Last Updated: March 2018
Though they aren’t considered a ‘necessity,’ like a refrigerator or a stove if you love waffles (and unless you plan on making frozen waffles that are full of preservatives,) you may beg to differ that a waffle maker is a necessary appliance. Why? – Because without a waffle maker, there is just no other way that you can make waffles; it’s as simple as that.
If waffles are a breakfast treat – or even a treat that you enjoy at any other time of the day (waffles with ice cream, anyone?) then you are certainly going to want to have a waffle maker. While buying a waffle maker may seem like a straightforward task at first, when you start shopping, you may find that it is actually a lot more complicated than you first thought.
There are so many different types of waffle irons and various options available, which can make it hard to choose which waffle maker will best suit your needs. With that in mind, we have created this handy buyer’s guide for you. In this guide, we have included everything that you need to know about buying a waffle maker. You will learn what separates a good waffle maker from a sub-par option, you will find out the factors that you should take into consideration when you are shopping, the features that these appliances can offer, and you will also discover what our top picks are for the best waffle makers.
After you read this buyer’s guide, you will have all of the pertinent information that you need in order to buy the best waffle maker for your specific needs. So, if you are ready to start making the perfect, moist, yet crunchy, and delicious waffles, then you are going to want to keep on reading.
What You Need to Know About Waffle Makers
When you set out to buy a waffle maker, you will quickly learn that there are a lot of options on the market. It should be said that not all waffle makers are created equal. To put it bluntly, some waffle makers really are much better than others. So, what qualities deem a waffle maker as ‘good,’ and what qualities deem them ‘bad’? Below, you will find out just that!
There are several qualities that you should be looking for if you want to purchase the best waffle maker for your needs. The highest quality appliances will offer the following qualities.
All waffle makers feature slatted heating plates, which are located on a bottom shelf and a top hinged door. On the best waffle makers, these plates are coated with a non-stick material, such as Teflon. Non-stick plates are so important because they prevent the waffles from sticking inside the maker. Unless you want to struggle with pulling your waffles off of the heating plates, and you want to risk burning them, you are going to want to look for a waffle maker that has non-stick plates.
Offers Consistent Heating
There is really no point in making waffles unless they turn out golden brown and crispy. While using a good quality batter certainly plays an important role in how the waffles will turn out, if you don’t have consistent heat to cook them on, even the best batter could end up turning out sub-par waffles.
The key to cooking the perfect waffle is preparing them on a surface that offers consistent, even heat. Without this, your attempts to making a perfect waffle will all be for naught.
Another quality that the best waffle makers offer is heat control. You want to be able to control the heat of the cooking surface so that you can cook the waffles to your desired level of ‘doneness.’ In other words, if you like your waffles cooked well done, you are going to want to be able to turn up the heat of the cooking surface; and, if you want your waffles to be a little more soft than crispy, you want to be able to turn down the temperature of the heating surface.
In addition to having non stick plates, the best waffle makers allow you to easily release your waffles from them. There really is nothing more frustrating than preparing a yummy waffle and than having to wrestle with the maker to remove the waffle from its clutches.
Cool Touch Exterior
Yet another quality that the highest quality waffle makers offer is a cool touch exterior. As the interior cooking pans heat up, the exterior of the appliance could heat up, too. This means that, should you touch the exterior of the waffle maker, you will be more likely to sustain a burn. With a cool touch exterior, you don’t have to worry that you will burn your fingers.
Another element that the best waffle makers offer is griddles that can be removed. This will allow for a much easier clean up, as all you will have to do is pop the plates out of the appliance and clean them; there is no reason to submerge your waffle maker into water to clean it.
Let’s You Know When Cooking is Done
The best waffle makers on the market will let you know when the cooking has completed. They will either make an audible beeping noise, or they will flash an indicter light to let you know when the waffle is done cooking.
Now that you know what qualities a good waffle maker will offer, now let’s discuss the qualities that lower quality waffle makers will not offer. We recommend that you avoid purchasing one of these waffle makers, as they will not allow you to make a great quality waffle.
No Non Stick Plates
The last thing you want is to cook the perfect waffles, and then end up having them stick to the surface of the cooking plates. A poor quality waffle maker will not have non stick plates. While you can certainly spray the plates with a non stick spray, in the event that you forget to spray them, you will end up having waffles that get stuck to the plates, and you will have a hard time removing them from the waffle maker. To avoid ruining your waffles, make sure you look for non stick plates.
Cooks Different Styles of Waffles
While it may seem handy to have a waffle maker that can cook different styles of waffles, it actually isn’t as handy as you think. A waffle maker should only make waffles that are either thin and crispy, or thick and fluffy (Belgian style waffles.) Makers that make the latter type of waffles will have relatively shallow pockets, and those that make the former style will have deeper pockets.
