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Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double vs Hamilton Beach 26031 Side-by-Side Comparison

Matthew Lee
Matthew Lee
Reviewer
Nguyen Ntk
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist
Reviewed
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Jan 12, 2023
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Jan 13, 2023
The Cuisinart Double waffle maker WAF-F20P1 with its box and user manual
The silver Hamilton Beach 26031 Belgian waffle maker presented on a table alongside the user manual and its shipping box.

Our Verdict

8.4
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    8.0/10
  • Design (20%)
    9.2/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    8.7/10
8.3
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.9/10
  • Design (20%)
    9.7/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    9.7/10

The Hamilton Beach 26031 is quite similar to the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double waffle maker in terms of performance and overall build quality. The only notable difference between them is the Hamilton Beach 26031’s single-sided design, with the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 being double-sided.

In our performance tests, both models were decent performers. The Hamilton Beach 26031 passed the test with a “good” assessment. The Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 did even better, receiving an “excellent” score. Both will be able to give you edible, tasty waffles (with the waffle made by the WAF-F20P1 being slightly better).

We don’t have much to complain about the build quality of these two. Both are in the mid to high-end range. So, they’re built from the best materials, such as stainless steel and ceramic. The craftsmanship is impeccable, too.

Overall, it comes down to whether you want the ability to cook two waffles consecutively or not. If you do, the WAF-F20P1 will be a good choice. Else, go for the Hamilton Beach 26031.

Not Restaurant-Grade … But Close

Cuisinart Double Waffle Maker’s Performance

Hamilton Beach 26031 Waffle Maker’s Performance: Almost Excellent
8.0
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)6.5/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)9.6/10
6.9
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)6.8/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)7.1/10
6.5

Self-Mixed Recipe

6.8
Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Self-Mixed Recipe
The top side of a waffle made by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 in 5 minutes
The top crust of a waffle made by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 waffle maker in 5 minutes
The golden core of the waffle produced by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double waffle maker.
The waffle produced by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 being torn by hand to test its consistency and texture.
Color: 6.5
35% * 6.5 = 2.3
Texture: 5.5
25% * 5.5 = 1.4
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Heat Level: 3
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The Cuisinart waffle maker did a great job in the second version of the self-mixed recipe test. Compared to the result from the first attempt, the scores saw significant improvements. The coloring was darker than we’d prefer, but the crust wasn’t charred. And despite the texture being fairly mediocre, the waffle was flavorful, nevertheless.

Color (6.5/10) — 35%

  • Color tone: Very dark brown — Light gold (Both sides)
  • Color distribution: Even

The coloring was not optimal. Both sides of the waffle have a dark, toasted-looking appearance. The dark brown shading notably concentrated inside the waffle's wells and on the waffle's outer sections. Outside the wells and toward the center, the waffle has a very beautiful golden brown color.

Texture (5.5/10) — 25%

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Low; bubbles were few and under-developed

Unfortunately, the texture was mediocre. Aeration was minimal, resulting in a fairly dense waffle that wasn’t as soft or spongy as we would have liked.

Taste (7/10) — 10%

  • Flavor: Tasty; creamy from the butter and sweet, slightly salty
  • Mouthfeel: Mushy due to the dense, un-aerated core

Despite the less-than-ideal coloring and texture, our chef gave the waffle a decent score. The addition of new ingredients to the recipe has fortified the waffle’s flavor profile. Alongside the usual sweetness of sugar, there was a rich, creamy taste of butter. And with one teaspoon of salt mixed in, the waffle also gained a slightly salty taste.

