If you’re on a keto diet, odds are high you know what chaffles are, but in case I’m wrong: the key difference between chaffles and waffles is the primary ingredient, i.e. cheese and eggs (hence ch replacing w). Some recipes include additional ingredients, but the cheese and eggs duo is a constant.
Chaffles skyrocketed in popularity practically overnight, and it is easy to understand why: they’re low-cal, low-carb, and extremely versatile! Aside from different sizes, you can make them savory, sweet, use them for your sandwiches, turn them into pizzas, you name it! If you want to make the transition from w to ch, you may be wondering if your main tool should be any different, and how. Let’s get to it!
What Tool Do I Need to Make Chaffles?
So your mind is made up, and you’re ready to hop into the chaffle craze. You figure your next step is finding out what it is you need to procure in order to make them. Since chaffles seemingly stand as their very own category, you may be thinking you need a more specialized utensil but, actually, what works for waffles works for chaffles: Just about any conventional waffle maker will get the job done.
What Sets A Chaffle Maker Apart From Another
While a cursory search will quickly get you various recommendations (and recipes) from several enthusiasts, few if any will elaborate on why it is they prefer this or that waffle iron. To make it easier for you, we will be keeping several factors in mind.
Small is widely preferred when it comes to chaffles, and many recipes out there calculated their ingredient measurements accordingly. Whether you go with the trend or not, maybe you just want them small enough for a quick snack or to easily carry them wherever you go. Another possibility is, all you want is to have regular waffles while staying keto. Your choice on this matter will be critical when selecting the right maker for your needs.
There are two main options: traditional, and the very popular (and thicker) Belgian waffle. Every individual iron will be suited to one specific type. You might decide that thicker is better if you’re planning to turn your chaffles into sandwich bread or pizza… or even if all you’re looking for is a more filling breakfast snack!
Bells and Whistles
A modern waffle iron can be packing or lacking certain features like ready beep, removable plates, dishwasher tolerance, rotation and more. Even temperature control and on/off switch are a bit of a coin toss. We will be telling you which option has what, including color variety when applicable.
Your budget is likely to vary, and it will usually be one of the most decisive factors when making your purchase. Prudently investing? Treating yourself? We got options for either situation.
Wait, there’s more than one non-stick coating type for waffle makers?
Yes, two to be exact: Teflon, widely used since the 1940s; and ceramic coating. Our reviews will be covering both varieties.
What’s the difference?
Whereas ceramic coating is clay-based and is not considered a health hazard, Teflon has been in the center of controversy for some time, due to one of the components involved in its making: perfluorooctanoic acid. PFOA, as it is also known, has raised some concerns due to it being present (in very low quantities) in the blood of pretty much every human on the planet; its long permanence within living organisms and the environment; and preliminary evidence showing possible links between this substance and certain types of cancer.
So much of my cookware is Teflon-coated! Should I be worried?
Short answer: probably not. Here’s what the American Cancer Society has to say on the matter:
“Other than the possible risk of flu-like symptoms from breathing in fumes from an overheated Teflon-coated pan, there are no known risks to humans from using Teflon-coated cookware. While PFOA is used in making Teflon, it is not present (or is present in extremely small amounts) in Teflon-coated products.”
Ceramic vs Teflon: Which is better?
Performance-wise, they are about the same; there is no report of one doing the job better than the other. They also rank similarly in terms of durability: Teflon eventually will peel off, and ceramic will chip away. Even when brand new, it’s better to assume that no coating is perfect. Always remember to grease (or spray) your waffle maker before using it, just in case.
Now that we know just what makes one option different from another, let’s dive right in!
If you are like me and have seen this brand in your family’s kitchen for generations, then you may want to take a closer look at this unit, although you should be advised the units produced today are known to have a shorter life than those of generations past. Still, you might find it gets the job done appropriately.
- Flip design for thorough cooking
- Easy to clean thanks to its stainless steel exterior and dishwasher-safe plates
- Drip pan to keep your counter mess-free
- Control for how brown you want them
- Light to let you know it is hot enough to begin cooking
- No sound to tell you when your chaffles are ready, so you might have to hang around until it’s done
- Little bit on the pricey side
This unit is priced mid-range, and it could be the way to go if you’re making chaffles for one. According to the maker, you should expect the Teflon-coated plates to give off a strong smell and probably even some smoke when you first use the unit. As normal as it is made to be, putting up with it or not remains your choice to make.
