best waffle makers: the ultimate guide (updated 2020)

Most of us have waffles for breakfast since we were kids. The basic ingredients in a waffle batter are flour, oil, sugar (typically brown sugar), milk and eggs, pinch of salt and baking powder (leavening agent). Of course, there are many variation of the waffle batter, hence variation of types of waffles.

Types of waffles:

The most well-known types of waffles in this country are the Classic waffle and Belgian waffle:

Classic waffle

  • Thinner
  • Shallower and smaller Pocket
  • Round shape (traditionally)
  • Crisper
  • Holds less syrup
Belgian waffle

  • Thicker
  • Deep & bigger Pocket
  • Square shape (typically)
  • Lighter and fluffier
  • Holds more syrup than classic

What do you need to make a waffle?

You need two things to make a waffle: a waffle maker and waffle batter. Most waffle makers are electric. There are waffle makers made for stove-top use only. For waffle batter, you can whip up a batter from scratch or use a waffle mix.

What are waffle makers?

Waffle maker is the cooking appliance that makes waffles. My grandma will correct me that it is called a waffle iron – and hers is indeed made of cast iron. Most of the waffle makers in the market now are made of stainless steel housing and die-cast aluminum cooking plates. Typically (there are exceptions) a waffle maker that produces a classic waffle cannot make a Belgium waffle, and vice versa. There are also waffle makers that make heart-shaped waffles, Mickey Mouse waffles, and star wars waffles, etc.

Types of waffle makers are:

  • Classic waffle maker – makes classic waffles
  • Belgian waffle maker – makes Belgian waffles
  • Smart waffle maker – makes both classic and Belgian waffles
  • Waffle maker with pancake plate – makes pancakes and waffles

BEST WAFFLE MAKERS by TYPE:

Classic Waffle Maker: Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic


cuisinart-wmr-ca-round-classic-waffle-maker

When it comes to affordable and great looking classic waffle, the Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic is a time tested waffle maker approved by many families. Yes, thin and crispy classic waffles never go out of style. Check out our review of the Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic.

Quick specs: Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker

  • Type: Classic waffle maker
  • Shape: Round
  • Capacity: Makes one 7” round classic waffle.
  • Browning Control: Five settings from light to deep golden brown.
  • Indicated lights: Two indicated lights of red and green – unit is heating up, ready to bake, unit is cooking the waffle, and the unit has finished cooking the waffle.

Once you know setting 3 gives you a golden brown waffle, and setting 4 gives you a darker golden brown, you can always make a perfect waffle for anyone who prefers a thinner and crisper waffle using the Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Round wafer maker.

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Belgium Waffle Maker: Presto 03510 ceramic flip-side Belgian waffle maker


presto-03510-ceramic-flipside-belgium-waffle-maker

I can tell you that my aunt makes the fluffiest and best tasting Belgian waffle with this Presto model. Her waffle looks just like the professional kind you get in a restaurant – you know the kind with extra deep pockets to hold extra syrup!

Quick specs: Presto 03510 ceramic flip-side Belgian waffle maker

  • Type: Belgian waffle maker
  • Shape: Round
  • Capacity: Makes one 7-inch diameter Belgian waffle with four easy-to-cut sections
  • Design: Rotating and flip model
  • Timer: Countdown timer and LCD display
  • Easy to clean: ceramic nonstick interior

According to my aunt – it’s the Presto’s flip feature that makes her waffle fluffy and even cooking. We think it’s the countdown timer with display signal when baking time is up – that builds up our anticipation when to devour the delicious waffle. Her other tip is to use just shy of three-quarter cup of batter for one Belgian waffle baked with this Presto model.

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Waffle + Pancake Maker: Cuisinart WAF-300 Belgian Waffle Maker with Pancake Plates


cuisinart-waf-300-belgian-waffle-maker-with-pancake-plates

When it comes to giving happiness to both the pancakes-team and the waffle-team what they want, the Cuisinart WAF-300 delivers “happiness”! Check out our review of the Cuisinart WAF-300 Belgian Waffle Maker with Pancake Plates.

