Cuisinart WMR-CA Classic vs CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Side-by-Side Comparison

Matthew Lee
Matthew Lee
Reviewer
Nguyen Ntk
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist
Reviewed
Our recommendations are made independently through research and testing following our review procedure. We may receive commissions from purchases made via our links at no additional costs to you.
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Nov 28, 2022
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Nov 28, 2022
Cuisinart WMR-CA Waffle Maker Hands-on Review
Mini Waffle Maker Review In-depth Review
Power
850W
0W

Our Verdict

7.8
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    7.2/10
  • Design (20%)
    7.7/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    8.8/10
6.8
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.2/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.8/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.6/10

The Cuisinart WMR-CA will make for a good buy if you want  to make diner-style waffles. Its waffle plates are printed with a classic-style (also known as “American-style”) patterning. Classic-style waffles are thinner and have smaller pockets than their more popular Belgian-style counterparts.

Though the portion is smaller, classic-style waffles are still very popular because they cook quickly. Take the Cuisinart WMR-CA as an example: In our test, it took less than 3 minutes to cook a waffle.

The Crownful 4-inch Mini, on the other hand, is a mini-size waffle maker and no larger than a softball. It can fit snugly inside a backpack, making it very popular among travelers and hikers as it can help them cook fresh waffles on the go.

The Crownful is also popular as a snack maker. The bite-sized 4-inch waffles it bakes are perfect as a light, healthy snack to keep up your energy level during the day.

Performance

7.2
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    6.7/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    7.7/10
6.2
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    7.1/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    5.3/10
6.7

Self-Mixed Recipe

7.1
Cuisinart WMR-CA Self-Mixed Recipe Top
Top
Cuisinart WMR-CA Self-Mixed Recipe Bottom
Bottom
Cuisinart WMR-CA Texture
Cuisinart WMR-CA Texture 2
Color: 6.25
35% * 6.25 = 2.2
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Heat Level: 3
  • Cooking Time: 3 minutes

The waffle has a bright color but noticeably lacks uniformity. Rings of burnt batter were stamped to the top and bottom of the waffle. The texture and taste were surprisingly decent. The interior has begun to fill with air bubbles, producing a soft, fluffy texture. And the taste—while not exceptional—was decent enough to make for a hearty breakfast.

Color (35%) — 6.25/10

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

After spending only 2 minutes in the waffle maker, our self-mixed waffle already achieved a dark gold — almost brown — color. Reaching this color after such a short stint and only half power suggests that the heating element must be extremely strong. This was further evidenced by the large circle of burnt batter on the top of the waffle.

Texture (25%) — 7/10

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Medium, air bubbles have begun to fill the interior

The interior of the waffle has started to aerate. Thanks to this, the waffle had a soft, almost fluffy texture. But the size of the bubbles was small, and their number was few compared to the waffles we had baked with other models. This led us to believe that the overall texture of the waffle could be improved further.

Taste (40%) — 7/10

  • Flavor: Bland, unexceptional. Still tastes like raw batter.
  • Mouthfeel: Dry on the outside, mushy on the inside

Flavor-wise, the waffle was great. The sugar and salt in the batter were converted into a delectable sweetness with a slight hint of savoriness. Combined with the buttery aftertaste, the waffle was quite delicious.

The mouthfeel was unexceptional. As we mentioned earlier, we believed that the Cuisinart WMR-CA hadn’t managed to unlock the full potential of the batter here. It could be far softer and fluffier.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Self-Mixed Recip
Top
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Self-Mixed Recip 1
Bottom
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Self-Mixed Recip 2
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Self-Mixed Recip 3
Color: 7.25
35% * 7.25 = 2.5
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Our chef gave the CF-WM01's waffle a good score, citing the beautiful, lightly browned crust. The waffle's texture was soft, thanks to a decent aeration rate. But the waffle was still developing, and the air pockets hadn't expanded to their maximum size. Our chef also gave the waffle a good score in the taste section but didn't rate it highly as the waffle has a slightly cloying taste of the raw batter.

Color (35%) — 7.25/10

  • Color tone: Dark brown (Top) — Light brown (Bottom)
  • Color distribution: Uneven

The crust has an appealing shade of light golden brown. Within the deep wells on the waffle, the colors are darker, turning to a light golden brown.

We noticed the wells at the top of the waffle tend to be darker than the bottom. On some tests, the wells on the top side looked like they were charred, while the bottom remained lightly colored. This inconsistent heating pattern alludes to an unbalanced heating grid.

