Last update on 2017-08-15 PST - Details
Have you seen those pizzelle and thought, “how are those things made?” Pizzelles are those Italian cookies that many unsuspecting people mistake for waffles but discover it’s actually more addictive after one bite.
This traditional food from the old country is actually just made of flour, butter, eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil then cooked to crisp. There are other versions that are chewy and soft too. These all depend on your preference, but do you know what makes it tick? Its the best pizzelle maker.
Pizzelle are usually served at Christmas, Easter, and weddings, but with a decent iron, what’s stopping you from making it on regular days?
How to Choose the Best Pizzelle Maker
Shopping for your own iron can be overwhelming because there are a lot of options to choose from. There is the traditional single pizzela maker, wherein you can just make one cookie at a time. This is usually made of cast iron which means it can last a lifetime and even more. A lot of chefs have inherited their single-cookie cast iron pizzelle makers from their grand mothers.
There is also the double stove top maker which is a little advanced than the traditional one. Some of these are made from cast iron while others are made from aluminum. Nevertheless, this is equally sturdy as the single-cookie type and this allows you to make two cookies at a time.
Lastly, there is the more advanced electric powered pizzelle maker with all the bells and whistles like timers and temperature control. While this is not as sturdy, the features make up for what it lacks in durability.
If you think that ends your confusion, think again.
You have to understand that this piece of iron has been around for hundreds of years and modern kitchen appliance makers have made their own modern version of it. All the different brands have added their own touch to this piece of kitchen technology resulting in a unique tool but making it also difficult to choose. So how do you choose your pizzella maker? Here are a few tips:
1. How frequent are you going to cook pizzelle?
If you will just make pizzelle when the mood suits you, you might want to settle with electric powered ones. This is fast and efficient to use and the features make it easy for you to cook. You may trade off durability with ease of use, but with this type of iron press, you will get the job done.
2. What is your level of proficiency?
If you’re just starting out, it might be a good idea to settle again with the electric powered iron. Again, the features are the key here. Timer and temperature control will help you make pizzelle without burning them or wasting the batter.
If you’re an expert though, you might want the flexibility of the traditional iron. You already know how much batter you need and the traditional iron will give you the result that you want to achieve.
3. Do you have time to wait?
If you just want to cook a pizzella fast, the electric maker will give you that kind of result. If you want quality, you might want to settle with the traditional cast iron maker.
4. Can you handle the batter well?
If you still can’t estimate the right amount of batter that you need, you might need a design that has space for overflow. Most modern electric makers have a bit of space along the sides to accommodate for it. The traditional cast iron is a bit unforgiving when it comes to space because it doesn’t have any.
To make sure you choose the right iron for your pizzella, make sure to consider these qualities too.
- Heat distribution
- Can it play a double role?
- Is it easy to clean?
To attain that right crisp in your cookies, the iron maker must have even heat distribution. Your cookie will be soggy in the middle of the pizzelle maker is hotter at the edges. The iron must have a latch that allows for even heat distribution.
This is perhaps where traditional iron has the advantage over the modern electric makers. It doesn’t need the latch to connect the top of the maker to the bottom because it’s heavy enough to close the gap where heat may escape.
If you love pizzelle, chances are you also love waffle. If that’s the case, your pizzella maker must also be able to play the double role of a waffle maker.
You don’t have to worry though, most pizzelle makers can play this double role although the same cannot be said of standard waffle makers.
Depending on the type of maker you purchased, cleaning can either be a breeze or a nightmare. This is perhaps where electric pizzella makers have a great advantage over the traditional cast iron type.
As you may already have experienced, traditional iron requires a little bit of scrubbing to get cleaned while some electric powered makers even have non-stick surfaces making it so easy to clean.
My Five Best Pizzelle Maker
After hours of research and personal experience cooking pizzelle, I came up with these five best pizzelle makers. This is a mixture of electric powered and stovetop makers to give you enough options to base your buying decision. I have also included one traditional single-cookie maker just to complete this review. It may not win in the feature department but I’m sure it will get the job of cooking that favorite pizzella.
