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A waffle maker is a kitchen tool that consists of a top and bottom iron with a honeycomb pattern. These irons are hinged together so that when waffle batter is poured into the bottom iron, the top iron will be closed over the batter, seal it, and cook it. A waffle iron can also be used to make:
- Paninis and grilled cheese sandwiches
- Quick cookies
- Crunchy “edge” brownies
- Fried rice
The traditional waffle maker is used to make round, 7-inch waffles. This type of waffle maker can be purchased for $20 to $40 and can make 20 to 30 waffles an hour. A waffle iron will either be made out of cast iron, aluminum, cast steel, or have a non-stick coating.
Waffles makers that are used to make big batches of waffles can cost $100 to $200 and will come with features like a Keep Warm setting. This kitchen appliance’s electricity consumption will vary on how long you use the waffle maker, its size, and its model. However, the average use of a waffle maker, per day, is an hour which will cost you about $0.07.
A waffle maker is a great appliance to use for desserts like cinnamon rolls and snacks like churros. You can also use a waffle maker to make pizza. The other types of food the waffle maker can be used for include:
The waffle maker can cook fluffy eggs. Coat the top and bottom waffle irons with non-stick cooking spray and pre-heat your appliance on its lowest setting. In a small bowl, add your eggs, vegetables, salt, and pepper and whisk. Pour the eggs into the bottom of your waffle maker and cook the eggs for 2 minutes. If you want the eggs to be slightly more brown, cook for an extra minute before turning off your waffle maker and moving the eggs to a plate. Garnish and enjoy.
Another food to make in the waffle maker is hashbrowns. Spray your waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and if the model you own has temperature controls, let the appliance pre-heat on Medium while you prepare your hashbrowns. In a mixing bowl, add your shredded potatoes and pour cold water over them making sure that they are completely covered. Let the shredded potato soak for 2 minutes to 3 minutes before draining the bowl and removing extra starch. Squeeze the shredded potato by hand or with a kitchen towel and then place them into a bowl with salt and pepper.
Scoop the potatoes into the waffle maker and cook for 2 minutes. Press the lid of your waffle maker down and cook for another 5 minutes. For crispier hashbrowns, you can cook the potatoes for an extra minute or two before turning off your appliance and serving.
A waffle maker can be used to cook polenta. In a skillet, add cornmeal and let it cook to a golden brown on medium heat for 5 minutes. Let the cornmeal cool before whisking it together with flour, baking powder, cornstarch, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together egg yolks, sour cream and milk before adding this to the dry ingredients. Add melted butter to this mixture. In a different bowl, beat the egg whites and let soft peaks form before adding this to the batter. Cover your batter and let it chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours to 12 hours.
Heat the waffle maker to high heat if you have this setting and spray it with non-stick cooking spray or brush on melted butter. Use ¼ cup of batter for each polenta waffle and cook for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Top with whipped cream or syrup and serve.
The waffle maker can be used to press sandwiches. For a simple grilled cheese sandwich, preheat the waffle iron on the High setting. Brush one side of each slice of bread and add your cheese and tomatoes in between them. Place the sandwich into your waffle maker and cook for 3 minutes to 4 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden brown.
An alternative way to use a waffle maker is to cook falafels in it. To make the falafel batter, combine your chickpeas, onion, garlic, flour, salt, pepper, egg whites, and spices in a mixing bowl. Mix until the chickpeas are evenly coated with seasoning then transfer ingredients to your food processor. Pulse for 15 seconds to 20 seconds and scrape down the sides of your food processor bowl. Pre-heat your waffle maker and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Roll some of the falafel into a ball that will fit in your palm and place them onto the bottom waffle iron. Press the top waffle iron down and cook falafels for 6 minutes to 8 minutes.
A waffle maker also doubles as a pizza maker. Preheat your waffle maker on the High setting and spray a layer of non-stick cooking oil. Divide your pizza dough into 8 pieces and roll them out so that they are round and slightly smaller than each waffle mold. Place dough on your bottom waffle iron and spread 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce, ¼ cup of cheese, and vegetables of choice. Place another piece of dough on top and press the top waffle iron down. Cook your waffle pizza for 3 minutes to 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the dough is golden brown.
