Why buy a waffle maker?
Simply put, a waffle maker is the best and easiest way to make waffles for yourself and your family, roommates, or guests at home. You must whip up the batter, pour it into the waffle maker, and let it cook to as soft or crispy as you prefer. Sure, you can use a countertop grill press or a grill pan to make waffles instead, but they require a lot more attention and effort on your end, and it’s much harder to achieve the deep, evenly spaced pockets that set waffles apart from other breakfast foods like pancakes or muffins. Waffle makers will produce much more regular, evenly cooked, perfectly pocketed waffles for less effort. Many also feature add-ons that make cooking waffles even easier and more efficient, like built-in tongs or a rotating feature with a safe-grip handle. Some even have timers and sound alerts, so you’ll always know when to flip your waffles or when they’ve been cooked to your liking.
What should you look for in waffle makers?
- Versatility: Waffle makers can often make more foods than just waffles, so consider this function if you’re worried you won’t eat waffles enough to justify the purchase. Some can be used to make pancakes, hash browns, eggs, cinnamon rolls, French toast, bacon, or even grilled cheese sandwiches and paninis. Some will cook sticks of batter or sausages alongside the waffles. Others have room for toppings or even allow you to make stuffed waffles. If possible, look for a rotating waffle maker to promote even cooking. Some waffle makers have no rotation, while others have 180 or even 360-degree rotation.
- Quantity: Classic models usually only make one at a time, which may not cut it if you’re cooking for your whole family or several guests or making a large batch. There are plenty of models that are capable of making two or even four waffles at a time. Waffle makers that can cook six or even eight waffles at once are less common but still available.
- Cleaning: Consider how the waffle maker needs to be cleaned after use and if that will suit you and your lifestyle. Many can be easily wiped clean once cooled, particularly nonstick models that may not require cooking spray or oil to keep your waffle maker as residue-free as possible. Some will have removable dishwasher-safe irons (the device as a whole will rarely be dishwasher safe), which are even more convenient to wash and keep clean. You can also watch models with a drip tray, pan, or another anti-overflow channel to help keep your countertops cleaner during cooking.
What extra features are important in a waffle maker?
Be sure to consider the waffle maker’s size and shape before purchasing. Single waffle makers can vary considerably in size, from miniature three or four-inch models to those over a foot or more in length, so be sure to always check the product’s dimensions. Double or quadruple waffle makers will be much bigger and bulkier, so ensure you have enough countertop and storage space for them before buying. Be sure to consider the depth of the waffle maker, too, as a deeper waffle iron will make thicker waffles. Regardless of size, waffle makers come in round, round, square, rectangular, square, and unique shapes like hearts or animals. There are also ones specifically designed to make Belgian-style waffles which are thicker, fluffier waffles with deeper pockets to hold toppings.
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Cuisinart Maker Waffle-Iron
This waffle maker has just about every feature you might want or need from its rotary feature to browning control and more.
Pros: This classic, professional quality Belgian waffle maker is an excellent all-around choice for any household. It makes thick, one-inch waffles with the signature large, deep pockets for which Belgian waffles are known. This waffle maker features a nonstick coating for quick food release, less residue left behind a knob for browning control, and an easy-to-handle rotary feature that provides even baking on the top and bottom. The browning feature has six different settings, so you can make your waffles as dark or light as you prefer. A blue LED light will indicate when the waffle maker is ready to cook and when your waffle is finished. A measuring cup comes included with your purchase so that you use the perfect amount of batter each time. Several versions of this waffle maker are available, including a double-sized edition and one capable of cooking omelets alongside the waffles.
Cons: Be careful not to overfill this waffle maker, as it doesn’t have any overflow prevention feature or a drip tray to catch any excess batter. You may also find cleaning a bit tricky, as you can’t remove the iron or otherwise take apart the device to clean it.
Bottom Line: Enjoy round, deep-pocketed Belgian waffles at any time of day or night with this classic, restaurant-style waffle maker. Even if you’ve never used or owned a waffle maker before, it’s easy enough to use that you’ll get the hang of it quickly and be making perfect Belgian waffles to your exact liking in no time.
Presto 03512 Stuffed Waffle Maker
This specialty waffle maker allows you to make large pocketed Belgian waffles stuffed with the toppings of your choice.
Pros: Putting fruit, syrup, and other toppings on a waffle is nothing new, but what if you could make stuffed waffles with your favorite ingredients instead? This 180-degree rotating waffle maker allows you to do just that. You can use it to make waffles stuffed with just about anything from fruits, cheese, and chocolate, to regular or nut butter. This may seem like an advanced cooking technique, but it’s pretty simple, not much different from a traditional rotating waffle maker. Clear instructions come included if you need some guidance, as do some recipes. The nonstick coating wipes clean, and you may even find you don’t need to oil it to avoid sticky residue. The rotating handle doesn’t conduct heat, so you won’t have to worry about burning your hand when you touch it, and the built-in tongs allow you to remove your waffles easily. The device folds up vertically to take up less storage space.
