Vertical Waffle Maker by Cuisinart
Fresh, homemade waffles are a special treat in my house. Or, they were, before I got my vertical waffle maker from Cuisinart. Now they’re a regular weekend treat.
This countertop appliance makes big fluffy Belgian waffles without the mess of a traditional waffle maker. It’s really (and I do mean really) easy to use – just pour the batter into the top and wait until the timer beeps to let you know it’s done. There’s no spill over or leakage, because the iron is completely sealed to keep all the batter in. Clean up is equally as easy. The non-stick coating on the iron part is so good, you really just need to wait for it to cool and then wipe away the residue.
Cuisinart’s Vertical Waffle Maker comes with a two-light system. Red means hot. Green means good to go. As soon as you plug it in, it starts to heat up. When it’s ready for the batter, it beeps loudly and the light turns green (so prepare your nerves, if you’re easily startled). When you pour in the batter, the green light will turn off and the timer will start. It then beeps again when the waffle is ready to remove.
Removing the waffle takes a little bit of practice at first, so you don’t burn your fingers on the steam/heat radiating off the iron. It’s easy to open – press the latch and pull the front half down; I used tongs to remove the waffle from the iron, though I imagine you could use whatever tool you prefer.
There’s a lot to like about the Vertical Waffle Maker. There are five “cook” settings (like a toaster, really), so you can set it to the “done-ness” you like most. I set it to 3 and got waffles that were light brown on the outside with soft, squishy centers. The timer’s beep is loud enough to hear in another room, if, for some reason, you need to leave the kitchen (though you probably should stay to monitor it). Their instruction booklet is incredibly detailed; as soon as I started thinking about a question, the answer was on the next line. Though this could get annoying for some people, especially those who already know the basics of waffle making. It was perfect for me, as I tend to be terrible when it comes to instructions.
If I had to be picky though, I’d say that the recipes they provide in the booklet were far too complicated with odd (to me) ingredients (buttermilk and cornmeal anyone?). I found some other waffle recipes with ingredients I actually had on hand; my favourite (so far) is a Chocolate Chip Waffle recipe I found on Genius Kitchen.
Also, the pouring scoop isn’t quite accurate for the space in the machine. When you pour too much batter into the machine, you end up with a half-cooked chunk on top of the waffle from the lip of the machine. Figuring out how to judge how much batter is the right amount may take a waffle or two. Finally, the pouring scoop included with the machine could really use a spout to reduce mess.
Overall, the Vertical Waffle Maker makes delicious Belgian waffles that are cooked perfectly and consistently. A definite must for any waffle lover’s kitchen.