The best waffle maker of 2020
Waffles aren't just for breakfast -- if you ask some people, they're suitable for all meals, snacks, and everything in between. Rather than going out to the nearest breakfast spot next time you have a craving, buy your own waffle maker.
Because there's more than one type of waffle, it comes as no surprise that there are a wide variety of waffle makers on the market. Some create tiny, bite-size waffles, while others create crispy deep-pocket Belgian waffles.
To help you find the right waffle maker, we've taken a closer look at this year's trends in home waffle-making. We're sharing a couple perennial favorites on our short list, plus we're adding an affordable new arrival known for its space-saving design.
Best waffle makers of 2020
1. All-Clad's Stainless Steel Belgian Waffle Maker: This long-standing favorite maintains its top spot for its solid construction and reliable crisping.
2. Oster's Belgian Waffle Maker: This budget-friendly new addition has a small footprint, making it a popular pick for dorms and apartments.
3. Cuisinart's Rotating Waffle Maker: We're welcoming this Belgian waffle maker to our short list for its ultra-deep pockets that carve out plenty of space for syrup.
For full reviews of these products, scroll to the bottom.
What you need to know before buying a waffle maker
Belgian waffle makers create deep pockets to hold plenty of toppings, syrup, and butter. Some models in this category make a single waffle which is usually on the larger side, close to eight inches in diameter. Others create a series of smaller interlocking square waffles. These can be broken apart for separate servings.
Traditional waffle makers create much smaller, grid-like pockets with their waffles, which are usually round. Some people prefer these waffles because it's easier to pile on toppings without having them sink into pockets. These waffles also have fairly "even" surface textures, making them easier to use for sandwiches.
Once you land on the preferred waffle maker design, it's on to examining essential features. Temperature settings, cooking plates, and indicator lights are among the most important.
Temperature settings control how crispy and cooked waffles become. Some waffle makers have dials to adjust brownness, while others offer a single level. The cooking plates of most electric waffle makers are now made with non-stick coatings. It's recommended to choose a waffle maker with accessible, easy-to-clean plates.
Indicator lights are simple in waffle makers. Some designs have a single light that indicates on and off, while others use a series of multicolored lights. Premium waffle makers have both lights and a ding or a ring to indicate waffle status.
No matter your budget, there's a waffle maker to suit it. Entry-level models cost $30 and below, though they tend to have fairly limited settings. Waffle makers with more customization settings, many of which are made by premium appliance brands, run as high as $50 to $200.
Q. What's the benefit of buying a waffle maker that makes multiple waffles at once?
A. It's ideal to make batches of individual servings. Not only is this a time-saver when you're cooking for hungry kids (and adults), it's great at creating small portions for meal prepping.
Q. Should I grease the nonstick plates before I pour in the batter?
A. Each manufacturer feels different about greasing plates, so it's recommended to defer to the user manual for a definitive answer. With that said, many people lightly spritz the plates (before they're hot) with nonstick cooking spray to facilitate waffle removal.
In-depth reviews for best waffle makers
Best of the best: All-Clad's Stainless Steel Belgian Waffle Maker
What we like: A special steam-release system prevents condensation to ensure waffle crispiness. Nonstick cooking plates are easy to clean after each use. Incredibly well-made with great curb appeal.
What we dislike: Unless you're a daily waffle enthusiast, the price tag is extremely high.
Best bang for your buck: Oster's Belgian Waffle Maker
What we like: Makes extra-deep pockets for toppings and deep grooves for easy cutting. Cool-touch handle prevents burns during operation. A value buy, even if it's only used occasionally.
What we dislike: The dial isn't numbered, so replicating desired crispiness level can be a challenge.
Choice 3: Cuisinart's Rotating Waffle Maker
What we like: Rotating design means both sides of the waffle are cooked to perfection. Equipped with six browning settings. Heats up quickly and cooks waffles within a couple minutes. Backed by a three-year warranty.
What we dislike: It has a rather odd shape and a large footprint, making storage a bit complicated.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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