Which All-Clad waffle maker is best?
When it comes to choosing the right equipment for your kitchen, seasoned professionals advise against most “unitaskers,” or tools and appliances that can only perform a single task. Still, one worthwhile unitasker is a waffle maker, because there’s no other reliable way to get the inner softness, crispy shell and deep indentations for holding flavorful toppings such as honey, maple syrup and chocolate sauce. And if you’re at all familiar with their extensive line of culinary products, it’s no surprise that All-Clad makes some of the best waffle makers around. Our top pick is the Gourmet Digital Waffle Maker with Removable Plates.
What to know before you buy an All-Clad waffle maker
They’re bright, shiny and good-looking
On looks and construction alone, All-Clad waffle makers live up to their brand name thanks to their premium stainless-steel cladding. In fact, a practically mirror finish is the hallmark of just about all of All-Clad’s high-end cooking tools. While not everybody has a bright and bold stainless-steel kitchen, All-Clad waffle makers are the kind of appliances that look fantastic in just about any setting, in large part because they basically scream, “I’m here to cook!”
You can’t overlook their durability
Hand-in-hand with their impressive steel bodies, All-Clad’s waffle makers have the reputation of working well for a long time. They’re incredibly resilient, even able to withstand the everyday bumps and bruises that come with frequent use. For example, an All-Clad waffle maker would not be out of place at all at a fancy breakfast buffet, as it can easily handle the spills and general abuse that tends to come from the public at self-serve continental breakfasts.
If you’re on the fence about an All-Clad waffle maker because of its high price, rest assured that it will make a great investment for years to come as long as you take reasonable care of it.
Their nonstick surfaces are effective and long-lasting
It’s easy to overlook this part of the waffle-maker buying process, but after just a few uses of a low-cost or off-brand waffle maker you’d likely notice difficulty. Quite the opposite of many cheap waffle makers, the nonstick surface on All-Clad models is extremely durable, and as long as you avoid mistreating it with metal utensils, it should release crispy waffles for years without difficulty.
What to look for in a quality All-Clad waffle maker
Round vs. square body
Few foods are more iconic than a fluffy, round Belgian waffle complete with caramel sauce and powdered sugar. On the other hand, millions of people chow down on the highly efficient square waffles known and loved throughout the U.S. Nobody is here to judge you on which kind is your favorite. When you’re picking out a waffle maker, though, you’ll have to decide if you want square or round waffles, because once you choose, there’s no going back. The good news: you can get the same fluffy, moist results whether you opt for the square or round versions.
Removable heating plates
Some All-Clad waffle makers have removable plates, which serve two main functions.
- Interchangeability: Some waffle makers let you pick different grid sizes for different kinds of toppings. For example, you might want a tighter grid for a savory chicken-and-waffles meal, while deeper pockets make chocolate and whipped cream-covered waffles especially enticing
- Cleaning: The plates are significantly easier to clean once removed from the unit. Of course, they should never be put in the dishwasher, because you want to keep their nonstick surface safe. But hand-washing them is quite a bit easier when you don’t have to juggle the entire appliance.
In-depth cooking controls
Here’s where All-Clad waffle makers really stand out. Even the company’s most budget-friendly models sport several heating levels so you can customize the waffles’ crispiness. And its top-of-the-line waffle maker takes custom controls to the next level, with a digital readout that lets you choose among settings for specific types such as Belgian, chocolate, buttermilk and even gluten-free waffles.
All-Clad’s Belgian waffle maker is good for one traditional circular waffle. Most of the square models are available in both two- and four-waffle versions. The main consideration is simple: how many waffles you’ll need to make at once. Nonetheless, it’s worth paying attention to, because All-Clad waffle makers are pretty bulky compared to most.
How much you can expect to spend on an All-Clad waffle maker
All-Clad waffle makers range from just over $100-$300.
All-Clad waffle maker FAQ
Is the All-Clad waffle maker nonstick coating safe?
A. Yes. Like nearly all modern nonstick cooking surfaces, All-Clad uses PTFE (also known by the brand name Teflon) that contains zero PFOA. That’s the chemical once used to produce Teflon, and it was once linked to potential health hazards. Modern PTFE, however, is entirely inert in the human body, meaning even if you do accidentally ingest some, it will just pass right through.
The one hazard of PTFE comes from the fumes produced at temperatures well above 500 degrees. Breathing these fumes can cause short-lived but noticeable flu-like symptoms. Waffle makers, however, never get that hot, so there’s no such risk with one. Pet bird owners, however, should strongly consider avoiding any nonstick cookware, as birds are at significant risk of injury and even death if they inhale those fumes.
Can you wash waffle-maker plates in the dishwasher?
A. It’s not recommended. Some sources claim that it’s safe and easy, and while you might not damage them with a couple trips through the dishwasher, the best practice in the long term is to wash all nonstick cooking surfaces by hand. This avoids scratches and chips caused by knives and dishes that get jostled around during the washing cycle.
What’s the best All-Clad waffle maker to buy?
Top All-Clad waffle maker
What you need to know: It’s the cream of the crop and the ideal choice for true waffle lovers.
What you’ll love: Aside from the consistent operation and long life All-Clad’s appliances are known for, this one boasts a remarkably effective digital control system that makes perfect waffles of all varieties.
What you should consider: It’s relatively costly and only comes in a square four-waffle version.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top All-Clad waffle maker for the money
What you need to know: This is All-Clad’s most affordable option and performs essentially as well as the more expensive ones.
What you’ll love: It heats up quickly, has seven temperature levels to choose from and sports the dependable nonstick coating you need for perfect waffles every time.
What you should consider: Since it’s limited to a single waffle at a time, it’s not ideal for serving large groups of people all at once.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This model offers peak performance and efficiency at a reasonable price.
What you’ll love: A lot of people prefer the simpler analog controls like this one has. For just a bit more money, it’s also offered with removable plates and there’s a two-waffle version that takes up considerably less counter space.
What you should consider: It takes a bit of practice to get the batter and heat levels just right.
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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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