Welcome to the Wonderful World of Waffles!
I’ve received quite a few questions recently about how to cook waffles in our irons, so I figured it was time for a blog that answers all the questions and lets you in on the secrets of making perfect waffles in a vintage waffle iron. I think that vintage waffle irons are some of the most unique and beautiful of the cast iron cookware. I love that they look nothing like waffle irons of today and I was excited that I could spend some time cooking with them!
First – a confession. I have never made waffles in my life. This wasn’t a matter of learning how to adapt normal waffles or waffle batter to the vintage iron, it was learning it all from scratch. Hopefully this will help me provide enough detail for all of you to be able to make your own vintage, but highly edible waffles!
Before we get into the equipment, it’s important to note that the conditions in your kitchen, such as temperature and humidity, will impact your results. My kitchen was kept at 70’F with dry humidity, as being winter in Minnesota, I run our forced air heating 24/7. I also cooked on a Viking gas range.
I used 3 different waffle irons for this testing, and 3 different batters!
Now for the fun part – the waffle testing!
My first batter was from allrecipes.com. It uses butter, not oil, and is rated 4.5 stars by nearly 2,000 people. I figured it would be pretty good! You can find it here .
I made the batter first, as a lot of people recommend that your batter sits for 10 minutes or so. It turned out pretty darn thick though, but for my first waffle, I was going to make it exactly as written!
My first waffle iron was this gorgeous Griswold American Waffle Iron No. 9, pictured below. The No. 9 is a bit larger than your average waffle iron, but this is a deliciously minty piece and I just couldn’t resist. It has since sold (not surprising) but you can find all our waffle irons here.
Here it is sitting on my gas stove, ready for a busy day!
So as with most cast iron cooking, the thing to always do is to heat your pan. When it comes to waffle irons, this means both sides. This is my biggest burner, and I had it set to somewhere between Medium and Medium-High. After about 4 – 5 mins I flipped the iron and heated the other side. Another 4 – 5 mins later I sprayed Pam inside the paddles, and after another couple of minutes I poured in the batter. As I suspected, it was way too thick. Batter had come over the sides, and I didn’t have a good feeling about this.
Next thing I did was turn down the heat! I went to just between Medium-Low and Medium. I let it cook for 4 – 5 mins on that side, then flipped it over and cooked it for another 5 mins. I opened the iron, and I was amazed. Perhaps a tiny bit dark, but it looked perfect!
It came perfectly out of the iron with no residue and was cooked perfectly all the way though. The proof though, was in the eating, and it turned out to be too dense. This waffle iron makes for thick waffles!
With a ton of batter left to test, I added water to the batter and tried another. It was better! I added again, until I’d put in about a cup or so, and it was perfect. I also tried using melted butter instead of Pam in between waffles, but it tended to make the kitchen a bit smokey and I didn’t notice a difference in the taste.
Here’s our finished waffle, after we added water (and butter and maple syrup, of course)!
The biggest surprise was how good this waffle pan looked after a morning of waffle cooking. All I did here was wipe off the dribbles of batter on the side. You can’t tell it had been used! I had zero sticking issues.
Lessons from Round 1
- Make your batter first so it can sit
- Heat your pan before cooking
- Always flip to heat both sides
- Turn down the heat once the batter is added
- If your waffle is too dense, dilute the batter with water.
- Always flip to cook both sides
- Don’t be surprised (like I was) if your waffles look awesome first go!
Stay tuned for Round 2.. a new waffle iron, and a new recipe!