Optimal – Kitfort KT-1646 . Budget – Centek CT-1449 .
An electric waffle iron can hardly be called an essential kitchen appliance. However, with its help you can diversify your breakfast and make delicious waffles in just 10-15 minutes. Depending on the type of working panels, you can prepare thin Belgian, soft and airy Viennese, American cone, Hong Kong and other types of waffles. Multifunctional waffle irons with several baking panels allow you to prepare not only the classics, but also hot sandwiches, panini, and also steaks, meat and fish – in a word, everything your imagination can handle.
In 2023, there are many waffle irons on the market at very different prices – on marketplaces you can find models starting from 529 ₽. Together with the experts from the Tinkoff Magazine food editorial team, I figured out the characteristics of these devices and will tell you about the best models.
Selection criteria for electric waffle irons
A waffle iron is a device consisting of two frying plates with a mold for creating a pattern on waffles. There are heating elements under the frying panels – they heat up to a temperature that allows the dough to bake. These are the parameters that are important when choosing this device.
Power. It determines how hot the frying surface will be and how quickly the waffles will cook. Most often, the power of waffle irons ranges from 450 to 1500 W. Higher rates are found only in large professional models. For home use, a waffle iron with a power of 700-1000 W is suitable – enough for making any type of waffles. If you cook often and several portions at a time, it is better to take a device with a power of 1000-1500 W. As a rule, powerful appliances have a larger working surface.
Our selection includes waffle irons with power from 700 to 1500 W.
Case material. The body can be made of metal, plastic or two materials at once. The metal waffle iron is not susceptible to impacts, and the body does not deform due to high temperatures. The best choice is metal with thermal insulation: the outer part of the case will not heat up too much, and the risk of burns is minimized.
Plastic waffle irons are lighter and cheaper. Usually available in different colors, you can choose the device to match the style of your kitchen. But over time, the plastic may change its original color – fade or turn yellow, depending on the quality. At high temperatures this material can melt.
Closing method. Waffle irons are closed using a latch or the weight of the top – such models usually have thermally insulated handles. The latch is needed so that the dough does not lift the top lid: this way the contact with the heating element will be maximum and the waffles will bake evenly. To avoid getting burned, it is better to close the latch with a potholder or towel.
When using models with a thermally insulated handle, the risk of burns is minimal. But for uniform baking, it is better to keep the handles closed. There are also combined options – with thermally insulated handles and a latch.
When compiling the rating, we gave preference to models with a combined type of closure. Waffle irons with only handles or a latch are also included in the selection.
Panel coating. There are models on sale with or without non-stick Teflon coating, and rarely with ceramic coating. The first option is preferable, as the baked goods will not burn. To avoid damaging the coating, remove the waffles with a wooden spatula.
Ceramic coating is more fragile and is susceptible to scratches and chips. There are only a few homemade waffle irons of this type on the market; they usually cost more.
We considered options with non-stick coating.
Number of servings. The more portions a waffle iron can prepare at the same time, the larger the panels and the appliance itself. Depending on the model, you can prepare from one to ten waffles at a time. Most serve two servings.
Panel type and waffle shape. Panels can be removable or built-in. The first option is more practical: the panels can be removed and washed, and in their place additional ones can be installed for baking other types of waffles. The shape can be different: for square, rectangular, round, triangular or heart-shaped waffles.
The rating includes waffle irons with removable and non-removable panels of various shapes.
Additional functions. Typically presented in the form of an indicator, sound signal, timer, thermostat and overheat protection. Indicators notify you that the device is ready for operation and the end of cooking. Using the thermostat, you can set the baking temperature yourself. Overheating protection will prevent the waffle iron from burning out – in case of overload, an automatic shutdown will work.
All models from our list have overheating protection.
Equipment. This includes various cooking accessories: spatulas, tongs, recipe book, attachment for rolling cones. Usually their presence affects the price of the device.