Only the unimaginative think waffles are just for breakfast. True connoisseurs know that they make a perfect meal any time of the day, topped with maple syrup, fruit, ice-cream, fried chicken, whatever. It’s tough to find a bad way to eat a waffle. The kind you keep in the freezer are convenient, but if you want waffles that are super fluffy and have delicately crispy edges like the ones at a restaurant (not to mention way cheaper to freeze on your own), you need to get a waffle maker. As long as you can mix up some batter, these handy kitchen appliances, with their simple heating controls, deliver expert results. We’ve found four of the best, each taking a different approach to making one of the world’s most perfect pastries.
Minimal design. Amazon
This Belgian waffle maker yields fluffy, restaurant-style waffles that are 7.25 inches in diameter. A simple status light indicates when the appliance is hot enough to add the batter. The Black + Decker features non-stick cooking surfaces and a cool-touch handle for flipping. Store it vertically if you’re short on space. It’s 10 x 4.7 x 13.1 inches so won’t take up too much precious counter space.
Upright design takes up less space. Amazon
Standing vertically, this waffle maker reduces counter-top clutter, while the sleek black design makes it a stylish addition to a collection of kitchen appliances. Batter is poured through a funnel at the top to prevent mess, and a non-stick titanium-infused DuraCeramic coating helps make cleanup easier. Ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat indicator-lights are simple to read, so even kids can help out. The Oster even comes with its own measuring cup.
Makes multiple at a time. Amazon
It’s hip to be square, at least when you’re a waffle. Farberware’s waffle-maker delivers four 4.25-inch waffles that look similar to what you find in a freezer section, but have deeper pockets for all that delicious topping. A variable-browning control knob lets you dial in the perfect darkness, from soft and fluffy to delicately crisp, while the included measuring cup ensures a perfect pour every time.
Available in a variety of colors. Amazon
The Dash Mini Waffle Maker delivers four-inch waffles that are perfect as a snack or as part of a fun desert. This no-frills waffle maker is tiny and comes in a variety of colors, so it’s easy to find a home for it in your kitchen. And when it’s not in use, the Dash can be stashed conveniently in a drawer or cabinet. It features a heating light to tell you when it’s time to pour, and comes with a recipe book that’ll keep you busy with waffle-oriented ideas for days.