I cook pancakes for my kids most mornings, and the griddle takes a little while to heat up. If you look around for articles on how to know when your pan is hot enough you'll see people suggest dropping in a little water and seeing how it behaves. The problem is, this requires you to be paying attention and guessing when it is about right to test. I'm trying to do a lot of different things in the morning, and don't want to allocate so much attention here. Instead, I put the water in at the beginning:

Once the pan heats up, the water starts to sizzle: the temperature is almost high enough:

The noise acts like an alarm, reminding me to stop unloading the dishwasher or whatever and continue with the pancakes.

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I really enjoy these nice little slice of life posts. 

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