Waffle Irons: Breakfast, Anyone?
For those who love the perfect waffle, the right tool is a must-have requirement. Temperature, cooking consistency, and speed are key. We put a few waffle makers to the test in the A&K Test Lab to see which produced the best results. Pass the maple syrup!
Two hot metal plates used to cook cakes over fire gave rise to the waffle iron in the 1200s when a Greek craftsman created plates with the signature honeycomb design.
From there, iron designs evolved to include landscapes, coats of arms, and religious symbols, but they always came back to the honeycomb. We can see why! They hold everything so well.
Waffles have been sold as street food since the 13th century, both as savoury or sweet treats. That’s a lot of history!
GE introduced the first electric waffle iron in 1911, with a built-in thermostat to keep waffles from burning.
Today’s waffle irons are still similar in design to their predecessors, but with additional feature and material upgrades, like non-stick surfaces, lighter materials, and removable plates for washing.
Look for features like adjustable temperature settings, audible done-ness alerts, non-stick surfaces (if you prefer), easy cleaning, and storage size. (Waffle masters say that if your batter has the right amount of oils, and you make sure you don’t open the iron too early, the waffles shouldn’t stick, whether or not you have non-stick coating.)
Constant even temperature prevents waffles from sticking, and creates perfectly cooked waffles.
Waffle irons that make multiple waffles help speed up the process, but be sure the heating element is powerful enough to cook consistently across the whole surface area.
The more plastic in the waffle maker’s construction, the less durable it is. Also, it may not get as hot as the solid metal versions.
- If the whole family enjoys making waffles, look for heat-resistant handles and other heat-safety features.
A waffle iron that flips over is well-suited to Liege-style waffles, preventing caramelized sugar from settling on one side or the other.
Waffle shape is a personal preference, but Belgian waffles are typically square. Makers are also available in round, hearts, clovers, and more.
- Waffles should be fully cooked after about 4 minutes. If not, your maker is not powerful enough. You should return it.
We took a selection of waffle makers into the test lab to find out which cooks up best. We tested:
- Proctor-Silex Belgian Waffle Maker 26007: $27
- Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian Waffle Maker 26030C: $60
- Chef’s Choice WafflePro Express 840B: $79
- Cuisinart 6-slice Traditional Waffle Iron WAF-6C: $99
(Note: all prices are approximate and in Canadian dollars)
We used an infrared thermometer to measure the heat in six spots across the plates.
- The Cuisinart and the Chef’s Choice had the most even consistency across the plates.
The Hamilton Beach took an average of almost 5 minutes to pre-heat and cook.
The Cuisinart took an average of just a minute and a half to pre-heat and cook its 6 waffles.
OUR TOP PICK
For its large capacity, family-friendly design, quick cooking time, and even temperature, the Cuisinart was our top choice out of the products we tested.