The Cook Stove Waffle Iron

The recycled cook stove waffle iron makes waffles in a wood cook stove like your grandma did.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
January/February 1978
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The recycled cook stove waffle iron makes waffles like grandma did.
Photo By Fotolia/Kevin Vergauwen

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Learn about using a recycled cook stove waffle iron to make waffles in a wood cook stove.

The Cook Stove Waffle Iron

Make waffles in a wood cook stove? "Grandma did," says Ron Pasha of Gouverneur, New York. "And so can you. It's easy!"

Steaming-hot waffles toasted to tawny-brown perfection, topped with butter and warmed maple syrup . . . what could be better on a frosty winter morning? "Nothing," you say, "but who wants the expense — both in initial cost, and in cost of operation — of a 1,500-watt electric waffle iron?"

Well, you don't have to have an electricity-gobbling waffle griddle to make and enjoy those scrumptious, stippled, square cakes. There's an easier (on your pocketbook and on the planet) way to make the goodies . . . and that's to [1] recycle a discarded electric wafflemaker into a cook stove waffle iron, then [2] use that waffle iron to make those delicious square cakes in the oven section of your wood cook stove, as grandma used to do.

Virtually all second-hand shops and thrift stores carry old, discarded (thus low-cost) electric waffle irons. All you need are the two cast iron (or — more likely — cast aluminum) plates from one of these derelicts, and you're in business. Try to remove the plates from the appliance before you buy it just to make sure you can (they're usually designed to come off for easy cleaning). Since you won't be needing the heating elements, you might as well lock for a unit that's burned out (or isn't working for some other reason) . . . for the simple reason that such a unit will be less expensive than one which still works.

All you need to do is find a couple of hinges, bend 'em to fit the metal plates, drill holes through the plates' rims, and screw the hinges on. (I used a combination of small machine screws, bolts, and self-tapping screws . . . whatever I could find.) If the waffle plates are round, try one very large hinge.

Finally, add a small metal handle (I used an old metal drawer pull) to one of the plates at a point opposite the hinge(s), to facilitate the opening of the waffle iron. That's it! You're ready to cook!

To use the waffle iron, simply preheat it in the oven of your cook stove . . . then [1] brush vegetable oil onto the hot plates, [2] pour in the batter, [3] close the wafflemaker, and [4] bake in a medium-hot oven for about ten minutes. (You'll have to experiment a little, of course, to get your technique down just right.) I might mention that we've found it necessary to brush oil onto the griddle before every single waffle . . . otherwise, they can stick.

If your family is large or really likes waffles (or both) . . . get two old electric waffle irons and recycle 'em. Then the wait for that next piping-hot, crunchy, brown delight won't seem quite so unbearably long!

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