Texture (25%) - 7/10

  • Texture: Soft in most parts, but mushy in certain spots
  • Aeration level: Medium

The waffle’s interior has a medium aeration rate, and several air bubbles can be observed in its core. But since the bubbles were still developing, much of the waffle’s core was still solid and mushy. The mushy spots of under-developed batter stood out as an annoying contrast to the otherwise soft and spongy waffle.

Taste (40%) - 7/10

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

Taste wise, our chef judged the waffle to have a good blend of flavors: sweet and savory. But the mushy mouthfeel was a turn-off that ultimately resulted in the Crownful getting only a Good score in this section.

7.7

Birch Benders Mix

5.3
Cuisinart WMR-CA Birch Benders Mix Top
Cuisinart WMR-CA Birch Benders Mix Bottom
Cuisinart WMR-CA Birch Benders Mix Texture
Cuisinart WMR-CA Birch Benders Mix Texture 2
Color: 7.5
35% * 7.5 = 2.6
Texture: 7.5
25% * 7.5 = 1.9
Taste: 8
40% * 8 = 3.2
  • Heat Level: 3
  • Cooking Time: 4 minutes

The waffle’s coloring is excellent in this taste. An appealing golden-brown crust covers both sides of the waffle uniformly. The interior has filled out nicely with air bubbles and becomes soft and pliant. However, it’s still slightly mushy in certain parts. It is flavorful and without a trace of bitterness.

Color (35%) - 7.5/10

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

The pre-made mix managed to bring out more of this machine’s potential. After 4 minutes, the waffle maker produced a beautiful waffle with a light golden tone, highlighted by faint pockets of browning near the center.

Color uniformity was also good. But for a faint brown circle on the upper surface, its light golden brown tone was spread evenly throughout the entire waffle. We’re pretty sure the brown was caused by the unit’s powerful heating element, and is the main reason the WMA-CA lost points in this category. In contrast, the distribution of color at the bottom was almost perfect.

Texture (25%) — 7.5/10

  • Texture: Good
  • Aeration level: High, air bubbles were large and well-developed

The waffle filled out well. Its interior ended up nicely aerated, and we found large bubbles when we cut the waffle open. In terms of texture, it was soft and fluffy. Regrettably, our chef assessed the waffle to be still slightly mushy, so its score took a hit.

Taste (40%) - 8/10

  • Flavor: Sweet, slightly salty (due to the mix). No bitterness.
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and spongy. Slightly mushy.

The waffle received a high score from our chef. The crust reached just the right level of crispiness, and the inside was reasonably soft. The batter had fully developed on the inside, unleashing its complete flavor profile. However, as previously mentioned, our chef still noticed a faint hint of mushiness.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix
Top
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix 1
Bottom
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix 2
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix 3
Color: 4.5
35% * 4.5 = 1.6
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 5
40% * 5 = 2.0
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The waffle was light colored and mushy when we picked it up from the plates. It was clear this test was a bust from the start. But surprisingly, while coloration and texture were discouraging, the waffle's flavor was decent. It saved the otherwise mediocre waffle from failing the test.

Color (35%) — 4.5/10

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

The waffle has the appearance of being undercooked with its pale gold crust. Some of the wells on the waffle were dark brown, slightly improving its look. But, as a whole, we still found the coloration not up to the mark.

Texture (25%) - 7/10

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

The waffle’s interior developed well. Slicing it in half, we saw prominent air bubbles and pockets inside. It should have resulted in a soft, fluffy waffle. Unfortunately, the waffle has a lot of moisture, making it limp and mushy. We let it rest for 5 minutes to see if it would get better, but the texture did not improve.

Taste (40%) - 5/10

  • Flavor: Distinctly savory and sweet
  • Mouthfeel: Very mushy

The waffle maker did a great job developing the waffle’s flavor profile. That was despite the lackluster color and texture. Our chef judged it tasty, with a distinct savory note, from the pre-made batter mix.

But while the taste was great, the mouthfeel was subpar due to the mushy texture of the waffle.

Design

7.7
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    8.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    7.0/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    8.0/10
8.8
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    10/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    9.5/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    0/10

In The Box

Cuisinart WMR-CA In the Box
  • Waffle maker
  • User manual

In its small shipping box you will find just the WMR-CA waffle maker and the user manual. It doesn’t come with any extra accessories.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini In The Box
  • Crownful CF-WM01 waffle maker
  • Instruction manual
  • Warranty card

Dimensions

Cuisinart Double WAF-F20P1 Dimensions
  • Length:
    9.7" (24.6 cm)
  • Width:
    7.9" (20.1 cm)
  • Height:
    3.3" (8.4 cm)
  • Weight:
    1.0 oz (28 g)

The compact size of the WMR-CA is an advantage in terms of storage. It will fit snugly in a small cupboard. Since it doesn’t take up a lot of space, you can also leave it on the kitchen island.

