What kind of waffle maker should you use to impress even a world-class food critic like Anthony Bourdain?
Waffles are pretty much the most delicious thing in the world. Here’s a recipe for a perfect Belgian waffle (cause, of course, we’re making thick and fluffy Belgian waffles, they are the best):
- Right waffle batter
- Best waffle maker
- … lot’s of love!
- (and the No. 1 and No. 2 secret only the best waffle machines have – we’ll reveal that in buyer’s guide)
When it comes down to making waffles, we find plenty of love (who doesn’t love waffles?) and the batter is a no-brainer. Just go ahead to our beloved Martha Steward for an easy waffle batter recipe.
Well, making a consistent and well-browned Belgian waffle mostly depends on what kind of waffle iron you’re using.
A waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap. (Mitch Hedberg)
If you pick a wrong waffle machine, your waffles might be unevenly baked and the last thing you want to offer your kids is a raw waffle batter on one side and a churned piece of waffle on the other.
What makes the best waffle maker is the ability to make consistently fluffy and delicious. That does require a waffle iron having a browning program, a flip-waffle mode and so on – there is one waffle iron which has both the browning and flip mode, and it’s not a wonder that is the best overall rated waffle maker.
Of course, in the end, the best waffle iron should not be difficult to clean and shouldn’t cost as much as a new Ferrari. On top of that, when cleaning a waffle maker it should just fall apart – look for high-quality materials like stainless steel waffle machines.
We’re going to make the Top 5 Belgian waffle iron review but first, let’s have a look at features that actually make the best waffle machines the best.
Best Waffle Maker Reviews – Top 5 List
As it a standard at Top5er, we use the buyer’s guide outlines and pick the best 5 waffle makers. Here’s the list:
#1 Cuisinart WAF-F20 Double Belgian Waffle Maker Review – Best Waffle Maker Overall (By Far!)
Now, usually, when we make the Top 5 reviews (like for example for best crepe pans) you have one that is best-selling and another that is great for experts, one that is the best quality and so on.
With Cuisinart WAF-F20 double waffle maker we have all of those great titles rolled into one (plus it’s a Cuisinart machine, they have a great reputation with the kitchen appliances).
No. 1 Secret – Browning Control (And Not Just The 1)
Let’s start with the No. 1 secret to great waffles – browning control. Do you remember how that sugary light crust tastes like? Everybody would be lucky if their waffle irons would have a browning option. That is 1 browning option.
Cuisinart WAF-F20 double waffle maker has 6 browning options.
It goes from a really light crust to a crispy sugary crust. It’s as easy as turning a browning control button with Cuisinart WAF-F20 model.
No. 2 Secret – Flip-Mode (Double Flip Mode, To Be Exact)
The flip-mode is all about making waffles fluffy. Baked from both sides will make the air bubbles in the waffles grown, turning them extra fluffy.
Flip-mode is an advanced option that will make even a bad waffle batter taste amazing. Couple that with browning, and you already have everything you needed.
But there’s more…
How To Make 2 Waffles At One Really Fast With Cuisinart WAF-F20?
Cuisinart WAF-F20 double waffle maker doesn’t have ‘double’ in the name for no reason. It has 2 set of stainless steel plates that makes two 1-inch thick and fluffy waffles at the same time.
It also makes them really fast thanks to 1400W of power. The next best waffle maker has 1100W and majority of waffle irons are powered by less than 1000W. The better then engine, the quicker it’ll go – it’s the same when it comes to making waffles.
High-quality stainless still waffle maker plates also ensures that Cuisinart WAF-F20 is easy to clean. To top that, you have those plates coated with a non-stick coating. The batter, if there is any left at all, just slides off.
Perfectly golden brown waffles every time. Sounds yummy.
Ok, so what are the shortcoming? Honestly, it’s really hard to find any with the best waffle maker but some reviewers did talk about being harder to clean and some can come with a glitch and stop working (of course you get that refunded).
Another thing is the price of Cuisinart WAF-F20 double waffle. As you know, the better the waffle maker, the higher the price – and this is, of course, true here as well. You’ll get a standard waffle maker for less than $100 easily ($30 for example). However, with the quality and great waffles that Cuisinart deliver, they are not shy about the price. This is a waffle maker under $100 but not by much.
- Best waffle maker overall (by far)
- Has browning control (in fact, 6! programs)
- Does flip waffles (for fluffiest waffles)
- Makes 2 waffles at the same time
- Makes waffles fast because of 1400W of power
- Made out of high-quality stainless steel
- Has a non-stick coating for easy cleaning
- In short, a perfect waffle maker
- High-end price (for a great value though)
- Can be harder to clean than other waffle makers
- Some were sent out with a glitch
#2 Presto 03510 FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker – For The Fluffiest Waffles
Presto 03510 FlipSide did a really neat thing and put their best quality in the name. Yes, it is flipside.
As we’ve learned thus far, if you want to capture those air bubbles inside a waffle and make it the fluffiest in the world, you need to flip the waffle. And you bet Presto 03510 FlipSide Belgian waffle maker can make that very well (otherwise they wouldn’t put it in the name).
