Pancake Batter in Ketchup Bottles? January 28, 2010Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
Tags: Boy Scouts, Campouts, Cub Scouts, Outdoors, Scout Leaders, Training, Webelos
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!
– Scouter Jeff <><