Non Removable Grids
If the cooking grids cannot be removed, cleaning the waffle iron will be difficult. You will have to figure out a way to clean the appliance without doing damage to the housing, or the electrical components; submerging the entire waffle maker in water will certainly cause damage to the entire machine.
Best Waffle Makers in 2017
Now that you know what qualities constitute a good waffle maker, and what qualities make a waffle maker sub-par, we want to share with you the products that we found to be the best of the best on the market today.
We have conducted extensive research, compared the qualities that waffle makers from various manufacturers offer, checked out product reviews and have tested them out ourselves. After our in-depth analysis, we have determined that the following waffle makers truly are the best on the market today.
Waring WMK600 Double Belgian Waffle Maker
If you love thick, fluffy Belgian waffles, you are going to love the Waring WMK600 Double Belgian Waffle Maker. Offering extra deep 1 inch pockets, the batter will be transformed into the thickest, fluffiest waffles you could imagine. The grids on both the upper and lower portions of this waffle maker are covered with a non stick coating, which prevents the waffles from sticking to the surface, prevents burning, and allows the waffles to easily release from the maker.Check Price
The easy to operate rotary, which turns with a handle, ensure that your waffles will be cooked evenly and completely through, from the top right to the bottom. There are two LED ready indicator lights, as well as three audio beep tones that signal when the waffle maker has reached the proper cooking temperature, and when your waffles have finished cooking.
The toggle switch makes it easy to turn this waffle maker on and off. There is also a rotary thermostat and a browning control knob, so you can definitely get your waffles cooked to your desired brownness level. And, to top it all off, this waffle maker offers two separate waffle irons, so you can make two waffles at the same time!
Backed by a limited one year product warranty, you will have confidence that you will have a high quality appliance when you purchase the Waring WMK600 Double Belgian Waffle Maker.
Presto 03510 Flip Side Belgian Waffle Maker
The combination of black plastic and stainless steel on the exterior of the Presto 03510 Flip Side Belgian Waffle Maker gives this appliance an attractive, sleek and modern design that will look lovely on your kitchen counter.Check Price
Open up the lid, and inside you will find two grids that are 7 inches in diameter and are extremely deep, which will create a the perfect, thick and fluffy Belgian waffles. The rotating design ensures that the waffles are cooked evenly through, ensuring that you will have the best tasting waffle possible. The dual function base makes the rotation of the waffles as convenient and easy as possible. With a countdown timer that is signaled on a digital display, you won’t have to guess when your waffles are done cooking; you will definitely know.
When you aren’t making waffles, this machine locks and can stand up in a vertical position for easy storage.
Proctor Silex Belgian Waffle Maker (26070)
If you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money on your waffle maker, but you don’t want to sacrifice quality for price, than the Proctor Silex Belgian Waffle Maker (26070) is an excellent option. Small in size and low in cost, this waffle maker certainly is not low on quality.Check Price
The non stick waffle plates ensure that your waffles will not stick to the surface of the cooking surface, reduces the risk of burning and makes it a lot easier to release the waffles. The grids on this waffle maker are deep, so you will be able to make those thick, fluffy and yummy Belgian style waffles.
Offering both power and preheat lights, you will know when the unit is turned on, which improves safety, and you will also know when the cooking surface has reached the proper temperature. Because the Proctor Silex Belgian Waffle Maker (26070) is so compact in size, it won’t take up a tremendous amount of room on your countertop, and you will need minimal space to store it.
Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian Waffle Maker with Removable Plates (26030)
If you want to enjoy thick, tasty, fluffy Belgian waffles like the pros make, than the Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian Waffle Maker with Removable Plates (26030) is an appliance that you are definitely going to want to have in your kitchen.Check Price
The non stick grids are nice and deep, allowing you to make extra thick and fluffy Belgian waffles. Thanks to the advanced heating technology, this waffle maker ensures consistent and even browning and baking. An indicator light lets you know when it is time to flip your waffles, which you will be able to easily do, thanks to the cool touch, easy flip handle. Because you can flip your waffles, you can ensure that they are cooked evenly and all the way through. When you are done making your waffles, the grids pop out for easy cleaning, and they can even be placed in the dishwasher. A drip tray, which sits underneath the waffle maker, catches any batter that flows over the edges, keeping your countertops neat and clean.
Oster CKSTWF2000 Belgian Waffle Maker
The first thing you will notice about the Oster CKSTWF2000 Belgian Waffle Maker is the stainless steel housing, which is accented by durable black plastic. Its sleek design makes it a beautiful addition to your kitchen counter. Open up the waffle maker, and you will find an eight inch round baking plate with deep pockets for cooking a thick and fluffy Belgian waffle.Check Price
Thanks to the adjustable temperature control, you ensure that this waffle maker will heat up to the perfect temperature and provide you with the best tasting waffles that will be cooked to your desired specifications.
A power on and ready indicator light lets you know when the cooking surface has reached the ideal temperature, and it also lets you know when the appliance is turned on, improving safety.
