MyPick: The Crown Jewel of Waffle Irons
This is the waffle maker for those who take waffle making seriously.
There are two things I love unconditionally, above all else in this world: my stump-tailed cat and waffles.
Are these two forces of sheer delight in any way related to one another (beyond being the top two priorities for literally one person on the planet)? Not even slightly. But I thought I’d mention it because I took this cute picture that features both Nibblet, a.k.a. my stump-tailed cat, and a waffle over the weekend, and I guess I kind of wanted to show it off. Seriously though, look at that lil kitty face…
Now look at those deep, crispy like-you-don’t-even-know, maple-filled craters. My friends, this was a special waffle. The interior hit that perfect intersection of delicate airiness and spongey substantiality; the exterior edges reached a level of caramelized crispness that could actually stand up to the mass flood of maple syrup I unleash upon my waffles. And the most special thing about this here waffle—I made it in my own home.
It’s embarrassing how long I, a self-proclaimed waffle enthusiast, went without a waffle iron to call my own. Up until about 3 years ago, I had this hot pink, George Foreman waffle maker that I’d bought on clearance at Target my sophomore year of college. It was fine enough for making hungover birthday breakfasts for my roommates, but it ultimately brought me more dissatisfied fury than anything else—like golden-crisp waffles, for example… Anyway, on its final voyage, I actually unplugged that fuchsia disappointment mid-waffling and walked away forever—i.e. until it cooled down enough to trash it. Since then, I’ve done my best (not really) to manage. Mostly, I've whined about craving waffles to people who reasonably couldn’t give less of a flying flip. And I maybe let an ex’s *really freaking nice waffle iron factor into why I put up with more bologna (that’s a nice way of saying BS, he didn’t actually serve bologna with our waffles... which is a shame) than I should’ve, for longer than I should’ve.
I know what you’re thinking, and you’re 100% correct… all things considered, this really doesn’t seem like all that insurmountable of a life circumstance. But you know how it goes, we are our own worst enemies. I researched waffle irons, I even went out shopping for one from time to time, but I never could make a decision. I just never felt sure. If I was about to invest hard-earned dollars into this dream, I wanted to know I was buying a high-quality iron, the right iron. Not to mention, if I’m allowing any single-use appliance into my kitchen (which I never do), even one I fantasize about, that sucker has to legitimately earn its place. (No joke, I have a disturbingly petite kitchen, with minimal storage and counter space—being selective about new additions is imperative to my survival.)
But hey, would’t you know it, fate has this funny way of taking care of us.
On one of the more recent occasions when I was pointing out the lack of waffles in my life, my colleague, Cooking Light Diet Community Manager Matthew Moore, offered to give me one—this one, the Nordic Ware Original Stovetop Belgian Waffler. While I will never agree with the man’s affinity for pancakes over waffles, I will remain eternally grateful that it led to him handing me this glorious gem of cookware that was collecting dust in his cabinet.
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So let’s go ahead and address the obvious: This thing looks more like a relic Nana found antiquing than it does a badass waffle maker. Yes, it’s true. This waffle iron doesn’t plug into the wall, and it doesn’t beep when it’s heated or when your waffle is ready. You have to actively cook with this waffle iron on your stovetop; but trust me, that’s what makes it so completely wonderful. In fact, I’m just gonna give you a list of everything I love about the Nordic Ware Stovetop Waffler:
As I mentioned above, this iron produces the kind of inspiringly fluffy, crisp-edged waffles you need to believe there might still be good in this world.
- I’m serious, sogginess is not an issue.
Whether you rock with Aunt Jemima or pure Grade A, let the syrup flow to your heart's content.
- It brings you closer to your waffles.
Using the stovetop waffler takes a little bit of getting used to, but once you do, this waffle iron allows one to connect with the waffle making process like an electric waffler never will.
- It’s so compact.
This fine piece of cookware is lightweight and sleek, making it easy to handle. And if you likewise consider having virtually anything sitting on your countertops as having "clutter" on your countertops, man are you gonna love how easy it is to stash this iron away. It’s flat as can be, and has been no imposition on my cabinet space whatsoever.
- Despite being incredibly compact, it lives up to it’s Belgian promise.
Deep waffle wells… these are important, people. If you like 'em thick and fluffy, this iron is calling your name.
- You can actually clean it.
Ever felt guilty about serving your kid a waffle off of your 15-year-old iron that you’ve literally never cleaned even once? (Don’t feel too bad, most waffle makes are more or less impossible to clean—and it’s honestly probably been good for the kids’ immune systems. I mean, they’re still asking for waffles, am I right??) Not an issue with this beauty. The stovetop waffler easily unhinges so you can wash it just like any other pan in the sink.
- It should last for pretty much ever.
If you have any level of respect for your possessions, I honestly can’t imagine a scenario where you'd render this thing unusable.
All of which is to say, if you happen to take your enjoyment of weekend waffles seriously and you are open to bringing a new waffle maker into your life, I say let it be this one… let it be the Stovetop Waffler! May it bring as much prolific joy to your home as it has mine.
*Seriously though, it was such a nice waffle iron and he pretty much always had waffle mix around… and that’s not nothing, OK?