Waffle Makers Buying Guide

Forget frozen waffles! Don't be ashamed, but you simply deserve better.  Why not use one of the fanciest kitchen appliances  ever invented: the waffle maker?  Actually, waffle makers have come a long way since their patent in 1869.  Thanks to those who demanded innovation in the waffle maker,  you can now easily churn out delicious near-perfect waffles that don't taste like your freezer .  Use the guide below to keep your waffle craving (or addiction) satisfied:

Differences in Waffle Makers

Generally, waffle makers can be placed into three different categories:

Waffle Iron

Waffle irons  are the most economical type of waffle maker, plus there are no complicated settings.  Simply pour in the batter and press the two handles together. What could be easier?

"Traditional" Waffle Maker

These waffle makers  will give you near perfect waffles in minutes. "Traditional" waffles are not quite as thick as Belgian waffles. Most griddles are non-stick.

Belgian Waffle Maker

Belgian waffle makers  are perhaps the most popular type of waffle maker. Their deep griddles make a thick cake-like waffle. Most are non-stick. Are you hungry yet?

Features to Consider

This is where many waffle making novices have trouble.  Waffle makers are available in countless varieties and not knowing what to look for can be a bit frustrating. Consider your preferences and answer these questions so you don't hinder your progress towards waffle bliss:

  • Indicators: What types of controls do you prefer?
    • Most, if not all waffle makers have different types of indicators to tell you the waffle iron is hot enough, if the power is on or off, and/or if the waffle is done.
    • There are no particular advantages to each, but be sure to choose a style you can understand.
  • Temperature Settings: Buttons or knobs?
    • Many waffle makers allow you to adjust the temperature, so you can make 'darker' or 'lighter' waffles. Some control temperature by knob, while others have some sort of digital thermostat.
    • Knob controls allow you to fine-tune the temperature to make a waffle just how you want it.
    • Buttons and pre-set temperatures (light, medium, dark) are great for someone who appreciates simplicity. Set it, and forget it.
  • Shape: What shape do you like your waffles?
    • Simple like squares and circles, or something with more depth, like Mickey Mouse  or heart-shaped? This most difficult decision is up to you!
  • Capacity: How many waffles would you like to make at a time?
    • A waffle maker that can make 2 or 4 waffles at time is more practical for those who frequently eat with others.
    • Single waffle makers are great for people who occasionally make waffles.
  • Griddles: Do you enjoy messy clean-ups? Nobody does!
    • Look for a waffle maker with removable griddles and make cleaning up a snap. Some griddles are even dishwasher-safe .
    • Some waffle makers sell interchangeable griddles for sandwich or panini making. Very convenient.

Top Selling Waffle Makers

These are some the top-selling waffle makers available now.  Note the differences in style:

The Waring Pro  features:

  • Extra-deep pockets.
  • Rotary feature produces crisp crust and soft interior; browning control knob.
  • Audio beep tone and LED indicators for "power" and "ready" provide foolproof performance.
  • Brushed stainless-steel housing and brushed die-cast base.

The VillaWare Uno Belgian Waffler  features:

  • 7 setting browning control.
  • On / off and ready to bake lights.
  • Non stick coating.
  • Cord wrap.

The Presto FlipSide Waffle Maker  features:

  • Flips 180 degrees to evenly spread batter for waffles.
  • Non-stick interior wipes clean.
  • Locks in vertical position to save space.
  • Brushed stainless steel exterior.

The Hamlton Beach Restaurant Style Belgian Waffle Baker  features:

  • Fast-flip design makes thick, restaurant-style Belgian waffles.
  • Cool touch handle and indicator lights.
  • Upright storage design.
  • Non-stick interior.

The Chef's Choice Waffle Pro Classic Belgian Waffle Maker  features:

  • Cooks waffles in less than 90 seconds.
  • Quad Baking System selects fast or deep bake, texture, and colour.
  • Floating hinge maintains thickness.
  • Beeps when done.
  • Overflow channel wipes clean; stores upright.

The KitchenAid ProLine Waffle Baker  features:

  • Bakes 2 gourmet-quality Belgian waffles in less than 5 minutes.
  • Heavy-duty stainless-steel construction; non-stick waffle plates; simple controls.
  • Clamshell-baking unit rotates for superb consistency; "over bake" indicator.
  • Cool Reach design; auto shut-off; constant baking temperature; digital countdown timer.

The Krups Expert Waffle Maker with Rotary System  features:

  • Rotates for perfect baking.
  • Deep removable non-stick plates make 2 thick Belgium waffles.
  • Variable thermostat adjusts browning to all preferences.
  • Drip tray collects batter overflow.
  • Insulated handle collapses for storage.

Rome's Old Fashioned Waffle Iron , Cast Iron features:

  • Traditional Waffle Iron for outstanding flavour.
  • Perfect for stove top or open flame cooking.
  • Cast Iron for sturdy, long-lasting construction.

How to Make a Great Waffle

Now that you have chosen a waffle maker that suits you, why not put it to good use? Here are some tips to help you make sure your next batch of waffles is delicious instead of a disaster:

  • The secret to making waffles that don't stick to the griddle is in the batter.
    • If your waffles are constantly sticking to the griddle, try increasing the amount (just a bit) of butter or oil in your recipe.
    • Although most waffle makers are non-stick, a batter too low in butter or oil will be tougher to pop out of the griddle.
  • Don't over-mix the batter.
    • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula .
    • The consistency should be sightly thick but smooth, not too thin like pancake batter.
  • Don't open the waffle maker too early.
    • If your waffle maker does not feature a "done" indicator, lift the lid a small amount to check if the waffle is done before opening all the way.
    • Watch the steam coming out of the unit as you cook. When the steam stops, lift the lid.
  • Be creative with toppings.
    • Try fresh fruit or berries for breakfast.
    • Add a scoop of ice cream for a remarkable dessert.
  • Enjoy yourself!
    • If you make a few waffles that aren't perfect, no worries. Chances are, they will still taste great!

Cleaning Your Waffle Maker

Overdid your waffle fix and thinking of heading to the gym to erase the guilt? Not so fast!  Be sure to clean your waffle maker so it always works as it did when you first got it.  Here are a few suggestions on how to clean your waffle maker. Look on the bright side--at least cleaning burns calories.

  • NEVER:
    • Clean a waffle maker while its still hot.
    • Use abrasive cleaners.
    • Use metal objects to scrape out batter.
    • Submerge your waffle maker in water.
    • Use paper towels to wipe up batter.
    • Use soft-bristled brushes to clean edges.
    • Wipe down the waffle maker after each use to prevent over-time build up.

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