I am thinking about purchasing a waffle iron. I've never had one before. Can anyone help me?
I believe that there were two threads about this in 2013. I have only found the one from ann_t. She has wide and deep experience and I believe her opinions should be given serious consideration. I am having trouble linking my search today, but you can search 'this site' for 'waffle iron' and find several comments. However, I have had three fairly modern irons and have used a couple more. I have not had problems with any modern coated units and would expect them all to work well. However, my experience is only with regular basic waffles. Others here have used these irons for interesting variants on the waffle theme.
You do have to decide between a standard iron and the Belgian variety with the larger, deeper indents.
If you are close to a public library, check Consumer Reports in the reference section. That's usually a fairly good place to begin your search.
I will suggest you get two (eventually) - one for thin waffles (I have a round waffle maker for thin 5-of-Hearts) and one for thick Belgian waffles. Waffles aren't one-thickness-fits-all recipes.
I recently purchased a Nordic Ware Waffle Griddle and I've had a ball with this new addition to the world of waffles at our home. It creates what they describe as "bite-size" waffles, but I'd call them "fun-size" and perfect for 2-people, or for waffle "chips", appetizers and snacks.
At our home waffles are good for any meal - sweet and savory - main dish and dessert. Going gluten-free just added new favorites :-). Did you know you can make your grilled cheese sandwiches in a waffle maker? Cook your hash browns.... Don't let it sit unused once you make your decision. Check out a copy of "Waffles From Morning to Midnight" by Dorie Greenspan.
I also have a waffle pie iron for cooking waffles outdoors.
I have a Breakfast Express, it also makes omelets and pancakes. I have had it about a year and have made all kinds of things.
Here is a link that might be useful: Waffle-Omelet Maker
I love my waffle maker. Really happy with my choice.
Here are the links to some previous Waffle Maker threads.
Yeast Raised Waffles
Here is a link that might be useful: Good Housekeeping REviews
1. Determine how many waffles you make each time. 2, 4 or 6 ? No need to buy a 6-waffle maker when all you need is two.
2. Do you want a multi-function waffle maker?
1. Temperature control is important to have.
2. A round one makes it easier to have better shaped waffles than a square one.
3. Even cooking is also important.
4. Read the label. For the same size maker, a higher wattage will mean faster cooking.
I disagree. What I found out from a number of CF members is that Waffles freeze well. So if you are going to make a batch of waffle batter you might has well cook it all at once and freeze the extra waffles.
They are easy to warm up in the toaster or toaster oven.
I usually only need four at one time. But it only takes two minutes to cook each batch so I just go a head and cook the remaining batter. Makes for a quick breakfast to pull a couple of waffles out of the freezer.
I have an ANCIENT, round waffle iron from my childhood home... from 50's. Has cloth covered cord and hasn't been used in YEARS & YEARS, but just can't seem to part with it??
One I have now, makes square ones, has reversible plates to make grilled sandwiches (low brow name for pannino), and bought at a yard sale. It was very clean, looked barely/rarely used. Doesn't get heavy use, but nice to have around. Had niece over for a "girls" weekend around holidays a few years back. We talk, bake, decorate, and EAT!! Dusted off waffle iron in anticipation of a serious breakfast/brunch... waffles, REAL maple syrup, lots of bacon. She had NO idea what it was when I set it on kitchen counter?? Even when opened, she was a bit stumped. Kinda SAD that she's only EVER had frozen/toaster waffles her whole life??
"I disagree. What I found out from a number of CF members is that Waffles freeze well. ----"
Just a different way of doing things. Sure waffles can be frozen and reheated.
I have found I can mix a batch of batter, just use enough for one setting, and keep the extra batter in the refrigerator for the next time. The batter can be kept for many days in the refrigerator.
I just like fresh made waffles better than frozen reheat/re-baked ones. I am not sure which way is faster. Probably not that much different. I also like to add different things, berries, fruits, nuts etc. each time I make new waffles. Depends on my mood that day.
Or I may decide just to use the batter to make pancakes, or I will heat up my Aebleskiver iron and have a ball (s). :-)
This post was edited by dcarch on Mon, Feb 17, 14 at 14:43
Yup, I agree, just a different way of doing some things. Personally I do not like batter that has been left in the fridge more than one day. Especially a batter with eggs in it.
I don't make pancakes or waffles for me. I make them for Moe. And if he had waffles today, it isn't likely he is going to want them again tomorrow or this week, so the batter might as well be cooked up while it is fresh.
I'd rather have fresh baked waffles, that have been frozen and then reheated, then waffles made from batter that has been in the fridge for many days. Just a matter of personal preference.
Something for everyone.
Yes, freezing is a personal thing.... I like to freeze leftovers (waffles and pancakes) and reheat them for yet one more make-ahead meal option (cook once - get many meals out of the effort). It's especially nice when I can make up a large number of waffles in the afternoon and get them in the freezer. After we exercise from 4-5 a.m., I only have about 20-25 minutes to get breakfast on the table, so my freezer is my friend.
I think one reason people don't make waffles very often is because it's time consuming when you have a family waiting to eat them as soon as they come off the waffle iron. The poor cook generally gets the last, often less-than-perfect waffle, from the deflated or runny batter at the end that doesn't quite fill the waffle iron!
Perhaps there is a difference between recipes, and some recipes may be better "keepers" or "re-heaters" than others. I also like to freeze thin waffles more than thick Belgian waffles, so that may also make a difference.
Absolutely NOT a fan of storing batter with egg in it in the refrigerator. Food safety recommendations pretty well have proven that to be potentially unsafe after more than a day. Any leavening in them has long since been activated by the liquid and the leavening is dead-on-arrival by the time you cook the waffles the next day, so the quality of the waffles will be affected.
