Rosa Coleman

Rosa is a chef and baking consultant. She lives in Bufallo with her husband and 2 kids.

What is a Waffle Maker?

A waffle maker or waffle iron is a small kitchen appliance that uses heated metal plates to turn batter into delicious waffles.

They work in the same way as panini presses or the mighty George Foreman tabletop grill does in that the waffle maker presses the waffle mixture between the two heated plates to cook it evenly from two sides.

Lots of people enjoy making their own waffles for breakfast, brunch, or to put next to chicken in the signature American dish. They make great desserts too with some sweet sauces, fruit, and chocolate toppings.

Others prefer the less-messy option of enjoying waffles by buying them premade in the supermarkets and then heating them in their usual bread toasters, grills, or even enjoy them cold.

Waffle Maker

So, why would some people prefer not to make their own waffles?

Well, waffle makers are notoriously difficult to clean, and excess scrubbing in the many crevices can damage the non-stick coating of the hot plates, so cleaning them can be tricky and this puts people off.

There is good news though because there are many different types of waffle makers, some of which are easier to clean than others.

Now everyone can enjoy the heavenly smell of gently baking waffles as they turn slowly golden, without worrying about the mess afterward.

What Are the Different Types of Waffle Makers?

There are different types of domestic waffle makers and some are easier to clean and use than others. Some varieties of waffle makers are:

  • Round waffle makers – these create circle-shaped waffles that are stamped with the signature grid style. These are often called American waffle makers because they make traditional round waffles such as Americans have enjoyed for generations.
  • Belgian Waffle maker – these create thicker square-shaped waffles and are probably the most common type of waffle irons you’ll find in kitchens.
Belgian Waffle Maker
  • Flip waffle maker – these types of waffle makers are able to flip the waffle during cooking to spread the batter evenly.
  • Ceramic or Teflon waffle makers – Coatings on the inside of waffle makers are usually either Teflon-coated for non-stick reasons or ceramic.

Ceramic cookware is often thought to be healthier as it contains no chemicals which can be transferred into your food over time. Teflon-coated cookware is arguably better at being non-stick, at least when it’s new.

  • Stovetop waffle irons – These make waffles on the stovetop and often have more simplistic designs than the electric-powered worktop waffle makers, but they typically only make one or two waffles at a time, so they aren’t as great for making family-sized batches.
  • Removable plate waffle makers – these are a revolutionary update to the traditional waffle irons. No more scratching up the non-stick coating with scourers and dishwashing brushes.

Now there are waffle makers widely available that have removable plates that are dishwasher safe, so you can just detach the plates and let the dishwasher take care of them.

Making hassle-free waffles at home is now as easy as pie. Actually, pies are a lot harder to make than waffles.

  • Multitasking waffle makers – some waffle makers don’t just make waffles with their removable plates for easy cleaning.

Some go a step or two further and offer more functions than just cooking delicious waffles. You can get waffle irons that can also become a panini press when the waffle plates are removed or maybe even a health griddle for meat, fish, or other proteins.

Having a dedicated waffle maker is a nice luxury to own, but it’s even better to have a multifunctional cooking appliance that takes up the same amount of space on your worktop.

If you’re anything like us, your worktop space is premium real estate and is in short supply and high demand so it’s good to save space where you can.

Benefits of Owning Your Own Waffle Maker

There are many benefits to owning your own waffle maker, some of which are super obvious, but some you might not have thought about:

  • You can make your own waffles at any time of the day or night. This is the most obvious benefit and the main reason people buy waffle makers for their homes.

If you like waffles then it makes total sense to have all-day access to them.This means you are not restricted to ordering waffles during breakfast hours at your local diner or only for dessert at a family restaurant. You can have them whenever you want.

  • They are cost-effective. The ingredients for waffle batter are very inexpensive and are likely to be things you have lying around in your cupboards or refrigerator anyway, all year round.

Generally, pre-made waffles aren’t expensive, but you’ll be surprised at how much you could save when making them yourself from scratch.

You’ll also save money on eating out if you can make the perfect waffles at home for a fraction of the price of a restaurant dish.

Belgian Waffle Maker 2
  • You can have them just the way you want them. When you order in a restaurant, you are kind of limited to ordering from the options you can see on the menu.

They might be able to change or swap one or two things for you, but typically people would rather accept their waffles the way they come than make a fuss.

Now you can make waffles at home, you can make them any way you want to.

