Waffle Iron Reviews

Editor's note:
The Cuisinart Round Classic Waffle Maker for American-style waffles, and the Presto FlipSide 3510 for Belgian-style waffle are top performers that will turn out a treat that everyone will love. If you prefer easier cleanup, check out the Hamilton Beach 26030 with removable plates. We also have recommendations for stovetop waffle makers and one that you can take camping.
 
Cuisinart Round Classic Waffle Maker
Specs that Matter
Waffle type: American, makes 1Cook time: 3 minDimensions: 8.5" x 4" x 11"
Best Reviewed

Best waffle iron

Cuisinart Round Classic Waffle Maker

The Cuisinart Round Classic Waffle Maker wins this category by a landslide, not because of fancy bells and whistles but because of the one thing it does very well: Turning out thin, crunchy American-style waffles. Cooking time is quick -- about three minutes per waffle -- and as long as you apply a little oil to the grid, its non-stick coating releases those waffles quickly and cleanly. The three-year warranty is impressive in this price range.

Presto FlipSide 3510 Review
Specs that Matter
Waffle type: Belgian, makes 1Cook time: 4-5 minDimensions: 12" x 12" x 3.5"
Best Reviewed

Best Belgian waffle iron

Presto FlipSide 3510 Belgian Waffle Maker

The Presto FlipSide 3510 Belgian Waffle Maker draws an unqualified recommendation and Best Buy designation from a tough test kitchen. Thousands of happy owners agree, saying it makes the best waffles they've ever eaten and does so consistently, waffle after waffle. The 3510 is small enough for even the tiniest kitchen, and includes a nice array of features that make it very simple to use. Durability is another plus, with some reporting they've had theirs for years.

Hamilton Beach 26030 Review
Specs that Matter
Waffle type: Belgian, makes 1Cook time: 5-8 minDimensions: 9" x 10" x 15"
Runner Up

Belgian waffle iron with removable plates

Hamilton Beach 26030 Belgian Waffle Maker

For those who aren't happy with just wiping their waffle maker down to keep it clean, the Hamilton Beach 26030 Belgian Waffle Maker has removable non-stick plates and a drip tray that can all go straight into the dishwasher, and users say they come clean very nicely that way. The indicator lights make it easy to use, and the adjustable browning control offers some customization. Most importantly, it also turns out great, fluffy yet crisp Belgian waffles.

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Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian Waffle Maker with Removable Plates (26030)
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Average Customer Review:  
Nordic Ware Belgian Waffle Maker
Specs that Matter
Waffle type: Belgian, makes 4Cook time: 3-4 minDimensions: 2" x 16" x 8.5"
Best Reviewed

Best stovetop waffle iron

Nordic Ware Belgian Waffle Maker

If you're ready to tackle the challenge of making waffles by hand, both home users and expert testers love the Nordic Ware Belgian Waffle Maker. It heats consistently and evenly, although there's a bit of a learning curve, and cooks four waffles at once. Waffles releases quickly and it cleans up easily; you can even submerge the entire thing if need be. Thin handles make it easy for the Nordic Ware Belgian waffler to lie flat, even on flat-surface electric stoves.

Coleman Waffle Iron Review
Specs that Matter
Waffle type: Belgian. makes 2Cook time: N/ADimensions: 9" x 7" x 2"
Runner Up

Waffle iron for camping

Coleman Waffle Iron

The Coleman Waffle Iron is the perfect size for camping, tailgating or living -- and cooking -- off the grid. It cooks two waffles at once and has no moving parts that could be damaged. The non-stick coating works best if it's brushed with cooking oil and then preheated before pouring in the batter. Even if you're "just" cooking at home, the Coleman Waffle Iron is a great choice for those with small kitchens or limited space.

Types of Waffle Irons
American Waffle Makers

American-style waffle irons are used to make traditional waffles, which are thin and crispy with relatively shallow pockets. This means they cook fairly quickly, too. The savory batter used for this type of waffle makes it particularly well-suited to making special shapes, like hearts or for using in place of bread for things like breakfast sandwiches.

Belgian Waffle Makers

Introduced in North American in 1962, Belgian waffles usually use a yeasted batter that results in a waffle that rises, making them thicker and softer than American waffles -- although they should still be crispy on the outside. They're larger too, which is why they need a different type of waffle maker than traditional, American-style waffles. The deeper pockets on Belgian waffles are great for holding toppings like syrup, whipped cream or fruit.

