on October 4, 2008
I bought 2 of these. Based on the potential product quality, I would give it 5 stars. These can make great waffles (nonbelgian - i.e. thin), crisp on the outside, tender in the center, and light and airy. It's a revelation in fact, if you are used to the typical doughy waffle. I like these much better the what the waring pro, nonstick, flip, automatic beep, etc. In addition, the cycle time can be quite fast, provided you preheat the irons sufficiently and keep a high enough temperature. I can average 1 waffle a minute.
However, I took off a star because of the following caveats:
1) You must know how to season cast iron, otherwise the waffles will stick. It would be great if they could preseason this, like lodge logic. To season, first i put the irons in boiling water to take off the wax coating, then soaped and washed. I decided to season this on the stove top (make sure you have a good hood & vent). I preheated the irons, then brushed a raw chunk of pork fat on the surfaces several times and continued heating until the seasoning looked hard and black and no longer sticky. It took about 30 minutes (using 4 burners as I had 4 halves or two whole wafflers) and it will give off a lot of smoke. I decided to do this on the stove top because i have more control vs the oven.
2) The handles get hot. So, you need a mitt to handle it. I find a thin mitt easier to use than a thick one. It's easier to lift just the top half with a thin mitt. And you have to be somewhat careful as the halves can disengage while you are filling and removing the waffles. Having said that, I got the hang of it pretty quickly. I would not let my kids use it though. They also sell these with wooden handles. It would probably be easier.
3) You have to use enough heat. You have to preheat each side till it starts to smoke. I use medium to medium high heat on a gas burner. Do not use high heat to preheat as you can burn off the seasoning. By the way, i don't know if this will work on an electric burner. And you have to brush or spray some oil or butter. I brush lightly a mix of oil and butter. I find i only have to do this every other waffle, as the waffle mix does have some butter in it.
4) I don't wash the waffle surfaces, I just brush and wipe after cooking.
HOWEVER, in spite of all that, I really like these and the my kids rate the waffles a 10, especially the cheesy waffles.
I use a yeasted waffle batter that I make the night before. It includes, flour, buttermilk, eggs, and a bit of sugar and salt and some melted butter. I stir in a pinch of baking soda for extra lift prior to baking. You can put vanilla extract or grated cheese. I top with either real maple syrup, dulce sauce, or whipped cream and chopped fruits.
on December 21, 2008
I have been making and freezing waffles for my family (teenagers included) for about 10 years now and this is the best waffle maker yet. I've gone through about 3 electric ones over the years, so it's nice to know I'll never need another!
It can seem to need a lot of attention, but it's really worth it.
1) The most important thing to know is: Are you familiar with working with iron skillets? You'll need to know how to season the iron and keep it seasoned throughout its lifetime of use. This could be the waffle iron's down-fall if you don't know how to do this.
~~~To season this I first burned off the paraffin coating in my oven with double aluminum foil under it. Then I washed it in the dishwasher. Then I heated it on the stove-top with a heavy brushing of canola oil and then let it cool completely. I did this about 4 times. This takes a day or two because of cooling times. Then I washed it again.
2. Once seasoned, I use it on my gas stove top at a flame set just less than medium. I have a bowl with several Tbsp. of canola oil next to the stove and a basting brush. I lightly brush the skillet before each waffle. I sometimes use spray oil and that is easier, but doesn't really help season it in the beginning.
3. Pouring 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of batter on the iron, then I use a countdown timer (Timex Ironman watch: it counts down and repeats automatically) set for 2 minutes. At 2 minutes, using oven mitts, I turn it over for another 2 minutes.
4. After 4 minutes total, the waffle is done and ready for eating, or let cool and then freeze.
5. After use, I may give the iron a light coating of oil, or simply let cool and store. Every two or three uses I place it in the dishwasher without any ill affects to the seasoning.
This waffle iron makes the best waffles: light thin, and fluffy. No uncooked parts as with an electric iron. I like the beautiful simplicity of this iron, and I like that it also is a good source of dietary iron.
on January 10, 2014
I own other pieces of cast iron cookware and am very familiar with the seasoning process. I tried scrubbing the parrafin wax off of the irons first, but that did not work, so I melted them off in the oven. When the irons were cooled off, I took some oil and rubbed it all over the irons. I cooked them in a 350 degree oven for one hour and left them in there over night to cool just like the instructions said. When I went to get them out of the oven this morning, they were completely rusted over. I am devastated and have no idea what on earth just happened to my brand new waffle irons. So, until I can figure out how to get all of the rust out of the little grooves, I won't be writing any reviews on how this product performs. I'm so sad.
