All-Clad Stainless Steel Classic Review
Pros: Excellent taste, seven shade settings, classic aesthetics, LED and audible indicators
Cons: Relatively expensive, quite bulky and heavy, some surfaces can get hot
Our Analysis and Test Results
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 feel that the All-Clad'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's waffles and those made on a cheaper machine, but if you fancy yourself a waffle connoisseur, you'll likely appreciate this slight superiority.
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 offers seven 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.
Slightly Messier than the Competition
Making waffles with the All-Clad 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'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's looks, you may want to go with a slightly cleaner option.
Surfaces Can Get Hot
We noticed that the All-Clad'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 third or fourth 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.
Asking a hefty list price, the All-Clad is priced for those who want to make waffles frequently and want a maker that will last a long time. However, if you fall into that category, we think it would probably be worth spending extra for the additional user-friendly touches of the Breville No-Mess.
The All-Clad 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.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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