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Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double vs Nostalgia MWF5AQ 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 Nostalgia MWF5AQ mini waffle maker next to its instruction manual and 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
6.7
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.3/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.4/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.3/10

Differing in pricing, size, and performance, the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 Double waffle maker and the Nostalgia MWF5AQ couldn't be more unalike.

Being the higher-end model of the two, the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 has far better cooking performance. It has the best performance score on our tests so far. Meanwhile, the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s performance scores only stop at the “acceptable” mark.

The Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 is a full-size, double-sided Belgian waffle maker. So, it can make two 7-inch waffles at once.

The Nostalgia MWF5AQ is a mini waffle maker designed and built to be as compact as possible. It’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and can only make 4-inch waffles.

So, there are two separate usages. If you need a waffle maker loaded with the best features and has great cooking performance, the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1 will be it. It’ll cost you a bit, but it will ultimately be worth it.

On the other hand, if you need a small waffle maker to take with you on your trips or make bite-sized snacks, check the Nostalgia MWF5AQ out.

Not Restaurant-Grade … But Close

Cuisinart Double Waffle Maker’s Performance

Nostalgia Mini Waffle Maker’s Performance: Great, As Far As Mini Waffle Makers Go
8.0
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)6.5/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)9.6/10
6.3
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)6.8/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)5.9/10
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.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Self-Mixed Recipe Video
The light brown top crust of a waffle baked for 6 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
The light brown bottom crust of a waffle baked for 6 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
A cross-section of a waffle baked for 6 minutes. The interior is filled with air bubbles and cavities.
The waffle is torn down the middle by hand to test it for its consistency, revealing the spongy inner core.
Color: 6.5
35% * 6.5 = 2.3
Texture: 6
25% * 6 = 1.5
Taste: 7.5
40% * 7.5 = 3.0
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 6 minutes

The crust’s coloration was decent, with an appealing light brown color throughout. Within the wells were some dark brown burnt spots. They weren’t charred, but they still introduced a slight bitterness to the waffle. The texture was soft and fluffy, thanks to a high aeration rate. And taste-wise, our chef rated it as flavorful but held back from giving it a higher score due to the bitterness from the burnt spots.

Color (35%) — 6.5/10

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

On the whole, the waffle had good coloration. The outer crust was light brown, with most of the darker spots concentrated inside the wells. Though it had a slightly mottled appearance, we still considered the waffle’s coloration to be uniform.

Texture (25%) - 6/10

  • Texture: Good
  • Aeration level: High - air bubbles were plentiful and well-sized within the waffle

The interior of the waffle was fully developed and aerated, resulting in a soft, fluffy core. Large air bubbles and pockets could be seen throughout the waffle’s interior.

Taste (40%) - 7.5/10

  • Flavor: Rich and sweet, slightly bitter
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and fluffy

Our chef described it as having a rich, sweet taste. Although the burnt spots on the crust introduced a slight bitterness to the waffle’s flavor profile, it was still delicious. Hence, the waffle received a good score in this section.

9.6

Birch Benders Mix

5.9
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.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Birch Benders Mix
The pale gold top crust of a waffle baked for 8 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix.
The pale gold bottom crust of a waffle baked for 8 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix.
A cross-section of a waffle baked for 8 minutes, revealing the interior filled with air bubbles and air cavities.
A waffle, baked for 8 minutes, being torn down the middle by hand to test its consistency, revealing the fluffy interior.
Color: 5
35% * 5 = 1.8
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 6
40% * 6 = 2.4
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 8 minutes

Though the pale coloration of the waffle didn't look great, the texture and taste were decent. It was soft and pliant with a taste that—while not gourmet—was good enough for breakfasts and light snacks.

Color (35%) — 5/10

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

The crust had a very light gold tone, with the pockets being slightly darker. Because the color was too light with the same tone as undercooked batter, we didn’t rate the waffle highly in this section.

Texture (25%) - 7/10

  • Texture: Soft, but overly moist and mushy
  • Aeration level: Medium

The overall texture was acceptable but certainly could have been better. We found several air bubbles throughout the cake's core when cutting the waffle open. They were small and had inconsistent distribution, resulting in a soft but spongy waffle.

Taste (40%) - 6/10

  • Flavor: Sweet and slightly savory
  • Mouthfeel: Soft, but mushy in certain spots

Our chef rated the Nostalgia’s performance in this test as “Good.” The full flavor of the Birch Benders mix was extracted: we got a sweet, slightly salty taste profile in this waffle. But where it fell short was in the mouthfeel. Though it was indeed soft, its mushiness affected the overall experience greatly.

