Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Nov 26, 2011 08:51 PM

Electric Waffle Iron -- NOT nonstick

I'm in the market for a new waffle iron. We used to use ours very frequently -- 1x a week or so -- but stopped when I noticed the nonstick surface wearing away. Not only was I worried about eating the coating, but the waffles also started to stick terribly. I don't want to spend more than $75-$100, if possible. Can anyone make any recommendations? If you use a nonstick waffle iron, how do you avoid chipping the coating(or is that par for the course)? Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Here is a link you might find useful. The irons are not inexpensive and they are from the earlier non-stick era. They are not inexpensive, but they are rather elegant.

    As for using non-stick, a nylon cooking fork or chopsticks to pull the waffle from the iron. We use a basting brush to periodically wipe the grids with butter.

    3 Replies
    1. re: dcrb

      Wow! Great resource. I don't desire a toaster, but I'd love to have one of those vintage Sunbeam waffle irons. Why, oh why can't we have good American made goods anymore?

      1. re: sueatmo

        It is nice, isn't it. Sort of a second life site.

    2. Well it's not electric, I just heat it on the stove. I have an old Griswold cast iron waffle iron. You can find them at antique stores and ebay if you can't steal one from great grandma.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rasputina

        I saw this online yesterday: It's $20 compared to $95 and up for an old Griswold. There was a big discussion on the need to pre-season the new one carefully (and scrub off the wax coating it came with). And some people said it was tricky to learn how to make the waffles without the batter getting everywhere. Can you tell me a bit more about how hard it is to use? And is there an advantage to buying/stealing a Griswold compared to getting the one I found new? Thanks!

        1. re: jessinEC

          Well mine is around 80 years old and came to me well seasoned, which is the benefit of not buying new. Mine also has a base it sits on over the burner or heat source, they were made with either high or low bases, mine is the high. It also has a spiral handle that doesn't hot. I've used it both on gas and on coil electric burners and it worked fine. It's not really hard to use, you need to preheat both the top and bottom other than that it's just practice to learn how much batter to use to get a full waffle but no leaking, but that is the same with any waffle iron. You just need to flip the iron over while it's cooking so both sides stay hot. Just like an electric waffle iron you can tell it's cooked when it releases the waffle and unless it's very well seasoned I'd grease the iron before each waffle.

      2. Aside from what is on ebay, and there are Griswolds for sale there as Rasputina recommended, here is a link for USA made irons.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Why do you want a sticking waffle iron? :)

            Nonstick coatings do wear, but you can minimize the wear by being careful with the utensils. Is there a pattern in where the nonstick coating is wearing away?

            As discussed frequently in other threads, cast iron is the only viable alternative. With care you can develop a good nonstick seasoning. It's made of polymerized oil; oil or other fat that has been turned into a plastic coating by heat. But you have to watch how you wash it, and can't expect nonstick performance at the start.

            But, cast iron does not conduct heat nearly as well or evenly as cast aluminum. So few, if any, modern manufacturers use it for applications like this. You may have to settle on an old unit, electric or not, from the days before nonstick coatings.

            2 Replies
            1. re: paulj


              I think another challenge for cast iron is that it is difficult to season an electric cast iron waffle. Sure, you can season a stove top cast iron waffle iron in the oven or on the stove top. It will be more difficult (not impossible) to do so for one attached to an electric unit.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Looks like the case aluminum plates of the vintage electric irons do ok. Waffles are supposed to be high in fat, so they will be crisp.