What’s the Best Waffle Iron for Crispy and Liege Waffles

Healthy breakfasts and decadent desserts, brought to you by the humble waffle iron!

Healthy breakfasts and decadent desserts brought to you by the humble waffle iron!

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There is something special about a good, fresh waffle. That “something” is why they are enjoyed from Belgium to Baton Rouge.  See my favorite waffle iron at Amazon.

In all honesty, I can’t stomach those pre-made waffles you find in the freezer aisle.

They’re junk!

So here at The Kitchen Professor, we’ve decided to bring you the crème de la crème of waffle irons.  So you can enjoy real waffles, the way ttheywere intended!

Best Waffle Irons for a Crispy Crust

How do you like your waffles?

Crispy and chewy, not rubbery or soggy!  Right?

Yeah ,baby!

So here goes…

Hamilton Beach Belgian Waffle Maker

See the Hamilton Beach Belgian Waffle Maker at Amazon

 First in line is the Hamilton Beach Belgian Waffle Maker.

This waffle maker is a plain Jane with not bells and whistles. It’s designed to make waffles and that’s it.

It’ll serve up 2 waffles 2 waffles around 4 inches by 5 inches. And from my research, I’ve found that they tend to be a little thicker than regular waffles.

The footprint of this waffle maker is only 8.5 inches by 8 inches. So it’s not overly big and should fit nicely into even a small kitchen.

The top and bottom waffle irons are made from stainless steel. But stainless steel doesn’t play nice when it comes to removing waffles.

So this waffle maker is coated with a non-stick material. Which is great. But if you’re not careful, you might end up scratching off this coating.

So make sure to use the right tools for the job. I recommend going with a silicon spatula.

Like I mentioned earlier, this waffle iron has only the basics. So the irons are not removable. This means you’ll be cleaning with a damp cloth.

I don’t see this as too much of an issue. Except, it’ll be tough to remove those stubborn pieces that inevitably burn onto the irons.

And because you can’t use anything abrasive or submerge it in water, you should prepare yourself for some elbow grease here.

The Hamilton Beach Waffle maker is also missing a drip tray. Which in my opinion is not ideal.

If you’ve ever used a waffle iron without a drip tray you know how messy and frustrating it can be. So I’d have liked to see one included in the design.

I do like how Hamilton Beach have at least included browning control with their waffle iron. And you can go anywhere from light to brown and crispy.

Like eggs with your waffles? Here’s my review of the best pan for eggs. And here’s the best non-stick spatula.

It has no on and off switch either. It’s essentially plug and play. Wait for the green light and fill the iron with your waffle mix.

You’ll be happy to know that besides it’s plain design, it does create more than acceptable waffles.

Supposedly you can choose your heat setting. Which would be great because you can please everyone around the breakfast table.

Although from my research there have been several complaint that this setting feature is nowhere near accurate. And some guesswork is needed to get it right.

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I have 1 gripe with the Hamilton Beach Waffle Iron…

The lid lock and spring seems to pop off way too much for my liking. Which is a serious problem if you want perfectly browned waffles.

Also, many owners have complained that the waffle iron gets insanely hot. Even the plastic handle is hot to the touch when it’s running full tilt.

One reviewer noted that she had lovely waffles but 2 nasty burns on her hands.

But seriously now!

Who touches anything that has an element with their bare hands? It’s not exactly very smart. So I wouldn’t blame the manufacturer for that.

Just make sure you use over mitts when handling this waffle maker.

The Hamilton Beach Waffle Maker is not a bad option. Although it’s not your fancy kitchen appliance, it gets the job done.

Although, the weak lid lock and spring are a deal breaker for me. So it’s not a waffle iron I would recommend or use in my kitchen.

See the Hamilton Beach Belgian Waffle Maker at Amazon.

Chef’s Choice WafflePro Express

See Chef’s Choice WafflePro Express at Amazon.

 Okay, I’ll admit it…

I’m a hopeless romantic! And there’s nothing more romantic than being served up heart shaped waffles in bed.

Sadly, I’m the one serving the waffles! But that’s besides the point!

Anyway.

Next up is the Chef’s Choice WafflePro Express. And yes, it makes heart-shaped waffles!

