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BELLA 13991 Classic vs Chefman Anti-Overflow Side-by-Side Comparison

Matthew Lee
Matthew Lee
Reviewer
Nguyen Ntk
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist
Reviewed
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Jan 13, 2023
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Jan 13, 2023
The BELLA rotating waffle maker with its glossy, metallic baking chamber positioned next to its instruction manual and shipping box.
The black Chefman Anti Overflow Belgian waffle maker in center. Its manual is to the left and the shipping box to the right.

Our Verdict

7.1
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    7.0/10
  • Design (20%)
    7.8/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.8/10
6.7
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.6/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.8/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    5.6/10

The greatest difference between the two models is that the Chefman has a more traditional single-sided design, which only allows you to cook waffles one at a time. Meanwhile, with the Bella 13991’s double-sided design, you can prepare two at once.

If you live alone or don’t need to bake a lot of waffles regularly, the Chefman represents a better choice overall. But if you have a large family, you’ll get a lot of use out of the Bella 13991’s double-sided design.

The Bella 13991 is the winner by a clear margin in our performance tests. It was able to produce tasty waffles with superb coloration and texture. The Chefman was close, but its overall score wasn’t as high due to the splotchy coloration of its waffles.

Pricing isn’t an issue with these two models. Though the Bella 13991’s list price is slightly higher, if you can catch them both at the right time, you’ll find them on sale for the same amount.

Not Great, Not Terrible

Bella Rotating Waffle Maker’s Performance

Chefman Anti Overflow Belgian Waffle Maker’s Performance: Great for the Price
7.0
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)6.9/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)7.2/10
6.6
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)6.3/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)6.9/10
6.9

Self-Mixed Recipe

6.3
BELLA 13991 Classic Self-Mixed Recipe Video
The top crust of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using our self-mixed recipe, coloration ranges from very dark brown in certain spots to light brown.
The bottom crust of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using our self-mixed recipe, coloration ranges from very dark brown to light brown.
The cross section of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using our self-mixed recipe, revealing the core with air bubbles and cavities inside.
A waffle baked for 7 minutes being torn down the middle by hands in order to test it for consistency and texture.
Color: 6.25
35% * 6.25 = 2.2
Texture: 6
25% * 6 = 1.5
Taste: 8
40% * 8 = 3.2
  • Heat Level: Maximum
  • Cooking Time: 7 minutes

The coloration was decent despite the waffle’s wells looking slightly burnt, and some spots on the crust looked undercooked. It received only a passable grade due to having a low aeration rate. Fortunately, it picked up the slack with its tastiness.

Color (6.25) — 35%

  • Color tone: Very dark brown - Light brown (both)
  • Color distribution: Even

The crust was a bit dark, but there were no signs of charring. Dark spots mostly focused within the wells of the waffle. Outside the wells, the waffle mostly had a pretty light brown color.

But since it was darker than ideal, we couldn’t give it a higher score than a “good” 6.25.

Texture (6) — 25%

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Medium; air bubbles have begun filling the interior of the waffle. However, their sizes were small, and their numbers were few.

Air bubbles have begun to fill the interior of the waffle. Unfortunately, they haven’t developed to their full sizes just yet. All the bubbles we saw were small, concentrating mostly near the crust, while the core of the waffle was dense.

Taste (8) — 40%

  • Flavor: Sweet with a buttery aftertaste
  • Mouthfeel: Slightly mushy

Our chef rated the waffle highly, citing its sweet flavor and buttery aftertaste. And though the mouthfeel was a bit underwhelming, it didn’t seriously affect the waffle’s quality.

Chefman Anti-Overflow Self-Mixed Recipe Video
The very dark brown top crust of a waffle baked for 5 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
The very dark brown bottom crust of a waffle baked for 5 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
A cross-section of a waffle baked for 5 minutes using our self-mixed recipe. The interior is dense with few air bubbles.
A waffle being torn down the middle by hand to test its consistency. This waffle was baked for 5 minutes.
Color: 6
35% * 6 = 2.1
Texture: 5
25% * 5 = 1.3
Taste: 7.5
40% * 7.5 = 3.0
  • Heat Level: 3
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The coloration was decent but could be improved. But the texture, which was dense and very mushy, needs the most improvement. Despite all that, the texture of the waffle was good. The waffle would have received a perfect score if it wasn’t for the pulpy mouthfeel due to the mediocre texture.

