The Right Waffle maker

How do you choose the right Waffle maker? Waffles have been an important part of the Belgian diet for centuries and are an epicurean encounter which is best experienced in their natural habitat.

However, when I was living in Canada, I missed having Belgian waffles, and since flying in to Antwerp for a quick bite was not always an option - I decided it was time to purchase a waffle iron of my own, and soon discover the over abundance of options available. There are so many products out there - they can make your head spin.

I did some research and here are popular models that perform consistently well. The top waffle maker brands are Villaware, Waring, Farberware, Toastmaster, Cuisinart, KitchenAid, and Krups

Before buying a Waffle iron I did my homework by researching online Amazon, Cooking, and Epinions to see what others had to say about the their waffle iron. Great taste, easy to clean and to use were the most relevant criteria.

Consistentcy in the resulting waffle was also a major issue for me. I wanted to know that I'll always get the same results each time I made a Belgium waffle recipe. Although it does take a few tries to get your waffles "just right" by adjusting the settings and learning to time things out.

So How to Choose your Waffle iron?

To reduce the number of models to choose from - decide on the your shape and waffle thickness first.

Shape: Waffle irons offer a variety of shapes and sizes. There are circular models, square shaped models and heart shaped Belgian waffles. The circular models heat up more quickly than squares and distribute heat more evenly.

Size: Waffle irons can make one large waffle or several small ones. Some enable you to choose between the two options. Plate patterns that let you break your waffle into halves or fourths can be very advantageous when serving several people at once.

If you want a multi-function waffle iron, look for ones that let you remove the waffle plates and replace them with flat sandwich griddles. A Waffle iron can become a Panini, pizzelle, grilled cheese or French toast maker.

Once you decided on shape, thickness and size you can then focus on picking according to price and features.

Temperature settings: Many waffle irons enable you to adjust temperatures, just like you can with a toaster. This lets you choose the color and texture of your waffle. The best machines provide a thermostat that maintains an even temperature across your waffle surface.

Cleaning: Waffle irons that offer non-stick surfaces are easier to clean and so are ones with removable plates or overflow channels (for excess batter) that can easily be wiped.

Storage: I was particallarly interested in storage, with my juice maker, blender and toaster there is only so much space i have left. Some waffle makers are easier to store than others. The easiest to store are the ones that can stand on end and have cord storage.

Safety: Some waffle irons have safe, cool to the touch handles and outside housing.

• Indicators: Waffle iron offer a variety of indicators. These can be lights, audible tones, LED readouts or countdown timers. They can indicate when the power is on, when a machine is ready to use and when a waffle is done.

Scratch resistant: Certain waffle makers offer scratch-resistant inner and outer surfaces.

Where do you buy your Waffle iron?

Professional and commercial waffle irons can cost anywhere from a couple hundred to over a 1000 dollars. But there are some models out there that that are much more reasonably priced and have a good quality / price ratio.

Shop around to find the one waffle iron you want.

Waffle Iron fact:

In the United States, Waffle Day - Aug. 24 – celebrates the anniversary of the first U.S. patent for a waffle iron. Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York received his patent in 1869.

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Make Your Own Belgian Waffles