waffle maker
Homemade waffles are a delightful addition to the table, whether you're in the mood for something savoury or sweet. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Who says waffles have to be a breakfast-only affair? Now imagine lifting fresh golden waffles from the hot griddle and topping them with crunchy chicken tenders and a handful of coleslaw, drizzled in spicy honey or maple syrup. You end up with the perfect last-minute meal when the kids want something different on a school night.

Homemade waffles are a delightful addition to the table, whether you're in the mood for something savoury or sweet, and the only way to pop them out quickly is by using a good waffle maker. Ideally, each batch should look golden and crispy with pillowy insides. To help you ensure the best and fluffiest results, we spoke with Nilofer Jamal Khan, the head pastry chef at Proof Specialty Coffee, Dubai, and founder of online bakery Bake Bug.

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Our baking expert shares batter tips and what to look for in a waffle maker, all of which you can read up on below. We've also listed some highly rated devices on Amazon to kickstart your search for making toasty waffles at home. Shop your favourite one, while it's on sale, with a Prime membership to get free, fast delivery.

1. Best Overall: Ninja NeverStick Pro Belgian Waffle Maker


  • Vertical design with a small footprint
  • Five shade settings for your choice of doneness
  • Beeps when it's done cooking
  • Comes with recipes and a measuring cup


  • Can take a few tries to get the batter amount right
  • Plug might need a transformer to work in the UAE

There's always a good chance that your batter is going to overflow and pour out from the machine, making a mess. Ninja's unique verticle design solves that problem. The NeverStick Pro Belgian Waffle Maker has an opening at the top for easy pour-ins with the included precision cup. The four-slice non-stick griddle cooks the waffles evenly to a one-inch thickness and according to the doneness of your choice - simply turn the 'shade' knob to go from soft to crispy texture. Once the waffle is done cooking, it audibly beeps so you don't have to perform routine check-ins. Reviewers caution against overfilling to avoid edge spills since there's no way to tell how much batter you've poured. Otherwise, the machine lets you know when it's done preheating and cooking, and stores nicely with a small footprint. Our only qualm is that this maker operates on 120V, which might require a transformer.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh29 and two years for Dh41.

2. Best for Variety: Sage Smart Waffle Pro Maker


  • Cooks four types of waffles with an option to customise
  • Choose from 12 doneness settings
  • Easy-to-follow LCD display
  • Times the waffles on its own and beeps
  • Excess batter collects on the sides


  • Expensive
  • Makes only two slices at a time

Sage's cast aluminium waffle maker only makes two slices at a time, but it's smarter and gives you more control over waffle types and textures. The Smart Waffle Pro features a small LCD screen with two knobs, and cooks four waffle styles (Belgian, classic, chocolate and buttermilk) including the fifth option to customise your own. You can also go ahead and pick your level of doneness from light to dark, with 12 different settings! And, don't worry, the integrated technology takes care of the cooking time for each, letting you know when they're done. If the slices are not golden enough, press the 'A Bit More' button for a little more browning. Since this is a horizontal unit, Sage adds a no-mess moat around the grids to catch any spillovers. Reviewers say that they get deeper pockets on their waffles, which turn out evenly cooked and perfect every time. The machine has some weight to it and is very easy to clean, so it's worth the premium price tag.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh63.91 for 12 months with select banks. 

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty. Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh46 and two years for Dh65.

3. Best Value for Vertical Design: Cuisinart WAF-V100 Waffle Maker


  • Vertical design with no spills
  • Five-setting browning control
  • Audible preheat and ready-to-eat alerts
  • Comes with a pouring cup


  • The spout may be too narrow for toppings
  • Can take a few tries to master
  • Plug might need a transformer to work in the UAE

Another vertical option worth checking out is the Cuisinart stainless steel unit. Just pour your batter in through the spout and let the die-cast aluminium plates bake deep-pocketed Belgian waffles. Just like the Ninja machine, you get to pick from five shade levels via the browning control knob. You'll hear a beep and see the green indicator light turn on when the waffle maker is ready to bake and when the four-sectioned waffle is good to eat. The spout dutifully releases steam in the process to bring your waffle to that coveted crispy exterior. There's no batter mess here, say reviewers, also noting that the mix has to be the right consistency to fill the grids, and this can take a few tries to master. Once you figure out how much batter to pour in, you get one-inch fluffy waffles. If you like adding in berries, nuts and other toppings into the batter, these may get stuck in the spout, as some reviewers point out.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh29 and two years for Dh41.

