Are there any real difference between the American waffle and the Belgium waffle?

I want a waffle iron that I can use for all waffle recipes. Can I apply any waffle recipe to either? (like waffles made with shredded veg for example) Not sure of the real difference in terms of cooking or recipe use.

  • Posted by: Pilar
  • February 3, 2019


jamacson September 14, 2022
You can try making a thin waffle in a Belgian waffle maker but I don't think it will turn out the way you want it because the pockets of the Belgian waffle maker are a lot deeper than is required for a thin waffle. This means the top of the thin waffle will be undercooked. Also thin waffles have small squares while Belgian waffles have much larger squares.

Thin waffle makers and Belgian waffle makers are pretty similar in price. You can buy some high quality round thin or Belgian waffle makers for only $30. So if you want the perfect thin or Belgian waffle, you should buy both a thin and Belgian waffle maker.

I got this information from this article I found online:
David Y. January 3, 2020
Belgium waffles are yeast based and have NO SUGAR in them. American waffles though are with baking powder/baking soda and containing sugar.
Stephanie B. February 3, 2019
Traditionally, Belgian waffles are yeasted, which gives them a fluffy texture and malty, bready flavor. They also have deep pockets, which is now more commonly the defining feature of Belgian waffles since most people don't bother with yeasted waffles.

I think a Belgian waffle iron is just one that will make deeper pockets. As far as regular breakfasty types of waffles, I don't think there's any reason you couldn't use whatever batter you wanted in whatever iron you wanted. Even if you're going to experiment with ingredients, like shredded veggies, most waffle irons are non-stick. Generally, I think the batter, not the iron, is what will define your waffle.
Pilar February 3, 2019
Thanks, that's interesting. So if I wanted to make yeasted waffles it would be better to use a Belgian waffle maker?
Stephanie B. February 4, 2019
Hmm...not sure! I think yeasted waffles are delicious whether they have Belgian style pockets or regular ones. When it comes down to it, I think the specifics of waffle dimensions are a matter of preference - I don't think you can lose!
Smaug February 4, 2019
I understand that Belgian waffles are now often made with baking powder, though yeast is traditional. My brother, on the other hand, used to make yeast waffles on an American waffle iron with no problem. I'm no expert, but it seems to me that Belgian waffles are generally bigger and thicker than American (or the English original, inadvertently invented by Sir Giles Wimple and Lady Ermintrude. They also seem to differ in serving tradition, things like whipped cream, strawberries and powdered sugar replacing butter and maple syrup- though certainly American waffles have been served in any number of ways from time to time.
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