Quick specs: Cuisinart WAF-300 Belgian Waffle Maker with Pancake Plates

  • Type: Belgian waffle maker
  • Shape: Square waffles; round pancakes
  • Capacity: 4 square Belgian waffles, 4 round pancakes.
  • Browning Control: Six settings from light to deep golden brown
  • Indicated lights: Two indicated lights of red and green – signals power on, ready to cook or ready to eat.

Once you remember that Setting 4 or 5 gives you golden brown waffles, then go ahead use a pancake and waffle mix for the party, you will be the most loved chef who makes both pancakes and waffles for everyone in record time.

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Classic + Belgium Waffle Maker: Breville the Smart 2-slice waffle maker – Classic + Belgium waffles


breville-smart-2-slice-waffle-maker

Do you remember that one individual who ordered “one of each” out of the dessert menu? You can have “two of each” with This Breville smart waffle maker! Yes, it has four batter type settings for Classic waffles, Belgian waffles, chocolate, Buttermilk or custom waffles. And, it has twelve browning settings to further customize the browning color of your choice. Most of us are not big fans of cleaning up – if you are one of us, you would love this no-mess clean-up Breville smart waffle. How – it has an integrated moat to catch any excess batter, cook it for no mess clean-up! If budget is of no consequence to you, then go for this possibly the smartest and most functional waffle maker in the market today. Check out our review of the Breville the Smart 2-slice waffle maker.

Quick specs: Breville the Smart 2-slice waffle maker

  • Type: Classic + Belgian waffle maker
  • Shape: Square
  • Capacity: Makes 2 classic waffles or 2 Belgian waffles using its ‘smart’ technology.
  • Four batter type settings: Selection dial to make Classic waffles, Belgium waffles, chocolate, Buttermilk or custom waffles
  • Browning Control: Twelve browning settings
  • Special feature: Integrated moat to catch any excess batter for easy clean-up

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Premium Belgium Waffle Maker: All-Clad 99011GT Stainless Steel Belgian Waffle Maker


all-clad-99011GT-stainless-steel-belgian-waffle-maker

We love every All Clan (pots, pans, dutch oven, kettles) cooking appliances we have owned. This All-Clad Belgian waffle maker is no exception. It’s like that “je ne sais quoi” thing – just look at it, you know it’s beautiful, durable and expensive. Is it worth the high price tag? Absolutely! This All-Clad makes the best Belgium waffles.

This All-Clad 99011GT is housed in beautiful polished stainless steel. Its handle is branded die-cast. The dimension of waffle is 4.5” wide by 1” thick – many say that’s the ideal serving size. The waffles feature extra deep pockets and you can easily cut them into sections.

Quick spec: All-Clad 99011GT Stainless Steel Belgian Waffle Maker

  • Type: Belgium waffle maker
  • Capacity: Makes 4 square-shaped Belgian waffles at a time.
  • Browning Control: Seven settings
  • Special feature: A steam-release system – to produce a perfect Belgium waffle every time
  • Easy to use: LED indicator light (and audio) for ready to cook and ready to eat.

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What to look for when buying a Waffle Maker?

Here are ten things to consider:

