Jan 26, 2008 (Updated Feb 6, 2008)
Review by JoeEkaitis
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Simpler and possibly more durable design than other "pro" wafflers.
Cons:No darkness control (may be important to some users)
The Bottom Line: Simpler and potentially more sturdy than "pro" looking waffle makers, the Presto FlipSide could be twice the value for half the price.
We bought the Presto FlipSide to replace a faux pro waffler made by the blender company who shares its name with Fred W's Glee Club (see my review titled "The Belgian Waffle Finally Comes Home (but only stayed for three years)"). That one cost twice the price and lasted a mere three years before going to pieces. It was "Pro" in name only.
Presto took a simpler and possibly more durable approach: Add a second hinge to a traditional counter top Belgian waffle maker so it can flip over and let gravity work its special magic. The entire weight of the baking platform is supported by the counter top, not by a pair of screws driven into failure-prone plastic.
When I unpacked the iron and set it on the counter, I noticed that the upper grid "floated" slightly when the grids were resting at the left side of the hinge. It might just be a mass-production variance but it was cause for concern because the iron has to close tightly for proper baking. When I flipped them to the right, the grids closed firmly, so the left side became the filling side and the right, the baking side. Do the same when yours arrives.
The nonstick grids are deep enough to fall into, with dimpled tapered studs that assist in releasing the baked waffle. The baking surface is surrounded by a fairly generous overflow rim. At 1350 watts, it bakes hotter than the 1200 watt pro-look model. The Presto lacks a darkness control but you can compensate by adjusting the baking time. What's important is the initial temperature when the batter hits the grids, and if you turn a darkness control too low, the grids are too cool to "fry" the outside. What you end up with is a textured pancake, not a real waffle.
The battery-powered timer is a nice feature but not really a necessity if your kitchen, like mine, has plenty of timers (the stove, the kitchen scale, the microwave oven).
The waffles come out about an inch and then some in height with a crisp, crackly exterior and a cloud-fluffy interior. We make our waffles from Krusteaz Belgian waffle mix but use the professional technique of separating the eggs and beating the egg whites before folding them into the batter. Baking time is 3 minutes for a waffle you could charge at least a pair of Lincolns for on a hotel room service menu.
Time will tell if the Presto FlipSide, at half the price, is twice the waffle iron for the money. Updates as they happen. Stay tuned!