You’ll get 5 heart-shaped waffles. They are 6.25 inches at the tip and 6.75 inches at the top. Not too big and not too small.

If you’re going to use this waffle maker often you’ll be happy that its footprint is only 12 by 12.45 by 5.15 inches. And it’s designed to store upright. So it takes up very little counter space.

And this waffle maker comes with some awesome bells and whistles too…

So in my house, my hubby likes those crispy waffles with a soft inside. Me on the other hand, I like them crispy and thinner than regular waffles.

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If you have different ‘tastes’ in waffles in your home like we do, you’ll be happy to know that you have a variety of choices.

Chef’s Choice has designed their waffle iron with some fancy Quad baking system – whatever that means! What it does is give you exact control of the end result. Which is a must-have feature in my opinion.

The irons are also coated with a non-stick material which is standard when it comes to waffle irons. Some owners have complained that the non-stick became ‘stick’ after a few months.

But I’ll bet my bottom dollar that’s because they haven’t cared for the irons correctly.

The manufacturer recommends oiling the waffle iron before using it the first time. Or after long periods of non-use.

The problem comes in when people oil it constantly. This causes oil to build up and ruins the irons for good.

Any decent recipe should have enough oil so that you don’t need to oil or spray while making waffles.

If you’re like me, you might tend to fill your waffle maker too much. So, you’ll like the drip tray feature that this waffle iron comes with.

It’s designed around the waffle iron. So no matter where the extra batter leaks from, it’ll end up in the drip tray.

Like some of the waffle irons in the mid to low price range, this baby does not come with removable iron. So you’ll be cleaning it with a damp cloth or kitchen towel.

But what makes it different, is the drip tray catches all the excess, so it’s not a big job to clean.

I like the ‘waffle ready beeper’ this iron comes with. I tend to get distracted in the kitchen so it’s a great feature to have.

The waffle maker will let you know with 3 beeps that your waffle is ready based on your heat setting.

The waffles this baby serves up are a little thinner than your regular waffles. So keep that in mind.

If you’re not into those thin Swedish style waffles you might want to look at another waffle iron. Something like the [make and model here] would be a better choice.

From my research, there are 2 main complaints with this waffle iron.

Firstly, the thinner waffles it makes. But like I said that’s a personal preference. I like the thinner variety though.

Also, some customers have complained that the waffle maker is difficult to clean. But like I mentioned before, if your batter has enough oil, nothing will stick to the irons. Making it easy to clean.

Overall I like the Chef’s Pro Express Waffle Maker. It is in a mid price range but considering it only takes 90 seconds to churn out 5 heart-shaped waffles.

And essential features like the ‘waffle ready beeper’ and big drip tray. And not forgetting it’s 1 year warranty, I think it’s worth it.

See the Chef’s Choice Waffle Pro Express at Amazon.

See how to make buttermilk from almond milk!

Presto FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker

See the Presto FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker at Amazon

I’m going to say this straight off the bat…

This Presto FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker is one of my favorites!

The way this waffle iron is designed is different to the rest of the ones I’ve reviewed here.

This is no ordinary waffle maker. To get those perfect waffles you scoop the batter onto the iron and close it up.

And then the magic happens…

Simply grab the handle and flip it 180 degrees and set it down. This makes the batter spread evenly through the irons and you end up with a perfectly formed waffle!

With this waffle maker, you’ll be serving up a 7 inch round waffle which you can easily cut into 4 sections.

According to the manufacturer, this waffle maker will churn out a waffle in 4 minutes flat.

The waffles are a little thicker than regular ones, but if you like them thinner, just add less batter.

I like my waffles thin and crispy, if you do too then keep going for 5 minutes and you’ll have the perfect waffle for you.

The main feature of this waffle maker I love are the ceramic waffle irons. Sure, non-stick coatings are nice. But they do tend to get scratched and damaged over time, making them useless.

With these ceramic irons, you don’t have to worry about scratching anything off. I think ceramic surfaces are much more durable even-heating performance.

The footprint of this waffle maker is 14.4 by 10.3 by 15 inches. But what makes it such a space-saver is it’s neat upright storing design.

All you do to store it is flip it to a 90 degree angle and lock it in place. And Voila! You can store this baby in even the smallest cabinet without any problems.

