I tried cooking pancakes in the air fryer, and the quick process made a delicious breakfast

Pancakes are surprisingly easy to prepare in the air fryer. Frank Olito / Insider
This was my first time trying to cook instant pancake mix in the air fryer.
At first I struggled to find a dish for the pancake batter.
But after less than five minutes in the air fryer, the pancakes were fluffy, thick, and tasty.
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When I first saw someone making pancakes in a hot air fryer on TikTok, I was extremely skeptical.
Pancakes. Masahisa Iketani / Getty Images
I grew up eating pancakes in the mornings most weekends, but these days I rarely cook the delicious breakfast. On the weekends it can now seem too daunting to mix the batter and try to get the perfect pancake on the stove.
That's why I was shocked when I saw a viral TikTok where a user named Air Fryer Guy was making pancakes in a hot air fryer quickly and easily. When I saw the video I had a lot of questions, most importantly, will this really work? I doubted you could get a perfect, fluffy pancake in a hot air fryer, so I decided to try it for myself.
At first I wanted to make the pancakes from scratch, but I decided to make the process as easy as possible.
Pancake mix in the store. Frank Olito / Insider
When I googled "pancakes in a hot air fryer", hundreds of pancake recipes came up. I thought about following one and buying all the ingredients I needed, but finally changed my mind. I wanted to see how easy I can make this process so I decided to buy an instant pancake mix instead.
While I was in the supermarket, I discovered Bisquicks Shake 'n Pour, which you can use to mix the pancake batter in the little yellow bottle. That means there is no need to wash dishes. I thought it couldn't be easier.
While in the store I realized that I needed something to hold the pancake batter while it was in the air fryer - I came up with a creative solution.
Graham cracker crust tins. Frank Olito / Insider
While reading the air fryer pancake instructions on various blogs, I learned that I needed a container for the pancake batter. The containers had to be small, round, and ovenproof. Some recipes recommended buying creme brulee dishes, but the grocery store I went to didn't have any.
I was frantically looking for something similar in the aisles and came across Keebler's mini graham cracker crust tin cups.
I only needed the cans so when I got home I tried to remove the crusts.
The broken crust. Frank Olito / Insider
Fortunately, the crust peeled off the cans easily with the help of a fork. I saved the crumbled crust to use as a topping for a future dessert so it wouldn't be wasted.
Next, I added water and oat milk to the bisquick pancake mixture.
The shake 'n pour batter was easy. Frank Olito / Insider
Although the instructions only aim to add water, I decided to add some oat milk in the hopes that it would make the pancakes thicker and more fluffy.
After shaking the container for 30 seconds, I had a thick pancake mixture ready. I was shocked at how easy it was to prepare and I was especially glad that there were no dishes to clean.
After greasing the small tin containers, I poured the pancake mixture in.
The pancake batter in the tin cups. Frank Olito / Insider
If an item isn't heavy, it sometimes moves around due to the built-in fans in the air fryer. I experienced it trying to make grilled cheese in the air fryer and the bread flew around.
This time I was afraid that the tin cups would fly around and throw pancake batter all over the place. I decided to add a few chocolate chips to make the cups heavier and stay in place.
Finally, I put the first two pancakes in the air fryer at 375 degrees and after five minutes they were done.
The pancakes in the air fryer. Frank Olito / Insider
After waiting five minutes, I was relieved that the metal cups didn't move in the air fryer. I was also surprised to see that the pancakes were puffed up and a dark golden brown.
Even though they were only in for five minutes, I realized I had gratinated them.
I decided to make a second batch of pancakes and left them in for a shorter time.
The finished pancakes. Frank Olito / Insider
After just 3 minutes, I took the second batch out of the air fryer and they were perfectly cooked and crispy on the edge.
The pancakes were surprisingly thick and fluffy.
The pancakes were thick and fluffy. Frank Olito / Insider
The pancakes were fluffy on the inside and crispy on the edges, which makes for the perfect bite.
Although I was skeptical at first, I found that cooking pancakes in the air fryer is an efficient way to make a great breakfast.
I would make these pancakes again. Frank Olito / Insider
While cooking pancakes in a hot air fryer may seem counter-intuitive, it all worked out. I found cooking dishes that worked and figured out how to weight them down so they don't get blown around in the air fryer.
Fortunately, the result was delicious, fluffy pancakes. But next time I might invest in a bigger cooking tray so I can bake bigger pancakes.
Otherwise, this is a great and easy way to make breakfast and I can definitely imagine doing it again on a Saturday morning.
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