Pancakes aren't the only thing you can make with that pancake mix sitting in your pantry. Most commercial pancake mixes contain flour premixed with baking powder, oil and salt, making it a useful shortcut for baking or cooking other foods. In particular, pancake mix works well for flouring or creating a batter for food you plan to fry, like fried chicken and onion rings. The oil helps the batter stick well and the baking powder causes it to slightly puff up as it cooks, creating a thick, crispy coating. Whether savory or sweet, you can fry just about anything with pancake mix.
Pour the pancake mix into a bowl and add enough water to make a thick batter. You can use any type of pancake mix you prefer, including the "complete" kinds of pancake mix. You do not need to add eggs to the batter.
Season the batter to your liking, based on what you plan to deep fry. If you are deep-frying savory foods like chicken, sprinkle in salt, pepper and other seasonings of your choice, such as garlic powder, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper. If you are deep-frying sweet foods like apple fritters, add seasonings such as cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.
Coat the prepared food item in the pancake mix using tongs. All sides should be fully coated. Lightly shake the coated food to let any excess batter fall off, then carefully place it in the hot oil to fry for the appropriate amount of time. The food items should be ready when the batter has told golden brown and crispy.
Cover any pancake batter you do not plan to use right away with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to two days. Discard any batter that you have already dredged raw meat into immediately, as it is could be contaminated with bacteria from the raw meat.