Should you grease a waffle iron?
If you own a waffle maker or you’re planning to get one soon, you have probably hit upon the question of whether you should grease your waffle maker or not.
This has been a big question for a long time and the answers seem to often oppose each other.
In this article, we’re going to try to give you as much information about greasing waffle irons as possible so you can answer that question yourself.
Because the truth is, not all non-stick coating plates are created equal, so there will be waffle irons that should be greased and others that shouldn’t.
We will go over the most common types of waffle irons and we’ll also provide you with some tips on how to keep your non-stick surface clean and slippery.
Teflon Nonstick Waffle Makers
Around 90% of waffle irons available on the market today have a Teflon or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coating that makes them nonstick. This type of nonstick works great for any dish you cook.
You can skip the butter or baking spray when you use Teflon-coated waffle irons. Applying some kind of grease before cooking your waffles will only make it more difficult to clean your waffle iron plates later.
There are some people, however, who want the extra butter flavor on their waffles. If this is the case, you can apply some butter to the waffle iron before cooking your waffles. Do this carefully using only a soft basting brush. Never attempt to apply your butter using metal utensils.
Ultimately, if you want buttery waffles, you should probably just add some butter after the waffle is cooked and on your plate.
If you want your Teflon waffle iron to perform at its best for many years, avoid cleaning it with harsh cleaning chemicals and using abrasive scrubs when cleaning. Doing this will wear off the non-stick coating and you’ll find yourself having to deal with a huge pile of sticky mess.
So in short, no, you should not grease a Teflon-coated appliance.
Cast Iron Waffle Makers
Cast iron has been used for centuries to make all kinds of cookware. From skillets to waffle makers.
You’re still going to find cast iron waffle makers today because they come with some benefits. The main reason people still use cast iron waffle makers is because they do not contain chemicals such as BPA, PTFE, and PFOA.
These chemicals can sometimes be found in other types of nonstick coatings and can be harmful if caution is not taken.
Unlike Teflon non-stick waffle makers, cast iron should be greased before every use. This process is called seasoning when it’s done to cast iron cookware or appliances.
Supposedly, a well-seasoned cast iron waffle iron will work just as well as the newer Teflon nonstick coatings, and again, supposedly, you should not have to grease it every time.
However, that’s only when it comes to fat-heavy foods like steak, eggs, and bacon.
When it comes to carb-heavy food like waffles or pancakes, I’ve always had cast iron stick unless I greased them beforehand.
To season or grease your cast iron waffle iron, you can use olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil, or any other oil you prefer. You can even use melted butter for extra flavor.
It is especially important to grease your cast iron waffle iron thoroughly before the first time you use it.
Ceramic Waffle Makers
Another great option for nonstick waffle makers is one that uses ceramic plates. Some people prefer using clay-based coatings over plastic-based ones like Teflon.
This is because they want to avoid harmful fumes that can be produced by heating up plastic-based nonstick coatings.
Ceramic is naturally a nonstick surface, so you don’t need to apply any oil or grease before using it.
The only time you want to add oil or butter before making your waffles is when you want the extra flavor. Otherwise, you can skip them altogether.
The same cleaning tips for Teflon non-stick surfaces apply to ceramic ones. Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals and abrasive scrubs.
Personally, I prefer ceramic pans and appliances over all other kinds. They’re nonstick without having to do anything to them. They just work!
Can you use PAM or another Non-Stick Cooking Spray on a waffle iron?
The only real benefit you’re getting when you use non-stick cooking sprays is convenience. It’s very easy to coat your entire grid surface using these sprays. No spreading needed, simply spray it over your waffle iron for a few seconds and it’s all greased up and ready to go.
But you aren’t going to get anything else from these non-stick cooking sprays. In fact, they can even make cleaning your appliance more difficult.
Over time, the spray formula will build up on your waffle iron plates until they’re nearly impossible to remove. The more you use these non-stick cooking sprays the less non-stick your non-stick surface will become.
So if you want your waffle maker to remain non-stick for many years, don’t go anywhere near non-stick cooking sprays. Your appliance will thank you later.
Should you use olive oil to grease your waffle maker?
No! You should never use olive oil to grease your non-stick waffle iron.
Should you use coconut oil to grease your waffle maker?
You can, and it might come out pretty good! Coconut oil has a high smoke point and might make your waffle come out crispy while also preventing sticking. This might be what your cast iron waffle maker or other waffle maker needs in order to bake the perfect waffle.
Should you use vegetable oil to grease your waffle maker?
