Doing Things You Wouldn’t Expect with a Waffle Iron

Have you ever used one of those George Foreman grills? You remember those, they were extremely popular back in the late 90’s and early 00’s. They still sell them too. You had two non-stick coated heating plates that would close in on your food in order to cook whatever you had placed inside. The hook was that the plates were on a slant so all the unhealthy grease would cascade down into a little receptacle, thus making your cooking healthier without all of that excess fat. Where do you think George (or whoever it was) got the idea for that fancy, multi-million dollar idea? I would argue it came from the traditional waffle iron. Just look at both of them side by side, they’re basically the same apparatus. They both open and close on your food, utilize non-stick heating plates (though the waffle maker plates are scored much heavier than the Foreman grill), and cook food in much the same way. So it would stand to reason that one could cook far more than just waffles in the waffle iron.

If you had a Foreman grill, you probably used it to cook burgers, chicken, fish, and other items from hot dogs and sausage to vegetables of all shapes and sizes. You just stick it all on the grill surface and lower the upper door over the food and let it sizzle as the two plates cooked the food thoroughly and, as they claimed, much healthier than a standard pan or oven. So that got me thinking…what if we treated a waffle iron like it were a Foreman grill?

I wouldn’t be the first person to try cooking bacon on a waffle iron. The host of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen, Alton Brown did that very thing on another one of his shows and his argument for trying it out this way was that the bacon cooked evenly but the closed waffle iron prevented the unwanted spatter that came with cooking bacon in a pan on the stove. I’d cooked bacon on a Foreman grill before so that also led me to the assumption that if bacon could be cooked on both types of appliances than the same could hold true for other ingredients and food items as well.

The first thing I did was get a waffle iron. I had been meaning to buy one for awhile now because, let’s be honest, there’s nothing like a good, warm waffle. Whether you’re topping it with maple syrup or fresh strawberries and whipped cream, waffles rock. So I clicked on and checked out all their reviews. They had a whole bunch of waffle irons that I could choose from and soon enough I ordered the one I wanted and it arrived. Next, I kept searching around online and found some sites where regular folks like you and I had made similar attempts in cooking unconventional things on their waffle irons. That got me inspired to try my hand at a few different foods on the waffle iron. I thought about what I’d made before on the Foreman and tried those first. Hot dogs were a cinch. Next were burgers, buns and all. The waffling was a nice visual addition, especially with the cheese melted on top in the same squared pattern. Panini was next and it looked and tasted like the real thing. Bacon worked great, the grease pooled up in the channels on the lower plate. Clean up was relatively easy too. So then I decided to try more breakfast foods in there. Whipped up some waffle iron eggs, it was actually a great way to make an omelet. In fact, I highly recommend you try making an omelet on a waffle iron. It eliminates the need for folding it over in a pan. Just crack your eggs, whip them up, add whatever ingredients you want inside your omelet and pour the mixture into the waffle iron. Shut the lid and keep a close eye on it.

The more dishes that I attempted the better I got at learning how to customize the waffle iron for my cooking needs. It definitely proved my theory that a waffle iron and a Foreman grill are essentially cut from the same culinary cloth. Don’t believe me, give it a try yourself! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.