I've been using the same waffle recipe and waffle maker for about 10 years. Lately, my waffles have changed a bit.
Waffle iron takes quite a bit longer to indicate done. Previously I'd expect it to be ready a few seconds after a 5 minute timer went off. Now it can be closer to a minute afterward.
Surface of waffles is no longer as uniform. The center has often either collapsed or otherwise not stuck to the upper iron, leaving an undercooked "divot". (But not 100% of the time. I can still get a good surface occasionally)
It's a 10-year-old Black & Decker that has worked well. The grilles have no obvious damage to the surface, but I can believe that something related to them has changed. I wouldn't be too upset to replace it. (Replacing the removable grilles appears to cost more than replacing the unit). There's only a single ring-shaped heating element in each half. So I don't think the heating is the problem. I'd expect a consistent hot-spot or a consistent cold spot away from the center. Neither of those seem to be happening.
My worry is that replacing would be useless because something is off with the recipe. In my case it's just Bisquick (mainly because I never do any prep the day before, I won't have buttermilk or yeast, and it's worked great previously). This is the only thing I use Bisquick in, and I'm concerned that a change in the product could be the issue instead. My double-batch as made:
- 576g Bisquick
- 2 eggs
- 4 Tbs vegetable oil
- 2 2/3 cup milk
Each waffle is made with a shy 1-cup batter poured into center.
While I normally try to apply a spray oil before every batch, I do occasionally forget. When that happens, I haven't noticed it being significantly better or worse.
Anyone know if these craters are an indication of a problem with surface of the iron?
While it could be a lack of heat, it looks to me more like the batter in the center is not sticking or otherwise remaining in contact with the upper surface. I'm supposing the grille is hot, but that there's an air gap to the batter. Seems odd that it's always the center where it pulls away.