Three best waffle makers
Fluffy or crispy, smothered with maple syrup or topped with whipped cream and fruit -- there's no wrong way to enjoy waffles. If you want to up your breakfast game, a waffle maker is a sensible purchase!
But how do you choose a waffle maker that will live up to your requirements? With so many options out there, picking the right one can seem baffling.
You've come to the right place if you need some assistance. The following guide to waffle makers includes important features and some recommendations to help you with your purchasing decision.
Considerations when choosing waffle makers
Waffle maker type: Most modern waffle makers are electric, but you can still find some stovetop models. Generally, electric waffle makers give you more evenly cooked, consistent results with less fuss, so we'd recommend one of those over their stovetop counterparts.
Waffle type: Most electric waffle makers on the market today have the kind of large, deep grid pattern suitable for making Belgian waffles. If you prefer thinner, crispier waffles with a shallower grid pattern, you'll need to shop around.
Waffle shape: How do you like your waffles? Most waffle makers produce either square, rectangular, or round waffles. Those that make round waffles usually divide them into smaller wedges. The shape won't affect how your waffles taste, so unless you have a strong shape preference, we wouldn't consider the shape of the waffles over most other features.
Waffle maker features
Capacity: The capacity of a waffle maker is how many waffles it can produce at one time. Most waffle makers have a capacity of two or four waffles, but some compact models only make a single medium-to-large waffle. Think about how many people you'll generally be cooking for and take this into consideration when deciding what capacity you require.
Settings: The vast majority of waffle makers feature a range of temperature settings, so you can make adjustments depending on your recipe, cook time, and other factors. Some models also offer browning settings, so you can easily make darker or lighter waffles, depending on your preference, without leaving the center of the waffles over- or undercooked.
Waffle maker prices: Just how much should you spend on a waffle maker? Basic models cost around $20 to $50. These generally have minimal settings and a smaller capacity. Mid-range waffle makers cost about $50 to $100 and may have a larger capacity and more setting options. High-end waffle makers cost between $100 and $300. These are usually professional models or units with extra features that make exceptional waffles.
Q. Do all waffle makers have a nonstick coating?
A. The vast majority of waffle makers have plates with a nonstick coating, which is bad news if you try to avoid using cookware that contains controversial chemicals, such as PFOA and PTFE. However, you can find a small handful of waffle makers made of cast iron, which will effectively become nonstick once properly seasoned. You can also find some models featuring "green" nonstick coatings, which have all the good qualities of traditional nonstick coatings but are free of PFOA and PTFE.
Q. Can I remove the plates from my waffle maker to clean them?
A. Surprisingly, not all waffle makers allow you to move the plates for cleaning. This can make cleanup a hard task, especially if you've had a mishap and the waffles have stuck to the plates. While we wouldn't completely rule out waffle makers with plates that aren't removable, it will make it slightly more difficult to clean the appliance.
Q. How will I know when my waffles are cooked?
A. Many waffle makers have an indicator light that turns from red to green when the cooking time is up. At that point, your waffles should be ready, but the system isn't completely infallible. If your waffles look underdone, give them another minute or two.
Waffle makers we recommend
Best of the best: All-Clad Stainless Steel Belgian Waffle Maker
Our take: Sure, it's pricey, but it produces exceptional waffles every time. Choose between a two- and four-waffle capacity.
What we like: Steam-release system makes sure your waffles are always fluffy inside and crisp outside.
What we dislike: The high price tag is prohibitive for some.
Best bang for your buck: Cuisinart Round Classic Waffle Maker
Our take: Creates one large waffle portioned into four. A great, affordable option if you're cooking for one or two people.
What we like: Simple to use with a sliding heat control switch and indicator light.
What we dislike: Some users complain that waffles come out underdone even on highest setting.
Choice 3: BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Waffle Maker
Our take: The reversible plates on this versatile waffle maker mean it can be used to cook other foods, too.
What we like: Three temperature settings to choose from. Easy to clean.
What we dislike: Doesn't have a setting for browning.
Lauren Corona 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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