A wonderful batch of handmade waffles is the perfect way to start the day.
Think about it: smokey bacon, maple syrup, and whipped cream on top of the fluffiest, softest, crispiest pancakes you’ve ever had. Delicious!
What if we told you it gets even better than that? Finally, a technique to make waffles that can compete with the best!
And your dish is not the culprit. The best waffles can be made with just a cast-iron stovetop waffle iron and a little bit of time.
But what characteristics should a reliable cast-iron waffle maker have? First things first, you’ll need to figure out just what it is you plan to do with the waffle maker. To waffle or to waffle cone? That is the question. Then, before making a final decision, consider the product’s build quality, upkeep requirements, and expected lifespan.
Today, we’ll go over everything of that, from the advantages of a cast iron waffle maker over an electric one to the disadvantages, from the features to look for to our top recommendations.
What Are Cast Iron Waffle Makers?
What the name implies, cast iron waffle makers are designed to cook waffles from a cast iron base.
These aren’t the same as the modern electric waffle makers you can buy anywhere; rather, they’re a tool for making classic waffles.
Some people call them waffle irons, which we think is a better way to describe what they do.
Here’s a little bit of background
The first waffle irons appeared in the northwestern coastal region of Europe around the 14th century. Some of the countries in this area are the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
Two metal plates (often cast iron) hinged together with two long wooden handles; its basic design has remained almost unchanged since ancient times.
Because of how little the design has changed over time, many people consider it to be the only true and proper technique to create waffles.
One distinctive feature of these waffle irons, especially of the older models, is that the waffles take on the designs of the metal plates.
Examples of such designs could include a coat of arms, a religious symbol, an eastern mandala, an abstract design, or even a landscape.
Cornelius Swartwout, a famous name in the world of waffles, improved upon the initial design of the waffle iron in 1869 by adding a handle and a hinge that swiveled in a cast-iron collar.
With this improvement, users may safely make waffles on the stovetop without worrying about the waffle iron’s two plates sliding apart.
When electric waffle machines were first invented in 1911 and mass-produced beginning in 1918, they radically altered the way people thought about and prepared waffles.
Unfortunately, as the design and functionality of these electric waffle makers have improved, they have sped up the process of eradicating this classic kitchen implement.
Today’s Waffle Makers
The good news is that these time-honored techniques for making waffles are experiencing a renaissance in modern times.
Most modern cast iron waffle irons still have two big plates that are hinged together. However, a classic honeycomb design has been incorporated into the pattern to make it look more contemporary.
These waffle makers are still available in a wide range of sizes, styles, and designs. A variety of waffle makers exist, some of which allow you to customize the waffle’s thickness.
Traditional waffle irons with cute designs are a huge hit in our house.
To create them, you simply mix up some waffle batter. Next, a waffle maker is heated on a stovetop or gas burner at medium heat. After heating, the batter is poured in and spread out to cover the entire metal surface.
Close the waffle maker and let the batter bake. How long something should take is typically included in the recipe.
We have observed that the time required to make waffles with a preheated waffle iron is slightly less than that required with an electric waffle maker.
Benefits Of Cast Iron
Cast iron is one of the most often used materials for making food everywhere in the globe. It’s utilized to create both cutting-edge kitchen gadgets and time-honored vessels for food preparation.
Its adaptability is a major selling point. You may use cast iron on any kind of stove or oven.
They can be used anywhere that heat is needed, including over open flames, on gas burners, electric stovetops, induction plated, barbecues, and even within ovens.
Additionally, the longevity of cast iron cookware is a major selling point for this material.
Cast iron cookware has the potential to last for centuries if cared for properly. This includes seasoning and cleaning on a regular basis.
This material is naturally non-stick when used properly and can withstand extremely high temperatures without melting or cracking.
Cast iron cookware is versatile enough to be used for baking, roasting, grilled frying, and even toasting.
The major reason it is such a great material is because of its non-stick property, which is very important when making waffles. One of the most common issues customers have with electric “non-stick” waffle machines is that the waffles stick.
