Product Review: Black & Decker G48TD Grill and Waffle Baker

6 01 2011

41ETY7RGKTL__SS280__SS280_If you grew up in the late 70s or early 80s as 2Chili and I did, your mom probably had a waffle maker that looks almost exactly like this. Mine did. I honestly don’t think Black & Decker has changed the look of this waffler in 30 years.

But, as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I’m not really an over-the-top kitchen gadget person, and most of my kitchen purchases are the direct result of necessity or, in this case, something breaking. If you’ll allow me to elaborate just a little further, we’ll get to the review shortly.

I just adore waffles, and a couple years ago, 2Chili bought me a Belgian waffle maker as a last minute Christmas present. We have since come to our senses and stopped exchanging Christmas gifts, but even though I knew that particular gift was a last minute stab in the dark (along with a quesadilla maker we also no longer possess), I really liked it. I made waffles till the cows came home. I would make up a big batch, freeze them, and then have Belgian waffles at my disposal, knowing 2Chili wouldn’t touch them because they were, as he put it, “some of those healthy waffles.”

Problem was, a couple months ago, it just stopped working. I think the heating element went out, but, it would no longer actually fully cook the waffles, leaving me with an annoying mess each time. After the fourth time of scraping partially-cooked waffle out of all of its nooks and crannies, I gave up. You’d think I’d have stopped after the second time, but I really didn’t want to believe my precious machine was busted. I was a sad panda!

Little did I know this was the first in a trifecta of kitchen appliance deaths that later included our toaster and blender, all in the span of one week.

Thankfully, waffle relief was just a click away at my favorite place on Earth, Amazon.com. I really am not much of a shopper, so Amazon appeals to my desire to avoid large hoards of people, long lines, and cashiers who wish to make asinine comments about whatever one might be purchasing. The only thing better than Amazon itself is Amazon Fresh, our grocery delivery service that also delivers a selection of items available from Amazon. After looking through what was available in the waffler department, I selected this classic B&D and it came with my groceries the next day. The magic of the internet. I love it!

I have proceeded to waffle up a storm, but this waffler has a twist – it is also a grill! Surprisingly, I have used the grill part more than the waffler, making 2Chili’s favorites like tuna melts and French toast. I don’t think my  mom’s waffler did that little trick!

So with that, here is my list of Pros and Cons for your consideration if you’re in the market for a new waffler.

Pros

  • Price. At $37.99, it is on the lower end of average. Not super cheap, but not super expensive. Honestly, I was willing to pay more for a solid waffler, but am not complaining at less than $40. Perhaps the price is so low because the R&D was done ages ago…
  • Easy to Clean. Unlike my dead Belgian waffler, you can actually take the plates out of the machine to clean them. This is wonderful! You just pop them out, clean ‘em, and pop them back in. They are secured with a clip that is easy to undo/redo. This feature alone makes the waffler absolutely worth it. You can actually get it clean (the plates are not dishwasher safe, however.)
  • Even Heating. Historically, I couldn’t make a grilled cheese that is exactly the same level of brownness on both sides. Since this grill heats from the top and bottom, it’s almost like a guaranteed perfect sandwich, and I can do Paninis now too. Not that making French toast is hard normally, but it is really easy it is to make French toast with the top and bottom concurrent heating.
  • No flipping. If you have a Belgian waffler, you know what I mean. With my old waffler, you had to fill up the bottom plate and then flip over the whole contraption so it could cook. The latch inevitably came lose, and it was kind of a balancing act to keep the waffle flipped over to cook.
  • Wide Range of Temperatures. Instead of one set temperature, you can manually control how hot the unit gets, depending on what you are making.
  • Reliability. I have been using this 2-3 times a week for a couple months now, and so far, haven’t had the slightest twinge of a problem.

Cons

  • Looks. This waffler looks like it belongs in the 70s. It just does. The stainless steel casing gets smudgy because it is shiny, but the real beef is the knob/temperature control area. It is beyond dated-looking.
  • Square Waffles. Square waffles are perfectly fine, but they do not have the panache of the deep-creviced Belgians. I’m sorry, that’s the truth! Round Belgian waffles just seem fancier.
  • The Case is Hot to the Touch. Perhaps not the best for kids, the outsides of the waffler get pretty hot. I haven’t had any problems, but, if you have kids, they probably need supervision as if they were cooking on the stove.
  • The Plates Need Occasional Seasoning. This doesn’t bother me one bit, but if you’re not into “maintenance,” keep that in mind.

The Verdict

While I wish this waffler didn’t look like a prop from That 70s Show, I am very happy with it. It has been perfect! I’ll trade in my fancy Belgian waffles for the ability to reliably make waffles, square or not. If you’re more into reliability than looks, and want the ability to multi-task, I think you will be happy with it too. If you can’t fathom the idea of giving up those deep Belgian waffles, perhaps keep looking.

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If you enjoyed this review and decide to purchase this waffler, please consider using this link to purchase through Amazon.com, as Test Kitchen Tuesday will receive a small referral fee for your purchase. Thank you!

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