Add to that, people rarely have any idea what their refrigerator temperature actually is, and if it's an unsafe temperature warmer than 40-degrees F, it can promote bacteria growth (if any is present) in egg-containing batter.
Great advice to check the temperature of your refrigerator for food safety, any food.
So easy to do.
I've got the Chef's Choice Classic M852, same brand as Ann but a different model. It makes two square waffles. I actually prefer the square shape because I make the waffles specifically to freeze. The square waffles heat up nicely in the toaster.
I make a full recipe's worth of waffles at a time, cool them, separate them, and then freeze them. I usually have a bit of batter left over, just enough to make a small weird shaped waffle. That's the only fresh waffle my husband gets. Well, that and all the strange bits from accidentally over filling the waffle iron.
The frozen waffles are great for breakfast -- spread with peanut butter & jam or honey, used for an egg sandwich, etc. I like the fact that they're a bit sweet on their own, so I just grab one when I'm rushed, toast it a bit, and off I go.
Thank you everyone for your replies - now to see what my local stores offer...
My waffle maker is probably from the 70's and it is a toastmaster. I don't freeze my waffles but I don't know why you couldn't with this maker. I just like fresh. It is small and round. Makes great waffles. Think we will have them this morning.
I have a Cephalon belgian waffle maker and it is very good. I got it because it makes 4 square waffles which is what I like. I don't like the round ones because I often freeze them and the round ones don't fit in my toaster very well. It is also very high quality as far as the heating and the non-stick part. BUT, darn it if I just don't like belgian waffles. I've tried all kinds of recipes, including the overnight yeast batter ones, and I just don't like the deep holes of the belgian waffles. I like thinner waffles, what can I say! That said, I don't turn up my nose at home made waffles, the difference isn't THAT dramatic!
I prefer the square waffles, too. Don't care for the deep holes of the Belgian waffles, either. And much, much prefer freshly made over frozen. Any leftover batter gets cooked for the treats for the pups and birds.
My waffle maker is a vintage Toastmaster with a cloth cord. Makes 4 square waffles. I think that you have to go with a vintage waffle maker if you want to avoid the non-stick coating. Mine came from a garage sale--I think I paid $2 for it.
We purchased an All-Clad waffle iron last year when it was seriously on sale at Williams-Sonoma...I have a huge family, so it's the big one...and after more waffle irons than I can count in 38 years of marriage, I can confidently say that this thing is unbelievably wonderful! NOTHING sticks, perfectly crisp waffles each and every time...I just adore this thing. AND the recipe that goes with it isn't too shabby, either!
Another All-Clad owner here.
For years, my waffle iron was a stove top Nordic Ware one. I reluctantly purchased a VillaWare when we had the boys, had grandparents over, etc.The stovetop was just too slow. The VillaWare was still working when DH and the boys gave me an All-Clad for Mother's Day a few years ago. I was prepared to return it but thought I ought to try it and at least be able to say it wasn't that special first. It didn't go back.
The All-Clad bakes the most even and perfect waffles I've had. Never had one stick -- never had any problem with it, except making me want the All-Clad slow cooker (talked myself out of it because it's so large and the boys will both be off at college soon). We made waffles Sunday. I commented on how light they were and my son said we make the best waffles he's ever had. Not only that -- he wants some of my sourdough started so he can make them when he leaves home. Good thing that made my heart smile 'cuz it's gonna cost the pocket another All-Clad waffle iron (or two -- one for older brother). ;-)
Gigi & Lascatx, Is this the All-Clad model you have?
Here is a link that might be useful: Waffle Maker
That's the one I have -- love it.
I decided to conduct a test.
I made a batch of batter, put it in the refrigerator.
Today 3 weeks later, I made some waffles.
I did not noticed any difference whether the waffles were made from fresh batter or 3-week old batter. Just as fluffy and delicious.
For me this saves time not having to bake the waffle twice, to find some plastic bags, pack, unpack and find room in the freezer.
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This post was edited by dcarch on Sat, Mar 8, 14 at 14:58
Geeze Louise that would be CALPHALON waffle maker. Where I got "cephalon" I'll never know, my brain is rotting in my old age! Here's a link to my waffle maker on Amazon. Like I said, it's nice, but I don't like the deeper holes of a belgian style iron.
Here is a link that might be useful: Calphalon No Peek Waffle Maker
DC, Thanks for sharing your test results. I have been reluctant to make-ahead batter but I am the only one eating waffles here so it would be a solution. I think only a week at a time would be necessary for me. But the down side is I would be consuming more syrup and butter.
Cathy, or anyone else, can you do me a favor?
One time I had made waffles for a vegan friend, so I did not use eggs in the batter. I found out that I couldn't tell that the waffles had no eggs, with all the toppings.
Not that I don't like eggs, I do, but if i can't tell the difference, why bother?
Next time you make waffles, use no eggs and let me know what you think.
Reading this thread, I find I am not the only one with a vintage waffle maker! For awhile, I had a Belgian waffle iron of a brand I can't remember -- suddenly it stopped heating after about 10 years, so I tossed it. My mom offered me hers. It's a Sunbeam waffle iron, probably from the early 1970s (since I don't recall it moving across country with us in 1970). It's a square one that makes 4 waffles, or a roundish one with a + in the middle of it. :-) The only thing I don't like about it is that it is not a non-stick like my old Belgian waffle iron had been. It's aging and I have to use non-stick cooking spray.
I've seen a few old Sunbeams from this vintage in our thrift store "mall", Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift stores. They usually run $8 or less, and the way our thrift stores all run "red tag 50% off" sales, you can pick up an electric kitchen appliance for less than $5.