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Black & Decker G48TD Waffle Maker
(26 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
You'd expect better build from a tool company
Dec 22, 2010 (Updated Jul 12, 2011)
Review by Scott_A_R
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Removable plates take some effort away from cleanup; reversible plates expand usability.
Cons:Flimsy at best; mediocre waffles on a good day; astonishingly hot exterior with inadequate handles.
The Bottom Line: Black & Decker seriously needs to go back to the design board with this device. It's neither well-built nor particularly functional.
I like waffles. Scratch that: I love waffles. Especially whole-grain waffles with lots of stuff mixed in. Chunks of apple or banana, a handful of granola... call them nontraditional. And batters that really test the capabilities of a wafflemaker.
Recommend this product?
I've owned three wafflemakers in just the past five years. The first was a Villaware, a machine that was decently capable when first purchased, but its nonstick capabilities--marginal to begin with--quickly became nonexistent. The current one is a Calphalon HE400WM, a machine with which I am engaged in the beginning of a long and happy relationship.
In the middle was the G48TD, a machine whose main selling point for me was the removable plates--bought in direct response to the frustratingly difficult to clean plates of the Villaware. How easy, I thought, if you could just pop the plates out and wash them! And the plates are reversible: flip them over and you can use it as either an open or closed griddle.
After purchase, the disappointments began. To start, the machine seemed flimsy and poorly constructed--almost unfinished, like they spent just enough effort in design to get the parts together. The components are very light, almost flimsy; it rattles and the whole seem poorly-joined. A thought flashed through my head that I'd somehow received a box of incompletely assembled parts, and not all of them at that.
The next disappointment was one I ought to have seen before buying: the G48TD only makes very shallow waffles, the indentations just barely deep enough to qualify them as waffles and not pancakes. This isn't a fatal flaw, just a preference: though I like my waffles... well, more wafflelike, it's the crispness of the outside that distinguishes them from pancakes. But I held out hope.
So I made a batch. Then a few more. And the disappointments mounted.
For one, crispness was hard to achieve. Perhaps because they are so thin, by the time the outside gets that nice crust the insides are overdone. The heat controls don't really help very much with this--perhaps because the machine is so flimsily built and you don't get good heat retention. The shallowness also limited what I could make: nuts or chunks of apple interfered with how the mechanism closed, making the exterior still less crisp. As far as actual wafflemaking goes, the machine was seriously deficient.
The flimsiness of the machine wasn't only an aesthetic deficiency. The plates are held in by thin little spring loaded clips--a single clip per plate. Not only would the plates often fall out when I simply opened the wafflemaker, but the top plate would sometimes pull out when it stuck to the waffles--the nonstick aspect was only modestly better than my old machine's, despite the flatter surface and initial seasoning--and I'd have to push the really hot metal back into place. I shake my head that they didn't use a simple sliding lock to lock them down.
The plastic handles on either side of the bottom have an eighth-inch gap away from the metal: ideal for catching runoff batter and baking it into a narrow crevasse where it can't easily be cleaned out. Heck, the outside is full of nooks and crannies and protrusions to make cleaning just that much more difficult.
There's no audible signal for when the machine is heated or the waffles are ready. The other two machines I have do, so I can sit down and drink some coffee while the waffles are baking and listen for the alert; with the B&D I basically have to stand right there and watch the little light.
Watch out for the exterior: there is literally nothing between you and the heating elements other than the thin metal shell. I went to close it one time, the open top just barely obscured by the bottom of an overhanging cabinet, and burned my fingertips because I missed the narrow top handle. Bad design in many ways: if you're going to have a seriously hot metal exterior, you could make the top lid's sole handle a little wider than the four inches they went with.
The G48TD was carefully designed so that it can't easily be stored upright. You can, sort of, balance it on the rear hinge, but there's no locking mechanism, and the top and bottom gap open; if it gets bumped, it'll collapse open.
I have used the griddle plates with greater success than the waffle side, though the machine is so lightweight that for optimal function it needs a weight placed on top. You still have to be careful about moving too quickly, as the plate can fall out of you do (especially if it clings to the food), but with some foods you can get a decent crisping. Hot dogs, for example, if split down the center first. There's enough room for four hamburgers (five, if smaller and crowded). The rear hinge can adjust for height, though nominally. If I want an open griddle, though, I prefer my Lodge cast iron stovetop griddle: much more room, far better heat retention, and easier cleanup.
Overall, a purchase I regret.
Update: to the thrift store it has gone.
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