UPDATE (one week later):
So, I scoured the internet to find out how I could get the rust off of a cast iron waffle iron easily and found that using a metal with a lower valence would return the rust to its previous state (un-rust it, if you will). I soaked each side in a glass pan filled with water, a little salt, a little baking soda and a medium-sized piece of aluminum. I made sure that the aluminum was touching the skillet. After a few hours, it seemed to be working. I then dried the skillet in the oven at 300 deg. After that, I used a pastry brush to brush on flaxseed oil over the entire surface. I used an old cloth to wipe off as much as could. Then, I baked the pans in the oven upside down for 1 hour at 450 deg. I let them cool and then repeated the process 4 or 5 times. This produced a beautiful finish. I was able to make waffles, but when I went to clean the irons, I noticed that some of the nonstick surface had come off in a few places. The waffles turned out really well and were tasty. But, I'm still frustrated with this iron. I'm going to try to add a few more layers and see how that works.
on April 1, 2009
I use this on a gas stove. This waffle maker makes perfect no-stick waffles every time. First I melted off the wax coating and seasoned the pan (see below for instructions). Get your wire cooling rack, a clean dishtowel and parchment paper and scissors. Cut about 12 squares of parchment paper to place one in between each cooked waffle (these can be reused for a couple batches and you can use them to place between your waffles for freezing in a container).
The first time I cooked waffles on this iron, I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to spray the iron every time I put more batter in it. This worked out well for me because not one of my waffles stuck (although I did go through almost a whole can!). The second time I made waffles,I only sprayed the irons once at the beginning of the first waffle and they did not stick to the pan when not spraying each subsequent waffle.
Here's my technique for cooking...heat each irons at same time on gas burners heated at medium heat. Using a potholder or folded dishtowel to hold the irons (because they get very hot) Spray the bottom iron's cooking surface (away from flame, of course) (with the bar), place it back on the burner and using a #20 scooper, almost fill it with batter (I use Alton Brown's recipe). Using the back of the scoop smooth it out until the batter is about an inch from the edges of the iron. Turn off the burner under the other iron--this is the one with the hook end (and spray that one with butter spray). Carefully place the hook into the bar and place iron on top of the iron filled with batter and align properly. After one minute has passed, use your towel and flip the irons over (still on medium heat). Cook another minute and check each side using a wooden skewer. You may need to flip it again to brown a little more. I like my waffles a light golden brown. Release the waffle from the iron using a wooden skewer and unhinge the top. Put waffle onto dish towel and start your next waffle, heating both irons again on medium heat. When the second waffle is cooked, place a square of parchment paper on the first waffle and stack it on top. Continue this process. If you like your waffles crispy, pop them into the toaster oven. My daughters now prefer the home-made waffles over storebought!
The first thing I did was boil a kettle of water to pour over the waffle iron to melt off the wax coating placed on the iron to protect it in shipping. Be careful...use pot holders to lift it and turn it over --it will get very hot. Now it's time to season the waffle iron. Preheat oven to 350F. Separate both pieces of the waffle iron and coat each of the 4 sides with lard or Crisco shortening using a paper towel or pastry brush to get into all the little squares. Crisco is the preferred choice because it is very highly refined, although I have used lard. It will start to melt immediately because the waffle iron will still be hot/warm from melting off the wax coating. Use paper towels to smear the fat all over the pan, handle and everything. Keeping the two piece apart still, place the two pieces onto a cookie sheet lined with foil, square sides facing down. Using proper ventilation (because this can get a bit smokey), place the cookie sheet and waffle irons in the 350-degree oven for an hour. Do not open the oven during cooking or you will get a huge cloud of smoke in your kitchen. Turn the oven off, leave oven door closed still; let the pan cool down (I let mine cool down overnight), wipe off the excess oil, and put it away.
The whole process of cooking waffles on cast iron can be quite therapeutic if you're not doing it in the morning rush to get breakfast on the table. I always do it in the afternoon or on the weekends when I have time. I hope you love making homemade waffles on your teflon-free waffle iron as much as I do!
I think I'm going to order the one with the long handles for camping! It wasn't available when I ordered this one.
on February 23, 2011
I've spent considerable time searching for a solution to satisfy waffle cravings. For occasional use, purchasing an electric waffle maker isn't feasible, because unless it is used on a regular basis, the grids can smell rancid after periods of none-use (regardless of how clean they are). Also most electric waffle makers fail to heat sufficiently to produce a crispy texture, plus most brands have Teflon coated grids, which can be detrimental to health. Frozen waffles are convenient, but contain too many additives, plus some produce a peculiar after-taste.
