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Why aren't my waffles crispy? Help!

Scirocco Jan 11, 2008 01:10 PM

We make waffles frequently on the weekends and I just can't seem to get them to come out crispy from the waffle iron. I use a Vitantonio Premier waffle maker with the small holes (not a Belgian waffle maker). I spray the iron each time with cooking spray and I've tried lots of waffles made from scratch and the Bisquick ones. I cook them to a medium brown, but they just don't seem to crisp up like I'd like (and I don't want dry, just crispy on the outside).

I've even gone so far as to take them out of the waffle iron and then sort of "pan fry" them in a little butter in my cast iron skillet. Works better but seems awfully labor intensive!

Don't know if I need to change the iron temp (I cook on "medium") or if I need a new waffle iron (it's 10 years old) or what. It seems to work fine otherwise.

  1. mamachef May 18, 2012 07:45 AM

    Scirocco, your temp is too low. Try adjusting that, and I think you'll be okay. Another solution is to add some cornmeal to your batter - it makes for a delicious waffle, crispy/crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mamachef
      Scirocco May 18, 2012 10:16 AM

      Yes, I know. this an old thread that got revived. I resolved it by cranking the temp up to max heat. :-)

      Nice idea on the cornmeal though - I LOVE corneal!

    2. coll May 17, 2012 06:17 AM

      Glad to know it was as simple as the temperature (don't think my GE has a control though?) They do always taste crispier toasted later on though.

      One thing I always include in french toast and waffles is a spoonful of sugar, that seems to help with crisping too.

      5 Replies
      1. re: coll
        Scirocco May 17, 2012 06:48 AM

        there is a restaurant around here that seems to dredge their french toast in sugar or maybe cinnamon sugar before grilling. It makes a wonderful crust on the outside!! Been meaning to try it at home. I'm sure you have to watch the heat though. We do "Bailey's French Toast" at home and you do have to turn the heat down because of the high sugar content. It's delicious!

        1. re: Scirocco
          danna May 17, 2012 07:57 AM

          ummm...where would that be? ;-)

          If you get down to the FAt Hen in Charleston, their "creme brulee french toast" is pretty awesome. crust just like you'd expect from the name.

          1. re: danna
            Scirocco May 17, 2012 08:52 PM

            It was at the Fireside Restaurant ("and Pancake Inn") in Hendersonville. :-) Ironically, I didn't care for their pancakes. Tasted like baking powder or something. But their homemade bread is really good and it made REALLY good french toast!

            that creme brulee french toast sounds fabulous. must experiment at home....

            LOVE Charleston, but rarely get there unfortunately.

            1. re: Scirocco
              danna May 18, 2012 05:56 AM

              I keep forgetting about that place. (near the old world of clothing, right?) Do you happen to know if they serve breakfast all day?

              1. re: danna
                Scirocco May 18, 2012 10:15 AM

                Yup (on location). We used to live on that side of town, so would go often for breakfast, but now that we're in Mills River, we forget about it too. :-/

                Their website says T-Sun 7 - 2pm and it seems like they pretty much do breakfast ONLY with a couple of sandwiches thrown in. Since breakfast is my favorite meal, that works for me!


      2. m
        mayt May 16, 2012 06:37 PM

        if you don't want to buy other gadgets or screw around with recipes, one secret is to "toast" them in a 350 oven for a few minutes afterward, straight on the rack. that'll make any waffle crispy.

        1. Scirocco May 16, 2012 06:26 PM

          Yes, sorry. My updates got buried.

          Turned out it was operator error. :)

          I had been worried about putting the heat on high for fear of burning them, but when I finally did, that did the trick! I crank it up to high and they are perfect every time now!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Scirocco
            danna May 17, 2012 06:01 AM

            Good for you. I put very little fat in my waffles and they're plenty crispy as long as I cook them hot enough.

