Waffle irons are a mainstay of the modern kitchen and everyone knows that they can be used to make more than just delicious waffles. However, not everyone realizes that waffle irons can be used for more than just cooking great foods (such as my personal favorite, waffle iron brownies topped with vanilla ice cream). Indeed, for the adventurous soul who has a dash of derring-do, hacking a waffle iron to make it do a variety of things that the manufacturer never dreamed of is easier than getting a table at the Restaurant At the End of the Universe. Be advised, though, that many of these suggestions will void your warranty and, with electric waffle irons or griddles, could be dangerous so proceed with caution!
10 Crazy Waffle Iron Hacks
1) Super-quick steam presser — Have a pair of pants you need pressed? Or just a bit of cloth you need pressed before you begin working on some project? Trying to get the hem on a skirt or apron perfectly straight and the iron is giving you nightmares (or you lack an iron)? Well, your waffle maker can be used in a pinch! You will need to get a couple of flat metal or non-flammable discs so that the waffle pattern won’t be an issue but I’m sure that everyone has some sturdy cardboard they could cover with wax paper, dryer sheets, or aluminum foil.
Make (or place) your flattener, turn on the waffle iron, allow the flattener to warm up (but don’t let it melt or catch fire so pay attention!), slightly dampen (or place lightly dampened cloths over) the item to be pressed, and then place it in the iron, press, and viola! One quick steam presser a la waffle iron.
2) Applying iron-ons — Using the same kind of flatteners discussed above, you can apply iron-on designs to shirts. If you’re really good at it, you can even apply them to the front and back at the same time since the waffle iron heats both sides evenly.
3) Pressing flowers — Need to press flowers and don’t want to risk getting pollen or have chlorophyll bleed onto the pages of your books? Then you can use a similar kind of flattener and low heat (but no water) to press and dry them quickly if you don’t want to risk ruining your iron (or don’t have one handy).
4) Candle-making — No…you wouldn’t directly melt the wax on the waffle iron (that would be really dangerous) but, if you don’t have an electric oven, your waffle iron can provide the heat for your double boiler so that you can safely melt your wax without having to worry about it hitting an open flame and burning your kitchen to a cinder.
5) The base for your own Puppetastic Remote-Controlled Robot Show — Because everyone needs one of these, right? And with a waffle iron’s perfect roundness (or squareness, we don’t shape-hate) and hinge, rigging this up is a simple application of mechanics and artistry. Build the top of the face from the upper lip to the crown of the head on top of the waffle iron and attach the lower lip and chin to the bottom of the iron. Run your cabling through carefully so that your puppet doesn’t get ripped when you have the hydraulic (or whatever) pull the top up to simulate opening and closing the puppet’s mouth. Depending on what hydraulic (or whatever) you use, this can be set up to be controlled remotely or pre-programmed or even accept programming instructions on the fly.
And the whole thing is built on the foundation of a waffle iron. Imagine that.
6) The Ultimate Evil Pac Man… For Great Justice! — Picture this: It’s a calm, peaceful, sunny day in Anytown. Children are playing in an idyllic yard with perfectly-trimmed grass and a well-manicured garden. Dogs frolic with tongues lolling and tails wagging. All is happy and bright until, out of nowhere, it appears! Mounted on steel wheels with spikes protruding from them, affixed with the Jaws o’ Death and sharp, tempered teeth forged in the fires of Mount Doom, and wearing deceptively friendly googly eyes comes Pac Man’s evil brother.
Using the same kind of hydraulic mentioned in #4 and using a Raspberry Pi kit, you could totally turn your waffle iron into an evil attack Pac Man that could give a good showing in any killer robot competition. Make enough of these and you might even be able to give a good account of yourself come the Robot Uprising.
7) Weather Forecasting System — Yes, Virginia, you can use your waffle iron to forecast the weather as the graphic below demonstrates.
8) Weighting for fish traps — If you have a waffle iron that has no electronics or where the electronics are dead and you don’t particularly care about salvaging it, you can use it as the weight/ballast for a DIY fish trap.
9) Waffle Iron Into Buckler — Again, if you have a completely cast-iron or dead-beyond-repair waffle iron, you could take it to a blacksmith and have it turned into a buckler. There’s probably not enough metal of the right quality to make a proper buckler that you could use to ward off sword blows, arrows, or the like should you ever find yourself sucked through a wormhole and in the midst of a medieval battlefield but it would make a cool wall decoration or conversation starter.
10) Making Waffles Here’s a crazy idea. You could consider using your waffle iron to make waffles. Or brownies. Or paninis, scrambled eggs, French toast, pizza, s’mores, cinnamon rolls…
Excuse me. I’m going to go fire up my waffle iron now. I’ve suddenly got an inexplicable case of the munchies.