You're Sacrificing A Great Crust By Cooking Waffles With Butter

Wherever you fall in the waffles vs. pancakes debate, it's no controversy to say that these two breakfast staples aren't interchangeable. The biggest difference between waffles and pancakes is undoubtedly the crispy outside of the waffle. A crispy pancake is practically a burnt pancake, but waffles should come out of the iron with some crunch to them. Indeed, every great waffle — however you customize it — needs a light, fluffy interior and an evenly browned exterior.

The crust will soften with the addition of syrup, melted butter, jam, or honey, so you'll want a fairly sturdy waffle to start with before adding toppings. But getting a crispy, perfectly crusted waffle requires the right kind of batter. One common mistake people make when preparing waffle batter is using melted butter. Everyone knows that melted butter adds fat, richness, and depth of flavor to any batter, but it isn't always the best choice.

Use neutral oil instead

A waffle study on Food Science & Nutrition investigated the ingredients that make for the best waffles. The results showed that rapeseed oil or canola oil gave the tested waffles a more even browning on the exterior than butter. While butter is typically the fat of choice for any pan-fried cake, vegetable oil or rapeseed oil gives the waffle a better crisp. This is due to the difference in water content between butter and any neutral oil. Butter's hydration levels prevent the waffle from becoming as evenly browned as it should be, while rapeseed oil has no water content, which allows the batter to brown easier.

Furthermore, butter is more prone to burning because it has a lower smoke point and contains milk solids. Rapeseed oil and vegetable oil do not give waffles the rich, milky flavor that butter does, but they do result in the best texture. But this doesn't mean your waffles have to remain butterless. Adding butter to your waffles after they come together in the waffle iron is the best way for you to achieve both a crispy texture and that satisfying buttery flavor. The next time you make waffles, add canola oil and a special ingredient to ensure that your waffles have the best golden crust.