Waffle Maker Feature Guide
Everyone can use a change of pace at the kitchen table from time to time and there are few better change of pace foods than delicious homemade waffles. They are not only a great treat for breakfast, but they make for a good quick lunch, an easy dinner or a tasty snack. If you are going to cook delicious waffles for your family, then you will need to purchase your own waffle maker. Here are some important points to consider when you are trying to decide which model of waffle maker you will buy.
Waffle Type and Size
The very first thing you will have to decide is which popular style of waffle you want to make because each style requires a specially made waffle maker for it.
- Classic waffle – This style of waffle is thin and crispy throughout but still has deep enough grooves in them to hold generous amounts of maple syrup and other toppings.
- Belgian waffle – These types of waffles cook up crispy on the outside yet stay light and soft on the inside. They have much deeper grooves in them than classic waffles so you can load them up nicely with such toppings as maple syrup, jams, and even ice cream.
- Waffle size – Waffle makers come in all different sizes. If you have a big family that does not like waiting around for their waffles to be cooked then, you will want a bigger size waffle maker. If you are just making waffles for yourself and your significant other then a smaller size waffle maker should do just fine.
- Number of waffles – There are waffle makers that can make more than one waffle at a time. This is definitely something to consider if you have a large family or like to entertain several guests for breakfast on occasion.
The heart of any good waffle maker is its waffle cooking surface or what is generally known as a cooking grid. These can vary in composition of the metal that goes into them and on other things also. Here are some key aspects of waffle maker cooking grids to consider when buying.
- Composition – Cooking grids are usually made of such materials as coated metal, stainless steel or ceramics. Some higher end waffle makers even use aluminum cooking grids because they distribute the heat more evenly than other types.
- Depth – The deeper the depth of the cooking grid the softer the inside of your waffles will be. That is why Belgian waffle makers have deeper cooking grid channels than do classic style waffle makers.
- Size – It stands to reason that the larger the surface area of the cooking grid is the larger size portion of waffle it will produce.
- Removable? – Once again you want your cleanup process after cooking waffles to be as simple as possible. Removable cooking grids are much easier to clean than those waffle makers that have grids that are permanently installed.
- Shape – Waffle makers usually produce waffles that come in one of two different shapes. They will either make round or square style waffles.
- Non-Stick – It goes without saying that waffle batter when it dries is very tough to clean up. It is almost impossible to just wipe off and often needs to be scraped up before wiping. The better the non-stick surface on your waffle maker the easier it will be to clean after you are done baking.
Waffle makers can have anywhere from one to three different indicator lights on a model. These include:
- Power indicator – As it implies, this means the waffle maker is plugged in and getting power.
- Preheat indicator – This indicator light means the waffle maker is at the proper preheated temperature so it is ready to have the batter poured in it.
- Ready indicator – Some of the better waffle makers will have an indicator light that tells you your waffle is done cooking. This will eliminate the need to time your waffle baking.
- Overspill Channel – This is yet another feature that makes cleanup after cooking waffles very simple. An overspill channel will catch excess batter in a container or bake the over spilled batter so it simply wipes off the waffle maker.
- Cool to the Touch features – Chances are you are going to have to handle some portion of your waffle maker to steady it during the baking process. When you do this it’s nice to have areas on the waffle maker such as the handles that stay cool enough to use without some type of burn protection mitt.
- Lock Upright Storage – Years ago waffle makers were notorious for taking up too much room in kitchen cabinets competing with other appliances when stored. That is no longer the case with many models these days because they fold and lock in an upright position for storage.
- Built-in Timers – These eliminate the need to set an external timer or your watch when making your waffles. It will help streamline your waffle making process if your waffle maker does not have a ready light indicator built into it.
Before You Buy
Once you have looked through this list decide which features you desire in a waffle maker and make note of them. If you use those for the basis of your search, you should be able to find a waffle maker that fits your budget and also works for very nicely for you.