In a recent issue, Cook’s Illustrated’s test kitchen conducted a thorough review of several Belgian waffle irons. Belgian waffle irons produce waffles with large, deep pockets to catch syrup (and other toppings) and should help ensure you get a waffle that is perfectly crisp on the outside with a fluffy, moist interior.
I read the reviews with interest, as my previous waffle iron yielded inconsistent results, and decided to treat myself to a new one. I opted for the Presto FlipSide Waffle Maker. This model won the test kitchen’s recommendation as a “best buy,” since it was available for about $30 on Amazon (at the time of writing this). I chose it for price, performance and ease of use/storage.
The waffle maker heats up quickly and, though the iron is nonstick, should be lightly greased before use. I found that about a cup of Belgian waffle batter was needed to make a full sized waffle. Once you pour in the batter, you grab the handle and flip the iron 180 degrees to the side. This distributes the batter evenly on both sides of the iron, so your waffle cooks evenly on both sides and looks as good as the waffles made in much more expensive, commercial machines when it is done. The maker has a timer on the side that will alert you when the waffles are ready. For my recipe, I found that about 4 minutes was perfect, but different recipes may require slightly different times.
My waffles turned out crisp, golden and evenly cooked every time. While I did overcook a few testing the timer out (5 minutes yielded a waffle that was too dark, but not burned), all of the waffles were crisper and better than the waffles that my older iron produced.
When not in use, the waffle iron locks into an upright position. This means that it takes up very little shelf space. Though it outperforms my previous waffle irons, it is extremely lightweight and is very easy to handle. I never think “oh, it’s too much trouble to get that out!” when I want a waffle. Instead, I think “Yay, waffles!” and whip up some batter. I would definitely recommend this maker as a big upgrade to some older machines and as a great appliance to have in your kitchen.