Life being the crazy show that it is with two young kids, it took me
Should we go with one of the Belgian waffle makers that have become so ubiquitous of late or stick with the shallower 'Merican kind we'd had for so many years? What kinds of bells and whistles (seriously, waffle makers make loads of crazy sounds nowadays!) did we want? What brands were best? A few friends loved their Warings but could we (hopefully) be happy with something less expensive?
And, most importantly, was there any way to find a waffle iron without non-stick coating?
I recycled all our non-stick pans years ago since I am skeptical about the safety of plastics in any food prep that involves either heat or long-term storage. And the non-stick coating on our dearly departed waffle iron had given up the ghost years before it fell prey to the enthusiastic grappling of our 16-month-old son. The teflon coating was badly scratched and chipped as the result of our habit of buttering the plates with a metal knife before pouring the batter in.
But I discovered that no one makes non-non-stick waffle irons anymore unless you want to get a cast iron one that you heat on the stove like a griddle and I knew I'd never use that. You can buy a used electric one on ebay from the 1940s -- back before Sunbeam and GE and the like had embraced the evil concept of planned obsolescence -- they still work!!!
|Sunbeam W2A waffle iron|
In the end, I chose this extremely simple, Cuisinart waffle iron for $30. It's a lot like the one we had before, including the non-stick coating I'd hoped to avoid :(
In a moment of inspiration during our maiden voyage with the new iron, I grabbed the silicone basting brush out of the drawer, dipped it in the butter (we leave ours out so it was pretty soft) and gave the plates a quick once-over. Thanks to its many bristles, it covered every nook and cranny with fat in a moment and I didn't even have to dip back into the butter dish before greasing the other plate.
Not only will it not harm the non-stick coating, it's also the perfect tool for this task -- so much more effective than a knife, fork or paper towel could possibly be. And I just threw it in the dishwasher when I was through. Just the kind of clean up I like :)
I used a fraction of the butter I'd have used with any other implement and although I'm not exactly happy about the teflon coating, at least I've figured out how to keep it where it belongs.
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