When I first started this series, I set out to waffle strange and unusual things that had yet to be waffled. I skipped over the waffled grilled cheese because it seemed too obvious, but it is a top tier waffled delight. If you want to make it more of a meal, you can add a little meat, but you should waffle that meat before you layer it in the sandwich.
Waffled lunchmeat may feel like it belongs in the uncanny valley, but pressing ham or bologna between the hot, divoted plates creates small moments of browned, savory flavor, the same as you’d get from frying that meat on a flat-top griddle.
How to waffle lunchmeat
To griddle your meat, set your waffle maker to medium and lay down of few slices of whatever you’re craving. If your waffle maker only has one heat setting, set the meat inside, close it, and let it heat up along with the waffle maker. Cook for a few minutes until the meat is browned to your liking.
Remove it from the waffle maker, brush a couple of slices of bread with melted butter, and layer your sandwich per usual—I like to go bread, meat, cheese, meat, cheese, bread. Place the sandwich in the waffle maker, set to medium-high, with the buttered sides of the bread facing the plates. Close the waffle maker, press down gently, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until your sandwich is browned to your liking. Don’t worry if some of the cheese melts out of the sandwich and onto the grates; it will fry into crispy bits of frico.
Beyond the meaty portion of the sandwich, you can waffle other ingredients to add more browned (or even charred) flavor. You can waffle hash browns for a breakfast sandwich, radicchio or bell pepper for something a little more veggie-heavy, onion rings for an onion ring parm. If lunchmeat isn’t your favorite form of animal protein, fret not, waffled meatloaf, meatballs, and SPAM are all equally happy on a sandwich, as is waffled cheese. I’m not saying you should waffle every individual component of your sandwich, but that not my worst idea. (A breakfast sandwich is the best candidate for this; eggs waffle pretty well.)