A waffle iron’s superior heat distribution is a key feature for producing perfectly browned and evenly cooked waffles.
Cast Iron Vs Cast Aluminium
Your “cast iron” cookware may not actually be made of cast iron at all. These days, when everyone is looking to save costs wherever they can, a number of manufacturers have come up with blended materials for kitchen tools.
As a means of making cast iron, or cookware with similar qualities to pure cast iron, more accessible financially, a variety of alloys have been produced, one of which being cast aluminum.
However, cast aluminum is not at all like pure cast iron. Pure cast iron has been described above, but for the sake of comparison, let’s look at the other option.
Pure cast iron has excellent durability, is naturally non-stick, distributes heat evenly, and retains it.
Cast aluminum alloys, on the other hand, have improved qualities over pure aluminum but fall short of those of cast iron.
Think on the spot about pure metal baking sheets and roasting trays.
Baking paper is an absolute necessity while using metal baking pans; it keeps food from sticking, protects the pan from scratches, and prolongs the life of the tray.
Aluminum in its purest form is an excellent heat conductor but a poor heat insulator. Additionally, it is not the most long-lasting or resilient material and is not the best non-stick material.
So, the qualities of cast aluminums lie between those of cast iron and aluminum.
It is more robust than aluminum, can hold heat reasonably well, and is a good conductor of heat. It heats up far more quickly than traditional cast iron, though.
Why Buy A Cast Iron Waffle Maker?
Then, what’s the point in investing in such a waffle maker? Instead of a manual one, why not purchase an electric one or one made out of lesser materials?
To begin, these waffle makers (non-electric ones) are portable and can be used anywhere!
They don’t take up much room when packed, and they’re durable enough to survive being moved around thanks to being built of cast iron.
And, as we’ve seen, there’s a wide range of applications for them. They are compatible with gas stoves, charcoal grills, and electric cooktops.
Regardless, you don’t need an electrical connection to operate them, so you can bring them camping and still create some tasty waffles for breakfast.
For another, and this is one of our favorite aspects, traditional waffle makers produce waffles that are aesthetically stunning and real in a way that an electric waffle iron simply cannot.
Otherwise, cast iron is the best material for producing waffles because it maintains a constant temperature and distributes the heat evenly.
This is not something that can be accomplished with less expensive materials, thus it is wise to spend your money here.
You Should Beware About…
Cast iron waffle makers, like any other culinary tool, pose a risk because to their extreme heat during usage.
Cast iron’s strong heat capacity and stability at high temperatures allow for very high temperatures to be reached on the plates and handles.
Choose an item that has heat-resistant handles built in, or get a thick oven mitt or kitchen towel.
Waffles are delicate, so use care when removing them from the pan. It’s risky to carry around anything made of cast iron because of their weight. Never use these items with one hand only.
You should wait until the waffle iron has cooled down before touching it. Cast iron maintains heat well and won’t cool down quickly if heated.
Types Of Cast Iron Waffle Makers
What kind of waffles you’d like to cook will determine which cast iron waffle maker you buy. When it comes to waffles, the primary distinction is in the thickness. Traditional waffles and Belgian waffles are examples of these.
When compared to standard waffles, Belgium waffles are much thicker and airier, and their pockets are much larger. In contrast to classic waffles, these variants typically include a crispier exterior.
Their attractive style is a major selling point. More condiments, syrups, ice cream, and whipped topping can be stored in them.
In contrast to modern waffles, traditional waffles are typically thicker, denser, and flavorful.
But there’s also another kind of waffle that’s not as common, or that many people don’t even recognize is a waffle. These waffles are so thin that they may be folded into cones or tubes that resemble cannoli.
For the most part, waffle makers don’t fall into any distinct categories.
Even if an iron is advertised as a “Belgium waffle iron,” it is up to you to assess if its size and shape are suitable for making waffles.
Waffle irons come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and prices. Moreover, they come in a range of thicknesses, allowing you to make anything from thick, fluffy Belgian waffles to conventional waffles that are both dense and flavorful, or even paper-thin waffle sheets.
