How to Choose the Best Waffle Maker?
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Top Best Waffle Makers Based on Reviews and Price
How to Choose a Waffle Maker?
A waffle maker is an appliance designed to make flat pastries that are like a cookie made of crunchy dough. These devices have a grid-shaped mold. There are basically two hot irons where the dough is cooked to perfection. Its design and operation are similar to a sandwich maker.
Nothing is better than homemade waffles. For the children’s snack, for a small gift or for dessert after a meal with friends, waffles are delicious pastries for everyone. But to make them tasty, you need the right recipe and the right waffle maker. The range is wide, and the choice is not lacking.
There are many criteria to consider according to your needs. Here is our guide on what to consider to choose the right waffle maker!
Top 10 Factors to Consider When Buying a Waffle Maker
#10 Different Types of Waffle Maker
Before buying a waffle maker, you should know that there are different types of them. These not only vary in size and shape but also in their operation. Therefore, we introduce to you the three main types of waffle irons that you can find in the market.
The Belgian waffle iron is the traditional machine in which square and even round waffles can be made. The squares are the most classic and are characterized by having a surface with larger grids and variable width. This device prepares more inflated and soft waffles, although crispy on the surface.
There are also rotating waffles, which are plates that are installed on a mobile body. Thus the dough is distributed more evenly, and the waffle is baked on both sides in the same way. With these machines, you get well-cooked waffles. But their use requires the skills of more advanced chefs.
Another type is the 3 in 1 waffle makers, which is the machines that have waffle/sandwiches and plate. It is possible to have all this in the same appliance because there are waffles with interchangeable plates. These are basically a hybrid between a sandwich maker, a toaster and a waffle maker. Thus these models come with different plates that are mounted and disassembled according to what you want to do.
#9 Opening System
The opening of your waffle can be done in three different ways:
This type of waffle is highly recommended for reheating frozen waffles or pre-cooked waffles. They are very suitable for establishments that sell waffles occasionally or with a low or medium type of work production.
This system allows you to cook the dough evenly on both sides. This is because the rotary movement of the waffle maker makes the waffle dough perfectly distributed in the two baking trays. This kind of machine allows the production of homemade-style waffles, cooked to perfection for the most demanding palate. They are the most recommended for medium to high-performance businesses.
Rotating Waffle Maker
This waffle maker shares characteristics with the previous model. It only differs in that the rotation of the waffle trays makes the operator’s job easier. This type of rotating movement is shorter, but also faster. This offers an enormous advantage for the increased level of production of waffles of high quality.
The higher the power, the faster the cooking. However, you should consider that the energy expenditure will also be higher.
The industrial waffle irons can have high powers. But the homemade ones can be found with powers between 700 and 1200 W. The electric waffle makers need a source of heat powerful enough for a good result.
Therefore, the thermostat is your best ally. Thanks to this, you can regulate the cooking temperature to make your waffles in different ways and according to your tastes: roasted, golden, fluffy, crispy or caramelized.
How many people are you going to make waffles for? You must have this answer to be able to choose a device with adequate capacity.
Some models allow you to make up to two waffles. But if you want to prepare more, perhaps if there are several people at home, it is better to opt for larger capacity models that allow you to make 4 or 6 units simultaneously.
#6 Shape and Size
When talking about waffles, it is common to think of a rectangular cookie. However, in the market, there are devices of very different forms: round, elongated and square.
There are also heart waffles and flower-shaped or even those with motifs of animated characters.
You should also pay attention to the size of waffles, especially their thickness. You can get more or less thick waffles, depending on the depth of the waffle rack. If you prefer thin results, you should choose a shallow and upside down grid. However, don’t forget that the thicker the waffles, the longer they will need cooking.
#5 Cooking Zone Materials
You should also pay attention to the material with which the waffle cooking zone has been prepared. This is what will determine whether the heat will be distributed evenly or not.
They can be made of iron or stainless steel. Most have a non-stick material that prevents the mixture from sticking on the surface.
However, some devices have ceramics as a coating material. These allow a little less fat to be used. Keep in mind that, while you should always use little fat, the better the quality of the coating material, the lower the amount you will need.
#4 Waffle Plates
There are lots of plate types available in waffle makers. And the plating is important enough to influence your decision. Prioritize the cast iron plate with a high level of conduction. This helps the waffle maker to produce golden and crispy waffles.
The Barquillo type plate, which some manufacturers simply call “classic”, is the most popular on the market. This type gives the waffle its characteristic shape. Most models come with fixed plates. A few brands have interchangeable plates.
In other cases, the manufacturer makes available to the buyer plates with different molds, such as Amore, Bruxelles, Waffelino, Ti Amo or Gelato. These waffles are equipped with a triple non-stick layer that is very easy to clean. The printing of the baking plate can be of different dimensions and shapes.
Here are the most common forms of waffle plate models:
- Cork Waffle Maker
These models offer 4 × 6 square and 4 × 7 square waffles, respectively. Some waffle makers are committed to originality.
As mentioned earlier, their machines incorporate waffle plates with round, triangular, rectangular, spike, heart, fish, ear, corn cobs and even bubble-shaped shapes instead of squares.
#3 A Multifunctional Device
Waffle makers don’t just make waffles. Some offer, for example, Croque monsieur dishes. If you want this type of waffle maker, make sure the model you want comes with this type of plate. Also keep in mind that some high-end waffle makers allow you to cook meat or bake pancakes, for example.
Although the waffle maker is a fairly simple device, not all models have the same functions. The main one that the waffle maker must-have is a temperature regulator with varying levels.
The best models offer a temperature range between 50 and 300°C. In this way, you can choose the one you prefer according to the cooking level.
It is also advisable to choose a model that integrates a timer. With this function, you can automatically control the duration of preparation. So when they are ready, the machine will shut down.
Hence, preventing burning and consumption of more energy than necessary. Some waffles also include warning lights to indicate when it is on, running or when it reaches the ideal temperature.
#1 Plate Maintenance
Most waffle warming plates are made of cast iron. Unlike plates made of non-stick material, cast iron plates offer greater resistance to the passage of time. The smelting plates must undergo a process before their first use.
This is done as follows:
- Heat the waffle maker for half an hour at a temperature of around 280°C.
- Using a cooking brush, apply cooking oil on every corner of the plate.
- Do not let the plate be filled with oil. Spread it by creating a thin film.
- Let the oil act for at least 10 minutes.
- Then apply a second layer of oil in the same way as the first and wait another 10 minutes.
- Once this operation is finished, you can now put your waffle maker to work.
To choose a waffle iron/maker, the first thing to do is to define your needs. This allows you to reduce the available range of waffle makers to a few. If you only use it a few times a year, a conventional and economical device will be enough for you. If, on the other hand, you use it at least once a week, take a semi-professional device that can make your life easier.
Beyond choosing a round or square waffle maker, you must look at certain key aspects for its functionality. If you consider all the criteria we have listed, all you have to do is prepare the waffle dough and enjoy it!
Therefore, we advise you to pay attention to the suggested features before buying one of these devices.