WAFFLE MAKERS

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7 Things to Know Before You Buy

Enjoy the delectable aroma and taste of freshly cooked waffles by adding a waffle maker to your kitchen appliances. The following must know facts for buying a waffle iron will help you choose the perfect model for making your own version of this tasty breakfast favorite.

Fact #1: Style

Two main types of waffle maker styles exist. Which you choose will depend on the type of waffle you most enjoy. If you yearn for a fat, fluffy waffle with big segments and craters, reach for a Belgian waffle maker. This appliance features deep pockets on the grilling portion and is larger than a standard waffle maker, which has shallow segments and cooks up thinner, crispier waffles.

Fact #2: Size

For the most part, waffle irons are not large appliances. Most can be easily tucked away in a cupboard or stored on the counter. To save space, choose one that can stand on its end and features cord storage. Belgian waffle irons tend to make one large waffle, while you can get standard waffle makers that make from one to even four waffles at once.

Fact #3: Shape

Waffle makers come in a variety of shapes, which dictate the dimension of the waffles themselves. There are machines that make circular, square, rectangular and even heart-shaped waffles.

Fact #4: Surface

Most waffle irons feature nonstick grill plates, which results in nonstick cooking and easy clean-up. Some waffle makers even have removable plates, so you can clean them at the sink, rather than having to wipe out the grill portion. There are models with side overflow channels that capture excess batter so you only have to clean out the channels, rather than the entire waffle iron and surrounding surfaces.

Fact #5: Indicator Functions

Most high-quality waffle irons possess indicator features such as lights and beepers that inform you of a variety of facts, including that the waffle iron is on, ready for batter and when the waffle is cooked to perfection.

Fact #6: Heat/Browning Control

Some waffle irons possess a temperature setting that can be adjusted depending on the texture and color of waffle you desire. If you want browned, crispy waffles, choose a waffle iron that has a browning setting. Ideally, the waffle iron should also have a thermostat that helps ensure waffles cook evenly.

Fact #7: Safety Features

Help guard against cooking burn accidents by choosing a waffle iron that has safety features such as a cool-to-the-touch handle, insulation, a locking lid and automatic shutoff.

Follow these tips for choosing the perfect waffle maker, and you'll soon find yourself making these tasty treats for breakfast, lunch, dinner ... and just because.