Buyer's Guide Waffle Makers

Best Waffle Maker in 2020: Epic Buyer’s Guide & Top Products

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Modern waffle

For many waffle lovers, waffles aren’t just a breakfast food. They’re very versatile and can be enjoyed any time of the day, for any meal. But if you want to make your own fresh waffles, right at home and truly get creative in the kitchen, then you need to use the best waffle maker, one that’s big enough, tough enough, and versatile. So, how do you go about waffle maker shopping and what features should you look for?

That’s where I come in. I’ve created a buyer’s guide that goes in-depth concerning the different features available, what to look for in a waffle iron that will work for your cooking skills and personal preference, and more. I’ve also chosen six irons that stood out from all the rest. These irons are built tough, so easy to use, and can turn out perfectly cooked waffles, each and every time. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each of the models that made it onto my must-have list, in addition to some of their standout features, and how they rated.

Waffle Maker Comparison Chart

ProductCapacityWaffle TypeColor OptionsRating
Dash Mini Maker
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1American & Belgian11
Presto 03510 Waffle Maker
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1American & Belgian1
Cuisinart WMR-CA Waffle Maker
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1Belgian1
Oster Belgian Waffle Maker
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1Belgian1
Disney DCM-12 Waffle Maker
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1American1
BELLA Classic Waffle Maker
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4Belgian2

Dash Mini Maker


Our Rating: (5/5)

This is a versatile, tough little waffle maker that also allows you to make biscuits, pizza, hash browns, and paninis. Weighing just one pound, this model features a lightweight compact design that allows you to quickly and easily prepare perfectly golden brown waffles. The iron features a fast heating time and comes with dual nonstick surfaces that are designed to provide consistent results, easily releasing waffles, without the fear of dried on batter or waffles that get stuck to the surface.

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Dual nonstick surfaces
  • Versatile
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Can only cook one waffle at a time

Conclusion

This model is beginner-friendly, features simple controls, and allows you to cook a variety of different foods, not just waffles, so you’ll get more bang for your buck. For some, the machine’s inability to cook more than one waffle at a time may be a deal-breaker, while other cooks will simply appreciate the durable, lightweight design, efficient cooking process, and lightning-fast heat up and cooking time.

Presto 03510 Ceramic FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This is a pro-quality model by Presto and it comes equipped with a high-quality rotating design, complete with grids that are extra-thick, so it can be used to cook both American and Belgian-style waffles. The machine’s dual-function base allows for easy and convenient rotating for baking and allows you to lock the machine into a vertical position for space-saving storage. This model comes equipped with a digital display, countdown timer, and a signal that will go off when the cooking process is complete. The exterior of the waffle maker is made out of stainless steel, while the interior features nonstick plates. The plates must be hand washed to prevent scratches, dents, and other types of damage. The machine flips one hundred and eighty degrees, allowing you to evenly spread the batter for waffles that are cooked to perfection with a tender inside and a nice crisp exterior.

Pros

  • Dual function base
  • Rotating design
  • Can cook Belgian and American waffles
  • Countdown timer
  • Digital display

Cons

  • Plates must be washed by hand

Conclusion

This is a pro-quality waffle maker that can produce consistent results each and every time. The unique dual function base design and easy to remove cooking plates make this model easy to use and store. The included timer will ensure your waffles are always cooked to perfection, while the flip design will promote even cooking for an interior that’s hot and tender and a crunchy, crisp exterior. Basically, even the beginner can turn out perfectly cooked waffles using minimal effort.

Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This is a feature-packed model that comes with dual indicator lights, a total of five browning control settings, nonstick cooking plates, and a three-year warranty. The waffle maker features a stainless steel exterior, regulating thermostat, and indicator light signals that will let you know the exact moment your waffles are ready to eat. The rubber feet on the bottom of the iron will prevent it from marking up your countertop, which will be a big plus for any buyer. The grids are made out of nonstick material, which means they must be washed by hand to prevent dings and scratches which can impact the iron’s cooking efficiency and ease of use.