At 1 pound, the WMR-CA is lightweight. You can bring it in and out of storage with ease.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Dimensions
  • Length:
    5.7" (14.5 cm)
  • Width:
    5.1" (13.0 cm)
  • Height:
    3.1" (8.0 cm)
  • Weight:
    1.0 oz (28 g)

The Crownful lives up to expectations when it comes to compactness. You can easily fit the waffle maker inside a cupboard or a traveler’s backpack or duffel bag.

8.0

Build Quality

10
Cuisinart WMR-CA Build Quality

The exterior shell of the waffle maker is made from brushed metal. All external parts are made from plastic, except for the waffle plates.

Cuisinart benefited greatly from the WMR-CA model’s simple design. There appear to be no significant design flaws. We didn’t find any part that was poorly tooled, either.

While it’s not a sophisticated or high-end design, all parts of the WMR-CA fit together and — more importantly — work together well.

There were a few minor annoyances, though. The metallic exterior is prone to fingerprint smudges and scratches. The metal went from pristine to worn after only a few days in the lab. It’s not difficult to wipe off the smears with some mild detergent, but the scratches remain.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Build Quality
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Build Quality 1
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Build Quality 2
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Build Quality 3

Since it is such a cheap waffle maker, we didn’t have high expectations of its build quality when we first received it in the lab. It was a pleasant surprise when we unboxed the waffle maker and found its build quality to be so good.

The top lid is made from textured plastic and has a pattern of raised, concentric circles. Contrasting the black paint of our unit is the light-colored wooden handle at the front, inscribed with the company’s name.

The build quality of the unit’s interior is also good. The lid hinges are solid, and the waffle plates are immaculate.

8.0

Control Panel

0.0
Cuisinart WMR-CA Control Panel
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    Yes

The control panel is bare-bones, befitting an entry-level waffle maker. You can use only a single slider at the front to adjust the temperature.

The slider is easy to manipulate, but there’s a lack of resistance. A light touch could push the slider out of the desired position.

The base features a pair of indicator lights beside the slider: a red POWER light and a green READY light.

The POWER indicator turns on when you plug in the waffle maker. The green READY light will turn on when it has reached the temperature you set using the temperature slider.

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

The waffle maker doesn’t come with any control feature. There is an indicator light at the top, which lights up when it’s plugged in, then turns off once the plates have been heated and are ready for use.

7.0

Waffle Plates

9.5
Cuisinart WMR-CA Waffle Plates
Cuisinart WMR-CA Waffle Plate Area
  • Numberof Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Classic-style
  • Plate Area:
    47.78 inches2
  • Plate Length:
    7.8
  • Plate Width:
    7.8
  • Material:
    Cast iron
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The waffle plates are made from cast iron and coated with Teflon (PTFE), which is the non-stick layer.

Teflon is generally safe for use as a non-stick coating due to its relative inertness at average cooking temperatures. However, in special circumstances, the Teflon may become carcinogenic (if it’s heated beyond 570 ℉, for example).

Also, note that you should not use metal utensils on non-stick surfaces — they can scrape the coating off. The Teflon flakes aren’t harmful if you ingest them so long that it’s not overheating. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to try and keep the non-stick coating as intact as possible.

These waffle plates are designed to make classic-style waffles; they have shallower wells (the indents) compared to Belgian-style models. This is crucial information to know before you buy.

  • Numberof Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Classic-style
  • Plate Area:
    12.57 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    4 inches
  • Plate Width:
    4 inches
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The cooking area of the plates is nestled inside a raised moat, which acts as an anti-spill channel. It is slightly offset from the moat, creating a fascinating “Hawaiian earring” pattern.

Although the anti-spill channel is meant to catch excess batter and prevent it from spilling out of the machine while cooking, it doesn't work well in practice. The channel is very shallow, so it has very little value unless the spill is minor.

The plates are coated with a layer of non-stick, which works well enough. We have never had trouble scooping out a finished waffle during our tests.

Power Cord

Cuisinart WMR-CA Power Cord
Cuisinart WMR-CA Power Cord 2
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    36.0" (91.4 cm)
  • Cable Management:
    No

The power cord measures x long. The short length can be a problem in some kitchens. There’s a good chance that you’ll have to resort to an extension cord if you don’t keep the waffle maker near an outlet.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Power Cord
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    31.5 inches
  • Cable Management:
    No

The power cable is very long at 31.5 inches, making it an even more attractive option for travelers who may not always have convenient access to power outlets. For those at home, the longer cord means you’ll most likely be able to skip using an extension cord (unless your kitchen has very odd outlet placement.)

