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They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for many families, pancakes are reserved only for special occasions. If you’re making them from scratch, they can be time-consuming and difficult to get just right.
Luckily, there are lots of pre-made mixes that can make the job easier and make a weekend treat into an everyday ritual.
So how do these formulas stack up against the original and each other? In this Bisquick pancake mix review, we’ll answer that question.
We’ll give you details on everything you need to know about the product including the ingredients, how to use it, and what makes it different from your alternatives. We’ll compare it against some main competitors, and then give you a final verdict based on the quality, price, user reviews and taste tests to help you decide if it’s right for you.
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What Is Bisquick Pancake Mix and How Does It Work?
A Betty Crocker product, which is a subsidiary of food manufacturing giant General Mills, Bisquick Pancake Mix has been a household staple since the 1930’s.
The multi-purpose powder has all the ingredients you need to be a foundation of dozens of recipes, including pancakes.
As well as a few other additives to preserve the blend and eliminate the need for refrigeration.
Nutritionally, a serving is 1/3 of a cup, and it contains 150 calories, three grams of fat, 28 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of protein.
Bisquick can be used to make everything from bread to scones to pizza crust, and in a traditional pancake recipe, you’ll combine two cups of the mix with one cup of milk and two eggs to get the right consistency.
Stir all of the ingredients together making sure to whisk the milk and eggs, but to leave the batter a bit lumpy. If you eliminate all of the clumps, then your pancakes will come out thin and sometimes rubbery. Leaving some of the pieces together allows the cakes to leaven as you grill them and makes them fluffier.
Next, pour the batter onto a skillet or griddle that’s preheated to around 375 degrees. Make sure that it’s greased with either a little shortening or cooking spray so that the mixture doesn’t stick when it’s time to flip.
If you use around 1/4 cup to make your pancake, you’ll need to cook for one to two minutes on each side to get a golden brown color. You’ll know it’s time to flip because bubbles will start to form in the batter and the edges will get dry.
Pancakes are best served warm, and you can top them with a variety of tasty ingredients. Traditional favorites include butter and syrup, fresh berries, or whipped cream.
What Makes Bisquick Pancake Mix Unique
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Bisquick was developed back in the 1930’s and was a product that revolutionized cooking and baking. At the time, pre-packed mixes that eliminated steps in the kitchen and make it simple to make cakes, biscuits, cookies, and pancakes didn’t exist.
Although times have changed, the core product has remained nearly the same which goes to show that General Mills got it right the first time.
Other than being the original pancake mix, there are a few different ways that Bisquick stands out from its competitors. Here’s what you need to know.
When comparing Bisquick to other alternatives, we would be remiss if we didn’t consider made-from-scratch batter as the top competition.
If you’re a purist, the chances are good that you won’t ever find a mix that lives up to your high standards. However, if you want to save time in the kitchen each morning, you can’t beat the efficiency Bisquick provides.
In less than a minute you can have everything measured out and mixed together. It would take several times that just to gather the ingredients to make a batch from scratch.
In addition, because all of the dry elements in Bisquick are already pre-portioned, you won’t have to worry about a measurement mishap. It’s impossible for your cakes to come out too dry, too fluffy, or too salty because the ingredients are already perfected.
Sometimes you pay for more convenience, but that’s not the case with this product. Even once you factor in the cost of the milk and eggs you need for the recipe, Bisquick and scratch pancakes come out to nearly the same price per serving.
It’s also one of the more economical mixes when compared to other pre-packaged brands in the market.
It Has Trans-Fats
Not all of the things that make Bisquick unique are favorable, and unfortunately, there is one ingredient that stands out on the label of which you need to be aware.
Although this mix is a lower sugar option than many of its competitors, it does contain hydrogenated oils in the blend. They serve to give it a longer shelf-life and stabilize the product, but they’re not without potential side effects.
Hydrogenated oils, which are more popularly known as trans fats, have been shown to have the potential to increase your LDL cholesterol. This is the bad kind, and high levels can impact your heart health and could lead to serious concerns over time.
The nutrition label shows zero grams of trans fats, which is because the amount in one serving of dry mix is low enough that it does not need to be listed. However, when you see any type of hydrogenated oil on the label, you know that it includes this potentially dangerous compound.
It Tastes Like Homemade
Although there are a plethora of complete pancake mixes on the market that only require you to add water, many users report these as lacking the flavor and consistency that you want in a high-quality product.
Because Bisquick needs both milk and eggs to make the recipe, you’ll get a tastier batter with a thicker consistency and better color that leads to a delicious finished product.
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It's Not Just a Pancake Mix
Bisquick started off as a product that helped you to whip up a batch of biscuits in no time, and eventually, Betty Crocker started adding recipes for other uses, like pancakes.