Pros

  • Five browning settings
  • Lightweight design
  • Dual light indicators
  • Nonstick cooking plates

Cons

  • Can be difficult to clean

Conclusion

This is a very user-friendly iron that allows you to adjust the doneness of your waffles choosing from light to extra crisp. The versatile design allows you to use this model for so much more than just waffles including paninis, cookies, and more. The included indicator lights will alert you once the waffles are cooked to the desired doneness level, so you’ll make perfectly cooked waffles each and every time. This model is a great buy for the beginner or really anyone in search of a waffle iron that gives them more control over the cooking process.

Oster Belgian Waffle Maker


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This is a classically designed Belgian waffle maker that’s designed to create large waffles with deeper pockets that can hold butter, syrup or a ton of other toppings. This model features an eight-inch nonstick plate that’s designed to cleanly and easily release waffles. The adjustable temperature controls will allow you to customize the cooking process so you can achieve different levels of doneness based on preference. The housing is made out of stainless steel for ultimate durability, while the waffle maker itself offers 1080 watts of power for a fast and efficient cooking process.

Pros

  • Specifically designed for Belgian waffles
  • Eight-inch nonstick plates
  • Customizable temperature
  • Stainless steel housing

Cons

  • Cannot be used to cook American-style waffles

Conclusion

If you have a craving for freshly cooked Belgian waffles, this machine will deliver. Beginner-friendly, this iron features large, deep nonstick plates that will cook your waffles quickly and efficiently, a lightweight design that makes storing this model a breeze, and total temperature control that will allow you to choose the perfect level of doneness based on personal preference.

Disney DCM-12 Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This is one waffle maker that the kids are going to love. The exterior is brightly colored with a large image of your favorite Disney cartoon character and is able to cook one six-inch Mickey Mouse waffle. The appliance comes with nonstick cooking plates, rubber non-skid feet that prevent damage to your countertops, an illuminated power light, and a one-year product warranty.

Pros

  • Bakes Mickey Mouse character waffles
  • Low price
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Cannot make Belgian waffles
  • Does not allow you to adjust cooking temperature

Conclusion

This is a fun, user-friendly waffle maker that doesn’t come with many bells and whistles but it does turn out Mickey Mouse waffles that the kids will love. The iron is only able to make American style waffles, which will be a drawback for anyone who wants to try their hand at making fresh Belgian waffles. Despite the machine’s drawbacks, it does do a great job of evenly cooking American-style waffles to perfection and will be a great buy for the family who loves Disney and freshly made waffles.

BELLA Classic Rotating Non-Stick Belgian Waffle Maker


Our Rating: (4/5)

This is a dedicated Belgian waffle maker that produces waffles that are one-inch thick. This is a high-powered model that can cook up to four waffles in just ten minutes. It also comes with variable browning controls, so you can cook the waffle based on personal preference or what you’re making. As an example, if you’re making waffles for a sundae, then you’ll choose the highest browning setting for a crispier texture. This model features a durable stainless steel exterior and an interior that’s made out of nonstick material that’s PFOA-free. This model also comes with its own drip tray, which is designed to catch any batter that drips down the sides of the machine. The rotating function and compact handle make this model easy to store, which is a plus for any cook that’s short on cupboard space.

Pros

  • Stainless steel exterior
  • Drip tray is dishwasher safe
  • Drip tray included
  • Four waffle capacity

Cons

  • Timer is not very accurate

Conclusion

If you have a large family, then this model is a great choice. Now, you can cook up to four waffles in as little as ten minutes, which is pretty impressive. The included drip tray will not only prevent the batter from getting all over your counters, but it’s also dishwasher-safe, so cleanup is a cinch. This model comes with different browning controls, so you can choose a level, based on personal preference, making this model very beginner-friendly. Overall this model is a great buy for cooks of all skill levels, but there have been some issues with the built-in timer, with some users claiming that it’s not very accurate. If you run into this issue and the timer goes off, yet you’re left with a waffle that’s not perfectly brown, close the lid and allow it to cook for one to three minutes longer. Aside from the issue with the timer, this is a durable, high-powered model that’s loaded with some great features all home cooks will love.

Waffle Maker Buyer’s Guide

If you’re thinking about buying a waffle maker, so you can enjoy fresh, crisp waffles whenever you want, then this buyer’s guide will go over all of the features you need to look for, how to choose a waffle based on waffle type, and capacity, and how these innovative appliances can be a total gamechanger when it comes to hosting brunch at home.