When I first saw the Rome cast iron waffle maker, I was somewhat sceptical, visualizing the waffle sticking like crazy or the batter oozing out. But the numerous on-line reviews convinced me that for $18 it was worth a try. Although the waffle iron looks small, it's actually a good size. The waffles produced are about 6-3/4 to 7 inches in diameter by 1/2-inch thick - they're larger than the store-bought frozen variety and leftovers can easily be frozen and re-heated either using a toaster or a toaster oven.
SEASONING ON AN ELECTRIC STOVE - Some reviews say it's impossible to use this waffle maker on an electric stove, but I've encountered no problems. Naturally, it's better if you can season the waffle iron outdoors on a gas barbecue, but if not, the process can still be accomplished indoors without too much difficulty.
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Remove wax coating - separate the grids of the new waffle iron and thoroughly wash in hot soapy water, scrub with a nylon brush, rinse well and dry with paper towel.
3. Brush both sides of the grids with canola oil (or any vegetable oil that takes high heat - it doesn't have to be lard).
4. Place the grids on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 350 °F for one hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
5. Re-coat both sides of the grids with additional canola oil.
6. Turn the small electric stove elements to medium-high and heat both sides of each grid until the smoke dissipates. Be sure to have good ventilation (stove fan on and windows open) when doing this so it doesn't set off the smoke alarm.
7. Cool the grids, re-coat with oil and repeat the heating process - they should turn colour from grey to black.
MAKING WAFFLES - So, with a bit of trepidation, I recently made waffles for the first time in over 30-yrs using the Rome waffle iron and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. The first waffle stuck in one tiny spot, but otherwise came out without a hitch. I cleaned off the stuck bits and brushed some more canola oil on the grids, closed and heated it for a few minutes before adding batter. The rest of the waffles came out easily without sticking. Their texture was crispy on the outside, but tender on the inside - yum! Note: To avoid sticking, it is essential to season the new waffle iron properly and to preheat the grids until they smoke before pouring in the waffle batter.
1. Prepare a favourite waffle batter (I use one with folded-in egg whites for a fluffier texture from the Joy of Cooking cookbook).
2. On first try, the waffle iron is a bit finicky to handle, but after a few tries it becomes much easier. When opening the iron to oil, pour in batter or remove waffle, be sure the bar on the hinge faces up - this eliminates inconvenient separation of the iron.
3. Turn the small electric element to medium heat to preheat waffle iron.
4. Open the waffle iron and brush some canola oil on the grids, then close it.
5. Heat the waffle iron for 10-minutes (5-minutes each side) or until it smokes when opened.
6. Ladle in about 1/2-cup of batter (the batter should sizzle; otherwise it's not hot enough), close the iron and set a timer for 1-1/2 to 2-minutes.
7. When the timer beeps, flip the iron over and leave for 1-1/2 to 2-minutes longer. Timing will vary according to your stove's element and depending how brown you like the waffle. If the waffle becomes too dark, too fast, then turn the stove element a bit lower.
8. Remove cooked waffle.
9. Brush the grids again with canola oil and reheat for a few minutes (till it smokes) before ladling in more batter. (Note: Because this is a new waffle iron, I brushed oil on the grids between making each waffle, but it's probably not necessary once the iron builds up it's own seasoned coating).
CLEANING A BREEZE:
1. Allow the waffle iron to cool.
2. Rinse under hot water, scrub lightly using a nylon brush (NEVER use soap to clean).
3. Heat both sides of each grid on the stove element, at low to medium setting, until dry and then wipe with paper towel and allow to cool.
1. A pre-seasoned waffle iron would certainly eliminate the hassle of seasoning.
2. The handles are a bit short - should be longer.
3. The handles get piping hot, but an Ove-glove is the perfect solution (I use only one glove on the left hand to open or close the grids, while leaving the right hand free for pouring batter or removing waffles).
4. A bit of oil drips from the hinge onto the stove top, (probably from brushing on too much oil while preheating the grids) but is easily cleaned.
If you prefer the thinner, crispier texture of a waffle, then this waffle iron is definitely a winner and worth every penny. It's perfect for 1 or 2 people, but a larger family would definitely benefit from using two of them in order to speed up the preparation process.
on November 6, 2011
When we finally decided to acquire a waffle maker, my husband did extensive research on the Internet to determine which was the best cast-iron waffle maker on the market, as we do not use non-stick pans for health reasons.