          2. sonsothunder May 16, 2012 06:18 PM

            Yep...Butter and higher heat, as many have suggested. Make sure the cooking spray contains real butter, or ladle/brush both sides. Now I'm hungry for breakfast food.

            1. l
              Leepa May 16, 2012 04:55 PM

              My mom always taught me that waffles were done when the steam quit coming out from the sides of the waffle iron. Her waffles were always perfect. I haven't read every last reply to the OP so someone else may have mentioned it. That and the suggestions for more butter, more heat, etc. may help as well. But if it's still steaming you're going to have less than crispy waffles.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Leepa
                latindancer May 16, 2012 06:14 PM


                Yep. Your mother is right.

                1. re: latindancer
                  Leepa May 16, 2012 06:22 PM

                  My mother is 93 and still an excellent cook. She's probably forgotten more about cooking than I'll ever know. It pays to listen to her, for sure.

              2. p
                Pegmeister Feb 6, 2008 08:34 AM

                When I want my waffles extra toasty, I just drop them in the toaster for a minute.

                1. Alice Q Feb 4, 2008 07:39 PM

                  Try subbing an = amount of melted butter for the oil called for in the recipe, and make sure it has some sugar in it. If not, add a tablespoon or so. Both of those things will help them crisp.

                  You can also preheat the oven to 300 degrees and put them directly on a rack to keep crisp while you cook the rest - that's my biggest problem, they go soggy on the bottom as soon as you put them on the plate!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Alice Q
                    rockandroller1 Feb 5, 2008 07:32 AM

                    Great, now I am dying for crispy waffles. :)

                  2. g
                    girlwonder88 Feb 3, 2008 09:39 PM

                    And, if you have waffles come out non-crispy (like mine did this morning...blecch)-just pop 'em in the toaster for a bit. Crisps them right up, as long as they aren't nearing overcooked already. I also think that's the best way to make sure late breakfast eaters or people wanting seconds get crisp waffles, without having to stand by the iron and make fresh ones constantly. Also the way we cook our leftover waffles, just pop them in the toaster frozen.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: girlwonder88
                      Scirocco Feb 4, 2008 07:23 AM

                      that's what we do too. since it's only two of us, we make up the whole batch and then have the rest of them sometime during the week (with a little added time on the treadmill - ha!!).

                      the rice krispie thing is interesting too.........

                      speaking of waffles, one thing I haven't had in AGES is chocolate waffles for dessert (with ice cream on them while still warm). Mmmmmm!!!! My mom would make those as a special treat once in a blue moon. How about Chocolate waffles with cocoa krispies..... hmmmm....

                    2. m
                      MarkC Jan 12, 2008 08:19 AM

                      Cooks Illustrated has a secret ingredient for crispy waffles - Rice Krispies! Try throwing in a handful next time.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: MarkC
                        powella Feb 3, 2008 05:00 PM

                        Brilliant idea. Can't wait to try it! I am guessing it will go over BIG TIME with the little ones in my house.

                        1. re: MarkC
                          Katie Nell Feb 5, 2008 07:23 AM

                          Yeah, King Arthur has a recipe for some with rice krispies too- I think it sounds really good!

                          1. re: MarkC
                            greygarious Jun 13, 2010 01:23 PM

                            The Cook's Country recipe for waffles calls for a cup of rice krispies in a recipe that has 1-1/4 c flour and 2 eggs, to give you an idea of amounts. It says the cereal melds evenly into the batter but retains the bit of crunch and the slightly malty flavor.

                            This recipe also says NOT to use butter, but oil, because the water that steams out of butter as it cooks doesn't escape well from the wafflemaker and thusly works against crispness. If you are determined to use butter, one of the premium butters, with less water, would be a decent compromise.

                          2. c
                            CathleenH Jan 12, 2008 07:32 AM

                            Temperature will help and yeast raised waffles are good, but the batter's fat content is the real key. Check out the Joy of cooking. The author lists three recipes ranging from lean to decadent. The third, which I think calls for 16 tbsp. of butter, will probably make the waffles of your dreams.