The waffle maker can be used to “bake” brownies too. Preheat your waffle iron and spray it with non-stick cooking oil. In a saucepan, melt butter then remove it from heat. Add in your cocoa powder. Mix sugar, eggs, water, and the cocoa mixture in a bowl. Slowly add in your flour and salt. Pour about ¼ cup of batter into the waffle iron and cook for 3 minutes to 5 minutes. Turn off your appliance, remove the brownies from the bottom iron and serve with ice cream, chocolate sauce, or chocolate chips.
Another dessert to make in the waffle maker is cookies. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. In another bowl, use an electric mixer to beat sugar and butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and egg before using the medium-low speed to incorporate your flour. Fold in your chocolate chips and then refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat your waffle maker on Medium-low heat and spray the top and bottom waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop around 2 tablespoons of cookie dough into your hands and roll them into balls before flattening the dough slightly. Place dough into your waffle maker and press to cook for 3 minutes to 6 minutes. Serve cookies hot or let them cool before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day.
Make fried rice with your leftover rice. Add 1 ½ cups to 2 cups of rice, vegetables, and soy sauce into a large mixing bowl. Stir in your seasoning and mix well. Add 2 eggs to 3 eggs into the bowl while you pre-heat your waffle maker. Spray or brush non-stick cooking oil onto the waffle irons and scoop ½ cup of your rice mixture into the waffle maker. Cook for around 5 minutes or until golden brown and serve.
Also, a waffle maker can be used to “bake” cinnamon rolls. Preheat your waffle maker on Medium heat and spray the top and bottom waffle irons with non-stick cooking oil. Flatten your pre-made cinnamon roll dough in your hands and place it in the waffle maker. Close your waffle maker and let the cinnamon roll cook for 2 minutes to 4 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool while you cook the rest of the dough then serve with glaze.
The waffle maker can be used to make churros. In a saucepan, simmer your water, salt, sugar, butter, and cinnamon on High heat. After the butter, salt, and sugar have dissolved, use Medium heat as you incorporate the flour. Remove the saucepan from your stovetop and let it cool for 5 minutes. Afterwards, add your eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.
Preheat the waffle maker on Medium heat if you have temperature controls and add a layer of non-stick cooking spray to each waffle iron. Pour ¼ cup of batter into the bottom waffle iron and close the waffle maker. Let the churro cook for 3 minutes to 5 minutes or until golden brown. After removing the churro from the waffle maker, brush both sides with melted butter and dip it in a sugar and cinnamon mix. Serve with chocolate sauce.
Macaroni and Cheese
A waffle maker is an appliance that can be used to make macaroni and cheese too. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil before cooking macaroni for 7 minutes to 8 minutes or al dente. Drain the macaroni and set it aside. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter on Low heat and add your milk and cheese. Turn off the heat and add in the macaroni. Add another cup of cheese before sirring in your beaten egg and bread crumbs.
Preheat your waffle iron and coat evenly with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop ½ cup of your macaroni and cheese into your waffle maker and close the appliance. Let the macaroni and cheese cook for around 5 minutes before letting it cool and serving.
What are the common mistakes for usage of a waffle maker?
As you are learning how to use a waffle maker for the use cases above, the common mistakes that you will need to avoid include:
- Not greasing the waffle maker. As outlined in the use cases above, it is important to grease your waffle maker with non-stick cooking oil so that no batter will get stuck in the grooves of the iron and ruin your food.
- Forgetting to preheat the waffle maker. For the use cases above, the waffle maker needs to be hot enough to cook your food well inside and out.
- Using the wrong type of flour. Depending on the type of waffles you are making, you will need to use the right type of flour to create waffles with the right texture. Make sure your flour does not have too much protein in it for light and fluffy waffles.
- Depending on your waffle maker too much. Waffle makers are equipped with a light that will tell you when your waffle is done. However, if you are using the waffle maker for the use cases above, it is best to check on your food after every minute or so and cook the food for a longer period of time if needed.
- Not following the recipe. As outlined above, the recipes provide the recommended cooking time and ingredients that will cook well in a waffle maker.
- Not checking on the power cord. If your waffle maker has stopped working, unplug it and inspect your power cord first. If it has any cuts or is nicked, you will need to replace it.
- Not replacing the thermostat. If you notice that your waffle maker is not getting hot enough, it may be time to replace your thermostat. Waffle makers’ thermostats have 100,000 cycles which means that you will need to replace this part of the appliance every four months.
Avoid these common appliance errors to take care of your waffle maker and use it properly for the use cases above.
