Pancake batter dispensers are the secret behind restaurants’ quick-to-the-plate perfectly shaped disks. Can one simple model give us similarly professional results at home?
Gadget name: Tovolo Pancake Pen
It looks like: A soft plastic water bottle—but it holds pancake batter instead of a refreshing liquid.
How it’s supposed to work: By eliminating the messy batter trail left by the traditional scoop method, and allowing you to control the output of batter with a quick squeeze, a pancake dispenser should allow you to turn out diner-quality results in your home.
How we tested it: We served up pancakes for a test kitchen’s worth of hungry cooks, evaluating the dispenser’s ease, efficiency, and quickness.
How it actually works: As promised. Once it passed the feeding frenzy test, we challenged its longevity and used it to make 250 blini. It held up just fine.
Drawbacks: It couldn’t hold a full 4-cup batch of batter, requiring a refill midway through cooking, and it was too narrow to live up to its claim that batter could be mixed inside.
Good to know: Its nozzle is silicone and heat-proof, so it cleans up in the sink or dishwasher.
My favorite part: The pancake pen turned pancake-making into an art project, allowing us to draw letters and shapes as well as create perfectly round pancakes.
Overall: This product is beautifully simple, makes perfect pancakes, and is just plain fun to use.