Pros: Non-stick, sturdy, easy to clean, large capacity, nice chime, indicator light
Rating: 5 out of 5
I’m a long-time customer & fan of Cooking.com’s selection & service, so when they asked if I’d mind doing some reviewing, of course I said yes (don’t worry—I promise to be my same blunt & honest self!). I was delighted when I got to review the Calphalon No Peek Waffle Maker, as I have a deep and abiding love of baked breakfast foods (they’re vehicles for maple syrup—dark amber, of course!). I’ve enjoyed waffle makers before, but by and large I’ve preferred to make pancakes. They’re just quicker and easier. Now, however, I have to admit that I’ve finally met a waffle maker I’d consider the equal of the pancake-making process—with the added bonus of crispness and pockets for syrup!
This is a Belgian waffle maker (deep pocket style), and I find it works best with stiffer batters. In fact, it’s perfect for whole grain batters. It’s a little less ideal for batters made with egg white folded into them (it’s hard to lever the waffles out of the deep pockets without squishing them), but they’ll still taste great.
The exterior of the waffle maker is brushed stainless steel, and is absolutely gorgeous sitting on your kitchen counter. The interior is a high performance non-stick bronze. While I can’t yet speak to how well the non-stick surface will last in the long run, so far it seems absolutely amazing. No oil needed. No cleaning needed except for a quick swipe with a damp cloth. It’s a thick surface, not a chintzy thin coating.
The hinge is a floating hinge, meaning the top will rise with the batter so you get an even waffle. Not only is there a shade selector (light through dark), but… here’s the really cool part. Not only is there a chime (not a loud alarm, thankfully) when your waffle reaches your selected doneness, but there’s a series of lights that shows you your waffle’s progress toward doneness. So you know if you’re almost done and shouldn’t leave the kitchen, or if you left the kitchen and missed the chime you can still tell without peeking! We found that minor adjustments of the shade selector accomplished whatever changes we wanted in doneness and were able to achieve the results we wanted.
You can store the waffle maker upright or flat. It has a locking mechanism to keep it shut, and a storage compartment for the cord. At first we did find that the locking mechanism kept sliding to the locked position while the waffle maker was open, which meant having to move it back whenever starting a new waffle so the lid would close properly. However, after two waffles this ceased to happen and everything functioned smoothly.
The waffle maker worked with several different types of batters—batters with fruit, nuts, etc., without extra cleanup problems or marring of the coating. It worked gorgeously with whole grain, and tastily (if a little messily) with a batter that had egg white folded in. In short… well, I think we’ll make savory cheese waffles for dinner tonight!
12/15/08: Not all egg-white-based waffle recipes have that same problem in this waffle maker. Another one—the aforementioned cheese waffles—came out gorgeously. So have at it!