Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Woman vs. Waffle Iron

     I was very lucky to receive a vintage cast iron waffle iron from my sweet, generous husband this Christmas. Trouble was, being vintage, there were a few spots of rust. So, I got to it, with a wire brush, steel wool, laser beams shooting out of my eyes...whatever I could do to get that rust off. Turns out, reseasoning a waffle iron is WAY different from reseasoning a nice flat skillet. After the clean up, I then tried to reseason and got a craptastic, uneven finish. In a brilliant move that must be the sign of some yet undiscovered mental illness, I tried to make waffles anyway. Stuck to that waffle iron like you wouldn't believe. I somehow scrubbed and reseasoned a few more times and proceeded to get not a single waffle because they  stuck to that iron like that was a full-time job. So, I put it in the oven on the self-cleaning mode and made everything in my house smell like an old McDonald's uniform. But, I got it so clean....and even rustier. poo.


I wire brushed it best I could and decided I was NOT going out like this. I reseasoned the beast, many many times by coating it lightly in crisco and baking it at 400 degrees for 2 hrs at a time. Then I would leave it to cool overnight. I'm not sure how many times I did this, but it kept us warm and toasty for the rest of the winter. Finally, the irons were as black as my soul and water beaded up on them, unlike my soul, which is porous and fairly absorbent. 

 I dared the impossible. I got it heated up, I sprayed it with canola oil spray. I poured the batter. I waited for the longest 3 minutes of my life (1 1/2 minutes each side). I bravely opened it... and flowers bloomed, violins sang, an angel wept, and a delicious golden waffle fell out. Fell out! I smothered it in real butter and blueberry syrup and I devoured it. 
     Best f@#$%ing waffle I ever had. 

     I will now share the recipe I use. I have this written on a cute little strawberry recipe card that I wrote out when I was a kid. Back then, I would make these for my 5 siblings. I made a lot of these. I have changed to using whole wheat flour and they are better than ever.
                                                          Whole Wheat Waffles
(makes 8 or so waffles)
2 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups wholewheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp of vegetable oil.

1. Beat eggs
2. add milk, oil, powder, soda and salt and beat some more.
3. add flour and stir until mixed (small lumps are okey-dokey don't over mix)
4. pour into hot, oiled waffle iron and pray to personal god of choice that it comes out :)
5. Enjoy!

Well, I may as well include my Pancake recipe. I usually double this one for a family of four.

Whole Wheat Hotcakes
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1. beat egg
2. add milk, oil, sugar, powder, soda and salt and beat again
3. add flour and stir until mixed, lumps are not a problem, just don't over mix.
4. pour into hot, oiled skillet. When bubbled, flip that flapjack.
5. Enjoy!

Both of these freeze well, just cool leftovers and put in a freezer bag with waxed paper between. The waffles can be put frozen into the toaster the same way you do with store bought waffles. I usually microwave the pancakes at 50-75% power for 30 second intervals, flipping them so they don't get hard. These are great to have on hand for something quick to offer the kids, or better yet, yourself  :)


  1. What a journey with your waffle iron! It's amazing how you develop relationships with your cast iron over time. I can't wait to show my kids how to cure and cook with cast iron. My pots remind me of Aunt Mae baking corn bread and biscuits and frying catfish in cast iron... the smells of her kitchen and all those happy memories!

  2. I'm just pleased it finally started working right...

  3. Congrats! Aaaaand, what was the secret to winning this battle?! My wife got me the exact same vintage waffle iron two years ago. I battle with it now and then, but haven't gotten very far. I haven't even gotten all of the rust off! Any tips?

    1. Bradley, I used a wire brush, steel wool, and sand paper. I got almost all of the rust off, but admittedly there was a light bit in a few spots. Then I dried it on my stove burner and quickly wiped it with a thin layer of crisco. I had an old cookie sheet, which I covered in foil and laid the griddles across for 30 min in a 400 degree oven. Then I dumped the excess oil out of them into the garbage can, and put them upside down on the cookie sheet (the cookie sheet was eventually ruined so don't use a good one for this), which kept the griddle elevated because of the lips on the cookie sheet. I baked that at 400 for at least 2 hours and then turned off the oven and let it sit in there overnight. I did this a number of times until even water beaded on the surface. Then when I went to use it, I made sure to heat the irons good before using them and I sprayed them with cooking oil spray on both parts of the iron before pouring the batter. I don't like cooking spray, and don't normally use it, but I tried smearing oil on it with brushes but it didn't work for me. I hope this helps you. I was ready to give up, but I am so glad I didn't because now this is a truly lovely and functional piece in my kitchen. I have a cast iron crush on it!

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