Overall, the WAF-F20P1 did a great job unlocking the batter's flavor profile.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Self-Made Recipe Video
The dark brown top of a waffle cooked by the Hamilton Beach 26031 waffle maker in 5 minutes.
The mottled, dark brown bottom of a waffle cooked by the Hamilton Beach 26031 waffle maker in 5 minutes.
The interior of the 5-minute waffle cooked by the Hamilton Beach 26031 is shown, revealing large air cavities.
The waffle made by the Hamilton Beach 26031 in 5-minute is torn up by hands to test for consistency and texture.
Color: 6.3
35% * 6.3 = 2.2
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Heat Level: Between 1 and 2
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Right away, we assessed the color of the waffle to be fairly disappointing. The color distribution was uneven, with light and dark spots mingling randomly on the crust. Texturally, the waffle was also unremarkable. The aeration rate was minimal, resulting in a rather dense waffle. But scoring picked up slightly in the taste department. Our chef rated the Hamilton Beach’s waffle sufficiently tasty for breakfasts and other light meals.

Color (35%) —6.3/10

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

Both sides have roughly the same color shading. However, as a whole, both sides have uneven coloration. We noticed one side of the waffle tends to be more cooked than the rest of the waffle to the point of having a dark brown tone. Fortunately, this discolored patch wasn’t so cooked that it’s charred.

Dark spots tend to concentrate inside the wells of the waffle, too, giving the waffle a mottled appearance.

Texture (25%) — 7/10

  • Texture: Excellent
  • Aeration level: High, the interior was filled with large air cavities

The waffle’s interior doesn’t aerate well. Cutting it open, we observed the core to have a very dense structure with few air bubbles. The result is a sub-par waffle with a mushy texture rather than a soft, fluffy consistency like we hoped.

Taste (40%) — 7/10

  • Flavor: Sweet with hints of bitterness at charred spots
  • Mouthfeel: Soft, dry at charred spots

The taste was great, according to our chef. The Hamilton Beach 26031 was able to bring out the full flavor profile of the recipe. The waffle was buttery and sweet, with a hint of saltiness. Unfortunately, our chef assessed that it hadn't reached the point of being "restaurant-quality". Still, it will suffice for people wanting to cook quick breakfasts with this waffle maker.

9.6

Birch Benders Mix

7.1
Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Birch Benders Mix
The golden brown top side of the waffle made by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double flip waffle maker in 5 minutes.
The golden brown bottom side of the waffle made by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double waffle maker in 5 minutes.
The fluffy interior of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 that’s visibly filled with air bubbles.
The waffle produced by the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 is being torn by hand to test for its consistency and texture.
Color: 10
35% * 10 = 3.5
Texture: 8.5
25% * 8.5 = 2.1
Taste: 10
40% * 10 = 4.0
  • Heat Level: 3
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The waffle maker performed wonderfully in our test with the Birch Benders mix. It is the first waffle maker so far to get two consecutive perfect scores from our chef. The coloration is excellent, with an evenly cooked golden-brown crust. The waffle's texture can still be improved, but ultimately very good. Taste-wise, though there were minor issues here and there (like an interior that's a bit too moist), our chef gave it a perfect score due to its great flavor and mouthfeel.

Color (10/10)

  • Color tone: Golden brown
  • Color distribution: Even

The coloration is one of the best we’ve seen. Thus, it got a perfect score in this section. The crust on both sides has a beautiful golden brown tone, distributed evenly across the entire waffle.

Texture (8.5/10)

  • Texture: Excellent
  • Aeration level: High; air bubbles were fully developed

The waffle has nicely developed. Air bubbles can be seen throughout the waffle’s core, which explains the soft and fluffy texture. Unfortunately, it is not perfect: the waffle still contains too much moisture.

Taste (10/10)

  • Flavor: Sweet and slightly savory
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and pliant

It is a delicious waffle with a sweet and savory flavor. The mouthfeel is excellent, with it being soft and pliant in the mouth.