Cons: It may take a few tries to get the consistency of your waffle batter just right for this waffle maker; batter that’s too runny may lead to some leaking. With this waffle maker, your cooking time will also likely be a bit longer than average. The iron isn’t removable either so cleaning may be challenging.
Bottom Line: You may think stuffed waffles are too advanced to make at home without some extremely complicated and advanced machine. This waffle maker proves that doesn’t have to be the case. With this specialty by simple waffle maker, you’ll be able to make thick, tasty stuffed waffles with surprising ease.
Disney Mickey Mouse Double Flip Waffle Maker
If you're a big Disney lover, you'll adore this Mickey Mouse waffle maker and the Disney-shaped waffles it produces.
Pros: This cute double waffle maker doesn’t just have an image of Mickey Mouse on the outside; it makes Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles too. You can make three waffles per side, allowing you to cook up to six waffles at once. The adjustable browning control feature allows you to cook the waffles as dark or light as you want, and the device rotates for more even cooking. The nonstick surfaces wipe clean easily, and you shouldn’t have an issue with much batter residue left behind in the first place. The handles are cool to the touch to prevent burning your fingers, and the indicator light lets you know when the waffles are finished cooking to your set preference.
Cons: While making up to six waffles at once with this device, keep in mind that the waffles are quite small and not as thick as most regular waffle makers. They also won’t have pockets for syrup and other toppings.
Bottom Line: This unique waffle maker brings some Disney magic to your morning routine. Whether you’ve got young kids at home or you’re just a big Disney fan, this adorable waffle maker is perfect for Disney lovers of all ages.
DASH Deluxe Mini Maker for Individual Waffles
A small and affordable waffle maker that's perfect for making smaller batches and compact enough to bring on the go.
Pros: If you’re after a single-serve or personal waffle maker, this small but deluxe model is one of the best you’ll find. It creates not just fluffy, golden waffles but hash browns, eggs, and even cookies. Once the device is plugged in, it heats up in just a few minutes. It has a dual nonstick coating, which reduces the need for excess butter and oil while consistently cooking your waffles and ensuring cleanup is much easier. Not only is it available in 16 different colors and patterns, but several alternative options make more uniquely shaped waffles, including a heart-shaped model. This waffle maker also comes with a double-sided cleaning brush and a recipe guide to help you with your cooking, and the cord is retractable when not in use.
Cons: Unlike some waffle makers, this little model can’t be rotated or flipped to ensure a more even cook. It also doesn’t have an on/off button or auto switch off, so be 100% sure to unplug it once you’re done cooking. The cord is also a bit on the short side.
Bottom Line: If you’re trying to watch your carb intake or are looking for a smaller waffle maker for your dorm room, RV, or camper, you’ll love this little 4-inch model. It’s incredibly compact and easy to bring on the go.
All-Clad Stainless-Steel Belgian Waffle Maker
A waffle maker with four large square pockets that allow you to get breakfast on the table that much faster.
Pros: Sometimes, a single or double waffle maker isn’t going to cut it, which is where a larger capacity model like this one comes in handy. You can make up to four waffles at once, and all you have to do is plug in the waffle maker, add the batter, and cook until finished. The built-in light lets you know when the device is fully heated and ready to use. It also lights up and beeps to alert you when your waffles have finished cooking. Use the knob on the front to adjust the device to one of seven different temperature settings, allowing you to cook and brown all your waffles to your exact liking. This waffle maker also features an easy-to-grip handle and a nonstick-coated surface to simplify cleanup and reduce the risk of leftover batter getting stuck. You can choose between making square Belgian waffles or classic round ones, and a two-waffle-sized machine is also available if you want something a little smaller.
Cons: This waffle maker is big and bulky due to its four-waffle capacity, so it’ll take up a lot more countertop space. This also means it’s too big and heavy to have a rotating feature. It’s also more expensive than a regular single waffle maker.
Bottom Line: If you’re cooking for multiple people at home, this is the perfect waffle maker. It allows you to cook up to four waffles at once, so you can get breakfast on the table faster.
If you want to make perfect, golden brown waffles in the comfort of your own home, a waffle maker is the fastest, more efficient, and overall most effective way to do so. Whether you want to make brunch for your friends or whip up a sweet late-night treat, you’ll be glad to have your waffle maker at home, especially ones that can be used to make other foods.