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My waffle iron sucks but I can't get a new one. Help me troubleshoot?

  • l

Hey everyone,

My waffle iron is terrible. OR I am just terrible at using it. It is an older (5-7 years?) Black & Decker 4-in-1 Wafflemaker. Has the sandwich, grill, and griddle attachments, too.

Anyway, every time I make waffles, they stick to death and when I cook 'em and I think they are done, I open it up and it's ripped into two pieces, stuck on each side. I always end up just making pancakes with the rest.

I have tried adding a load of oil, greasing generously. I have waited much longer in case they needed longer cooking, and much shorter for same reasons. I've tried different waffle recipes. I just think it might be the iron.

Any advice at all? I can't afford to go out and buy another waffle iron, but I really would like some homemade waffles!

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  1. Ive had that issue before where the waffle splits open and nothing is inside. That happened when I was using a mix that was supposed to be just for Belgian waffles. I switched to the cheap store-brand complete pancake/waffle mix and started spraying each side of the machine with Pam before each waffle... no problems since!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Njchicaa

      Hmm, I definitely don't want to use a mix (and I don't use Pam), but I've always oiled my grates. I'm glad you've found success though!

      1. re: ls150

        Instead of Pam I have used one of those sprayers you fill with your own oil. I used peanut, but you can use whatever you want.

        Mine never stick any more. It seems the maker needs seasoning if it is not non-stick. After using it a few times it started to stick much less often.

        1. re: travelerjjm

          That is what I use already. Never would use Pam!

    2. I had that same model for like 30 years and didn't have that problem, but as it was such an old version maybe it wasn't identical. I finally got rid of it when I couldn't stop stuff from sticking but that took a long time. If I oil it's very lightly. not with PAM but with one of those oil sprayers you fill yourself. If stuff starts sticking on these because the finish is going, or maybe gunked up with cooked on oil, I'm not sure adding lots of oil really helps anything.

      Perhaps experiment with the amount of batter you use. No matter what wafflemaker I have the best results when using as much as possible without it going out the sides when it starts to cook. Not enough batter might in splitting like that. Always tricky to get right. If you don't measure now I suggest actually measuring what you are putting in for a given recipe, then sticking to that if you find success.

      (After trying and quickly dumping a new cheapy, now the happy owner of a Caphalon No-Peek.)

      1 Reply
      1. re: snippet

        The finish definitely isn't going - I've only used it a handful of times (without success). I tried lightly oiling it, but definitely never use Pam. I have an oil sprayer, too, and I've also tried a pastry brush to get into the grooves. I'd love a new one but.... I can't afford it. Maybe I'm destined to be waffle free. I'll try adding more batter, too. Thanks!

      2. Pam and waffle mix work for me. IIRC, waffle batter has more oil than pancake batter.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Alan408

          I and not sure what IIRC means, but I've tried different recipes, and none are low fat, so I'm not sure! But that's good to know.

          1. re: ls150

            IIRC = If I Remember Correctly

        2. I had an old iron that stuck. I found that I had to clean it meticulously with a toothbrush. A couple of times to get all the stuck batter off. Then when I made the batter, I include 2 tablespoons of oil in the batter (which gives me 4 big waffles.) I also spray the iron, and I measure each serving of batter so that it doesn't squirt out the sides and cause it to stick.

          It also has to be cooked fully, so that it doesn't rip apart when you open it. Timing is key, and I always watch the steam come out. When that has subsided, I know I'm close to being done.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes

            Thanks Heidi. Maybe I am not waiting long enough. How long does it take on yours? I know each maker is different, but it's been so long since I last tried I haven't thought about the steam thing.

            1. re: ls150

              It's not so much a time thing. You have to watch the waffle, and you'll see the steam coming out the sides. After a few minutes, it will start subsiding. I let it go for another minute or so, before trying to open the iron and seeing how done it is. Make a couple of batches just for practice. The batter is cheap enough! And keep your stop watch going, and take good notes so you'll remember what worked the next time you make waffles. I always keep my notes right with my iron, so I never have to wonder what worked out the best the last time I made them.

              1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes

                Thanks for the tips. My batter is not cheap, unfortunately, but I would still dig it out and eat it :)

          2. IMO, Heidi cooks and bakes is on the right track. The waffle iron needs to be impeccably clean. Then it needs to be seasoned by heating it to its highest temperature and brushing oil throughout the grate surfaces and cooling it before wiping excess oil away.
            You don't list your waffle batter recipe but if it doesn't include vegetable oil it should.
            Beat the eggs well (with a bit of the milk) before introducing them to the batter (little chunks of egg throughout the batter will stick to the grates) and be certain that your waffle iron is hot when the batter is spooned onto the grates. Wipe a small amount of oil on the grate after the iron is heated and before spooning in the batter. Learn the characteristics of your waffle iron/baker/maker so that you can establish a standard cooking to that you know it will be done when you lift the lid.
            If you have a teflon or other coated grate surface, ignore all of this.

            3 Replies
            1. re: todao

              The wafflemaker in question is (allegedly) nonstick.

              That is a good point about the oil. If you're making your own recipe make sure it's a waffle batter and not a pancake batter, though I'm not sure if that will affect the sticking qualities or just the texture of the waffle. Usually waffle batter is thicker with more fat, I think the extra fat in the batter is intended more for crisping than not sticking, but it can't hurt.

              1. re: snippet

                I have used waffle specific recipes, but that is good to know. I do like crispy-on-the-outside waffles, so that isn't a problem to make sure there is enough fat in there. Thanks!

              2. re: todao

                Thanks! I used a pastry brush and will make sure I get it in the grates. It is a "nonstick" version, but sticks nonetheless.