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Archive for the ‘Kitchen Tools’ Category

Choosing a waffle iron can be a challenge. Square or round? Deep pockets in the waffle pattern or lots of smaller ones? Expensive iron or an economical model? Cooks 1…2…4 or more at time? The list goes on-and-on. And the sad reality is that most irons also don’t cook the waffle uniformly, so no matter what you choose, you’re taking a gamble.

I’ve owned a number of irons over the years — from a 35lbs. $1,000 Matt-Krampouz monster I imported from Belgium to cook my Liege waffles, to a 19th century stove/firetop antique I hand-refurbished with delicate diamond-tipped grinding bits, to a terrible Krups FDD912 that couldn’t even do lowly Bisquick justice.

The only [practical] one I can recommend is the Presto Flip-Side. If you want a nice, deep-pocketed round pumpkin waffle, there is no better choice. It not only cooks uniformly, but it has outstanding temperature stability. You can do waffle after waffle without waiting for it to reheat; they all cook in the exact same amount of time.

The only downside is that this iron has no temperature control, so it might not be suitable for all waffle varieties. But, hey, this is the Pumpkin Waffle Blog, so my only concern is making sure you have the finest iron for pumpkin waffles. Happy baking!

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A few years ago, I began using a digital scale to weigh my heavier ingredients: sugar, flour, butter, milk, etc. But then I realized that I could ensure even better consistency if I also measured my lighter ingredients that way, too.  The issue is that my scale at the time was only accurate to 1g/0.1 ounces, and when you’re measuring quantities of spices and leavening that are sometimes smaller than 1g, such a scale is basically useless. I needed one designed for the task.

Fortunately, Escali, the makers of my big scale also had a line of pocket scales that were just what I was looking for.  Specifically, the Escali Liberta PR50 was accruate to 0.01g.  Now I could weigh my cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and baking powder with completely invariant accuracy.  That’s just not possible with measuring cups and spoons.

The goal of all my precise measurement is replicability of results.  When the quantities of ingredients are always exactly the same, the final product is always exactly the same.  I’ve gone from having good, bad and great batches, depending on the day, to having consistently amazing batches. For any serious baker, I think scales are well worth the investment.

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