                            1. k
                              Kelli2006 Jan 11, 2008 07:22 PM

                              I would cook them as high as possible w/o burning them, but I prefer a yeast raised batter for maximum flavor and crispness.

                              I started with this recipe and made a few changes, but it is very good as it. They are best when allowed to ferment overnight, but 4-6 hours is enough time for flavor to develop.


                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Kelli2006
                                Scirocco Jan 12, 2008 07:22 AM

                                Success! I cranked up the iron and watched them and they came out nice and crispy (but still soft inside)! I'm embarrassed it was so simple! I guess I was worried that the high heat would burn them with raw insides.

                                Next - will experiment with the yeast recipes. Those sound great.! I wasn't organized enough to try them for today. :-)

                                Thanks everyone!!

                                1. re: Scirocco
                                  anniemax Jan 12, 2008 07:38 AM

                                  You might want to ditch the no stick spray and use real butter on your waffle iron too. I can't use the sprays due to food allergies, so I use a small silicone brush & just a little soft butter to grease my waffle iron every few waffles and it works great. No more sticky residue from the no stick spray and the added taste of a little more butter- a win-win situation. I make sourdough waffles, using an ancient regular waffle iron I've had for almost 20 years <gulp>...broken handle & all. My sourdough starter is strong & happy, I end up with Belgian-type waffles because they push the top up as they raise while cooking. I don't follow a recipe per se, but rather go by feel, through a mix of different flours together, including oat & garbanzo bean, as well as adding ripe bananas and whatever spices I feel like, along with a good amount of fresh ground, whole wheat. I don't add a lot of fat to my waffles, again I'm eyeballing it, but I add a small amount of oil. I ran low on eggs recently, so I used ground flax seeds as an egg substitute, which also worked well.

                                  I need to find a larger waffle iron, as mine only makes one 8" diameter circle waffle. I mistakenly bought a Belgian waffle iron several years ago that didn't have a heat adjustment, which was useless. Anyone have any good suggestions for waffle irons that turn out a larger quantity at a time?

                              2. Leucadian Jan 11, 2008 04:33 PM

                                While high heat is important, the best way to get crispy waffles is to use a yeasted batter.
                                See this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/357547

                                My earliest exposure to these was in the 60's, with Sourdough Jack's Yeasted Waffles, but here's a version with regular yeast. I actually don't think the SD adds much:

                                2 1/2 C flour, 2 C warm water, 1/2 packet of yeast (regular or rapid). Mix together and let stand. When it's frothy, about 2 hours, beat an egg with 2 T oil and 1/4 C instant dry milk, and fold into the batter. Then combine 1 t salt, 1 t baking soda, and 2T sugar, sprinkle evenly on the top of the batter and fold in. The soda will cause the batter to foam. Let it stand for a few minutes. Cook in a waffle iron at the highest heat, and let it re-heat between waffles. Don't overfill the iron. These freeze well, and then toast up nice and crisp.

                                17 Replies
                                1. re: Leucadian
                                  Scirocco Jan 11, 2008 05:25 PM

                                  thanks so much for the link - I should've done a search first!

                                  This weekend (tomorrow in fact) we plan to first play with the waffle iron temp. After that, will play with the recipes. I have a GREAT book for waffles, pancakes, muffins, yeast breads, quick breads, pizza dough, scones, etc. "Breads of New England" by Judy Gorman I doubt it's in print any more, but could probably find it second hand if anyone's interested. Will check for some yeast waffle recipes. I know there is at least one yeast recipe in there. Also, I get Cook's Illustrated, so am a big fan and will try their recipe as well. I love sourdough, so am intrigued by that recipe as well!

                                  thanks everyone!

                                  1. re: Scirocco
                                    karykat Jan 11, 2008 06:30 PM

                                    When you're looking for yeasted batter recipes, look for one by Mollie Katzen called something like Amazing Overnight Waffles. They are amazing.