  • Allergy-friendly waffles are totally doable. While waffles in a restaurant might contain gluten, milk, and eggs which are common dietary allergies, you can make yours according to your specific dietary needs and never have to worry about cross-contamination.
  • Make them healthier. It’s common knowledge that when you make things yourself at home, they are healthier than when you order them in a restaurant or buy them from a store. This is because when you make them yourself, you can see what is going in the mix.

Does anyone else add in just under the sugar amount specified in the recipe or swap some of the fattier ingredients for lower fat alternatives?

Right, so because you know you are going to eat them, you’ll make tiny decisions that will make the recipe healthier, whether you mean to or not.

Manufacturers or chefs in restaurants only care about the taste, not the calorie, sugar, or fat content because they aren’t going to be eating them.

Now that You know about the different types of waffle makers you can buy and why it’s a great idea to have your own, let’s take a look at some specific brands and products on the market.

We’ll help you find a quality waffle maker for every budget so you can start making delicious waffles at home for a fraction of the price of the ones you’d order in restaurants or diners.

5 Best Waffle Makers With Removable Plates

Best Round Waffle Maker – Secura Automatic 360 Rotating Non-Stick Belgian Waffle Maker

This Belgian waffle maker creates thick, deep-pocket circular waffles. In addition to this, the plates are removable and dishwashable, so it’s super easy to keep clean and maintain.

We expect that this waffle maker will be long-lasting since it rotates for easy access to the finished waffles.

No tongs are needed to get the waffles out as the iron can rotate so you can simply tip the waffles out of the machine onto a waiting plate.

Probing with tongs and other cooking utensils can scratch the non-stick coating over time and reduce the effectiveness of the non-stick quality, so it’s great that this has a way of getting the waffles out without risking damage to the plates.

Another consideration is that these rotation capabilities can help to spread the batter evenly for perfectly formed and perfectly cooked waffles every time.

This waffle maker also has a two-year warranty which is pretty good for a small kitchen appliance.


  • Price: $$
  • Waffle type: circular deep-welled Belgian waffle. It makes one waffle at a time which is cut into four equal quarters
  • Amazon customer rating: 4.3 stars
  • Warranty: Two-year limited warranty
  • Removable plates: Yes and dishwasher safe
  • Multi-functional appliance: No, dedicated waffle maker
  • Other features: Total 360-degree rotation for even batter distribution and cooking

Buy on Amazon

Best 3-in-1 Waffle Maker – WOWDSGN Belgian Waffle Maker 3-in-1

This is one great multi-tool for your kitchen countertop. It makes waffles and has cast aluminum plates which are removable at the touch of a button.

These plates are also dishwasher safe but those aren’t the only perks of this particular waffle maker. It also comes with two other plates which are also triple coated in non-stick Teflon for longevity and durability.

This machine has a sandwich plate for making toasted sandwiches and a griddle-style set of plates too for healthier grilling.

You can make waffles, toasted sandwiches, or grill bacon to go with either on the same machine.

This appliance has three temperature settings so you can make sure you’re not going to undercook or burn the food.

It also comes with a very generous five-year warranty with a lifetime guarantee to replace the tray inserts. This is a great option if you’re short on space and need to justify the presence of a dedicated waffle maker with multiple uses.

This is one of the products with a high price point, but we’ve seen similar products without the variety of cooking options that this WOWDSGN appliance has for at least thirty dollars more than this one is retailing at.


  • Price: $$
  • Waffle type: Two traditional square Belgian-style waffles.
  • Amazon customer rating: 4.4 stars
  • Warranty: five-year warranty and lifetime replacement tray inserts
  • Removable plates: Yes and dishwasher safe
  • Multi-functional appliance: Yes, comes with a grilling plate and a sandwich press for two standard-sized sandwiches
  • Other features: Variable temperature settings and multiple mode settings

Buy on Amazon

Best Four Waffle Maker – KRUPS Belgian Waffle Maker

This waffle maker is perfect for feeding the whole family quickly.

It can make four waffles at one time and features a steam release system to ensure that each one is crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.

The ultra-deep pockets are perfect for holding berries, chocolate chips, and whatever other toppings you like to use.

This waffle maker has five cooking settings for different levels of browning.

For those of you who like to feel in control in the kitchen, this machine makes a beeping noise and switches the ready light from red to green when it’s time to pour in the batter so you don’t need to guess or gamble with your breakfast treats.

