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Dan Souza and Andrew Rea Discover How to Make a Massive Pancake

By Cook's Illustrated Published

Recreating the epic birthday pancakes from the 1989 film Uncle Buck takes an 8-foot-tall robot and lots of science.

What do robots and 32-inch-wide pancakes have in common? We’re at it again in the latest episode of our popular What’s Eating Dan? YouTube series—featuring Editor in Chief Dan Souza teaming up for the second time with YouTuber Andrew Rea from Binging with Babish. (Our first collaboration was about bagels—check out What’s Eating Dan: Bagels and Basics with Babish: Bagels.)

Their quest to recreate the epic birthday pancakes from the 1989 film, Uncle Buck, has them joining forces with the Autodesk Technology Center in Boston—a research and development workspace focused on innovation in architecture, engineering, and construction—to program a legendary 8-foot-tall, 959 pound,  pancake-flipping, ABB IRB 4600 robot for the culinary challenge. 

Dan and Andrew used our original recipe for Easy Pancakes, which makes 16 (4-inch) pancakes. In order to create three 32-inch pancakes, we multiplied the recipe by 25. That’s enough to make 400 regular-sized pancakes! 

Pancakes need butter, and big pancakes need a lot of it. To top our massive short stack, we made a 2-pound,½-inch-thick butter pat out of 7 sticks of butter using the technique from our Croissant recipe

Be sure to watch the fun (and the food science!) behind this massive breakfast delight.

Watch What's Eating Dan?: Dan Souza and Andrew Rea Make Pancakes with a Robot

Watch Binging with Babish: Pancakes from Uncle Buck (feat. Dan Souza and a Giant Robot)

Subscribe to America’s Test Kitchen’s YouTube page to catch more episodes of What’s Eating Dan, plus our latest kitchen and equipment tips. 

And make your own foolproof pancakes with our go-to recipe—don’t worry these ones are normal size. 

Recipe Easy Pancakes

Put down the box mix. You've got everything you need to make tall, fluffy pancakes in minutes.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.