Stovetop Waffle Makers

Although stovetop waffle makers are a little harder to use than electric because you have to regulate the waffle iron's temperature and cooking time, they're also more versatile. They can be used for tailgating, camping trips, or during a power outage (if you have a gas stove). Stovetop waffle irons are usually much smaller and thinner than countertop models, too; so they're the ideal choice for small kitchens with limited storage, camping or tailgating, off-the-grid living, or anyone who enjoys the challenge of learning to create the perfect waffle by hand.

The right batter + waffle iron = waffle bliss

There's nothing like the taste of a crispy, golden-brown waffle straight from your own waffle iron, but the key is a combination of a good waffle maker and good batter. A substandard waffle maker or poor batter will make even the most generic frozen waffle look good.

Most modern waffle makers run on electricity and can be adjusted to produce lighter or darker waffles. Many, but not all, have indicator lights and audible beeps to cue you through the preheating, battering and cooking stages. Even more important is consistent, even heat to be sure your waffle isn't overcooked on the outside and mushy on the inside -- or cooked in some places but not in others.

Once the waffle is done, it should release cleanly from the waffle maker's grids. Most waffle irons come with a non-stick coating to make this easier, but even with the best non-stick waffle iron you'll get better results if you apply a bit of cooking oil or spray before adding the batter.

That non-stick coating and oil combo not only results in pretty waffles on your plate, it also means cleanup is a snap because you won't have to scrub bits of stuck waffle out of the grids with a toothbrush. Some electric waffle makers have removable plates that can be tossed in the sink or dishwasher. If you're dealing with an electric waffle maker that doesn't have removable grids, you can't dunk the whole thing for a good cleaning -- so a soft-bristle toothbrush or damp rag are your best cleaning options.

Finally, be aware that if you're getting so-so results from a waffle maker that usually draws rave reviews, the problem might be your batter instead of the machine. Users who substitute pancake batter for waffle batter quickly find out that there is, indeed, a difference between the two. Pancake batter in a waffle iron generally produces a heavy, dense mess that'll stick to the waffle iron like glue, and users warn that some "waffle recipes" found on the back of pancake mix boxes don't do much better. If you're into creative pancake making, you'll do better cooking them on a stove top skillet or electric skillet, both of which we cover in separate reports.

Finding The Best Waffle Irons
Our Sources1. ConsumerReports.org
Waffle Makers That Make Your Morning2. Cook's Illustrated
Belgian Waffle Irons3. TheSweethome.com
The Best Waffle MakerSee All

Waffles are a popular breakfast (or anytime) food, and waffle irons are popular with expert testers and test kitchens as well. We found plenty of excellent, comparative, waffle maker tests at Cook's Illustrated, TheSweethome.com, BonAppetit.com, YourBestDigs.com and TopTenReviews.com, among others. As always, though, with any kitchen appliance, user reviews are king because they tell how the appliance does under real-world conditions with a real person at the helm -- and how long they hold up under that real-world use. Combining all those terrific resources with our own kitchen experience led us to our recommendations for the waffle irons that are easiest to use and clean, and, of course, make a perfect waffle.

The best waffle irons

When it comes to making American-style waffles there's no question: the Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker (Est. $30) is the winner by a landslide, drawing hundreds of enthusiastic user reviews and kudos from experts like TheSweethome.com, YourBestDigs.com and Good Housekeeping. The Cuisinart waffle iron turns out one waffle at a time, with five doneness settings to choose from and indicator lights that tell you when it's ready for batter and when the waffle is done.

"The Cuisinart Classic proves you don't have to pay a lot to get beautifully browned and tender, yet crispy waffles," write the editors of Good Housekeeping, while the same machine has been a budget pick at TheSweethome.com for multiple years. "It truly excels at making consistently thin, crunchy waffles," write TheSweethome.com editors. They say that a bit of uneven browning they noticed in their test (there's a darker brown patch on the center) is just aesthetic and doesn't affect the waffle's crispness or taste.

Owners love the Cuisinart Round Classic's performance too, saying they're happy to finally find a good waffle maker that makes something other than Belgian waffles. In fact, this little machine took almost a third of the survey vote in a poll from Lifehacker.com. Users say that it takes two to three minutes per waffle and that as long as you wait for the waffle iron to preheat and apply a little cooking oil to it before adding batter, you'll never have issues with waffles sticking. There is a grooved "spillover" reservoir around the waffle grid; any excess batter gets funneled here and it also cooks, essentially making a bigger waffle. It can't hold much, though, so be careful how much batter you add.

The Cuisinart Round Classic Waffle Maker also has a non-stick coating (although you'll want to apply a little cooking oil beforehand for best results), and it's small enough to take up very little space, especially when stored on its edge. Watch your fingers, though: editors at Good Housekeeping found that its top and sides can become very hot while cooking. TheSweethome.com and YourBestDigs.com also warn that steam sometimes vents onto the handle when you open the lid, making it too hot to touch. Users who encounter this issue solve it by putting something heavy on top of the waffle maker's lid to keep it shut as the waffle cooks, which in turn stops the steam from escaping; or you could just wear an oven mitt when you open it.