                                    The overnight rest helps the flavor develop. And makes it easier to pull together in the morning.

                                    1. re: karykat
                                      doc_k55 Jan 11, 2008 06:31 PM

                                      And on that topic - Cook's Illustrated has a decent yeasted waffle recipe as well.

                                      1. re: karykat
                                        alkapal Jan 11, 2008 07:09 PM

                                        here is mollie katzen's recipe:

                                        1. re: alkapal
                                          Scirocco Feb 3, 2008 08:39 AM

                                          Thanks! I finally got around to trying Mollie's recipe today. It is so simple to put together the night before! We liked them and they were crispy (I think upping the waffle iron temp was the key there). I think next time I would try it with buttermilk instead of regular milk for added flavor and tang. I also may play around with some other yeasted recipes and find the combination I like best. Thanks for the tip - they were yummy!! :-)

                                          1. re: Scirocco
                                            danna Feb 5, 2008 10:11 AM

                                            While I love the flavor of buttermilk in baked goods, it makes waffles tough. Save it for pancakes, IMO.

                                            1. re: danna
                                              Scirocco Feb 5, 2008 12:21 PM

                                              good to know! thanks for the tip. It would be a crime to waste an otherwise good batch of waffles!

                                              1. re: danna
                                                eLizard Feb 5, 2008 02:06 PM

                                                how does buttermilk make the waffles tough? I thought that would purely be a mechanism of overmixing and developing the glutin in the batter. i use buttermilk in my (silverton's) waffles and they're awesome....

                                                1. re: eLizard
                                                  danna Feb 6, 2008 04:34 AM

                                                  are the silverton's waffles yeasted? that might make the difference. mine is a simple baking powder waffle. I've tried it a couple of times...buttermilk = tough for me.

                                                  1. re: danna
                                                    eLizard Feb 6, 2008 05:21 AM

                                                    They're sourdough. But I've used buttermilk in chemically leavened waffles, and I've not encountered your problem.... Sourdough are sublime, though.

                                                2. re: danna
                                                  Alice Q Feb 5, 2008 03:09 PM

                                                  The no buttermilk rule isn't true - toughness would come from too much flour, or overmixing. Whipping egg whites is one way to make fluffy waffles, but they can be prone to collapsing once they're out of the iron, and it's kind of labor intensive. Butter does help crisp and brown the waffles, and it makes them more tender - plus it has better flavor than oil.

                                                  1. re: Alice Q
                                                    Scirocco Feb 5, 2008 03:34 PM

                                                    Ok, well, in the interest of research (eh hem) I'll just have to try them to be sure. ;-) will report back after this weekend.......

                                                    1. re: Alice Q
                                                      eLizard Feb 5, 2008 03:38 PM

                                                      the souffle'ed waffles i've made from cook's illustrated weren't fabulous. They weren't terrible, but not any great shakes.... i may be persuaded by another recipe if anyone has any.....

                                                      1. re: eLizard
                                                        Leucadian Feb 5, 2008 09:44 PM

                                                        Try yeasted waffles, above. They don't have to be sourdough, but they are better if the batter rests overnight (before adding the baking soda, of course).

                                          2. re: Leucadian
                                            eLizard Feb 4, 2008 05:01 PM

                                            I just made Nancy Silverton's sourdough waffles from her La Brea cookbook. They were amazing. crisp on the outside, and light on the inside. plus i only use high heat on the iron.

                                            1. re: eLizard
                                              Scirocco Feb 4, 2008 05:42 PM

                                              Just looked them up online and they sound really good! sounds like they'd have a good tang. I just ordered a sourdough starter from King Arthur, so I could use some of that. Mmmm! And yes, the high heat on the iron made all the difference!