Cuisinart Double Belgian Waffle Maker’s Design

Nostalgia MyMini Waffle Maker’s Design: Doesn’t Feel Cheap!
9.2
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)9.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)9.5/10
  • Control Panel (10%)9.5/10
8.4
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)9.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)0/10

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

In The Box
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 blue-colored Nostalgia Mini waffle maker MWF5AQ next to its instruction manuals and shipping box.
  • Nostalgia MWF5AQ MyMini waffle maker
  • Instruction manuals

Dimensions

Nostalgia My Mini Waffle Maker’s Dimensions & Weight
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 side profile of the Nostalgia My Mini waffle maker’s plastic exterior. The top lid is cyan blue and the bottom is black.
  • Length:
    6.8" (17.1 cm)
  • Width:
    6.5" (16.5 cm)
  • Height:
    3.5" (8.9 cm)
  • Weight:
    1.3 lbs (0.6 kg)

True to its name, the Nostalgia MWF5AQ has a lightweight and compact design. The waffle maker weighs 1.25 pounds and is small enough to fit in one’s palm. Consequently, Nostalgia has focused a lot on travelers and hikers in their marketing for the MWF5AQ as they may enjoy having a waffle maker that is small enough to fit in their backpacks or luggage.

9.0

Build Quality

9.0
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.

 Nostalgia MWF5AQ Mini Build Quality
A close-up shot of the hinges of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s lid.
The back end of the Nostalgia Mini waffle maker (MWF5AQ). A section of the lid hinges can be seen, along with the power cord.
The bottom side of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ, with the two anti-slip feet in the foreground and wide back foot in the background.

The Nostalgia waffle maker has a solid build quality for the price. Although its plastic construction makes it look and feel quite cheap, every part is built and finished well. The coloring on the lid is vibrant, the lid hinges are solid and don’t wobble, and we didn’t find any significant design or build-related issues.

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 Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s black, non-stick waffle plates.
An overview of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s black, non-stick waffle plates.
A close-up shot of one of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s black, non-stick waffle plates.
  • Number of Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Classic-style
  • Plate Area:
    15.9 inches2
  • Plate Length:
    4.5" (11.4 cm)
  • Plate Width:
    4.5" (11.4 cm)
  • Material:
    Die-cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The waffle plates are Belgian-style and are coated with a layer of non-stick. Nostalgia didn’t disclose the chemical composition of the non-stick layer. Nevertheless, throughout our performance tests, the coating held up well. We have never had to deal with a sticky waffle.

9.5

Control Panel

0.0
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.

  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    No

The Nostalgia MWF5AQ has a single indicator light at the top. It does not have any additional control features.

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

Nostalgia MyMini 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.

The power cord of the Nostalgia mini waffle maker, which has the Type A plug.
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    8.2" (20.8 cm)
  • Cable Management:
    Yes

The power cord only measures around 8 inches long. As such, you will most likely need an extension cord.

Measuring Cup

Accessories

N/A
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.

  • Material:
    N/A
  • Removable:
    N/A
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    N/A

The Nostalgia waffle maker does not come with any accessories.

Ease of Use

Cuisinart Double Waffle Maker WAF-F20P1 Review

Nostalgia Mini 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
6.3
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)7.5/10
  • Safety (40%)2.5/10
  • Cleanability (25%)9.5/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)10/10
9.0

Handling

7.5

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.

Working with the Nostalgia waffle maker is easy. Since the waffle maker has no control feature, most people won’t need to read the instruction manuals before getting started.

The lid can be opened and closed smoothly, and the hinges are solid enough that the top doesn’t jiggle or sway too much from side to side.

Like most mini waffle makers, its small size means the surfaces on the unit heat up to dangerous temperatures after a while. So, oven mitts are a must for handling the waffle maker.

9.5

Safety

2.5
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 of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s top lid is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 169.9°F.
The temperature of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s top lid is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 169.9°F.
The temperature of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s base is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 127.9°F.
The temperature of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ’s handle is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 149.2°F.
  • Top Side Temperature:
    169.9°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    127.9°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    149.2°F

Due to its small size, the waffle maker’s surfaces heat up quickly. So, every surface—from top to bottom—got dangerously hot.

We also noticed the Nostalgia having the same problem as other mini-size waffle makers: hot steam. After a cooking session, a hot plume of steam wafts upward from the plates when you open the lid. The flash of pain can be startling if you’re unprepared and may cause you to drop the lid, potentially damaging the waffle plates.

As such, you should always wear oven mitts while operating this waffle maker (Nostalgia included this point in the safety section in the user’s manual).

At the top of the lid, the temperature measured around 170°F.

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.

Excess batter pouring out from within the baking chamber of the Nostalgia MWF5AQ.

The non-stick plates help a lot with the clean-up afterward. Since the batter and the waffle didn’t stick to the plates, we only had to wipe lightly with a cloth to remove the debris and residues.

But because it’s so small, there were waffle spills from time to time. But thanks to the outer shell of the waffle maker being made from smooth plastic, which doesn’t grip onto batter tightly, they can be cleaned with just a cloth and mild detergent.

10

Indicator Light Visibility

10
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.

The red indicator light at the top of the Nostalgia’s lid. It is shining dimly in the harsh studio light.

The waffle maker’s sole indicator light is bright. We could observe it easily from afar as well as under harsh studio lighting.