Fluffy waffles with plump berries, whipped cream, and maple syrup are a delicious breakfast combo. My family loves waking up to the smell of warm waffles and fresh toppings.
The only problem?
Cleaning. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want is to spend an hour cleaning waffle batter from all the nooks and crannies in my waffle maker.
And since an electric waffle maker is the only practical option for making waffles, I need one that is easy to clean.
I like the Hamilton Beach Belgian Waffle Maker because it ticks most of the “must-have” boxes while still being affordable.
But there are other considerations. Do you want a classic waffle maker versus Belgian? Perhaps you need to make multiple waffles at a time. Maybe you’d prefer a non-stick cooking surface over ceramic? Or do you need an appliance that can multitask?
Lucky for you, I’ve done a complete rundown of the best waffle makers with removable plates on the market. Here are the waffle makers I’ve reviewed:
- Hamilton Beach 26031 Belgian Waffle Maker– Overall Best Waffle Make with Removable Plates
- Cuisinart Belgian Waffle Iron with Pancake Plates– Best Belgian Waffle Maker with nonstick plates
- KRUPS Belgian Waffle Maker– Best Waffle Maker for Large Batches
- Secura Upgrade Automatic Belgian Waffle Maker– Best Belgian Waffle Maker for Flipping
- All-Clad Gourmet WD822D51 Waffle maker– Best Splurge
- Black+Decker WM2000SD 3-in-1 Waffle, Grill & Sandwich Maker– Most Versatile Option
- Ovente 3-in-1 Waffle Maker– Best for Grilling
- OSTBA Sandwich Maker 3-in-1 Waffle Iron– Best Budget Pick
Which waffle maker with removable plates is the right one for you? Read on to find out.
The Best Waffle Iron with Removable Plates: Buying Guide
Why Removable Plates Are a Good Idea
In general, electric waffle makers are fairly easy to use. Simply plug in your waffle iron, make your waffle batter, pour the batter, close the waffle maker, cook, and presto! You have delicious, fresh waffles.
But cleaning those classic waffle makers? Not so simple.
If your waffle maker has nonstick plates, it might not be as difficult. But overflow batter can get into the hinges and take forever to clean. If your waffle maker is not non-stick, then you have to clean the plates. And cleaning around the grids is a serious pain.
This is why removable plates are a good idea. A waffle iron with removable plates saves you time in the kitchen.
After using your waffle iron, pop out the plates for cleaning. Many of these plates are dishwasher-safe, saving you even more time.
Another benefit? You don’t have to worry about getting water inside your waffle maker. With removable plates, you are less likely to ruin your appliance or risk a safety hazard.
Features to Look For in a Waffle Iron with Removable Plates
When it comes to easy clean-up, having removable plates is helpful. You know what’s even better? Dishwasher-safe removable plates.
While many removable plates are dishwasher-safe, not all of them are. Be sure to check and look for the term “dishwasher-safe” in the product description.
Having dishwasher-safe removable plates means you save time on clean-up. Which means you’ll make more waffles.
See? Everyone wins in this scenario.
Nobody wants an unevenly cooked waffle. Waffle makers that have a flip feature distribute the batter and help waffles cook evenly. Flip Belgian waffle makers are especially good at getting that crispy outside and fluffy inside.
Better performance and tastier waffles? Yes, please. Crispy waffles? Definitely. Fluffy as well? Even better!
Do you like your waffles a light golden brown? Do you prefer a crispier, dark golden brown? You can choose your desired doneness with adjustable temperature control.
Whether you want crispy waffles or that perfect fluffy waffle, or both, temperature is the key,
Some models don’t show actual temperatures, but they include a browning control. Having this feature allows you to cook your waffle as light or dark as you want it, every time.
If I’m not going to use a kitchen appliance every day, it needs to go in the cabinet. Easy storage is a must-have for waffle makers. Some waffle irons can store upright, saving you precious storage space.
Unless you plan to leave your waffle maker on the counter, look for one that stores easily. You’ll also want to check the dimensions to make sure it fits in your cabinet.
Indicator light & timer
When is the waffle maker preheated and ready to cook?
And, later, when is the waffle done?
This is where the indicator light comes in handy. Having an indicator light signals to you when your waffle maker is powered on and ready to use.
