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Alternate uses for a waffle iron?

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Hi! I just ordered a new Cuisinart waffle iron and I'm really excited to try it out. I'm all about efficiancy though, so I'd love to learn some other ways that I can put this waffle iron to work! Has anyone experiemented with this? Thanks!

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  1. Sandwich press? French toast? Sneakers?

    1. I too like to get a lot of uses out of every object in my kitchen. Alas, I don't think there really are too many other uses. The "flip over" grill/griddle/sandwich press type units never work as well as the dedicated waffle irons due to alignment/cleaning issues. I had to return one.

      I have a friend who is a waffle fanatic and they have a large "Belgium" waffle iron unit that flips -- it takes up a ridiculous amount of space., so that was a no-go.

      Myself I have just the simple round Cuisinart iron. It works well enough and it the easiest to store.

      Due to the depth of the grid you really can't make anything other than waffles -- even the waffle ice cream cones need a flatter grid.

      1. I wonder if cake batter would come out well? Sure would make a cool presentation.

        1. Unfortunately, I think the waffle maker really only makes waffles. You could make a variety of different waffles (plain, fruited, chocolate dessert, savory cornmeal, etc) but they're all going to be of the waffle genre.

          You could do french toast waffles (soaking slices of bread and then sticking them in the waffle iron) or maybe paninis (but they'd look funny with the criss cross pattern). Honestly, I make paninis on my George Foreman grill as an excuse to keep it around.

          If it makes you feel better, while waffle irons are a single-use appliance, there's also no other way to make waffles as you can't improvise with some other kitchen tool.

          1. Hash browns. Low-fat. Crispy on the outside, creamy potato goodness on the inside.

            Grated Yukon gold potatoes (grate into a double-thickness paper towel and squeeze out the extra moisture). I use a spray olive oil or Pam.

            Hardly ever use the waffle iron for waffles anymore, but I'd have a waffle iron just for
            making hash browns.

            6 Replies
            1. re: maria lorraine

              Wow! Awesome! I'm going to go out and buy a waffle iron! Thank you ml!

              1. re: maria lorraine

                Maria, that sounds absolutely awesome. And just when I thought I had mastered the open-pan flip to the inverted plate, you rascal!

                Is your iron nonstick coated? Mine is more than 50 years old, with one of those clothbraided covers on the cord. Will suck uncoated surface work?

                1. re: FoodFuser

                  Hash-browns cook fine in old electric waffle irons and in new ones, Belgium, regular, just try it. I love the old cloth-cord appliances -- over-engineered and built to last 50 years or more. Just use a little spray oil or Pam if yours is not nonstick. I've also found sprinkling salt over the grated potatoes just before you close the lid is helpful. Be sure the iron is adequately preheated. Temperature settings on waffle irons vary, and you may have to experiment using medium high or high temp setting and fiddle with the timing to get the grated potatoes to cook through before they crisp up on the top and bottom. Happy eating!

                  1. re: maria lorraine

                    Sounds like it would require a bit of experimenting, but it does sound amazing - thanks for the idea!

                    1. re: CerealKiller

                      It's really pretty easy -- just try it.

                    2. re: maria lorraine

                      This is tremendous. I just tried it this morning and damned if I didn't end up with a nice crunchy waffle of shredded potatoes. I used Pam, a couple russets, and skipped the salt altogether. Voila: a practically fat- and sodium-free substitute for those frozen hashbrown patties I've been hooked on for so long.

                      And mine is one of those pre-nonstick irons from the '70s. 3/4 of the way to the highest setting seemed to work well. As with waffles, one must resist the temptation to open the lid too soon. When it smells like toasty potatoes, then it's ready. Next time I'll pile up the shredded potato a little higher because it loses volume as the water cooks out and the weight of the iron presses down.

                2. I have made omlets in mine, as well as cake batter waffles for a good dessert.

                  1. Great grilled cheeses

                    1. stick a boneless chicken breast in it like a George Foreman grill and you'll get beautiful crossed grill marks. Could work?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: scubadoo97

                        My grandmother would cut the crusts off slices of Wonder Bread, butter the out side, put a filling of canned pineapple in the center of the two slices and grill on a waffle iron.

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          I don't know about using the waffle side, but I just used the flat plate side of mine to cook a chicken breast and it worked perfectly. I pounded it a little to get a more even thickness and used the same technique as the hashbrowns: sprayed it with olive oil spray and salted both sides. It cooked through perfectly in five minutes, with a nice golden brown on both sides.

                        2. Here's a great waffle iron brownie recipe that's especially good on hot summer days, if you want to bake but do not have air conditioning:

                          Waffle Iron Brownies

                          Ingredients and Items Needed:
                          1/2 cup butter
                          1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa pwder
                          3/4 cup granulated sugar
                          2 extra large eggs, well beaten
                          1 tablespoon water
                          1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
                          1/4 teaspoon salt
                          2/3 cup chopped walnuts, optional
                          confectioner's sugar, optional
                          waffle iron
                          wooden skewer or toothpicks
                          covered tin to store brownies

                          Instructions:
                          Preheat waffle iron to medium setting. On most models the indicator light will go out when propoer temperature is reached. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Blend cocoa into butter with a wooden spoon. Stir in sugar, beaten eggs and water. Add flour and salt; beat well. If you choose to add nuts, do so now and mix thoroughly.

                          Into each section of the preheated waffle iron, drop one well-rounded teaspoon of batter. Close lid and bake about 1 1/2 minutes. The brownies are done if they do not stick to the top of the waffle iron. Use the tip of a wooden skewer to remove brownies easily. Let cool on racks. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar (recommended but optional).
                          Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: chowdear

                            Along the same lines, I had chocolate waffle cookies one time that were fabulous, so you might want to do a search for those! You iced them with a chocolate icing after cooking them, and I remember them being quite good.

                          2. Don't,forget about the Waffle shoes - first designed by Bill Bowerman - track coach of Nike founder Phil Knight - with soles made in a waffle iron! No matter how much syrup you use, though, they don't taste that great.

                            http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/bowerma...

                            1. and of course: fricos. My friend has been experimenting with different types of cheeses, but parmesan has worked the best - lots of crunchy bits and they look great on a salad or with a salad on!)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: lightlybattered

                                Does anyone have a recipe for crispy fricos to make in a waffle iron?
                                (great idea, lightlybattered!)

                              2. I know some folks have issues with posts to really old threads but I love the ideas in here so much that I must comment so I can find the post quickly!

                                I was just looking at my old waffle iron this weekend and trying to decide if I should keep it or put it in the yard sale. I see hash browns in my future.