4. Best Compact Maker: Breville DuraCeramic Waffle Maker


  • Ceramic non-stick coating
  • Removable plates for easy cleaning
  • Simple light indicator when unit's done preheating
  • Small build


  • No timer
  • No browning control

For a small unit to keep on the countertop, Breville's DuraCeramic Waffle Maker should fit the bill. It does away with complex settings and temperature controls; instead, the light indicators tell you when it's the right time to pour in the batter. Its simple operation extends to the compact design, high hinges, non-slip feet and an oversized cool-touch handle. Thanks to its non-stick ceramic coating and removable grids, cleanup is easy, according to buyers. They report making crispy and thick waffles in just seven minutes, however, this estimate may vary from batter to batter and your preferred level of doneness.

5. Best for Soft Waffles: DASH Flip Belgian Waffle Maker 


  • Flip mechanism for even batter distribution
  • Light indicators tell when it's preheated and done cooking
  • Can be stored upright to save space
  • Easy to clean


  • Batter needs to be left in for longer than indicated time for crispy results
  • No temperature control

Dash's easy-to-use Belgian waffle maker prepares a four-sectioned 6.5-inch slice, maintaining an airy thickness of one inch. Simply plug it in and the unit will start preheating for a few minutes, letting you know it's ready, with indicator lights. Although you're missing out on browning control here, the Dash waffle maker also signals when it's done cooking to save you from guessing. Another great aspect is its flip mechanism - just add batter and flip the waffle maker for better batter distribution and even cooking results. Some reviewers had to go over the cooking cycle twice to get a golden waffle, having found it too soft the first time. Others advise leaving in the waffles for slightly longer than the indicator lights demonstrate.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh18 and two years for Dh25.

Are waffle makers worth it?

waffle sandwich
Waffles offer endless sweet and savoury food combinations. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Given how versatile waffles are, investing in a dedicated device will cut down your tasks in the kitchen. Some might even find them an easier cooking process than pancakes, as there's no stovetop fire involved.

Khan, having worked with commercial cast iron griddles in restaurants, says that as long as "you have a good recipe and a good machine, you can never go wrong with waffles". Not to mention, a waffle maker is the only way to prepare these treats.

"You can do endless combinations with waffles - the trend right now is savoury, so you can make buffalo sauce waffle chicken sandwich, a burger for dinner, scrambled eggs with cream cheese and waffles for breakfast, and they can be very nice with pesto, too," added Khan.

For those with a sweet tooth, standard fruit and nut toppings are always a choice, from strawberries and blueberries to salted caramel pecans and jam. What's more, your waffle batter can whip up pancakes but a pancake batter will be too thin in consistency for fluffy waffles, our expert points out. This means busy parents get to introduce more variety to the spread with a single recipe.

Over at TikTok, mums are seen cracking eggs into a buttered waffle maker to speed things up. You can also use the griddle to cook hashbrowns, grilled cheese and other panini press-style sandwiches.

Which features should I look for in a waffle maker?

waffle maker
Khan suggests going for makers with four segments or slices per batch to get more yield quickly. Image Credit: Unsplash/Backen.de

Before we assess the performance of a waffle maker, it's important to talk about what a good waffle looks like. If you're a fan of thick Belgian waffles, Khan says the results should be fluffy in the middle and crispy on the edges.

"Authentic Belgian waffles have yeast in the batter, which is a long process. To get similar and close results, you can substitute the all-purpose flour with potato flour - it's healthier and works amazingly," said Khan.

For an evenly cooked surface, waffle makers with heavy-duty iron plates will work the best, but since these are reserved for commercial griddles, cast alumimium should come a close second. Khan suggests going for makers with four segments or slices per batch to get more yield quickly.

"An important step is to make sure the iron is nicely preheated before pouring in the batter. A semi-cold machine will take a lot of time to cook waffles, so just preheat the maker at the cooking temperature of your choice before starting your prep," she advised.

If you want them extra crispy, you can let a single batch cook for four minutes, though Khan finds that three-and-a-half minutes are perfect for fluffy insides. Do avoid opening the machine to check in on your waffles before their time - this can disrupt the cooking process and cause tears.

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