Looking for a way to enjoy waffles on camping trips or yard cookouts? Perhaps you want to be able to make waffles even if the power is out? Or maybe you’re looking for solutions to cut back on your electricity? Whatever the reason is, you need a non-electric waffle maker in your life. Today, we’re reviewing 5 of the best non-electric waffle makers on the market and providing you with a detailed buying guide so you can choose the right model according to your needs and budget.
What is a Non-Electric Waffle Maker?
A non-electric waffle maker is a kitchen tool designed to make waffles without using electric power. Instead, it relies on the heat from a fire source, which is usually a stove. The typical non-electric waffle maker involves 2 plates and a handle on each side. It looks as if you attached 2 frying pans together.
To operate a non-electric waffle maker, you don’t need a wall outlet since it doesn’t come with a cable. You do, however, need a stove or fire to produce the required heat. Non-electric waffle makers can be made of different materials including cast iron and aluminum.
While iron stovetop waffle makers were the first to happen, aluminum is now the most common material for manufacturing non-electric waffle makers. You can say that aluminum waffle makers are the modern version of the old iron models.
5 Best Non-Electric Waffle Makers
1. NordicWare 15040 Cast Aluminum Stovetop Belgium Waffle Iron
Kicking off our list with a widely popular candidate, the NordicWare Stovetop Belgium Waffle Iron has thousands of customers praising its durability, size, and ease of use.
Featuring a 4-waffle plate size, the NordicWare Stovetop Belgium Waffle Maker comes in a square-shaped design with a cooking surface measuring at approximately 7.25″ L × 7.25″ W. The plate is made to bake 4 delicate, crisp waffles at once, which is great for bigger families.
This non-electric waffle maker is made of sturdy cast aluminum to ensure an extended service time. The handle, however, is imported and has a decent length. Still, you may want to use gloves or oven mitts to avoid injury.
Being made of aluminum, the NordicWare Stovetop Belgium Waffle Iron heats up pretty quickly. This makes it a practical option on busy mornings since you can warm it up in a short time.
Granted, cast aluminum doesn’t stay hot for as long as cast iron (used in other models of non-electric waffle makers), but it’s the healthier route for the modern dishes industry.
Additionally, the aluminum surface of the NordicWare Stovetop Waffle Maker is coated with PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) material to prevent the batter from sticking. Not only is this non-stick coating safe for humans, but it also makes your cleaning mission easier. You can simply use water and soap to wash this stovetop waffle maker by hand.
Making waffles with the NordicWare Stovetop Belgium Waffle Iron is a piece of cake. First, you should heat the unit, pour the batter, and close the upper side. After that, let the waffles cook for about 30 to 60 seconds.
Then, flip the waffle maker and wait for a couple of minutes – around 3 minutes is enough for the waffles to be ready. The result is crispy waffles with deep grids, ideal for Belgium waffles.
Things We Like
- Aluminum Things We Don’ttruction
- Heats up quickly
- Ideal for Belgium style waffles
- Great value for money
Things We Don’t
- Not very secure when turning the waffle
2. Happycall Nonstick Double Pan Waffle Maker
With over 20 years of experience in the cookware industry, the South Korean company Happycall has introduced many innovative products to the market such as their flagship product: the Original Double Pan. Luckily, they didn’t overlook waffles from their plans, which brings us to the Happycall Nonstick Double Pan Waffle Maker.
This non-electric waffle maker has a 2-waffle plate size. It features a rectangular design with a decent cooking area. The plate is meant to bake 2 waffles at once, which is great for smaller families or even bigger ones if you don’t mind making several batches.
The Happycall non-electric waffle maker is made out of sturdy cast aluminum and stainless steel to ensure durability. It takes a short time to heat up so it won’t hinder you when you’re in a rush.
Additionally, the aluminum surface of the Happycall Nonstick Double Pan Waffle Maker is internally coated with a 3-layer non-stick keratinum coating to prevent the batter from sticking. There’s also a 2-layer ceramic coating on the outer surface to protect the unit and keep it clean.
The side lock mechanism found on the handles allows you to lock the pans when they’re closed, while the overflow channel helps prevent spills during cooking.
Using the Happycall Nonstick Double Pan Waffle Maker is quite easy as well. First, you need to preheat the top and bottom plates for about 30 seconds. Spread some butter or oil on the surface of the pans before you pour the batter, and close the upper pan.
Then, flip the waffle maker immediately and wait for about 1 minute. Turn the unit again to the other side of the pan and let it cook for around 1.5 minutes.
