Consumer Watch: Top Waffle Makers & Syrup

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With colder weather, we turn to comfort foods. And what's more yummy and comforting than a plateful of waffles? (KFSN)

With colder weather, we turn to comfort foods. And what's more yummy and comforting than a plateful of waffles? Even better if those waffles are drizzled with real maple syrup. Consumer Reports set out to find which waffle makers make the best waffles.

Consumer Reports testers tried half a dozen of the most popular waffle makers. The appliances were tested on their high and low settings, scored on whether both sides browned the same, and evaluated on how consistent they were from batch to batch. Some required a lot of practice to turn out a perfect waffle, like the compact cast-aluminum Belgian Waffler from Nordic Ware. It cooks on a stovetop and makes nice waffles, but they weren't always evenly cooked.

Consumer Reports found that the Waring Belgian Waffle Maker model WMK200, for $58, consistently turns out evenly browned waffles that can be toasted to your liking, light or dark.

But the best of the bunch is the $100 Cuisinart Breakfast Central model WAF-300. Not only does it make evenly cooked waffles every time out, but the plates are also removable, which makes them easy to clean. And it beeps when your waffle is ready, so you don't have to keep an eye on it. But wait-your waffle isn't complete without a dose of maple syrup, the real stuff that comes from trees. Consumer Reports' expert taste testers sampled 14 and found that all were pretty good.

Consumer Reports' suggestion is to buy by price. Some good choices are Costco's Kirkland Signature Organic Maple and Trader Joe's 100 percent Vermont Maple Syrup.Pancake syrup is far less expensive than pure maple syrup. But it is usually made with high fructose corn syrup and with artificial caramel coloring, which often contains 4MEI, a potential carcinogen.

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