TYPES OF PRODUCTS
In the world of the waffle maker, two types of devices coexist:
• The simple waffle maker: identifiable by its squared plates, the simple waffle maker is only used to prepare waffles. It can be fixed (in this case, simply close the device on itself and wait) or rotating (a handle then allows the device to be turned over). In any case, the waffle maker is an electrical appliance that simply needs to be connected to a mains socket.
• The multifunction appliance: this somewhat unusual waffle maker allows you to vary the pleasures by making other types of preparations, such as croque-monsieur, grilled meats or paninis. The plates are then interchangeable.
Before buying a waffle maker, everyone should ask themselves the right questions to find a device that meets their expectations in terms of comfort, performance and safety.
The power of the waffle maker gives indications on the capacity of the device to make waffles quickly: the higher the power, the faster the cooking is potentially. If you want to chain the preparations without waiting too long, prefer a model whose power is at least 1000 watts. You will be able to satiate all the gourmands around the table in a minimum of time.
ADJUSTABLE THERMOSTAT AND TIMER
By opting for a waffle maker equipped with an adjustable thermostat, you will be able to control the cooking of each waffle more precisely, in order to satisfy all your guests. You will thus obtain more or less golden waffles, but also more or less crispy, according to the tastes of each one. The presence of a timer on the waffle maker can also be very useful for preparing identical waffles from one batch to another, but also to avoid oversights.
Depending on the opening system offered by the waffle maker you choose, you will have access to different possibilities, but also to different levels of comfort of use. Thus, if you turn to a 90° opening, you can easily reheat already baked waffles and prepare new ones, but the pouring of the batter on the plates can sometimes be uneven. With a waffle iron that opens 180°, you have better visibility when pouring the batter, and you can thus ensure that the distribution is evenly distributed over the entire surface of the plates. Finally, the reversible waffle maker, which is turned over on itself using a handle, is the one used by professionals. This model combines optimal comfort of use and perfectly balanced waffles.
The waffle maker can be made of several materials. There are thus waffle makers whose support is made of plastic, and others which are made of stainless steel. Stainless steel has the advantage of being particularly resistant and elegant, but plastic seduces by its lightness. If you want to buy a colored waffle iron, for a more original design, bet on a plastic model.
NON-STICK AND REMOVABLE PLATES
The plates of current waffle irons are generally made of cast aluminum. To enjoy optimal comfort when preparing waffles, opt for a model with a non-stick coating: this way, the dough will be less likely to stick together during and after cooking, and the maintenance of the plates will be easier. The non-stick coating also means that no extra fat is added before cooking. Users concerned about saving time when cleaning should also check that the plates are removable and compatible with the dishwasher. These removable plates make it easier to clean the device more thoroughly after each use.
The cleaning system is not the only element to consider when it comes to the plates of the waffle maker. Depending on the model, some waffle irons offer different shapes of plates: rectangle, heart, more or less large cells… The possibilities are numerous! It’s up to everyone to choose the texture and shape of the waffle they prefer! Some waffle irons, especially multifunction devices, are also equipped with interchangeable plates to vary the pleasures, according to your desires. You can then cook paninis or croque-monsieur. “We fell in love with this
model intended for great romantic gourmands
INDICATOR LIGHT AND PREHEATING INDICATOR
Depending on the model, an indicator light indicates whether the plates are still hot or whether the appliance has reached the ideal cooking temperature. Please note: depending on the model, an indicator light can have different meanings.
BIN OR DRIP TRAY
Because waffles puff up during baking, it is very common for excess batter to overflow from the waffle maker. To limit damage and protect the work surface, some waffle irons are equipped with a container or a collecting tray, which you then simply have to empty and wash. Practical and ingenious, this element facilitates cleaning after preparing the waffles.
Safety is an important selection criterion when you want to buy a waffle maker. By opting for a model with non-slip feet, you will benefit from more peace of mind during use, especially when pouring the dough or turning the appliance over (for swivel models). An on/off button can also represent an additional safety asset to better control the operation of the device. To avoid burning yourself, the insulating handles are also a valuable asset. Finally, the presence of a safety clip to keep the device closed during cooking can be an interesting advantage to limit the risk of burns, especially if you are preparing waffles with children.
Some waffle iron models are more compact than others. Models with handles, for example, take up more space when not in use: an important criterion for those who lack space in the cupboards. Good to know: there are waffle makers that can be stored vertically to save space.
USE YOUR WAFFLE MAKER WELL
CLEANING THE DEVICE
The preparation of waffles is a relatively messy activity: the dough runs and stains the work surface. Do not hesitate to opt for the recuperator when purchasing your waffle maker. After cooking, it is important to wait for the appliance to cool completely before cleaning it. It is then necessary to remove the excess oil and the crumbs present in the grooves using a paper towel, or even a toothpick (do not use a knife, which would scratch the plates) and clean the plates with a damp sponge. If the model you have is equipped with non-stick plates, clean them gently with a soft sponge. Also check, in the case of removable plates, whether these can be cleaned in a dishwasher. The outside of the waffle maker can be cleaned with a damp sponge, possibly with some washing-up liquid added. Drying is done with a soft, lint-free cloth. Warning: it is recommended never to spray cleaning products directly on the waffle maker, but rather to soak the cloth or sponge.
Even if your waffle iron has non-stick plates, you can lightly grease the plates before pouring the first ladle of batter that will be used to make the first waffles: this precaution will make unmolding easier. For the following waffles, no need to grease again, unless the dough tends to stick. Tip: dough that sticks to the plates may either lack fat or have too much sugar.
PREPARING THE WAFFLES
Fans of crispy waffles prepare their batter with water and beer, while those who prefer creamy waffles prefer milk and cream. In this case, the waffles obtained are softer: they should be eaten immediately after unmolding. Also, the thicker the batter, the longer the cooking time. To prepare waffles in the waffle maker, simply pour the batter onto one side of the plates, then close the device immediately. Under the effect of the heat, the dough will swell and thus form the waffle. It is cooked when the indicator light comes on or goes off, depending on the model, or when the dough forms a single block (to check, you can open the appliance gently during cooking). If you’re using a reversible waffle maker, the process is the same, but you have to flip the device after a minute to get perfect waffles.
TASTE THE WAFFLES
Waffles are best eaten hot, plain or covered with jam, honey, chocolate, sugar or whipped cream. To save time, it is possible to make the waffles in advance: it will then only be necessary to reheat them in the waffle maker before serving them. If you must store the waffles, allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.