It’s one of the most expensive items on our list but it’s a good option for batch cooking great waffles.

While Krups is a trusted brand for kitchen electronic appliances, there is no warranty mentioned on Amazon, so we can’t tell how likely this appliance is to last for a long time, but if you want a four-at-once waffle maker that will feed the family in no time, then this is a good choice.


  • Price: $$
  • Waffle type: four traditional square Belgian-style waffles
  • Amazon customer rating: 4.5 stars
  • Warranty: Unknown
  • Removable plates: Yes and dishwasher safe
  • Multi-functional appliance: No, dedicated waffle maker
  • Other features: Variable temperature with five settings, a green ready light, and beep indicator.

Buy On Amazon

Best All-in-1 waffle maker – Blue Diamond Sizzle Griddle Super Deluxe Ceramic Grill and Waffle Maker

If you want a countertop kitchen appliance that does pretty much everything for a reasonable price, then you couldn’t do better than Blue Diamond’s ceramic griddle.

There are no limits to the variety of foods you can cook, grill, and sear on this baby. It has dishwasher-safe plates for waffles and to transform it into a fat-draining grilling machine. It also has a flat surface that can be used as a flat frying plate for eggs and pancakes.

While this grill does have removable easy-to-clean plates for the waffle and grill functions, we’re not sure if the flat plate also detaches for easy cleaning or not.

Even if the hot plate tray doesn’t detach, Blue Diamond uses real diamond rock particles in their non-stick coatings for exceptional longevity of their cookware and their quality is renowned in the kitchenware sector. So, even if you do have to wipe it clean, it shouldn’t put up a fight.

The company even specifies that you can use metal utensils on the grill surfaces because that’s how confident they are that it will resist damage.

It is surprisingly compact for such a multi-functional appliance and can easily take the place of a countertop waffle maker and separate griddle machine, according to customers who purchased this.


  • Price: $$$
  • Waffle type: two square Belgian-style waffles
  • Amazon customer rating: 4.1 stars
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty according to the Blue Diamond website, but this does not cover normal wear and tear
  • Removable plates: Yes and dishwasher safe
  • Multi-functional appliance: Makes waffles, grills, sears, fries, and griddles
  • Other features: Variable temperature with four heat settings. Depending on where you buy it, you may need to purchase the waffle trays for this item separately.

Shop on Amazon

Best Budget Waffle Maker – Bear Waffle Maker 2-in-1 Sandwich Maker

This pocket rocket is super compact and inexpensive. It can make a single square waffle or by using the other set of removable plates, you can make a tasty toasted sandwich.

These plates have a basic non-stick coating but they are also suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher.

The design is ultra-space efficient with a cord storage system underneath for easy storage while it’s not in use.

If you’re not responsible for feeding an army of kids, then this single waffle maker is just perfect for individual use or for a two-person household.

It has an indicator light to show when it’s ready to go, and apart from that, it is a very simple design that is easy to use. Impressively for such a budget-friendly product, it has a three-year warranty so that should help your decision.


  • Price: $
  • Waffle type: One square Belgian-style waffle
  • Amazon customer rating: 4.2 stars
  • Warranty: three-year warranty
  • Removable plates: Yes, and dishwasher safe
  • Multi-functional appliance: Yes, it can make waffles or toasted sandwiches. Some users claim it is suitable for cooking eggs and even meat
  • Other features: indicator light shows when it’s ready to cook. Compact, space-saving design

Buy on Amazon

Buyer’s Guide

Hopefully, our guide has inspired you and shown you some compact appliances with easy to clean features. Before you click “add to cart” though, there are a few things to consider.

Things to Consider When Looking to Buy a Waffle Maker

Are the plates removable?

While our selection might have convinced you that all waffle makers have removable plates that are safe to wash in the dishwasher as standard, you’d be surprised at how many products don’t.

It’s always best to check because washing in the dishwasher can damage the non-stick coating of hand wash-only items.

How good is the non-stick coating?

Just because the product description says the plates are non-stick, it doesn’t mean that one is as good as another.

Look for phrases such as “triple layer of non-stick coating” or “die-cast aluminum plates with a long-lasting coat” to find the best waffle makers with genuine non-stick coats on the cooking surfaces.

How big is it?

Waffle makers are generally pretty compact but if you’re looking for a four-slice waffle iron then it’s going to be bulkier, so make sure you measure your available space before you buy.

Can it be stored upright?