Color (35%) — 6/10

  • Color tone: Very dark brown (Both)
  • Color distribution: Uneven

The overall coloring of the waffle was not impressive. The crust was a patchwork of golden brown and dark brown spots. Because of its blotchy appearance, the waffle doesn't get a high score in terms of color distribution.

Texture (25%) - 5/10

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Low; next to no air bubbles present inside the waffle’s interior

The texture was mediocre. After 5 minutes, the core of the waffle still hasn’t been aerated. Cutting the waffle in half, we found very few air bubbles within. And sure enough, the low aeration rate resulted in a mushy waffle.

Taste (40%) - 7.5/10

  • Flavor: Buttery and sweet, slightly salty
  • Mouthfeel: Very mushy due to low aeration

The bad texture, fortunately, didn’t prevent the Chefman from receiving a good score from our chef. Its mushy mouthfeel was a turn-off, but the waffle maker did a great job developing the waffle. The final waffle has all the flavors we expected from the batter. The creamy butter, sweet sugar, and slight saltiness of the single teaspoon of salt came out nicely.

7.2

Birch Benders Mix

6.9
BELLA 13991 Classic Birch Benders Mix Video
The golden top crust of a waffle baked for 8 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix.
The golden bottom crust of a waffle baked for 8 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix.
The cross-section of a waffle baked for 8 minutes, revealing its internal core filled with air bubbles and air cavities.
A waffle baked for 8 minutes being torn down the middle by hand to test it for its consistency and texture.
Color: 8
35% * 8 = 2.8
Texture: 7.8
25% * 7.8 = 1.9
Taste: 6
40% * 6 = 2.4
  • Heat Level: Maximum
  • Cooking Time: 8 minutes

In this test, the Bella waffle maker did a slightly better job, but not by a lot. 

Coloration is visibly improved with a more even, prettier coloration. Unfortunately, because the waffle is peppered with air pockets, it has several discolored spots. The texture is decent, but its aeration level is still low, resulting in a mushy texture. The mushy texture is one of the reasons why our chef didn't give the waffle a high score on the taste test.

Color (8/10) — 35%

  • Color tone: Light gold (Both)
  • Color distribution: Even

The crust on both sides of the waffle maker had a beautiful golden-brown color. On the crust were large formations of air bubbles, which had a pale yellow color of undercooked batter. Besides ruining the overall look of the waffle, they also messed with the color palette.

Texture (7.8/10) — 25%

  • Texture: Good
  • Aeration level: Medium; air bubbles have begun to develop, but they haven’t reached their maximum sizes

The waffle has filled out well with a thick, soft interior. It has a medium aeration rate, evidenced by the many tiny air bubbles within its core. The bubbles were in the process of forming and expanding, but the aeration process was cut short before it could reach completion. Thus, while the waffle was soft and spongy, it was still too moist on the inside to receive a higher score.

Taste (6/10) — 40%

  • Flavor: Sweet and slightly savory, cloying in undercooked parts
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and spongy for the most parts, mushy in certain spots

As a whole, the waffle’s flavor profile was decent. It had the signature sweet and slightly savory taste of the Birch Benders mix. However, certain parts of the waffle were undercooked and gave it an off-putting cloying taste, which negatively impacted its scoring on this test.

Chefman Anti-Overflow Birch Benders Mix Video
The light brown top crust of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using our Birch Benders batter.
The light brown bottom crust of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using our Birch Benders batter.
A cross-section of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using our Birch Benders batter. Numerous air cavities can be seen.
A waffle being torn up by hands to test for its consistency. This one was baked for 7 minutes using our Birch Benders batter.
Color: 7.5
35% * 7.5 = 2.6
Texture: 6
25% * 6 = 1.5
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Heat Level: 3
  • Cooking Time: 7 minutes

The waffle received a beautiful, light golden brown color throughout. But while it looked excellent, the waffle's interior hadn’t fully developed. Luckily, the waffle maker's heat still unlocked the full range of flavors that the batter had to offer. So, despite being a bit mushy, the waffle tasted excellent.

Color (35%) — 7.5/10

  • Color result: Light brown (Both)
  • Color distribution: Even

Coloring was good. Both the top and the bottom had a light, golden brown tone. We deducted a few points due to its undeveloped color. It almost appeared like the waffle wasn’t thoroughly cooked.