What is the history of usage of a waffle maker?
Where did this appliance chrome from and what is a waffle maker today? Food historians trace waffles back to the Neolithic Age when it was a rustic hotcake that was flipped on both sides to cook the cereal pulp on heated stones. This hotcake was cooked slightly differently during the Iron Age when iron plates and griddles were used to cook each side of the food. Then, in Ancient Greece, the Greeks cooked these wafers or obleios by using two hot metal plates which is what today’s waffle makers are based on.
This treat was only called the wafla in the 1200s when a craftsman created the first cooking plate or irons with a honeycomb-inspired pattern. Waffles were sold by street vendors for religious celebrations until the 16th century. In 1620, Dutch waffles came to America via the Pilgrims and in 1735, the English word waffle was in print for the first time. IN 1789, Thomas Jefferson returned to the US and brought the waffle iron with a long handle to make the sweet treat that is popular today.
It was only in 1869 that Cornelius Swarthout, a Dutch-American, patented the first waffle iron in America. This device was described as an appliance used to bake waffles where the user will heat the waffle iron over a stove, pour batter into it, close it for a few minutes, then flip it over to cook the other side. This waffle maker was designed to be used over a coal stove which has evolved into electric waffle makers that have various temperature settings today.
Do the use cases of a waffle maker change based on type?
Yes, the use cases of a waffle maker change based on the type of waffle maker you purchase. First, there are different types of waffle makers to make specific types of waffles. Belgian waffles are made with round waffle makers that have a diameter of 7 inches to 8 inches and are 1 ¼ inches to 1 ½ inches thick. Brussels-style waffles will need a rectangular waffle maker that is 4 inches by 6 inches, 4 inches by 7 inches, or 3 inches by 5 inches and has a 1 ⅛ inch thickness. American waffles are made by using a waffle maker that is 7 inches to 8 inches and round or square with a thickness of ½ inches to ⅝ inches. Finally, there are Liege waffles which require an irregular waffle maker that is 4 inches by 7 inches or 4 inches by 12 inches and 1 inch thick.
There are single, double, and stacked double waffle makers which will all have different waffles per hour output. A single waffle maker will have a top and bottom grid that can make 20 waffles to 30 waffles every hour. This type of waffle maker is the most common in homes. A double waffle maker is designed to make two at a time and will make 40 waffles to 60 waffles an hour. This type of waffle maker often has independent timers and temperature settings. A stacked double waffle maker has two waffle irons right on top of each other which can be flipped so that users can have access to each waffle. These units have temperature control for both waffle irons and are best for self-service areas.
The material of a waffle maker will also determine the size of the squares or pockets on the waffle grid. Cast steel, iron, aluminum, and non-stick waffle makers will also determine whether or not the appliance will be easy to clean. Cast aluminum waffle makers preheat faster and are energy-efficient. Cast steel waffle irons are dishwasher safe, scratch-resistant, and distribute heat evenly. A cast iron waffle maker is durable and retains heat well. A non-stick waffle maker is very easy to clean and keeps waffles intact the most often.
Which waffle maker is best for making Belgium waffles?
The best waffle maker for making Belgium waffles is one that is round and has a diameter of 7 inches to 8 inches. This type of waffle maker should also have a thickness of 1 ¼ inches to 1 ½ inches to make the thick waffles with large and deep pockets.
Does a waffle maker have more use cases than a pancake maker?
Yes, a waffle maker has more use cases than a pancake maker. Looking at the waffle maker vs. pancake maker debate, there are various waffle maker models out there with removable grids. This means that a waffle maker can double as a pancake maker with the pancake plates. Unlike a pancake maker, a waffle maker can be used to make crunchy churros, fried rice, and brownie edges which a pancake maker cannot do because of its smooth plates.
What are the other kitchen tools with various use cases similar to a waffle maker?
Other kitchen tools with various use cases similar to waffle makers include:
- Grill Pan: also known as a griddle pan, this frying pan has raised ridges that are parallel.
- Silicone Mold: this type of mold is used for baking and can be put in the oven to bake waffles.
- Waffle Cone Maker: Similar to a waffle maker, this appliance makes a thin and crunchy waffle that is wrapped around a cone to set its shape.
These kitchen appliances have similar uses to a waffle maker but have use cases specific to themselves. You can learn more about the 5 other uses of these 3 kitchen tools here.