Is a waffle maker a good investment for me?
If you enjoy cooking fun breakfasts for your family, or like quiet mornings with a decadent, delicious meal to start your day, a waffle maker might be just what you’re looking for. If you love waffles, you know that it’s impossible to make them at home without a waffle iron – if you find yourself heading to the local diner or pancake house multiple times a week for waffles, you’ll probably save yourself a lot of money and time in the long run by buying a waffle iron for your kitchen. Waffle irons are usually pretty inexpensive, ranging from about $30 to a little over $100, so it’s an affordable addition that can brighten up any kitchen.
What types of waffle makers are there?
There are three main types of waffle irons: stovetop waffle makers, classic waffle makers, and Belgian waffle makers. Stovetop waffle makers give you a more traditional, old-fashioned way to make waffles, but tend to be messier and harder to clean. They don’t require electricity and can be used camping, which is a lot of fun. Classic waffle makers produce thinner, crispy waffles. Belgian waffle makers produce Belgian waffles, which are fluffier and thicker.
What are the benefits of a flip-style waffle iron?
A flip-style waffle iron, offered by Oster, VillaWare, and Presto, among others, can help give you a more evenly cooked and browned waffle. You might be familiar with flip-style waffle irons from continental breakfast bars; they’re easy to operate and give you a great, all-over crispiness that you don’t often get from non-flip waffle makers. If you choose to purchase a flip-style waffle iron, consider buying one that has an indicator light that lets you know when it’s time to flip the waffles.
Should I look for a waffle maker that has temperature controls?
Depends. If you’re just looking for a waffle iron to make the occasional, casual breakfast and don’t have much of a preference for browning levels, you probably don’t need to get a waffle iron with temperature controls. However, if you’re a chef or someone very experienced in the kitchen, you may appreciate the additional control that temperature controls give you over the cooking process. Also, if you plan on making waffles using different recipes, like oatmeal or buckwheat waffles, temperature control will be a must-have.
What features should I look for in a waffle maker?
Some good features to look for in a waffle iron include indicator lights, thermostats, drip trays, timers, and cool-touch or insulated handles.
What does an indicator light do?
An indicator light will take the guesswork out of waffle making. Some models come with indicator lights that tell you when the unit has heated up all the way, and then another light will tell you when your waffle is cooked through and ready to come out.
Why is having a thermostat beneficial?
A thermostat is important for ensuring that your waffle maker heats up to the right temperature every time. It can monitor the heat within the waffle iron to ensure it is heating properly and can even let you know how hot the unit is at any given time.
What is a drip tray?
A drip tray collects any batter that could drip out of the waffle iron. This saves your counter from needing to be washed after each use, and makes clean-up a breeze.
Do I need a timer on my waffle maker?
While you don’t need a timer on your waffle iron, it’s a very handy tool. It saves you the trouble of having to lift the waffle iron lid every time you want to know if your waffle is ready, and you don’t need to keep track of time by yourself. Calphalon offers a “no peek” waffle iron that has a digital display that tracks how brown the waffle is getting so you can stop the iron as soon as your ideal browning level has been reached. Other models over regular countdown timers that chime when the cooking time has completed.
Why are insulated handles useful?
Because a waffle iron is essentially a heating device, it can get very hot to the touch during use. Insulated handles protect you from being burned by the waffle iron when you go to lift the lid or if you need to move it during the cooking process. Some waffle irons even offer all-over insulation so that the lid and other parts of the iron never get too hot.
What if I have a large family and want to make a lot of waffles at one time?
If you want to make more than one waffle at a time, you can upgrade to a larger model that offers more space. Waring makes many larger waffle irons that can accommodate two Belgian waffles at once, which will make cooking for a family of four a speedy process. If you don’t want to pay extra for a larger model, you can always keep waffles warm in an oven preheated to about 250 degrees while you prepare each waffle, so that everyone can eat at the same time without the waffles getting cold.
How about clean-up?
Clean up with a waffle maker can be incredibly easy if you buy a non-stick waffle iron. Most mid- to high-quality models will offer nonstick surfaces. Spraying cooking oil before using your waffle iron can also help reduce mess and make clean-up easy. Whatever you do, don’t be rough with your waffle iron while cleaning it; using steel wool or hard sponges can damage the nonstick lining. Instead, let the iron cool down completely and then use a soft cloth to clean up any food particles.
Are waffle makers available in different shapes?
Yes, there are lots of different shapes available for waffle makers. Usually, you will see round or square waffle makers. However, they also make heart-shaped waffle makers and waffle irons in a variety of different shapes. Disney even makes a Mickey Mouse shaped waffle iron.
Are there any safety hazards with waffle makers?
The only thing you should worry about is keeping your waffle maker out of the reach of small children. Like a toaster or microwave, you don’t want your child to play with the cord or the unit while in use and electrocute or burn themselves.
How long does it take to make a waffle?
How long it takes to make a waffle depends on the heating time and power of your waffle iron, as well as the specific type of waffle you are making and how brown you like your waffles to be. It could take between 3 to 7 minutes depending on these factors.
Can I make anything else in my waffle iron?
A waffle iron can make a lot of fun snacks and dishes. You can scramble eggs, fry bacon, make brownies and quesadillas, or even whip up a waffle-iron pizza. Experiment and see what you can come up with. Waring makes a special waffle iron that also makes perfect omelets every time.
Do I need to use a special type of batter for waffle makers?
Any sort of waffle batter will work in a waffle maker; you can use a mix from a box or your own home-made batter. You can even make special waffles with different flavors. Try experimenting with things like chocolate chips, banana extract, fruit purees, and other fun variations. Look online for great new recipes that will add a little zest to your breakfast.
Are there any tricks to make my waffles come out better?
There are lots of tips and tricks that will improve the flavor and texture of waffles. Seperating the egg yolks from the whites helps make your waffles fluffier. Many people also recommend using club soda or soft cream cheese in your batter to enhance the flavor and make your waffles light and fluffy.