What every best Waffle Irons has:
- Provides consistent, even heat.
- Allows you to control the heat.
- Makes just one waffle style.
Editors at Consumer Reports test six waffle irons and find that they all do quite decently, although there is one standout favorite. Although they don't assign their usual comparative ratings in several categories, they do list the waffle irons in order of preference and explain which characteristics led to those placements.
The editors of Cook's Illustrated put more than a dozen flip- and rotary-style Belgian waffle makers through their paces, issuing comparative rankings in a total of eleven categories including safety, cleanup, browning and consistency. Only three models receive completely unreserved recommendations. Elsewhere on their site, the editors also report on hands-on testing of six stovetop waffle irons.
The editors of Wirecutter enlist input from four different experts and put in a total of 63 hours of research to test 21 waffle makers. They choose a winner, a runner-up, and a budget pick, then offer an in-depth review of each. The coverage is balanced and comprehensive, giving a well-reasoned view of just how these appliances perform under real-world conditions.
The editors of Your Best Digs spend a total of 35 hours testing half a dozen waffle makers in their office. In order to qualify, the waffle irons had to have excellent user reviews, a nonstick surface, adjustable cook settings, and some sort of ready indicator. In their analysis and thorough discussion of the results, the editors consider factors including time to heat, time to cook, ergonomics, and consistency of the waffle results.
This website isn't known for hands-on testing, but in this case it's clear they did put an array of waffle makers through the wringer in person. Although the results are presented in a way that's challenging to assimilate, they're also very thorough and in-depth, documenting everything from assembly and clean-up time to comparative scores for how accurate a waffle maker's ready to eat indicate is. The editors list results for the top 10 waffle makers, awarding gold, silver and bronze awards to their top three picks.
The Good Housekeeping Research Institute whipped up more than 420 batches of waffles to determine which waffle makers worked best. No comparative ratings are assigned, but each waffle maker gets a short, revealing summary of any notable pros--or cons--that emerged during testing, and which features came in the most handy. That said, we've downgraded this source because the new format means we can't check the ages of the reviews, although we know some are at least three years old.
The editors of Lifehacker survey readers for their votes on the best waffle irons. The top five waffle irons alone draw a total of almost 1,600 user votes, and many users also included short comments about what they like most about each waffle maker and their durability; one model has lasted an astonishing 38 years and counting.
Amazon offers several hundred options when it comes to waffle makers; we narrowed our search by accounting for the highest-rated models with the most user reviews. That translated to an average rating of 4.3 stars or better after at least 20 user reviews, or a near-perfect rating of 4.9 or 5 stars after 10 or more user reviews.
Best Buy is a surprisingly useful source of user reviews for small appliances. Here, they list several dozen waffle makers, most of which receive at least a handful of user reviews. Standout models we deem worthy of special attention receive an average rating of 4.4 stars or better after at least 10 user reviews.
Waffle irons are grouped in with griddles and skillets at Walmart, and the selection includes a few models we didn't see anywhere else. We take special note of any models that get a 4-star or better rating after at least 20 user reviews.
The editors of Groom and Style subjected an array of waffle makers to hands-on testing, although they don't share many details about what process they used or how long they spent. They make up for it by offering a comprehensive evaluation of each model's specs in addition to some brief commentary on how well they perform in the kitchen.
Workers in the BonAppetit.com test kitchen evaluate more than a dozen waffle irons and choose three as their favorites. Each of their three picks gets the shortest of summary reviews, usually just a sentence or two, along with a cute moniker, like "The Workhorse" or "The Posh Touch," that explains what they excel at. Although this is an older review, a couple of the picks are still relevant, although one has been discontinued.