Important Waffle Iron Features

When you’re shopping for a waffle iron, the features you’ll want to keep an eye out for will include:

  • Waffle types
  • Capacity
  • Grid material
  • Waffle shapes and sizes
  • Maintenance needs
  • Spillover plates
  • Heat up and cooking time
  • Adjustable browning
  • Ease of use

I’ll start off this buyer’s guide by first discussing the different waffle types to choose from and how to find a model that will allow you to make your favorite types of waffles.

Waffle Types

Norwegian waffle

When you’re shopping, the first thing you need to consider when you’re trying to pick out a new waffle maker is the type of waffles you want to make. From crispy and thin traditional waffles to thicker, much fluffier Belgian waffles, there are many different types of waffles you can make, but the waffle maker you choose may have some limitations that can prevent you from making some of your favorites.

The Belgian waffle is one of the most popular types of waffles on the planet. These waffles are significantly thicker compared to traditional American waffles and they also feature deeper wells for syrup, spreads, and butter. These waffles are around one and a half to two inches thick and are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. They can take much longer to cook compared to traditional waffles, but you can also use a variety of different batter types including cornbread and cookie dough. Some waffle lovers prefer crispier and thinner waffles that they can use to make sandwiches or enjoy with a bowl of ice cream.

Other waffle options include:

  • Brussels waffles
  • American
  • Liege

So, if you enjoy trying out new recipes or simply want to make more than one type of waffle, make sure that the model you’re interested in is able to accommodate different waffle types.

Capacity

How many waffles a model can make at the same time will be another important feature to look for. Most models are available in single or double designs.

A single style waffle iron consists of a bottom and top grid that allow you to make one waffle at a time. These are perfect for smaller families.

A double waffle iron features a couple of different configurations and can be the perfect choice if you’re looking for a model that’s capable of producing a high volume of waffles for your large hungry family. Each compartment on the double style model will include independent temperature settings, so you can make two different types of waffles at the same time. Most modern models will feature a compact design that also makes them very counter-friendly.

Stacked double waffle irons will come with two irons, with one placed on top of each other, allowing you to easily flip the waffles. While the design makes the contents less accessible, compared to a traditional double-style model, the design will definitely save you plenty of counter space.

Grid Material

Most models are made out of cast iron, aluminum, cast steel, or a type of nonstick material. Some commercial waffle irons will come equipped with grids that are removable, which will make them much easier to clean. Each type of grid material comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, especially when it comes to maintenance.

Cast Steel

This type of material is scratch-resistant and provides increased durability. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking for a model that’s more heating efficient since it has a reputation for its excellent heat distribution. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance model, then you’ll love the fact that most grills can be washed in the dishwasher. The biggest drawbacks include a longer preheating time and baking time.

Cast Aluminum

This material is very energy efficient, features a quick bake and preheat time, however, it must be washed by hand and has a surface that’s more prone to dents and scratches.

Nonstick

This grid material option is easy to maintain and clean, will always release the waffles intact, and is a great choice for beginners. However, the coating is more prone to getting chipped or scratched and the grids must be washed by hand.

Cast Iron

If you’re looking for an iron that’s impressively durable, then a model that comes equipped with a cast iron grid is the best choice. Once the surface becomes seasoned, you’ll enjoy many of the same benefits that you would when using a nonstick model, but without the fear of damaging the surface. It also features impressive heat retention, but a much longer preheat time. The grids must be seasoned regularly in order to maintain that nonstick coating, otherwise, you may end up dealing with waffles that are burned or difficult to get out.

Waffle Shapes and Sizes

Do you have small children in the home, or maybe you enjoy that extra level of creativity in the kitchen? In either case, a model that allows you to use and make different sizes and shapes of waffles can be a fun way to get dinner on the table.

Models of waffle makers will feature different grid styles to choose from such as round, square, or irregular. If you want to make Brussels waffles, then you’ll need a model that features a rectangular shape. Liege waffles are made in an irregular shape. Belgian waffles are typically round, so you’ll need to use a traditional round waffle iron. American waffles can be made in a square shape or round.