The round waffle iron is the most prevalent, although the square and rectangular varieties are also highly popular.
Then, every so often, you come across a truly unique iron, like one with a heart shape or bubble-shaped pockets.
Finally, we’ll talk about Krumkake waffle makers for a second. This is a typical Norwegian cookie that can be molded like waffles but tastes more like thin sheets of waffles.
These are the waffle makers used to make waffle cookies with intricate patterns imprinted onto them.
During the holiday season, you can get Krumkake sprinkled in powdered sugar or stuffed with whipped cream or other fillings.
Cast iron waffle makers have two important features to consider. Consider its intended use (what kind of waffles you plan to produce) and expected lifespan.
Because you probably have a specific application in mind, this is a simple question to answer. Look for a waffle iron with a sturdy and attractive design if you want to make authentic Belgian waffles.
Any standard waffle iron, or even a Belgium waffle maker, can do the trick if all you want to do is produce classic Sunday waffles.
Making Krumkake or waffle cones requires a flat sheet, which can only be achieved with a dedicated waffle iron. Krumkake waffles aren’t “real” Krumkake waffles unless they have a pattern on them.
You can plan where you’ll use your waffle maker, but remember that it’s constructed of cast iron and doesn’t require electricity, so you can use it pretty much everywhere.
For outdoor use, however, we advise investing in a waffle iron with a more vintage aesthetic. The reason for this is that using an enamel-coated waffle iron outside will cause it to deteriorate prematurely.
We’ve covered how cast irons’ longevity is just one of many advantages earlier. When it comes to cooking materials, cast iron is among the strongest and longest lasting you can find.
It is naturally non-stick, resistant to scratches and severe heat, and a long-lasting material.
So, what else should be thought about while assessing the longevity of waffle makers? The handles and hinges are the only other potential points of failure.
In low-quality cast-iron waffle makers, the hinges connecting the two halves are sometimes the weakest point, leading to early failure.
Even the knobs and pulls are identical. The durability suffers if they aren’t crafted from the same solid piece of cast iron as the rest of the iron.
Wooden handles are great since they can withstand some heat, but they can become loose after some time if they are not properly fastened.
You can learn a lot about a product’s longevity by reading reviews of similar products. Just like any product, there are bound to be some really awful ones, but you should consider the general consensus before making a final call.
10 Best Cast Iron
HAWOK Cast Iron Waffle Iron Waffle Maker
First on our list is a classic round waffle maker that has been around for a long time but has recently been redesigned to be even better than its predecessor.
Its diameter of 6.7 inches ensures perfectly standard-sized waffles.
It features a traditional honeycomb pattern and comes partitioned into four halves.
The hook-in hinge method is one of our favorite aspects of the waffle iron’s design because it ensures that there are no moving parts that might get loose or break.
The fact that it is a single-piece construction only adds to the product’s longevity.
The hole in the handles makes it easy to hang the item up, freeing up valuable storage space in your cabinets and drawers.
Please note that this cast iron waffle maker has not been pre-seasoned, but you can easily season it yourself with the help of the supplied instructions.
Rome Industries Old Fashioned Waffle Cast Iron
Another timeless cast-iron waffle maker, this one will produce deliciously crisp and conventional waffles every time.
You won’t find a better outdoor cast-iron waffle maker than this one.
It has a diameter of 6.7 inches and is roughly 1 inch thick.
However, the waffle iron’s short handles will require some creative maneuvering, especially when cooking over an open flame.
You can use oven mitts, a thick kitchen towel, or silicone coverings for the handles.
Rome’s 1028 Chuckwagon Waffle Iron, Cast Iron, One Size, Gray
This waffle iron is the best of both worlds, as it can be used both indoors and out.
All due to the extra-long handle, which will keep you at a safe distance from the stove’s gas or coal flames.
The screw-in design of the handles also makes them easy to remove for cleaning or stowing away. Another feature that adds to the product’s longevity is the use of a tried-and-true clip-in hinge mechanism.
The final result will be excellent, slightly larger-than-average traditional waffles.
