Everyone loves homemade waffles topped with butter and warm maple syrup, so it’s good to have a waffle maker on hand, especially when you’re hosting hungry house-guests. Not all waffle makers are created equal, though, with some being more user-friendly and yielding better results than others. We tested a variety of models and found two standouts;both are Belgian-style, but each offers different benefits. Whichever model you opt for, just make sure to stock up on butter and maple syrup—you’re going to need them.
What Is a Belgian-waffle maker?
A Belgian-waffle maker yields thick waffles with deep pockets that are perfect for trapping melted butter and syrup. Traditional waffle makers produce thinner waffles with smaller pockets, which look more like the frozen waffles you might buy from the grocery story. Although you can cook any type of waffle in a Belgian-waffle maker, an authentic Belgian waffle recipe calls for yeast as a leavener, while traditional waffles use baking soda or baking powder.
Chef’s Choice M840B
Waffle Pro Express
$69.95 at cutleryandbeyond.com
This waffle maker lets you call the shots. One dial allows you to control how light or dark your waffle comes out, and another gives you the option to be choosy about its texture. Love a blond-hued waffle that’s crackly crisp on the outside and moist on the inside? No problem. Prefer a crunchier, drier waffle? This model can do that, too. No matter the style, waffles (which are approximately 7-inches wide and 2/3-inch thick) come out evenly cooked in about 3 minutes.
A combination of easy-to-see lights and beeps indicates when the waffle maker is heating up, has come to temperature, and is finished cooking. When you’re ready to remove the waffle, the nonstick surface performs beautifully: With just one application of cooking spray, we were able to make four waffles. A high-grade plastic base with a channel around the lower waffle grid captures overflowing batter and makes for easy clean up. The lid locks when not in use, for compact, upright storage. This model has a one-year warranty.