  1. Type of waffle maker
    • What kind of waffles do you want to make? Classic or Belgian waffles or, a smart waffle maker that makes both classic and Belgium, or a Breakfast station that makes waffles and pancakes?
    • Classic waffle is thinner and round in shape traditionally. Classic waffle makers have shallower grids and make classic waffles only.
    • Belgium waffle is thicker and has deeper pockets. Traditionally Belgian waffle is square in shape, though round-shape Belgium waffles are fairly common these days. Most Belgium waffle makers can only make Belgium waffles.
    • If you want to make both classic and Belgian waffles using the same waffle maker, then you choice is either a smart waffle maker or a waffle maker with interchangeable plates for both classic and Belgian.
    • If you want to make waffles and pancakes using the same machine, a Breakfast station with interchangeable plates of waffles and pancakes is an option.
  2. Capacity.
    • How many waffles do you want to make? One, two, four?
    • Waffle maker comes in capacity of a single waffle, two waffles, and four waffles.
  3. Shape of waffle
    • Round waffle
    • Square waffle
    • Special shape such as heart shape waffle, Mickey Mouse waffle, star wars waffle.
  4. Easy to use
    • Is the waffle maker easy to operate?
    • Do you want simple settings or many browning settings?
    • Do you want an audible sound?
    • Do you want an indicator light?
    • Do you want a non-stick plate?
  5. Easy to clean
    • Wipe clean? Wash with water? Hand wash only?
    • Do you want a removable plate?
    • Do you want a dishwasher safe plate?
    • Do you want an integrated moat that catches any excess overflow batter?
  6. Where do you plan to cook your waffle?
    • Do you have lots of counter space to set your waffle maker?
    • Is there an electric outlet where you want to use your waffle maker?
    • Dimension. Height, depth, width and weight are important. Measure the counter space you plan to house your waffle maker.
  7. Where do you plan to store your waffle maker?
    • Easy to store away. A bulky and heavier machine is harder to move (lift) and it takes more room to store. It’s easier to lift a lighter machine.
    • Bulky or compact. It’s easier to find room for storage when the machine has a smaller foot print or its components are removable.
  8. Styling
    • Design and color.
    • You want to think about the design that integrates into your space.
    • You may prefer stainless steel to go with modern appliances.
  9. Budget
    • You can find waffle maker under $20 to north of $200.
    • Consider nice-to-have features versus how much you want to spend.
  10. How often do you plan to use your waffle maker?
    • Frequency – Daily? Weekend use? Special occasion use.
    • How many people – are you going to bake for a big group of people every weekend?
    • Are you buying the unit for a camping trip? Cast iron is your best bet for outdoors use.
    • Are you buying it for a special celebration? A heart-shape waffle maker may make it more special.

Recap: Comparison table of the best waffle makers 2020

Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker, Silver, 1
Presto 03510 Ceramic FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker,Black
Cuisinart Belgian Maker with Pancake Plates Waffle Iron, Single, Silver
Breville the Smart Pro 2 Slice Waffle Maker, Silver
All-Clad 2100046968 99010GT Stainless Steel Belgian Waffle Maker with 7 Browning...
NordicWare 15040 Cast Aluminum Stovetop Belgium Waffle Iron
Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker, Silver, 1
Presto 03510 Ceramic FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker,Black
Cuisinart Belgian Maker with Pancake Plates Waffle Iron, Single, Silver
Breville the Smart Pro 2 Slice Waffle Maker, Silver
All-Clad 2100046968 99010GT Stainless Steel Belgian Waffle Maker with 7 Browning...
NordicWare 15040 Cast Aluminum Stovetop Belgium Waffle Iron
1 classic round
1 Belgian round
4 square Belgian Waffle or 4 round pancakes
2 square Belgian or 2 square classic
4 square Belgian
4 square Belgian
$29.92
$39.59
$99.99
$299.00
$199.95
$40.99
Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker, Silver, 1
Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker, Silver, 1
1 classic round
$29.92
Presto 03510 Ceramic FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker,Black
Presto 03510 Ceramic FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker,Black
1 Belgian round
$39.59
Cuisinart Belgian Maker with Pancake Plates Waffle Iron, Single, Silver
Cuisinart Belgian Maker with Pancake Plates Waffle Iron, Single, Silver
4 square Belgian Waffle or 4 round pancakes
$99.99
Breville the Smart Pro 2 Slice Waffle Maker, Silver
Breville the Smart Pro 2 Slice Waffle Maker, Silver
2 square Belgian or 2 square classic
$299.00
All-Clad 2100046968 99010GT Stainless Steel Belgian Waffle Maker with 7 Browning...
All-Clad 2100046968 99010GT Stainless Steel Belgian Waffle Maker with 7 Browning...
4 square Belgian
$199.95
NordicWare 15040 Cast Aluminum Stovetop Belgium Waffle Iron
NordicWare 15040 Cast Aluminum Stovetop Belgium Waffle Iron
4 square Belgian
$40.99