Hamilton Beach 26500 Waffle Maker Reviews
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Hamilton Beach 26500 Waffle Maker

14 ratings (13 Epinions reviews)
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Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Baker: One more waffle iron for the scrap pile....

Mar 4, 2001 (Updated Mar 4, 2001)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: OK

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Ease of Cleaning:
  • Style:

Pros:Small, easy to use, ready light, waffles don't stick, stores easily

Cons:Runs over easily, no finished indicator, tough to clean

The Bottom Line: Might be a good starter waffle iron, but is messy and hard to fill without it spilling. It's worth spending a little more for the extra features on competitive products!

My kids love waffles. I don't mean that they like waffles, I mean that they love waffles. My six-year-old son will happily eat waffles six days in a row, and on the seventh, when we go out to breakfast, he'll happily order a waffle. No syrup, no butter, just waffles.... it's amazing.

Because of their love for waffles, and my indulgence, we have worn out several waffle irons. The last one died when the non-stick coating decided it was done being non-sticky, and I had to lubricate the waffle iron with a quart of oil before cooking each waffle. So I went shopping on Amazon.com in search of the "perfect waffle iron". I found it, I think... but I wasn't willing to fork over $90 for a waffle iron so I bought the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Waffle Iron" instead.

Product Description
This is a cute and affordable basic waffle iron. It's white, round in shape with teflon-covered plates inside. It's very clean looking, with a white exterior, royal blue accents and black non-stick griddle coatings. It folds up compactly, and you can store it upright or sideways easily. There is a ready indicator which indicates that the waffle iron heater is done cycling (aka, it's "ready") on top, and a black electric cord that comes out the back.

Cooking is fairly easy, actually. It takes about 8 - 10 minutes to heat up the waffle iron, then you pour in 1/2 to 3/4 cup of waffle mix and close the top. About 4 - 5 minutes later, your waffle is finished - just pop it out and enjoy.

What I like about this waffle iron
As I said, we've been through five waffle irons in the past 12 years so we consider ourselves fairly adept at selecting a good one. (Like Dr_Steph with her ten carseats, I'm a hard critic of thermometers and waffle irons. We all have our areas of ultra-pickiness, you know!) I wanted a Belgian waffle maker versus a standard one, because I enjoy the deep pockets for the syrup. Actually my son prefers these as well which I find humorous since he doesn't use syrup anyway, but who am I to argue with a six-year-old's logic when he's happily eating?

In any case I realized before I bought this waffle maker that it didn't have a retractable cord, nor did it have washable plates or a ready (finished cooking) indicator. What it did have, though, was immediate availability and an extremely affordable price.

• The Price is Right, Ma - $19.99 will get you one of these lovely waffle makers, and if you buy over $100 your shipping is free on Amazon.com. That's the current deal, anyway, and I'm always happy to find an excuse to buy a few more things on Amazon. In any case the price was certainly right, and as I said, I just wasn't ready to shell out $90 for a waffle maker, no matter how lovely -- and my second choice was backordered.

• Cooks lovely waffles - clearly this is a key requirement for any kitchen appliance. The waffles come out crisp and lightly browned, with nice deep divots and clean interior lines (this is important when you have to divide the waffle between squalling siblings... that center line must be easy to cut!).

• Nice Appearance - as I said above, the physical appearance is really attractive. I was actually very pleased with the physical appearance of this, and even my son the waffle-hound dubbed it "our prettiest waffle iron ever". Also it stores upright (on end) or flat on it's side, in a fairly compact package.

• Ready Light - I cannot go without saying that this "idiot" light is not appreciated, since any waffle expert knows that you don't want to start cooking before your waffle iron is completely heated. In any case, the little light does turn out when the waffle iron is fully heated, and then cycles on and off as the waffle iron heats.

• Durable Plates - I use only teflon-friendly appliances to cook with, but I have not had any problem with the teflon sticking or peeling on this iron (knock on wood). Occasionally the very edges stick, but I'll touch on that below in the spill-over tray area....

What I don't like
Here is where my ultra-picky waffle-queen side kicks in. Please appreciate that I am being brutally honest, and some of these "complaints" are petty (and I admit that). Nonetheless, here is what I wish were different:

• Insufficient run-over area. Most waffle irons have a spill-over tray. This is the area outside of where the cooking plates are that has an extra "ditch" where the excess batter runs, if you add too much. This waffle iron does have these but they are very small, and I spill waffle batter almost every time. The instructions call for 1/2 - 3/4 of a cup of batter. I have found that 1/2 cup of batter leaves a large area of the griddle uncovered, with "holes" in my waffles (doesn't affect the taste, but the kid-reaction is ugly....). 3/4 of a cup, on the other hand, results in a significant amount of batter leaking out the sides and back of the waffle iron, such that all four feet are sitting in a pool of congealing batter, and there is a semi-cooked section of excess batter attached to every waffle. Blech.

• No finished indicator - this may be silly, but some higher-end waffle irons have a finished indicator. This tells the chef that the waffle is finished. Since this waffle iron cooks more slowly than my old waffle iron, I miss this indicator which would mean I wouldn't have to keep lifting the lid to check on the waffle.

• Very slow heatup - I currently have two waffle irons (the other is a "character" iron, very fun) and the Proctor-Silex waffle iron takes twice as long to heat up. I can't recall how long my old waffle irons took but this one seems very slow to heat, which is especially noticable when I have both waffle irons going side by side (yes, I actually do that, what a great Mom I am, huh?). I would guess it's about 8-10 minutes to heat up, which is an eternity when you have little kids waiting for waffles....

• Tough to Clean - this goes back to the spillover issue above. The plates themselves are not hard at all to clean, and wipe clean easily. However, the feet and sides of the waffle iron are harder to clean ,especially as this is not a submersible product. Getting semi-congealed batter off of the underside of a waffle iron without a thorough soaking is challenging. I now put two large paper towels under the waffle iron when I cook, which I can change inbetween waffles to limit the build-up of gunk underneath .... but I wish this were easier to clean overall.

Overall Assessment
For $19.99 I knew I wasn't getting the waffle maker of my dreams.... but I thought this one would hold me over for a couple of years. Instead, I'm already eyeing other waffle irons and plotting my next purchase. It's not a bad waffle iron at all, but for me the negatives outweigh the positives. I hate the mess, and having to babysit the waffle iron to avoid burning the waffle. I could probably deal with the latter if it were easier to control the mess.

If you are giving a couple a gift, this is a great "first waffle iron". I would actually say that this is better than the first waffle iron we had (sixteen years ago!) when we got married. Nonetheless for our needs, the $19.99 which seemed like a "great deal" was just money thrown away since I'll be shopping for a better, less-spill-prone waffle iron soon. I would not recommend this for frequent waffle cookers or those who are not mess-tolerant. If you have a good replacement product to suggest, please feel free to comment below or email me! In the meantime, happy waffling!

Recommend this product? No

Amount Paid (US$): 19.99

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Hamilton Beach 26500 Features: -Quick and easy.-Non stick grids.-Preheat and ready light.-Compact storage.-Product Type: Belgian waffle maker.-Collect...
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