I like my waffles on the dark side. And not everyone in my home agrees.

So I’m super impressed with the timer feature of this waffle iron. The standard setting is 4 minutes like I mentioned. But it won’t take too much playing around before you find a setting for each person in your home.

And because of this neat timer setting, the chances of you burning a waffle accidentally goes out the door!

I’m a big fan of drip trays when it comes to making waffles. Yes, I’m one of those that overfills the irons from time to time!

The Presto FlipSide does have some kind of a drip tray. But it’s only a groove around the irons. Which doesn’t leave much room for error.

One customer noted that he struggled to clean up spilled batter which ended up on the handles.

I do like a waffle maker where the irons can be removed for cleaning. But those can be pricey. The Presto FlipSide’s irons are not removable.

Although, because they are ceramic, all you need for cleaning is a paper towel. Some customers have raved about how even small burned pieces of batter just wipe away!

Of course, there’s not thing perfect in the world! So from my research, I did find a few things other owners complained about.

There were a few complaints about the waffle maker not staying in the upright storage position because of a flimsy lock.

And also a couple of complaints about the irons loosing heat and going cold.

What I was happy to see is that the manufacturer replied to each comment individually and offered their help. This shows that they value their customers and are more than willing to sort out any issues.

One customer complained that there is no browning control. Which is strange since that’s what the timer is for. The longer your waffle cooks the more brown it will be!

The Presto FlipSide is a neat little waffle maker. It’s not always easy to get an evenly spread batter. So the unique flip design of this waffle iron is a great feature.

The ceramic irons is also another great plus point for me, since non-stick coatings rarely last long in my kitchen.

And I can’t overlook the space-saving storage design either.

This Presto FlipSide Waffle Maker is in the mid price range, and in my opinion, it’s high-end design and excellent performance makes it by far one of the best waffle irons around.

See the Presto FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker at Amazon.

How about thick homemade vanilla ice cream or chocolate sauce?

Will you eat them as is, or add toppings? Either way is delicious!

Will you eat them as is, or add toppings? Either way is delicious!

Sometimes I just want one cup of coffee with my waffles. Here’s how much coffee you need for just one cup. 

Best Waffle Irons for Leige Waffles

Liege waffles are a gourmet experience you can’t find in a chain restaurant. They are meant to be a sweet, rather than savory, treat.

Caramelized sugar, vanilla, and a buttery texture are the hallmarks of this delicious indulgence.

Okay, I’m hungry now!!

Croquade Traditional Waffle Maker

See the Croquade Traditional Waffle Maker at Amazon

This Croquade Traditional Waffle Maker is exceptional for reasons you’ll shortly see!

Of course, it’s not perfect, but I’ll get into that in a moment too.

First things first, it’s made in Belgium. And I don’t think you get more authentic than that!

With this specific model get two plates. So you can serve up traditional style Belgian waffles or if you prefer, thick American style waffles.

The footprint of this waffle iron is 12 inches when closed and the plates are roughly 9 inches by 8 inches.

I’m sure you’ll agree that lumpy, uneven waffles are just the pits. So, the main feature I love about it is the back and forth turn function which spreads the batter in a uniform way.

The heating system on this irn can be set all the way from one to eight. So no matter whose munching waffles at your house, you will please everyone!

Also, the irons are not made from stainless steel like most other ones. This one has cast aluminum plates which is great for conducting heat. And it has a non-stick coating which is standard with any decent waffle maker.

This Croquade model has a generous drip tray set all the way around the plate. I find this useful because I’m one of those eager people who tend to overfill waffle makers.

This is the only waffle maker I’ve reviewed that has removable irons. Which is a big plus for me. And it’s totally dishwasher safe – nice touch!

According to the manufacturer all you need is a penny to unscrew the irons. So it’s easy enough by the sound of things.

Croquade also has a large variety of extra irons you can buy to make a bunch of different types of waffles.

And this is where the liege iron comes in…

If you’ve tried to find a waffle maker that can actually make real liege waffles you’ve already noticed there are none!

See the Croquade Liege Waffle Plate at Amazon.

But Croquade has your back here and offers a waffle iron especially for liege waffles.
So what makes it so special?

Well, Liege waffles are made from a dough and not a batter. Also, it’s secret ingredient is the Belgian Pearl Sugar.

