Whether you like them traditional or thick and Belgian, the homemade waffle is a commitment because—unlike pancakes or omelets—you can’t just decide to make them without specialized equipment.
But which waffle irons or makers are best suited to your breakfast (or decadent dessert) needs? From hulking counter top behemoths to smaller, multi-function offerings, these are the five best suited for day-to-day use, combining the necessary elements of durability, reliability, and ease of use. Here’s how to get the most out of your maple syrup deliver systems.
For people with a smaller kitchen—say you live in an apartment or are looking to guarantee your status as the most popular dorm—you need something compact and, if possible, willing to take on additional jobs. If you lack space for a larger appliance, check out this device from Dash. It heats up quickly, features easy-to-clean nonstick heating pads, and makes reasonably sized 8-inch waffles. The true selling point is its versatility. The Dash can be used to make paninis, hash browns, and more.
There is something to be said about pure focus. That’s what the WAF-200 is all about. It’s designed to look as no-nonsense as it performs, and it makes hefty 4-slice Belgian waffles with adjustable browning controls to ensure you get the precise mix of crispy and spongy. The nonstick pads are also easy to clean. It may do one job, but it does it very, very well.
Sometimes you have to look at yourself in the mirror and ask the question, “How serious I am about my waffles?” The Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian Waffle Maker is an instant attention-grabber and clearly states your intention to go above and beyond. Adjusting browning control, a handle that stays cool as you carefully flip your soon-to-be perfect waffles, and even removable, dishwasher-safe pads. It’s heavy-duty, but surprisingly easy to master—just be ready to adjust your batter amounts, because too much will lead to dripping that is a bigger mess when you’re dealing with flip-style makers.
An ideal combination of powerful and compact, the Krups offering is less cumbersome than some others (thanks to its low, square profile) but no less impressive. It has five adjustable browning settings and clear, audible “ready” alerts, and its pads are dishwasher safe. For people with storage issues, the Krups Belgian Waffle maker also has a handle lock and can be stored vertically as well as horizontally. It feels sturdy, and its lack of too many moving parts is assuring.
Able to make 8-inch round Belgian waffles, the Oster requires a little more of a learning curve than some others. The indicator lights tell you when the plates are ready, but you’ll have to closely monitor the waffles to ensure they’re done to your liking. Rather than a “browning” control, it only has a temperature control for the pads, so you’ll likely do some trial and error as you work out the best temp/time combo for the ideal waffle. But R&D; never tasted so good.
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