Living such hectic lives, it comes as no surprise that we’re constantly looking for new ways to make our existence easier and finish all our chores on time. And, since we cannot leave our jobs earlier or skip on our kids’ schedules, we often end up sacrificing our pleasures or the time we spend in the kitchen cooking for ourselves and the family.
Luckily, there are now various wonderful kitchen appliances that cut our cooking time in half, allowing us to relax or catch up on some work. But did you know you can cook thousands of delicious recipes directly in your waffle maker? If you’re a fan of quick breakfasts or snacks prepared in no time, a waffle iron is a reliable kitchen machine.
Unfortunately, if you don’t look after it and clean it properly, you’ll end up burning all your ingredients and destroying this kitchen appliance faster than you want. Here are some useful tips and tricks on how to prolong your waffle iron life and make it deliver perfect results even after months of intense use.
Unplug it and allow it to cool
Most of today’s waffle makers come with nonstick plates that don’t require submerging them in water for cleaning purposes. This makes them easier to wash, as long as you follow some simple rules.
Rule number one is never to try to clean your waffle maker while it’s still plugged in. Unplug the device and allow it to cool for a few minutes. If you have other dishes that need to be washed first, you can start with them. By the time you finished, the machine should be cool enough to allow proper cleaning.
Remove excess oil
The best thing about nonstick devices is that they are easy to clean without requiring additional substances or chemicals. Use a dry paper towel or a damp cloth to remove all traces of oil and residues after cooking. Never opt for abrasive cloths or cleaning products as these can damage the Teflon surface, making it impossible to use afterward.
Don’t rub the paper towels too hard either. If you used more than a few drops of cooking oil in the waffle maker, place the towel on the surface of the item and allow it to absorb all the grease and residues left.
Get rid of bigger crumbs
The cooking process doesn’t always go as smooth as planned, especially if you improvise meals using just a waffle maker. As a result, larger crumbs may get stuck in the ridges or even drip on the sides.
Turn the waffle maker upside down and make sure to clean all the residues using a soft-bristled kitchen brush. We cannot stress enough the importance of choosing soft-bristled brushes in order not to risk damaging or scratching the Teflon surface of the machine.
Remove the hardened bits
Assuming you are in a hurry to go to work and you’ve just finished eating your waffle cooked breakfast, you won’t have time for washing the plates and cleaning the device, which may result in pieces of food remaining stuck inside it and becoming hard. So, how can you handle dried batter and other residues without damaging the nonstick surface?
Grab a dish towel and soak it into hot water. Remove excess water and apply it to your kitchen tool. Allow it to sit for a few minutes until the heat loosens up the stubborn crumbs. After you’re done with the wet towel, make sure to clean the remaining water drops or allow your waffle iron to dry properly.
Other products you can use for cleaning
Dried batter, crumbs, and food residues can also be removed using a bamboo or a rubber spatula by scraping. These tools won’t harm the nonstick surface of the pan but they will efficiently get rid of all debris remained after cooking your breakfast.
Another tool you can safely use is a regular cleaning sponge, as long as you choose one compatible with Teflon surfaces, without an abrasive part.
Cleaning the outside of the waffle maker
Oil, grease, food crumbs, and residues will often make it to the outside surface of your device, making it look dirty. Be sure to keep the exterior of your waffle maker as clean as its interior with the help of a clean wet sponge or piece of cloth.
You may apply a little pressure while rubbing the outer surface to ensure you remove all residues and oil stains from it. Additionally, you can also use wet cleaning wipes, as long as the cleaning substance won’t damage the outside materials of the waffle maker. If you’re not sure of the ingredients of the wet wipes, it is best to avoid them and stick to a moist piece of cloth or a paper towel.
How to look after your kitchen appliance
Waffle makers are easy-to-use tools that can prove quite helpful in any modern kitchen. However, if you want to avoid replacing it every other month, you must also learn how to look after it properly.
Never use a fork or a knife to take the food out of the maker as you risk scratching and damaging the nonstick coating. Instead, you can choose kitchen utensils and accessories made of rubber, silicone or bamboo. Plastic could also be a little harsh, so it is best to avoid it unless necessary.
Don’t lift the lid too early either. Most devices come with timers, so it is always better to wait until the time is up to flip or remove your food from the maker.
On the other side, keeping the lid closed for too long can overcook and even burn your food, which will make the product harder to clean. Therefore, we suggest you flip the device or turn it off as soon as it lets you know your meal is ready.