The color was distributed evenly across both sides of the waffle. It wasn’t perfect as there were still lightly seared spots within the wells. Nevertheless, the bottom and the top could be considered acceptably uniform.

Texture (25%) — 6/10

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Low, air bubbles were few and inconsistent in size

The texture could be better. Although bubbles began to form within the batter, they were small and their numbers were few. It resulted in the core of the waffle being moist and less fluffy than it should be.

Taste (40%) — 7/10

  • Flavor: Sweet and savory
  • Mouthfeel: Mushy and moist

Despite the texture being less-than-ideal, the Chefman did its job. The machine extracted this batter's complete flavor profile: sweet and savory. The slight mushiness hampered our enjoyment, but overall, it was an acceptable Belgian-style waffle.

Bella Stainless Steel Waffle Maker’s Design

Chefman Anti Overflow Waffle Maker’s Design
7.8
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)7.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)9.0/10
  • Control Panel (10%)8.5/10
8.8
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)8.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)9.5/10

What’s in the Box of the Bella 13991 Rotating Waffle Maker?

In The Box
The Bella stainless steel waffle maker (13991) sitting next to its instructional manual and the black removable drip tray.
  • Bella Classic Rotating Waffle Maker (13991) 
  • User manual
  • Drip tray

The box includes the waffle maker, a user manual, and a drip tray.

The all-black Chefman waffle maker next to its instruction manual and accessory (a cup for measuring batter).
  • Chefman waffle maker
  • Instruction manual and quick-start guide
  • A measuring cup

Besides the waffle maker itself, you will also get an instruction manual and a quick-start guide. A measuring cup is included to help you pour the correct amount of batter.

Dimensions

Dimensions & Weight of the Chefman Round Waffle Maker
The Bella rotating Belgian waffle maker (13991) with measurements marked next to it. The height is 7.3 inches, length is 16.7 inches, and width is 7.7 inches.
  • Length:
    16.7" (42.4 cm)
  • Width:
    7.7" (19.6 cm)
  • Height:
    7.3" (18.5 cm)
  • Weight:
    5.2 lbs (2.4 kg)

The Bella 13991 is more difficult to store due to its rotating design, which brings its height to 7.3 inches. Fortunately, Bella makes storage less annoying by making the handle foldable. The waffle maker's footprint can be reduced with the handle folded and the body rotated vertically.

The dimensions of the Chefman waffle maker. The length is 10.6 inches, height 4.35 inches, and width 8.3 inches.
  • Length:
    10.6" (26.9 cm)
  • Width:
    8.3" (21.1 cm)
  • Height:
    4.3" (11.0 cm)
  • Weight:
    3.6 lbs (1.7 kg)

The Chefman waffle maker is compact and lightweight. It doesn't take much space on our countertop or storage shelf. It can even be stored vertically with the aid of a convenient supporting foot at the back.

7.0

Build Quality

8.0
The Bella 13991 rotating waffle maker mid-turn. In the frame is the rotating shaft that allows the baking chamber to rotate.
The Bella 13991 rotating waffle maker mid-turn. In the frame is the rotating shaft that allows the baking chamber to rotate.
The Bella 13991 waffle maker in its standard rest position with the control panel facing upward.
BELLA 13991 Classic Build Quality video

The Bella 13991's body is made from stainless steel with a mirror finish, which gives it a somewhat premium look. However, we noticed that the mirror finish could be smudged easily and is highly susceptible to scratches. However, a much more serious issue was the extremely loose lid hinge. Whenever it's opened or adjusted, the lid wobbles dangerously.

The black, plastic, clamp-style lid lock at the front of the Chefman Anti Overflow Belgian waffle maker.

Depending on the version you selected, the build materials will be different. The one we chose has a top lid made from a matte plastic material. In pricier versions, the top is made from stainless steel. The matte plastic exterior looks less attractive than stainless steel, but it’s less likely to scratch or defaces.

Overall, the build quality is good. The matte outer coating has a smooth, high-quality feel. Other components of the waffle maker are built durably.

We initially liked the elaborate lid-locking system, but it turned out to create some problems which we’ll detail below.

