Push button, receive pancake

Because the human brain is easily impressed with gadgetry, I give you an automatic pancake-making machine—as photographed by my friend Shav, who received his breakfast from it this morning.

A similar system showed up on Engadget back in 2009. That model cost $3500 and could produce pancakes, bag-of-batter to golden deliciousness, at a rate of 200 per hour.

Thanks to Keith for finding the Engadget link!


          1. @mistwolf:disqus Pikelets are crumpets!

            They are, however, also delicious.

            Seriously though, @Antinous are you genuinely the one person on the planet that doesn’t enjoy pancakes?

    1. It says “Press OK for 1”. What are the other options? Continue to press OK for unending supply? Jab OK for a small 1? Press OK repeatedly and impatiently to get 1 faster? Press OK after consuming 1 to make machine feel validated?

  1. Cannot…stop…pushing…button…

    God, it’s like one of those frightening experiments where they wire the pleasure centers of a rat’s brain to a button in its cage.  Although instead of finding my corpse starved and dehydrated lying on the button, I’d look a bit more like Terry Jones in The Meaning of Life.

  2. They’re surprisingly easy to reload and the pancakes are gluten free/all natural. My employer brought one of these in for a test run. Leave it to us americans to make a machine to spit out pancakes at the push of a button. 

      1. The ones I’ve seen have sealed bags of pre-mixed batter.  I would assume they are sold or licensed by the manufacturer, under a razor-blade business model.

        If indeed they were gluten-free, it would have been really nice if the hotel had put up a sign to that effect next to the machine – my wife and mother in law could have had some too had we but knowed…

    1. i loves me some un-natural pancake! (“dude! that’s not an ‘un-natural pancake’… it’s a preternatural!”)

    2.  I’m surprised by the assertions of “gluten free” and “all natural”.  If you’re using the standard mix for these machines, the first ingredient is “enriched bleached wheat flour”, which contains gluten, and a whole bunch of other typical American processed bakery product ingredients, few of which I’d call “all natural”.

      It’s possible that you’re using some other mix, and pancakes can usually function adequately without gluten holding them together, but the standard bag is highly unlikely to be gluten-free.

  3. Were they at a Holiday Inn Express in Bloomsburg, PA by any chance? I was there for a wedding a few weeks ago and it looks EXACTLY like that. 

    1. That pic gives even more pleasure. Not only “Please Do Not Open” but also “Please Dont Open”. Perhaps forgivable because those labels appear not to have been part of the original machine.

      But it has everyone’s favorite, quotes-for-emphasis, stamped into the metal. Press OK “Once” For Single Service.

    2. I think these must be a common thing to Holiday Inn Express.  My wife and I stayed at one in either VA or WV and they had one of these.  I mean they weren’t as good as I can make from scratch, but for something that takes a minute to come out hot and ready they weren’t bad.

  4. They have pretty good do-it-yourself waffle machines at hotels and have for a while.  It’s a trick to serve a hot breakfast without upping the staff.

    1. Yeah, the pancake machine wouldn’t be as fun as the waffle machines!

      There was one of these at the student center at IUPUI 

      It worked very well, but, the batter was pretty bland. And I like mine a little more well done that the pre-set timer would allow for, so I just left mine in for another minute or two.

      It would also make a pretty good mess even if you filled the batter cup to the set mark. The time spent cleaning up is probably the reason they removed it.

  5. Those machines that make mini-donuts at fairs work much the same way. Half the fun is watching your donuts being made. This machine seems to take some of the fun out of it.

  6. This is the perfect compliment to those bacon dispensing machines I always see in public restrooms!

    1.  it says nice things about bacon dispensing machines or did you mean “complement”?  :)

    1. Reminds me of something i have seen been used to heat burger buns. Basically you slip each half in at the top, and they come sliding out at the bottom nice and toasty.

    2. Reminds me of the toast conveyor belts you get in some hotels.

      I’ve also seen a much larger version used for making pizza.  They just seem so inefficient, half the heat must escape out of the front, but still, pizza on a conveyor belt.

  7. I tried one at a Holiday Inn Express in TX.   Though the pancake tasted fine, it came out in pieces.  Of course, the staff had no idea what to do except turn it off and report it broken.

    1. In an ideal world it would, when turned off, yell, “NO PANCAKES FOR YOU!”  whenever anyone came too close. Like one of those car alarms that tells you you’re too close to the car, but genuinely entertaining.

  8. just saw one at holiday inn express breakfast in savannah on monday. one sad pancake flopped out for the guy in front of me. he shrugged and made a could-be-worse noise.

      1.  IIRC from the HI Express I was at in Klamath Falls you get two pancakes per press of the button.

        Fun fact: traveling in California north of San Francisco is like playing Fallout 2!

  9. What’s fun is when the bag o’ batter runs dry – it makes a pancake ribbon instead of a pancake disk.  Or at least the one I got to use one morning was doing this.  They didn’t even have it plugged in the next morning.

  10. I like pancakes and love waffles, but unless they are really good, they just become a vehicle to carry the butter and syrup to my mouth.

  11. They taste just awful.  I am a road warrior in Texas and HI Ex is a hotel frequented in my travel zones.  They are flat, no rise whatsoever, lack any sort of flavor.  I try to stick to local eateries, but in a pinch, HI Ex breakfast will work.  Now their cinnamon roll, that is a different story…

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