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?
Waffle makers are only a worthwhile investment if you eat waffles regularly (once a week or more).
That’s because they lack versatility in cooking other foods. As such if you don’t eat waffles regularly you’ll likely find a waffle maker to be a waste of money & space in the kitchen.
Waffle makers aren’t essential appliances for making waffles, so don’t think by not purchasing one you can’t have waffles.
Instead, waffle makers are designed to make the waffle making process both quicker and easier.
How Much Does A Waffle Maker Cost To Buy?
As kitchen appliances go, waffle makers are certainly one of the cheapest and regularly retail for between $20 and $40.
In most cases, a budget waffle maker at this price point will more than meet your requirements. However, those who cook large batches of waffles (hotels, summer camps etc.) may look to a high-end, more industrial waffle maker instead.
High-end waffle makers regularly cost between $100 and $200 and often allow you to cook larger batches at once and come with additional features such as a keep warm option.
How Much Does A Waffle Maker Cost To Run?
The exact cost of running a waffle maker will vary depending on the electricity plan you are on, how long you use the appliance for as well as the make, model and size.
However, I did monitor the electricity consumption of my waffle maker for one hour and converted the kWh into USD based on my current rates and found it cost $0.07.
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 mould 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.