My husband finally opted for the Rome cast-iron waffle maker and we couldn't be happier with it.
We followed the instructions that came with the Rome WM as well as the detailed instructions posted by other users on Amazon.com for which we were very grateful. It was their useful instructions that prompted us to write our own conclusions on how best to use the Rome WM.
STEP 1 - The WM comes with a paraffin coating on it that must be removed because paraffin is a petroleum product that shouldn't be ingested, so we put it in boiling water for half an hour and the paraffin floated to the top. We removed the paraffin floating on top of the water with paper towels, so the paraffin wouldn't recoat the WM when we took it out of the water.
STEP 2 - We immediately wiped off the remaining paraffin while the WM was still hot from the water.
STEP 3 - We put each half of the WM on its own burner on the gas stove on low heat with the waffle pattern down (facing the flame) for about half hour. This burned off the remaining paraffin. This part was somewhat messy, but was easily cleaned off once the stove was cool.
STEP 4 - We turned both waffle parts over and heated the other sides on low. After about 15 minutes in this step, when we were convinced that the paraffin was all gone, we applied melted coconut oil to the waffle grid sides and let them heat for another 20 minutes, reapplying as needed. We use coconut oil because of its tolerance to high heat.
STEP 5 - After the WM had somewhat cooled (to about 170 degrees F), we applied coconut oil on the outside including the handles, so nothing would rust, and put both parts in the oven and baked them at 325 degrees F for about an hour (there was no smoking). At that point, the WM was perfectly seasoned.
When we first used our WM, we had mitigated results. The WM worked well, no goopy stuff sticking all over the place as with other users (the time spent on seasoning the WF proved a critical step), but the batter itself was disappointing, too pancake-like, definitely not waffle material.
Before our next try, we had to find a good waffle recipe. We opted for the Alton Brown's recipe (look for "Alton Brown waffle recipe" on the internet), which we really like.
We also acquired an infrared digital thermometer (KINTREX Infrared Thermometer IRT0421) to closely monitor the temperature of the WM, which has to be just hot enough to actually cook your waffles (as Alton Brown noted, "waffles are really fried between 2 pieces of hot-oil-coated metal", so reaching the right heat is important).
Last, we bought a basting brush (OXO silicon brush) so we could season our waffle maker between each waffle (we used slightly melted coconut oil).
Our second try in waffle making was a major improvement. We started to acquire distinctions about cooking times and, importantly enough, release time. We cooked our waffles on a gas burner on 2. The batter we used was quite thick and would sit in a peak (like stiff whipped cream) in the middle of the WM, however, do not be tempted to spread it around, as the WF will do that when you close it. We poured the batter in the waffle maker (about one soup ladle, a little short of ½ cup), closed it and timed one (1) minute before turning over the WM and cooking another 1.10 minute. Each time, the waffles needed some coaxing to be released from the cast. After we had cooked a few, my husband decided to wait before opening the WM. This proved to be an essential part of the cooking. When you take the WM off the heat (it will immediately start to release steam), turn it over again and wait 30 seconds before opening. This allows the release of steam and helps free the waffle from its cast. From then on, the waffles came out beautifully without sticking, one after the other.
In between waffle cooking, we would reheat each part of the WM on 2 different burners until it reached 340-350 degrees F (which we monitored with the help of our infrared digital thermometer). We would then baste the cast with coconut oil, pour the batter and start again.
On our third try, we added 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract + 1 tbsp of rum to the batter for flavor. We continued with the same cooking times (1 minute on first side, 1.10 minute on second side, 30 seconds wait before opening) on the same burner (2) with great success. We laid all 7 waffles thus obtained on cookie racks. When we finished cooking, we toasted the waffles in our toaster oven to reheat them and turn them crisp again. Meanwhile, we melted some butter in a dish for 15 seconds in the microwave and used the basting brush to spread butter on our hot waffles. The result was nothing short of divine!
On our fourth try, we increased the batter by half and produced 11 waffles (we froze half), we used the same cooking technique as before, but basted the WM every 2 or 3 waffles only instead of between each waffle, and the waffles still released themselves beautifully.
We work as a team: my husband seasons the WM, heats it and monitors its temperature, and handles the HOT WM while I pour the batter and control the timer. It works great.
