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All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic Review

A quality, durable machine that will look good on any countertop
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Price:   $120 List
Pros:  Excellent taste, 7 shade settings, classic aesthetics, LED and audible indicators
Cons:  Relatively expensive, quite bulky and heavy, some surfaces can get hot
Manufacturer:   All-Clad
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Feb 25, 2019
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Our Verdict

The All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic combines quality construction, retro chrome styling, and great performance into a package that will dutifully serve any countertop. We thoroughly enjoyed the fluffy, classic waffles this machine served up in our testing. It also has helpful lights and beeps that let you know when the iron is up to temperature, and that warn you when your waffle is done. Most of the time, this machine kept batter messes to a minimum as well. However, if you're willing to pay the premium price that this machine asks, we think most people would be better of going with the Breville No-Mess. While its aesthetics may be slightly less appealing, it has a reservoir that catches any spilled batter, making it the most convenient of all the waffle makers we tested.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic certainly has the fanciest flair of all the waffle makers we tested, with 99% of its visible surface area being polished stainless steel. If you're looking for something to match a clean, modern kitchen decor, this is it. However, if you're shopping in this price range we do think the comparably expensive Breville No-Mess offers a slightly better user experience.


Excellent Waffles


We'd like to let you in on a little secret: most waffles makers produce a similar quality of waffles, no matter their price. In general, we wouldn't suggest that you spend more on a waffle maker unless you're looking for something that is more durable or easy to use.

With that disclaimer out of the way, we do feel that the All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic's waffles are a slight cut above the rest of the field. Along with the Breville No-Mess, this machine made some of the most evenly cooked, perfectly browned waffles in our testing. Most people wouldn't notice the difference between the All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic's waffles and those made on a $40 machine, but if you fancy yourself a waffle connoisseur you'll likely appreciate this slight superiority.

The All-Clad makes excellent  classic style waffles.
The All-Clad makes excellent, classic style waffles.

Consistent Shade Settings


Once you start to make waffles at home to your own specifications, it's surprising how quickly you become attached to a particular level of browning and exterior crunchiness. The All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic offers 7 different shade settings so you can find the perfect one for your tastes. We also found the results of these shade settings to be quite consistent from morning to morning, so you can rest assured that your morning syrup will have the perfect pillowy bed every time you decide to make waffles.

The shade settings are very consistent and accurate.
The shade settings are very consistent and accurate.

Some Minor Qulams


While we generally love making breakfast with the All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic, we did run into some very small annoyances that may nudge some people in another direction.

Slightly Messier than the Competition


Making waffles with the All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic is by no means a messy process, it has the same issues with batter overspill as pretty much every other machine. However, in its relatively lofty price range, the All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic's main competition is the Breville No-Mess. As the name suggests, this Breville machine utilizes a moat to catch any spilled batter, essentially eliminating the mess most would associate with making waffles. So at this price range, unless you're enamored with the All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic's looks, you might as well go with the slightly more cleanly option.

The All-Clad looks great  but the handle can sometimes get a bit hot.
The All-Clad looks great, but the handle can sometimes get a bit hot.

Surfaces Can Get Hot


We did notice that the All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic's outer surfaces could sometimes get quite hot during extended use. This is really only a problem with the metal handle, which can get uncomfortably hot by the 3rd or 4th waffle, necessitating that you use a pot holder or rag to open it. Most other models have some sort of insulating material on the handle to avoid this issue.


Value


Asking a hefty $120, the All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic is priced for those that want to make waffles frequently, and that want a maker that will last a long time. However, if you fall into that category, we think it would probably be worth spending an extra $10 for the additional user-friendly touches of the $130 Breville No-Mess.

Conclusion


The All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic is a great and well-built waffle maker that is perfect for those looking for something that is going to look great on their countertop. However, if you're going to pay a premium, there are other options that are slightly easier to use.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata