Waffles are so popular these days and are more commercially available than ever before. This might suggest that they are a relatively recent addition to our cuisine – not so: waffle recipes date back as far as the early 1700s, if not earlier. Of course, back then, there was no such thing as an electric waffle maker. Stove-top cast iron waffle makers were the order of the day, and the process was quite a bit more laborious than it is today. While traditional waffle irons still exist, I decided to look at irons which give the best of both worlds. I wanted to find the best electric cast iron waffle maker.
The best of the bunch is the VonShef Quad Waffle Maker. When you’re assessing different waffle makers against each other, you’re obviously going to focus on the quality and consistency of the results it produces. Moreover, you also need to consider functionality, safety, maintenance and a number of other factors in order to truly discern the best from the rest.
What Features Does the VonShef Quad Have?
You might have guessed from the name that this waffle maker can cook up to four waffles at one time. It has a two rectangular iron plates, divided into four equal parts – each for one waffle. A pilot light lets you know when the iron is in use and when it has finished. Unlike many other waffle makes, the VonShef has a cool handle for opening the irons. The stainless steel surface is non—stick and the whole thing takes up a mere 30 x 27 x 12.7 cm, and weighs just 3.5 kg. It can use between 220-240 volts and runs at 1200 watts.
What’s So Good about It?
The VonShef is one of the easiest waffle irons to use. The quad design is something you’d expect to see on more of these machines, given that waffles are typically eaten with company. The Quad doesn’t stop you from using just one part of the iron though, if you just wanted to make one for yourself. There’s no risk of you or your children burning yourselves by accident – the pilot light warns you when the iron is hot, and the handle remains cool when opening the iron. The non-stick surface makes serving the waffles easy – they won’t break up and they don’t stick to the iron, meaning it’s very easy to clean.
What Could Be Better about It?
There aren’t too many complaints about the VonShef Quad. It’s esay and safe to use, and makes great waffles. It’s also easy to clean – in terms of effort, although it does require attention. Some consumers have suggested making the iron plates detachable for machine washing. Perhaps this is something that VonShef will consider for future models.
An Overall View
If you’re look for a semi-traditional waffle iron that is easy and safe to use, and that makes perfect waffles every time, you need look no further than the VonShef Quad. It checks all the boxes.
Runner-Up Number 1 – Andrew James 4-Slice Waffle Maker
This waffle maker from Andrew James is another one I rate highly. This machine can also make four waffles at once, and uses 1100 watts to get them done as quickly as you want, although you can adjust the temperature. At 37.6 x 28.4 x 14.2 cm it’s slightly larger than the VonShef, although it weighs less at 2.8 kg.
The main attraction of the Andrew James machine is the adjustable temperature, which allows you to get the cooking temperature just right for different types of waffle – cheesy waffles, potato waffles, waffle omelets and so on. Although it’s larger than the VonShef, it’s compact design means it’s still easy to store away when not in use.
Runner-Up Number 2 – Vivo Amazing Belgian Waffle Maker
A smaller and more lightweight waffle maker – this Vivo model is more suited to people who enjoy eating alone, or those who want to experiment with more artisanal food presentation. The iron itself is divided into five heart shapes, meaning you can either cut your waffle into five small pieces, or enjoy a flower-shaped slightly larger waffle.
It’s small enough to be kept out when not in use, measuring only 29.6 x 23.2 x 11.4 cm. If you’re constantly on the move and want your trusty waffle maker available for breakfast, this machine makes an ideal portable waffle iron, too – it only weighs 1.4 kg. The pilot lights will let you know when your food is ready.
Runner-Up Number 3 – Waffle Iron by JM Posner
The Posner model is a double waffle-maker, making it ideal for couples. It works quickly, although the temperature can be adjusted to help cope better with different ingredients. As with the other machines, this waffle maker’s plates are non-stick for easy serving and cleaning. At 4 kg it’s not so lightweight, but it is easy to store, measuring 25 x 25 x 11.5 cm. It has a maximum power output of 700 watts, which is reasonable for a double waffle maker.
This waffle maker is perhaps the simplest and best option for those who want two waffles for breakfast. Depending on the type of waffle you want, it will be ready anywhere between three and five minutes.
Although these modern waffle makers share many characteristics, they are designed to serve differing needs. They all make waffles in the traditional way – by pressing irons together, and they all make use of non-stick surfaces to ensure that the waffles don’t break up on serving, and that the machines can be cleaned easily. They differ mainly in size, weight and capacity. It makes sense that a larger family would opt for a quad waffle maker over a double or single. Similarly, someone who travels often and wants to enjoy their own waffles, is going to choose a lightweight model over something heavier.
In my opinion, the VonShef Quad is the finished product, thanks to its ability to satisfy all of these different uses.