But the longer cord can be a problem when it comes to storing the waffle maker, especially when it doesn’t have any cable management feature.

N/A

Accessories

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

The Cuisinart WMR-CA waffle maker doesn’t come with any extra accessories.

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

The Crownful waffle maker doesn't come with any accessory.

Ease of Use

8.8
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)
    9.0/10
  • Safety (40%)
    8.9/10
  • Cleanability (25%)
    9.5/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)
    6.5/10
6.6
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)
    8.5/10
  • Safety (40%)
    2.5/10
  • Cleanability (25%)
    10/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)
    10/10
9.0

Handling

8.5

We noticed no significant problems while working with the WMR-CA. All the controls are easy to figure out, even without a user manual. Opening and closing the lid is easy and safe, thanks to the large handle at the front. The user will still be able to use the handle even after several cooking sessions.

The lid is solidly built. When open, the lid rests at a slightly backward-tilted angle. It won’t unexpectedly snap closed while you’re adding the batter.

We dropped the handling rating to a nine because the temperature control slider feels so loose.

As it doesn’t have any control features, all you have to do is plug it in. The waffle maker will handle the rest. Once the waffle plates are heated up, the indicator light at the top will turn off. That’s the signal to pour in the batter. Wait out the cooking time for however long you want, then lift the lid and extract the finished waffle.

The opening and closing motion of the lid is smooth, thanks to the solid lid hinges.

8.9

Safety

2.5
Cuisinart WMR-CA Safety
Cuisinart WMR-CA Waffle Maker Safety
Cuisinart WMR-CA Bottom-side temperature
  • Top Side Temperature:
    181.7°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    94°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    96.4°F

The Cuisinart WMR-CA received an excellent safety score. Even after multiple cooking sessions, the control panel and the handle don’t become too hot.

We recorded the handle’s temperature at 96.4°F, only slightly above room temperature.

The upper shell of the waffle maker gets quite hot, though. The metal conducts heat very well, so it could become hot enough to give you a burn after a waffle or two. The plastic piece at the top can also become hot enough to cause a burn. We recorded a temperature of 181.7°F.

We’re able to touch the bottom side of the waffle maker without feeling any heat at all. It measured a comfortable 94°F.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Safety
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Safety 1
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Safety 2
  • Top Side Temperature:
    187.9°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    129.6°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    188.4°F

The Crownful has an abysmal safety score. But it’s worth noting that the faults don’t lie with the manufacturer. Like most mini-sized waffle makers, the whole unit has bad insulation because of its small size. After one or two cooking sessions, every surface on the machine will become piping hot: It is unavoidable. Unfortunately, since this is what we measure to determine a waffle maker’s safety score, the Crownful failed miserably in this test portion.

Using a thermometer, we measured the temperature of the waffle maker’s top side, which was 187.9°F.

The bottom side was warm, measuring 129.6°F. It’s still safe to the touch. However, it’s better to wear oven mitts while handling the waffle maker.

The handle was scorching hot at 188.4°F. The hot handle, combined with the hot steam surging from the plates, makes wearing oven mitts a must. The heat is intense enough to instantly cause a burn injury.

9.5

Cleanability

10
Cuisinart WMR-CA Cleanability

The WMR-CA is relatively easy to clean. The dry batter will come off with a few spritzes of detergent and a little scrubbing.

On the inside, the non-stick layer makes it very easy to clean.

For the most part, all we had to do was run a dry cloth through the waffle plates’ grid pattern to pick up the gunk. However, the narrow indents can be hard to reach.

The Crownful is easy to clean, both from within  and outside. The non-stick coated plates only need a few scrubs with a clean, dry cloth to remove batter residues or waffle debris.

The exterior of the waffle maker, made from a type of smooth plastic, doesn’t grip onto the dried batter. We left spilled batter to dry on the exterior of the waffle maker for a day. We were able to scour it off with a few spritzes of detergent and a cloth without any difficulty when we cleaned it the next day.

6.5

Indicator Light Visibility

10
Cuisinart WMR-CA Indicator Light Visibility

This model’s indicator lights are dim. They are difficult to see under harsh studio lights or bright sunlight. However, both the red and green lights should be easy to see in the average kitchen.

The indicator light at the top was decently bright. We could see it even under studio lighting.