Although, as previously mentioned, the texture is too moist, it didn’t affect the overall tasting experience much. Our chef was willing to overlook this detail to give the waffle a full score.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Birch Benders Mix Video
The light gold top of a waffle cooked by the Hamilton Beach 26031 waffle maker in 6 minutes using the Birch Benders mix.
The light gold bottom of a waffle cooked by the Hamilton Beach 26031 waffle maker in 6 minutes using the Birch Benders mix.
A close-up of the interior of the waffle cooked by the Hamilton Beach 26031 in 6 minutes, filled with air bubbles and small cavities.
The 6-minute waffle of the Hamilton Beach 26031 is torn in half by hands to test for the consistency and texture.
Color: 6.5
35% * 6.5 = 2.3
Texture: 6.5
25% * 6.5 = 1.6
Taste: 8
40% * 8 = 3.2
  • Heat Level: Between 1 and 2
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The coloration of the waffle made using the Birch Benders mix was a very light gold tone, giving it an undercooked-looking appearance. And indeed, the interior wasn’t as developed as the last waffle made in the test with the self-made recipe. However, our chef rated this waffle to be tastier overall.

Color (35%) — 6.5/10

  • Color result: Very light gold (Both)
  • Color distribution: Uneven

At these optimal conditions, the pre-made mix gave us a more attractively colored waffle than did our self-made recipe. It had a nicer blonde tone that looked much more inviting. However, the color uniformity isn’t as good as we had hoped. The waffle maker was unable to maintain an even color throughout — one half looked lighter than the other.

Texture (25%) — 6.5/10

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Medium, air bubbles could be seen, but haven’t fully bloomed to their full sizes

Texture was significantly improved compared to the waffle produced using our self-made batter. The inside of the waffle appeared well-developed, with air bubbles filling out the waffle’s structure. That resulted in a very soft and pliable waffle. However, it wasn’t aerated enough to hide the slight mushy texture.

Taste (40%) — 8/10

  • Flavor: Sweet, no hint of bitterness
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and pliant, slightly mushy

Our chef awarded the Hamilton Beach 26031 a good score for this category. The aesthetically-pleasing coloring and the soft texture made for a pleasant tasting experience. In terms of flavor, the waffle was sweet. Since it didn’t have any charred patches, that flavor profile was consistent and never bitter. Unfortunately, the slight mushiness of the waffle negatively impacted its scoring a little.

Cuisinart Double Belgian Waffle Maker’s Design

Hamilton Beach Belgian Waffle Maker’s Design
9.2
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)9.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)9.5/10
  • Control Panel (10%)9.5/10
9.7
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)9.5/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)10/10

What’s in the Box of the Cuisinart Double Waffle Maker

What’s In the Box of the Hamilton Beach Waffle Maker?
The silver Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double waffle maker sitting on a table next to its user manuals and a measuring cup.
  • Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 waffle maker
  • User manuals
  • Measuring cup

The shipping box includes the waffle maker, the user manual and quick-start guides, and a measuring cup.

The Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian waffle maker (26031) is on a table next to the included drip tray and the user manual.
  • Waffle maker’s body
  • Two (2) Belgian-style grid plates
  • One (1) removable drip tray
  • User manual

Within the shipping box, you get the waffle maker itself, two (2) removable Belgian-style waffle plates, a drip tray, and the manual.

The waffle maker comes wrapped in a protective plastic bag with some thick foam blocks as padding. Other accessories are only wrapped in plastic without extra padding.

While simple plastic wrap is okay for the plastic drip tray and manual, we felt some concern for the waffle plates. Since they’re made from brittle ceramic, we would appreciate a little padding for them too.

Dimensions

Dimensions of Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian Waffle Maker
The Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double waffle maker dimension measurement chart. Its length is noted as 15 inches, width is 9.5 inches, and its height is 9 inches.
  • Length:
    15.0" (38.1 cm)
  • Width:
    9.5" (24.1 cm)
  • Height:
    9.0" (22.9 cm)
  • Weight:
    12.0 lbs (5.4 kg)

Due to the double-sided design, the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 is larger and bulkier than your average waffle maker. Additionally, because it is primarily made of metal, it’s also heavier than most, coming in at 12 pounds. Moving the waffle maker in and out of storage is difficult.