While this Cuisinart is undoubtedly a top performer at a great price point, it does only cook one waffle at a time, and the editors of TheSweethome.com point out that it's not as sturdily built as some of the competition -- a point echoed by many users, although that doesn't seem to affect the waffle quality. "Nothing flashy -- just very good waffles at a terrific price," write the editors of GroomandStyle.com. That may make this waffle iron best for either small groups or occasional waffle-making. That said, Cuisinart offers a three-year warranty -- right up there with some pro-level appliances that cost six times as much. It's also versatile, with users saying it's even great for making foods like hash browns, bacon and potato cakes.

Like most electric waffle irons, the Cuisinart WMR-CA waffle maker isn't meant to be submerged, and the waffle plates are built right into the machine, so you can't remove them for a good scrubbing. Surprisingly, removable plates are relatively rare -- especially in the American/traditional waffle maker category -- but the Black and Decker G48TD (Est. $60) has them, which makes it very convenient to use. Not only do the non-stick waffle plates pop out for easy cleaning, they also have a completely flat reverse side (also non-stick). Flip the plates to their flat side and open the G48TD's lid all the way, and you have yourself a mini griddle for cooking things like pancakes and bacon; or close the "floating" hinged lid and use it to toast sandwiches.

The Black and Decker G48TD earns a nod from the lifestyle website GroomandStyle.com, and many positive reviews from users who like that it can make four waffles at a time -- a plus for larger families. Of course, that means the waffle iron has a larger footprint that single-waffle irons, but most say they're more than willing to give up some counter space to this appliance and a little bit of control over the final waffle color in exchange for its versatility and the ability to give it a thorough cleaning.

The biggest user concern we found about the G48TD is that it feels cheaply made and some have issues with the plate alignment, saying if you don't get it aligned properly, the top plate can fall off -- an injury hazard if the plate is hot. However, many users still remain very happy with this machine's good performance and basic features, which include an indicator to alert you when it's preheated.

Another good option for classic waffles is the All-Clad 99012GT Classic Round Waffle Maker (Est. $105), which earned perfect scores for baking, browning, tenderness and consistency from the hands-on experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute. It also draws a gold award (the top ranking) in a thorough, comparative hands-on review by TopTenReviews.com.

Users and experts are universal in their praise for this waffle maker's ability to turn out consistently beautiful and golden waffles, with a perfectly crispy exterior. This consistency is helped by the All-Clad's unique design -- steam is released through a vent in the top of the unit instead of building up under the lid, which cuts down on soggy waffles.

On the downside, many users report that the locks on the sides of this unit get hot and it's a bit slow to preheat, at about 6 minutes. If you're patient enough to let the All-Clad 99012GT preheat first, though, it only takes about three minutes to cook each waffle, and the seven-setting browning dial gives you great control over the results.

The best Belgian waffle irons

If you prefer a fluffier waffle over a traditional, crispier waffle, you'll love our pick in this category, the Presto FlipSide 3510 Belgian Waffle Maker (Est. $50). It draws an unqualified recommendation and Best Buy designation from one of the toughest test kitchens in the country, along with top scores in categories including waffle texture, consistency and easy cleanup. Thousands of happy owners agree with the experts, saying the Presto 3510 cranks out consistently wonderful Belgian waffles that are a lofty inch-and-a-half thick.  We saw quite a few pictures posted by users of the beautiful waffles it makes,.  Its name comes from the fact that, after you pour the batter, you flip it like a book to help the batter spread evenly.

Owners praise the PrestoFlipSide's durability, too, with quite a few owners saying it's lasted them for many years.  In fact, one contributor to a poll on waffle makers at Lifehacker.com, where the Presto FlipSide took almost 10 percent of the vote, says their waffle iron is still making perfect waffles after almost a decade of use.

In addition to good performance and durability, the Presto FlipSide boasts some pretty impressive features. It's small enough to store easily in most cabinets and even locks upright so you can store it vertically.  The ceramic nonstick interior helps to release the waffles easily, even if you don't use oil or cooking spray. The ceramic grids also clean off easily with a damp cloth.

We do see some complaints about the Presto FlipSide, but they're few and far between. Testers at YourBestDigs.com pan it for the lack of a built-in temperature adjustment. However, it does have a built-in timer to help you gauge the doneness of the waffles, and users say that it's easy to get the hang of within just a few attempts. One of the expert test kitchens we used as a source also loves that the timer goes off twice: Not just when the waffle is done but also a minute before, giving you time to get back to the appliance before the waffle overcooks.

