tube also detaches for easy cleanup, but you probably won’t need to: I held the dispenser in the open position under the running faucet and it was flushed clean within seconds. Storage-wise, it’s on the bulky side and might be a pain for small kitchen dwellers such as myself to find room for, but if you’re someone with moderate to ample cabinet space it shouldn't pose a problem.
What I Liked
- Includes smart design features like well-functioning interior funnel and drip tray lid
- Won’t drip in the closed position
- Easy to fill (cleanly) with batter thanks to large hopper opening
- Released thinner batter at a steady pace you can keep up with
- Exceptionally easy to clean
What I Didn’t Like
- Needs shaking to get started—not great for those with wrist issues
- Thicker batter came out inconsistently
- Bulky to store
All in all, I’d recommend this tool to someone who typically prefers thinner batters—be it for pancakes, cupcakes or otherwise—cooks for a crowd, prioritizes a tidy kitchen, is exacting about even portions, and who enjoys the convenience of having one hand free. And also, someone with a bit of kitchen space to spare.
If your batter typically is more viscous (and you don’t mind a little mess), I’d say stick with a quarter-cup measuring cup or even an ice cream scoop in some cases to dole out even amounts. And if you go this route, do yourself a favor and pick up some Bubby’s pancake mix for your next at-home Sunday brunch. Thank me later.
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