The Hamilton Beach 26031 on a table with measured dimensions marked next to it, the length is displayed as 16.5 inches, width is 8 inches, and height is 8.7 inches.
The Hamilton Beach 26031 on a table with measured dimensions marked next to it, the length is displayed as 16.5 inches, width is 8 inches, and height is 8.7 inches.
Hamilton Beach 26031 Dimension Video
  • Length:
    16.5" (41.9 cm)
  • Width:
    8.0" (20.3 cm)
  • Height:
    8.7" (22.1 cm)
  • Weight:
    3.1 lbs (1.4 kg)

Because the Hamilton Beach 26031 is a flip-style waffle maker, it is taller than your average non-flip model. At just over 9 inches tall, there’s ample clearance for the plates to smoothly turn.

The machine weighs 3.06 pounds, which is about average for a waffle maker.

For easier storage, it comes with a foldable handle.

9.0

Build Quality

9.5
Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Build Quality Video
A close-up view of the spring and internal mechanisms of the rotating hinges of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 waffle maker.
A close-up view of the rotating hinges of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double waffle maker.

Build quality is good. Many of the machine’s parts are made of stainless steel, such as the lid shells. They give the machine an aesthetically-pleasing look and a luxurious shine.

However, only some parts are made from metal. The outer rim of the base, as well as the supporting legs, are made from plastic. They’re merely painted silver to mimic the look of brushed metal. Cuisinart didn’t disclose this information in the marketing spread, which has angered many customers.

A close-up shot of the Hamilton Beach Belgian waffle maker (26031) control panel section made from black plastic, with the browning control knob and the indicator lights in focus.

The housing of the Hamilton Beach 26031 is made from brushed stainless steel. All other parts, including the control panel, handle, and raised base, are black plastic. There are rubber feet at the bottom to keep the waffle maker from slipping.

The numerous plastic parts in the 26031’s design are a drawback in terms of durability. The important components like the handle lock, spin lock, and waffle plate latches are made of simple molded plastic. They may not last as long as metal or metal-reinforced parts and are more prone to breakage or cracking.

9.5

Waffle Plates

10
An overview of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1’s black, Belgian-style waffle plates.
An overview of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1’s black, Belgian-style waffle plates.
A top-down view of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 waffle maker’s black, Belgian-style cooking plates.
  • Number of Plates:
    4
  • Grid Pattern:
    Belgian-style
  • Plate Area:
    36.32 inches2
  • Plate Length:
    6.8" (17.3 cm)
  • Plate Width:
    6.8" (17.3 cm)
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

Cuisinart designed and constructed the waffle plates well. They’re made from cast aluminum and coated with a non-stick Teflon layer.

Our temperature tests found that both sets of waffle plates heated evenly. Most of the time, they were at the same temperature. 

Unfortunately, the waffle plates aren’t removable, so they’re tricky to clean.

An overview of the bronze-colored, Belgian-style waffle plates of the Hamilton Beach Flip waffle maker 26031.
An overview of the bronze-colored, Belgian-style waffle plates of the Hamilton Beach Flip waffle maker 26031.
A close-up of the bronze-color, Belgian-style waffle plate of the Hamilton Beach flip Belgian waffle maker 26031.
A close-up of the yellow waffle plate release latch on the top handle of the Hamilton Beach waffle maker with removable plates 26031.
The gray, metallic heating elements of the Hamilton Beach 26031 is revealed after the ceramic, bronze-colored waffle plates are taken off.
  • Number of Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Belgian-style
  • Plate Area:
    50.27 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    8.0" (20.3 cm)
  • Plate Width:
    8.0" (20.3 cm)
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The set of waffle plates is made from cast aluminum and is coated in a layer of ceramic non-stick (Durathon®). The non-stick layer works excellently. We’ve never had to deal with a stick in all of our tests. Even the batch that came out undercooked and was still semi-liquid didn’t stick to the plates.

With the 26031 model, the two plates are copper-colored. If you get the 26030 model, the plates will be black. The difference between them is purely aesthetic. Both have the same design and identical performance.

Both plates are removable and are dishwasher-safe. You can remove the plates by working the yellow latches at the front of the waffle maker.

