The waffle is a favorite and reigns supreme amongst breakfast foods; it can be sweet or savory, as well as basic or elaborate. No matter how you enjoy dressing up your waffle, you probably have a preference for which kind of waffle is your favorite.
Belgian waffles and regular waffles are quite different, which is a key thing to keep in mind when you’re in the market to purchase a new waffle maker. Understanding what the differences are, as well as which kind of maker is appropriate for either waffle style, will ensure you’re super happy with your purchase.
Below we’ll explore the difference between Belgian and regular waffles, as well as the features that distinguish a Belgian waffle maker vs regular waffle maker so you can make your most informed decision.
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Belgian Waffle Vs Regular Waffle
You might not have even realized that there are differences between Belgian and regular waffles as you’ve just simply enjoyed eating them. If you dig a little deeper, however, you may find that some waffles are more satisfying than others. While toppings can make a difference, chances are that the texture and taste of the waffle itself play a huge part. Upon further inspection you’ll be able to tell the waffles apart, making it easier to purchase a waffle maker for your preference.
Difference in Batter Recipe
When you pay attention, one of the biggest differences you’ll notice between Belgian and regular waffles is that they taste a little bit different. This is because there are some minute differences in the batter recipe for each type of waffle. The bare-bones are the same, but the few ingredients that are unique to each type of waffle will make a difference in flavor.
For example, to make a Belgian waffle, you want to use egg whites. This will help add to the fluffiness of the waffle that sets them apart from other types of waffles. This will also help give the waffle a crispy finish.
Furthermore, a Belgian waffle will use less baking powder in the batter than a regular waffle will. This is because a good Belgian waffle recipe relies on yeast to get its signature look and fluffy consistency. It is also often recommended to make your Belgian waffle batter the night before and let it sit overnight to get extra soft waffles the next day.
A regular waffle batter can allow you to use buttermilk as opposed to regular milk, which will make them much sweeter. However, buttermilk as an ingredient truly just depends on your preference.
A Belgian waffle is going to look a lot thicker and fluffier once it’s cooked. You’ll also notice that the color is a golden brown. Being that they are so large, their deep square pockets are able to absorb more butter, syrup, or any other topping you desire.
A regular waffle, on the other hand, tends to be somewhat thin when it has finished cooking. When you bite into a regular waffle, there isn’t a lot of fluff. Because it’s smaller in size, it tends to get denser and a lot crispier from top to bottom.
Belgian Waffle Maker Vs Regular Waffle Maker
Technically, you can use a Belgian waffle batter or a regular waffle batter for any type of waffle and you’ll get a yummy waffle. However, if you’re looking for the most authentic, traditional experience for either type of waffle, there are a few differences in available waffle makers to look out for.
Thickness and Size of the Grids
If you want a Belgian waffle that is substantial in size to soak up all of those toppings, look for a waffle maker that has large, thick grids. This will be the only way to achieve this signature size.
Today’s US market has a larger percentage of Belgian waffle makers and fewer thin classic waffle makers. You can use your regular waffle batter in a Belgian waffle maker and still get a delicious waffle. That being said, you will have to pour a lot of batter into the waffle maker to fill up the grids.
Using a regular waffle maker for a Belgian batter can definitely be done, but you are missing out on the authentic Belgian waffle experience when doing so. You’ll still get a waffle that tastes good, but you aren’t going to get a fluffy waffle. Because the size of the grids is smaller and not as thick as with a Belgian waffle maker, the yeast within the batter that makes a Belgian waffle rise into a big fluffy waffle doesn’t have enough room to blossom like it needs to.
Having the ability to preheat your waffle iron, regardless of type, is one of the most important tips for making a delicious waffle that is cooked evenly every time. It is also said that if you preheat your waffle maker for just a little bit longer than recommended, you’ll get a much better waffle.
When it comes to making Belgian waffles, preheating time is even more important because the batter is so thick. It can be really hard to make a thoroughly cooked Belgian waffle when pouring the batter on a room temperature waffle iron plate.
A Belgian waffle maker is going to take more time to get hot. This makes perfect sense, considering that there is usually more surface area that needs to heat up. The pockets are deeper to get that signature Belgian waffle look.
Browning Control and Timer
A waffle maker that has a function that allows you to pick your browning preference is ideal for a Belgian waffle. This is because that signature golden color is going to make or break how delicious your waffles turn out. A timer is also a must-have when it comes to a Belgian waffle maker because you will ruin your waffle if you overcook it.
The timer is also helpful because it can be really easy to burn a waffle. This is because, for the best results, you want to cook your waffles at high heat. We also know that, when it comes to cooking, it can be really easy to get distracted and lose track of time.
Keep in mind that when you have control over the cooking time, it can take more tries to perfect making a waffle. A thin waffle maker rarely comes with a timer or browning setting, but it takes the guesswork out of making waffles right from the first batch.
Finally, a waffle iron that beeps at you when your waffles are done will help you snap out of distraction mode.
Multipurpose or Not
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Belgian waffle maker that lets you cook more than one thing in it. This is because a Belgian waffle needs certain parameters like those above in order to get an authentic experience.
If you have less space to work with in your kitchen, you may be hoping to purchase a multipurpose kitchen tool that lets you make waffles and other foods. In this case, you may not have a choice of type of waffle. A regular waffle maker can also be multipurpose in and of itself, as you can use it to make sandwiches, eggs, and even certain desserts.
Waffle makers with removable plates usually double as panini makers or indoor electric grills to allow you to make different dishes. You’re in luck because there are numerous options for multipurpose machines on the market for any price point.
Rotating Waffle Maker Vs Regular
If your preference is for Belgian waffles, consider going for a flipping or rotating waffle maker. These waffle makers are much easier to use than they may appear. The rotation allows for the batter to get distributed evenly across both plates, ensuring that your waffle comes out with crispy edges and fully cooked batter even in the center. You basically pour the batter into the lower grid, as usual, close the maker, and then flip it 180 degrees to let it finish cooking.
Because Belgian waffles are quite large, many of those waffle machines only let you make one waffle at a time. However, some rotating waffle makers have the ability to make two waffles at a time, one on top of the other in two separate halves. You fill one half, close the lid, flip the whole maker, open the other lid, fill that half, close that lid, and let both waffles cook. These double waffle makers speed up breakfast-making for your family quite a bit.
Your preference for which type of waffle you like will have a major impact on which type of waffle maker you ultimately end up buying. Even if you enjoy one type of waffle over another, one thing can be universally agreed upon; a homemade waffle is a supreme waffle.
The standard thickness of a Belgian waffle is 1.5 inches, which is at least double the thickness of a classic American waffle.
Hong Kong is the origin of Bubble waffles or egg waffles and are also quite popular in Thailand.
Bubble waffles are typically served in a container filled with whipped cream, fruit, or ice cream and wrapped somewhat like a waffle cone. However, you may eat them flat, like a regular waffle, or break them apart and eat the bubble-like pockets in a dish. They have a similar flavor to American-style thin waffles but are a little eggier.
In Belgium, you’ll find two varieties of waffles: the Liege waffle and the Brussels waffle. But what is the distinction between the two? To begin with, each has a distinct form. The Liege waffle is compact and round with uneven edges, but the Brussels waffle is larger and either rectangular or round but with defined edges. Furthermore, the Liege one is thicker and has little clusters of sugar, whilst the Brussels one is lighter and has icing sugar sprinkled on top.
A Belgian waffle can be any shape – square, rectangular, or round, but most Belgian waffle makers in the market today make round ones. The key is that the grid pockets have to be deep.