As much as IHOP wants customers to see the
chain as a lunch and dinner joint, it’s really hard to stray from their breakfast menu. It wouldn’t be called the International House
of Pancakes if those pancakes weren’t something special, right? “Pancakes.” “Pancakes.” “Pancakes.” “Pancakes.” Here’s something you’ve probably noticed about
IHOP pancakes: They’re all the same size — something that seems impossible to achieve at home. Is a complicated piece of machinery cranking
out those pancakes? No… and robots aren’t making them, either. Just as you’d expect, line cooks are manning
the griddle… but how do these line cooks make such perfect pancakes every time? As it turns out, the line cooks gets a little
help from a handy batter dispenser. A former IHOP waitress explained: “The cooks pour the batter into the open end
[of the dispenser], and there’s a lever they push down […] that dispenses the pancake
onto the grill in a circular form.” So now you know. Want to make pancakes at home that taste every
bit as good as the ones at IHOP? It might not be as difficult as you think. Marie Grimm, IHOP’s vice president of culinary
innovation, spilled a few company secrets to Delish in 2015. First, the griddle is set to 350 degrees…
no surprise there. But believe it or not, the griddle isn’t slicked
with oil or butter, or any other fat for that matter. Of course, the griddles at IHOP are presumably
highly seasoned from years of use — otherwise those pancakes would stick like glue. If you think your own griddle needs a little
nudge, here’s what to do. To create a slick surface, Grimm recommends
using a paper towel to rub a small amount of Crisco onto the pan. She strongly suggests that you don’t use butter
for the task. Otherwise, you might create what Delish describes
as “[A pancake with] that webbed, lacy look,
instead of a uniformly golden brown [surface].” With these tips in mind, you’re well on your
way to creating the perfect pancake stack of your dreams. “Pancakes!” “Every pancake—” “Pancakes!” If you’ve ever tried one of IHOP’s omelettes,
you’ve probably noticed that they’re a little unusual. For one thing, they’re not overly dense or
heavy. That’s evidently because of a very special
ingredient: Pancake batter. IHOP spells it out on the official website: “[Our pancakes are] made with a splash of
our famous buttermilk and wheat pancake batter!” According to food website The Daily Meal,
this secret ingredient makes IHOP omelettes fluffier, because the batter adds considerable
moisture to the dish. The Daily Meal also notes, “[Batter] adds some structure to the eggs,
making them a little more sturdy and filling.” Last but not least, the batter provides just
a hint of sweetness. Purists may turn up their noses at the concept,
but the addition of pancake batter certainly makes the omelettes unique and tasty in our
book. It probably shouldn’t come as too much of
a surprise that the International House of Pancakes’ most popular menu item is… pancakes. “What’s so special about the pancakes here?” “They’re fluffy and delicious.” According to The Daily Meal, it turns out
IHOP’s flashier pancake options like the Cupcake Pancakes or Pumpkin Spice Pancakes aren’t
the real winners here. The Original Buttermilk Pancakes are still
ordered the most. It’s hard to beat a classic. It’s been reported that IHOP serves a whopping
700 million pancakes annually, along with 1.5 million gallons of syrup. Of course, you can’t have pancakes and syrup
without something to wash it all down with, and that translates to 100 million cups of
coffee and 14 million gallons of orange juice that get served along with the breakfast staple. Of course, bear in mind that most breakfast
items on the IHOP menu come with a side of flapjacks… and every one of those orders
counts towards the yearly tally. Every March, IHOP celebrates National Pancake
Day in its own special way. “Well, if you haven’t made breakfast plans,
look no further.” Though the annual event is called Free Pancake
Day, it’s not all about giving away free flapjacks. It’s actually about raising money for charity. First, they lure folks in with the promise
of free pancakes. Then they gently suggest customers pay it
forward in order to help people in need. As it says on the IHOP website, “Doing good never tasted so good.” In fact, IHOP has done quite a bit of good. Free Pancake Day has raised well over $25
million for charity, benefiting organizations like Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals,
Shriners Hospitals for Children, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Believe it or not, in September 2018, IHOP
officially joined the beer-makers club — with a little help from brewer Keegan Ales. “Brewing is a really intricate process. Anyone can make a hoppy beer. Very few people are crazy enough to take on
an IHOPpy beer.” IHOP’s famous buttermilk pancake batter was
actually infused into the beer — and this wasn’t just a plain ol’ buttermilk pancake
beer, either. This was Pumpkin Pancake Stout, inspired by
IHOP’s popular pumpkin spice pancakes.The stout was also infused with fall spices and
pure maple syrup. The beer’s website claimed: “[We’re going] to blow your mouth’s mind by
bottling that warm-and-fuzzy feeling of pancakes just in time for fall.” Unfortunately, the IHOPS stout wasn’t mass-marketed,
and only 20 barrels were brewed. It was reportedly only available at a few
New York bars and beer festivals for a short time. And no wonder: It’s a lot to wrap one’s head
around. “…I don’t know, IHOP beer? I didn’t even know they sold…?” “I didn’t… think they did, but I guess…
they did…” “Right.” “…I can see that.” Here’s hoping we’ll get another chance to
taste this beer in all its pumpkin spice pancake glory. Name your favorite thing to put on a stack
of hot-off-the-griddle IHOP buttermilk pancakes. Is it the fluffy scoop of whipped butter? We think not. We strongly suspect it’s that sweet, sweet
syrup. “…yawns are okay, yummy syrups, yes way… Butter pecan, blueberry, old-fashioned, strawberry…” But if you think IHOP’s syrup is delicious