Maintenance Needs

Any type of appliance that’s a hassle to clean will make you reluctant to use it. Models that feature a nonstick surface are a must since they will cut down on the length of time you’re stuck cleaning up. The popular nonstick grids are the easiest to clean but are also the type that’s the most prone to damage. When using this type of waffle maker, make sure you only use plastic utensils, in order to avoid scratching or damaging the surface. Some models will come with plates are that removable and dishwasher safe, so clean up is a breeze. In most cases, all you have to do to clean the grids is to use a rag or sponge and wipe them down.

Spillover Plates

Some waffle irons will come with spillover plates and channels, both of which are designed to keep the mess of overflowing batter at bay. This is another great feature that can cut down on the length of time you’ll find yourself cleaning up your waffle maker.

Heat Up and Cooking Time

If you and your family are starving first thing in the morning, then you don’t want to end up with a model that takes forever to preheat or cook your waffles to perfection. If you’re making waffles for a large family, then look for one with a high user rating for a faster heat-up and cooking time.

Sounds and Lights

A modern model with a visual or audible indicator that lights up or chimes once the iron is ready to go or ready for more waffle batter will come with a higher price tag, but these models also tend to be more user friendly.

Adjustable Browning

Similar to toast, most waffle eaters have their own preference in terms of how soft or crisp they want their waffles to be. Look for a model that’s highly adjustable, and one that allows you to customize how light or brown your waffles will turn out.

Ease of Use

A good waffle iron will cook your waffles evenly, consistently. In addition to a fast cooking time, it will also need to ensure that the waffle is crisp on each side and golden brown. Lower-priced models will turn out waffles that are much darker on one side than the other, and waffles that are still raw in the middle, even though you’ve followed the cooking instructions perfectly. These are the models that you’ll have to carefully time during the cooking process and will still have to deal with irregular results. Look for a model that comes with a variety of controls that give you ultimate control over the cooking process and the results.

Any waffle maker worth it’s salt should be able to cook batter evenly and consistently. In addition to a faster cooking time, the appliance should ensure that each waffle is crisp and golden brown on each side.

Aside from evaluating cooking performance, you should also take safety features into account, portability, and ease of use. The waffle iron should be compact enough for easy storage and daily use.

In terms of safety features, it should come equipped with a handle that’s heat-resistant and designed to stay cool in order to prevent burns during use.

It should come equipped with simple controls that make it easy to use, even for beginners.

How Do You Use a Waffle Iron?

maker

Have you just purchased a waffle iron and you’re dying to use it but you’re not sure where to begin and how to get your waffles perfectly golden brown, crispy, and brunch-worthy? You’re not alone. Many amateur cooks are intimidated by the thought of making their own waffles, but the waffle makers on my list are very easy and simple to use and come equipped with intuitive controls that will make the entire process a breeze.

Follow these steps to make a waffle:

  • Prepare the batter
  • Preheat your waffle maker
  • Allow the batter to sit for five minutes
  • Prepare the waffle plates with oil if needed
  • Carefully pour the batter onto the waffle plates
  • Close the lid
  • Wait for the indicator light to turn on or check the waffle’s progress after five minutes of cooking
  • Remove your cooked waffle from the plate and place it directly on your plate
  • Repeat the process as needed

So, now that you have a waffle iron, let’s get started learning how to use it like a pro.

Making the batter will be the first step. There are a couple of ways to go about this. You can purchase a ready-made mix or you can create your own batter from scratch. If you’ve decided to use a premade batter, then closely follow the instructions on the package to prepare the batter correctly.

Using a ready-made mix can save you plenty of time, but some cooks argue that these mixes are loaded with a variety of unnatural preservatives and that homemade batter is the way to go.

If you want to make your own batter, then follow the instructions below to make the perfect, smoothest batter.

For this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of veggie oil
  • A couple of cups of flour
  • Four teaspoons of baking powder
  • Two eggs
  • Three tablespoons of sugar
  • One and a half teaspoons of salt
  • One and a half cups of milk
  • Two teaspoons of vanilla extract

To make, you’ll need to grab a medium-sized bowl and whisk the salt, sugar, baking powder, and flour together. Next, slowly add the vanilla extract, eggs, veggie oil, and milk, constantly whisking in order to avoid a lumpy batter.

