Stovetop Waffle Iron vs Electric Waffle Maker – What’s The Difference?

First sightings of waffle-like cakes were in ancient Greece, and the term “obelios” was used for cooking, flat cakes between 2 metal plates

Obviously at that time and many more centuries there was no electricity so cooking food was capable only in one way – Fire under the iron.


Thanks to Benjamin Franklin, Nikola Tesla, and many other scientists, inventors, engineers

We have electricity.

And since then a lot of new inventions have been made to make life easier for the average household.

Laundry machines, dish-washing machines, induction cooktops, toasters and of course electric waffle makers.

I am not biased, electric waffle makers are better and I’ll prove it to you.

But before that.

You need to know that the waffle irons are too old school

The Decline of the Original Waffle Makers

Originally, it was 2 iron plates, mostly from cast iron.

That kind of kitchen equipment is still in some homes but largely hung as decorations for grandma in the kitchen.

It just is not convenient anymore.

Imagine a fax machine.

When was the last time those were more popular than any other way of communicating in business or accounting/bookkeeping?

Exactly. About 15 years ago.

Don’t get me wrong, fax is still usable,

But a lot of businesses just prefer modern technology –

We have emails, PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and we are able to send images (even videos) and mass amounts of text with a couple of clicks.

It is just more comfortable

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The same goes for making waffles. Electric beats oldschool.

Let’s look into some pros and cons!

1.    The One Good Thing about the Waffle Iron

Everyone likes freedom.

And if you have the freedom to cook wherever you wish, then what’s better?

If you plan a good weekend trip

Maybe a boy scout camp or a school trip,

by a river in a forest, maybe close to a mountain

Where there is no electricity,

No gas stove

No internet

Only nature in its beauty –

Sounds of the falling tree leaves and the flowing water

Birds chirping

The visual dessert of the landscape

Fresh air nevertheless

Well.. you probably would bring some more essential and nutritional choices of food.

Not exactly what we suppose waffles are, right?

Then again – how are you going to do it?

Are you gonna heat up premade waffles from the store?

Then you’re only going to be using that waffle iron to heat them up, which is not fun!

Okay, but will you bring all the tools and the ingredients necessary to cook up the batter FOR the waffles?

If you’re not able to use an electric mixer, then you are stuck with mixing it up yourself

So.. I hope that after all the hiking,

Putting down the traveling stuff,
Setting up the tent,
Gathering wood for the fire

YOU are now READY to take out all the ingredients – flour, eggs, water

And start mixing up the batter with your hands??

Doesn’t sound so pleasant..

And don’t even think about milk..

The milk would spoil in most cases if you are not walking in temperatures around 5°C / 41°F

So if it’s not cold enough, that would make waffles taste pretty bad..

And to add to that – cooking waffles even though there are a lot of better and healthier options?

People around you would rather eat some good ol’ chicken, potatoes, vegetables

Waffles are a dessert, not the main dish so out in the woods it wouldn’t be the best option of food to waste resources on..

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But STILL – with no electricity, you can basically cook waffles wherever you want!

2.    The Cons outweigh the Pros

Alright, the freedom to cook wherever did not resonate with me. How about you?

Still, there are some cons that would make you change your mind about stovetop waffle irons.

1.     While cooking you have to know when the time is right to check up on the waffles.

No problem, but..

How do you know when?

So if you haven’t done it before, you might burn or undercook some waffles a couple of times..

..until you get the hang of it – You’ll not be eating the best waffles.

Though in the internet age you can check out some guides.

Quick tip: Usually the waffles are ready when there is no steam coming out from the irons
(the batter is liquid-ish from the water and eggs, so when the liquid has steamed out, then it is usually ready)

2.     Okay – You need a gas stove or a grill to have a fire that could heat up.

Which in itself isn’t a con but more of a requirement.

3.     Alright, then usually the strongest and most durable cooking metal is Cast Iron.

Because of that, you will need to clean it from any rust that might have formed with a stainless steel sponge or a chainmail scrubber and dish soap. (Cast Iron develops rust if in contact with water for long periods of time)

After that long and difficult process, you got to heat it up to dry out any water drops on the pan

But if there was no rust in the first place then it’s all good!!

4.     Sticky situation

So the waffle doesn’t tear apart from it being burnt on the metal, you will need to oil it up before with some Coconut oil, so nothing sticks.

If you are really interested in cooking with cast iron plates or pans, then there is a video for you.

I wouldn’t partake, because it seems too much of a hassle.

The whole so-called “simple” process is documented here.

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Did you check that out? Yeah, I think we prefer the electric waffle makers more now.

5.     It is heavy.

Cast iron is a really dense metal. So if you are not particularly strong, then that might be a problem. Handling hot, heavy, sometimes big metals aren’t really safe.

Electric Waffle Makers Are Easier and Safer

As I said in the beginning, the electric waffle makers are better than the waffle irons

Benefits of most electric waffle makers:

  • They have a timer or different indicator of when the waffles are cooked
    (sometimes even they turn themselves off so it doesn’t overcook!)
  • Are easier to use
    (requires less skill, isn’t heavy)
  • Changeable plates
    (possible to make different size and shape of waffles)
  • Adjustable thermostat
    (to each his own – some people like it crispier)
  • You do not need to flip it. The temperature is even all the time
    (the waffle iron has to be flipped multiple times and the temperature of a fire or stove top may not be stable)

There are some cons:

  • Durability is average, like any other house-hold kitchen equipment
    (cast iron beats electric maker)
  • Shorter life time. 5 to 10 years
    (cast iron waffle iron can last a lifetime)

For the Electric Waffle the Pros Outweigh the Cons

Maybe over a fire pit in your backyard

It would look cool cooking waffles with a waffle iron

But if you have the electric waffle maker.

Then you are just trying to look fancy and I understand that! Why not?

Anyways – I don’t think a lot of people cook waffles that often

So does it really matter if we want to cook on a cast iron waffle iron
on an electric waffle maker?

What would you choose to cook your waffles on?

Thanks for coming by today!

Come back next time when we will be talking about the necessity of a kitchen if Multi-cookers exist!