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Tips for Making Better Waffles

By Cook's Illustrated Published January 2016

Preheating a waffle iron is key to producing crispy, evenly browned waffles.

Preheating a waffle iron is key to producing crispy, evenly browned waffles. After making hundreds of waffles for our waffle iron testing (see related content), we learned that it’s not as simple as waiting for a preheat indicator to signal that the iron is ready. Here’s what we recommend:

Preheat for longer than recommended. We found that preheat indicators signaled that the irons were ready after about 4 minutes, but that’s not nearly long enough. That’s because preheat indicators rely on a simple sensor that tells you when only one particular area of the iron plate has reached the desired temperature—not when the cooking surface is uniformly hot. For a cooking surface that is heated evenly from edge to edge, we recommend pre-heating the waffle iron (no matter the brand) for at least 10 minutes (or up to 20 minutes if you have the time) before using.

Reheat between batches. In our tests, most waffle irons took between 1 and 2 minutes to rebound to their properly preheated temperatures after a waffle was removed. By giving your empty waffle iron time to heat up again, you lessen the chances of anemic, soft waffles.