Most of our waffle recipes are "made from scratch" like mom used to make. However, we do include a few that use a mix for convenience when you are in a hurry and for those with little cooking experience.
Most all waffle recipes contain the same basic ingredients. Flour, sugar, salt, milk, eggs, vanilla. The many varieties of waffles comes from the additives to the batter, or toppings added when served. Other than that, they are basically the same.
So what makes some waffles good...and others the best? Technique and a few little secrets. And...that's what we are going to discuss here. There are only a few tips you need to know, but they will make a difference in your waffles.
The batter should have a consistency similar to gravy. Thick but easy to pour. This may call for more or less of the milk listed in the recipe. Only experience will tell you when it looks right. Don't worry though, you will still get good waffles. They just may be a little thin if your batter is too thin. And if too thick, they will be a little chewy, but still pretty good.
Many recipes call for a little oil in the batter. Some do not. You should always put about 1/2 tablespoon of oil (cooking oil/vegetable oil) in your batter. It helps develop the outer crust. It does not matter if you make your waffles crisp and crunchy or if you cook them soft like pancakes, the oil is needed.
DO NOT BEAT THE BATTER VIGOROUSLY! This make tough, chewy waffles. Gently stir the batter only long enough to thoroughly moisten the dry ingredients. Do not worry about the small lumps in the batter. You will never know they were there after the waffles are cooked.
Your Waffle Iron (Griddle):
This may seem to be a "no brainer", but I have seen people pour their batter in a waffle iron that they turned on 1 minute earlier. Most waffle irons require several minutes to get up to proper temperature. The batter will not rise properly in an iron that is not fully up to temperature. You will get heavy, flat waffles.
Most waffle irons today have lights that tell you when the iron has reached cooking temperature. If you do not have such lights on your waffle iron, be sure to allow it to heat up at least 3-5 minutes.
Manufacturers of waffle irons advise you not to use cooking spray on your iron. Yes, I know, it is convenient and it seems to work well to prevent sticking, but the manufacturers state that, over time, spray will damage the non-stick surface of your iron.
Instead they recommend you use a vegetable oil, such as Crisco, rather than a spray. Just melt a little in the microwave and use a basting brush or a paper towel to cover the surface lightly with oil.
That being said, in practice, we have never had a waffle iron that outlasted any damage done by using spray. But, we do acknowledge that Crisco seems to provide a better crust on the waffle than a non-stick spray provides.
Vanilla and Sugar:
Unless you are making some exotic jalapeno waffle, always add a touch of sugar and a little vanilla to your batter. Many recipes do not list sugar or vanilla in their ingredients. But it will add that little extra "something"...and it is so good.
No matter what kind of waffles you are making, always add beaten egg whites. You can add the yolks or leave them out, but beaten egg whites are essential to light waffles.
The egg whites should be beaten until stiff (like whipped cream) and then gently folded into the batter as the last step.
Check out our 8 best waffle recipes at the top of this page. Then include these few simple tips and...go for the "perfect waffle" !