9.5

Control Panel

10
Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Control Panel Video
A close-up of the control panel of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double Belgian waffle maker, with the silvery browning control knob to the left and the black power switch to the right.
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    Yes
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    Yes

The control panel consists of a temperature knob and a power switch. Both are easy to use.

There are two indicator lights on either side of the waffle maker. These green lights (READY lights) turn on when the waffle plates have been heated to the correct temperature. This model also comes with an audible alarm, which beeps when the waffle maker is ready.

The Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 does not have a POWER indicator to show if it’s receiving power. We had to hold a hand over the warming waffle plates to confirm the machine was getting power. Not only is that a hassle, but it’s also a possible safety issue. If you’re not in a hurry, you can always wait to see if the READY lights illuminate.

Close-up of Hamilton Beach 26031 control panel: browning dial and indicator lights with clear white markings on the side to inform you of their functions.
Close-up of Hamilton Beach 26031 control panel: browning dial and indicator lights with clear white markings on the side to inform you of their functions.
Hamilton Beach 26031 Control Panel video
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    Yes

For such a nice waffle maker, the control panel is very simplistic.

There are two indicator lights: a red POWER light and a green READY light. The POWER indicator turns on when the waffle maker is plugged in. Once it reaches the optimal cooking temperature, the READY light will illuminate. The latter will continuously cycle on and off during cooking as temperature fluctuates.

A second READY button can be found on the underside of the housing. It’s there for when you flip the waffle maker.

Underneath the indicator lights is the browning control dial. There are four settings: MIN, 1, 2, and 3. Each corresponds to a browning level, with MIN being the lightest and 3 being the darkest.

Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double Belgian Waffle Maker’s Power Cord

Hamilton Beach 26031 Belgian Waffle Maker’s Power Cord
A close-up of the power plug of the Cuisinart Double waffle maker WAF-F20P1’s power plug.
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    2.6 ft (0.8 m)
  • Cable Management:
    Yes

The power cord of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 measures 31 inches long, which is reasonable. Underneath the base, you’ll find a pair of hooks inside a large enclosure. You can wrap the power cord around the hooks, then nestle the cord bundle into the compartment. It makes storage neater.

A close-up of the power cord of the Hamilton Beach 26031 waffle maker, focused on the prongs of the plug.
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    2.2 ft (0.7 m)
  • Cable Management:
    No

The power cord is quite short. It may be inconvenient if your kitchen doesn’t have many power outlets. In that case, an extension cord will prove useful.

Measuring Cup

Accessories

Hamilton Beach 26031 Belgian's Drip Tray
The included batter measuring cup of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1. It is made from
  • Material:
    Plastic
  • Removable:
    Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 comes with a dishwasher-safe measuring cup.

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

The drip tray is removable and goes into a slot directly under the waffle maker’s body. It is made from a lightweight, heat-resistant plastic. The tray is dishwasher-safe.

Ease of Use

Cuisinart Double Waffle Maker WAF-F20P1 Review

Hamilton Beach Belgian Waffle Maker Review: Ease of Use
8.7
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)9.0/10
  • Safety (40%)9.5/10
  • Cleanability (25%)6.5/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)10/10
9.7
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)9.5/10
  • Safety (40%)10/10
  • Cleanability (25%)9.5/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)9.0/10
9.0

Handling

9.5

The lid opens and closes smoothly. An intuitive lid lock mechanism secures the lid. The lock disengages on its own when you pull the handle upward. The safety will click into place again when you close the lid.

The waffle iron section rotates smoothly and easily. However, it is heavy, so it takes a little force.

The Hamilton Beach 26031 handles well. Opening the waffle maker is simple, and the baking chamber's turning motion is smooth.

The only problem we encountered while testing this model was the lid-locking mechanism. When you flip the waffle maker back and forth, there’s a lock to prevent you from opening the lid during the turn or while it’s upside-down. Sometimes, the lid would remain locked in place even when we flipped the waffle maker upright and returned it to its original position.

