Just like pancakes, waffles are a brunch and breakfast staple in many a home.
However, while you can make pancakes with just about any pan, the perfect waffle does require the helping hand of a waffle making appliance.
Needless to say – I have one of these.
(nothing new there, you already know I own every kitchen gadget imaginable – thank god for the large pantry)
I find we don’t use it as often as we should, and it is most often set up when my daughter comes to visit – and we are definitely a sweet waffle bunch, and rarely ever do savoury ones.
If you are in the mood for something sweet and would like to boost your kitchen appliance roster with a waffle maker – take a look at the items I have listed below.
Time for some waffle and waffle maker basics first .
Which are better: Belgian or American waffles?
Belgian waffles are the more traditional kind. They are thicker, have a fluffier texture and can absorb the syrup or sauce you put on top much better. The pockets of Belgian waffles are deeper, so the syrup has plenty of space to lodge itself in.
On the other hand, American pancakes are thinner, crispier and have smaller pockets, so they will absorb less of your topping. They are crunchier though, and some would even consider them the lighter option.
Needless to say, both of these options are amazing – depending on the waffle maker you buy, you will be able to get deeper or shallower pockets. The recipe you choose to make does not have to be influenced by pocket size and depth though.
What to look for in a waffle maker
You want the waffle maker you purchase to produce the best results imaginable, so some of the features to look out for include:
Non-stick plates: practically all waffle makers come with non-stick plates. However, some will release the waffle more easily than others, so in theory, the better the quality of the waffle maker, the better the plates will be as well.
Heat distribution: you want the waffles to cook evenly, so the quality of the plates will play an important role in heat distribution as well
Speed: you want your waffles to be ready as quickly as possible, but you don’t want them to burn – so look for a combination of speed and quality
Overrun catcher: some waffle makers will have an extra plate that can catch excess batter – a great feature to keep the mess you make at a minimum
Ease of cleaning: making waffles can make quite a bit of a mess – so having a feature like detachable plates can make cleaning that much easier. There are also dishwasher safe plates, which can be an even better option.
Size of waffle: up to your personal preference entirely
Number of simultaneously made waffles: if you have more than two hungry mouths waiting for the next waffle to be ready – you might want a waffle maker that does more than two at a time
Flip or non-flip: there are waffle makers you can flip, and there are those you can’t – the former being more difficult to manage, as the handle takes up a fair bit of room, and they are not exactly light. However, flipping makes for a better waffle, as the batter will spread more evenly. Up to you though if you want to be bothered with the flipping or not.
Let’s now look at some waffle makers!
This Breville waffle maker is a great basic option – it makes great waffles, it heats up fast, and it is easy to store.
Its DuraCeramic coating is durable, scratch resistant, easy to clean and PTFE and PFOA free. Your waffles will not stick, and they will come out perfectly cooked every time in just a couple of minutes. The indicator lights will also help you add your batter at just the right temperature.
You can make two waffles at a time, and they will rise nicely while being toasted. The plates can also be removed with the touch of a button, meaning you can wash them with ease, and no batter will stick and annoy you. There is also an overflow channel that will catch any excess.
You can store this waffle maker upright, meaning it will take up very little space – ideal for smaller kitchens or on the go in a van.
Here is something much more complex for you – a waffle maker that is also a sandwich maker, a bagel maker, a panini maker, a pancake maker, a cookie maker, a doughnut maker – and so much more.
There are 16 grill plates you can swap out, and they are all non-stick and dishwasher safe too, so you can literally make the sweet feast of your dreams and not have to wash up a single item. You get two plates with your waffle maker, and can by the rest of them separately, but they are an incredible investment, so you should definitely go for it if you are buying this appliance.
There are no fancy settings and no advanced controls, but for the price, you don’t have to buy another similar appliance ever again. There is a light indicator though that will tell you when to put your batter on.
You can make two waffles at a time, and easily swap your plates to make the brunch of dreams.
3 – Cuisinart Waffle Maker WAF1U
If you are looking to make larger waffles, this waffle maker might be an amazing choice – we are looking at an appliance that measures 24 x 28 x 12 centimetres – and it can make 2 delicious waffles for you in just a couple of minutes. Since the pockets are larger, you can also hope to catch more of your fav topping in them too.
The plates can be removed and chucked into the dishwasher, making for a no fuss breakfast or brunch. There is also a plate that will catch the excess batter.
What makes this waffle maker stand out is the size of the waffle you are given, as well as the even heat that the stainless steel (with a brushed finish, don’t worry) plates provide.
Ideal for your hungry youngsters – as this item should be able to produce the second pair of waffles while they are still finishing the first.
The downside is that there is no indicator light, so you will have to guess when the plates are ready to receive your batter.
Here is another neat waffle maker that can spice up your daily (or weekend) breakfast routine.
It has extra deep plates, so if you like to drown your waffles in chocolate sauce or maple syrup, this waffle maker should satisfy all your needs. The plates are of course non-stick, so your waffles will come out and off perfect every time.
There are two light indicators – one will tell you the waffle maker has been turned on, and the other will tell you when you can add your batter. There is a temperature controller too, so you can use the dial to adjust it to your preferred choice.
