Recommended Waffle Irons

You can get by with a $20 waffle maker if you’re not making waffles in high volumes and don’t mind a slightly longer cook time. That’s what we used for our first several waffle parties. However, if you’re serious about making waffles, you’ll probably want to consider something slightly higher-end.

My favorite waffle iron so far has been the Waring Pro WMK300 /WMK300a. I’ve owned several of these. Although its $60-$80 price range is significantly above the $15-$20 starting point for waffle iron prices, it’s about the best you can get before jumping into the $200-and-up “industrial” models.

It has some of the features I discuss in more detail in the GVWC:

  • a temperature adjustment
  • a removable tray to catch overflow
  • a higher power rating than most other models (1200 watts–this equates to a faster cooking time)
  • a grill that rotates 180 degrees after you close it to help spread the batter evenly and make the waffle somewhat fluffier

I got by for years with much more basic waffle irons, but recently decided to purchase one of these because I make so many waffles. It is now my favorite by far. To get waffles with a crispier outside, I often leave them in for half a minute to a minute past the time the built-in timer goes off.

Although I haven’t had the opportunity to try one, Krups manufactures a similar model (FDD912) in the same price range.

Note that if you get a waffle maker with a larger grid, you definitely want the higher wattage, as the same energy must be spread across a much larger area. Otherwise, your cook times may increase significantly, and it may be more difficult to get waffles with a crisp outside and moist inside.

6 comments

  1. Brivari says:

    I finally made the jump to the expensive KitchenAid waffler because I’ve broken every other waffle iron I’ve ever had including the Waring. I’ve got a nasty habit of waffling things that they just aren’t made to do. One thing that waffles really well, but the iron won’t like is pizza dough to obtain a pizza crust that holds a LOT of toppings and comes out of the regular oven with a really crispy crust. But what really kills the irons (tends to break the hinge) is loading up a big pile of cooked long pasta (like spaghetti or linguini) to make a crust to load up ala pizza, but especially making waffled potato latkes. To get them to come out really well you’ve got to start with a huge pile of latke ‘batter’ and keep pressing down as it cooks until the waffle iron will close (otherwise they just don’t form and cook right) and latke ‘goo’ makes it into all the waffle pockets. The KitchenAid is the only non-commercial model I’ve found that can handle the regular abuse I inflict.
    One other good thing about the KitchenAid is that I’ve never had a sticking problem no matter what I put into it with the exception of the very first waffle I made when it was new (and the manual tells you to expect that and to also toss the first one anyway).
    The last thing I really like about it is that the waffles are really large! My usual practice is to break them into quarters and get four people eating at once, then give extra quarters to anyone still hungry.

    But also keep in mind that with most waffle batters each waffle will use about 2 cups of batter!

  2. WaffleAdmin says:

    Brivari,
    Wow, it sounds like you do some very serious waffling! I can imagine that non-liquid (or exceptionally thick) ingredients create a bit of difficulty with closing the iron. Using pasta to make pizza is pretty creative. When I’m making waffles that have solid or semi-solid ingredients, I generally chop them up into pretty small pieces. Otherwise, I have difficulties cooking them. However, it’s good to know there’s at least one waffle iron model out there that’s exceptionally heavy duty. Of the three Warings we’ve owned, I’ve had issues only with one – it suddenly refused to heat up before the end of the warranty period, and Waring sent a replacement that’s worked great for several months now. But I now know not to test the hinges too much. 🙂

  3. Lisa A says:

    Hi there,

    Just found your website. What a great idea! I had one question though – what is your opinion of cast-iron waffle makers? I had one for two years and although I was able to make decent waffles several times, most of the time I just end up pulling them appart. At the end I give up and make pancakes out of the remaining batter.

    Although I would like to save time with an electric waffle maker, I am somewhat concerned about the non-stick covering. I am afraid that I will end up scratching it and will have to throw it away.

  4. WaffleAdmin says:

    Lisa,

    Thanks for visiting. I’m assuming that your current iron works over a gas stove or other flame, and that you’re debating between different types of electric irons.

    I did do some vegan waffle testing on a neighbor’s old waffle iron that was made before the days of non-stick coating, and it worked fine after I sprayed a thin coat of canola oil from a pressurized can on the top and bottom grills before each waffle. They had previously had issues after brushing on oil, possibly because it wasn’t coating the grids evenly, and may have been too much. If you get one with a non-stick coating, it still needs to be sprayed with oil, and it’s important to avoid using metal objects to remove waffles (wooden utensils like chopsticks are better), and harshly abrasive cleaning tools. It’s not just about the type of surface; it’s also the quality–if an iron’s surface is pitted or scratched, it will also increase the likelihood of sticking, regardless of whether it has a non-stick coating. You’ll also get more sticking if the grills no longer heat evenly or adequately, perhaps due to an internal electrical issue.

    I know of at least one local cafe owner who cooks vegan waffles on pro-level irons that have cast iron grills without non-stick surfaces, and he makes excellent waffles. However, one night we were there for other food, and one of his employees (probably relatively new there) had an issue with a waffle sticking to the top grill. I politely mentioned to her that I had experienced the same issue when I forgot to spray both grills with oil–she did that for the next one, and it looked like all was fine after that.

    So I certainly wouldn’t rule out electric waffle irons with cast iron grills without a non-stick coating, but your mileage may vary according to condition of the grills and also wattage. I do know that cast iron skillets (my favorite tool for vegan pancakes) need to be “seasoned” properly, but I’m not sure how this applies to waffle iron grills. If you’re buying a new iron of this nature, that could be something good to check into–feel free to let me and others here know what you learn!

  5. Lisa A says:

    Thank you for your reply. I just made your Naked Vegan Waffles using my cast iron waffle maker. I have this one – http://www.amazon.com/Romes-1100-Fashioned-Waffle-Iron/dp/B000BWCTL0/ref=pd_sim_k_3

    This morning, I was trying to understand why I had problems with my waffle maker the last several times I tried to use it. It appeared that the seasoning wore out. So I generously oiled both sides and reseasoned it.

    I used your recipe and added a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. It turned out great! It took 3 minutes on both sides on medium heat on my electric stove. They were nice and crunchy.

    I looked through several electric waffle makers that are on sale on amazon. Considering the investment and their limited useful life, I figured that I will stick to my cast-iron waffle maker for now. Although it certainly takes a bit more time to make the same batch of waffles.

    Anyways, thanks for your help and for all of the information on your website.

    I was also wondering if I could translate your recipe to a different language and post it in my lifejournal with a link to your website?

    Thanks!
    Lisa A.

  6. WaffleAdmin says:

    Lisa,
    I’m glad to hear things worked out! I haven’t had personal experience with the flame-powered irons yet, but I imagine they probably do take a bit longer to heat up. I may have to try one of them. Yes, if you’re including “courtesy of WaffleParty.com” and a link back to the site, you are welcome to translate the recipe and post it on your lifejournal.

    Thanks, and happy vegan waffling,
    Dave

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