Best Waffle Makers Not Made in China

Best Waffle Makers Not Made in China

The Search for a Not Made in China Waffle Maker

One of my fondest memories growing up was waking up on a Sunday morning to the smell of waffles cooking. I’d walk to the kitchen table and there’s be Dad, pouring Aunt Jemima batter into the old General Electric waffle maker with the chrome finish and the ceramic waffle plate interior.

That thing was about the same weight as a boat anchor, but it was a workhorse. Weekend after weekend for years, from my childhood to my adulthood, that thing created hundreds and hundreds of perfect waffles, fluffy on the inside and a crisp surface on the outside that melted the pat of butter to just the right softness and soaked in just the right amount of Aunt Jemima syrup.

The struggle is real

Once I got a kitchen of my own, one of the very first kitchen appliances I had to have was a waffle maker. To my dismay, every last one was made in China.

But every single respected brand I expected to do better, from ChefsChoice to Cuisinart to Krups to Breville to All-Clad to Mueller had sadly turned over all their waffle machines to China manufacturing. And of course, the copycat China brands like MONXOOK, AUERTECH, VCJ, AIGOSTAR, and METINE weren’t far behind, given credibility by Amazon and purchased from clueless consumers.

Amazingly, not a single online retailer or store I checked, from Amazon to Williams-Sonoma, had a single electric waffle maker that was not made in China. Not one.

When I first started writing this article there was a site called croquade.us that seemed too good to be true. It was a waffle iron made by Frifri—one of the original makers of waffle makers in Belgium since 1958. They were selling these made-in-Belgium waffle irons at American stores like Sur La Table and Amazon. Sadly, when I tried reaching out to them they never responded, and now I see that their domain has expired and has been taken over by scammers (do NOT go to their live site—the link above is to an archived version of their site, which is safe to look at).

I looked at commercial brands like Waring Commercial. I was thrilled when I saw “Country of Origin USA” on their Amazon product page, but it looks like this is a lie.

I looked at the favorite brands I used in hotels like Golden Malted. For years they’ve been making their units in the United States which they sold only to hotels, restaurants, and schools. They were acquired by a private equity firm in 2023 which immediately started to try to cash in on the name recognition by selling a cheap made-in-China product with their logo. Good luck with that.

And so, much like other categories like toasters and alarm clocks which China seems to have completely taken over, if you’re committed to finding a solution you may need to adjust your expectations a little bit.

Best Waffle Makers Not Made in China – Quick Ranking

1. NordicWare 15040 Cast Aluminum Stovetop Belgium Waffle Iron

This is a real “waffle iron”. A waffle iron is different from a waffle maker in that it’s not electric—you heat it up on your stove or over a fireplace or campfire and cook your waffles the old fashioned way.

If this sounds terribly antediluvian to you, bear in mind that this is still the way you probably cook your pancakes. Somehow over the years we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that waffles can’t be cooked this way. To the contrary, when you cook your waffles in a cast iron mold that’s been uniformly and thoroughly heated, you’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes in terms of bring crispy on the outside and delicate on the inside, the state that most electronic waffle makers try desperately to mimic.

Ironically (no pun intended), it’s actually a lot easier to clean this kind of waffle iron than a traditional electric one. It’s not dishwasher-safe, but it’s a lot less cumbersome to wash in the sink than a gigantic electric machine.

This particular waffle iron is from Nordic Ware, which still makes the vast majority of its products in America.

2. Dash Mini Waffle Maker

I had to do a double-take, a triple-take, and a quadruple take recently when I was in my local Target, looked at the bottom of the box, and saw this:

This is the #1 selling waffle iron on Amazon, and sells for about $10.

This had been made in China for years (in fact, the boneheaded people at Dash never updated their Amazon product listing, so it says China). But Amazon reviews since 2020, folks on Reddit, and my own observations show that yes, it is now made in Indonesia.

From what I can tell, Dash’s other waffle makers and most of their other products are still made in China. This may have been them dipping their toes into the manufacturing waters outside China following the 2018 tariffs. An alternative explanation is that manufacturing in China may have gotten too expensive for Dash (with the tariffs in place the CCP can’t put their fingers on the scales as much as they used to).

In any case, if you need an electric waffle maker, grab this while it’s still made in Indonesia. For $10 the quality may or may not be stellar, but buying it can send a clear message to Dash that we like it when they diversify their manufacturing and we want to see them do it with their other models.

3. HVD, AMPI, and Krampouz

If you’re serious about your waffles—and I mean serious—you’ll want to look into commercial waffle makers from brands like HVD, AMPI and Krampouz. We’re talking into the stratosphere of $1000-$5000 at this point, but if you happen to need one for your business (or if you have a LOT of disposable income), you’ll want to look at these brands. From what I can see, they’re still made in places like Belgium and France and the absolute best money can buy.

The Belgian Kitchen has an excellent rundown of them as well as some fascinating information about truly authentic Belgian waffles.

Conclusion

Yes, the pickings are slim when the only options are an old-school cast iron mold, a $10 model, and models in the thousands of dollars. That’s the natural outcome if the United States and European corporations continue to throw away entire industries to communist China.

Let’s hope that like Dash, other consumer brands will realize the benefits of moving their supply chains and manufacturing out of China. Let us know if you find one in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *