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This jack-of-all-trades, brushed stainless steel waffle maker overwhelmingly earned our top spot on this roundup—and for good reason. It offers a little bit of everything. Need a space-friendly appliance? Its compact design is a perfect addition to even the tiniest kitchens. A unique weighted lid keeps batter from oozing out as waffles cook. You’ll find several rubber feet beneath this unit, protecting your countertop from scuffs and keeping the waffle maker from sliding around on slick surfaces.
You'll have full temperature control at your fingertips by selecting any of the five browning settings. Red and green signal lights alert you when the iron is hot enough and when the waffles are done—no more lifting the lid too early or ending up with charred waffles.
After it has cooled, the waffle iron is easy to clean with a dish brush for crumbs and a damp dishcloth to remove any cooking oil or stuck-on batter. Then the cord wraps around the base for easy storage.
In the mood for high-quality Belgian waffles? Look no further than this powerful, 1,100-watt premiere appliance—the veritable champion of Belgian waffle makers, according to customers. A unique rotating design instantly flips batter 180 degrees, resulting in a uniform spread. With a cook time of less than 4 minutes, breakfast is ready in no time. And a countdown timer on the digital display clearly states just how much time each waffle has left to cook. The fold and lock feature allows the unit to be stored upright, saving space in your cabinets. But keep in mind that the plates of this waffle iron should be seasoned before use to prevent your breakfast from sticking and making a mess.
This waffle maker leads the list in affordability, making it a great choice if you've never owned a waffle maker before. And if you don't end up using it often enough, you won't feel bad donating it or gifting it to a friend. Not only is it cheap, but the interior Teflon coating provides a nonstick cooking environment, making it easy to clean up. Of course, the Teflon coating does come at a slight tradeoff as the waffle exteriors aren’t as crisp as they would be when cooked in a cast iron unit.
The deep rimmed design of the waffle plates helps prevent spills and overflow while cooking. Despite the low price, this unit is durable. You'll be able to enjoy delicious, homemade, 8-inch waffles for the long haul. And the cool touch handles mean you can move this light, 3-pound appliance across the counter without burning your fingertips. And because the Oster Belgian Waffle Maker comes with a 1-year warranty, it's good for the accident prone.
However, since it only prepares one waffle at a time, it’s not ideal for large waffle-loving households. Otherwise, it’s a low-risk/high-reward option that sells for less than $20.
Perfect for a small apartment or home where kitchen space is tight, the Dash Mini Waffle Maker is both compact and easy to use. Whip up a 4-inch waffle in a matter of minutes by simply plugging it in, waiting for it to heat up, and pouring the batter. There's an indicator light that lets you know when it's hot enough, non-slip feet for added stability, and a nonstick surface to make cleanup easier.
Plus, you can make more than just waffles—try out a panini, hash browns, biscuits, and more. A recipe book comes included. Weighing less than 2 pounds and offered in a variety of colors, this kitchen gadget is as cute as it is functional.
To buy an indoor grill or waffle maker? If you find yourself torn between the two, opt for this model from Black+Decker that lets you make a range of meals with just one appliance. Once you’ve polished off the waffle batter, switch the reversible plates and get straight to frying eggs or cooking up bacon. This versatile appliance opens flat, providing two cooking surfaces so you can get more done in less time.
If you're skeptical of dual-purpose appliances because you've been burned in the past, you can rest assured that this model really can multi-task well. Integrated temperature control ensures that waffles are cooked to just the right temperature. Don’t sweat potential messes thanks to the design of this unit. Residual oil is diverted into grease runoff channels, built into the edge of the grill. You won’t need any elbow grease to scrub this appliance, either. Nonstick grill plates prevent particles from sticking, making post-breakfast cleanup a breeze. The plates detach completely and can be cleaned with soap and water. Just make sure they are completely dry before storing everything away.
The Hamilton Beach 26030 solves the problem of hand-wash-only waffle makers. If you want to avoid the fuss of hard-to-clean machines, this Belgian waffle maker model has the ultimate convenience feature: removable plates. The nonstick cooking grids are entirely dishwasher safe, so you can just pop them out of the machine after you’re done cooking and put them straight in the dishwasher. They take up about as much room as a dinner plate and there’s no hand-washing necessary. This model even has a drip tray to catch spillover batter, so your countertop stays spotless, too.
The easy clean-up may be the most distinguishing feature, but the Hamilton Beach 26030 also makes some delicious Belgian waffles. Flip the machine in the middle of the cooking process to create perfect, evenly-browned waffles that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It also has a “browning control” setting so you can have them exactly as toasted as you like.
If you want to go old school with your waffle maker, or you don’t have counter space or storage space for an electric model, this stovetop waffle maker can be fun to use. It makes Belgium style waffles using just the heat of your stove. It couldn’t be easier, just preheat waffle maker, pour in the batter, close the waffle maker and cook on the first side before flipping it over and cooking for 2-3 minutes more.
Recipes are included to get you started making great waffles. The waffle maker is made from cast aluminum and has plastic handles that stay cool during cooking. It should be hand washed.
This is definitely the most expensive option on our list, but if you are a die-hard waffle lover on the hunt for a truly premium machine—it doesn’t get any better than the Breville Smart 4-Slice Waffle Maker. This is the Rolls-Royce of waffle-makers, outfitted with five different cooking presets (Belgian, Classic, Chocolate, Buttermilk, or Custom) as well as 12 different heat settings. It also has Breville’s “Waffle IQ” technology, which automatically calculates the ideal cooking time to suit your preferred “waffle style” and level of crispiness. There are knobs to control the level of darkness as well as the heat intensity, and even a button labeled “A Bit More” for when you want it to go…a bit more. The end result? Four delicious, deep-grid Belgian waffles cooked to your most specific preferences.
At 16 x 9 x 18 inches, the Breville Smart is a sizeable machine. But it’s all sleek stainless steel and has a low profile that won’t be an eyesore on the countertop. You already know if you need this machine—to those true connoisseurs of crispy, doughy perfection, the ultimate waffle is worth the splurge.
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Anthony Irizarry is a New York City-based freelancer who writes about home and kitchen products for The Spruce. He previously worked as an appliance reviews editor covering new releases, reviews, and roundups. He earned his bachelor's degree from Austin Peay State University.
The Ultimate Waffle Maker Buying Guide
It’s hard to beat a golden brown buttermilk waffle from the diner, tender on the inside and delicately crisp on the outside—although some may argue that the classic Belgian waffle is actually the preferable waffle.
But what’s the difference anyway? The major difference you’ll notice is the deeper square pockets of a Belgian waffle that hold generous amounts of butter slathered on top and sparkling wells of maple syrup. In comparison, classic waffles have smaller, shallower pockets and are typically thinner (think Waffle House or Eggo waffles).
What you might not have noticed is that authentic Belgian waffles are classically made from yeast-leavened batter, while buttermilk waffles are leavened with baking powder or soda. Some Belgian waffles are also crusted with coarse sugar while cooking, meant to be eaten without syrup, more as a snack or an on-the-go treat. If you’re a waffle enthusiast, yeasted or sourdough waffles are really going to delight you.
If you end up purchasing a waffle maker designed with the deep pockets of a Belgian waffle style, you can absolutely cook buttermilk waffles in it. If you opt for a thinner-style waffle maker, you can still play around with yeasted waffle batters. When it comes to choosing a waffle maker for your kitchen, there are plenty of choices tailored to whatever style of waffle you like most or how dedicated you are to the art of the waffle.
Settings and Controls
Waffle makers come equipped with several settings to help you achieve your perfect waffle. Nearly every machine comes with two basic sets of controls. The first is an indicator (usually a light) that lets you know when the waffle iron has been heated and is ready to cook. The second is a variable browning adjuster that lets you choose how light or dark you’d like your waffles to be.
The heating indicator light is also sometimes accompanied by a “finished cooking” light or sound, which is useful if standing in front of the waffle maker impatiently waiting for it to finish isn’t your thing. More advanced machines have a digital timer and can even adjust the cooking time and temperature based on the type of waffle you’re making, taking nearly all of the guesswork out of it.
