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Waffles are a breakfast staple, and often the make-your-own indulgent treat to look forward to during a hotel stay—they have become ubiquitous on continental breakfast bars. From thick, fluffy Belgian-style waffles to thinner, crispier American-style, there is a waffle maker for every palate. With a waffle maker, you can have homemade warm, golden waffles stippled with butter, and drenched in real maple syrup every day of the week in minutes.
There are a few considerations to take into account like real estate on your kitchen counter, how many waffles you will make at a time, ease of clean-up, and the biggest decision, thick or thin, round or square waffles.
From a space-saving, mini machine that makes various shapes to a four-slice version with a robust range of settings, here are the best waffle makers.
Best Overall: Cuisinart WAF-V100 Vertical Waffle Maker
This may not look like your usual waffle maker, but Cuisinart Vertical Waffle Maker with batter spout makes this the mess-free, compact, perfect-waffles-every-time choice. A measuring cup and fill line are included to guarantee the right amount of batter is poured in, and the five-setting adjustable browning control ensures a fluffy, golden 1-inch thick, Belgian-style waffle.
Cuisinart’s 12.2-inch high vertical design is the solution if counter space is an issue. The handle locks, and it easily stores flat on your counter or in a cabinet. The unusual design and sleek stainless steel exterior also make it a great conversation piece. The grids are nonstick for easy clean-up, while a green light and an audible beep alert you to pour your batter, and again when waffles are complete.
It does only make one waffle at a time, but the innovative pour spout lets you move through them quickly with little mess.
Best Budget: Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker
This Cuisinart waffle maker is the classic workhorse of 0.5-inch thick, American-style, crispy waffles. It is compact, easy-to-clean, and produces consistent waffles quickly. The five browning settings give some control over doneness, and the weighted lid provides enough pressure to ensure even cooking on both sides, without the added step of flipping them.
Stability is not an issue with this model—the rubber feet keep it from slipping around while baking. And the dual indicator lights let you know when it’s time for the batter, and when waffles are done. The best feature of the Cuisinart Classic though is how the cord wraps around the bottom of the unit for neat storage.
Best Splurge: Breville Smart 4-Slice Waffle Maker
The Breville Smart 4-Slice Waffle Maker has all the bells and whistles. Yes, the price is steep, but the consistency, capacity, and speed make it worth it. With five different cooking presets (Belgian, classic, chocolate, buttermilk, or custom), 12 browning settings, and “Waffle IQ” technology that calculates cooking time based on your desired waffle style and level of crispiness, it would be hard to not make perfect waffles. And, if they are not quite right, the ingenious “A Bit More” button allows you to keep cooking your waffles without restarting the process.
This model is a sturdy beast, as our Editor-in-Chief Emma Christensen can attest, at almost 17 pounds and takes up 15.8 x 8.8 x 18.5 inches of the kitchen counter. But, if you are looking for a machine where you can make multiple waffles at once with ease, this is it. There are built-in readiness indicators to walk you through the process. The display flashes “heating” as it warms up, an alarm signals when it is ready, and the display lights up orange. Pour your batter in, and watch as a timer counts down to let you know when your four square waffles are done. And, don’t worry if you walk away, a loud beep will go off every 30 seconds until you remove your waffles.
The Breville Smart 4-Slice makes perfect golden waffles, but it also is intuitively designed with a built-in overflow moat to keep counters clear of excess batter, a locking lid to aid in storage, and a gorgeous low profile stainless steel exterior.
Best for Belgian Waffles: Cuisinart WAF-F20 Double Belgian Maker Waffle Iron
It cannot be denied that flip models provide even distribution of batter ensuring uniformity in waffle size. The Cuisinart Double Belgian goes one step further with its two-waffles-at-a-time capacity. No waiting for the first one to finish to start the next one. And the deep-pocketed grids produce fluffy, golden, 1-inch waffles.