No way! Don’t ever use vegetable oil for this purpose! It’s not as good as coconut oil or melted butter. You might want just some regular waffles but making waffles will be a huge pain if you use canola oil or another vegetable oil on your waffle maker.
Should you use melted butter to grease your waffle maker?
This is a good option. Using melted butter along with a basting brush might be just what you need for your waffle maker. This option is certainly better than cooking spray, vegetable oil, canola oil, or any other type of oil.
How do you keep waffles from sticking to the waffle iron?
If you’re using a Teflon or ceramic non-stick waffle maker but you seem to be getting a lot of your waffle batter stuck on the cooking surface, don’t be too quick to jump to the conclusion that your waffle maker needs to be greased or that you need to buy a new one.
There are a few reasons why your non-stick waffle maker may be sticky and here we’ll provide you with tips on how you can minimize the stickiness.
Turn the Heat Up
If your waffle iron isn’t producing enough heat and the inside of your waffle is raw, this will cause your waffle to separate. The outer part will stick on the hot surface and the softer uncooked part will fall off.
You definitely don’t want this! We want chewy or crispy waffles.
To prevent this from happening, make sure that your waffle maker is fully preheated before pouring in your waffle batter. Many waffle irons come with an indicator light that lets you know when it is hot enough.
If you follow the indicator light and you’re still getting undercooked, sticky residue and sticky waffles, try letting your waffle maker heat up for a bit longer after the “ready” light goes on.
One way to check if your waffle maker is hot enough to start cooking your batter is to drizzle some of the batter with a spoon. If it makes a loud sizzle then it’s most likely ready to go.
Deep Clean Your Grid Plates
If you’ve been using cooking spray on your waffle grids for some time, this may be the reason that it’s becoming sticky.
As we mentioned earlier, over time, the cooking spray will build up on your grid plates and makes the surface sticky.
If this is the case, it will be time to give your non-stick pan and waffle plates a deep clean.
Below are the 7 Steps to take when cleaning your waffle maker grids and plates.
- To start the deep cleaning process, make sure that your waffle maker is turned off, unplugged, and fully cooled down after the last cook.
- Take a paper towel and remove any wet batter, oil, or crumbs that are left on the grid surface.
- For batter that is hard to remove, take a rubber spatula to lift off the hardened batter.
- If there are clumps of batter that are especially hard to remove, apply some olive oil to these clumps and leave them for about 10 minutes. Then come back and gently scrape them off using your rubber spatula. You can use any type of cooking oil for this step.
- Only complete this step if your grids still appear dirty after doing steps 1 to 4. Take a soft brush or a paper towel and apply some baking soda. Then gently rub the plates with the paper towel. Never press down hard as this may damage your non-stick coating.
- When your grids are free from any stuck-on batter or grease clumps, take a damp cloth and give it a thorough wiping. Make sure everything is clean. Don’t forget to clean the exterior of your appliance and also the handles.
- After completing all the steps, leave your waffle maker open to dry. Make sure it has completely dried up before storing it away.
Thicken Your Waffle Batter
Another reason why your waffles may be sticking to the grid plates is because the batter you’re using is too thin. Adding too much liquid into your batter will create a thin batter that sticks easier.
Making waffles with a batter that’s too thin is a pain. Save yourself the headache and thicken it up!
If you think your batter is too thin, you can do some experimenting by adding in more dry ingredients and reducing the wet ingredients.
If you want to skip the trial and error, you can do some research. There are hundreds of great recipes out there that you can choose from.
Here at Easy Kitchen Appliances, we have numerous waffle recipes that we’ve perfected over time.
Getting a New Waffle Maker
If none of our tips work and your waffle maker is still really sticky and messy and not making perfect waffles every time, this may be because your non-stick coating is worn out or damaged.
If you have worn out non-stick grid surfaces, it’s time to get a new waffle maker.
Choosing a waffle maker for your kitchen can be a daunting task. This is because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of options available on the market.
For this reason, we’ve put together a short list of excellent waffle makers that will make waffles perfectly every time.
- Cuisinart WAF-F20 Double Belgian Waffle Maker
- Presto 03510 Ceramic FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker (my personal waffle maker)
- DASH No-Drip Belgian Waffle Maker
- Burgess Brothers ChurWaffle Maker
After reviewing hundreds of waffle makers, we’ve chosen these 4 to be the top ones.
Conclusion – What to grease waffle iron with
We hope this article has answered every question you had about greasing your waffle maker. Again, there is no absolute answer to whether you should grease your waffle maker or not. It all depends on the type of waffle maker you have.
Also, remember the tips we’ve given you on how to keep your waffle maker non-stick without having to grease the grid plates.