Different waffle makers use different systems. Some use red to show the waffle maker is ready, while many use green. Make sure you read the instruction manual to learn how to “read” the indicator lights.
It’s also nice to have a timer that sounds when your waffles are ready to eat. Some have digital settings to set the timer, while others just have a preset cook time according to the set browning level. Again, check your product’s instruction manual for the timer settings.
Grill and Sandwich Plates
Are you a fan of multitasking appliances? Do you have limited space and need an all-in-one type of waffle iron?
If so, you might want a waffle maker that can handle more than just baking waffles. Many waffle makers with removable plates also include a couple of other accessories, as well. Grill plates and sandwich plates are common. Some even have pancake plates for pancakes, eggs, and sausage.
If you want the convenience of cooking multiple foods with one appliance, you might opt for a 3-in-1 or combination waffle maker. This saves you the hassle of buying three separate pieces. (If you need a separate griddle, visit my pancake griddle reviews.)
What about Flip Waffle Makers?
I mentioned this above, but some waffle makers have a flip feature. That means just what it says. Using a handle, you flip the waffle iron during the cooking process. So the question is, why choose a flip waffle maker?
Essentially, a flip waffle maker ensures an evenly cooked waffle. When you pour waffle batter onto the hot cooking plates, the batter starts cooking on the bottom immediately. The top does not start cooking until you close the waffle maker.
Flipping the waffle maker allows the batter to fill in any gaps. The gravity moves the batter to the top plates, cooking both sides to perfection.
No more two-toned or “hole-y” waffles. Get solid, golden brown waffles by flipping the waffle while cooking.
Belgian Waffles vs Regular Waffles: What’s the difference?
Regular waffles are on the thinner side and can be round or square. You might also see them called classic waffles, traditional waffles, or Eggo-style waffles.
Perfect Belgian waffles are typically round and always thick, with deep pockets. Their classic fluffiness naturally comes from beaten egg or yeast, although many people use baking powder for a faster rise.
(Side note: Did you know there are actually two versions of the Belgian waffle in Belgium? True story. The Brussels and Liege waffles are both popular in Belgium.)
Each of these waffles requires its own type of waffle maker. Belgian waffle makers, need to form the deeper pockets and accommodate the higher rise. This means thicker plates.
For regular round or square waffles, you will need one that has the right shape and desired thickness, normally thinner.
Most manufacturers will label their Belgian waffle makers as such. If ever in doubt, check the product description. That should tell you what type of waffle the product makes.
What size waffle maker should I buy?
The answer depends on how many waffles you plan to make at a time. Many waffle makers make one large 8-9 inch (20.3-22.9 cm) waffle at a time. Assuming each person will eat one whole waffle, you’ll have to cook as many batches as you have people.
However, if you have a large family, you might want to purchase a waffle maker that can make multiple waffles at a time. Some waffle makers can make two to four waffles simultaneously.
Of course, sometimes these waffles are smaller in size, approximately 4 inches (10.2 cm). If you’re making waffles for children, this size waffle could work for them.
My recommendation? If you are cooking for 2-4 people, you should be fine with a single 9-inch (22.9 cm) waffle maker. If you consistently bake waffles for 5+ people, you might want a waffle maker that cooks multiple waffles.
Ceramic Waffle makers: Yay or Nay?
Being able to easily lift waffles without sticking is essential. Many waffle maker plates have a non-stick coating to make clean-up a breeze.
However, these non-stick plates can contain Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a synthetic resin. There are some safety concerns with PTFE, also known as Teflon. Most of these have to do with cooking at extremely high temperatures (higher than you would cook waffles at), but some people prefer to avoid PTFE altogether.
If you prefer to have Teflon-free waffle makers, there are ceramic options available. Ceramic plates generally do not contain Teflon, but they are more resistant to sticking than other materials.
There are several ceramic waffle makers on the market, including those that have removable plates. If you want a PTFE-free waffle maker, ceramic waffle irons are a good option.
If you do use a Teflon version, be sure to avoid using metal utensils. Metal can scratch the non-stick coating. Wooden and heat-resistant silicone spatulas are your best bets.
Can you use pancake mix in a waffle maker?
Absolutely! Pancake mix is a popular choice for waffles because they both include some of the same ingredients: milk, flour, sugar, oil, salt, vanilla, baking powder (or another leavening agent).