because it’s real maple syrup, we have some bad news for you: Unless you’re dining at
one particular IHOP, that syrup definitely didn’t come from a tree. It’s corn syrup. As of 2009, the chain’s Vermont location is
the only IHOP that serves real maple syrup. The restaurant’s general manager told The
New York Times: “You can’t open up a Vermont pancake shop
without Vermont maple syrup.” The catch is, that maple syrup is gonna cost
you extra. Regular corn syrup is still available at the
Vermont location… you just might disappoint your fellow diners when you reach for it. So let’s pretend you’re totally fine with
IHOP’s so-called “old-fashioned” syrup. You’re okay with the fact that it’s not tapped
from the trees of Vermont. You can let that pesky fact slide because…
it just tastes so darn good. Well, one seemingly in-the-know Redditor has
a gnarly piece of gossip about the syrup — and frankly, it’s a little too nasty to ignore. According to this supposed IHOP employee: “Always ask for ‘to go’ syrups at IHOP. [The syrup] on the table has probably been
there for years, with just a bit added to it to fill it up.” There’s more. The IHOP employee also claimed: “The warm stuff they bring you goes back,
gets dumped back in the pot, then re-served. […] God knows what else goes on. Yuck.” You’re probably not popping ’round your local
IHOP expecting to order a kale salad, and that’s okay: There’s nothing wrong with a
good old-fashioned diner breakfast every once in awhile. We all know pancakes aren’t health food…
but even with that in mind, IHOP pancakes still contain a rather shocking amount of
sodium. The FDA recommends that you limit your sodium
intake to less than 2,300 milligrams a day. Well, if you devour five Original Buttermilk
Pancakes, you’re already at 2,260 milligrams for the day. Add a side of sausage or bacon and you’re
already over the limit for the entire day. “International House of Pancakes. Doo doo doo. International House of Pancakes…” Keep this in mind the next time IHOP has an
“All You Can Eat Pancakes” promotion. Are you sitting down? If you’re a big fan of IHOP’s buttermilk pancakes,
you may have a real hard time believing this one: IHOP’s pancakes don’t always come out
on top when put to the test against other popular pancakes. Sad but true. Spoon University conducted a thorough taste
test using pancakes from Denny’s and IHOP to see which one was the most delicious, in
the most scientific sense. Writer Carolyn Ho explained, “We […] critiqued the pancakes value based
on our rubric of Taste, Fluff & Chew Balance, Syrup Complementary, Golden-Brownness, and
Pizazz.” IHOP pancakes weren’t exactly trounced, but
Denny’s managed to edge them out by two whole points. As Carolyn Ho concluded: “Every bite of Denny’s pancake had the girth
of chew and fluff that reminded us why this griddle-cooked treat is a classic. Though IHOP was straight up cake-like, both
had great flavors with a hint of vanilla and not overly sweet.” Ok, so it wasn’t exactly a crushing defeat. And for what it’s worth, Spoon University
did rank IHOP’s sweeter treats over Denny’s, with the chain’s Mexican Tres Leches and English
Sticky Toffee pancakes beating Denny’s versions. Consumer Reports also sampled buttermilk pancakes
from IHOP, Denny’s, Cracker Barrel, and Perkins, among others. Unfortunately, IHOP’s famous stack didn’t
win that taste test, either. Tod Marks of Consumer Reports wrote: “The IHOP pancakes looked better than they
tasted. As the pancakes cooled, they became kind of
tough.” Ultimately, Cracker Barrel and Perkins were
the big winners here. You may ultimately disagree with these results…
but to each their own. Light, fluffy pancakes couldn’t possibly be
offensive, right? Wrong. It turns out IHOP’s social media team managed
to offend lots of people with their 2019 Mother’s Day tweet, which featured — you guessed
it — a stack of pancakes. But it wasn’t just a stack of pancakes — it
was a mockup of a sonogram image… of light, fluffy pancakes. The tweet read: “If you have pancakes in your tum tum, does
that make you a pancake mum mum? Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the moms out there!” The backlash was swift. “Well, people have reacted with disgust. They’re even calling the social media marketing
ploy creeeeppy…” Social media users were indeed taken aback
by the insinuation that babies grow in the, quote, “tum tum.” Some people thought the tweet was ignorant. Others found the whole thing just really insensitive,
especially considering the country’s ongoing debate about reproductive rights. One tweet read: “I feel comfortable enough in my medical training
thus far to confirm that the uterus is NOT in fact connected to the GI tract.” Another read: “IHOP weighs into the most controversial space
in American politics in the last 50 years.” Let it suffice to say, this particular post
missed the mark — big time. It says it right there on IHOP’s official
website: “What’s better than pancakes? Free pancakes.” It’s hard to argue with that logic, and you
can get your hands on free pancakes several times a year, courtesy of IHOP. In order to get all your pancake perks, you’ll
have to sign up for MyHOP, which basically amounts to giving the chain your email address. You’ll get a freebie just for enrolling, and
you’ll also get a free stack on the anniversary of your enrollment each year, as well as on
your birthday. Are you willing to put up with some IHOP junk
mail in order to enjoy lots of free pancakes? You’ll also be privy to “members-only news,”
which is probably some… pretty exciting stuff? At the very least, you’ll be among the first
to know about all the latest IHOP publicity stunts. “IHOP says they’re changing their name once
again, teasing a name change, but instead of changing the letter, they’re just changing
what the ‘P’ stands for.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
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