How Ree Drummond Uses Her Waffle Iron For Extra Crispy Pizzas

The waffle iron (or waffle maker) is one of the most useful kitchen gadgets. It deserves a place alongside your weekly-used crock pot and air fryer because it can actually do lots of things – but we owe its practicality to our ancestors. According to Smithsonian Magazine, its user-friendly predecessor was created in 1869 to replace the original renditions, which resembled medieval weaponry. General Electric invented the electric version in 1918. Food Network explains that what we now call the Belgian waffle is an Americanized version of waffles introduced to the states at fairs via European expos. Chicago Waffles tells us there is actually no one "Belgian waffle" in Belgium, but several types.

Celebrity chefs are well-acquainted with the off-label uses for the waffle maker. Alton Brown uses his waffle maker to cook bacon and Jax Hamilton uses it to make any-time-of-day quesadillas. The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, uses her waffle iron to easily whip up pizza in minutes, which is a culinary miracle for busy home cooks with eager families at the table. So what culinary madness is this? How can a "waffle maker" do so much?

How Ree Drummond makes waffle iron pizza

According to Food Network, Drummond first preheats the waffle maker to its high setting. She then coats the waffle maker's inside surfaces with nonstick olive oil spray and adds pizza or bread dough — premade and thawed from frozen are just fine. In the waffle maker's jaws, the dough browns in about three minutes, after which Drummond adds sauce and toppings, including cheese — then closes the lid for another minute or so before revealing a gloriously crispy waffle pizza. Consider us impressed.

In Belgium, waffles are not technically breakfast food, but considered a sweet treat (per Chicago waffles). So it's totally cool to eat waffles in new and exciting ways. Of course, you can always make chef-worthy Belgian waffles from a few simple pantry ingredients. Ree Drummond won't steer you wrong with her fried Chicken and Waffles or her mini cheese waffles born from a TikTok-driven splurge (per her website). We can hardly blame her. The waffle iron is a true innovation.

Other uses for a waffle maker

Beyond waffles, the waffle maker grants you the ability to make golden-brown, soft-on-the-inside "bread" as a basis for many dishes. Food Network reveals that waffle makers happily crank out other breakfast dishes like French toast, hash browns, and biscuits and gravy, comforting grilled cheese and falafel, and even sweet treats like brownies, banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, and carrot cake. The way the two halves of the device hold ingredients in place and cook them to perfection and the fun of turning them over without the need for a fine chef's skills makes the waffle iron a hit with cooks young and old.

Furthermore, Food Network Kitchen has an ingenious recipe for Stuffing Waffles that will single-handedly save your holiday leftovers game, and Weight Watchers offers up healthy Denver Omelette Waffles that cut down on dishwashing. Chef's Choice even has a recipe for Waffled Filet Mignon! If you're still skeptical, renowned appliance company Cuisinart itself sells waffle irons under the name "waffle/omelette maker," assuring and encouraging us to branch out. Despite being famous for a single use, you should be flipping out over how versatile your humble waffle iron turns out to be in the kitchen, for any meal of the day.