Waffles are popping up on menus across different restaurant concepts. From breakfast joints and hotel self-serve breakfast bars to full-service dinner spots, ice cream shops and pubs without full-kitchens, the waffle maker is showing its might in creating mouth-watering menu options for a variety of establishments. The commercial waffle maker, which is also referred to as a waffle baker and waffle iron, is a versatile and space-saving countertop appliance, and finding the right one involves knowing what you need. If you’re thinking about adding waffles to your menu, begin with knowing the style of waffle you want to make and the productivity level needed for your business.
The Belgian Waffle Maker
Belgian waffles are known for their deep pockets and crispy edges. These waffles bake up to a thick and fluffy, but with a light texture. Syrup, fresh fruit, whipped cream and all sorts of other toppings pool easily on top of the checkered pockets and seep into each decadent bite. These waffles are ideal for all types of menus including breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizers and dessert. Belgian waffles are best served fresh and cannot fit into a toaster for re-heating.
When shopping for a commercial Belgian waffle maker, look for the following attributes:
Belgian waffle makers create waffles in rectangular, square and circular shapes. Each shape provides a different appeal for your menu items. Consider the finished presentation and how you would like each dish to look.
Commercial Belgian waffle makers can make 15 to 80 waffles an hour and can bake one to four waffles per batch. Select a waffle maker that can keep up with your establishment’s level of demand.
Rotary Design or Flip-Up Design
Circular Belgian waffle makers feature a rotary design that allows operators to turn the iron over 180 degrees. This mechanism allows batter to evenly coat the plates for perfectly browned waffles. Flip–open designs are common in rectangle and square shaped waffles. This design allows the operator to either open the iron 90 or 180 degrees to access the irons. A key benefit of most flip-up commercial waffle makers is that, once cooled, the waffle irons can be removed from the device and put into a dishwasher for easy cleanup.
Traditional waffles are crispier and thinner than Belgian waffles. These waffles work well as alternatives to sandwich breads and are often smaller in diameter or square inches than their Belgian counterpart. A strong advantage of traditional waffles is that they can be made ahead of time, put into the freezer and then placed in a toaster or oven for a quick warm-up before being served. This is especially beneficial for busy restaurants with waffle sandwiches or desserts.
When shopping for a commercial traditional waffle maker, look for the following attributes:
Traditional waffle makers create round or square waffles. Each shape provides a different appeal for your menu items. Consider the finished presentation and how you would like each dish to look.
Traditional waffle makers can bake one or two waffles per batch and can create 20 to 40 waffles per hour. Select a waffle maker that can keep up with your establishment’s level of demand.
Accessories to Consider
Controls and Audible Features
Traditional waffle bakers are available with a variety of control options. Some waffle makers have programmed temperature levels and operate at the push of an on/off button, while others have dial or digital controls for varied levels of heat. Digital timers are not standard in every waffle maker. If you need an audible alarm to alert you or your staff when the waffle is done, be sure to look for a waffle maker with this feature. Some digitally controlled waffle makers also feature a countdown timer, allowing operators to time their plate up perfectly.
A countertop ventless exhaust system, sometimes called a ventless hood, is perfect for establishments that use all types of commercial waffle makers, panini grills or crepe makers on countertop areas outside of a vented commercial kitchen area. Health and fire code requirements often dictate that a ventilation system be put in place to control odor, smoke and vapors. Keep your restaurant clean, healthy and free from violations with an easy-to-install and economic option, the countertop ventless exhaust system.
Waffle Menu Ideas and Inspiration
Waffle Cookies have a lighter texture and go well with coffee, hot cocoa, tea and of course, milk. These can also be used to make ice cream sandwiches or as a snow flake-like winter treat.
Waffle Brownies are a lot like cake, but with the added benefit of the pocketed texture a waffle maker creates. Finish the presentation with a drizzle of caramel or fudge, a scoop of ice cream or a dusting of powdered sugar.
Falafel Waffles are made just like regular falafels, only instead of deep frying or heating in a pan, put the finished mixture into a waffle iron and have perfect falafels in minutes. Serve with hummus or tzatziki sauce and offer up a unique appetizer, lunch or dinner treat.
Pizza Waffles can be made as just crust for dipping into sauce, creating a unique and fun appetizer. This recipe can also create a unique personal pizza with all the ingredients baked into the crust.
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