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PRODUCT REVIEWS - On test: Waffle and Sandwich makers.

Summary: Essential home gadgets reviewed.

Moulinex Break time waffle, sandwich and grill

We'd always thought of waffle makers as something of an indulgence for domestic divas, but using this appliance was definitely an eye-opener. Compact and versatile, this is so much more than a waffle maker, packing in different grilling plates for different functions, within its bright, modern design. What we liked: The appliance was easy to use, with not much other than common sense required to get started. Making waffles was a breeze - just pour in the dough and watch perfectly chequered waffles emerge that will put any Belgian to shame! The trick is to get the dough consistency right, and also to be careful of how much dough goes into the plates, so they don't overflow - that is a bit of a trial and error process. The different plates are easy to remove and clean, and we were pleasantly surprised with the grilling option - making this a three-in-one gadget, and eliminating the need for having a separate sandwich toaster or table grill even. Not that you wouldn't have space for other gadgets on the kitchen counter with this, particularly with its handy stand-up storage option.

What we didn't like: While useful for different purposes, the model is pretty basic and lacking in features - extras like a timer would have been useful.

To buy: From Dhs199 at Carrefour and Sharaf DG stores.

User tip You can make sweet or savoury waffles, just adjust the dough accordingly and eat with your favourite toppings.

Severin sandwich maker SA 2962

Sandwich and waffle makers are definitely one of the unsung heroes of any kitchen. They're great for everything from late night toasties to delicious waffles for breakfast. This sleek silver and black model has heat resistant cool touch handles with a locking clip and three convertible non-stick coated plates - sandwich, grill and Brussels waffles plate.

What we liked: As soon as we got our hands on the appliance, we decided to go gourmet and experiment with a chicken curry with raisin and mango chutney panini. We found that the heat was distributed evenly across the plates and the panini was just the right type of crisp. We also made a few waffles - it can only make two at time - and found that they come out perfectly, evenly cooked throughout, and the waffles were easy to take out. The machine also has an auto heat override function which makes it go off if it over-heats. The overall functionality and convenience of the sandwich maker found us making a grilled sandwich every time we craved something quick and easy to make.

What we didn't like: The food seeped into the crevices of the grill plates which made it slightly hard to clean.

To buy: Dhs149 at Geant Hypermarket, Plug ins and E-max.

User tip Don't over-grease the plates as that will burn the food.

Cuisinart Multifunction grill with sandwich and waffle maker

This sandwich and waffle maker sates all European food cravings, whether it is for a waffle or a croque monsieur! With a neat grey and black colour scheme, the machine comes with three grill plates, for waffles, croque monsieur and regular triangular-shaped toasted sandwiches, and has easy-to-read green and red indicator lights.

What we liked: The versatile and compact gadget can be neatly placed on any kitchen counter. It's sturdy, easy to use, and allows you to cook your favourite snack in less than 10 minutes - what's not to like? The first time we made waffles, it didn't turn out crisp - the way we like it - and was slightly on the soft side. It wasn't undercooked, but we realised that it should probably be cooked for a minute or two further, even after the green light comes on. The croque monsieur and grilled cheese toastie we made, tasted as good as the ones we've eaten at French cafes. Overall, the grill plates are easy to wash and the entire gadget can be wiped down once cool. When cooking, all you need to do is set the temperature to low, medium or high, place the sandwich or waffle batter on the grill plates and wait for the light to turn from red to green - it's as simple as that! Even though it's a bit pricey, we think it's worth every dirham as you can get a lot of use out of it.

What we didn't like: Only two waffles or sandwiches can be made at once, so it isn't ideal for big families.

To buy: Dhs550, at Tavola.

User tip Pour just enough waffle batter to cover the grill plates, or the mixture will fall out on the sides when closed.

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Publication:BBC GoodFood Middle East
Date:Feb 24, 2014
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