When it comes to the doneness of your waffle, everyone has a different opinion of what’s best (kind of like toast). Look for a machine with a minimum of five cooking levels to help you achieve your ideal finish. This control is usually a dial, slider, or digital setting.
Some machines also include a “texture” setting. More than just a toast setting, the texture setting allows you to make waffles that are evenly baked, fluffy, and cake-like all the way through at one end of the spectrum, or crisp on the outside and custardy on the inside at the other end of the spectrum.
Additional controls may come at a premium, but for those enthusiastic enough about crafting the perfect breakfast waffle, it may be worth it. Digital displays, automatic programs based on the style of waffle you’re making, and personal preference can all be adjusted.
Waffle Style and Portions
If you’ve given a little bit of thought to what type of waffle you enjoy most, that decision will go a long way in helping you choose an appropriate machine. If you’re delighted by the pools of syrup and crispiness of a Belgian waffle, make sure you find a machine that makes them large enough. If you’re comfortable with a classic waffle, there are plenty of reasonable options for those too.
If you’re planning on making a lot of waffles, you might want to look at machines that make 2 or more substantial waffles at a time. They tend to take up a little more space than single-batch waffle makers, but making breakfast shouldn’t take all morning. The efficiency of a multi-batch waffle maker is worth the cost when you have a hungry audience asking how long until it’s ready.
A happy medium can be found with a Nordic-style waffle maker, like the Chef’sChoice 840 WafflePro that makes one large waffle composed of five smaller heart-shaped waffles. These waffles can be quickly portioned out to get the breakfast ball rolling sooner, with another round ready when everyone is hungry for seconds (or thirds).
Ease of Cleaning
If you’ve never cleaned a waffle machine before, you may not have experienced the torture of trying to clean a half-burnt, half-gooey batter mess out of the deep, dark crevices of a machine that should not under any condition be put under running water. It can really make you question if the prize is worth the fight. The ease of cleaning your waffle maker is a consideration second really only to the waffle-making itself.
Waffle machine manufacturers understand the struggle and have made a few improvements when it comes to hassle-free cleaning of your machine. Most electric machines come with a nonstick coating, making it harder for the waffle to stick to the heat plates in the first place. If batter happens to stick to it, a light wipe or gentle scrub can usually remove any leftover crumbs. A quick hit of cooking spray just before cooking isn’t a bad idea either.
More advanced machines have plates that remove entirely, making hand-washing or dishwashing incredibly convenient. Make sure to check the user manual before putting any parts of your machine in the dishwasher.
Many waffle machines also have channels built around the waffle iron center to catch any spillover batter. This part of the machine is usually also nonstick-coated but may require additional brushing or wiping to get any built-up leftovers free.
It’s preferable to season your waffle iron over time, never scrubbing it too harshly with chemicals other than soap and water. Always wipe and thoroughly dry your machine before storing.
A waffle maker is certainly one of the more entertaining appliances to have in your kitchen, but most people have neither the counter space nor the interest in keeping this machine on the countertop for the long haul. With that in mind, the majority of waffle makers are made to store vertically or have a low-profile design to easily slide into a cabinet or large drawer.
If storage space is a big issue, you also have the option of choosing a mini-sized machine like the Dash Mini Maker. If you’re making the most of your space, consider investing in a more versatile machine like the BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 waffle maker, which can also be used as a flat-top grill or a griddle press for hot sandwiches and meats.
There’s a huge variety of prices when it comes to waffle makers. When considering how much to invest in a waffle maker, it may be a good idea to consider how many waffles you actually eat. For $20 or less, you can have a smaller waffle maker that will satisfy your waffle craving every now and then without a huge commitment. For $30 to $50, you can have a machine that’s going to work a little harder and produce higher-quality waffles more tailored to your tastes.
Do you order waffles at every brunch? Are you a breakfast-for-dinner-occasionally kind of person? Do you have well-defined opinions of what the perfect waffle should look, smell, and taste like? If you answered yes to these questions, you’re likely to get a good amount of mileage out of a more expensive, heavier-duty waffle maker that will be able to meet your high expectations.
On the other hand, if you think you may only make waffles every now and then, or deep down you really just want pancakes, it’s probably best to pick up a lower-priced waffle maker that won’t take up too much valuable real estate in your kitchen.
