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You may have heard that it’s really much healthier to eat six smaller meals a day than the three big meals we all know of. Unfortunately, most of us can’t adhere to this more metered food schedule.
Preparing meals takes time, and we just can’t cook six times per day. Because of this, having a handy machine like a Belgian waffle maker that can turn out thick, crispy, delicious waffles in just minutes is actually a good way to clean up your diet.
It won’t guarantee you six meals a day, but at least it’s a quick and convenient way to add a small but scrumptious brunch!
What is a Belgian Waffle (And Why Are They So Delicious)
What is the definition of a Belgian waffle?
A Belgian waffle is somewhat like a regular waffle but with bigger and deeper squares than normal waffles. This fact lets Belgian waffles hold more of the stuff that is generally poured inside the squares – usually syrup, butter, jam, or cream. For many people, that “filling” is their favorite part of eating waffles, hence the popularity of Belgian waffles.
Belgian waffle recipes are generally lighter and airier than regular waffles as well, with a higher amount of baking powder used to make the waffle rise when cooking.
Are Belgian waffles unhealthy?
Not necessarily! High quality butters, maple syrups, and jams are actually healthy! As long as you don’t skimp in the condiments section, loaded Belgian waffles can be a great fuel for your body to get through the day.
Do you need a special waffle maker for Belgian waffles?
Yes. As I mentioned, Belgian waffles rise more during cooking, and normal waffle makers don’t allow space for the waffles to do that. This extra leavening gives the waffles a lighter texture than normal waffles, and it also makes the “pools” in the waffles deeper so they can hold more of the toppings.
What should I look for when buying a Belgian waffle maker?
Consider these factors:
- Doneness settings – Belgian waffle makers generally let you choose how well-cooked you want the waffles to be, like a toaster. This setting affects both the color of the waffles (light or dark) and the consistency. The question is, how many of these doneness settings does the waffle maker have?
- Size – Most Belgian waffle makers can cook four waffles at a time and are around 10”x12”. Some are bigger and can cook more, some are smaller and only make two at a time. How big or small do you want yours to be?
- Versatility – Some Belgian waffle makers include pre-programmed modes or even alternate pans to cook other types of waffles or even pancakes. Will you always be cooking Belgian style waffles, or do you want to switch it up every now and then?
6 Best Belgian Waffle Makers
In this table, I go through what I think are the six best Belgian waffle makers out there. I like them all for a different reason, so I’ve categorized each one according to why it made the list.
Think of it like the Oscars, but instead of actors and movies it covers Belgian waffle makers.
Below, I give a bit more information about each of my best Belgian waffle maker picks and why it won its category. Think of that part like the Oscar speech.
1. For Options: Breville ® 4-Slice Smart ™ Waffler
from Crate & Barrel
This one’s not cheap, but it’s my personal favorite because of how much it lets you customize your waffles.
After pouring your batter in, you can choose from four waffle presets: Belgian, classic, chocolate, or buttermilk. You can then use knobs on the display to tweak what darkness you want the waffles to be, from creamy yellow to deep golden brown.
Using an amusingly-named technology called Waffle IQ, the device calculates the perfect heat and cooking time and gets to work. And you can’t argue with the results: the waffles have come out evenly cooked and delicious every time I’ve made them.
Besides the customization options, this is my pick for the best Belgian waffle maker in my kitchen. It’s nice and compact, but it can still cook four reasonably-sized waffles at once. There is also an included dosing cup and cast-iron cooking plates that make cooking and clean-up easy and mess-free.
If you’re a superfan of Belgian style waffles, this is the device for you.
2. For the Pancake Lovers: Cuisinart Belgian Waffle Maker with Pancake Plates
This model comes with a cast iron plate you can slide into the waffle maker to turn it into a pancake maker. It’s as easy as that. You can then cook four pancakes at a time.
When I’m making brunch for the whole family, I whip up two batches of waffles (4 waffles per batch) and two batches of pancakes (4 pancakes per batch), and the transition between the two is seamless. You can even use the waffle batter as batter for pancakes, although pancake batter shouldn’t be used to make waffles.
The Belgian waffle maker is otherwise similar to the first model I mentioned, although it doesn’t have as many customization options – only five darkness settings instead of four presets and 12 additional darkness settings. It is less than half the price, though, which certainly means something to cooks on a budget.
from Crate & Barrel
This waffle maker is round and is divided into four waffle plates, which means the resulting waffles are triangle-shaped (one quarter of the circle).
And as silly as it may sound, I find the waffle triangles surprisingly convenient and portable. You can just fold one over like a piece of pizza, grab it with a napkin, squirt a dollop of syrup or butter inside, and you’ve got a perfect grab n’ go breakfast or brunch.
I also really appreciate the moat around the edge of the waffle iron, which catches any stray batter that might fall off and cooks it so it’s easy to clean up afterwards, or even slip into your folded waffle if you want.
The indicator that shows what level of doneness the waffles are at during cooking is a nice touch, too.
4. Double: Cuisinart Double Belgian Waffle Maker
by Sur la table
This one is perfect for large families who want to get their waffle on together or for brunch gatherings.
While most Belgian waffle makers only have one waffle iron and so can make four waffles at a time, this model has two trays and can make eight at a time. The two irons are stacked on top of each other, and there is a handle to rotate the device and put either iron on top, allowing for easy access.
Of course, being a Cuisinart product, the waffle maker looks nice and simplistic even though it’s a sort of complex machine.
5. 2-Square: All-Clad 2-Square Belgian Waffle Maker
by Sur la table
This Belgian waffle maker is half the size of most full-sized models, and it makes two square waffles at a time instead of four.
It’s excellent for someone who lives alone or who knows they’ll only be cooking waffles for one person. It’s also more portable and easier to store than most Belgian waffle makers since it’s smaller.
6. Budget: Cuisinart Waffle Maker, Round Flip Belgian
For around $60, this is a solid Belgian waffle maker. It doesn’t compromise on flavor or texture, keeping the normal 1-inch depth and the large “pools” that are customary for Belgian waffles.
They nearly always come out thick, crunchy, and evenly cooked. Many budget kitchenware products skimp on the nonstick coating, but I find this model is just as easy to clean as even the most expensive Belgian waffle makers.
If you’re looking to save as much money as possible while still getting something perfectly passable, this one is a steal.
How to Make Belgian Style Waffles
Even if you have the best Belgian waffle maker in the world at your disposal, the waffles won’t come out great unless you use a good batter. Traditional waffle mixes won’t capture that light and fluffy texture that make Belgian waffles special, and even special Belgian waffle mix lacks freshness.
Pancake mix should not be used for waffles at all, because it is too runny and will come out the sides of the waffle iron.
The best solution is to whip up a Belgian waffle batter from scratch. I’d recommend this recipe for easy and fluffy Belgian waffles.
Belgian waffles are easy and delicious additions to your eating schedule. If the batter is prepared correctly and high-quality ingredients are used, the waffles will be healthy and full of nutrients.
They’re easy to make and will keep you from consuming unhealthy snacks in the late morning. In short, they can be the perfect bridge between breakfast and lunch.
I hope the recommendations in this post help you step up your brunch game and maintain a healthier eating schedule while still enjoying sweet and savory flavors throughout the day.
Last update on 2022-02-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API