9.0

Waffle Plates

10
A close-up of one of the Bella 13991’s waffle plates. The plate has a Belgian-style patterning and a black non-stick coating.
A close-up of one of the Bella 13991’s waffle plates. The plate has a Belgian-style patterning and a black non-stick coating.
An overview of the Bella 13991’s double waffle plates.
  • Number of Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Belgian-style
  • Plate Area:
    44.18 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    7.5" (19.1 cm)
  • Plate Width:
    7.5" (19.1 cm)
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The waffle plates are cast aluminum coated with a layer of PFOA-free Teflon. In all of our tests, the non-stick coating worked perfectly. The waffles slid cleanly off the plates without leaving messy residue behind.

A small anti-spill moat runs around the perimeter of each plate. The moat is too small to catch big spills, which isn’t particularly helpful.

An overview of the Chefman waffle maker’s cooking plates. The bottom plate has a large anti-overflow moat surrounding it.
An overview of the Chefman waffle maker’s cooking plates. The bottom plate has a large anti-overflow moat surrounding it.
The black, Belgian-style waffle plate of the Chefman waffle maker. An anti-overflow moat surrounds it to catch excess batter.
  • Number of Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Belgian-style
  • Plate Area:
    54.11 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    8.3" (21.1 cm)
  • Plate Width:
    8.3" (21.1 cm)
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

This section gets a rare perfect score from us.

The non-stick coating works well. After it was cooked, the waffle fell off the plates easily and didn't stick. Additionally, we rarely found any debris stuck to the plates.

An "anti-spill" moat wraps around the bottom plate. The moat usually prevented the liquid batter from spilling onto the counter when the batter overflowed during our tests.

8.5

Control Panel

9.5
A close-up on the Bella 13991 waffle maker’s control panel, with the two indicator lights and the browning control dial in frame.
A close-up on the Bella 13991 waffle maker’s control panel, with the two indicator lights and the browning control dial in frame.
BELLA 13991 Classic Control Panel video
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    Yes

The temperature dial turns smoothly but doesn’t have any specific temperature notches or settings. Instead, there are only “Min” and a “Max” labels on either side. The user can tune the dial to any arbitrary point in between.

You will find a red POWER button under the dial, which shines when you plug in the waffle maker. The blue READY button beside it will light up when the plates are thoroughly heated and ready for use.

Chefman Control Panel
Chefman Control Panel video
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    Yes

The control panel consists of two indicator lights and a browning control knob. The knob is tactile and makes a satisfying clicking sound as it turns.

This waffle maker would’ve gotten a perfect score if it had an audible alarm or a timer.

Bella Rotating Belgian Waffle Maker’s Power Cord

Chefman Anti Overflow Belgian Waffle Maker’s Power Cord
The power plug of the Bella 13991, highlighting the Type-A prongs.
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    2.2 ft (0.7 m)
  • Cable Management:
    No

The power cord is relatively short, so you may have to use an extension cord. There is no cable management feature on the Bella 13991.

A cord grommet at the bottom of the Chefman waffle maker. It helps the user manage the cord before putting it into storage.
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    2.3 ft (0.7 m)
  • Cable Management:
    Yes

The power cord measures 18 inches long, which is shorter than average. You may find you need an extension cord.

The underside sports a pair of hooks that you can wrap the cord around and prep the waffle maker for storage.

Drip Tray

Accessories

Measurement Cup
The removable black plastic drip tray of the Hamilton Beach 26031.
  • Material:
    Plastic
  • Removable:
    Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

A drip tray accompanies the waffle maker in the shipping box. It slides in underneath the waffle maker’s body. The tray does a great job of catching spilled batter. It is removable and dishwasher-safe.

A transparent plastic cup that comes with the Chefman waffle maker. It helps the user measure the batter to pour.
  • Material:
    Plastic
  • Removable:
    Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The Chefman waffle maker comes with a measuring cup. You will find two markings on the cup that tell you the amount of batter you need to make a thin or thick waffle. This cup is dishwasher-safe.

On the handle is a notch that can be used to hang the cup to the side of the batter bowl.

Ease of Use

Bella Rotating Waffle Maker Review

Chefman Belgian Anti-Overflow Waffle Maker Review: Ease of Use
6.8
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)3.0/10
  • Safety (40%)8.0/10
  • Cleanability (25%)9.5/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (5%)10/10
5.6
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)7.5/10
  • Safety (40%)2.5/10
  • Cleanability (25%)7.0/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)10/10
3.0

Handling

7.5

It failed the handling test due to the dangerously loose lid. Whenever we started a new waffle, we had to hold the lid with one hand while pouring with the other. If we dared remove that stabilizing hand, the lid had a good chance of snapping shut unexpectedly.

