My old, old, waffle maker needs to be retired and I would like some opinions on which to buy. I would like one which will make 2 servings at a time.
Do you want a small square waffle? Belgian round? small squares in a round waffle?
I have the Waring Pro Belgian style one. It was a gift, but I researched them anyway. I don't know about any new ones on the market now, but at the time it was rated as good as any of the ones that cost three or four times as much. There's a darkness adjustment and a chime for when the waffle is ready. I usually decide by steam rather than the chime, because that's easier for me to control, but the chime does work pretty well. This is the only non-stick thing that I use regularly. There's also a ready light which shines when it's hot enough to cook.
There's a KitchenAid Belgian style on the market that makes two complete circle waffles at once, but I don't know how good it is.
I don't know about the current little square style ones. They seem to still sell the same old ones we've had in the past, that worked fine. I don't know if there's a high tech one that's better.
The newer warning pro belgian waffle irons have been getting some bad reviews. Sounds like as they got popular, they cheapend them up and the braket they rotate on breaks easier. I sure do like the folding handle though - mine does not have it and it takes up a lot of room.
I've had mine for many years and love it. I gave one to my son a few years ago, and he wanted to give one as a gift this Chirstmas, and I was shocked to read how many people were not happy with the new ones.
I haven't owned a old style waffle iron for years. Got this one and the family liked them so much better I've never gone back. I use my Mom's old waffle recipe- no fancy anything and they turn out great.
Now I'm hungry for waffles - If DH doesn't have anything planned, I think that's what I'll make. We have them for supper almost as often as we have them for breakfast.
My wife labored over this exact question for a long time and wanted a "multiple maker" just like you. In the end, she decided to give the New Waring Pro with the folding handle a try.
While it only makes 1 at a time, she was shocked at how quickly it makes a waffle, so the lack of multi-waffles isn't a problem. The quality of the waffles is superb!
Highly recommend it.
I would look into Cooks Illustrated which rates kitchen gadgets. They also are the same folks that do America's Test Kitchen, I think is the name.
We tend to "fry out" our waffle makers after a few years. Ours get heavy use. We make waffles from scratch with whipped egg whites nearly every weekend. Once they get plugged in, they are on continuously for 1 or more hour... They all last 5 to 10 year but not more in our hands. We make 4 squares at once which is the only way to feed the hungry kids fast enough!
I think individual round ones are probably prettier but we need more cooking surface than that!
Here is a link that might be useful: This is what we have now.
We have two (long story, both gifts!): the All-Clad Round Classic Waffle Maker and the Cuisinart Belgian Waffle Maker. They are both okay, but neither is stellar. (In fairness, we are also people who do waffles every weekend and are somewhat picky about them!) The Cuisinart is good for belgian waffle recipes but is a total failure with classic yeasted waffles (literally cannot cook them, which is how we wound up getting the All-Clad). The All-Clad does nicely with yeasted (it's a thin pocket vs. thick pocket griddle which apparently makes a difference) and is better at crisping waffles since it has a hotter setting, but is extremely expensive for what it is, in my opinion. Neither handles overflow very well, so you have to be careful not to put in too much batter. Both are nonstick, and while that's convenient, I would still prefer cast iron that I could spray---but no one seems to make that these days. Honestly, if I were getting one today I would just buy one of the refurbished Sunbeam waffle irons. Both my husband and I grew up with those and the modern ones pale in comparison.
One is shocked -- shocked, I tell you -- that no posts yet have mentioned Chef's Choice.
Here is a link that might be useful: Generally regarded as the best consumer waffle appliances in the world
We have a Chef's Choice 850. It's a single, but it makes waffles in about 2 minutes. You can adjust the bake time, whether you want crispy waffles or crispy/soft on the inside waffles (crispy is nice for dessert waffles), and the temperature. This thing gets hot, and fast. Can feed our family of 4 with continuous waffles with no problem. The only thing I would make sure to be aware of is that the walls of the waffles are not terribly thick--they are not the thick, cakey texture that some waffle irons make. But they're crispy and yummy and my yeasted, whole wheat waffles come out beautifully.
Here is a link that might be useful: Chef's Choice Waffle Pro 850
Ironic timing on this post! I just got my Chef's Choice heart-shaped waffle maker and tried it out this morning.....did VERY well! I have burned out 3 waffle makers in the last year, so I've been trying to find a new one. I will take a Cuisinart Belgian-style back to BB&B as it was dreadful...made 4 waffles at a time. I made batter 3 times and it was terrible every time...no matter what I did! The inside never got done and the outside would be nearly ruined. And it was the same batter I've used for over 15 years. Today, however, the new one did beautifully, so a thumbs-up on that particular Chef's Choice model. I ordered from cooking.com.
I've read that the best waffle makers are the ones that flip over - they provide the most even cooking and allow for a crisp, nicely browned finish. But they take up more space.
I bought the one Alton Brown recommended about 4 years ago and we like it. It's a Villaware.
In May of 2010 Cook's Illustrated rated Chef's Choice Waffle Pro Express #1 and the Cloer Double # 2. But they only looked at 6 waffle irons and 2 of the 6 were Cuisinart. I don't consider that a statistically significant testing sample. Oh - they were all traditional irons, not Belgium.
DH gave me an All-Clad Belgian (square) one that I've been very happy with, but the one that flip and cook on on either side would be neat too if they work as well. The All-Clad does cook well and fast. I had a Villaware one that I was happy with, but I tried the All-Clad so I could say I'd tried it. It was as good or better at cooking and so much faster that the Villaware got demoted. I've saved it for one of my sons to use when they are off on their own.
I'm a huge Villaware fan -- nice heavy grid, even heat, good temp warning beep (although the beep is pretty annoying).