Buying new small appliances for your kitchen can be a dicey business, as anyone who has a yogurt-maker collecting dust on top of her cabinets can tell you. It’s hard to know whether that fancy new device will become your latest go-to gadget, or end up relegated to your next yard sale. That’s why tools that pull double duty — or triple duty, in the case of this Black+Decker 3-in-1 Waffle Maker ($70.86, Amazon) — are more likely to earn their keep in your kitchen.
If you’re in the market for a sandwich toaster, why not get one that also makes waffles, fries eggs, and turns out perfectly crisp bacon? This genius waffle maker/sandwich toaster/egg-fryer does all of the above, and does it beautifully. Plus, it cleans up easily due to its nonstick, reversible cooking plates. Simply pop them out and wash them by hand after every use. No more fighting to get sticky waffle batter out of impossible-to-reach crevices!
Here’s how it works: To make fluffy, tender waffles, use the waffle side of the nonstick cooking plates. Pour batter over the squares, close, and cook to desired doneness. To use the machine as a sandwich toaster, flip the plates over to the smooth side and press your sandwich between them until the cheese is melted (that is, if you’re making grilled cheese — just a suggestion) or your other filling is heated through.
For use as a griddle, open it up completely using the unique, 180-degree hinge. The smooth cooking plates make for a large, flat surface perfect for frying eggs or bacon, or making pancakes. (Each cooking plate measures 8 x 8 inches and holds four small-to-medium servings.)
An adjustable temperature control makes it a cinch to set the griddle to the temperature required for whatever you’re whipping up, and the handles stay cool so you can safely and easily operate the appliance even when it’s on the highest heat setting. For easy storage, it’s designed to stand on its side, so it won’t take up too much precious cupboard space.
With over 1,800 five-star reviews on Amazon, it’s hard to go wrong. “I’m a kitchen gizmo person,” wrote one satisfied buyer. “I know I can do most things without them, but why when there’s a gizmo and gadget for it? I’ve had this for over a year and it’s well loved and well used. I’ve used the griddle open-faced [and] I’ve pressed sandwiches in it like a panini press, but my favorite and predominant use is the waffle iron.”
What will your favorite use of this handy-dandy kitchen gadget be?
Where to buy: $70.86, Amazon
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