What Is A Belgian Waffle Maker?

Waffles have been around for a surprisingly long time in one form or another, but what’s a Belgian waffle maker? Answered In literal terms, a Belgian waffle maker is a waffle maker that specifically makes Belgian style waffles. Of course there’s more to it than that, and to answer this question fully, we need to ask a few more questions.  

What’s The Difference Between Belgian Waffles And Regular Waffles?

Belgian waffles are larger and thicker than regular waffles.They are also lighter, with fluffier middles, they have deep groove patterns perfect for collecting syrups and butter, which is why Belgian waffles have grown in popularity.

 Regular waffles on the other hand, are thinner, crispier and (unlike Belgian waffles) tend not to use yeast or egg whites. If you are watching your calorie intake, you’re probably going to benefit from choosing regular waffles as the grooves in Belgian waffles allow more syrup, cream, or any other topping to pool and accumulate.

Differences Between Belgian Waffles And Regular Waffles

Belgian WafflesRegular Waffles
Include yeast in the ingredientsUse baking powder not yeast
Lighter and fluffierFlatter, more dense
Deeper groovesSmaller shallower grooves

How Does A Belgian Waffle Maker Differ From A Regular Waffle Maker?

Belgian waffle makers and regular waffle makers can be made in many shapes and sizes, however, there are some major differences. These are:

Larger, Deeper Design

Due to the differences in the ingredients used between regular and Belgian waffle makers, the actual appliances are different by design. Belgian waffles use yeast which makes the mixture rise significantly whilst cooking, this dictates that Belgian waffle makers have to be larger to allow for the extra height due to the activated yeast. As a result of this, Belgian waffle makers have far deeper grooves. 

Cooking Times

Due to the extra depth of Belgian waffles they take considerably longer to cook than regular waffles. That said, it is possible to cook regular waffles in a Belgian waffle maker but not vice versa.

Waffle Designs

Regular waffle makers are available in many different designs. Belgian waffle makers, being considerably thicker tend to have less design choices. 

Waffle Costs

Waffles

For a number of reasons Belgian waffles will cost more to make than regular waffles. Influencing factors include:

  • Larger Quantity Of Ingredients
    As Belgian waffles are larger they take more ingredients to fill the griddle.
  • Extra Ingredients
    As Belgian waffles need extra ingredients, like yeast for example, the costs for making the waffle batter increases.
  • Running Costs
    Although all waffle makers are relatively cheap to run, obviously the longer it takes to cook, the more power it needs.
  • Longer Reheating Time Required Between Cooking
    If you are cooking a number of waffles, you have to allow the griddle to reach a certain temperature before cooking the next batch. As Belgian waffle makers have deeper griddles, they will take longer to achieve that temperature.

Belgian Waffle Makers – A Brief History

The forerunner to the waffle iron was used in ancient Greece. They cooked flat cakes (usually made from a mixture of flour, water or milk, and sometimes eggs) between 2 hot metal plates. They were known as obelios and spread throughout medieval mainland Europe. Once they were established in Europe they had a name change, the cooked cake was now known as a wafer.

The wafer maker (still 2 pieces of metal cooked on an open fire) became known as moule à oublies. By 1270 the oublieurs guild was formed to standardise the production of the wafers and other pastries. By the late 15th century the first known reference to the waffle was recorded. A letter containing recipes for 4 simple waffle mixes along with cooking instructions was penned by a husband, to his young, inexperienced wife.

Modern History

In 1842 or 43, came the formalized recipe for the “Brussels Waffle” which eventually became known in the USA as the Belgian waffle.

In 1918 the first electric commercial waffle maker was introduced, by the mid1930s companies like Aunt Jemima and Bisquick started marketing a dry waffle mix/pancake mix. The Belgian type waffles were promoted at Expo 58 in Brussels and introduced to the United States at the 1962 world’s fair in Seattle. However it wasn’t until 2 years later at the 1964 New York world fair that Americans started to get hooked onto the Belgian waffle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Belgian waffle mix the same as pancake mix?

Belgian waffle mix and pancake mix share many of the same ingredients but are not the same. The main difference being, pancake mixes don’t contain yeast.

What is the difference between a waffle maker and a waffle iron?

The difference between a waffle maker and a waffle iron is, a waffle iron is used on a stovetop and has no internal heat supply. A waffle maker on the other hand is an electric countertop kitchen appliance that has its own source of heat (supplied by electricity).

Do you eat waffles with your hands?

Waffles made at home are generally eaten using cutlery. But In many European countries waffles are sold as street foods and are eaten by hand.

Can Waffles be served cold?

Waffles can be served cold, it all depends on what toppings you are serving with the waffles.

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