- Horizontal and vertical rotation, which helps the batter distribute evenly
- Clip to secure the lid close to reduce spilling
- Light to tell you it is hot enough to begin
- Removable plates for easier cleaning
- No alarm to tell you when your chaffles are done
- Plates are not dishwasher safe
- No temperature or brown control
- Not exactly known for being solidly built
DASH Mini Maker
This is the trendy one, and you will find it is frequently mentioned as the go-to for chaffle enthusiasts. Its coating is not ceramic, but it is still PFOA-free.
- With ten colors to choose from, there is something to suit any fancy
- Size and weight make it ideal for small kitchens and for carrying everywhere
- Affordable: good for a starting household and for gifting
- Includes a recipe book
- Many chaffle recipes out there are tailored to this appliance
- Its surface heats up pretty quickly, precisely due to its size
- Chaffles might be too small depending on personal taste
- Cooking takes longer, one palm-sized chaffle at a time
If you got some money burning a hole in your pocket, this might be worth looking into: aside from traditional chaffles, it can also help you with your sandwiches and when frying eggs and bacon for those in your house who don’t follow the keto diet. As usual, it is convenient to keep in mind that appliances bought in this era are not as durable as those made decades ago.
- It can be set down completely open to provide two cooking surfaces
- Stands up for easy storage
- Its reversible plates can be removed for simpler cleaning
- Adjustable heat
- Its chrome body is prone to overheating and should be handled with care to prevent burns.
- The latches holding the plates can loosen up or even break, forcing you to lift an extremely hot plate pretty much by hand
- Plates often don’t sit in properly, which results in release of heat and less than thorough cooking
Cuisinart Flip Belgian Waffle Maker
This is another one best left for when you are treating yourself (or someone else). If you are looking to make Belgian style chaffles, this unit should give you an acceptable performance; as an added bonus, it comes with a measuring cup. Plates are coated with Teflon.
- Equipped with an on/off switch
- Deep, 7” grid for extra large and extra thick chaffles
- Browning control
- LED light to tell you it is ready to cook
- Beep alert for when chaffles are done
- Plates are not removable
- No temperature control
- Not renowned for being long-lasting
Burgess Brothers 4-Slot
This one proclaims to be ideal for ChurWaffles (which is essentially a waffle with churro flavor added), but it is also perfectly well suited for your intended use. Its design is fairly traditional, and you might find its price is a little steep for the value it offers; but it has a decent reputation when it comes to performance, which has earned ita mention or two in articles related to chaffles.
- Cook 4 chaffles in one go
- No way to turn it off manually must be unplugged when not in use
- No temperature or browning control
- Plates are not removable
- Chaffles might be tiny by some standards, about 3”
Nordic Ware Sweetheart Waffler
While its price matches (and even surpasses) that of bigger, more complex appliances, you might want to give this one some thought, especially if you are low on storage space, or if heart-shaped chaffles are your thing. Just keep in mind, this one is only good for stoves. Do not use on bonfires.
- Makes 5 chaffles in one go
- Must be held on the stovetop, which may make your chaffle cooking more time consuming
- Its plastic handles might melt if they get too hot, so one should always be mindful to keep them as far away from the stove as possible
- Chaffles are fairly small, about 3.5 inches
If you’re looking for something not terribly expensive that will yield you pretty big (around 7.5”) chaffles, then this one might interest you. Its design is fairly traditional, but it usually performs well enough and it is not completely devoid of features. Non-stick coating is standard teflon.
- You get to control how brown you want them
- Stands upright to occupy less storage space
- Beep to alert you when it is done cooking
- Plates are not removable
- The ready alarm can be too loud for some tastes, and it cannot be turned off except by unplugging the unit
For this Belgian style model, its brand might be a strong argument in its favor, but there are other aspects to consider, its reasonable price tag for example.
- You can flip it around so your chaffles will be properly cooked
- You get to control the temperature
- Includes a drip pan to minimize messes
- Any spill that sticks to the case can be hard to clean
- No on/off switch, ready light or alarm to tell you when it is done
- Chaffles often turn out softer than expected, even at the highest setting
- Not very sturdy: the handle used for turning the plate has been known to be fairly brittle, and the temperature knob must be handled with care or it might break off
Our pick: The DASH Mini!
We all know that just because something is trending doesn’t mean it is actually the best, but in this case an exception is justified. The Mini Maker may be lacking in some areas:
- Doesn’t rotate
- Doesn’t beep when done
- No temperature control or on/off switch
- Cooking in it can be slow
- Plates are not removable
That said, it has several points in its favor:
- Affordable, makes a good gift or a good starting appliance
- There’s a color for pretty much every fancy
- Coating is not ceramic, but it is still PFOA free
- It goes above and beyond by giving you a recipe book
…And, to top it all off, many chaffle recipes out there are specifically tailored to the Mini! What’s there not to like?