The Pitch: "The world's first spatula-free pancake maker"
March 2009. The Perfect Pancake, according to the manufacturer, is the world's first spatula-free pancake maker. The design is simple: a shallow, nonstick pan with a hinged, slightly convex lid. No spatula is required -- just flip the whole pan over and you'll have "perfect" pancakes. However, the majority of user reviews we found are consistently critical, stating the Perfect Pancake is a big disappointment. For starters, many consumers say, the nonstick surface isn't exactly nonstick, and the batter spills out of the small sides of the maker, creating a mess. Other reviewers say the Perfect Pancake is too time-consuming to be worthwhile, because you can only make one pancake at a time.
On the other hand, some reviewers say the Perfect Pancake is easy to use and very lightweight. A few reviewers praise the product for being kid-friendly and well suited for families that like to cook together. Others say the Perfect Pancake does a better job of making thick and fluffy pancakes than using a pan and spatula. Still, the balance of reviews indicate that the Perfect Pancake is a good idea that's not really worth the trouble.
Many sites, such as InfomercialRatings.com, Epinions.com, MrBreakfast.com, and AsSeenOnTVCritic.com contain a wealth of professional and consumer feedback, both positive and negative. Testers also weigh in at Cook's Illustrated magazine and KOMO, a Seattle TV station.
1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Editors at Cook's Illustrated magazine (a publication known for rigorous and balanced testing) tries out the Perfect Pancake with a healthy dose of skepticism in this brief review. The results are less than perfect, with editors complaining primarily about the amount of time it takes to cook a single flapjack with the Perfect Pancake. The editors suggest using a high-quality nonstick skillet instead of the Perfect Pancake.
Review: The Perfect Pancake, Editors of Cook's Illustrated, July 2003
2. KOMO-TV (Seattle)
Connie Thompson follows a Perfect Pancake owner as he tries the product for the first time. The consumer complains that flipping the pan results in batter spilling. With some practice, he is able to produce the ideal pancake, but he adds that he's not sure the Perfect Pancake is worth the price. Thompson notes that viewers who have tried the Perfect Pancake say they too have trouble flipping the pancake without the batter spilling.
Review: Perfect Pancakes?, Connie Thompson, Aug. 31, 2006
This user-review site, which features ratings for many infomercial products, contains about a dozen reviews for the Perfect Pancake. The majority of owners give the Perfect Pancake a negative rating of just one or two stars out of a possible five. Many users complain that when you flip the Perfect Pancake, the batter splatters out the sides between the lid and the pan. They also note that only one side of the pan heats up at a time, so the pancakes take a long time to cook. Another common complaint is that the product is poorly made. On the positive side, some reviewers say the heart-shaped batter ring and the batter dispenser are great additions to the Perfect Pancake.
Review: The Perfect Pancake Reviews, Contributors to InfomercialRatings.com
More than 35 Perfect Pancake owners at Epinions review the product, giving it an overall rating of just two stars (five stars is a perfect rating). Negative reviews focus on the poor quality of the product and the amount of time it takes to cook one pancake. Others say the Perfect Pancake doesn't flip and the pan easily scratches. Some users say the product is easy for children to use and the Perfect Pancake works better when cooking eggs than pancakes.
Review: The Perfect Pancake, Contributors to Epinions.com
MrBreakfast.com reviews all things breakfast and gives "golden eggs" as a rating. The user reviews are both positive and negative, with more than half of owner complaints claiming the batter sticks to the pan and the product is poorly made. The positive comments include the size and heartiness of the pancakes and that the Perfect Pancake also makes great sandwiches, such as tuna melts and grilled cheese.
Review: Perfect Pancake Maker, Contributors to MrBreakfast.com
AsSeenOnTVCritic.com editors test the Perfect Pancake by making pancakes, a process that results in their calling the device "perfectly useless" and "a major disappointment." The unnamed reviewer notes that the instructions caution users to cook only on medium heat or lower, so each pancake takes seven minutes to cook and the pancake batter sticks to the pan. On the positive side, the reviewer does say the included batter dispenser is "OK." A few user reviews are also available on the site, all of them critical.
Review: Perfect Pancake, Editors of and contributors to AsSeenOnTVCritic.com