Palmer Pizzelle Maker Classic
This proudly American made stovetop, comes with two aluminum plates casing making it really durable, it can withstand whatever use and abuse you will throw at it. The cast-iron material is really effective in making a couple of thin cookies at 5-inch diameter. With this pizzelle maker, you can get your beloved classic Italian cookies in half the time. It comes with 5-year warranty from the manufacturer.
- Simple design
- Easy to operate
- Yields a couple of light and crisp cookies at the same time
- Best option for gluten-free batter
- Make sure to measure the batter well because there is no space for overflow
- Pizzelle are a bit thicker
- Cast-iron is sticky which means it’s difficult to clean
Cuisinart WM-PZ2 Pizzelle Press
If you want a fast and hassle-free electric powered pizzelle maker, Cuisinart WM-PZ2 Pizzelle Press is what you’re looking for. It can cook a couple of 4-inch cookies with different designs at once so you spend less time cooking.
The non-stick surface ensures that you don’t break the cookies when they are cooked. It has a dual indicator light which makes timing easy making it impossible to burn your cookies. All you need is a damp cloth to clean it and its stands up, taking less space when stored.
- It has a locking lid which prevents the heat from dissipating
- Made of brushed stainless steel
- Comes with a recipe book complete with instructions
- Plates are a bit small
- Latch breaks easily
- When heat is turned to middle, cookies tend to burn
CucinaPro Non-Stick Pizzelle Maker 220-05NS
If you’re just beginning in your pizzelle making journey, you will love the CucinaPro Non-Stick Pizzelle Maker 220-05NS because it’s steam guard make it impossible for you to burn your hands.
It’s non-stick surface ensure that the cookies can be removed easily and the plate surfaces can be cleaned easily too. Its extra thick plate ensures even heat distribution which translates to equally cooked cookies without the soggy middle part.
- Non-stick surface makes easy cookie removal
- Produces a couple of crispy pizzelle at once
- Steam guard protects your hands from getting burned
- No indicator light
- Timing is a bit off and inconsistent
- Power cord easily burns
Chef's Choice 834 Pizzelle Pro Express Bake
For really fast pizzelle making, the Chef's Choice 834 Pizzelle Pro Express Bake is a contender. Can you believe that this iron press can cook two 4 3/4-inch thick cookies in just 30 seconds? This translates to several batches of cookies in just 5 minutes!
The non-stick cast-iron plate surface ensures easy cleaning, cookie removal and durability. The instruction manual comes with great recipes to try out.
- Even heat distribution
- Latch ensures uniform cookie thickness
- Great for fast cookie making
- Too fast, sometimes pizzelle burns
- Sometimes, pizzelle gets soggy results
- No hand protection
SCI Scandicrafts Stovetop Pizzelle Iron
If you’re one of those traditional buffs who want to get as close as possible to the way pizzelle are cooked in the old country, the SCI Scandicrafts Stovetop Pizzelle Iron is for you. As what I have said, this may not win any award in the feature department but it gets the job done really well.
Ideal for veteran cookie maker, it leaves no room for hand-holding. It doesn’t have room for excess batter and you only have a cone roller to help you out. All you need to do to use it is to put it on top of the oven and off you go cooking traditional pizzelle.
- So simple to operate
- Get the job done
- No frills kind of iron press
- Lack features
- Not ideal for beginners
- You need to know what you’re doing to use it effectively
The clear winner for this review is the Palmer Pizzelle Maker Classic. While it has some problems like difficulty in cleaning due to its lack non-stick features, this can be easily remedied by using lubricant sprays.
It’s simple operation and no frill approach to cooking pizzelle is a real deal breaker for me. While it doesn’t hand-hold you, it’s not as spartan to operate compared to the SCI Scandicrafts Stovetop Pizzelle Iron. Another thing that I like about this iron press is that it comes with the 5-year warranty. This speaks volume of the durability of the cookie maker.
Electric powered pizzelle makers are generally less durable compared to the stovetop types. Besides I’m not really a fan of the fast-cooking style makers because it’s easy to burn your pizzelle along the way. You might think it’s beginner friendly, but it’s not. The fact that you can easily burn your cookies makes the electric powered cookie makers difficult to use when you’re a newbie.
Do you have some experience with these pizzelle makers? Do you have pizzelle making story to share? Why not brag about your success story in the comment section below?