NordicWare 15040 Cast Aluminum Stovetop Belgium Waffle Iron
This waffle maker was designed specifically for making stuffed waffles, thus the waffles it produces are quite substantial.
But this waffle maker is ideal for creating authentic Belgian waffles at home.
The cast aluminum construction of this waffle maker allows it to reach cooking temperature rapidly. It’s not the same as real cast-iron, but this instrument can serve so many purposes that we couldn’t leave it out.
Because of the material combination, it retains all of cast iron’s perks, including durability, non-stickiness, and portability. Its buckling hinge construction makes it simple to take apart and wash.
Lehmans Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Waffle Maker
Pre-seasoning makes this conventional waffle maker one of the best on the market.
This is only a handy bonus, since the product itself has many other great qualities.
With its sturdy construction, natural non-stick surface, and tolerance for high temperatures, this waffle iron is a great example of the benefits of cast iron.
The waffle iron was made for use over an open flame, making it ideal for outdoor cooking.
Its diameter is 7 inches, and its inside is partitioned into 4 typical honeycomb sections. This waffle maker will produce delicious waffles for any meal of the day.
In addition to its usefulness as a tent, this product’s flat exterior makes it ideal for cooking meals when camping.
Texsport Outdoor Cast Iron Waffle Maker
This is an excellent item, and we highly recommend it.
Along with the standard waffle maker component, this set also includes a cast-iron support that ensures the waffle iron remains level on any surface.
It also creates a buffer zone between your waffle iron and the heat source, letting you bake at a rate you determine.
The cast-iron waffle maker is designed with two thick and durable hardwood handles for transporting and storage convenience.
It’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the ball joint mechanism that makes up the hinge system. Thankfully, you won’t have any issues with this system because it is of high quality. It’s also simple to put together and take apart for maintenance or storage.
HAWOK Cast Iron Heart Shaped Waffle Maker
One of the essentials is a cast-iron waffle maker in the shape of a heart.
HAWOK has produced another another excellent, top-notch item.
For special occasions like Mother’s Day, a birthday, an anniversary, or Valentine’s Day, consider using this waffle maker to produce five miniature heart-shaped waffles.
It’s pre-seasoned cast iron, so it’s ready to use right out of the box. Because the handles are shorter than those on competing items, you should always shield your hands from heat.
You can store and transfer your merchandise with ease thanks to the compact size and the short handles.
HAWOK Cast Iron Square Waffle Maker
If you’re tired of the same old round waffles, this square waffle iron will give you a refreshing change of pace.
Its 13-inch by 7.3-inch dimensions make it an ideal choice for producing high-quality, traditionally-style waffles.
This item’s short handles and compact shape contribute to its modest weight, which is achieved by using pre-seasoned cast iron.
While there are benefits to the shorter handles (such as increased stability), heat-resistant handle covers or oven mitts are required.
The three brushes that come with the package will make cleanup a breeze. Included are three different types of wire brushes (one each of stainless steel, nylon, and brass).
Using a combination of these materials for cleaning will help extend the life of your goods in various ways.
Bethany Krumkake Iron Waffle Maker
To be clear, this is not a genuine krumkake maker, but it does a decent job of simulating the real thing and costs much less.
With its stunning square appearance, this krumkake maker is perfect for creating delicious cannoli roles and waffle cones.
To better manage the extreme heat, it boasts two thick and sturdy wooden handles.
In addition, it’s built using a ball-joint hinge mechanism that allows for quick assembly and disassembly for cleaning.
In addition, it has a flat base plate that may be used to keep the krumkake at a consistent height above the heat source and to regulate the cooking time.
HAWOK Heart-Shaped Cast Iron Waffle Maker
This one’s another heart-shaped waffle maker, but it has some neat extras.
Cast iron waffle maker, two fabric covers for the handles, and a silicone pastry brush with an attractive acacia handle are all included in this package.
This is the ideal Valentine’s Day breakfast gift or beginner set!
There are seasoning directions on the packaging, and the product has already been seasoned.
The lightweight design makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor settings.