If you enjoy a waffle as part of breakfast or as an occasional sweet treat then you may be considering purchasing a waffle maker.
While waffle makers are relatively in-affordable they still take up plenty of space in your kitchen and of course, still cost some money. So, are they worth it?
Industrial waffle makers and waffle makers with additional luxury features that retail for above $100 aren’t worth it but if you eat waffles often you may want to consider picking up a relatively basic waffle maker for between $20 and $40.
I’ve found that whether or not the waffle maker is worth the money mainly comes down to how often you eat waffles. If you eat them twice a week or have a large family and find yourself making a batch regularly then the investment may prove to save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.
Either way to help you truly understand the different factors that may go into your waffle buying decision I’ve put together this article which includes the initial cost of purchasing a waffle maker as well as additional details such as how much a waffle maker costs to run and alternative products you could use if you decide that a waffle maker isn’t quite right for you and your family.
How Much Does A Waffle Maker Cost To Buy?
As kitchen appliances go, waffle makers are certainly one of the cheapest retailing for between $20 and $40 in most cases.
While a budget waffle maker will certainly do the job, you may be missing out on certain features such as a keep warm feature which is designed to make waffles and keep them warm once the cooking process has been completed.
This allows you to go on and make the rest of breakfast, and then come back to the waffles when you’re ready to serve.
There are, of course, high-end waffle makers which come with additional features and are often designed for industrial purposes (hotel breakfasts etc.). These cost between $100 and $200 and are totally not worth it for basic home use.
If you do decide to pick up a waffle maker, you shouldn’t be looking to pay anymore than $40 when using it at home.
How Much Does A Waffle Maker Cost To Run?
A waffle maker is not a power-hungry appliance by any means. Especially when you consider how rarely a waffle maker will be running when compared with a boiler, for example, you can start to see why the real-world cost is so low.
Per-minute, the average waffle maker will cost roughly twelve-hundredths of a cent in US dollars to run.
If it were run constantly, this adds up to $0.07 per hour or $0.56 per day. Of course, this wouldn’t be the real-world cost of a waffle maker.
In real life, a waffle maker will probably run for about half an hour to forty minutes and then go off for a week or more. In our house, we rarely use our waffle maker more than once a month. This means that the real-world cost is, essentially, negligible.
Alternatives To A Waffle Maker
Aside from more conventional waffle iron, there are two main ways that you could make waffles.
The first way is to use a grill or a grill pan. Due to the thickness of the pan, and the griddle lines on its surface, this kitchen appliance is surprisingly perfect for making waffles.
Simply make up a batch of your favourite waffle batter, and then pour portions onto your preheated surface. The lines on the grill or grill pan will allow you to make rough square shapes, and thereby you can make a rough waffle, perfect after it’s been drenched in maple syrup.
Alternatively, you could look to use a silicone waffle mold which will allow you to make your waffles in the oven.
This will ensure that you get evenly cooked, crispy waffles, and you can even do large batches all at once!
The other benefit of this method is that after you’ve dropped the batter into the moulds and put them in the oven, you can get on with another task that needs your attention in the meantime such as making a pot of coffee or the rest of the breakfast.
Benefits of A Waffle Maker
There’s a whole host of benefits to purchasing a waffle maker, here are some of my favourite;
- Using a waffle maker will let you eat food where you can be sure of the ingredients. With the number of waffle iron centric recipes online these days, you can make any number of things by using a waffle iron to heat it until it’s crispy, plus you can be sure of the exact ingredients of your meal.
- Waffle makers don’t cause anywhere near as much untidiness as other cooking equipment does. For the vast majority of different waffle makers, the cleanup is straightforward and simple: remove the waffle iron plates from the maker, and throw them in the dishwasher. This is incredibly simple and much easier than wrestling an enormous waffle iron into the sink.
- The vast majority of waffle makers have a non-stick coating on them. This means that you won’t need to use anywhere near as much grease as you otherwise would avoid your food sticking to the waffle maker. This is a huge benefit of waffle makers, as there are few things worse than overly greasy food, especially overly greasy waffles!
Drawbacks of A Waffle Maker
There is only one true drawback of a waffle maker, and it can be most keenly seen in a stovetop waffle maker. Those appliances can be really difficult to clean!
If you accidentally hold your waffle to the heat source for too long, then you may end up burning some of your batter onto the iron. This is a huge pain to clean up, and may require several different rounds of soaking and scrubbing before the burned on waffle will come off.
This is especially noticeable when you’re using this waffle iron in a place where no other waffle maker will work: the great outdoors.
Waffle irons are great for using over a campfire as they will help to distribute the heat from the fire evenly over the surface of the batter that you have inside your maker.
Let’s say, for example, that you burn some of the batters onto your iron. At that point, your iron will have to go in with the rest of the dishes to get washed.
If you’ve got the luxury of camping on a campsite with kitchen facilities, then you may be able to clean your iron more easily. If you don’t have that luxury, then you may be taking your dishes to be washed in a nearby stream.
If that’s the case, getting the burned-on batter off the iron can be difficult indeed, especially considering that stream water will be cold, and you may not have bought steel wool or a rigid scraper out with you.
Is A Waffle Maker Worth It?
All in all, a waffle maker is worth it. As long as you’re prepared to leap headfirst into the maintenance side, they can produce some delicious food.
Waffles are definitely one of the best breakfast foods out there, especially when served with your favorite toppings. Having the luxury to be able to make those waffles whenever you want them is decadent indeed.
As a family with a waffle iron in the house, I can say that as much as it may not get used too often, it’s very much appreciated when we do use it! For those special Sunday mornings, it’s a lifesaver when we want to be swimming in maple syrup at the dining table.