Ceramic-coated cooking plates evenly distribute heat up to 20% better than standard nonstick surfaces. It has a high-contrast LCD screen, a built-in countdown timer, and a lid that locks closed for convenient storage.
It can be slightly messy, as the batter can leak out of the sides when the lid is closed.
Cooks a batch in as little as 5 minutes. Folds up like a book and latches closed for easy storage. Waffles are extremely easy to separate from each another, given the plate design. Easy to operate.
Lacks temperature control, so you can't customize the crispiness.
Heats up quickly. Nonstick surface. Waffles come out with a nice brown crust. Deep batter reservoir allows you to experiment with different fillings, or make extra-thick waffles. Comes with built-in tongs.
Timer is not attached to the iron and requires batteries.
Heats up in minutes and takes around 4 minutes to cook a waffle. Plates are nonstick, making it easy to clean and retrieve waffles. Indicator light lets you know when waffle is done. Backed by a 1-year warranty. Dozens of colors.
Doesn't have any additional settings, and waffles are on the small side.
Easy to clean with its high-quality nonstick plate. Delivers consistently crispy results. Stainless steel housing adds to the durability. Temperature control is easy to adjust. Cool-touch handle for safe opening and closing.
Lacks the bells and whistles of some pricier machines, plus it has a large footprint.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Waffles are part meal and part celebration. It's impossible not to smile when you think of those fluffy treats smothered in fruit and topped with a swirl of whipped cream. When you have a waffle maker, any day can be special. However, with so many different models to consider, how do you choose the right waffle maker for you?
A stand-alone electric waffle maker is what you want to consider. One with a nonstick coating will facilitate both cooking and cleaning, but a waffle maker with temperature control will let you be in charge of the waffle's texture. For the novice, indicator lights and cool-to-the-touch handles are highly desirable.
You'll find two main varieties of waffle makers on the market: electric waffle makers and stovetop waffle makers.
Electric waffle makers are standalone appliances that plug into a power outlet. You cook your waffles on cooking plates inside a metal or plastic housing, and can often control the temperature and browning. This is definitely the most popular – and arguably the easiest and most convenient – type of waffle maker.
A stovetop waffle maker is essentially a hinged pair of cooking plates that fasten together. To cook waffles, you put the batter inside the waffle maker and put it on the stove, flipping it over to cook both sides. This was how people cooked waffles before electric waffle makers existed, and some people who grew up making them this way may prefer a stovetop model.
On the whole, however, stovetop waffle makers are much less popular than their electric counterparts, because they require more hands-on effort, and it's harder to get a perfectly cooked waffle.
Since stovetop varieties aren't commonly used today, this guide will focus on electric waffle makers.
Most waffle makers either make round or square waffles. However, some models make waffles shaped like cartoon characters or animals, which can be fun for kids or the young at heart. You shouldn't find a noticeable difference in taste or texture, so choose whichever you prefer.
We prefer waffle makers that allow you to control the temperature at which your waffles cook. On the whole, a higher temperature will produce a crispier waffle, whereas a lower temperature will produce a softer one.
Waffle makers with variable temperature settings make it easier to cater to different preferences.
The cooking plates of a waffle maker are the grid-like surfaces on which you put your batter. Most are made of aluminum, with a non-stick coating. This is because waffles are prone to sticking to the plates, so using a plate without a non-stick coating will end in tears, torn waffles, and some tough dishes to wash.
If you're completely averse to using cookware with non-stick coatings, you can find a handful of stovetop waffle makers made from cast iron, which (with some careful seasoning) can be just as non-stick as Teflon.
Some waffle makers can only tackle one waffle at a time, whereas others can make four or more. That said, those units that only make a single waffle sometimes make one extra-large waffle, divided into four segments. So, as well as looking at the number of waffles the model you're considering can make, look at the size of each waffle.
Waffle makers with indicator lights are extremely useful, especially if you're new to waffle-making and aren't quite sure how long they take to cook.
Models that offer this feature usually have two indicator lights, one that tells you when the appliance has heated up enough to use, and one that tells you when the waffles are done. Some even make a beeping noise when the cooking time's up, which means you don't have to stand around staring at it to see when your waffles are ready.
What should you expect to pay for a waffle maker? It varies, depending on a range of factors such as the brand, the amount of waffles it can make, and what extra features it offers.
These cost as little as $15 to $30. These models tend to produce a single waffle (though it may be divided into four segments), give you less control over temperature, and come from a lesser-known brand.
Waffle makers in this range are usually priced between $30 and $50. This includes units from some better-known brands and with extra features, such as indicator lights, alarms, and fine-tuned temperature control. At the higher end of this price range, you can find models that make two round or four square waffles at a time.
These models start around $50 and can cost well over $100, but we don't think you need to go to the very upper reaches of this price range to get a good one. You'll find some highly-rated models from trusted brands that produce top-notch waffles every time.
Even if you're using a non-stick waffle maker, grease the cooking plates to prevent the batter from sticking to the grooves, and be sure to grease between making waffles, too.
Do your waffles get soggy while they wait for the entire batch to be done? A simple solution to this is to add some cornstarch to the recipe; it will keep your waffles from soaking moisture.
Stick to a waffle maker that cooks either Belgian waffles or American waffles – some claim to cook both, but the quality tends to suffer from the added versatility.
The first waffle you make is usually the test subject that will tell you if your batter is correct, if the crispness is to your liking, and how the flavor resolved.
Waffle makers with temperature settings or variable browning settings offer you better control on how crisp and toasted your waffles come out.
A. This varies depending on a range of factors, including which waffle maker you choose, the recipe you use, and how much batter you put in. If your waffle maker has one, we recommend trusting the indicator light to tell you when your waffle's done, but if you open the lid and it doesn't look crisp enough for your liking, you can cook it a little longer. Ultimately, it may take some trial and error to find that waffle-making sweet spot.
A. If you choose a waffle maker with a decent non-stick coating, it should be easy to clean, especially if you can remove the cooking plates from their housing.
A. It's great to get kids involved in the kitchen, and making waffles is a relatively simple task. Waffle makers are fairly safe, but because the cooking plates get very hot, we don’t recommend kids use them without an age-appropriate level of adult supervision. Ideally, look for waffle makers with handles or exteriors that stay cool to the touch while in use.
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