Fresh, fluffy waffles may seem like a delicacy reserved for restaurant brunches and hotel breakfasts, but a good waffle maker can give you the gift of superb, easy-to-make waffles at home. After 70 hours of research, talking with four experts, and testing 30 models since 2014, we recommend the Chef’sChoice WafflePro Classic Belgian 840B for most people. It consistently delivers perfect-looking, evenly colored waffles no matter what kind of batter you use. It’s also highly customizable, allowing you to choose between six different brownness settings and adjust for either a uniform texture or a crisp exterior and moist interior.
Though the Chef’sChoice WafflePro Classic Belgian 840B produces only one waffle at a time, it’s still good for feeding a crowd, as everyone can get a waffle perfectly suited to their tastes. Settings allow you to select a texture, as well as regulate brownness levels, which should please enthusiasts of thin-and-crispy and moist-and-fluffy waffles alike. Small and compact, with a locking lid, this model stores vertically or horizontally and you can clean it easily with a damp cloth. If you like waffles shaped like hearts, you can also get the Chef’sChoice WafflePro 840 Five-of-Hearts, which looks almost identical to the 840B and made waffles that were just as delicious and golden in our tests.
The Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic makes consistently excellent waffles quickly and its compact design is perfect for small spaces. It produces just one round, thin waffle at a time, so this model is a good choice only if you like your waffles thin and crispy and don’t need to make multiple waffles at once. Its hardware also feels cheaper than that of our other picks.
For families or Belgian-waffle lovers the Krups GQ502 4 Slice Belgian is a better budget choice than the Cuisinart or even the Chef’sChoice 840B because it makes four deep-pocketed waffles at a time. It cooks waffles evenly but was one of the slowest machines we tested, taking five to eight minutes to finish. We think that’s a reasonable trade-off, though, if you want to cook a lot of waffles at once and aren’t ready to upgrade to the Breville Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice. The Krups is also one of very few models we found with removable plates, which make cleanup much easier.
If you don’t mind paying a lot more for a one-use machine, Breville’s Smart Waffle Pro 4 Slice is well worth the asking price—scoring high marks on consistency, versatility, capacity, and speed. While our other top-ranking models turn out one thin waffle at a time, the Breville makes four deep-pocketed square specimens in minutes and cooks them unfailingly uniformly. It has a wide range of settings to play with to adjust texture and brownness levels, and an automatic countdown timer lets you know exactly when the waffles will be ready. If you need something a bit smaller, or you want to pay a little less, Breville also makes the Smart Waffle Pro 2 Slice. We haven’t tested it, but we expect it to perform just as well based on the reviews we’ve seen on Amazon and elsewhere.
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