Even though the Presto FlipSide 3510 is known for its easy wipe-off cleanup, some cooks prefer the convenience of a waffle iron with removable grids that can be scrubbed out in the sink or even tossed in the dishwasher for cleaning. If this sounds like you, you might prefer the Hamilton Beach 26030 Belgian Waffle Maker (Est. $50), which has removable, dishwasher-safe nonstick grids and a removable, dishwasher-safe drip tray. It's ranked third out of six top waffle makers in a thorough, hands-on test from YourBestDigs.com, who say that it seems to be well-made and is simple to clean; their only real criticism is that it longer than the Presto to heat up and then cook the waffles, about 9 and a half minutes, total, compared to the Presto's 7 and a half.

Like the Presto, the Hamilton Beach 26030 allows you to "flip" the waffle, but, rather than back and forth the 26030's design rotates in place. Users say the removable plates are truly nonstick, and they love the convenience of being able to remove them for washing. The indicator lights are handy too; one tells you when the unit is on, the other when to add the batter. There's also an adjustable browning control that users say works well.

There is no timer to let you know when your waffle is done on the Hamilton Beach 26030, so it may take a bit of trial and error before you figure out how much time you need to cook a waffle to your liking. However, most say they use a kitchen timer and find that it's pretty straightforward and takes 3 to 5 minutes. Otherwise, we saw very few complaints about this waffle iron, other than the occasional durability quibble and some who said it takes too long to cook at heat up.

If you make waffles all the time and want to invest in a larger, sturdier waffle maker with removable/washable cooking plates, the Cuisinart WAF-300 Belgian Waffle Maker (Est. $75) is worth a look. Experts and users alike love its interchangeable pancake plates and waffle plates, both of which are dishwasher safe, although hand-washing will help preserve the non-stick coating.  The manufacturer recommends lightly brushing the plates with oil before each use.

Although this waffle maker is pricier than most, it's also much more versatile than most. It includes four interchangeable plates for making pancakes, eggs, breakfast meats, and, of course, waffles -- making four at a time. It also has a shade control and indicator lights for when the unit is preheated and when the waffle is done.

Users and experts alike say that the Cuisinart WAF-300 never disappoints, turning out reliable results at both high and low heat settings. It also stores upright to save cabinet space. But that can still be more waffle power (and appliance size) than small families, singles or occasional users need. If you want something really versatile that can cook for a crowd, this might be a great choice for your family, though.

It's impossible to beat our top pick's combination of reliability, results and value. But if price is your ultimate concern, we think you'll appreciate the Oster DuraCeramic Flip Waffle Maker (Est. $30). (This makes Belgian waffles, although it isn't always labeled as such at online sites; if you're having trouble finding the right unit, look for model number CKSTWFBF10W-ECO.)

This waffle maker was the top pick after in-depth testing from YourBestDigs.com, edging out the competition due to its speed and consistent results -- although they did note that the "Ready for Batter" light sometimes jumps the gun by about 30 seconds, so you should wait before you actually add the batter.

As you'd expect of any dedicated budget model, the Oster DuraCeramic Flip Waffle Maker is relatively no-frills. It has that "Ready to Cook" light, an adjustable temperature control, a rotating mechanism that lets you flip the waffle for even cooking, and a removable drip tray to catch overflow. It also stores in the vertical position to help save space. Other than that, you're on your own -- but users say the ceramic nonstick grids are a real high point that make this waffle iron well worth its bargain cost, as long as you don't mind wiping them in the appliance (they're not removable).

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Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker
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New: $29.95 $26.99   
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Average Customer Review:  
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BLACK+DECKER G48TD 3-in-1 Waffle Maker & Indoor Grill/Griddle, Silver
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New: $33.28 $32.31   
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Average Customer Review:  
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All-Clad 99012GT Stainless Steel Classic Round Waffle Maker with 7 Browning Settings, 4-Section, Silver
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New: $129.99 $129.95   
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Average Customer Review:  
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Presto 03510 FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker with Ceramic Nonstick Finish, 7-Inch, Black
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New: $42.99   
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Average Customer Review:  
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Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian Waffle Maker with Removable Plates (26030)
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from Amazon.com
New: $49.99 $39.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Cuisinart WAF-300 Belgian Waffle Maker with Pancake Plates, Silver
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from Amazon.com
New: $90.96
Average Customer Review:  
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Oster CKSTWFBF10WC-ECO DuraCeramic Flip Waffle Maker
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New: $26.00 $24.67   
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