Whoever loves their waffles needs a waffle maker, and it has become an essential kitchen gadget for every household. But how would you know which is right for you: a regular waffle maker or a mini waffle maker?
A mini waffle maker is right for you if you like your waffles in bite-sized pieces, if you live alone, or if you have a small kitchen space. On the other hand, a regular-sized waffle maker is more practical for families who want waffles in more filling sizes and don’t have any problem with space.
In this article, I’ll talk about the main differences between a mini waffle maker and a regular waffle maker, including the advantages and disadvantages of each one. I’ll also give some product recommendations in case you’re in the market for one.
Mini Waffle Maker: Is It for You?
A mini waffle maker is a kitchen appliance that you can use to cook individual-sized waffles. It’s typically the size of a burger patty or a cookie and is very handy and compact because of its small size.
Mini waffle makers are the perfect cooking gadget to have if you live in a college dorm, a tiny first apartment, or an RV or camper. They’re also relatively lightweight, so they’re easy to carry around to work, to a campsite, or from one apartment to another.
Additionally, a mini waffle maker is a convenient option if you live and eat alone or with one other person or are constantly on the go. Considering the size of mini waffles, an adult may need two or three servings.
So a mini waffle maker is only convenient if you don’t need to make too many batches. Imagine using it to feed a family of five adults. That would mean making 10 to 15 batches, which could be exhausting and time-consuming.
But if you have little kids with equally little appetites, this cute appliance is great to have since mini waffles are just the perfect size for them. With this, you wouldn’t have to deal with many leftovers or too much food waste.
And, speaking of kids, a mini waffle maker would also make an excellent gift to children who are showing interest in the kitchen. Or even older children who just love their waffles day in and day out. For one, this gadget is very easy to operate and clean, so it’s something they can use with minimal supervision.
It’s also pretty affordable, so it won’t be too hard for you to allow your kids to experiment with what they can cook using it. And as an added bonus, mini waffle makers come in many different colors and designs that young people would surely find attractive.
Pros of a Mini Waffle Maker
- Compact-sized and can fit neatly in small kitchen or counter spaces.
- Zero assembly required.
- Lightweight, portable, and easy to store and take out.
- Easy to use and easy to clean.
- Non-stick cooking surface generates heat evenly and can cook other food items like eggs, cookies, paninis, quesadillas, and hash browns.
- Very affordable.
Cons of a Mini Waffle Maker
- Most models can only make one mini waffle at a time, so it’s not ideal for large households.
- Most mini waffle makers aren’t as sturdy as the regular ones, so they may break more easily.
- Doesn’t have a timer so you need to watch each waffle closely.
Recommendations for Mini Waffle Makers
If you’re getting a mini waffle maker, here are some brands and models worth looking into:
Dash Mini Waffle Maker
The Dash Mini Waffle Maker is so conveniently handy, with dimensions of 6.4 x 5 x 2.8 in (16.26 x 12.7 x 7.11 cm) and weighing only 1.30 lb (0.59 kg). Its non-stick metal cooking surface is 4 in (10.16 cm).
It comes in pink, aqua, red heart, and silver and boasts a thoughtful design, with a handle that lifts easily, so you don’t burn your fingers and non-slip feet to keep it stable and safe.
You only need to plug it in and wait for its preheating indicator light to tell you that it’s ready to cook. Then, you can make a single waffle in less than three minutes.
This product doesn’t contain PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid, a synthetic chemical used to coat cookware surfaces to make them non-stick and non-grease. PFOA, however, has been found to be harmful to humans and is linked to certain kinds of diseases, such as liver damage, kidney cancer, and thyroid disease, among others.
This mini waffle maker is rated the number one bestseller in waffle irons on Amazon.com. It has earned an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 from over 157,000 verified users.
Nostalgia Electric Waffle Maker
The Nostalgia Electric Waffle Maker is easy and straightforward to operate. You just plug it in and wait up to three minutes until it’s preheated; there will also be an indicator light to tell you that you can start cooking.