Except for this critical issue, the Bella 13991 is easy to use. The control panel is simple, and the waffle maker turns smoothly. A lock is built into the handle and keeps the lid securely shut when the waffle maker is flipped.

Chefman Anti-Overflow Handling video 1

Handling is acceptable. The waffle maker is easy to operate and the controls are simple. Most people can immediately get started using only the information on the one-page quick-start guide.

The lid opens and closes smoothly.

However, we deducted points due to the awkward locking system, which is integrated into the lid, facing downward. You have to bring your hand very close to the waffle maker's hot surfaces to unlock the lid. We burnt our fingers more than once trying to open it.

8.0

Safety

2.5
The temperature of the plastic base of the Bella 13991 waffle maker is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 85.8°F.
The temperature of the plastic base of the Bella 13991 waffle maker is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 85.8°F.
The surface temperature of the Bella 13991’s control panel is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 153.5°F.
The temperature of the black plastic handle of the Bella 13991 is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 90.5°F.
  • Top Side Temperature:
    153°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    85°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    90°F

The unsteady lid is a serious safety issue. Fortunately, aside from the lid, we didn’t find any other significant safety problems.

The top of the lid got warm — but not dangerously so — at 147°F.

Both the handle and the base remained cool to the touch. The measured temperatures in these areas were respectively 90° and 85° after several rounds of testings.

The temperature of the Chefman waffle maker’s top lid is being measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 202.7°F.
The temperature of the Chefman waffle maker’s top lid is being measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 202.7°F.
The temperature of the Chefman waffle maker’s clamp handle is being measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 190.9°F.
The temperature of the Chefman waffle maker’s base is being measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 124.1°F.
  • Top Side Temperature:
    202°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    124°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    190°F

Besides the problem with the lid lock, the design of the bottom waffle plate makes it difficult to extract the waffle after cooking. The bottom plate is deep, so getting your tongs to the bottom is tricky. Sometimes, we had to use our hands to pry the waffle up, then pick it up with the tongs.

The top surface of the machine gets piping hot after several sessions, with a surface temperature of 202°F.

The bottom of the handle, where you need to put your hand to operate the lid lock, was dangerously hot at 190°F. This is hot enough to cause a burn injury. It is also why the Chefman waffle maker ultimately failed the performance test.

The front side, which most people will need to grip onto to transport the waffle maker, can get uncomfortably warm. We measured a surface temperature of 124°F. If you need to move the waffle maker, wait a few minutes for it to cool down.

9.5

Cleanability

7.0
BELLA 13991 Classic Cleanability

The Bella 13991 is very easy to clean. Though it’s prone to fingerprint smudges and scratches, the metal surfaces can be cleaned and polished with mild detergent. The waffle plates only need to be wiped down with paper towels every once in a while to get rid of waffle debris. We also don't find it difficult to scrub dried batter off the plastic parts of the waffle maker.

When a spill happens, the large drip tray can catch every droplet. The tray can be washed by hand or loaded into a dishwasher.

Excess batter spilling out of the Chefman waffle maker and into a pool at the base of the unit.
  • Machine-Washable: No

The anti-spill moat helps prevent spillage, but it is not infallible. Rather than relying on the moat, use the measuring cup to ensure that you pour in the correct amount.

Cleaning the waffle maker is difficult. The rubber outer coating can hold on to dried-out batter stubbornly. It took us several minutes of vigorous scrubbing with mild detergent to remove the worst of the dry, stuck-on batter. Even then, traces remained.

10

Indicator Light Visibility

10
The set of indicator lights at the top of the Bella 13991’s waffle maker. The blue READY light and the red POWER light are on.
The set of indicator lights at the top of the Bella 13991’s waffle maker. The blue READY light and the red POWER light are on.
The shining READY light at the bottom of the Bella 13991’s waffle maker.

The lights are very dim. It’s almost impossible to see them from afar under harsh lighting. Even with some ambient lights turned off, the indicator lights are still faint.

The indicator lights of the Chefman waffle maker. To the left is the red POWER light, and the right is the blue READY light.

The indicator lights are bright and can be seen even under harsh studio lighting.