Things We Like
- Has a side lock mechanism
- Minimal collapse thanks to the overflow channel
- Durable non-stick coating
- Dishwasher safe
- Ceramic outer coating for easy cleaning
Things We Don’t
- A bit small
3. The Keyboard Waffle Iron Stovetop Waffle Maker
If you’re looking to break out of the conventional waffle grids shape, then you may want to try The Keyboard Stovetop Waffle Maker. This non-electric waffle iron can be a fun addition to your breakfast on days when you feel like mixing it up for kids or guests.
The Keyboard Waffle Iron features a unique wide format plate that creates a delicious Belgian-style waffle in the shape of a computer keyboard. The design is simple yet sleek, perfect for any tech-savvy out there.
The griddle on this unit is made out of die-cast aluminum that heats up quickly and cooks evenly. The aluminum surface has a non-stick coating to make it easier to clean and give you batch after batch of fluffy, crispy waffles.
The Keyboard Waffle Maker comes with curved handles for a comfortable grip and easy flipping. These handles are also made of heat-resistant bakelite with a magnetic catch for a safe and secure experience.
As for using The Keyboard Waffle Iron, the process is incredibly easy and takes about 5 minutes. You’ll start by preheating The Keyboard Waffle Iron on any stove, grill, or another cooking surface. Don’t forget to lightly coat the waffle maker with a non-stick cooking spray.
After that, pour a reasonable amount of batter, close the lid, and allow the batter to cook for approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Finally, turn The Keyboard Waffle Iron over to cook the other side for an extra 1 to 2 minutes.
This non-electric waffle maker is pretty expensive compared to conventional stovetop waffle irons. It’s a fantastic novelty piece or gift, but it can get a bit messy due to overflow if you’re not accurate enough.
Things We Like
- Fun design
- Comfortable grip
- Heat-resistant handles
- Great gift for computer enthusiasts
Things We Don’t
- Tends to overflow
4. Ejoyway Non-Electric Multifunctional Waffle Maker
Next up is another variation of the old-school stovetop waffle maker design. Instead of cooking thicker waffles, the Ejoyway Non-Electric Multifunctional Waffle Maker creates thin, super crispy waffles that you can serve as is or shape into cones and load them with your preferred filling.
This unique double-sided stovetop waffle maker is made mainly out of aluminum alloy that’s high quality, food-grade safe, and quite sturdy. Not only will you get a long-lasting service life, but the cooking surface is also covered in a non-stick coating for convenient cooking and easy cleaning.
The Ejoyway Non-Electric Multifunctional Waffle Maker heats up very fast and even, with a heat-resistance temperature up to 842°F (450°C). Additionally, the handles are long to allow for easy gripping and they offer good heat insulation to avoid burning your hands. There’s also a hole at the end of each handle so you can store the unit by hanging without taking up precious counter space.
Operating this non-electric waffle maker is practically a breeze. You start by preheating the plates for about 30 seconds, then just pour a small amount of batter and press the double-side plates to shape your waffle.
Besides making waffle cones, you can use the Ejoyway Non-Electric Multifunctional Waffle Maker to cook crepe, egg rolls, or even burgers. The unit weighs only 1.34 pounds and has a diameter of 6.7 inches.
Things We Like
- Compact design
- Easy to store
- Versatile use
Things We Don’t
The handles aren’t very secure
5. Diyeeni Non-Stick Waffle Iron
Last but not least, the Diyeeni Non-Stick Waffle Iron is a budget-friendly option for waffle lovers looking for an affordable gadget to cook crispy, fluffy waffles.
This high-quality non-electric waffle maker features a pan made of aluminum alloy. It’s safe, sturdy, with anti-rust property to ensure long-lasting service. Moreover, the aluminum helps you make waffles quickly, but it won’t keep them warm for long.
Thanks to the non-stick coating, the heating pan is easy to clean and the waffle comes off without issues. This waffle maker is best compatible with gas stoves. It does not work with induction cookers like most stovetop waffle makers, so keep that in mind.
The Diyeeni Non-Stick Waffle Iron is equipped with a long handle so you can hold it comfortably and safely. The heat insulation also protects your hand from burning for a risk-free cooking experience.
Moreover, using this stovetop waffle maker is a very simple task. The company does recommend cleaning the heating pan and drying it on the fire to get rid of any dirt or residue that may be present.
