By July 17, 2010

Presto Flip Side Waffle Maker Review

My Waring Pro waffle maker finally gave up the ghost about two months ago. I used the Waring extensively in the nearly five years that I owned it. In fact, it died because I used it so much The metal hinge screws completely stripped the plastic mounting holes.

I wanted a replacement, but I wasn’t willing to spend $70 to get another one online, or about $100 if I found one locally.

Amazon.com was there with the rescue, and in two days I had a Presto Flip Side for less than $40 delivered.

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Specifications

The Flip Side is a 1350-watt machine; this is a pretty significant difference over my old Waring’s 1200 model and it definitely led to a crisper exterior. This added power is important. A good waffle should be crispy on the outside, and slightly soft on the interior. This can only be done by putting the batter on a very hot surface. The Waring cooked the mix to a safe temperature, but was never hot enough to make a traditionally textured waffle.

The Presto Flip Side does not have a temperature gauge. I didn’t like this at first, but eventually it made sense: the waffle maker needs to be as hot as possible to crisp the exterior. If you want your waffles done a little less, take them out sooner. There is a digital countdown timer on the side of the unit. I typically cook my waffles for 3:30 if they are meant to be eaten immediately, or three minutes flat if I am going to freeze them for later. Your times will vary based on the kind of batter you use and how well done you prefer your waffles.

Construction

The first thing I want to tell you is this: the Presto Flip Side feels cheap, but it’s does its job well. I had read about how flimsy the unit was in the Amazon customer reviews, but I was still disappointed when I took the waffle maker out of the box. Perhaps I wouldn’t have noticed as much if I hadn’t owned the Waring Pro.

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The Flip Side works by filling one side with batter, shutting the lid, and then rotating the maker to the opposite side. There is a hinge in the center of the waffle maker, so the flipping motion is pretty easy. This was very different from my Waring Pro and took some getting used to.

There is a major design flaw with the Flip Side, and it will hurt you: steam condenses in the hollowed-out grips and this water may burn you when you open the unit. I figure the water is probably 180°F or so be careful. I tried to take a picture where you can see the water condensing and dripping off of the handle.

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Anyone who ever used this machine at Presto should have caught this. What a shame, as the rest of the unit operates pretty well.

On a lesser, but still annoying note, the Flip Side doesn’t lock. If you put too much batter in the sides will separate and keep the inside from cooking properly. If this happens to you, you’ll have to adjust your cooking time — I usually add another thirty seconds or so.

Usage

I don’t know if it is my particular Flip Side or if they are all this way, but my Presto does a poor job of letting me know when it is warmed up. A red light is supposed to come on when the maker is hot, but it has only done so once. The first time I used the maker I let it sit for fifteen minutes before I gave up and started making waffles. Now I just start making waffles at the ten minute mark.

Making waffles is pretty easy. I add the batter to one side, shut the lid, flip the Presto by the burn-o-matic handles, and set the timer for 3:30. The waffles are done once the steam stops coming out of the maker. I set the timer just in case I am busy doing something else and am not watching the waffle maker.

I extract the waffle by flipping the unit back over and lifting the “top” section of the lid. This helps to avoid the hot water in the handle. I often have to use a fork or tongs to peel the waffle from the “top” section.

You don’t have to use non-stick spray or oil with the Presto Flip Side. You have to “cure” the griddle portions the first time you use it, but after that you’re good to go. Just follow the directions, it’s easy. I’ve probably made fifty or so waffles already and I never had one stick after cooking properly.

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Yummy waffle goodness.

Summary

All in all, I am happy with the results the Presto Flip Side produces. I think the unit has some major design flaws, both from a design standpoint but also a safety standpoint. I wish they would have made the handles differently to avoid the condensing steam issue, and I wish the warm up light was more reliable.

The unit feels cheap, but at $40 I didn’t expect a commercial grade appliance. I just hope it holds up over lots of repeated use. On the other hand, it’s inexpensive to replace.

If you like classic, crisp-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside waffles, the Presto Flip Side is probably your best, least expensive option. I would recommend it to people who have already made waffles in the past, because you’ll need to pay a little bit more attention than you would with a different unit.

Recommended.

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