Luckily, it’s not a difficult problem to solve. Just jiggle the lid a little, and the lock will disengage.

9.5

Safety

10
The temperature of the back hinges of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 being measured by a thermometer, which reads 234.6°F.
The temperature of the back hinges of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 being measured by a thermometer, which reads 234.6°F.
Temperature of the front control panel of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 is being taken using a thermometer during a thermal safety test. The screen reads 85.6°F.
Temperature of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1’s top lid being measured using a thermometer, which reads 105.8°F during a thermal safety test.
  • Top Side Temperature:
    234°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    85°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    105°F

The most noteworthy issue is the lack of a POWER light, which, as we mentioned earlier, is a safety risk.

Other than that, the waffle maker is safe to use. The lid is rock-solid and won’t snap down suddenly. After several cooking sessions, the handle was only warm to the touch (105°F).

The top side measures around 234°F.

Because the base is removed from the waffle maker’s body, it remains at room temperature (89°F).

The temperature on the control panel of the Hamilton Beach 26031 is being measured using a thermometer during a thermal safety test. The display reads 142.3°F.
The temperature on the control panel of the Hamilton Beach 26031 is being measured using a thermometer during a thermal safety test. The display reads 142.3°F.
The temperature on the cool-touch handle of the Hamilton Beach 26031 is being measured using a thermometer during a thermal safety test. The display reads 90.3°F.
The temperature on the Hamilton Beach 26031’s base is being measured using a thermometer during a thermal safety test. The display reads 88.3°F.
  • Top Side Temperature:
     142°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    90°F
  • Handle Temperature:
     88°F

We assessed the safety level of this waffle maker to be high. The top side doesn’t get too hot during or after cooking. Thanks to the elongated handle, you can open and close the lid without heat from the waffle plates radiating onto your hand the way many other models do.

After a few cooking sessions, we recorded a temperature of 152.2°F in the control panel section. It’s merely warm, not hot.

The other parts, like the base and the handle, remained at room temperature. They were perfectly safe to touch.

6.5

Cleanability

9.5
The silver Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 with excess batter overflowing and dripping down from both sets of cooking plates on the waffle maker.

The Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 doesn’t come with a drip tray, so spills weren’t easy to clean up. We also found it very difficult to clean the side of the waffle maker once the batter had solidified. The batter’s grip on the metal was so firm that we had to use detergent to get it off. Even after getting the clumps off, we could still see residue.

The waffle plates were easy to clean, thanks to their non-stick layer. Cooked waffles usually slid cleanly off the plates. Leftover crumbs and debris could be quickly swept up with paper towels.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Cleanability

In terms of cleanability, the Hamilton Beach 26031 gets a rare near-perfect score.

The included drip tray does a great job at catching spilled waffle batter. Since it is made from smooth plastic, dried batter doesn’t stick to the tray. It can be washed off easily with water alone — no soap required.

You can remove the waffle plates and put them into a dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher, just rinse them with tap water. The non-stick layer should prevent dried batter and debris from collecting, so a cursory wash is usually all that’s needed to get them spick and span again.

We were able to clean the waffle maker’s body and most of its parts with only tissues and a dry cloth. The only section that was a challenge to clean was the space around the waffle-plate latches. Dried batter can infiltrate deep into the tiny details surrounding the latches, making it very hard to clean thoroughly.

10

Indicator Light Visibility

9.0
The green READY button of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 is on, indicating that the plates are heated and ready to use.

The READY lights can be seen clearly, even under harsh studio lighting.

A close-up of the lit-up indicator lights of the Hamilton Beach 26031. Both the green READY light and the red POWER light are on.
A close-up of the lit-up indicator lights of the Hamilton Beach 26031. Both the green READY light and the red POWER light are on.
A view of the green READY light at the back of the Hamilton Beach 26031 when it’s flipped over.

All three indicator lights (two on top and one on the bottom) are bright. In low-light or normal lighting conditions, the bulbs can be seen clearly. Even under harsh studio lighting, we still didn’t have any issue with them.