You should also brush a layer of butter on the surface and then dry it for about 2 to 3 minutes. The goal of this important step is to form a protective film to extend the service life of the mold and enhance the non-stick effect.
Things We Like
- Anti-rust aluminum Things We Don’ttruction
- Heat insulation keeps your hands safe
- Long handles
- Deep mold
Things We Don’t
- Can get messy upon flipping
Why Should You Use a Non-Electric Waffle Maker?
There are several advantages to using a non-electric waffle maker so if you’re still on the fence about buying one, the following reasons may help you make up your mind:
Saves Electric Power
The first and most obvious benefit of using a non-electric waffle maker is already in the name. Being non-electric means that you get to save electric power.
This won’t just look better on your utility bills later on, but it also helps decrease your dependency on electricity so you can still make waffles if the power is out.
You may not realize this right away, but non-electric waffle makers are very portable. The fact that they’re usually lightweight and require no outlet to operate makes them an excellent option for preparing waffles both indoors and outdoors as long as you have a fire source.
For example, you can easily carry a non-electric waffle maker to cook on the balcony, in your backyard, or even on a picnic using a portable stove or a grill. You can also take it on camping trips and use the campfire to make some yummy waffles.
Easy to Clean
Non-electric waffle makers are known for their ease of cleaning. They’re even easier to clean when compared to electric models. This is mainly due to the absence of electric components which allows you to simply use water and soap on the entire unit.
Easy to Store
Non-electric waffle makers are also more compact than electric models. They’re slimmer and more lightweight, so you can store the waffle maker just about anywhere even if your kitchen has limited counter space.
Lasts for a Long Time
Finally, manual waffle makers tend to last for a longer time than electric waffle makers. The electric components of automated waffle makers will stop working after 5 to 10 years, whereas a non-electric waffle maker can last for decades if you use it correctly and clean it regularly.
How to Choose the Best Non-Electric Waffle Maker
When shopping for the best non-electric waffle makers, you should first consider the following features:
Some non-electric waffle makers look average while others look really unique.
Some are designed to strictly make waffles while others offer greater value thanks to their multi-functionality.
So it’s up to you to decide whether you want a unit that exclusively cooks waffles or something more versatile to also cook crepes, eggs, and paninis.
Quantity of Waffles
If you have lots of mouths to feed, then you probably need a non-electric waffle maker with a larger capacity. This will help you feed more people in less time.
Although most manual waffle makers can make 1 or 2 waffles at a time, some models can cook 4 waffles at once.
Ease of Cleaning
Since no one wants to spend much (if any) time cleaning a waffle maker or a waffle iron after making waffles, you should look for a model that offers quick, easy cleaning so you spend less effort and less time doing it.
This shouldn’t be a difficult task especially because most non-electric waffle makers feature non-stick coating on their cooking areas. This means there’ll be no bits of the batter left behind after cooking, which equals hassle-free cleaning.
Additionally, most non-electric waffle makers just need a wet cloth and some soap to clean. There are even some models that are dishwasher safe so you won’t have to deal with washing altogether!
When it comes to non-electric waffle makers, the choice of material is almost always either cast iron or cast aluminum. So let’s break down the Things We Like and Things We Don’t of each material:
Cast iron is extremely durable, offers excellent heat retention, and can become non-stick after using the right seasoning.
However, cast iron takes a long time to preheat and requires regular seasoning for proper operation.
Cast aluminum, on the other side, heats up pretty quickly which means less preheating time and less cooking time. It’s also very energy efficient.
However, aluminum surfaces are prone to dents and scratched. They should be washed by hand unless they’re rated dishwasher safe by the manufacturer.
If you value your kitchen counter space, then you want appliances that also whatever space you’re working with. After all, no one wants a crowded kitchen counter that makes their lives less convenient.
This is why the best non-electric waffle maker will offer a compact, slim design that requires as little space as possible. Some models even feature holes so you can store then by hanging to save the extra space.
Choosing the best non-electric waffle maker can be a challenging mission, but we made sure to include only the top-performing models available so you end up with a great deal no matter what.
That being said, we recommend the NordicWare 15040 Cast Aluminum Stovetop Belgium Waffle Iron as today’s winner. This non-electric waffle maker is extremely sturdy and heats up very quickly. It’s ideal for cooking Belgium waffles, makes 4 waffles at once, and comes at a competitive price that works for any budget.
However, if you’re looking for something with extra features such as a side lock mechanism and an overflow channel to minimize spilling, then check out the Happycall Nonstick Double Pan Waffle Maker.