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Waffle Iron Recommendation

I'm looking to purchase a waffle iron that makes waffles that are tender inside and really crisp outside. I like the All-Clad at WS but I can't justify spending well over $100 for an appliance I will only use occasionally. I had recently purchased the Calphalon No Peek waffle iron but I am returning it since its performance is unpredictable. It indicates that it is ready while it continues to steam and waffles turn out soggy. If I cook the waffles until steaming stops, the waffles are overcooked. I am not particular about whether I buy a traditional waffle maker or one that makes Belgian waffles. Any suggestions?

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  1. I got my DH a VillaWare Belgian waffle iron about 15 years ago and he loves it. I don't really see a lot of those online though. If I were to get one now, I'd be looking for one without the toxic nonstick crap on it.

    I notice at Fantes.com they have Verkinderen ($70) in cast iron that gets heat from your stovetop. Everything else is either nonstick or aluminum or both. The others sold there run from $25-$80... cheapest is the other stovetop one in aluminum from Italy; the rest are made in the USA or China. HTH.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Mawrter

      Rome makes cast iron waffle irons for the stove top. The round one is probably the easier to find -- they work great once properly seasoned (expect to jackhammer out at least a couple of waffles). The handles are short and part of the casting, so they get very hot.

      Rome does make a model for the campfire that is rectangular and has long removeable steel handles with wood grips -- basically it is a variation on their pie irons. I believe the castings are made in China.

      Cooking on the stove is not for everyone -- regulating the temperature of BOTH casting halves is a little tricky. However, the cast iron gets the outside of the waffle crispy and cooks the waffle very quickly, so it doesn't steam and get flabby.

      1. re: MikeB3542

        Thanks, Mike, for the idea. I was really hoping to find an electric model that could make crisy waffles

        1. re: BelleJo

          I remember that Cooks Magazine had a review of waffle irons not too long ago, and what struck me was that they said that the round waffle irons make better waffles than the square ones. I've had a round one for 20 or so years, and it works very well. I believe it is teflon coated, and I've never had any problem with it. The waffles always come out fine. I'd try to find the Cooks Magazine article about the waffle irons.

          1. re: BelleJo

            FWIW, I think Alton Brown used a Cuisinart WMR-CA on "Good Eats". Amazon has on sale right now for under $30.

            Do I believe everything I see on his show? I take it all with a grain of salt -- product endoesements/ product placement are huge on any cooking show. The reviews otherwise seem positive, and the price is decent so my guess is it will do OK.

            I would use the iron on its "high" setting and dial down only if things were getting burned. Also try different recipes -- I personally like an "overnight" yeast-raised waffle myself.

            1. re: MikeB3542

              Thanks, Mike. I've been doing a lot of research on this. The consensus seems to be that for a really crisp waffle, a classic waffle iron is better than one that makes Belgian waffles. I heard from another thread that Alton Brown used the Villaware traditional waffle iron (available online at WS; the stores only seem to carry the new All-Clad model for twice the price).

              1. re: BelleJo

                Alton Does use the villaware and recommended them on 2 separate shows.
                http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/Refere...

          2. re: MikeB3542

            Thanks for mentioning that Mike. I've been looking for the old fashion waffle makers FOREVER! I don't want to buy an electric appliance (limited counter top space as well as cabinet space) and I didn't want one with a non-stick coating. You've made a dream that I had for several years (I wanted one after I saw one of my friends have a really old one he salvaged from a garage sale).

            I found it on Amazon. I wish there would be a store in Canada that carries it to make life easier, but at least I found it! http://www.amazon.com/Romes-1100-Fash...

            1. re: moreana

              You can order a villaware to Canada from this website. http://www.thegourmetdepotco.com/store/
              They have great deals.

          3. re: Mawrter

            The Villawares are the best because you can set the temperature from low to high. An alarm sounds when it is ready. The higher settings make perfectly crispy waffles. I have had mine for almost fifteen years too.

            My only complaint? It could easier to clean. If you put too much batter in there, it boils over the sides and you need to get at it with a sponge when it cools down. But the performance is worth it.

          4. I'm partial to my 1940's GE art deco waffle iron, which makes traditional round waffles.

            It requires a test run of waffles to determine where the "Bake" arrow needs to be at for the preferred degree of brown-and-crispy-ness, but once you've figured that out, you should be all set.

            You can find refurbished ones at Toaster Central (http://www.toastercentral.com/waffles... -- scroll down to "General Electric Best Value"), and there are usually several that are in good working order on eBay (where I got mine) for much less.

            The blurb on Toaster Central is correct--if you keep the iron full of batter, it won't overheat, and it does turn out a stream of waffles almost faster than you can eat them.

            1. I've had a VillaWare (Belgian) for years and it makes perfect waffles. Of course, alot has to do with the batter you use. I'd buy VillaWare again.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Alfred G

                I might be looking in the wrong places, but I wasn't able to find the VillaWare to link to when I posted above. I wonder if they're still being made/sold. ???

                1. re: Mawrter

                  Here's a link on Amazon to the round Belgian waffle iron Villaware is making now: http://www.amazon.com/VillaWare-V2002...

                  I wound up purchasing the round classic waffle iron they make that is only sold by WS.
                  Here's that link: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                  1. re: BelleJo

                    Great link for the round Belgian VillaWare. This is the same one that I have. Having tried a few Belgian waffle irons in the past I can unhesitatingly state that this is the best I have used.

              2. George Foreman G5 Grill

                1. The VillaWare waffle iron got an excellent review and sells for under $50.