A Belgian waffle maker is a small kitchen appliance used to produce big, airy waffles with deep pockets. Operation of a Belgian waffle maker involves pouring batter into the bottom grid plate, then lowering the top plate down to create a grid on both sides of the waffle.
Most commercially available Belgian waffle makers are self-contained electric appliances, but a few stove top models exist. Most Belgian waffle makers produce a single round waffle at a time, although some models produce square waffles. Many Belgian waffle makers flip 180 degrees to ensure even heating on both sides.
Belgian waffles are typically made with yeast, while traditional waffles are made with baking soda as the rising agent. However, some modern Belgian waffle recipes and mixes use baking soda. They are also taller than traditional waffles, and the larger pockets hold more melted butter, syrup or other toppings. The exterior of a properly cooked Belgian waffle is crisp, while the inside is fluffy. Belgian waffles are generally eaten for breakfast, brunch or dessert.
Belgian waffles are popular in the United States and Europe, but in Belgium, different regions of the country have their own specialty waffles. The kind of Belgian waffles most Americans are familiar with were first introduced at the 1958 World Exposition in Brussels and first made in the US at the 1962 World Exposition in Seattle, Washington.