If you and your family love waffles, then you know the joy a good waffle can produce. Yes, they taste good, but waffles are also generally a part of a relaxed Saturday morning when everyone comes together, if only just to talk about their expectations of the week to come. Having the right waffle maker for the job helps you create those moments.
Waffle makers come in all shapes and sizes with a wide price range. Keep in mind that a low-cost item may not mean low quality, while a high-cost item may just be pricey because of the name brand.
Comparing waffle makers can be both tedious and time consuming. Even though at its most basic, the appliance is just two heated plates designed to cook a batter – or dough – between them, you want to know that you are buying a quality product and that your money is well spent. Here you will find articles about a variety of waffle makers that will help you make an informed decision about buying the best fit for you and your family.
Whether you’re buying your first waffle maker or just replacing one that’s broken, you want to find one that meets your needs. There are primarily two types of waffle makers available from which you can make over a dozen types of waffles. Most common are the standard American-style waffles and the popular Belgian waffle. Experimenting with recipes will lead you to unique styles and flavors, making your family’s waffle experience more memorable. Dough-based waffles also afford interesting variations that while they require time, are well worth the effort. Regardless of the type of waffle you decide to make, consider the following when choosing the best waffle maker for your family.
In addition to making American or Belgian-style waffles, some waffle makers can do more. A few are designed as dual-purpose machines that include a flat cooking surface, meaning you can save yourself some time by making pancakes, eggs or omelets on the same machine.
How many waffles you can make at once is also an important question. Knowing warm up times and how long it takes to cook each waffle will make it easier for you to plan breakfast into your morning routine. Larger capacity waffle makers enable you to feed more than just one person at a time, while single waffle makers are better for feeding just one or two people in the morning. Of course, you can opt to keep waffles warm if they’re not being eaten right away, but they can lose their crispy surface as moisture escapes from the inside, making your whole waffle seem soggy unless you reheat it in a toaster.
The cooking controls on new waffle maker are an important consideration. Where some have the standard browning control dial, others are timed with a set temperature, meaning you will be cooking longer for a darker color. There’s also generally an indicator light that between brands will have different meanings. On some it will mean your waffle is done while on others it means that the irons are heating. Some waffle makers also have an alarm to notify you when your waffle is done.
Smaller American waffle makers will usually have a wattage below 1,000, which cooks your waffle more thoroughly like you would cook a cracker. This is why you watch the waffle for when steam stops escaping to know when they are done cooking. Larger Belgian-style waffle makers have higher wattages can put out more heat and are designed to quickly cook the surface of the waffle while leaving a chewy, bread-like texture on the inside.
Because the wattages of no two waffle makers are alike, it’s nice when a model comes with a cookbook to help you reach your desired results. Cookbooks that come with waffle makers are written around that particular appliance and are tailored to the manufacture’s predetermined heat settings.
Post-waffle making clean-up may be one of the most important factors when considering a waffle maker. Some manufacturers suggest using cooking spray, while others don’t. For a variety of reasons, it is always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Different types of non-stick materials are used with different waffle makers. Some are the traditional Teflon type, while others are silicone anodized – and that is known to not be as durable as Teflon. Teflon as a material is ideal for waffle makers. It’s much lower maintenance than other surfaces, but it does require its own considerations such as not scratching the surface with metal utensils and keeping the surface clean for non-stick cooking. Using cooking spray on a Teflon surface will also scorch, and if applied repeatedly will leave a gum-like texture that will not easily clean off without damaging the surface.
Silicone anodized plates – often referred to simply as anodized plates – have the same requirement of not using metal utensils, but because their usefulness can be short lived, cooking spray is sometimes recommended. With proper care, a good set of silicon anodized cookware can last for quite a few years, but because you are not seasoning the iron, the cooking spray remains on the cooking surface only to be absorbed by your food during the cooking process.
The greatest of care must be taken when it comes to cleaning waffle makers as quite often the plates are permanently attached. Some manufactures suggest an oil-soaked paper towel to remove stuck on bits of waffle, while others will suggest a damp sponge. Waffle irons with removable plates are often dishwasher safe, which comes with its own concerns.
Not all waffle makers are made to be easily stored and you may find yourself preferring to give it a permanent place on the counter. Of these models, it’s good to understand the size of its footprint before you buy it, since some can leave your microwave begging for space.
A Sunday morning waffle ritual can help bring your household together – if only for an hour. There are a lot of different models to choose from on the market, but the best waffle maker will allow you to cook your favorite waffles for your household or yourself quickly and efficiently. And that’s why we’re here.
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