My husband loves waffles. He likes them crisp on the outside, moist on the inside. With my 25-year old GE waffle iron, I'd make extra-large batches once every two months and freeze them for reheating them, on demand, one-by-one in the toaster oven. Alas, I dropped the GE, broke it's handle, and decided that it was time for a new waffle iron.
I did my homework. I checked out equipment reviews on Cooks Illustrated and read all of the reviews for every non-Belgian waffle iron here on Amazon. This Chef's Choice M840 won the day. Here are the reasons why I hate it and am sentencing it to Goodwill after only a week and two waffle-making attempts.
1. It's extremely easy to overfill. After a few attempts at calibrating the pour, I started to get it right. BUT see #2.
2. It's virtually impossible to clean. No part of this waffle iron is detachable nor can any of it be put under water. As a result, when the buttery batter oozes all over the machine, there is no way to get it out of the cracks and crevices of the machine. In addition, little crumbs linger in the clover-shaped iron plates and, short of getting out my vacuum cleaner to remove them, they were still there the second time I used the machine. Ick!
3. As another reviewer pointed out, the paint is very cheap. On the first paper-towel rubdown (I cannot in good conscience call it a cleaning), the paint for the directional copy rubbed off.
4. (This is a good point.) The waffles cook fast. (BUT, see #6.)
5. (This is another good point.) The maker has a "ding" to notify you when the waffle is done.
6. (This is the death sentence.) It makes really skinny waffles. (I'm not talking about the clover shape. I'm talking about the depth of the waffle.) Belgian waffles for us are about two times too thick for us. On the other hand, these waffles were about half as thick as the ones we've come to think of as "normal". It's OK when you eat them straight from the waffle-iron; however, after freezing and reheating in a toaster oven, they have the consistency of crackers.
I'm so sad.