So the problem is, most waffle makers don’t heat up enough to melt the sugar. So there’s no way to have that crispy outside and soft inside which is quintessential liege.

Ther are a few things I noted during my research that’s worth mentioning here.

Some customers complained that the waffle iron takes a long time to heat up. But in my opinion, that’s not a deal breaker.

I’d rather have a slow heating waffle maker that gives me the perfect result. Than one that serves me up something like those ready made things, you buy in the store.

Also, there were complaints about the waffle maker dying after the first couple of uses. But hey, that happens with all appliances from time to time.

What I did notice is it’s easy to contact the manufacturer. And they have a distributor in the US. So you’re not expected to ship your broken waffle maker to Europe! Also, keep in mind that Amazon has an excellent return policy.

The one drawback I see is that you need to buy the liege waffle plate separately. So that is an extra cost for you. But if you’re in love with liege waffles like many Americans are, then why not splurge?

So, I’m sure you’ve noticed that this Croquade Traditional Waffle Maker is up there as one of my favorites. I like that fact that you get 2 interchangeable plates one for Belgium and one for American waffles.

With the right iron, you can enjoy this decadent treat at any time of day, perhaps paired with fresh coffee and a good book.

Also, I’m a lazy washer-upper. So the fact that the plates are dishwasher safe is a big plus point for me.

And of course the back and forth function makes this waffle iron worth considering. Seriously! There’s nothing worse that lumpy uneven waffles!

Considering all of this I think the Croquade Traditional Waffle Maker and adding the liege iron as an extra is totally worth it.

See the Croquade Liege Waffle Plate at Amazon.

See the Croquade Traditional Waffle Maker at Amazon.

So Which Waffle Iron is My Favorite?

My first choice is the Presto FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker.  I’m totally sold on the flipping mechanism to get a perfectly even waffle.

Also, I think the unique storage design is a great feature.  Especially if you have limited counter space or small cabinets.

From my research, it’s by far the the best waffle iron to make a variety of different textures to please everyone.

My next choice would be the Croquade Traditional Waffle Maker. Again it has the back and forth function which I’ve mentioned already is a great feature.

I’m also impressed that the plates are dish washer safe.  And the fact that they are interchangeable is a feature you’d go far to find for the price range of this waffle iron.

Although the liege plate is sold separately, I don’t see this as a big issue.  Especially if you and your family enjoy liege waffles.  Or if you’re a waffle connoisseur looking to be adventurous!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLjb752ZsgI]

Time for Anytime Waffles!

You know that saying, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”?

Well, it couldn’t be more true for waffle irons!

The word “waffle” first appeared in the English language in the early part of the 18th century, although their predecessors have been around since at least the Middle Ages.

They haven’t changed much since ye olde times. Even back then, the waffle was accompanied by an array of fruits and dairy products similar to what we use today. Also, the irons used to cook waffles were quite similar to some of today’s models.

So now that you know what’s out there and just how much variety on offer, you can shop with confidence.  It’ll be easier for you to pick the waffle iron to suit you needs and keep everyone in your kitchen happy until the cows come home!

You’ll be better suited to make your morning waffles with a perfect cup of morning coffee. I rounded up the best high-end espresso machines. See the results here. 

Add healthy to your waffles! Learn how to can your own fruit preserves with the best pressure canner for beginners.

Or be naughty and whip up a batch of candy too. You’ll need the best candy thermometer to do the trick, so here are my recommendations.

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Chad M. and Joy.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tich

    Nice effort at comparing waffle makers but I think you don’t know much about Liège waffles, the importance of the double heater or the flipping feature is not only to evenly cook the waffle but to ensure the sugar is evenly spread through it. It’s simple: you can’t make Liège waffles in a waffle maker that doesn’t flip.
    Also to make a traditional Liège waffle you need a 4×7 or 4×6 pattern and in your comparison only the Croquade allows for it.
    On a side note, Croquade is made by belgian brand FriFri who took over the well known Nova brand (all current grandmothers in Belgium own a Nova). Also, Croquade does not manufacture the best waffle maker in the world, HVD does, but they cost over $2000. Alternatively Krampouz makes exceptional waffle makers for about $800.