Today, the combination of flour, salt, baking powder, and shortening is a starter for hundreds of meal possibilities.
On the Betty Crocker website, you’ll find ideas for everything from savory Chicken and Biscuits to sweet peach fritters, and popular bloggers and foodies have expanded these traditional offerings to give you ingenious creations like tortillas or gnocchi all from this simple mix.
If you’re someone who likes having multi-purpose ingredients stocked in your pantry, Bisquick is a good one to always have on hand.
It's Made in the USA
Like many General Mills products, Bisquick is both produced and packaged in the USA. All of the ingredients are sourced in the states and therefore abide by the rigorous food safety protocols enforced by the FDA.
Box Tops for Education
Box Tops for Education is a General Mills program that strives to support education and the American school systems. It began as a pet project back in 1996 when the company started putting the box top logo on cereal boxes. Families could clip the tops off and turn them in at their schools to earn the funds to buy supplies.
The program was incredibly successful. By 2006, Box tops were located on nearly every General Mills-branded item, including non-food brands like Kleenex and Ziplock, and over 100,000 schools across the country were participating in the program.
Today, the company has given over $868 million to schools who have collected and redeemed the Box Tops for cash. Bisquick pancake mix is one of the hundreds of products that carries a redeemable top, and by purchasing it, you have an opportunity to give back to your community.
Bisquick is a product that’s well-loved by its fans. It’s been around for so long and has been a breakfast staple in some families for generations. Many users say it reminds them of happy childhood memories.
According to General Mills, the idea was born in 1930 abroad a train ride on the Southern Pacific Railroad. An executive, Carl Smith, was craving an order of freshly baked biscuits during his trip from Portland, Oregon to San Fransisco and requested them from the kitchen.
When they arrived much faster than expected, he spoke with the chef on board who revealed his secret. He had pre-mixed the ingredients ahead of time and stored them in the cooler which cut down the prep time and made the quick delivery possible.
Smith brought the concept back to the company, and after lots of trial and error, a new era of baking was born.
Today, the mix is still known for producing a delicious buttery flavor, the perfect texture, and golden brown cakes that are a family favorite.
How It Compares
Bisquick isn’t the only packaged pancake mix you can buy. There are dozens of competitors, including some specialty brands that feature healthy, vegan, or gluten-free ingredients. We’ve compared of the most popular, and a few notes on flavor, price, and user reviews about how they stack up.
[amazon link=”B005IFYQBG” title=”Hungry Jack Buttermilk Mix ” /]
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This all-in-one mix includes the eggs and powdered milk in the ingredients, and all you need to add is water. As a pancake and waffle-specific product, you can’t use it in as many versatile ways as you can Bisquick.
From a flavor standpoint, people say it has a very buttery taste that is a bit sweeter than the Bisquick blend. The cakes cook up fluffy, and waffles made in an iron are crispy outside with a cake-like texture inside.
[amazon link=”B00ID0PQEE” title=”Aunt Jemima Original Mix ” /]
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If you prefer a sweeter, denser pancake, then Aunt Jemima’s Original Mix might be right for you. It has more sugar than Bisquick, and it requires you to mix it with milk, oil, and eggs to get the texture right.
[amazon link=”B000QCLEB6″ title=”Krusteaz Buttermilk Mix ” /]
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Another option that only requires you to add water, Krusteaz pancakes cook up with a cake-like texture that is a bit more vanilla-heavy than the competition. They also have more salt than the Bisquick blend, and some people say that you might notice it in the aftertaste.
[amazon link=”B0090RK9Y6″ title=” Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Pancake & All Purpose Baking Mix” /]
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If you’re looking for a healthy alternative that doesn’t have any hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or preservatives, then Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Pancake & All Purpose Baking Mix might be a great choice.
Like Bisquick, you can use it as a starter to make more than just pancakes, and it makes a thick and dense hotcake.
What We Think
If you’re looking for a quick an easy mix that lets you whip up a batch of pancakes in the time it takes to heat your girdle, Bisquick is an excellent choice.
The product has an over 80-year history, which means it’s been a family favorite for generations. The hotcakes are flavorful and fluffy, and the product is versatile which makes it an economical pantry staple.
Coupons and Deals
Both General Mills and Betty Crocker offer regular coupons and special pricing on their products which makes it worth it to shop the sales.
Check out the weekly in-store and online ads at your local grocer where you might find discount coupons or buy one get one free opportunities. You can also look for savings opportunities with food delivery services.
Finally, if you want to stock up and save big, shop at bulk retailers like Costco or Sams to get the best deals on your price per ounce. Just make sure you store the product as directed to preserve freshness.