Each time we use it, our WF becomes more and more seasoned. The easy release of waffles with the 30 seconds wait means that we have no build up in the WM, so we just let it cool completely, brush it with a hard brush if necessary and hang it ready to use and perfectly seasoned for next time.
Caution: the WM is extremely hot when in use, be careful not to burn yourself, use a good pair of potholders. The handles may appear a little short, but the WM will quickly become easier to handle with some practice.
We hope this information is helpful. Good luck!
on March 12, 2013
This is being shipped by Amazon, and it's not packed with any padding. It arrived with a broken hinge and a piece of the iron plate cracked entirely.
But beyond that, even though I didn't get a chance to use it, I can see that the construction is shabby. It doesn't seal properly when you close the lid and the finish work is poor with lots of rough edges.
This is not of the same quality as Lodge, or the old Griswold cast iron. I recommend you go to eBAy and buy an antique.
Go to waffleburger . com This is an American made beast weighing 8.5 lbs with quality finish and seal. It's designed for making waffled hamburgers, but it is really a waffle maker unlike any other. Now this is quality! It's about 15 bucks more than the Rome waffle maker, but I'm sharing my experience so you can buy right the first time and have a product that will last for decades.
on February 17, 2016
Everyone I told about this waffle iron thought I was going to be dealing with a stuck on disgusting mess to clean up after trying it. Well those people just haven't yet discovered how amazing and naturally non-stick cast iron really is when cared for properly. Nowadays everyone seems to think non-stick cookware is the way to go but the chemicals in non-stick cookware is not something I want my family ingesting so I use cast iron for everything! I took the time to properly season this iron as soon as it arrived and the next morning I began making waffles. I would like to say it is a bit of a science to get just the right balance of both proper recipe and time on each side to properly cook a waffle on this but here is what is working perfectly for me so it takes the guess work away from you...
I have an electric stove (unfortunately) but what I found best for making the perfect waffles on this iron was to turn on two burners at the same time and set each of them on medium high heat (#7 on my particular stove that is numbered 1-9). I took apart the waffle iron and placed each side on its own burner so they could both be heating at the same time. I found this to be very important otherwise one side of the iron will cool too much and make for an unevenly cooked waffle.
Once both sides of the iron were heated I brushed them lightly with real butter and then poured the batter into one side of the iron (I found that just slightly less than a 1 cup measure is the perfect amount without spilling over). After that I connected the the second piece on top of the piece with the batter in it and once connected immediately flipped it over and started a timer for 2 minutes. It's important to flip as soon as you connect the two sides. After two minutes flip again and set another 2 minute timer. This, for me anyway, created an absolutely perfect waffle.
Here is the recipe I have found works great after trying a couple of different ones:
I hope you decide to give this waffle iron a try. In my opinion it really is so unnecessary to purchase anything different as this little iron works great, is priced cheap and takes up very little space for storage. I wouldn't buy anything else!
on September 19, 2015
I followed all the directions for prepping this waffle iron, and it rusted instantly, before I had a chance to use it once!! Terrible!!
This product already has lots of good reviews, so I'm going to focus on the common problem: seasoning.
A long time ago, before pre-seasoned cast iron was available new (and also before I knew it was available from rummage sales) I bought some cast iron pans and tried to season them myself. I was a failure. I had nice slick looking surfaces, but it flaked off after a single use to reveal a sea of rust beneath it. It is my opinion a fear of lawsuits has prevented companies from giving working directions to seasoning pans. The revelation came to me when I realized that out of all my rusty cast iron pans, I did have one that was actually well seasoned and in good shape. It was the one I used for deep frying.
Step one: preheat the oven to about 425F
Step two: wash your new cast iron thoroughly
Step three: put the damp cast iron into the hot oven for at least thirty minutes
Step four: apply a thin layer of oil to the cast iron, and wipe it down with a paper towel
Step five: bake the oiled cast iron for at least an hour (the oven should produce a small amount of smoke)
Step six: cool the pan completely
Step seven: scrub down the pan without using soap
Step eight: repeat steps three through six
Step nine: before use, pre-heat the pan on a burner until it is just barely smoking
Step ten: oil the pan up lightly and cook waffles
The theory of the method is simple. Clean the pan well. Then heat it up to expand the pores before applying oil. The oil needs to go on lightly, and then be polymerized through high heat. The heat needs to be hot enough to smoke the oil, often just above 400F. If the oil is too thick, then it will flake off, so scrub it down to remove problem spots, then do it all over again.
And lastly, deep frying things in pans seems like an ideal way to get a good seasoning in place. Except that doesn't work on a waffle iron.