One special thing about the Presto waffle maker is that is has a ceramic finish on top of stainless steel plates. This gives it an edge when it comes to cleaning the waffle maker but if the cleaning your main concern, wait for the #3 on our list.
Here is how the Presto 03510 FlipSide Belgian waffle maker looks like:
The timer is useful. It takes about 4-5 minutes to heat up a waffle maker and from there on about 2-3 minutes for every waffle to be made. With a timer, you don’t have to stand by the waffle maker all the time or look if it’s finished or not. Just time how much time it takes to make waffles once and after that set that on a timer. Easy peasy!
Presto 03510 FlipSide waffle iron is powered by 1100W which is less than the Cuisinart model. That being said, we should acknowledge that Cuisinart waffle maker is a class for itself and that no waffle machine will come close. 1100W is, however, higher power than a standard sub-1000W waffle maker power.
You can see from Phillip’s review that he can add less batter for lighter waffles. This is exactly how flipside works – when you flip the waffle, air bubbles inside are enlarged. This means you’ll need less waffle batter and the fluffiest waffles.
On the other hand, some reviewers complained about the heat being unadjustable. This is, unfortunately, a property that all best waffle makers share. On top of that, most importantly, there is no browning control – this is why Presto waffle maker is priced below $50.
Some Presto waffle makers also stopped working or the battery in the timer went out and needed to be replaced. Yeah, that will happen if you use waffle maker timer for a long time – it’s the same with any battery – just the nature of batteries, really.
Most of the guys use used it are happy with the non-stickiness but some reviews of Presto 03510 FlipSide waffle maker point out that the ceramic non-stick finish doesn’t do the business as it should.
- Makes fluffiest (or lightest) wafflest because…
- …flipping the waffle works great
- Timer is useful
- Quick waffles with 1100W maker
- Has a non-stick coating for easy cleaning
- Great value
- Best waffle maker under $50
- Some Presto makers stopped working
- Easy clean but not super-easy
- Can only make 1 waffle
- Doesn’t have browning control
#3 Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian Waffle Maker Review – Easy Clean Waffle Maker
In fact, the dishwasher safe grids and drip tray are the least of the phenomenal things the Hamilton Beach 26030 flip waffle maker offer. Yes, the removable plates are great addition, especially when it comes to cleaning.
Hamilton Beach 26030 has browning control. Admittedly, only 1 program, but it is the only other waffle maker in the top 5 list that offers browning. Cuisinart has 6 programs for browning, but hey, we all know that is the single greatest waffle maker on the market (with a high-end price, of course).
It flips! Just look at how easy it is to flip a waffle in the 26030 model:
That handle right there is also quite interesting. It’s a cool-touch handle (obviously it shouldn’t be hot) and it also folds back when you’re finished with waffle maker. Why? Simply to save space and can fit in pretty much any kitchen cabinet. Without a fold-back handle, it is actually quite big.
Oh yeah, Hamilton Beach 26030 waffle maker is one bulky waffle iron. It is heavy and bigger than the others. This translates in it being durable but the designers had to solve some problem of it being bigger – the fold-back handle is an example of that.
If we look at Cuisinart vs Presto vs Hamilton Beach waffle makers, the Hamilton is a bit slow. This comes largely from its size – it harder to heat up a big waffle machine. This means you’ll have to wait for 2-3 minutes longer for your waffles.
- Easiest waffle maker to clean (dishwasher ready)
- Browning control (only waffle maker under $50 with that)
- Does flip waffles easily
- Cool-touch and fold-back handle is great
- Is bulky and durable
- Perfect for people who hate cleaning (and love great waffles)
- Needs more space than other waffle machines
- Takes longer to heat up
- Can only make 1 waffle at a time
#4 Oster CKSTWF2000 Belgian Waffle Maker Review – Best Budget Waffle Maker
Do you know about those cheap kitchen appliances you buy for a few bucks just to try it out? Like that cheap toaster you bought once. Well, Oster CKSTWF2000 Belgian waffle maker is kind of like that for waffles.
First of all, it costs less than $20 and is the best-selling waffle maker. Despite being the low-price option, most of the folks that bought the maker for waffles are actually satisfied with it.
This just in for low-price kitchen applianced: they make satisfactory dishes, sometimes. Oster CKSTWF2000 Belgian waffle maker is one of those ‘sometimes’ but, mostly because of its low price, it shouldn’t be underestimated:
Of course, it doesn’t have any browning control or flipside option. The best Oster waffle maker can offer is adjustable heat control – if you master it, you can make decent fluffy or crispy waffles. It’s not as easy as with an in-built browning control program.
There is a green-red light that tells you when waffles are finished. Honestly, it works so-so. You have to check for yourself if they’re really finished.
There have been some complaints, however.
The power cord of the Oster waffle maker is a bit short. Well, low-budget means shorter cord.
On the other hand, it seems that the waffle maker does a well-enough job in the center of the waffle but edges are a problem. They can remain a bit raw, according to few reviews.
Is the Oster waffle maker easy to clean? Not really. You can’t put it in a dishwasher and the batter does stick quite a bit. If you’re looking to make waffles regularly, this is definitely something you should consider before buying.
