The beep means you'll never accidentally burn your waffle
Jan 20, 2002 (Updated Jan 20, 2002)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Ease of Cleaning:
Pros:Beeps AND lights up when done, cooks ultra fast, easy clean, floating hinge, 1100w power
Cons:price, outside metal casing gets hot, smallish waffle.
The Bottom Line: Buy it because it has everything: alerting beep,helpful green and red lights, easy clean exterior, non-stick, floating hinge, ultra fast, high wattage for quality waffle
When it came time to buy a waffle iron, knowing the way I tend to walk away from things as I am cooking and therefore burning food a lot, I knew I had to buy a waffle iron that would beep when the waffle was cooked. That way I would be alerted right away to remove the waffle; no guess work, and, no matter how distracted I was making coffee or doing dishes, I would still catch the waffle at the right time. Everyone multitasks when in a kitchen, and if you had no beep, I guess you would just have to pull up a stool and watch the light go green, signally it is cooked and ready to be removed.
Recommend this product?
So, because a beep was mandatory for me, that narrowed my choices down to either this iron or Williams Sonoma brand iron. The WS iron was $25 MORE than Chef's Choice, so, I bought Chef's Choice.
Chef's Choice features/advantages:
-it beeps when done, beep is soft but load enough to be heard if you were in the next room over. When first turned on, once the iron has heated up in 3.5 minutes, it beeps to let you know it is ready to accept batter. It will keep beeping periodically to let you know it is on and waiting for some batter. (this is is a safety feature, because, with it beeping in the background, you will not inadvertently forget it is on and leave it on forever by accident)
-you turn it on by plugging it in; you turn it off by pulling the plug. This is a safety feature to idiot-proof the appliance. (if it had an on/off switch and was left plugged in, there would be the possibility that it was accidentally turned on and left on, which could potentially pose a hazard)
-excellent non-stick surface: you don't need to butter or Pam the cooking plates EVER!
-it produces waffles fast. It is fast to warm up when first plugged in (it will be ready to go when you are still making batter). And, it can take as little as 90 seconds from start to finish to cook a waffle. For waffles cooked the way I like, it takes just over 2 minutes. You can stock pile quite a lot of waffles to feed a brunch crew quickly. Its fastness is due to it having 4 wire elements as opposed to the standard 2 elements. Supposedly, this creates more even heat that is also faster, and thus, overall, superior to the heat produced in other irons.
-I am a messy cook, and, this cleans up really easily. When you pour too much, it slops over the side, and, it has a 'gutter' to catch the excess. The gutter is made of what seems like bake-a-lite plastic, and it is really easy to clean with a wipe of a paper towel.
-the floating hinge means you pour in the batter, and, even if you didn't pour in the center, it will tend to even out. You get a waffle of uniform thickness.
-you can get total control over the quality of waffle you want to cook because the iron has 2 variables that you control. First, the iron has 2 settings: crispy exterior with moist interior (my favorite - the waffle is seared and has moist steam inside), or deep bake through and through. AND second, you also choose the color of the exterior waffle you want, anywhere from light to dark. I think being able to choose 'color' is pretty standard on irons, but, getting to choose whether you want the waffle seared or not is definitely a unique feature and a good one at that!
- high wattage of 1100, which is what the best quality irons have. The cheap irons are more like 600 watts. The wattage makes a difference in the quality of the waffle, because the strong power delivers high fast searing heat, turning out crispy yet moist waffels. Cheaper models won't be able to produce the same kind of waffle.
-the lights are bright enough to see if they are on or not even in a well lit kitchen. How the lights work: there are 2, a green one and a red one. When you first turn the iron on, it is not ready because it needs to heat up to the proper temperature, and so the red light is on, and, stays on until the iron is ready, and then when ready, the red goes off and the green goes on, signally the iron is ready to accept batter for a waffle. After you pour and close the iron, then, the green goes off and the red light comes on, (signally wait, I'm busy cooking), then, when the waffle is done, the beep sounds and the red light goes off and the green one comes on, signally the waffel is ready, take it out. Then you take it out, and the light might either stay green if the iron is ready to accept another waffle right away, which is usually the case, or, it might go red, signaling that the iron needs a break (i.e. 20 seconds) to heat back up to optimum temperature to accept another pour of waffle batter.
-if you open the iron, but see a waffle that you want a bit darker, you can close it again and wait a bit before you do decide to remove it.
-this iron can be bought as either an American style or the Belgium style iron. Both produce a round waffle. I bought the American style and it produces a scallop edged waffle that has markings to divide the waffle up into 5 heart shaped segments. The segments are really small, which if you had really young children, is probably good. ( I think the Belgium model makes a round that is dividable into 4 segments.)
-it can store upright on your counter and you can wrap it's electric cord in it's shell.
-1 year warranty
Things I don't like:
-the price -- it's possible to get a waffle iron for as little as $16, so, it is painful paying $70.
-it produces smaller round waffles whereas I prefer larger square ones.
-it lacks a total cool-touch exterior that some irons sport.
-now that I have it, I realize I should have bought the belgium model, the bigger deep pockets of Belgium waffles are actually my preference. oh well.
-not to be too fussy, but, some waffle irons (the black and decker model, and, the villaware model) have changable plates, so you can turn them into plain grills or pizella irons. This iron cannot be changed and it probably would have been nice to be able to convert it. But, the other irons don't have the beep, and so, I couldn't buy them, and, I am glad I didn't because I totally rely on that beep.
Read more product reviews on Chef's Choice 830-SE Waffle Maker
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Amount Paid (US$): 70
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