One of the most popular small kitchen appliances currently on the market, a waffle iron creates a waffle by baking batter between two heated metal plates. Traditionally, a waffle iron was attached to tongs and held over an open flame to bake the batter, but years of innovation has lead to much more elegant and practical designs. With a waffle maker, you can enjoy restaurant style waffles from the comfort of your own home. In the past, high-quality consumer grade waffle makers were hard to come by and many people had to settle for knockoff versions of classic designs instead of using the real thing. Luckily, it’s now possible to purchase top-of-the-line waffle makers online, at a competitive price, and have them shipped directly to your door.
Popular Styles of Waffle Maker
Classic Round Waffle Maker
One of the most popular types of waffle maker currently available is the classic round waffle maker. Waffles made using a classic round waffle maker are usually thin and crispy due to the device’s streamlined design and small footprint. Most round waffles makers run off electricity and need to be plugged into an outlet to be used. There are many different makes and models of round waffle maker, so look for a model that best suits your needs.
Belgian Waffle Makers
Differing slightly from classic round waffles, Belgian waffles come in a square shape and are much thicker than their round counterparts. There are also some brands of round Belgian waffle makers, but Belgian waffles are primarily known for their square shape. Even though the differences are primarily aesthetic, round Belgian waffle makers are much more popular than square.
Stovetop Waffle Irons
Utilizing a classic design, stovetop waffle irons can be used anywhere that there’s a source of heat. Many people prefer stovetop waffle irons because they don’t use electricity and give the waffle a different taste and texture. Outdoorsmen like stovetop waffle irons because they can bring the waffle maker along on camping trips and bake waffles over an open fire or on a hotplate.
There are a few drawbacks to using a traditional stovetop waffle iron. Some users have mentioned that many older models don’t have non-stick surfaces so they can be difficult to clean if the batter dries on. This can be fixed by spraying the waffle iron with a non-stick coating before each use, but many people prefer that the waffle iron come with a built-in non-stick coating. Another issue that some people have with the stovetop waffle irons is that it’s easy to burn the waffles. Because you’re holding the waffle iron directly over heating source, it can be difficult to gauge how much heat the waffle is actually receiving. It’s just as easy to undercook the waffles using a stovetop waffle iron, as it is to burn them.
Waffle Maker Features
One of the most important aspects of a waffle maker is its size. Waffle makers range from compact to large, depending on how many waffles it cooks. Some waffle makers can cook a dozen waffles at a time, but not many people need to cook that many waffles at once. For most users, a classic single or double waffle design will work well. Another important thing to consider when looking at a waffle maker’s size is how easily you can store the device. If it’s too large to be stored easily you should consider purchasing a smaller waffle maker or a stovetop model. It’s important to remember that the size of the waffle maker correlates directly to the size of the waffle, so if you want a few small waffles with breakfast your best option is to get a small waffle maker.
Standard machines typically make round waffles, but there are many other models of waffle maker to choose from. There are types of specialized waffle makers that can make heart-shaped or triangular waffles. Some companies even let you have images custom engraved into your waffle maker, so you can have any shape or image that you want baked into your waffles. Unusually shaped waffles are very popular with kids and parents alike because it helps the children get excited about eating healthy, balanced breakfast.
When you’re in the market to buy a waffle maker, it’s important to consider how think you want your waffles. Some people prefer to have their waffles cooked to a certain thickness, so they should keep an eye on the depth of the waffle grid. A shallow waffle grid will produce a very thin waffle, while a deep grid will produce a large, thick waffle. Both types of waffles can be fluffy or crispy, so it all comes down to the how long the waffles are cooked.
Many of the concerns people have when purchasing a waffle maker are focused on the device’s grill surface. Old-fashioned waffle makers are generally quite difficult when it comes to cleaning because they aren’t equipped with any form of non-stick grill surface. Many people prefer to purchase a waffle iron that comes with a modern, non-stick grill surface because it helps save time and aggravation. With a modern waffle iron there’s no need to pry the waffles out when they’re finished baking. The waffles simply slid out of the waffle maker and onto your plate. It’s still wise to use a small amount of oil, butter, and cooking spray to grease the grill surface before you pour on the waffle batter.
There used to be an enormous amount of guesswork involved when making waffles. Older waffle irons didn’t come with any sort of indicator light or temperature warnings. The only way to tell that the waffle was done was to wait for steam to pour out of the waffle maker, but even that didn’t guarantee that the waffles were finished. In a modern waffle maker, a light will turn on to signal that the waffle iron is thoroughly heated and a second light will turn on when the waffle is finished baking. Some high-tech waffle makers also play an audible alert when the waffles are ready, so you can focus on preparing other parts of breakfast and not worry about your waffles.
Some of the best modern waffle makers come with internal thermostats, so the user has added control over how the waffles are cooked. A feature that’s been appearing in many new models of waffle iron is the ability to adjust the thermostat to a certain temperature. Whether you prefer soft and fluffy waffles, or dark and crispy waffles, an adjustable temperature gauge will help you make waffles exactly to your specifications. Different batter types can call for different temperature settings too, so this feature makes the waffle iron much more versatile.
Many of today’s waffle irons are insulated to ensure that the exterior doesn’t become to hot and accidentally burn the user. Unfortunately, many older models of waffle iron don’t come with added insulation, so it’s important to be careful around any type of waffle iron. Some people prefer to use oven mitts while operating their waffle maker, but there are a wide variety of modern, cool-to-the-touch models that don’t require the user to take any extra safety precautions.
While many waffle irons are designed to help prevent batter sticking to the grill surface, it’s hard to prevent batter from dripping out of the waffle maker during the cooking process. Some machines are marketed as being drip-free, but batter can still escape when the waffle is being flipped over, or when initial batter is being added. One of the best ways to prevent the waffle iron from dripping batter all over the kitchen is to purchase a drip tray. Although the drip tray doesn’t do anything to keep the waffle iron from dripping, it catches any loose batter and makes it much less likely that the waffle iron will make a mess. The majority of modern waffle makers come with this feature built in, and aftermarket drip trays can be purchased online.
Most waffle irons come with analogue controls, but many waffle irons are being fitted with digital displays and push-button controls to help bring the classic design up to date. Anyone who cooks waffles frequently will appreciate the added precision of a digitally operated control panel.
Along with a digital control panel, the digital display can show the user a countdown until the waffle is ready to be taken off the grill surface. Digital display systems add a level of convenience beyond what a conventional waffle iron could provide, and helps push the overall design forward without complicating the process or changing the iron’s functions.
Although a waffle maker’s color has very little to do with the way it functions, may people prefer that their waffle iron coordinate well with their other kitchen appliances. Luckily, waffle irons come in many sizes, shapes, and colors, so there’s a good chance you’ll find an appropriately colored waffle iron that meets all your specifications. Several popular colors for waffle iron include white, black, stainless steel, and white. Nearly every model of waffle iron comes in these four colors so it’s easy to choose the right model.
How to make the best Belgian Waffles?
And watch this great youtube video with fantastic detailed showing how to make your own Belgian waffles really simple!