The Netta is light (and weighs less than 2 kilograms), so you can move it around easily, and take it with you if the mood so strikes you.
You can make 4 triangle-ish shaped waffles (what do we call that quarter-circle shape of waffles?) – so plenty to go around.
A great easy-to-use and reliable little appliance.
5 – Sage BWM520BSS the No-Mess Waffle Maker
Another a bit more advanced waffle maker here that will serve you well.
This one has 7 settings that will help control how brown you want the waffle to be, so you can enjoy them airy and light, or you can make them crispy and golden. The appliance will calculate the time it needs to make the perfect waffle based on your settings on its own.
It has something the brand calls a “no-mess moat”, which is essentially a spillage catcher that will prevent your batter from spilling over onto the counter.
The plates are of course non-stick and they are also PFOA-free. They distribute heat evenly, so you won’t have to contend with crispy edges and soggy middles.
There is an indicator light that will tell you when you can start pouring the batter, i.e. when it has reached the temperature you have set it to.
This one is a bit on the larger side, so it might take up more space on the counter, but for the quality and customisability of the waffle – it’s a small price to pay.
VonShef calls this waffle maker a “dual Belgian waffle maker” – meaning you will get four delicious waffles that you can enjoy with some great toppings. The waffles are also larger than usual, so if you are looking to feed a larger bunch of hungry kids (or adults), this appliance can help you out.
The plate is non-stick, but it is not removable, so you will need to get yourself a moist sponge to clean up after breakfast.
The temperature controls are automatic, so you won’t have to fiddle with them, but this does limit your waffle personalisation options. There is an indicator light though, so you will know when to start pouring your batter.
You do have to press down quite hard to ensure the tops of your waffles are cooked properly, so maybe not the easiest waffle maker to use, but great for the purpose and price.
This Godmorn waffle maker is actually a 4 in 1 waffle, sandwich, doughnut and panini maker – so if you are looking to make more than waffles, this is a really good option.
The plates are non-stick and easy to clean, and you don’t need to use any oil to coat them. The brand does however recommend that you turn the waffles over mid-cook, so that you get an even and brown result, as the top plate is different than the bottom one.
There are two indicator lights (one signalling your waffle maker is on, the other letting you know you can batter up).
If you are looking for an easy to store and neat waffle maker that can also help you make a sandwich or a doughnut – this can be a good choice.
8 – KitchenCraft Non-Stick Traditional Belgian Waffle Maker
If you are looking for a waffle maker that you can turn and spin, then this is the one for you.
This is in fact the traditional way to make waffles, so that the batter spreads evenly and produces the crispiest result. You can use this one on any stove top (except on an induction stove).
The waffle maker is also smaller than the electric models, so you can store it more easily, and it can also be disassembled and take up even less space.
Since it is dishwasher safe, you won’t have to worry about the cleanup.
Your waffles will be smaller with this one, and you will have to be careful when flipping, and learn how to judge the heat properly, but with a little practice, you can make some amazing traditional Belgian waffles.
If you are in the mood for the traditional option, this is the waffle maker for you.
Here is another more-than-one-in-one appliance that will help you make some delish snacks. The top and bottom plate can be swapped out, and you can cook waffles, paninis and sandwiches with the grill plates.
The plates themselves are of course non-stick, and they can easily be cleaned without scrubbing and the use of excessive force. They are also rather large, so you can make some pretty chunky waffles.
There are indicator lights to help you out with the temperature, there is a locking latch that will help you secure the lid in place, and the directions for use are practically nonexistent.
The one downside of this appliance is that it does not have an overflow catcher, so if you add too much batter, you can expect to be left with quite a mess and you will need to get into all the tiny nooks to get all of it out.
Other than that, this is a good waffle maker to have – but not the best of the bunch, I do admit that.
10 – Dualit Waffle Iron
Finally, here we have a waffle maker that is quite different than all of the rest we’ve been looking at so far – and one that definitely looks like it belongs in a professional kitchen.
It looks like a mini AGA and has 2 domed lids next to each other. These are actually hot plates that can operate with no regard to each other – and they have separate switches. Each of them has a light indicator that will tell you when the plate is ready, but there is no temperature gauge.
You will need to grease these plates, but you can expect to see some amazing waffles once the machine is done. It is very powerful, so all you will need is a couple of minutes (literally), and the waffles will be ready to eat.
There is an overflow channel ready to catch all the extra batter you pour, and the non-stick plates, while non-removable, are rather easy to clean.
Definitely a much larger and more professional appliance than all the ones we have seen so far, but if you are hosting a large brunch and have a large kitchen where this waffle iron can rest and await your pleasure – I can guarantee some great waffles will be had.
Which waffle maker should I buy?
Depending on your needs, you can choose a waffle maker that does just the one thing (make waffles), or you can go for a more-in-one kind of machine that will allow you to also make sandwiches, panins, or cookies and doughnuts.
Consider how regularly you make waffles, how many you want to be making simultaneously, and let me know you favourite waffle toppings (or fav recipe)!
Enjoy your waffles,