The 6-setting browning knob allows some personalization with your waffle-making, and the oversized handle makes for easy flipping. Indicator lights and audible beeps alert you to machine readiness and waffle doneness. It also comes with a measuring cup to ensure the correct amount of batter every time.
At 9 x 9.75 x 15 inches, it is bulky, but the wide base provides extra stability, and nonstick plates make for easy food release and cleanup.
Best Mini: DASH Mini Waffle Maker
Getting your kids involved in the kitchen has never been easier, or more fun than with the Dash Mini. This is also a great option if you are tight on space, living the van-life, or equipping a dorm room. At a compact 1 pound with a 4-inch cooking surface, it makes waffles that even fit in a toaster for reheating—hello, breakfast prep. And, it comes in a variety of fun shapes and colors.
The design is straightforward with an indicator light when it is ready for the batter, and nonstick plates that wipe clean. It also has non-slip feet to keep it secure on the counter. The Dash Mini comes with an illustrated owner’s manual, and access to a recipe database to show you all the magical ways you can use your waffle maker even beyond waffles—think paninis, chaffles, and potato latkes.
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Best Rotating: Presto 03510 Ceramic FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker
I first met the Flipside waffle maker at a hotel. My kids were so excited to make their own waffles, and the flip held their attention throughout the process. I liked it so much, I bought one. This model is unique in design—it flips side-to-side instead of rotating. The flip design allows the batter to distribute evenly, making uniform 1-inch thick, 7-inch round waffles. It does take a little more real estate on the counter when unhinged, but it can be locked, and stored vertically when cooled.
Another feature of the Presto Flipside is the digital countdown timer. The manufacturer recommends four minutes of cook time, but this can be adjusted based on personal preference. Cleanup is a breeze as well. The grill plates are coated with nonstick ceramic, so a quick wipe-down post-cool yields pristine results. I love this tool for making chicken and waffles at home—the waffles are evenly cooked, and it is super easy to clean. It also makes an attractive addition to your counter with its stainless steel exterior.
Best for Crispy Waffles: All-Clad Classic Round Waffle Maker
If 6.5-inch round, 0.5-inch thick, American-style waffles are what you are looking for, the All-Clad Waffle Maker yields evenly-cooked, crispy, four-sectioned breakfast staples. This option has seven browning levels to control crispiness, and the steam-release system keeps moisture at bay so your waffles are crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside.
This model walks you through the waffle-making experience. There is an audible beep when the waffle maker is ready for the batter, and another when it is finished cooking, and just to be sure there are red and green indicator lights that come on with each alarm. The nonstick plates make simple clean-up, and the stainless steel body offers an elegant look for your kitchen counter.
Best with Removable Plates: Hamilton Beach 26030 Flip Belgian Waffle Maker
The most important feature of this Hamilton Beach Waffle Maker is removable grill plates. It is a game-changer when it comes to cleaning. They are dishwasher-safe and pop in and out with a simple press of a button. And, on the cleaning superpowers of this model, there is an extra-large drip tray to catch errant batter.
Not only do you get stress-free clean-up, but it has an adjustable browning control dial to personalize your waffle-making experience. There are indicator lights to remind you when the machine is on and let you know when it is ready for the batter. The deep pockets on the grill plates produce thick, Belgian-style, golden waffles with ease. And the ergonomically designed handle facilitates flipping with the flick of a wrist.
If you want to take the guesswork out of waffle-making, but also keep your counters mess-free, we recommend the Breville Smart 4-Slice (view at Amazon) with its overflow moat and “Waffle IQ” technology. If you want a compact, portable waffle maker that offers a variety of shapes and colors, choose the Dash Mini (view at Amazon).
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Carrie Honaker is a food writer who has enjoyed the pleasures of waffles at home. As a restaurateur and avid home cook, she appreciates the convenience of a machine that makes breakfast prep clean, and stress-free. She loves her Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker for its even cooking, and vertical storage option. Her work has appeared in many publications including Bon Appetit, Allrecipes, and Wine Enthusiast.
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