What’s a better way to start the day than a cup of freshly-ground coffee and a nice, fluffy waffle? For those of you on the go, out camping, or uninterested in a waffle maker, waffle irons provide a quick and easy way to get your favorite breakfast item prepared quickly. Waffle irons come in many different shapes, sizes, and offer lots of different ways to cook.

In this article we’ll be going over the top five waffle irons available, and we’ll also discuss what you can do to prepare the perfect waffle without any of the stickiness or mess commonly associated with other makers. From shapes and sizes to seasoning and so much more, here’s everything you need to know about making this fluffy treat.

  • Belgian-style waffles
  • Stay-cool plastic handles
  • Full cast aluminum design
  • 10-year warranty

  • Stovetop or campfire use
  • Plastic handles
  • Travel sized
  • No listed warranty

  • Unique twisting ball joint
  • High quality cast iron design
  • Wooden handles
  • No listed warranty

  • Circular waffle design
  • Raw cast iron
  • Compact hinge design
  • 10-year warranty

  • Belgian-style waffles
  • Plastic handles
  • Locked hinges
  • No listed warranty


Our first waffle iron pick uses a deep mold and cast aluminum to make four fresh slices of Belgian waffles with each use. The NordicWave 15040 waffle iron uses a robust and durable design that can be easily disassembled for effective cleaning. The product can be pulled apart at the hinges to clean both the top and bottom of the waffle iron separately. This waffle iron also comes with plastic handles that are reported to stay cool even when the waffle iron itself is exposed to intense heat. That makes this waffle iron perfect for use outdoors or by a campfire.

Backed by a ten-year warranty, this NordicWave product has the potential of lasting for a really long time without major incidents, which is great considering the reasonable price. While some may prefer cast iron, we think this is one of the best waffle irons around no matter the material used.

Pros

  • Great warranty
  • Belgian waffles
  • Makes 4 slices
  • Cool handles for easy handling
  • Can be disassembled for cleaning

Cons

  • Aluminum and plastic build


The next waffle iron on our list offers two slices of American waffles and a much lower price than our first pick. The Coleman Waffle Iron 2000016540 is also made of cast aluminum and offers an American waffle for thinner, but more robust, waffles. Using the included plastic handles and simple design, this waffle iron is perfect for using on camping trips or on the go.

As it is made from cast aluminum, some owners have reported a bit of heat transference between the plastic handles and the iron itself, so holding this over a fire may require a glove. Likewise, the travel size is appreciated but will make it difficult to make a plate of waffles. Still, for single use or for a campfire, there’s no better (or more affordable) option available.

Pros

  • Travel size
  • Affordable
  • Makes 2 slices
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Smaller waffles
  • Heat transference

For a solid circular waffle from a sturdy and truly unique waffle iron, the Texsport Cast Iron Waffle maker provides a lot for its price. Featuring a unique ball and hinge joint, this waffle maker can be flipped without having to lift the entire waffle iron from the stovetop. This joint can also be removed and disassembled for cleaning. Waffles made from this Texsport product are a good size.

The great design does come at the cost of weight, as this waffle iron is certainly heavy and a bit bulky. Provided you have the storage space, though, there’s a lot to appreciate here.

Pros

  • Makes four semi-circular slices
  • Great design
  • Strong wooden handles

Cons

  • Heavy & bulky

For a basic cast iron waffle iron with a simple hinge and unibody design, Rome Industries offers an iron that’s durable, straightforward, and perfect for use either on the stove or in the woods. The Rome Industries Old Fashioned Waffle Iron 1100 makes a single waffle with a seven inch diameter. The design is perfect for those who like large single waffles or thin American waffles.

The simple detachable hinge and cast iron handles do mean, though, that you’ll need mitts to handle this iron, but the end result is an iron that shouldn’t crack, set fire, or cause any other issues. Designed as a simple, no-frills waffle iron, this pick is sure to please the minimalist in your family.

