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Waffle Iron Blues
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So, I wanted to make gluten-free waffles from scratch. Looked around for a nice electric waffle maker without chemical coatings, aluminum, or any other unsafe material for the grids/plates, and have come up empty :(

Why oh why can't we have an electric waffle maker with cast iron, stainless steel, or other safe grids/plates? All I can find in cast iron is a thing which you basically heat on the stove top, pour the batter into, and flip over repeatedly to keep both sides hot until the batter is cooked. I don't mind a bit of work, but this sounds messy, time-consuming, and prone to hit-n-miss results. The iron is also a bit on the expensive side too.

Anyone use the cast iron thing with relative success?

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Never tried it, but perhaps you could bake it in the oven instead?

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Never tried it, but perhaps you could bake it in the oven instead?

Interesting idea. I'm not sure, but it sounds like it may work, at least as well as on the stove. Although certainly more energy intensive, heating up the kitchen a lot more. Guess I'll do some searching on that to see if anyone has tried, and any pitfalls, pros and cons there might be.

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I've seen a cast iron stovetop version that has a bottom plate (like a simmer plate) that stays on the stove while you flip the waffle part. Not quite as messy as the camping versions...

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I've seen a cast iron stovetop version that has a bottom plate (like a simmer plate) that stays on the stove while you flip the waffle part. Not quite as messy as the camping versions...

If I understand your description correctly, I've seen electric ones like that, but not cast iron. Do you know what brand it was?

Here's one of those flip ones which I've seen:

main_view_1_331x285.jpg

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Lehman's has a round cast iron stove top version on sale that sounds like it needs a bit of tinkering with before it makes the waffle- the reviews are interesting, alternating between "can't figure it out" to "wonderful waffles."

http://www.lehmans.com/store/Kitchen___Cookware___Cast_Iron_Cookware___Round_Cast_Iron_Waffle_Iron___1100865?Args=

I tried searching pizzelle irons, which are sort of like a mini waffle iron that makes a big crispy cookie, and that might be an option if you don't want to mess with a full fledged size waffle iron at first.

However, searching pizzelle irons also brought up a LOT of long handled, small cast iron waffle irons for home/camping use that make only one or two waffles.... they aren't that expensive and might be a better thing to experiment with.

Check this out: Rome brand Chuck Wagon Waffle Iron

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___80335?cm_vc=PDPZ1

Is that cute, or what ? More adorable small cast iron handled things from Rome (Campmor catalog) see page two http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/SubCategory___40000000228_200368816

I wish I had seen this catalog earlier this year because we were looking all over for some of this stuff to do outdoor cooking with, and I could not find any of it locally - they also have a hot dog cornbread cast iron thing that looks like it would be perfect to make a few corndogs in, without deep frying.

According to google "product search" this is also available at places like Sear, BedBathBeyond, etc.

With cast iron, you don't flip it back and forth continuously, you heat it up with the oil on both plates, put the batter in, and then cook it on the bottom (goes faster than you'd think) and flip it once to finish.

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Thanks Takala, that's the cast iron one I referred to, only I found it on Amazon. Reviews there are mixed as well. Guess I'll have to take the plunge and hope for the best.

Sure wish cast iron could be reliably and easily cleaned of all gluten, as I did find a used electric waffle maker with cast iron plates. Looked nice, and would make 4 waffles at once. Oh well. Wishful thinking...

Glad to know it shouldn't require repeated flipping. Figured it'd cool down too much while waiting for one side to finish.

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Thanks Takala, that's the cast iron one I referred to, only I found it on Amazon. Reviews there are mixed as well. Guess I'll have to take the plunge and hope for the best.

Sure wish cast iron could be reliably and easily cleaned of all gluten, as I did find a used electric waffle maker with cast iron plates. Looked nice, and would make 4 waffles at once. Oh well. Wishful thinking...

Glad to know it shouldn't require repeated flipping. Figured it'd cool down too much while waiting for one side to finish.

Could you "clean" the iron of gluten by making several batches of gluten-free waffles and throwing them away....and by the 3rd batch or so, the next batch would be safe? Sounds reasonable...

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Could you "clean" the iron of gluten by making several batches of gluten-free waffles and throwing them away....and by the 3rd batch or so, the next batch would be safe? Sounds reasonable...