This nifty little appliance is compact and lightweight, with dimensions of 5.25 x 6.75 x 3.5 in (13.34 x 17.15 x 8.89 cm) and weighing 1 lb (0.45 kg). It has a dual-sided non-stick cooking surface that’s 5 in (12.7 cm) wide.
This product has earned an average rating of 4.5 stars from more than 8,800 Amazon.com users.
Regular Waffle Maker: Is It for You?
Regular waffle makers or waffle irons are kitchen appliances used to make regular-sized waffles. There are different types: you have the light-duty varieties and the heavy-duty ones, and there are also single and double waffle makers. When choosing what to buy, you need to determine how many waffles you want to make within a given amount of time.
Additionally, regular waffle makers come in different shapes. And this depends on the type of waffle you like. For American waffles, you can get a round or square waffle maker. Meanwhile, Belgian waffles are typically round, Brussels waffles are rectangular, and Liege waffles are irregular.
These waffles don’t just differ in shape, though. More importantly, they differ in thickness, texture, and taste. So more than the shape of your waffle maker, your kind of waffle will be determined by the batter recipe you use.
When To Get A Regular Waffle Maker
A regular waffle maker would be the best choice for you if you have an entire household to cook for. A single serving of regular waffles is more filling than a serving of mini waffles, so you don’t need to cook too many batches.
If your waffle maker can make two waffles at the same time, then you can lessen your cooking time by half. Of course, if you’re using your waffle maker for business, you’ll need a heavy-duty one that can make more waffles in an hour.
Moreover, since a regular waffle maker is bigger, heavier, and longer-lasting than a mini waffle maker, it’s more ideal if you live in a house of your own or if you have a large kitchen or counter space. You should get one if you don’t have any intentions of moving it around.
Pros of a Regular Waffle Maker
- Makes bigger waffles that are more filling for adults.
- Is made of heavier and sturdier materials on the outside, like ceramic and stainless steel, so they’re longer-lasting and more stable.
- Perfect for making waffles for more people.
- Has a bigger cooking surface, so it’s more flexible and can cook more varieties of other food items.
Cons of a Regular Waffle Maker
- More expensive than a mini waffle maker.
- Takes waffles a little longer to cook because they’re bigger and thicker.
- Not portable and convenient to carry around.
- Has a bigger surface to clean.
- Not as kid-friendly as a mini waffle maker.
Recommendations for Regular Waffle Makers
Presto Belgian Waffle Maker
The Presto Belgian Waffle Maker measures 12 x 12 x 3 in (30.48 x 30.48 x 7.62 cm) and weighs 1 lb (0.45 kg). It can make a 7-in (17.78-cm) Belgian waffle with four easy-cut sections.
This product boasts a professional rotating design with an extra-thick grid. IIt has a dual-function base, making it easy for you to rotate its main body and lock it in a space-saving vertical position when you put it away. It also has a countdown timer paired with a digital display that signals you when the timer is up.
This waffle maker has received an average of 4.7 stars on Amazon from over 19,400 users.
Cuisinart Belgian Waffle Maker
The Cuisinart Belgian Waffle Maker measures 9.69 x 7.88 x 3.31 inches (24.61 x 20.02 x 8.41 cm) and weighs 3.86 lbs (1.75 kg). It can bake one large traditional waffle, but its best feature is its browning control adjustment, which gives you five settings that you can customize according to how light or how deep a golden brown you want your waffles to be.
This product also has a red indicator light that lets you know when it’s ready to cook, as well as a green light that signals when the waffles are done. Additionally, it has a special latching feature that keeps the lid closed during storage and has rubber feet to keep it steady and well planted on your countertop without making marks.
This waffle maker has earned an average rating of 4.5 stars on Amazon.com from over 15,000 users.
Get a mini waffle maker if you live alone, have a small kitchen space, or have little kids who cannot finish a regular-sized waffle. It’s also great if you want a more portable option for when you’re camping or when you need one at work. However, if kitchen or counter space isn’t a problem and if there are many of you at home, then you should make regular-sized waffles using a regular waffle maker.