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Expert Shopper Kitchen

Best waffle maker

Which waffle maker is best?

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, a waffle always seems to hit the spot. If you’re looking to indulge outside of your favorite waffle joint’s hours of operation, you’ll benefit from buying a waffle maker.

Waffle makers make it easy to whip up these fluffy, crispy delights in no time. They’re one of the most user-friendly small kitchen appliances around, not to mention they’re affordable. So, if you’re looking to invest in one for your home, consider a top choice like Cuisinart Rotating Waffle Maker. It makes Belgian-style waffles with deep pockets to hold plenty of butter and syrup. 

What to know before you buy a waffle maker

Types of waffles

More often than not, you’ll find waffle makers fall into three categories based on the types of waffles they make:

  • Belgian waffle makers create waffles with large, deep pockets that catch butter and syrup. These waffles are usually on the thicker side, too.
  • Regular waffle makers create waffles with much smaller pockets. They’re often thinner than Belgian waffles and are sometimes used as sandwich bread or burger buns. 
  • Novelty waffle makers create waffles in fun shapes, like rocket ships or cartoon characters. These waffles usually come out as thin as most regular waffles.

Waffle yield

Waffle yield refers to how many waffles you’ll get from a single batch. Personal waffle makers, for example, make one waffle at a time. On the other hand, deluxe waffle makers produce one large waffle with separation lines so you can pull it apart into smaller waffles. 

What to look for in a quality waffle maker

Cooking plates

Most modern waffle makers are equipped with non-stick cooking plates. These make it easy to retrieve waffles, and they’re easy to clean up after each use. It’s essential only to clean these non-stick plates and others, with non-abrasive sponges and products to avoid damaging their coatings. 

Indicator lights

Several waffle makers are equipped with indicator lights that let you know when the device is preheated or whether your waffle is done. Some models have a single light that turns off and on, whereas others display multicolor lights. More expensive waffle makers accompany these lights with a beeping or buzzing sound. 

Crispness settings

Some waffle aficionados are partial to specific crispness levels, in which case it’s a good idea to invest in waffle makers with this feature. These models have adjustable dials that offer anywhere from three to 10 crispness levels. As expected, crispness settings are considered a premium feature, so these waffle makers arrive at the top of the price range. 

Safety features

It’s common for waffle makers to have a few safety features, though it’s not standard across all models. Here’s what you can expect to find:

  • Cool-to-touch lids or handles to prevent burned fingers when retrieving waffles.
  • Automatic shutoff turns off the waffle maker when it has been idle for a designated amount of time.
  • Locking lid mechanisms may prevent little handers from getting into waffle makers while they’re in use. 

How much you can expect to spend on a waffle maker

Simple waffle makers without any specialty features cost $30 or less. If you’d like a better-quality waffle maker with unique features, be prepared to spend closer to $50. High-end waffle makers from premium kitchen brands run as high as $100. 

Waffle maker FAQ

Do waffle makers have removable plates?

A. Unfortunately, it’s rare to find a waffle maker with removable plates. According to many consumers, the fact that plates are built into these devices introduces unique cleaning challenges. For example, you can’t immerse the device for cleaning— so you’ll need to wipe and dry it with sponges or towels. 

How long does it take to make a waffle?

A. It depends on the device, though most take anywhere from five to eight minutes to make a single waffle. Waffle makers with crispness levels or unique temperature settings may take slightly less or more time to cook. 

Is it worth buying a waffle maker?

A. While it’s a single-use appliance, waffles are surprisingly versatile foods. Besides being a breakfast delicacy, many people make specialty waffles for snacks. High-protein waffles are popular among meal preppers, while those made with fresh fruit are ideal for snacking. In so many words, a waffle maker is often more useful than expected.

What’s the best waffle maker to buy?

Top waffle maker

Cuisinart Rotating Waffle Maker

What you need to know: Touted as the best Belgian waffle maker on the market, this model is known for its deep pockets and easy waffle retrieval. 

What you’ll love: Equipped with six adjustable crispness levels to please everyone. Non-stick plates release waffles without making a mess. Reliable heat distribution makes for evenly-cooked waffles every time. 

What you should consider: Deep-pocket design may prove somewhat challenging to clean.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Macy’s and Bed, Bath and Beyond

Top waffle maker for the money

Hamilton Beach Family Belgian-Style Waffle Maker

What you need to know: Given its four-waffle yield, this waffle maker is ideal for large-batch cooking and meal prepping. 

What you’ll love: Small footprint and easy, upright storage. Cooks waffles in as little as 5 minutes, which is faster than most. Plates create pronounced lines, so waffles are easy to separate once cooked. 

What you should consider: No temperature controls or custom settings. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Worth checking out

Dash Individual Waffle Maker

What you need to know: This affordable waffle maker is lightweight and portable, making it popular for apartment, dorm and RV living. 

What you’ll love: Cooks a single round waffle with deep pockets in around 4 minutes. A cool-to-touch handle means no more burned fingers. Easy to clean around the non-stick plates.

What you should consider: Waffles are small, and it may take a while to make several waffles. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Bed, Bath and Beyond


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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