But hold on! It’s not that simple. You can’t just throw in pancake batter and call it a day. There is a difference you should know first.
Waffles typically include more sugar and more fat. The sugar is what gives the waffle that beautiful golden brown color. The fat content helps the waffle get crispy on the outside while staying soft on the inside.
So if you’re planning to use pancake mix in your waffle iron, you’ll want to add sugar and fat to your mix. I would recommend doubling the oil and sugar in the recipe (2 Tbsp to 4 Tbsp, for example).
Another tip? Beat the egg whites before adding them to the mix. This will help make your waffles extra fluffy and light. It also helps them get a perfect rise while cooking.
And everyone likes fluffy waffles.
If you purchase a mix with the label “Pancake and waffle mix,” you likely won’t have to modify the recipe. Just follow the product instructions on the box or packaging.
Should my waffle maker have a burning smell during the first use?
While a burning smell can undoubtedly be alarming, this is not uncommon when using appliances for the first time.
Many manufacturers use oils and plastics during the manufacturing process that must be burned off. One suggestion is to make a “throw-away waffle” for the first use. After that, you should be good to go.
Of course, safety comes first! You should consult the manufacturer’s instructions for how to prep and clean your waffle maker.
If you’re worried you have a defective unit or the burning smell continues, contact the company’s customer service for the next steps.
The Best Waffle Maker with Removable Plates: Reviews
Time to look at some waffle makers. The list below are my recommendations for the best waffle makers, and I’ve come up with some different use cases as everyone has different needs.
Hamilton Beach 26031 Belgian Waffle Maker– Overall Best Waffle Make with Removable Plates
Hamilton Beach has been making kitchen products for decades, so you are getting a time-trusted brand with this product. This Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian waffle maker is great for making fluffy Belgian-style waffles.
It is also the only one on the list with ceramic plates. The copper-colored ceramic plates are housed in a stainless steel casing.
They are removable and dishwasher-safe. I recommend hand washing the plates, however.
This Belgian waffle maker model includes a drip tray to catch any overflow. Simply slide the tray under the appliance during use to catch any drippings. Between the removable plates and the drip tray, it is easy to clean up after using this waffle maker.
The indicator light shows when the waffle maker is on and when it is preheated. It does not include a timer, so you’ll have to figure out the cook time and set it on another appliance.
It does have browning control, however. You can set how dark you’d like your waffles, which is nice.
One note on the ceramic plates. They are stick-resistant, not non-stick. Note that the instructions say to wash the plates first, then coat them with oil and use spray on them with each use.
If you try to jump in there and start baking without following the instructions, you may have more problems with sticking. Overall, though, the Hamilton Beach waffle maker has excellent reviews and has a lot of must-have features.
- Flip Belgian Waffle Maker
- Includes drip tray
- Ceramic waffle plates are dishwasher-safe
- Teflon-free cooking surface
- Adjustable browning control
- Reports of sticking
- No cooking timer
Cuisinart Belgian Waffle Iron with Pancake Plates– Best Non-stick Belgian Waffle Maker
When it comes to kitchenware, Cuisinart is a popular brand. And for good reason. Cuisinart consistently cranks out top-quality kitchenware.
This Cuisinart Belgian Waffle maker with pancake plate is no different. It comes with non-stick plates that can cook four, 4-inch (10.2 cm) square Belgian waffles at a time.
The pancake plate is not only good for pancakes, either. Many customers use it for frying eggs, hash browns, or cooking sausage. One reviewer even used it for making a panini.
The attractive stainless steel housing gives this Belgian waffle maker a sleek look. It also stores upright, and the cord wraps around, saving precious cabinet and counter space.
The Cuisinart Belgian waffle maker has 6 heat levels to give you maximum temperature control. It also includes an adjustable timer and audible timer alert so that you can get perfectly cooked waffles each time.
One thing I liked about this model was the video in the product description. It gives you helpful information about using their product. For instance, you should use about 1.5 cups (350 mL) of batter for each batch.
The two downsides? This Cuisinart waffle maker does not come with a flip feature. It also comes at a higher price point than other products on the list. Those are minor drawbacks, but still, things to consider.
