It’s handy to keep a box or two of frozen waffles in the freezer for those busy school- or workday mornings when you’re in a hurry. All you have to do is pop them into a toaster, drizzle on some syrup and you’ve got breakfast.
However, aren’t there are mornings (or evenings, for that matter) when you have more time and you don’t want to settle for whatever is handy? Rather, you want to taste a dish made from scratch with fresh ingredients. It makes a difference, and you can get that taste difference with homemade waffles. In fact, if you’re going to put in that time and effort to mix up a batter to cook your own, then go all the way and make yourself some big, fluffy, Belgian waffles.
When it comes to comparing various waffle maker reviews, it helps to first know what elements qualify a maker as top of the line, either for traditional waffles irons or those designed specifically for Belgian waffles.
Here, are some of the features to evaluate:
• Temperature control
Some models offer temperature controls or settings and some do not. The advantage to having controls is simply that you can better determine the final color and texture of your waffles. If you like them a touch on the crispy side with a deep golden brown, then set it at a higher temperature. Without controls, you have to experiment a little more to gauge how long it takes for the waffles to reach your desired result. Also, temperature controls help accommodate waffle batters that deviate from the standard recipe. The introduction of different ingredients, such as oatmeal, can affect cooking time.
• Cool-touch handles
All-stainless-steel models tend to absorb more heat than designs with plastic handles.
• Easy cleanup
Most makers have nonstick cooking surfaces, which means using a light touch when cleaning. Check the manufacturer’s suggestions for the most effective cleaning method to avoid scratching the surface.
• Belgian capabilities
Belgian waffle recipes differ from standard waffles in that they incorporate yeast or whipped egg whites to obtain that airy texture. The other distinguishing factor is that Belgian waffles have deep pockets that act as collecting pools for melted butter, syrup or whipped cream. If that’s what you’re wanting, then make sure the maker has this formation on its baking plates.
Want more information before you make a purchase decision? Check out these picks and see what makes each of them a good buy:
If you like to serve up a savory omelet along side your Belgian waffle, then consider this two-in-one maker. One side features patterned plates with extra-deep (1 inch) pockets for waffles and the other has flat griddles for eggs. The griddles can also accommodate pancake batter if your family prefers that for breakfast. Just flip it from one side to the other as needed. The browning control helps turn out perfectly cooked waffles.
For really thick Belgian waffles, you want deep pockets, and this maker meets that requirement with 1-1/2-inch nonstick surfaces. But when you’re cooking something that thick, you want to make sure the waffles bake completely. The Oster’s flip feature and temperature control ensure that your waffles are done through and through. A removable drip tray keeps counters mess-free and makes cleaning up quick and easy.
This Belgian waffle maker removes some of the guesswork with a countdown timer. No need to constantly watch the waffles to make sure they’re not underdone or too crispy. Set the timer for however long you like them to bake (up to 30 minutes), and at two minutes out, it’ll notify you that the waffles are nearly done and ready for eating. Like other brands, it also has a flip option for even baking. But what is different on this model is that you can lock it into a vertical position for more streamline storage.