Considered a luxury kitchen accessory because it isn’t really a necessity, like an oven or a refrigerator, if you like to make your own, homemade waffles, a waffle maker is a necessity for your kitchen. Why? – Because you can’t make your own waffles if you don’t have this handy tool. There are so many waffle makers on the market, which can make the quest for finding the best one to meet your specific needs a bit challenging.
To help you find the best waffle maker, we have compiled this hand buyer’s guide, which will answer a lot of your questions and help you choose the best waffle maker for your specific needs.
Types of Waffle Makers
There are several types of waffle makers, and each one offers different benefits, and therefore some waffle makers are better suited to specific needs.
The type of waffle makers include:
- Stove top waffle irons
- Classic round waffle makers
- Square Belgian waffle makers
- Round Belgian waffle makers
- Flip waffle makers
Stove Top Waffle Irons
As the name suggests, a stove top waffle iron is used right on the top of your stove, or any other heat source. One of the main benefits of this type of waffle maker is that they don’t need electricity to work, which means that if you enjoy camping, you can make homemade waffles right over a campfire.
Classic Round Waffle Makers
This is the most commonly used waffle make. It waffles this type of waffle maker creates are round, thin and crisp. These waffle makers have to be plugged into an electrical outlet to work.
Square Belgian Waffle Makers
If you like making Belgian waffles and you like them to be square (though the shape of the waffle is a personal preference, because it doesn’t affect the taste,) this type of waffle maker is for you. They may those thick, soft, yet perfectly crisped waffles that you love. This type of waffle makers work with electricity.
Round Belgian Waffle Makers
If the shape you prefer for your Belgian waffles is round, this is the type of waffle maker you are going to want. They make round, thick, soft Belgian waffles and they operate with electricity.
Flip Waffle Makers
If you want to ensure your waffles are evenly cooked, a flip waffle maker is the right choice for you. A flip waffle maker relies on gravity to ensure that the waffles are evenly cooked. Halfway through cooking, a notification light goes on, letting you know that it is time to flip the waffle maker over. Doing so allows the uncooked batter to drip down and coat the other pan.
Waffle Maker Considerations
If waffle making is serious business in your kitchen, then there are definitely some factors that you are going to want to take into consideration when shopping for a waffle maker. The following considerations will help you find the best waffle maker for your specific needs.
The Number of Waffles
Do you plan on making large batches of waffles? If so, a waffle maker that can make multiple waffles at one time will make cooking a lot quicker and easier for you. A waffle maker that makes multiple waffles at one time can make two, three or even four waffles at once.
Waffle makers vary in weight, and some are downright heavy. It goes without saying that the heavier the waffle maker is, the more cumbersome it will be to use. Heavy waffle makers are difficult to move, which makes them difficult to store. If you are going to purchase a heavy waffle maker, you may want to make sure that you have enough counter space to accommodate it, as it may become a permanent appliance in your kitchen.
Are you going to be using your waffle maker a lot? If so, storing it in a cabinet may be more of a hassle, and instead, you may want to leave it out on your countertop. If that’s the case, make sure that you have enough counter space to store this handy appliance.
Waffle makers vary in size. Typically, smaller waffle makers will only make one waffle at a time, and waffle makers that make more than one waffle at a time tend to be larger. Again, make sure that your countertop has enough room to accommodate your waffle maker, even if you do plan on storing it between uses (you want to be sure that you have enough space available when you do use it.)
Making waffles can be messy business. Batter can drip out of the waffle maker and onto your countertops, making a huge mess. If you want to avoid a big mess, look for a waffle maker that has deep grooves and runoff areas that will catch any excess batter, saving you from having to clean up spilled batter.
Care and Maintenance
Some waffle makers require more care and maintenance than others. If you want to make waffles quickly and easily, opt for one that requires little care and maintenance.
As always, price is an important factor to take into consideration when purchasing any product, including a waffle iron. Waffle irons come in a wide range of prices, from around $30 to upwards of a few hundred dollars. Typically, the more features and the larger the waffle iron is, the more it will cost.
Waffle Iron Features
Waffle iron features are designed to improve your waffle making experience. Here’s a look at some of the handy features that are available that you may be interested in.
There’s nothing worse than making a beautiful batch of waffles, only to find that you can’t free them from the waffle maker. As you rip and tear at the waffle to free it, your once beautiful masterpiece is turned into a pile of crumbs. To avoid a sticky situation, opt for a waffle maker that features non-stick surfaces and you will be able to remove your waffles with ease.
Easy to Use Controls
If you really want to simplify the process of making waffles, look for a waffle maker that features easy to use controls, including a temperature control, an on-off switch and lights that indicate when the appliance is hot enough to add the batter.
While you may like your waffles crispy, someone else may like them soft. A waffle maker that features an adjustable heating setting will allow you to modify the temperature of the cooking element so that you can make the best waffles to suit the diner’s specific taste.
If you have a house with small children, you may want to look for a waffle iron that has built in safety features. Safety features include locking lids, automatic shutoff, insulation to prevent the outside from getting hot to the touch, and a cool-to-the-touch handle.
If you want to get the most of your waffle maker, you may want to choose one that comes with additional accessories, such as spatulas and stirrers. These extra accessories will allow you to step up your waffle making game.
Top Waffle Maker Brands
We scoured the Internet and tested countless waffle makers to find the best brands out there. After conducting a thorough assessment, we found that the following waffle maker brands are the best of the best.
Since 1968, All Clad has been making exceptional products for the kitchen. While they are perhaps best known for their pots and pans, All Clad also makes exceptional waffle makers. We found that this company makes a wide range of waffle makers in all types of styles, that offer different features and that suit various budgets.
Oster has been making products for the home since 1924, including waffle makers. We tested several of their waffle makers and found that this company offers plenty of features and always makes perfect waffles. We also really liked how easy it was to use and clean up the Oster waffle makers.
Founding in 1910, Hamilton Beach is one of the best known producers of small kitchen appliances. We tested several of their waffle makers and we were very pleased with the results. We particularly liked their Belgian waffle makers, which provided us with thick, soft, golden waffles, and the clean up after was a total breeze.
Since 1919, Kitchen Aid has been manufacturing appliances for the kitchen. Though they may be best known for their iconic mixers, Kitchen Aid’s waffle makers aren’t too shabby, either. Offering a variety of options and features, you will definitely find a waffle maker to suit your specific needs with Kitchen Aid.
Black and Decker
Black and Decker was also founded in 1910. They are best known for their power tools and vacuums, but Black and Decker also dabbles in appliances for the kitchen, and just like their power tools and vacuums, they have excelled in this area. We found that their waffle makers are very affordable and that they offer outstanding features, like non-stick surfaces and temperature controls.