Sunday, December 24, 2006

Cast Iron Waffle Maker - AWESOME!

Hubby gave me my Christmas present early. A cast iron waffle maker! This is one by Rome Cookware and can be used on an electric range! (My husband DID buy me a cast iron waffle maker a few years back that was from the 1800's, but it was definitely for cooking outdoors over a campfire!) This waffle iron has gotten rave reviews among cast iron enthusiasts and now I know why!

I AM SO HAPPY I can have waffles again. You see, we do NOT use anything with teflon, so that has meant no waffles for a long LONG time!

Well, this morning I got to try out my new waffle maker. I seasoned it last night (according to how Alton Brown says to : pre-heat oven to 350F. Coat both sides of each individual piece - it comes apart into two pieces - and handle with Crisco - we used coconut oil. Place UPSIDE DOWN in oven with something underneath to catch the drippings. Bake for 1 hour. Take out and rub with paper towel - I rubbed it all over with a pastry brush to make sure I got into those little crevices. Don't forget the underside and the handle and place back into over, again UPSIDE DOWN for one hour. Take out and rub again with paper towel - again I used a pastry brush. Place back into oven, UPSIDE DOWN, turn off oven and let sit overnight.). This morning it was ready to use.

SO we preheated the waffle iron to 300. Then I very LIGHTLY coated the iron insides with a pastry brush. Put a small amount (I am guestimating a little more than 1/4 but less than a half cup) in the middle. Close and FLIP! The flipping is SO IMPORTANT because the side that was not on the burner has cooled off while it was open for you to brush and pour in batter. We found that if we cook for 2 and a half minutes and then flip again, we come out with PERFECT WAFFLES every time. Crunchy on the outside and tender and flaky on the inside.

I will admit that the first waffle did NOT come out, but all other waffles did! And because of the oil, it seems the first few times you use this you need to have your oven fan on to get all the smoke and fumes!

We did LIGHTLY coat again in between each waffle.

We also discovered that if you start off with the one with the bar on bottom (meaning that is the side you pour your batter on). Then when you flip, and flip again you end up with the bar side underneath to open and get your waffle out. This helps keep the parts from coming apart. So in other words, when the waffle iron is closed, and you look down on top of it and the hinge, you should see the BAR instead of the cover for the hinge.

And you do need a little fork to give a little nudge here and there. CAREFUL and SLOW with lots of patience the first few waffles and they WILL come off without sticking. Buy the time you are half way through the batter your waffles should be coming off with ease!!

I hope this encourages you! And if you want pictures of need help with the explanations LET ME KNOW! I would be happy to have an excuse to make MORE waffles!!

Oh yeah, clean up is so easy! Because no sticking, just rinse under HOT HOT water (NEVER use soap on cast iron - it removes all the seasoning which is the protective coating you want and need to prevent sticking. Well seasoned cast iron is black, not the silver-grey that it arrives as). Dry THOROUGHLY! Rub lightly with oil to help prevent rusting. And store with a paper towel in-between like a waffle! :)

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