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Pancake Batter in Ketchup Bottles? January 28, 2010

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hello fellow Scouters,

Recently, MSN.com ran an article on new uses for old items. One of the things they showcased was using ketchup bottles for pancake batter (see #5 on their list). When I saw this, I immediately wondered if that would be useful in a camping situation. I could see the benefits: pre-measured mix, easy to transport, and easy to pour. Just add water, shake, and pour on your camp griddle. But would it work? The only way was to put it to the test!

We are big pancake fans around my house, and my recent Cub Scout den were pancake fans as well. When I go camping, I’ve always used those Bisquick “Shake N Pour ” pancake shakers, because they are so convenient. But when you look at it as cost per ounce, the Bisquick shakers run around $0.23 per ounce when on sale, while a box mix of Krusteaz runs around $0.09 per ounce. So clearly, a pancake mix like Krusteaz is a better bargain (if you couldn’t already tell, I’m an accountant by trade).

To test this, I used a ketchup bottle we had (which was 36 oz). I took out the small silicone stopper around the pour spout, and ran the bottle and cap through the dishwasher, with no-heat drying, to clean it out. I knew that this ketchup bottle could hold approx. 4 cups of pancake mix and liquid with room for air (36 oz. divided by 8 fluid ounces per cup). So I used 2 cups of pancake mix to start.

When I went to add the mix, I found that it was very hard to get the 2 cups of pancake mix into the ketchup bottle! I tried a funnel we had in the kitchen, and it took a long time to get the mix in. To try to speed things up, I tried making a funnel out of tin foil, then a paper towel tube. None of them worked really well. Once the mix was in, I marked the line with a Sharpie so I could add it again with out using a measuring cup. (I also added the number of pancakes the bottle would make).

Next, I added the water, based on the directions on the box for 2 cups of the mix. And again I marked the line for future use. Of course, I forgot that pancake mix contains baking soda, and when shook the bottle and opened up the cap, I had a mini pancake mix explosion! Next time I tapped the bottle on the counter before opening it.

The pancake mix was fairly easy to pour. Occasionally a lump of mix clogged it up, and I had to push it back with a pointed knife. But it was pretty easy to make them this way, as long as your batter is not too thick. They made a great pancake breakfast!

So is this method a great new way to bring your pancake mix to a campout? For me, I would say no. I can see how having some ketchup bottles with pancake mix ready to go would be convenient.  But I found the hassles outweighed the benefits. First, the ketchup bottles should be completely dry before you put in the dry pancake mix. So that’s a bit of a hassle, albeit a small one. But the “deal killer” for me was that it was a real pain to get the dry pancake mix in. It just wasn’t an easy process.

So I would vote “thumbs down” to this idea from MSN.com. But feel free and try it for yourself. Since this will reduce dirty dishes at your next campout, and is very easy to pour on your camp griddle, it might be worth it. And the ketchup bottles are convenient since they take up less room in your camp kitchen box than the box of mix itself. With the ability to measure out the mix, you bring exactly what you need to a campout, which is always good.

Whatever you decide, make sure you and your boys are out camping. Spring is coming, and the outdoors are calling!

In Scouting,

 – Scouter Jeff <><



1. Melissa - January 28, 2010

Thanks for the review. Definitely not something I want to try!

2. Lisa - January 28, 2010

Why not pre-mix the pancake batter and THEN add it to the bottle? The batter keeps a few days if it’s refrigerated. If you are car camping – weight doesn’t matter. (Don’t know that I’d do it backpacking though.) Lots of folks put pancake in squeeze bottles to have a little fun with it. Not that I have time when Cub camping… but at home you can make letters, shapes and simple drawings with the batter.

3. thetrainerscorner - January 28, 2010

Hi Lisa,

Not a bad idea, as long as it’s not too hard to get the bottle. I might have to try that! Any excuse for making pancakes 🙂

-Scouter Jeff

4. Kevin Devin - January 30, 2010

I gave this one a whirl the other evening… unless you REALLY get ALL of the lumps out of the batter, boy is this a pain in the rear. Great thought, just too difficult to execute to make it worth while.

5. thetrainerscorner - January 30, 2010

I agree! That’s why it has a “no” vote for me 🙂

Good in theory, but doesn’t cut the mustard (OK, I couldn’t resist!)

6. Adam - February 19, 2010

Well on tuesday it was pancake day, and my family used something like this. However, we bought the mix already in a bottle and it was more like a milk bottle – easy to pour!!

These would be awesome on camp!

7. Lisa - February 19, 2010

We did the same on Tuesday. I didn’t have a ketchup bottle – just a regular squeeze bottle. This difference was that it didn’t have that “no drip” spout – just a regular squeeze bottle opening.

My son and I got a little creative. See the photos here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2032924&id=1143131082&l=df1f579487

He made a cool goldfish, but let’s just say it was yummy.

8. David - May 1, 2010

It’s not cheap, but if you want pancakes out of a can without the hassle, try Batter Blaster (http://www.batterblaster.com/). Premixed organic pancake batter ready to go.

9. Hull John - August 11, 2012

Have we forgot the amazing funnel invention :D!?

10. crystal - April 10, 2013

I pre made the mix and it was not hard at all to get it in, i used a large measuring cup with spout and held it over the clean ketchup bottle and it poured in no mess at all, do not hold right next to it, make sure to hold it a few inches above and pour in, works great!
I have a toddler and he would eat pancakes everyday 3 times a day if i let him so this is a huge time saver for me and i will be making up a couple bottles for camping in a month or so as well.

11. Hend - August 16, 2013

We tried this and it works great. However, normal funnels are too thin for the dry pancake mix, I could tell that by looking at it. (For years I’ve been using old large Gold Peak tea bottles to store and pour cat and dog food. I cut a plastic water bottle in half, and used the top half as a wide mouth funnel and the bottom half as a scoop.) I made another water bottle funnel for the dry pancake mix – which takes all of 10 seconds to do. Works perfect.

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