  • The batter should be left to sit for five minutes, which will give it a sufficient amount of time to thicken up. During this time, you should plug in your waffle iron and allow it to heat up to the desired temperature. Some models will automatically switch on when they’re plugged in, while other irons will need to be switched on manually. Once the iron is ready to go an indicator light will turn on.
  • Make sure that the waffle maker is set up on a flat and dry surface. If it comes with a drip tray, place it securely under the appliance. If it doesn’t come with a tray, then you may want to stick a plate under the machine in order to catch any batter overflow.
  • Some models will come with a temperature dial, so you can set it to the desired temperature. Others will simply come with low, medium, medium-high, and high temperature settings.
  • Once the batter has had enough time to sit, you can pour it directly into the awaiting waffle plate, so that it covers the entire plate. Next, close the lid. Some models will come with measurement instructions for the batter, which you should closely follow since this will prevent any batter from overflowing down the sides of the machine.
  • Next, you’ll reference the iron’s instructions and apply some oil or melted butter to the surface of the grid. This will help prevent the batter from sticking to the surface. Many models of nonstick irons will not require you to add anything.
  • Once the batter has had enough time to sit, you can pour it directly into the awaiting waffle plate, so that it covers the entire plate. Next, close the lid. Some models will come with measurement instructions for the batter, which you should closely follow since this will prevent any batter from overflowing down the sides of the machine.
  • You may notice that some steam escapes as the waffle cooks. This is totally normal, so avoid lifting the lid to check on the waffle since this can lengthen the cooking time.
  • As the waffle is cooking, you’ll need to keep the lid of the appliance closed and wait for an indicator light to pop on, which will tell you that the waffle is ready. If your machine doesn’t have an indicator light, then time the cooking process for five minutes and check the waffle. If it’s not golden brown in color then you will need to cook it for an additional one to two minutes.
  • Once your waffle is ready, just slide it off the waffle plate using tongs or a large plastic or rubber spatula and place it directly onto your plate. You can repeat this process until all of your batter is used up or you’ve made enough waffles for the whole family.

Cleaning a Waffle Iron

Waffles may just be the best breakfast option on a Saturday morning, but cleaning it out when something goes wrong is one of the downsides of making waffles yourself. Some waffle makers are easier to clean than others. Additionally, if you’re new to making waffles, you’ll run into some issues, such as caked-on batter. There are many crevices in waffle plates, which can easily trap batter, making for a cleaning process that’s frustrating if the plates are not dishwasher safe.

  • When it comes to an easier cleaning process, the key here will be timing. The waffle plates should not be hot, but don’t wait too long to clean them. You should always make it a habit to remove and clean the grids as soon as they have had a sufficient amount of time to cool down.
  • Use a damp cloth or paper towel to remove any crumbs from the grid and to soak up any oil that’s left in the cups. Use a wet cloth to wipe down the exterior of the machine.
  • In order to get rid of any baked-on drips, add some cooking oil onto the grid and allow it to sit for five minutes, so it will soften the hardened batter. Use a wet cloth and gently remove it.
  • Take the cooking plates and wash them in soapy hot water, rinse them clean and allow them to air dry.
  • Make sure the appliance has dried completely before you put it away. And that’s it.

Usage Tips

Before you get started whipping up a large batch of your favorite waffles, make sure you carefully read the user’s manual.

  • If you have a nonstick model, it may only need a light coating of oil before it’s used. This involves only spraying or adding the oil once for the entire cooking process, even if you make several waffles.
  • During cleanup, never submerge your waffle maker in the sink
  • Avoid using any type of metal or sharp tools to remove your cooked waffle or any dried on batter from the grid. This will just scratch the surface.
  • If your waffles keep sticking, use a little more oil. Adding more butter to your batter can also help to prevent the batter from sticking. The more butter used in your batter recipe, the fewer issues you’ll have with your waffles sticking.

Final Thoughts

The best waffle makers will cook your waffles to a perfect golden brown each and every time. whether you want to make a Belgium waffle, an American waffle, or a liege. Each of the models on my list is beginner-friendly, comes with intuitive controls, a versatile design, and is reasonably priced. Now, you can stay in and enjoy homemade breakfast with the whole family, at a price that’s more affordable than brunch out. This buyer’s guide is designed to help you find a model that’s right for you and the entire family, based on cooking capacity, ease of use, durability, and price. I hope this guide has helped to point you in the right direction, so you can find a model that’s simple to use, powerful, and designed to last.