- Adjustable temperature control (6 heat settings)
- Non-stick plates are dishwasher-safe
- Includes pancake plates
- Audible timer alert and adjustable timer
- More expensive
- No flip feature
KRUPS Belgian Waffle Maker– Best Waffle Maker for Large Batches
This KRUPS Belgian waffle maker with removable plates is great for large batches. It allows you to make four, 4.5 inch (11.4 cm) square waffles. It comes in a sleek stainless steel housing.
The die-cast waffle plates have a non-stick coating and are dishwasher-safe. Customers raved about how easy to clean this waffle maker is.
It includes indicator lights to let you know when the waffle maker is on and ready to cook. And with five browning levels, you have optimal temperature control.
The audible beep lets you know when your waffles are done, making it easy to get the perfect waffle. However, several users complained about how annoying and loud the beep is. Just be aware.
Another thing customers noted about the Krups Belgian waffle maker was a slower cooking time. Make sure to allow enough time for your waffles to cook. Some suggested cranking up the heat to the highest setting, as well.
There were reports of the handle getting overly hot. You might want to open it with oven mitts to be on the safe side.
This unit is large, but the cord wrap and lockable lid make for easy storage. You’ll just want to make sure you have space to accommodate the size.
This Belgian waffle maker does not have a flip feature. And while this waffle maker is an affordable product, there are several less expensive options.
- Easy to clean
- Larger capacity, makes 4, 4.5-inch (11.4 cm) waffles
- Indicator lights and audible beep
- Easy to store (wrapping cord and locking lid)
- Not flippable
- Slower to cook
- Reports of handle getting hot
Secura Upgrade Automatic Belgian Waffle Maker– Best for Flipping
This Secura Belgian waffle maker with removable plates rotates 360 degrees and lifts 90 degrees for even cooking. It features a 120-volt/1000-watt heating element for quick preheating.
The waffle plates have a non-stick cooking surface. The release button makes it easy to take out the plates and pop them in the dishwasher. It does not include a drip tray, so you’ll want to avoid overfilling it with batter.
The indicator lights let you know when the waffle maker is on and ready to use. Plus, the cool touch handles keep your hands safe while opening the waffle maker.
The biggest complaint customers had was the indicator light. There were several reports of the light cover falling off, which exposes the interior to steam and liquid.
While this model is budget-friendly, it may not have the longevity of other options. Even so, it is the only one on the list that flips 360 degrees and lifts 90 degrees.
- Lifts 90° and rotates 360° for even cooking
- Cool-touch handles
- Reports of faulty light covers
- Not ideal for large batches
All-Clad Gourmet WD822D51 Waffle maker– Best Splurge
This All-Clad Gourmet waffle maker with removable plates is the king of waffle irons. I really like its sleek appearance. It comes in a polished stainless steel cover and includes a host of features.
This waffle maker cooks 4 Belgian-style square waffles, making it great for both small families and larger crowds. The quick heating and cook time mean you can have great-tasting Belgian waffles in just a few minutes.
Many customers loved how nothing sticks to the plates, even without oil or spray. That also saves a few calories, which is always a nice perk!
It has adjustable temperature settings, with 6 levels of browning. This gives you superior control over how light or dark you cook your waffle. While it does not flip, many users liked how evenly it cooked their Belgian waffles.
The removable plates have a non-stick surface and are dishwasher-safe. There is also an overflow batter tray that will catch any drips. This is only one of two on the list that have a drip tray.
The indicator light shows when the waffle maker is preheating and cooking. An audible beep lets you know when your waffles are ready to eat.
One major consideration, however, is the cost. While this may be one of the best waffle makers in terms of features, it does come at a significantly higher price than other waffle makers with removable plates.
- Attractive stainless steel appearance
- Good temperature control (6 toasting levels)
- Overflow batter tray
- Non-stick plates perform well
- Significantly more expensive
- Does not flipOSTBA Sandwich Maker 3-in-1 Waffle Iron– Best Budget Pick
Black+Decker WM2000SD 3-in-1 Waffle, Grill & Sandwich Maker– Best Versatile Option
Who says waffle irons are just for cooking waffles? Why not grill steak and make a panini, too?
This Black+Decker is a grill, sandwich, and waffle maker. You could hypothetically use this Black+Decker 3-in-1 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It is a classic waffle maker, though. So if you have your heart set on perfect Belgian waffles, you’ll want to go with another option.