Pros

  • Large circular waffles
  • Simple, well-built hinge
  • All metal design
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • Handle is hot to touch
  • Only makes one slice

Our final waffle iron pick is another great travel-sized option and makes a single waffle in a Belgian style. The YOFAN Cast Aluminum base Belgian Waffle Iron uses a thick plastic handle for easy handling and is made of durable cast aluminum. While the hinge on this iron does not separate (making cleaning difficult), the simple design makes it easy to simply toss this iron in a carry on and worry about cleaning at a later date.

We appreciate the single slice design which,while too small for multiple people, provides a good-sized helping for one. For waffles during your business or camping trip and at a reasonable price, this is a great pick for single-serve Belgian waffles.

Pros

  • Belgian waffles
  • Thick plastic handle
  • Good single serve size
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Hinge does not separate
  • May be too small for large volume needs

Comparison Chart

NordicWave 15040Coleman Waffle Iron 2000016540Texsport Cast Iron Waffle Maker 14472Rome Industries Old Fashioned Waffle Iron 1100YOFAN Cast Aluminum Base Belgian Waffle Iron
MaterialCast AluminumCast AluminumCast IronCast IronCast Aluminum
HingeStandardStandardTwisting Ball JointStandardStandard
Fixed Joint?XXXX
Waffle TypeBelgianAmericanCircular (American)Circular (American)Belgian
# of Slices 42411
Handle MaterialPlasticPlasticWoodenCast IronPlastic
Weight (lbs)2.72.210.6541.2
Waffle Dimensions7.25” X 7.25”~ 4” X 4”7”6.5”5” X 5.7”

Buyer’s Guide:

Waffle Irons

Still not sure which of these waffle irons are right for you? While they may seem similar at first, the variation of waffle type, material, shape, size, and more can make one or more of our picks vastly more appealing to you. Here are some important aspects to consider.

Perhaps the most important issue to consumers in regards to their waffle irons is just how their waffles are going to turn out. We made sure to note both the number of waffle slices you’ll get out of each of our waffle irons and the shape of your waffle irons as well. While it may seem inconsequential, many people prefer a certain shape of waffle or want a waffle iron that can make multiple slices at once to feed multiple people.

What is less inconsequential, however, are the type of waffles these waffle irons make. There are two popular types offered by these five products; American and Belgian. American waffles are fairly standard, thick (but not too thick) waffles with standard pockets. These waffles are preferred by many for feeling thick enough to absorb any toppings or syrup, and robust in flavor due to the thicker batter.

Belgian waffles, on the other hand, offer deeper pockets and are lighter than their American counterparts. The end result as a waffle that can hold lots of toppings and syrup without feeling too heavy or rich. You’ll want to make sure your waffle iron pick matches best with the type of waffle you prefer to have.

Waffle irons come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but what they’re made of can often make or break a decision to buy one. The five waffle irons featured on our list are made of either cast iron or cast aluminum. Both feature porous surfaces that must be seasoned and taken care of properly and have the ability to last a lifetime.

Cast iron is the more popular of the two options and is highly recommended for just about any cookware. Cast iron generally retains more heat than aluminum as well, which can be especially helpful for quickly cooking waffles all the way through. Cast iron is also more durable in the long-term than cast aluminum. Cast iron is heavier, though, and is especially prone to rust. You must keep a close eye on your cast iron and clean delicately to prevent rusting.

Cast aluminum, on the other hand, does not rust and is much lighter and easier to maneuver. Aluminum is more prone to a volitive temperature change, however, and can be more easily scratched by cookware. You’ll need to be careful when using yours to avoid prying too hard at waffles with sharp-pointed knives.

For quick reference, consider the following when thinking about which material type is best for you.

Type of Waffle Maker

Cast Iron

Pros

  • More durable
  • Retains heat well
  • Can be cheaper

Cons

  • Rusts easily
  • Bulky & heavy
  • Harder to clean
Cast Aluminum

Pros

  • Easier to maintain/clean
  • Won’t rust
  • Lighter and more maneuverable

Cons

  • Can be more expensive
  • Doesn’t retain heat as well
  • Can be scratched by sharp kitchenware

Finally, the sizes and weight of your waffle iron will have a large impact on which of our five picks may be right for you. While we discussed the issue of waffle shape earlier, the fact remains that larger waffle irons will be better for feeding more people. For instance, the NordicWave 15040 is going to be much better at feeling multiple people than an iron designed for single or double use, such as the Coleman Waffle Iron.

