Should you grease a waffle iron?

Do you have to grease a waffle maker?

If you own a waffle iron or you’re planning to get one soon, you have probably hit upon the question of whether you should grease your waffle iron 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 waffle iron 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 it 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. 

A well seasoned cast iron waffle iron will work just as well as the newer Teflon nonstick coatings. 

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.

Can you use PAM or other Non-Stick Cooking Sprays 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 iron to remain non-stick for many years, don’t go anywhere near non-stick cooking sprays. Your appliance will thank you later. 

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 a conclusion that your waffle maker needs to be greased. 

There are a few reasons why your 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 uncook part will fall off. 

To prevent this from happening, make sure that your waffle iron is fully preheated before pouring in your batter. Many waffle makers 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 waffles, try letting your waffle iron heat up for a bit longer after the “ready” light goes on. 

One way to check if your waffle iron is hot enough to start cooking your batter is to drizzle some of the batter with a fork. If it makes a loud sizzle then it’s most likely ready to go. 

Deep Clean Your Grid Plates 

If you’ve been using a 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, cooking spray will buildup on your grid plates and makes the surface sticky. 

If this is the case, it will be time to give your non-stick waffle plates a deep clean.

STEP 1: To start the deep cleaning process, make sure that your waffle iron is turned off, unplugged, and has fully cooled down after the last cook. 

STEP 2: Take a paper towel and remove any wet batter, oil, or crumbs that are left on the grid surface. 

STEP 3: For batter that is hard to remove, take a rubber spatula to lift off the hardened batter. 

STEP 4: If there are clumps of batter that are especially hard to remove, apply some olive oil on 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. 

STEP 5: Only complete this step if your grid surface still appears dirty after doing steps 1 to 4. Take a soft brush or a paper towel and apply some baking soda. Then gently rub the entire grid surface with the paper towel. Never press down hard as this may damage your non-stick coating. 

STEP 6: When your grid surface is 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.  

STEP 7: After completing all the steps, leave your waffle iron 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 milk into your batter will create a thin batter that easily sticks. 

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. 

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. 

  1. Cuisinart WAF-F20 Double Belgian Waffle Maker 
  2. Presto 03510 Ceramic FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker
  3. DASH No-Drip Belgian Waffle Maker
  4. Burgess Brothers ChurWaffle Maker

After reviewing hundreds of waffle makers, we’ve chosen these 4 to be our best waffle makers.


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.

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