When you first get your new waffle maker, we have no doubt that it will be in near-constant use so you won’t need to think about storage for when it’s not being used.

Once everyone in your household has had their fill of delicious sweet and savory waffles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the novelty value has worn off a little, you might want to think about keeping it in a cupboard to keep your countertop clear of clutter.

Some waffle makers can be stored on their sides or even in an upright position, which can save on valuable kitchen space, so it’s worth checking if you can do that before you buy it.

Generally, square waffle makers are more likely to be able to be stored in a variety of positions rather than waffle makers that are circular in shape.

Does it have several functions?

If cluttering up your countertop with single-purpose electric appliances concerns you, then why not get a waffle maker which can also perform other culinary functions.

You can get waffle makers that also cook pancakes, make toasted sandwiches, can press paninis, or grill meat. You may be able to replace a few electrical appliances on your kitchen countertops with a multi-functional culinary tool and save a lot of surface space and money too.

Fun for the Family

Waffle Maker 2

While considering all these things, you might also think about novelty design waffle makers. Waffles are primarily delicious but they’re also a fun food and there are waffle makers out there that can make breakfast time even more delightful than it would be with a square waffle.

This waffle maker creates thick bricks and building blocks out of waffle batter for the little builder in your life, and this one makes mini pancakes that are in the shape of various animals, and this one makes little waffle dinosaurs.

There are plenty of ways to make your waffle maker purchase benefit all the family. You might even get a genuine smile from your teenager with this emoji novelty waffle maker.

The limits of breakfast time fun are only in your imagination.


Are Waffle Irons the Same as Waffle Makers?

Yes and no. While the terms are interchangeable nowadays, the label waffle iron was previously used to refer to only stovetop waffle pans.

Now people use that term to refer to either a stovetop waffle maker or a plug-in electric waffle-making appliance. If you hear either term, it could be in reference to either type of waffle maker.

How Do You Make Waffle Batter?

There are plenty of recipes on the internet that tell you how to make the perfect waffle in many different ways, and there are even recipes for waffles that eliminate certain allergens or substitute usual ingredients for healthier options.

As a general rule, a standard waffle recipe will contain all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, and milk.

Some recipes will specify other additives such as melted butter or vanilla extract and then they get more adventurous from there.

Are Waffle Irons Safe?

Yes, waffle irons are safe for adults to use and many are suitable for older children to use with supervision. While the inner surface does get hot, there is no point in the waffle-making process that requires the user to touch the hot parts.

If you are worried about using a waffle maker in a house with pets or children, then we recommend checking that the one you want has a cool handle even when the appliance is in use, and consider one that flips the waffle out using a handle that turns the waffle iron, so there’s no need to go near the hot plates even with a cooking utensil.

Some waffle makers stay constantly heated unless they are physically unplugged, which if users forget to do, can cause problems.

If you are worried about this, get a waffle maker which has a timer to turn it off after a certain time, or one with a physical switch or button to turn it off.

Some users express a worry about the non-stick Teflon coatings on the waffle maker plates over the concern that potentially toxic materials could get into their food if the coating sustains damage.

If this is a worry for you, look for a ceramic waffle maker. While a ceramic one may not be as easy to use in terms of getting the waffle out, it will still work just as well at making delicious waffles without the worry.

Final Thoughts

Waffle Maker 3

Waffle makers can be exceptionally versatile these days. Some come with a variety of functions without costing more than some of the top-end appliances that only make waffles.

To our mind, these save space as well as money, as long as they are quality items.

In our experience, waffle makers that have more than one layer of Teflon or Teflon-style non-stick coating on the heated surfaces are more durable than those that only have one.

The non-stick coatings are just like the ones inside frying pans, so use the same specifications you would use when judging which frying pan to purchase.

Where possible don’t use utensils or sharp objects to retrieve your waffle or this can damage the non-stick coatings of the pans.

Also, we don’t recommend washing the heated plates or trays with abrasive materials such as brushes or scourers.

If they are dishwasher safe, then opt for the top rack, rather than the bottom, as the spikes are more likely to damage them during the cycle.

If you follow our advice and get a waffle maker that has durable, non-stick plates that can be safely washed in the dishwasher then there’s no reason why you can’t expect to enjoy homemade fluffy waffles for years to come.

This is a great way to save money on eating out and is the perfect cooking activity to get creative with and you could even involve the kids in the process.

Waffles are great. Homemade, healthier, budget-friendly waffles, made just how you like them are even better.

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