Like others on our list, this waffle maker with removable plates has non-stick and dishwasher-safe plates in a stainless steel housing. This model can handle 2 waffles at a time.
This model is not ideal for large batches. But if you are cooking for 1-2 people and want something versatile, this Black+Decker is an excellent option.
One thing I like about the sandwich plate is that the surface has marks to separate the sandwich into two smaller triangles. My family likes the triangle-shaped sandwiches, so making the press do that shows some thought in the design.
This waffle iron is also easy on the wallet, which is nice considering how many functions the Black+Decker 3-in-1 performs. It’s also easy to store, making it great for RVs or small apartments.
The biggest drawback is a lack of a timer or adjustable temperature control. You will have to keep an eye on your waffles to make sure they don’t overcook. It does include an indicator light to show you when the unit is on and preheated, though.
- Versatile (grill, sandwich, and waffle maker)
- Easy upright storage
- No temperature control
- Not ideal for large batches
- Thinner waffles (not Belgian)
Ovente 3-in-1 Waffle Maker– Best for Grilling
Similar in design to the Black+Decker model, this Ovente 3-in-1 appliance includes a waffle maker with removable plates, a grill, and sandwich plates.
It makes regular waffles, as opposed to Belgian waffles. You can use the grill plates for veggies, burgers, or chicken. Some people also like to use the waffle plates for hash browns. Many reviewers especially liked the grill feature.
Several people complained of smoke during the first use, but that is fairly normal. With this maker, you can cook 2 waffles, 2 sandwiches, or one large chicken breast at a time.
It does not have an on/off switch, so you simply plug the unit in to turn it on. Some customers were not big fans of that feature (or lack thereof). It does take longer to cook, so budget some extra time for those waffles.
Several users also complained that the temperature does not get very hot. If you like your waffles extra crispy, you may struggle to get them cooked to perfection with this model.
- 3-in-1 appliance (grill, sandwich, and waffle)
- Compact, easy to store
- Easy to use
- Smaller capacity
- No flip feature
- Takes longer to cook
- Complaints that of not getting hot enough
OSTBA Sandwich Maker 3-in-1 Waffle Iron– Best Budget Pick
The OSTBA 3-in-1 features a grill, waffle, and sandwich press. This unit can handle 2 waffles, 2 sandwiches, or a single large steak at a time. It is best suited for 1-2 people versus larger groups.
The OSTBA is easy to use and quick to heat. The 750-Watt/120-Volt heating element heats up within 3-4 minutes. The removable plates are non-stick and dishwasher-safe.
Its compact construction makes it easy to store on the countertop or in the cabinet. This model is also one of the most affordable options on the list.
Make sure to use just enough batter to fill the plate. It’s easy to overfill the waffle plates, and it doesn’t come with a drip tray. No one likes cleaning up waffle batter from crevices, so go slow with pouring the batter.
A lot of customers liked the sandwich plates. One reviewer suggested cutting off the crusts of sandwich bread to make them fit better in the slots. Others have success with frying eggs in them.
There were several reports of the handle falling off after just a few uses. It also does not include a timer, so you’ll have to keep an eye on your food to keep it from overcooking. Still, at such a low price point, you may be willing to overlook the drawbacks.
Overall, you won’t get the durability and performance of some other brands. But you’ll pay a bit less for the OSTBA than other brands, too. You just have to weigh what is most important.
- 3-in-1 appliance (grill, sandwich, and waffle)
- Easy, compact storage
- Fast heating
- Not flippable
- Thinner waffles (regular, not Belgian)
- Reports of handle falling off
- No timer included
The Best Waffle Maker with Removable Plates: The Final Verdict
So what is the best waffle maker with removable plates?
The bottom line? If you want the very best value, I would go with the Hamilton Beach 26031 Belgian Waffle Maker. It comes at a nice price point while being the only ceramic choice with a drip tray.
It makes delicious, crispy waffles at an affordable price point.
Larger Capacity and More Versatile Waffle Maker
If you don’t mind paying a little more for a non-stick option with a larger capacity, I recommend the Cuisinart Belgian Waffle Maker. It gives you a lot of versatility and is a durable brand.
The pancake plates are especially helpful, and not only for pancakes!
While still able to make tasty, fluffy, crispy waffles, it has more options, making it almost a type of electric griddle.