Waffle machines most often come with a 1-, 2-, or in some cases 3-year limited warranty. Warranties typically cover any manufacturing defects, like bad wiring or broken lights and displays. Damage while properly using the machine—like the machine not turning on or a broken plate—may also be covered by the warranty. Using the machine for things other than the intended cooking use and altering the machine on your own may void the warranty.
Types of Waffle Makers
Almost all of the electric machines on the market today come with nonstick-coated waffle plates. The plates are either coated metal or ceramic, with a nonstick or Teflon finish. The exteriors are most often designed with plastic and/or brushed stainless steel features and are portable.
When choosing an electric machine, look for models that have weighted lids to keep the top from popping up while steam is releasing and the waffle is expanding. Machines with lighter lids should have a clasp to keep the lid in place.
Any part of the machine that you need to touch while in use (the handle on the lid, the clasp, even the drip plate and base of the machine) should be heat-resistant to avoid burning yourself during use. Electric machines should be cooled completely in the open position before cleaning and removing plates to wash.
Less popular than electric models but just as effective in many cases, stovetop waffle makers are typically made of cast aluminum or cast iron. Cast aluminum models are made with a nonstick coating, whereas cast iron models need to be seasoned ahead of time and oiled before each use to prevent sticking.
Stovetop waffle makers are especially convenient for storing, since they usually take up about as much space as a sheet tray. You’ll also find them handy on camping trips or traveling if you like to cook waffles on vacation.
It might be hard to rationalize buying another tabletop appliance that only has one purpose if you already have several pieces of cooking equipment. A convertible waffle maker might be more appropriate with its additional grilling plates. Perfect waffles that are accompanied by eggs and bacon, all cooked on the same appliance, add another level of convenience to this piece of equipment that may make it worth it. A waffle maker that converts into a sandwich press for gooey grilled cheese sandwiches and savory paninis can also really add to your cooking repertoire.
Cuisinart—known for its quality small appliances—has an impressive selection of waffle makers to choose from. From the more budget-conscious WMR-CA Round Classic model to the higher-end full-sized rotating Double Belgian Waffle maker, there’s an option for almost any serious cook to enjoy. It also has models designed for vertical storage, convertible use, and multi-waffle production.
Combining the quality of professionally made waffles with the convenience of a home-use machine at a reasonable price, Presto once again makes a useful piece of kitchen equipment that’s easy for any home cook to use and love. Presto originally started out making canning equipment and pressure cookers, but has expanded its line over the last century to include dependable home cooking appliances that fit into niches not always provided by some of the larger brands.
The very first thing you’ll notice when browsing Dash equipment is how cute and attractive it is. Bright color and patterns, seasonal and holiday-themed designs, and compact footprints define Dash appliances. While some of that cute design comes at a premium, most of the Dash appliances are economical or priced in the mid-range, as well as highly rated by users online.
While not a regular household name, Chef’sChoice produces dependable appliances and restaurant-grade equipment. With a line of 14 different waffle makers and specialty press machines, all with unique designs and functionality—you’re likely to find something special and a little out of the ordinary.
Luxury home coffee machines made Breville the company it is today, but it didn’t stop there. This Australian-based company has branched out to provide essential and chef’s quality equipment for those looking for all the bells and whistles. Contemporary brushed stainless steel designs give a uniform look to the entire line of products to help them blend seamlessly into almost every kitchen.
Most waffle machines don’t come with additional accessories, but there are a few tools you may want to pick up to help along the way. For example, a pitcher to hold your waffle batter makes it easy to pour and is going to be more convenient than ladling batter from the mixing bowl to the machine—and tidier. You may also want to invest in a small metal or silicone spatula to help lift your freshly cooked waffle off the cooking plate and unstick any parts that want to hang on.
Once you’ve mastered your perfect breakfast waffle, it’s time to start thinking outside of the waffle box. There are plenty of savory recipes to experiment with including, potato-based waffles, cheese and herb waffles, and even using your machine to grill things other than waffles—like tater tots! A quick search will yield you a bundle of waffle maker cooking options that you’ve probably never even dreamed of or any meal or snack of the day.