A wide range of commercial waffle makers is available in different sizes and shapes. Some make square waffles, others round; some cook two waffles at a time, while others only make one. Waffle machines are easy to operate, and you can offer waffles as part of a self-service breakfast buffet, with customers making their own waffles.
Commercial waffle makers are available with different voltages, controls, capacities, grid finishes and waffle size accommodations. Grids for Belgian waffles are usually round or square, though rectangular and heart-shaped options are also available. The unit voltage is determined by the number of waffles required – high voltage machines cook more quickly and can make more waffles per hour, but you can use lower voltage machines in more places.
Commercial waffle machines sometimes come with accessories as standard. For example, drip trays catch excess batter and are easy to clean, and waffle cone display cases enhance the waffle-making process. Another crucial accessory is the waffle batter - the various types of waffles require different recipes. In addition, the cleaning brush is an essential tool that helps you reach into the small crevices in the waffle maker that may be hard to clean. As well as maintaining the waffle maker in a clean and hygienic condition, regular cleaning also helps to extend your machine's service life.
How to use a commercial waffle machine
- Place your waffle maker on a flat, heat-resistant surface before plugging it in and selecting the desired cooking temperature. Then, allow your waffle maker to heat up - many commercial waffle makers have an indicator light that lets you know when the machine is hot enough and ready to use.
- If your waffle maker has non-stick plates, you don't need to grease them, as doing so can result in a build-up of residue. But with traditional cast-iron plates, grease them first with melted butter or cooking spray to prevent the waffles from sticking and make cleaning easier.
- Once you have preheated and greased the imprints, if necessary, pour the batter into the plates. Some of the batter may seep out, but this doesn't matter - just use a bit less next time.
- Now close the waffle iron and allow the waffle to cook. You will notice steam escaping while the waffle is cooking, and when the steam stops, you can open the machine to see if the waffle is cooked.
- How to tell when your waffle is ready? Commercial waffle makers take different times to bake, although three minutes is usually a reasonable time to check the waffle. However, checking too soon can cause the waffle to tear, so be patient and wait until the indicator light tells you that your waffle is baked. If there is no indicator light, it is better to use a timer and to refer to the recipe in the instruction manual.
- Use silicone, rubber or metal utensils like a fork for instance to remove the cooked waffles. Close the waffle machine when you are not using it.
How to clean a waffle machine
Give your commercial waffle maker time to cool down completely before you start to clean it. However, do not wait too long, as any stuck-on batter will be more challenging to remove. So it is best to establish a habit of cleaning as soon as the commercial waffle maker is cool enough. Follow these simple steps:
- Wipe the waffle plates with a clean, damp cloth or paper towel.
A soft-bristle brush will take care of crumbs, and a rubber or silicone spatula will remove scarps of stuck batter. For any stubborn areas, pour on a drop of vegetable oil, wait a couple of minutes, and then wipe off with a microfibre or cotton cloth.
- If oil has built up in the grid, take a pointed instrument such as a chopstick or pencil and wrap a scrap of paper towel around it. Moisten with white vinegar and use to wipe away any residue or oil that may have collected.
- If the waffle plates are removable, you can soak them in warm water to clean them but never submerge an electric unit in water.
- Wipe the machine's exterior with a clean, damp cloth to remove any batter and dry all the components thoroughly before storing it.
Expert waffle-baking tips and tricks
- If your waffles are still not as fluffy and crispy as you would like, try adding stiffly-whisked egg whites to the waffle batter. The egg whites add tiny air bubbles to the batter and help to prevent them from getting heavy and dense.
- Replacing some of the regular flour in the recipe with cornflour is another way to ensure lighter waffles.
- Add aroma and flavour to your waffles by adding vanilla, almond extract or amaretto liqueur to the batter. Replacing milk with buttermilk is another way to enhance the flavour.
- A flip waffle maker helps create waffles that are crispy and golden all over. They spread the batter on the plates so the waffle cooks evenly on both sides.