Room on the kitchen counter for another appliance? Then why not invest in an electric waffle maker. Your family will thank you; everybody will enjoy fresh waffles with syrup for breakfast, or dressed with fruit and cream for a savoury dessert.
An electric waffle maker need not be expensive and we’ve suggested six of the best, below. But first, a little background and some of the things to take into account when making your purchase:
Waffle aficionados suggest there are two types of waffle: American and Belgian. American waffles are held to be thinner, with shallow pockets, and are cooked quickly and crisp. Belgian waffles are thicker, crisp on the outside and soft in the middle, with deep pockets ready to accommodate extra syrup; butter or Nutella. In practice, ‘Belgian’ seems to have conquered the waffle-world and most electric waffle makers produce waffles in this style.
The first thing to decide is the size of waffle maker you need. It’s difficult to ask a family to wait their turn when you’re serving hot waffles and, in this situation, you’ll look for a machine with large plates that can cook more than one waffle at a time. Singles will find a smaller appliance to suit their needs. All modern waffle makers have non-stick plates but there are other features that will factor into the price and that are offered on some, but not others:
- A power indicator light – This is necessary and obvious: a waffle maker can become very hot and a power-on light gives some warning.
- A ready-to-cook light – Waffle makers take a little time to heat to cooking temperature and this light lets the cook know when the machine is ready.
- Cool-touch handles – these make it easier to open the machine and remove cooked waffles.
- Adjustable temperature controls – Cooks who want to fine-tune the cooking process can adjust the ‘brownness’ and softness of their waffles by varying the heat.
- Removable plates – Despite non-stick surfaces, waffle irons can be difficult to clean and the waffle maker cannot be immersed in water. Removable plates can be separated from the electrics and washed in a dishwasher or the sink.
- Venting – Plate design that allows steam to escape during cooking producing crisper waffles.
A tip from our researchers: Removing cooked waffles from a waffle maker will be easier if the plates are given a light spritz of cooking spray before use.
In compiling our recommendations we’ve researched features and taken into account price and durability. We’ve also looked for reports of fast warm-up and ‘evenness’ in cooking.
Best Waffle Makers
VonShef Quad Waffle Maker
The VonShef can cook four, square waffles at a time. The power rating is 1,200W which allows fast heating and produces a crisp exterior on Belgian-style waffles; lights indicate ‘heating-up’ and ‘cooking-temperature’. The plates are not removable for cleaning but the unit does have a plastic handle that is insulated from the top plate’s heat. This machine is a best-seller and reviewers’ comments are overwhelmingly positive but some note that the waffles it produces are on the thin side and that there is no on-board power switch. This is a budget-priced appliance that cooks evenly and will be an excellent first waffle maker for a novice.
J.M. Posner Home Waffle Iron
The J.M. Posner is a compact machine that produces a thick, round Belgian waffle, about 7 inches in diameter. It features a heat-setting knob plus ‘power’ and ‘ready-to-use’ indicators set in a control panel on top of the machine, above the hinge. The lid’s top surface is finished in silver-look metal. This waffle maker is fairly low-powered at 700W and, although it heats quickly, users report it can take ‘5 minutes plus’ to completely cook a waffle. We like this machine because it can be easily stored when not in use and it will be the preferred entry-level pick for cooks interested in an authentic Belgian waffle.
Cooks Professional Rotary Waffle Maker
This Cooks Professional appliance produces evenly cooked, 7-inch diameter Belgian waffles. The waffle maker is mounted in a stand-and-drip-tray assembly, allowing the machine to be turned through 180 degrees while cooking. A solid, insulated handle is attached at the front. There is no heat control but an indicator light displays when the waffle maker has reached cooking temperature. The casing is red plastic. This machine is power-rated at 920W and users report excellent results. Our only reservation is ease-of-storage but otherwise, this is an easy pick for beginners.
Andrew James 2-Slice Waffle Maker
Once heated, this 1,200W Andrew James machine can produce two, smallish (4 ½”diameter), crisp, round American-style waffles in under 4 minutes. It features an adjustable temperature dial, a ready-to-cook light and a stainless steel top surface. This is a low-cost, entry-level machine and will be the preferred pick of new waffle-cooks who prefer a quick, crispy waffle.
Domo Belgian Waffle Maker
The Domo produces two, thick, oblong Belgian waffles (each about 7” x 4”) and features adjustable heating and ‘power-on’ and ‘ready-to-use’ lights. This 1,400W appliance allows users to control the brownness and crispness, and produces excellent, evenly-cooked waffles. We like the solid construction and strong insulated handle. This is a great waffle maker for cooks who want to take control and are serious about good waffles.
Cuisinart 1000W Waffle Maker
The Cuisinart 1000W Waffle Maker takes 4 to 5 minutes to warm up but then ‘runs hot’ and cooks two Belgian waffles at a time in 3 to 4 minutes. The waffles are thick and crisp-skinned, measuring approximately 4 ½ inches square. A round power dial is mounted on the front of the unit and a green light on the lid indicates ‘ready-to-cook’. This is a heavy unit with a strong stay-cool handle and a brushed stainless steel casing, and it comes with a manufacturer’s 5-year guarantee. However, the clincher for us is the removable, dishwasher-safe plates. The Cuisinart is a little more expensive than some of our other picks but we feel it ‘ticks all of the boxes’ and is well worth the investment.