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Surprising Uses for Your Waffle Maker

The waffle maker is one of our favorite kitchen solutions, whether you're trying to make your cuisine more creative and exciting, the frying pan is already in use, or you just don't want to heat up the home.

Surprising Uses for Your Waffle Maker

Waffle irons once dismissed as a one-time use gadget unsuitable for anyone who doesn't create waffles on a daily basis are now appreciated by creative chefs and space-constrained home cooks alike.

However, knowing which items will cook well in the waffle maker and which will turn into a disaster is not always intuitive.

That's why we've compiled a list of some of our favorite unusual foods to make with a waffle maker.

Although many sweet delights work well on the waffle iron, we generally focus on meals (or components of meals).

Waffled dishes are generally described as “squished but crunchy.” When you cook anything else on a waffle maker, you get the same pockets that you get when you cook waffle batter.

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Force is used to producing pockets in foods that already have a definite form, such as bread when toasting or reheating them.

The benefit of all that squishing is that more of your meal's surface area comes into contact with the hot iron, resulting in perfectly crisp and tasty food. (And, hey, more taste per square inch means squeezed, right?)

Surprising Uses for Your Waffle Maker

Continue reading to learn about our 10 favorite but unusual waffle maker foods.

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Brownies

One way to utilize a waffle maker is to create brownies! Adding one more egg to your prepared brownie mix is the secret to success.

Then simply pour it into your waffle machine that has been preheated and cooked! Just keep an eye on it and remove the brownie when it's done to your liking.

Cinnamon Rolls

The grid pattern that forms on the completed rolls is the nicest thing about preparing cinnamon rolls with a waffle maker.

When icing is drizzled over the top, the indentations collect all of the frostings in a delightful way. Seriously, you should give it a shot!

Close the lid on your waffle maker after placing one made cinnamon bun into each of the squares.

Cook the cinnamon buns for 2 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown on the surface and tender on the inside.

Remove the cinnamon rolls from the waffle maker and sprinkle frosting over the tops.

Surprising Uses for Your Waffle Maker

Tater Tot Hash Browns

This is perhaps the simplest way to make hash browns you'll ever come across! Allow a bag of frozen tater tots to thaw on your kitchen counter.

Toss a handful of thawed tots into a waffle machine that has been warmed, then press the lid down as much as possible.

You'll get deliciously crispy hash browns in a matter of minutes!

Bacon

Yes, your waffle maker can make wonderful and crispy bacon!

Simply keep an eye on it and remove it from the waffle maker when the color and crispiness are to your liking.

What's the best part? There will be no grease splatters to clean up!

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Fried Rice

This is the approach for you if you like the crispy bits of rice at the bottom of the pan after preparing rice or fried rice.

If you prefer, you can reheat cold leftover fried rice in the waffle iron or make fried rice from scratch, just keep in mind that rice that's already hot won't get as crispy as rice that's been reheated.

Combine your preferred seasonings, such as garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes, to produce “waffled” fried rice (the sauce mixture we use in our Kung Pao Chicken Wings with Fried Rice recipe).

Combine this combination with some tiny chopped frozen vegetables, such as peas, carrots, and bell pepper, and stir into your rice.

Spread the rice evenly over the surface of the waffle iron and close it.

If you close the waffle maker tightly, you'll get a dense patty that stays together; if you open it slightly less firmly, your rice will be fluffier but more likely to come apart when you remove it from the waffle iron.

Surprising Uses for Your Waffle Maker

Crab Cakes

Some folks are adamant about what should and shouldn't be included in crab cakes.

While we enjoy all types of crab cakes, we find that crab cakes without breading on the outside work best in a waffle iron.

If you buy or create a breaded-style crab cake, use low heat if your waffle iron allows it, and keep an eye on the cakes while they cook.

Omelets

To be honest, we expected a huge mess when we initially thought about putting raw eggs on a waffle iron (and maybe even having to buy a new waffle iron).

However, it turns out that this is a fairly clever technique to make scrambled eggs or its more advanced sibling, the omelet.

Quick-cooking veggies like spinach and bell pepper are chopped and whisked together with eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper.

You may also use any leftover roast, steaming, or sautéed vegetables from the fridge.

Simply pour the mixture onto a hot, greased waffle iron (low setting if available) and close it, and you'll have an omelet that peels out in a single strip in a matter of minutes.

Toppings: green onion, cheese, sour cream, and whatever else you like!

Surprising Uses for Your Waffle Maker

Grilled cheese sandwiches

This lunchtime staple couldn't be easier to make, and a waffle iron simplifies the process even more.

While the waffle iron heats up, butter one side of the bread per person, then put shredded cheese on half of the unbuttered sides (we enjoy Monterey Jack or white cheddar best, but feel free to get creative!).

Cook on a hot waffle iron with the other slice of bread on top, both buttered sides facing out (no need to grease this time).

Toast your sandwich until it's crispy on the exterior and melty on the inside by pressing down firmly.

Tofu

People who say they don't like tofu haven't tried it crispy, and — surprise! — this is where the waffle iron shines once more.

The top iron's weight serves to press out excess moisture from the tofu, allowing it to become crisp on the outside and dense and chewy on the inside.

The pockets are also ideal for catching sauce pools, which provide added flavor.

Start with the firm or extra firm tofu that has been packed in water and thoroughly dried after the liquid has been discarded.

Slice the tofu into 34-inch-thick planks and marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to a day in your favorite marinade.

When ready to cook, remove the tofu from the marinade, pat it dry, and place it on an oiled waffle iron set to high.

It should take about 5 minutes to cook.

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Pizza

When cooked in a waffle iron, everyone's favorite meal gets faster and crispier.

Begin by rolling the pizza dough into little balls, then stretching them into a size and shape that approximates your waffle iron.

Cook the pizza dough until it is lightly browned in an oiled waffle iron, then remove it from the skillet and cover with sauce, cheese, and vegetables.

To melt the cheese, carefully place it back on the iron, placing the top iron over but not touching the cheese.

Surprising Uses for Your Waffle Maker

The waffle maker is one of the most versatile pieces of kitchen technology. It can help you fry up eggs or bacon, make a panini or grilled cheese sandwich, and now even create hash browns or taquitos!

With this appliance in your culinary arsenal, there's no need for any other cooking devices when you're short on time or space.

Plus, with all of its different functions, the waffle maker is perfect for anyone who likes to cook, from beginner to expert.

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