You'll be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't had an Eggo waffle. Most '90s kids grew up with them, and my mom still keeps a box in her freezer for an easy breakfast go-to when she doesn't feel like cooking (or, you know, having cereal). Waffles are the best. And they're even better when they come from a restaurant that makes them justttt right. But why put on real clothes and -- *yuck* -- travel to get some crispy, toasted goodness? Make restaurant quality waffles at home with these easy tips.
First, acquire the right equipment.
A waffle is only as good as the waffle maker it's made in. You know those flip waffle irons that many hotels have? If you've ever stayed at a Super 8 in Texas, you're all-too-familiar with the waffles baring the outline of the Lone Star State on them. The flip action of those irons makes all the difference, because the batter is able to spread out evenly across the iron—both sides can cook to perfection without one side burning and the other remaining raw (not that we know from experience or anything).
Then, nail your ingredients.
Obviously, if you have a box waffle mix you swear by, this may not apply to you. But if you're taking the plunge to make them from scratch (ahem, which we highly recommend), then making a few tweaks to your favorite recipe could be the difference between just-OK waffles and holy-cow-that's-amazing waffles.
Many people add stiff egg whites to their waffles to make them light and airy. Beat your egg whites to stiff peaks, then add them to your batter. The egg whites will be holding a TON of air in them, keeping those air pockets in your waffle once it's cooked, making them light and fluffy rather than heavy and dense.
Some waffle recipes (like this one) suggest adding cornstarch to your waffles to prevent them from getting droopy or soggy from the cooking steam coming out of your iron.
Everyone knows that adding vanilla to a recipe makes literally anything better, but have you ever added amaretto to one? Similar to vanilla, it adds some sweetness and an aromatic flavor that's a bit different from what you're used to -- but in a good way.
Grandma always said buttermilk is a must for homemade baked goods, and waffles are no exception. We aren't telling you to leave whole milk sitting in the cupboard for days on end to make your own buttermilk (yes, my grandmother really did this when she was young), but you can buy some at the store to add to your recipe.
Keep up a few tricks up your sleeve.
Let's say you take your waffles out of the waffle maker and they aren't quite as crispy as you want them. Or, they are when you take them out, but after sitting on the platter for a while they get a bit soggy. Toss those babies in the oven for a few minutes, right on the rack, to get that perfect, almost crunchy outer shell back. TBH, I'd even throw my homemade waffles into my air fryer for a couple minutes to get the same effect.
Don't shy away from being a little adventurous with your waffles. Nothing beats a waffle bar with toppings and spreads galore to doctor them up before sitting down to eat. Or, consider trying one of these unique recipes: