Have you ever wondered how to use a waffle maker?
These days, waffle makers, or waffle irons, are common in many households. An excellent solution for a quick breakfast, brunch, or dessert, the waffle maker transforms the art of making waffles into a straightforward process. Of course, you need to figure out how to use the kitchen appliance before you can see the benefits for yourself.
The good news for anyone considering purchasing a waffle maker is that operating these appliances is typically quite simple. A lot of products have access to handy instructions and tutorials to help you get started. Plus, waffle makers are often designed with usability, so it’s pretty easy to achieve the perfect finish you’re looking for.
Here’s what you need to know about using waffle makers.
Before You Start: Making Waffle Decisions
Before you begin making your waffles, you will have some decisions to make. For instance, what kind of waffle batter are you going to make? Do you have a recipe in mind? It’s also worth thinking about what your perfect waffles will look like.
Are you making a standard waffle or a Belgian waffle? Some Belgian waffle machines are specially made with deeper grids and larger pans so that you can hold more mixtures in the trays.
Think about the kind of waffles you’re going to make before buying your waffle machines. Most waffle makers will come with insights into the kind of delicious waffles you can create with them.
It’s also worth taking the time to read through the instructions provided by your waffle maker. Some will have specific guidelines for things like when you should add cooking spray oil to a waffle plate and how much waffle batter you should pour in at once.
How to Use a Waffle Maker: An Easy Guide
Step 1: Make the Batter
Now that you know what type of waffle you’re making and how your machine works, it’s time to make your waffle batter. Usually, you’ll be able to start the waffle maker heating up while you whip up your waffle batter recipe. This should ensure you can pour the batter straight into the device and help it cook completely more quickly.
One easy recipe for waffle batter might include:
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt (it helps with the flavour)
- 2 eggs
- 1.5 cups of warm milk
- A third of a cup of melted butter
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
You can experiment with the batter to suit your needs. For example, try using egg whites instead of the whole egg or adding fresh fruit for different flavours. No matter how simple your waffle batter might be, it’s usually going to turn out much better than the frozen kind you might be used to having.
Mix your waffle batter carefully in a large bowl, starting with the dry ingredients and then adding the wet ingredients, like egg whites, milk, and melted butter. Slowly add the wet ingredients to help avoid lumps in your batter.
Step 2: Pre-heat and Grease the Waffle Maker
Following the user manual provided with your waffle maker, you can pre-heat the waffle maker so it’s ready for the batter to cook. Usually, it’s best to close the lid while the plate inside is gaining heat, as this will help the machine reach its ideal temperature faster. Remember to grease the waffle plate inside the waffle maker to stop your waffles from sticking.
Most waffle makers will come with an indicator light that lights up after a few minutes to show you the device is ready to cook your waffles. The same light can also indicate when your waffle is cooked or when you need to turn the maker over to get to the other side.
When you grease your waffle iron plates, you’ll be able to experiment again, using either butter or oil, depending on the finish you want. Some people prefer to use cooking spray to help stop their batter from sticking, as this has a lower fat content and still helps to get the outside of the waffle as crispy and golden as possible.
Step 3: Cook Your Waffles
When you’re sure the heat is at the right level in your waffle maker, according to your instruction manual, you can pour in some batter. Be careful not to pour all batter into the machine for your first waffle. You’ll want to leave some batter over for more waffles. The more batter you add, the longer it takes for your waffle to cook.
Try using around three-quarters of a cup of batter for each waffle to ensure the waffle comes out with a crispy exterior and a soft, fluffy interior. Because every waffle maker is different, you might need to experiment with heat and other factors to get your waffle cooked perfectly.
Be very careful when pouring the batter into the hot waffle iron. Your waffle iron might spit or sizzle, so close the lid as soon as possible to help the cooking process along. You can then set a timer for around four to six minutes. If you’re using your device at the lowest temperature, it may take longer for your waffles to cook.
When the steam stops rising from your waffle maker, you can check the iron to see if the waffle is cooked to your liking. The waffles should release pretty easily from the plates with the help of a knife or a silicone spatula. Be careful not to use your fingers to remove the waffle and avoid anything that might scratch the waffle plate.
Step 4: Enjoy Your Waffles!
Once your waffles are cooked through and hot, it’s up to you to decide how you want to enjoy them. You can add all kinds of toppings to your first waffle, from butter and sugar to fresh fruit.
Remember to turn the waffle iron off and close the lid immediately after you’re done using it; this will help to prevent accidents.
If you’re making more than one waffle, you can keep all the waffles you do make in a warm oven while pouring more batter into the cast iron plates. The more you experiment with your waffle iron, the easier it will be to determine how much batter you need to get the perfect golden-brown finish. Watch the indicator light to help you, but take the time to get to know your waffle maker too.
No matter how messy your iron looks after you’ve cooked your waffles, leave it to cool before you start washing it with a damp cloth. It’s best to enjoy the perfect waffle when it’s still hot, so sit down and eat your food while your waffle iron cools down. After you’re sure the system is completely cool, you can use a sponge to wipe off any remaining cooking oil or pieces of waffle left behind. If your waffle iron has removable plates, you can soak them to remove unwanted stains.
Remember you should never place your entire waffle iron in the sink, or the dishwasher, as it has electronic components which can be damaged. Make sure to wipe over all the components, from the indicator light to the cast iron plates, to remove leftover dirt. Once you’ve gotten the hang of cooking in your cast iron waffle maker, you’ll have no trouble cooking waffles with everything from maple syrup to delicious chunks of fruit.
Tips for Making Your Waffles
Creating the perfect cooked waffle does take a little trial and error. You might find that your initial waffles have too much baking powder or vegetable oil or that your waffle cooks too slowly on your cast iron plates when you have the temperature set low. More practice will give you an insight into how each waffle cooks on your device. Here are some top tips to help you.
- Clean the waffle plates regularly: Make sure you clean the waffle plates properly to get rid of debris from leftover waffles and vegetable oil. This will help to keep your waffle maker operating perfectly for longer. Cast iron plates are often easy to clean in the sink or dishwasher. Check the instructions to be sure.
- Keep an eye on the steam: Check the steam that comes out of your machine. The steam level can help you tell whether your waffle is ready or not.
- Experiment with other recipes: A waffle iron can be an excellent tool for creating all kinds of food, from banana bread to hash browns. Once you get the hang of using your cast iron waffle plates, you’ll be able to experiment with different flavours.
- Don’t use metal utensils to lift your waffles: Avoid metal utensils that may scratch the cast iron of your waffle machine when you’re using them. The waffles in your machine should come away from the plates quickly enough with a silicone spatula
- Keep waffles warm: Place waffles on a paper towel and keep them in a warm oven when you’re making additional waffles. If you need to whip up only a few waffles, you can switch your large bowl to a medium bowl for the batter. Use oven mitts to retrieve warming waffles.
- Learn from your waffle maker: The more you use your cast iron waffle plates, the more you’ll learn about how long it takes for the device to get hot and what you need to do to create the perfect waffles. Don’t be afraid to make notes to help you out later.
Making Waffles at Home
Making amazing waffles with your waffle maker doesn’t have to be a headache. Just make sure you have your oven mitts ready if you’re keeping waffles in your oven, and avoid burning your fingers on the waffle plates.
If you still don’t have a waffle maker, do you think you’ll be getting one soon? If not, what’s stopping you from purchasing this nifty kitchen appliance? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.