                                              1. re: Scirocco
                                                eLizard Feb 5, 2008 07:00 AM

                                                these waffles are amazing. i have a square iron (the one cooks illustrated recommends) that makes 4 "eggo" sized at a whack. this makes four of those. next time, i'd make a double batch and freeze the rest for homemade toaster waffles. i use my own starter. incredibly easy to make. mine is 2 years old with a lot of neglect!

                                          3. k
                                            karykat Jan 11, 2008 02:30 PM

                                            I just tried out a Belgian waffle maker for the first time last night. (With mixed results. Not sure how I feel about it compared to my regular waffle maker which I love.)

                                            Anyway, the directions for the iron do say to turn to a higher heat setting for crispier waffles. So that seems to corroborate what everyone is saying.

                                            1. d
                                              doc_k55 Jan 11, 2008 01:20 PM

                                              Two things, in my experience, make for a crispy waffle: high waffle iron temp AND butter-laden recipe. You just need a LOT of butter in the batter for waffles to brown. More than in pancake batter

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: doc_k55
                                                Scirocco Jan 11, 2008 02:10 PM

                                                Thanks! Ya, I was wondering if I should crank the temp up some more to get that high heat "sear" in a sense.

                                                And I agree - more butter is always good! And would definitely help the crisp factor. I didn't think of that.

                                                Will experiment and let you know! :-)

                                                1. re: Scirocco
                                                  alkapal Jan 11, 2008 02:13 PM

                                                  yeah, "crispy" made me think of upping the fat factor -- and since it really can't be on the waffle iron (compared with a skillet with oil, e.g.) -- then it has to be in the batter. or can you generously brush the iron with veg oil?


                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                    Sharuf Jan 12, 2008 03:33 AM

                                                    My mother, who set the waffle standard for me, used 1 cube of butter, melted, in her 2 c flour, 2 c buttermilk, 2 egg batter recipe.

                                                  2. re: Scirocco
                                                    Miss Needle Jan 11, 2008 02:34 PM

                                                    Yes, crank up the temp. I have the Cuisinart waffle iron and use Bittman's overnight waffles (which is full of butter). I have the iron to the hottest setting to produce medium-crispy waffles.

                                                  3. re: doc_k55
                                                    danna Feb 5, 2008 10:10 AM

                                                    I agree with the temp on the waffle iron, but disagree totally about the butter. I use somewhere between zero and 2 Tbs. butter in my waffles, and they are always crispy.

                                                    In case you're interested, I think the secret to waffles that are light and fluffy on the inside and crispy outside is to separate the eggs and whip the whites separately, then fold in.

                                                  4. sirregular Jan 11, 2008 01:16 PM

                                                    It sounds as if the iron isn't cooking at a high enough temperature. I'd try turning the iron to the highest setting, first (the thermostat may not be giving a correct reading, keeping the temp too low), before considering getting a new iron. The good news, though, is that a new waffle iron will only set you back about $20.

                                                    My Blog: http://www.epicureforum.com

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: sirregular
                                                      Jack Chambles May 16, 2012 09:09 AM

                                                      Not $20. He has a Vintantonio model 1800 - the finest waffler known to man. Lack of Butter or
                                                      too low a heat is his problem. At 1100 watts, this waffler does a good job. Is it broken?
                                                      Set the temp high and it should work.
                                                      on eBay, they run about $40. +
                                                      Jack C.

                                                      1. re: Jack Chambles
                                                        Scirocco May 16, 2012 04:47 PM

                                                        No, it wasn't broken. The operator was broken. LOL I didn't have it on high because I thought they would burn. I crank it full bore now and it works perfectly!

                                                        And you're right, they aren't $20!! LOL

                                                        and I'm a she.... :) (always hard to tell on these boards!)

                                                        1. re: Scirocco
                                                          Double Gloucester May 27, 2012 08:44 AM

                                                          Yum, just purchased the Vintantonio 1800 from eBay and got delicious crisp waffles my first try baking on high temp as you've suggested! Thanks.

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