Hamilton Beach 26500 Waffle Maker Reviews
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Hamilton Beach 26500 Waffle Maker

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Leggo the Eggo, Leave Aunt Jemima Frozen: Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker

Nov 26, 2002 (Updated Nov 26, 2002)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
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Pros:makes GREAT waffles, "done" light with moderately audible "click" when finished, non-stick

Cons:"click" could be a bit louder, no settings available, no "on/off"

The Bottom Line: Leave Aunt Jemimah in the freezer and leggo of Eggo -- this waffle maker will produce BETTER waffles than you've ever had commercially and you can freeze them for later!

The Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500 came to us two years ago as a gift from my brother. I wanted a new waffle maker to replace my aging original one (after only 8 years of service), and had no preference.

Well, now I have a preference, and it's for the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500.

Mommy, How Did You Make These? Mmmmmmmm!

I have used the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500 for two years now, off and on, with great success. Never has anyone in my family lamented, "Gosh, I wish you'd ditch this thing and break out some frozen waffles. Where's the toaster?"

Just two days ago, Daughter of Mine sat attentively counter-side to watch the process. She made little chirping comments regarding the steam escaping from the sides and about the cooking noises associated with the waffle "iron" (old term?) and finally about the little orange light glowing pleasantly at the back of the lid. Then an, "OH! The light went out, Mommy!"

Waffle done -- plate it and pour on the syrup!

Now, having watched the whole process, from helping to mix the batter to watching a cup-full pour onto the hot grid of the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500, Daughter happily gurgled with a mouthful of waffle, "Mommy, how did you make these? Mmmmmm!" Two whole Belgian waffles GONE in a matter of 10 minutes by one pre-schooler not willing to eat reliably.

And the leftover batter went onto the grid to cook up about 4 extra waffles for another morning.

What the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500 Means to Me

The Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500 offers a white, plastic housing encompassing a top and bottom grid with deep troughs to make nice, thick waffles, or "Belgian" waffles. We prefer these fluffy waffles to the thinner waffles made in a standard waffle iron.

The grids, approximately 7 inches in diameter, are non-stick and need to be treated accordingly: no sharp utensils and no abrasive scrubbers or cleaners, which you won't need since they clean off with a damp cloth quite easily.

The run-over troughs along the edges of the iron are narrow. I have never had a run-over in the 30 or so batches of waffles I've baked in this, so I can't comment on the catching ability of this feature, but I imagine it wouldn't catch much. The trick to waffle-making is to pour the batter onto the center of the grid only and allow the pressure of the closed lid to move the batter to the rest of the heated area.

The entire unit measures about 8 inches wide and 11 inches deep, sitting up off the counter top on four legs at about 4-1/2 inches high. The unit can sit on its back hinge for storage, though it doesn't lock closed. I have never had it fall open even though I keep it on a shelf standing on that hinge.

The heavy-duty grounded (three-prong) cord measures a little longer than 3 feet, allowing quite a bit of mobility when plugged into an outlet. This is nice, considering many appliances that leave you tethered to the backsplash while in use.

The Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500 heats up quickly, within 3 or 4 minutes, and really retains the heat well. The plastic housing does not get hot to the touch, but the edges of the unit along the opening do emit heat and steam when in use.

A small orange/yellow light sits toward the back of the lid of the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500, and is really only clearly visible from nearby. Being an electrical cooking appliance that requires monitoring, you shouldn't be leaving it alone to bake a waffle anyway, so the light doesn't need to be on the front edge or flash brightly. The light comes on when you plug in the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500 and remains on until you pour the first dollop of batter onto the grid and close the lid. Then, the light remains off for approximately 3 minutes and 30 seconds until the waffle is baked. Remove the waffle (I use a fork, but don't touch the grid) and refill the grid. Repeat the process. Easy. And, when the light goes on there's a "click" that sounds -- not loud, but audible. Works for me. I can even hear it from our dining room, but need to tune into it. I make use of a timer if I'm going out of the room during a waffle baking. Keeps the smoke alarm from going off . . .

There isn't a setting switch for "light", "medium" and "dark", as I had on my former waffle iron. With the thickness of Belgian waffles this may not be workable. I don't need the extra setting knob, as the waffles come out perfectly browned every time when I rely on the little light to tell me it's time to open the lid. You can time the waffle yourself, lifting the lid to check doneness and make your own chart of color preference and timing. Why not? It's probably more accurate to work that way than to trust a knob, anyway.

On and off function happens by plugging in and unplugging the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500. Not my favorite method, but one that waffle makers have used for a long time. Safe? Maybe. I think it ensures that when you unplug the appliance no one will accidentally turn it on again.

Oh, and the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500 has the backing of a one-year warranty. Ours has never faltered, yet I know that appliances like this won't last forever. In years to come, when I need a new waffle maker, it'll be a Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker

Cleaning your Belgian Waffler

Of course, being an electrical appliance, the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500 cannot take a soaking or a good lathering sink-side. Just wait until the grid is cool, wipe with a damp cloth and dry. The exterior may be kept smooth and white with the same procedure.

That's it. No extra skill required.

Getting Ready to Serve up That First Waffle . . .

Each time I use the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500, I allow the unit to heat, then brush the grid with some margarine -- barely a quarter teaspoon of it -- just to be sure that the first waffle doesn't stick. I've never had trouble with sticking and do not have a need for detailed cleaning, either, with this method. For subsequent waffles I use no margarine at all. Just pour on the batter (about 1-1/4 cup), close the lid and wait . . . light on . . . remove waffle to plate . . . repeat . . . EAT!

Any batter works well, be it a boxed pancake mix or Bisquick. I use the basic waffle recipe from the instruction manual. Delicious, light and fluffy.

As for leftovers, I wrap them in plastic for reheating in the microwave another day. When microwaved the waffles do not remain crisp, but they do remain delicious. You could heat them in the oven to get back some of the crisp texture, and if your toaster has wide slots you could break the waffle into four pieces along the grid lines and toast them.

We have never and will never have a box of frozen waffles in our freezer, no matter how cute the toaster looks on the box or how warm and friendly the smile of the brand icon. As long as the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Belgian Waffle Maker 26500 is in the house, we have our waffles the way we like them: fresh, fluffy, hot and homemade.

Recommend this product? Yes

Amount Paid (US$): gift

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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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