Likewise, waffle irons tend to be quite heavy, which can be a problem if you’re going to be holding yours over a fire or using it quite often. While cast iron or cast aluminum remain some of the best materials for waffle irons, they add a considerable amount of heft to the total weight as well. Our waffle irons range rather heavily in weight, so be sure to consider this point when making your purchase.

  • Can I use my waffle iron on a campfire?
  • One of the best perks of having a waffle iron is that you won’t need an outlet to make fresh waffles. Many people choose to take waffle irons with them on the go to make fresh hot breakfast no matter where they are.

    Waffle irons are perfectly acceptable to use on a campfire, but you’ll need to take a few extra precautions when it comes to using an open flame. First of all, plastic and wooden handles should never get near an open flame, and you should always read your user manual in full to ensure you should even use your waffle iron near open flame at all. For fully cast-iron waffle irons, there should be no danger in using an open flame. Make sure, though, that you use either tongs or mitts to flip your waffle maker over in the fire and be especially careful about any flammable products near on open flame.

  • What’s the difference between a waffle iron and a waffle maker?
  • While the two terms are often used interchangeably, waffle irons and waffle makers are two different cookware products. Waffle irons are non-electric by design and use hardened metals and interlocking plates to create a crevice in which you can place waffle batter. You must use either an oven, a stove top, or a fire to heat up the batter to cook the waffle. Waffle makers, meanwhile, are usually separate appliances that utilize electricity to heat up metal plates. Waffle makers can be placed on countertops to make waffles in minutes and can be reminiscent of a griddle or a George Foreman Grill.

  • How do I season my cast iron/cast aluminum waffle iron?
  • Cast iron and cast aluminum surfaces are porous, which means that they must be prepared, or “seasoned,” in order to provide the slick non-stick surface that they are known for. Seasoning your cast iron or cast aluminum waffle iron is simple and can be done in just an hour! Here’s how:

    1. Pick up some oil. Grapeseed oil is often recommended, but virgin olive oil will also do just fine. Add about one-fourth of a teaspoon of oil onto the surface of your waffle iron and use a napkin to rub the oil across as much of the internal surface as possible.
    2. Place your waffle iron entirely into your oven at 200-300 degrees Farhenheit. If your cast iron or cast aluminum waffle iron uses either a wooden or plastic handle, be particularly careful. You may want to only heat your waffle iron on the stovetop to protect your handle from becoming damaged by the process. You also must read your health and safety manual thoroughly beforehand to ensure placing the entire iron in an oven is safe.
    3. Leave your waffle iron in the oven or on heat for about one to two hours, then allow it to slowly cool. The heated oil will bond with the porous surface of your waffle iron to create a hard, durable, and stick-proof surface that will last for years to come.

    To continue to ensure the long-term viability of your investment, be liberal with butter and oils when using your waffle iron. This will help to ensure your cast iron or cast aluminum waffle iron becomes even more durable over time.

Final Thoughts

While we think any of these five waffle irons offer something great for some, only one stands out as the best overall waffle iron for the most amount of people. The NordicWave 15040 makes four good-sized Belgian waffles, is a cinch to clean, and offers a stay-cool handle – all perfect for making many waffles with relative ease. It is also the only one of two irons on our list to feature an extensive warranty.

For quick waffle-making without a high cost, we also recommend the Coleman Waffle Iron 2000016540 for a great single-serve option. For a more rounded waffle, we recommend either the Texsport waffle iron for easy flipping or the Rome Industries option for a simple, durable design. Finally, for a single serve Belgian waffle, the YOFAN Cast Aluminum Base is a great, affordable option that’s highly portable.

No matter which waffle iron you pick, we hope you enjoy making waffles the old-fashioned way and getting results that have to be tasted to be believed.

Further Reading

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