In short, it not the best but hey it’s only 20 bucks.
- Best-budget waffle maker
- Very simple to use (just press the button)
- Adjustable heat control is at least decent
- Is smallest of them all (portable even)
- Green-red light is a good idea but bad execution
- Best for college students
- Short cord is, well, short
- Makes decent waffles at best
- No browning or flipping or any of that
- Not durable
- Uneven waffles
#5 Hamilton Beach 26020 4-Piece Belgian Waffle Maker Review – The Big Waffle Maker For Whole Family
If you and your family you just can’t get enough waffles, the 4-piece Belgian waffle maker by Hamilton Beach might just be the thing you need.
I would advise people who already have some experiences with waffle machines to look at the 4-piece maker. This is definitely not for a beginner at making waffles. Why?
Well, you can make square waffles here. First, do the easy round ones with one of the conventional ones, and if you and the love waffles, decide for this 26020 4-piece model:
Each waffle is 4×5 inches big. That’s quite a mouthful. You can even exchange maple syrup or Nutella with honey. It’s an easy switch and a healthier choice for the kids.
It’s actually quite easy to handle – square waffles are easier than round ones. It does heat up a bit slower than the quickest waffle irons but when it does, it is a waffle powerhouse.
Yeah, you can freeze waffles as well. With the 4-piece waffle machine, you’ll be able to make tons of them in record time and if the kids don’t eat them all, you can just throw them in the fridge.
Some reviewers, on the other hand, pointed out that it can break down in as little as 6 months. It also doesn’t have browning control or flip-waffle action.
But all in all, if your family likes some square waffles, this is the best tool for you.
- ‘The Big One’
- Makes 4 waffles at the same time
- Compact structure is great
- ‘A waffle powerhouse’
- You can freeze extra waffles
- Best for families
- Can break down in 6 months
- Not that easy to clean
- No browning or flipping or any of that
- Makes square waffles
Buyer’s Guide To Waffle Makers (Top Features The Review Is Based On)
Quite recently the famous chef and food critic Anthony Bourdain visited the Waffle House. Now, if you know anything about chef Bourdain, it is that his standard even for waffles is high. Really high.
What did he say about those waffles he tasted? “Indeed marvelous.”
Waffles chefs would kill for such a review but if you ask Bourdain, he’ll probably say that ‘hey, a regular Joe with the best waffle iron can make the best waffles, it’s as simple as that’.
Here are the top waffle maker features we’ll be looking into:
- Waffle Maker Size – what size of waffles does a waffle iron make? In short, 7 inches. This is the standard Belgian waffle size. The waffle thickness is about 1 inch (that’s because they’re Belgian). The Cuisinart waffle maker (best overall waffle iron, look for #1) is especially great at making those big fluffy waffles. You see the 6-inch to 8-inch sizes but this is pretty much it. However, if you’re looking to make really small (and funny shaped) waffles for the kids, you should check out a mini waffle maker – here is one by, you’ll never guess, Disney for Mickey Mouse waffles.
- Waffle Browning – does a waffle maker have an option for browning? If it has, you’ll always be using that, I assure you. Browning adds the nice sugary crust at the end at the top and the bottom of a waffle. There are few secrets of how to make great waffles and having a waffle iron with waffle browning is probably the No. 1 secret.
- How Many Waffles Can You Prepare In One Setting? If you enjoy lengthy breakfast, this is not an issue. You can just make one after another. However, if you want to save some time (or are just a fast waffle eater) you might want to make more than one waffle per set. With the best waffle machine you can make 2 waffles at the same time and if that is not enough, check out the big waffle maker (takes the #5 spot in this waffle iron review).
- Flip-Mode – does waffle maker flip waffles? This is the No. 2 secret to a great waffle. Standard waffle makers don’t turn the waffle. The best waffle makers do offer that option, which makes waffles much more fluffy. How? It’s a gravity thing, actually. Gravity pulls the batter down to the lower waffle iron but if you flip the waffle, the gravity pulls the batter back to the previously upper waffle iron. This expands the air bubbles inside the waffle maker creating the fluffiest possible effect.
- How Easy Is It To Clean A Waffle Maker? If you’re planning to make waffles every other day, you should worry a bit about how to clean a waffle maker. If you have a plastic waffle maker with lots of sticky surfaces, you’re in for a lot of cleaning. On the other hand, stainless steel waffles machines are the easiest to clean – the leftover waffle batter comes right of. The #3 pick in our waffle maker review even has a removable dishwasher ready grid and tray (that’s pretty much the easiest waffle maker to clean).
- Quality And Price Of A Waffle Maker. Well, nothing new here, with a higher price of a waffle maker you get better quality. Just avoid plastic parts because they’re difficult to clean in favor of stainless steel. Here we’re talking a price range of $20-$100. If you just want to try a waffle maker out, go for low-budget version but if you like waffles, do yourself a favor and get the high-end one for best waffles you’ve ever tasted.
Back To Waffle Enthusiasts
Do you love waffles?
Tell us. Tell us how you like them, how you make them. We need both recipes and waffle machines you’re using.
And if you have any secret waffle recipe to share, that would be perfect.