Our Consumer Guide to Waffle Maker
Though we have offered what we think are the best waffle makers on the market today, we know that you may be interested in purchasing a different waffle maker. After all, the appliances that we listed may not fit your specific needs. With that said, we want to make sure that you are well educated about waffle makers so that you can purchase the best appliance for your specific needs.
Below, we have listed some important information that we think is important to know when you are shopping for a waffle maker.
Types of Waffle Makers
There are five types of waffle makers, which include:
- The Stove Top Waffle Iron – This is the most basic of all waffle makers. It is essentially a two sided pan that has grates on the inside and it sits right on top of the stove, or any other heat source. While it doesn’t need electricity to work, it doesn’t offer all of the handy features, like indicator lights, that other waffle makers offer.
- The Classic Round Waffle Maker – This is an upgrade from the stove top waffle maker. It makes a round, think, crispy waffle, also known as an American style waffle.
- The Belgian Waffle Maker – These waffle makers have deeper grates, which allows you to make thicker, fluffier waffles, also known as Belgian waffles. There are two varieties of the Belgian waffle maker: Square and round.
- The Flip Waffle Maker – With this waffle maker, you will be able to flip your waffles in the middle of cooking. By flipping your waffles, you can ensure that they are evenly cooked all the way through. Halfway through cooking, an indicator light will turn on, letting you know when it is time to flip the waffle maker.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Waffle Maker
There are a number of factors that you are going to want to take into consideration when you are shopping for your waffle maker. These factors include the size of the waffle maker, the type of waffles you want to make and the cost of the appliance, among other things. By taking these factors into consideration, you will be able to purchase the best waffle maker for your specific needs.
Here’s a look at some of the most important factors that you should consider when you are shopping for a waffle maker.
The Type of Waffles You Want to Make
The type of waffles you want to make is the most important factor to take into consideration when you are shopping for a waffle maker. Do you want to make thinner, crispier waffles, or do you want to make thicker, fluffier waffles? The best waffle makers are designed to make either one of these types of waffles; remember, you should avoid purchasing a waffle maker that promises to make both types of waffles, as they will offer sub-par results.
The Size of the Waffle Maker
You are also going to want consider the size of the waffle maker. Not only the size of the appliance impact the size of the waffles that you can make, but it will also determine the amount of space that you will need on your countertop to accommodate the appliance.
Make sure you keep in mind how much space you have on the countertop so that you can choose a waffle maker that your counter can accommodate.
The Number of Waffles You Want to Make
Are you planning on making only one waffle, or do you want to make more than one? If you want to make multiple waffles at the same time, you are going to want to purchase a waffle maker that will allow you to make more than one waffle at a time.
The Weight of the Waffle Maker
You should also consider the weight of the waffle maker. Heavier waffle makers are more difficult to move, which can make them difficult to clean and to store. If you do opt for a heavy one, make sure you have enough counter space to accommodate it, as it may be an appliance that you permanently have out.
The Cost of the Waffle Maker
The cost of the waffle maker is also an important factor to keep in mind. The cost of these appliances can vary greatly. Make sure you know how much you want to spend before you start shopping so that you don’t end up spending more than you are comfortable with. Generally, the more features that a waffle iron offers, and the larger it is, the more expensive it will be, so do keep that in mind when you are planning your budget.
Features Waffle Irons Can Offer
There are a number of features that waffle irons can offer. These features are intended to make the waffle iron easier to use, and more versatile. As we mentioned above, the more features that a waffle iron offers, the more expensive it will likely be. It is important to understand the intended purpose of different features so that you can determine whether you want or need them, and if the added cost will be worth your while.
Here is a look at some of the top features that waffle irons can offer.
Some waffle makers offer safety features, which will be particularly useful if you have small children living in your house. Safety features can include locking lids and an automatic shut off. With these features, you will have an added layer of protection should curious little hands try to investigate your waffle maker while the appliance is being used.
If you want to make waffles that are cooked to your desired crispiness, an adjustable temperature is definitely a feature that you will like. With this feature, you can adjust the temperature of the cooking grids, ensuring that your waffles are cooked to your desired specifications.
Indicator Lights / Sounds
A waffle maker that offers indicator lights and / or sounds will let you know when your waffle maker is ready to start using. It will also let you know when your waffles are ready to be turned, and / or when they have finished cooking. Indicators can include either a light or an audible alarm sound. Either way, with this feature, you will be able to ensure that you get the best, perfectly prepared waffles possible.
If you want to make sure that your waffle maker is as versatile as possible, you may want to consider purchasing one that offers added features. These features can include additional plates, as well as stirrers and spatulas, and will certainly make using your waffle maker easier, not to mention the fact that they will allow you to make various types of waffles.
The best waffle makers come complete with a warranty. With a warranty, should anything happen to your waffle maker, or should there be a defect, you will be able to have the appliance repaired or replaced, or you may even be able to have your money refunded.