I wish it were that easy. But the seasoning of cast iron tends to form layers such that it could harbor gluten for who-knows-how-long. The only way I'd trust it is to "sand-blast" the grids down to bare metal, and season them again.

I did find a cast iron waffle maker made in Belgium, for professional chefs, but of course it's brutally expensive.

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Why can't you use the typical electric ones? I have a cuisinart one that is amazing. I got it brand new and have only used gluten-free bisquick in it.

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Why can't you use the typical electric ones? I have a cuisinart one that is amazing. I got it brand new and have only used gluten-free bisquick in it.

I'm with Rice Guy here - I haven't used any cookware with teflon or other chemical based non-stick coating for over ten years, long before I had to go gluten free, ever since I read about one minute scratch and the toxin slowly and systematically releases into your food. There are enough toxins around that are hard to avoid but this is something I can control. One day I believe science will understand that it's the synergy of chemicals in food, plastics leaching into bottled water, mercury in tooth fillings, fire retardants on airplanes, etc., that permeate us and (sneakily) cause a good number of diseases and disorders.

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Why can't you use the typical electric ones? I have a cuisinart one that is amazing. I got it brand new and have only used gluten-free bisquick in it.

As I mentioned in the first post, all the typical ones on the market today have chemical-based non-stick coatings. These contain BPA and/or other toxic substances.

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Sure wish cast iron could be reliably and easily cleaned of all gluten, as I did find a used electric waffle maker with cast iron plates. Looked nice, and would make 4 waffles at once. Oh well. Wishful thinking...

Were the plates removable? If they were then what about reseasoning it? There are people on here that say they have put their cast iron pans in the oven on the cleaning cycle to remove the gluten and then reseason.

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It's this one: http://www.texsport.net/cast-iron-waffle-maker-p-466.html

I think the brand is texport...

Oh, yes. I did find that one on Amazon too, but the vague description leaves me wondering if it's worth the extra cost. The reviews are less than encouraging, apparently due largely to very poor quality.

Were the plates removable? If they were then what about reseasoning it? There are people on here that say they have put their cast iron pans in the oven on the cleaning cycle to remove the gluten and then reseason.

Yeah, the grids/plates were removable, and believe me I did consider ways to clean them effectively. However, given the uneven surfaces, it'd really take some doing to get them to the point where I'd feel confident that there isn't any gluten remaining. My oven doesn't have a "cleaning cycle" anyway. It can't get that hot.

I don't know. I'm wondering if maybe a wire brush - the sort used on an electric drill that spins at high speed, thereby scouring the grids down to bare metal, might just work. But this whole endeavor would cost quite a bit more than the stove top waffle iron.

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Just thought I'd update this...

So, I did end up purchasing the cast iron one which can be used on the stove top. It actually works better than I had anticipated. The batter doesn't run out unless I overfill it, which I have admittedly done a few times, as I figure out just how much is needed. But thankfully it doesn't really drip out. The excess generally oozes out slowly, cooking as it emerges, so it doesn't usually mess up the stove. The more effectively the batter can expand, the less is required to fully fill the grid as it cooks. Working out the recipe for just the right texture is the tricky part, given my particular dietary restrictions.

Too much oil will cause it to drip out as you open it, so brushing on a minimal amount is important. Count on using a basting/pastry brush. You'll never regret the investment if you don't already have one. I chose one with natural bristles of course.

Once the waffle is done on both sides, I lift off the top half of the iron, and turn out the finished waffle onto a plate or cooling rack. The cooking rack is a nice way to do it, because otherwise, steam can collect under the hot waffle, which could obviously make that side soggy.

However, removing the protective wax coating which the manufacturer puts on to prevent rust before it sells was a messy and time-consuming process. Seasoning it went easy, and didn't smoke or smell up the place, since I didn't follow any of the poor recommendations given by numerous people all over the Internet. I used a very minimal amount of high temp cooking oil (safflower), and just kept it on the burner for about 90 minutes, on a low enough setting so as to not smoke. Did that separately for each side, with the two sides assembled. The seasoning has continued to develop with each use, which is expected of course.

I hope this helps others enjoy homemade gluten-free waffles!

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