Can a waffle iron make more than waffles?

Back in 2007, the stand-alone waffle maker was listed as one of our first Unitasker Wednesday features. To put it mildly, there was significant “disagreement” from readers with our decision to list it.

I’ve always been of the opinion that a grill with multiple removable plates, of which one is a waffle maker, is the better way to go if you really enjoy making waffles at home. Instead of storing five separate appliances, you store one appliance and five sets of plates that take up significantly less space. We’ve even run a great tip from a reader explaining how to store the plates in an organized manner.

For the first time ever, though, I have come to doubt our Unitasker designation for the waffle maker after learning about the fun new website: Waffleizer.com.

This new website has already featured recipes for hamburgers, bread pudding (pictured), and hash browns. It is a blog dedicated to “alternative recipes for your waffle iron.” The blog promises to post 30 non-traditional uses for a waffle maker, and a month of recipes would certainly turn a Unitasker into a multi-tasker. I’m eager to see the next 27 recipes, and I hope that if you have a stand-alone waffle maker in your cupboard that you consider giving these alternative recipes a try. Bring out that Unitasker and see if it can really make more than Saturday morning breakfast.

(Thanks to Serious Eats for introducing us to this new site. Bread pudding image from Waffleizer.com)

23 Comments for “Can a waffle iron make more than waffles?”

  1. posted by Christy on

    Yep, we use it for bacon and also for chocolate cookies!

  2. posted by NMPatricia on

    Thanks for the tip for the new site. I will definitely try some of the recipes for my most beloved unitasker.

  3. posted by Cowboy Bob on

    Two fun things from Lifehacker. First, bacon: http://tinyurl.com/y9fnmfn . And then, pizza pockets: http://tinyurl.com/y8v895e

    I love it…why buy more gadgets when you can find other uses for what you already own?

  4. posted by Kendra on

    Enjoyed reading the waffleizer.com website, good recipes there. But I love waffles so much, that even without extra recipes, it would be a Unitasker SO worth having! :-)

  5. posted by Kathryn on

    Interesting. I remember reading about a trick for using cookie dough in the waffle iron not too long ago. And the “Will It Waffle?” question has a nice ring to it.

    However, this

    It took me about two minutes to clean my plate

    (in response to the waffled hash browns) makes me wonder if using a waffle iron to carry out those cooking tasks that are handled competently by other ubiquitous multitaskers (like frying pans and cookie sheets) represents a step in the wrong direction.

  6. posted by Amie on

    I happened to catch an episode of “Good Eats” last night in which Alton Brown used a waffle maker for bacon and I immediately thought of Unclutterer.

  7. posted by Jasi on

    <3 you. my waffle iron might be one of the few kitchen unitaskers i've kept. love this find.

  8. posted by Brian W on

    Interesting. I remember reading about a trick for using cookie dough in the waffle iron not too long ago. And the “Will It Waffle?” question has a nice ring to it.

    However, this

    It took me about two minutes to clean my plate

    (in response to the waffled hash browns) makes me wonder if using a waffle iron to carry out those cooking tasks that are handled competently by other ubiquitous multitaskers (like frying pans and cookie sheets) represents a step in the wrong direction.
    —————————————————–
    I think that the author meant that it took her (him?) two minutes to eat all the food on her plate. (At least that’s what my mother meant when she told me that I couldn’t go play until I’d “cleaned my plate.”

  9. posted by Emily H. on

    We don’t use our waffle iron enough–I’m heading over to check out Waffleizer right now!

  10. posted by Mikey's mom on

    My take on your Unitasker thread is that if you use the item a lot, and it does what it does better than anything else, then it’s actually a perfectly designed functioning item. A true unitasker is something that does a function almost or just as well as another less specialized thing.

    A scythe can mow your lawn and do many other things as well (including harvesting souls, I suppose), but most of us have that lawn unitasker in our garage. It just works better, and is a great example of a machine that’s perfectly designed to do its single purpose.

    When some of us object to the unitasker designation, I think we are thinking that this item does something we do a lot, and the item does that thing really really well.

    Okay, sorry /ramble now

  11. posted by mbm on

    I love waffles! I don’t care that the waffle iron is a unitasker. I have no interest in making paninis or hamburgers or cookies or anything else on it.

    Okay, maybe bacon, but only because it’s a natural companion of waffles. Mmmmm, waffles…

  12. posted by Krista@CommitmentisLibearting on

    We make chocolate cookies on our waffle iron too :)

  13. posted by Rebekah on

    On a side note, Erin, can I ask why you put quotation marks around the word disagree in your post? Surely the sentence works even better without the quotation marks– people really did, literally, disagree with you, right?

    You may have been making an arch reference I didn’t get, in which case I apologize. But I’m not a fan of the very common misuse/ unnecessary use of quotation marks.

  14. posted by Erika on

    I have to agree with Mikey’s mom. I own a cherry pitter even though cherries are only in season in the summer, but I love making desserts with fresh cherries and it really is impossible to pit a bowl of cherries cleanly and efficiently without a cherry pitter.

    And, when I think about it, most things I use on a daily basis are unitaskers. Am I supposed to use my toothbrush for anything other than brushing my teeth? I sure hope not.

  15. posted by klutzgrrl on

    I guess unitastkers – and kitchen unitaskers in particular – are always going to be the subject of dissent. Some love’em and use them, for others they are just more clutter. I tend to be in the ‘use my frypan for everything’ school but then I’m not a great fan of cooking generally.

    I do have a unitasker popcorn maker, which is brilliant and worthwhile beause it air-pops without mess.

    Liked this article though, got me thinking of ways to make interesting combos!

  16. posted by Katie Van Domelen on

    That site is cute! But couldn’t you still use those recipes and ideas if you had a grill with waffle-iron plates? I guess as someone who lives in a small space I value the concept of having only the things that I need and that will see a lot of use so the grill/plates solution makes sense to me.

  17. posted by Raisin on

    We have a waffle iron, and we don’t eat waffles. We use the waffle iron to make bacon, and to make ice cream cones. It gets used at least three times a week, so I don’t mind having that ‘unitasker.’

  18. posted by Rico on

    Waffle toast! Once you’ve had it, you just might question the need for a toaster. Hit it with the topping of your choice and all is right with the world.

  19. posted by Anita on

    I don’t own a waffle iron, but the recipes on Wafflizer so far almost make me want to get one! :P

  20. posted by STL Mom on

    I no longer need to defend my waffle iron – yeah!
    Now I need a website to show me 30 ways to use my George Foreman grill. Because right now I only use it for hamburgers, when it’s too cold to grill outside. I live near Chicago, so that’s more than half the year, but I’d still like more justification!

  21. posted by joss on

    Agree with Mikey’s mom -just like an item that tries to do many things is not valuable if it doesn’t do any of the things especially well. The toothbrush is an excellent example of something that’s a unitasker for a reason while the “book brush” featured on the 2009 Unitasker List is a perfect example of a specialized brush that can’t hope to ever justify its existence.

  22. posted by joss on

    Late thought: some company makes a high chair that also turns into a baby swing. It’s more expensive than buying the two functions separately and combining the two mean you can’t put the baby in a swing while you clean up the highchair (and high chairs, even with regular effort, are notoriously gross). Another instance where a dedicated device works better than the also-make-Julian-fries approach.

  23. posted by Mary on

    I love waffles and I love my waffle iron. We use it a lot. I don’t need a Foreman grill with 5 plates that does things I don’t need or already have utensils for, and that takes up more room than the other things I use. Different people value different things, I guess.

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