Frozen waffles that are almost as good as fresh
You might want to leggo your Eggo. Although that brand sells far more frozen waffles than any other does, some of its rivals came out on top in our tests. Trader Joe’s Multigrain, a CR Best Buy, and 365 Organic from Whole Foods are slightly better than Eggo Nutri-Grain Honey Oat and Eggo Homestyle, and far better than Eggo Thick & Fluffy Original Recipe, which has an artificial-tasting vanilla flavor. (Get more details on breakfast foods in our Food & Drink Guide.)
Trader Joe’s and 365 have a big sweet, nutty grain flavor. They come within shouting distance of the mix we tested for comparison—Aunt Jemima Original, which is slightly sweet and eggy, crisp outside and moist inside. And they score higher than Aunt Jemima Original for nutrition. Most nutritious of all is Kashi 7 Grain, which has fewer calories and more fiber than the others. Eggo Nutri-Grain, Kashi, Trader Joe’s, and 365 all contain some whole-wheat flour.
If you are concerned about calories and fat, go easy on the butter (100 calories and 12 grams of fat per tablespoon) and syrup (about 95 calories and 9 grams of sugars per two tablespoons).
The lower-rated waffles tend to be slightly astringent, a bit bitter, or simply less flavorful. Two gluten-free waffles, Nature’s Path and Van’s, cost the most and taste worse than most.
Bottom line. A mix produced the cheapest and best waffles, but if you’re short on time, try one of the very good choices. Trader Joe’s costs just 50 cents per two waffles, half as much as some others.
Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker and Rollie EggMaster reviews
The claims. “Prepare a 5-minute breakfast sandwich with your own fresh ingredients,” says advertising for the Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker (right). “Cooks every layer of your breakfast sandwich to perfection.” The Rollie EggMaster (far right) is “the fast, easy, pan-free way to make perfect eggs every time! Just crack your egg, pour it in, and watch it pop up in minutes!” Burritos, pizza rolls, and cinnamon rolls are other Rollie options. Each device costs $30 plus shipping and handling.
The checks. In the Sandwich Maker, we assembled and cooked combinations of English muffins and mini bagels, meat, cheese, and eggs. In the Rollie, we cooked eggs (alone and in various meat combos), cinnamon rolls, and other staples.
Bottom line. Neither was eggs-cellent. Sandwich Maker sandwiches were good, but not as good as those from a toaster and frying pan, or as quickly made—the process took about 9 minutes. The bread was toasted only on the outside, the cheese became very melted and goopy, and the egg extended beyond the bread. (We cooked other breakfast foods and found that pancakes came out great.)
The Rollie fared worse. Watching it eject food can be fun, but it often did that too early, leaving us with runny eggs. Also worrisome: Its conical top isn’t heated and may retain raw egg, which could contact cooked items. Rollie is underpowered at 210 watts, which is not much more than some large lightbulbs, so cooking two eggs (and most other dishes) took about 10 minutes. A single Rollie would take hours to make the lavish spread of rolled food shown in the infomercial.
A version of this article appeared in the August 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine with the headline “Waffle Winners”
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