DASH DMW001AQ Mini vs Nostalgia MWF5AQ 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
DASH Mini Waffle Maker Hands-on Review
Nostalgia Mini Waffle Maker Review In-depth Review
Power
1200W
550W

Our Verdict

6.9
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.5/10
  • Design (20%)
    6.0/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    8.3/10
6.7
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.3/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.4/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.3/10

Both the DASH DMW001AQ Mini and the Nostalgia MWF5AQ are mini waffle makers. Due to their compact sizes, they are hugely popular among travelers. Being no larger than a softball, they can fit inside a backpack or suitcase with ease and provide freshly-baked waffles on the go.

Performance-wise, both waffle makers performed passably, with the Nostalgia MWF5AQ being the better one of the two. The waffles they made weren’t restaurant-grade, but for morning breakfasts, camping, and snacking, both models’ waffles are more than sufficient.

We have good things to say about the build quality of both models. In this respect, they are more or less equal.

Pricing is about the same, with the Dash Mini being cheaper (but not by much).

Based on cooking performance, we’ll give it to the Nostalgia MWF5AQ as a slightly better buy for this pairing!

Performance

6.5
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    6.0/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    7.0/10
6.3
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    6.8/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    5.9/10
6.0

Self-Mixed Recipe

6.8
DASH DMW001AQ Self-Mixed Recipe Top Color
Top
DASH DMW001AQ Self-Mixed Recipe Bottom Color
Bottom
DASH DMW001AQ Self-Mixed Recipe Texture
DASH DMW001AQ Self-Mixed Recipe Taste
Color: 6
35% * 6 = 2.1
Texture: 6
25% * 6 = 1.5
Taste: 6
40% * 6 = 2.4
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

In all three aspects (coloration, texture, and taste,) the DASH Mini still received mediocre scores. Nonetheless, compared to the test results in the first testing methodology (v1.0,) the DASH Mini still saw marked improvements.

Color (35%) — 6

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

The waffle’s coloration was mediocre, and we assessed the waffle maker to have done a lousy job at cooking the waffle evenly. Inside some of the wells, the crust was cooked to a dark brown color, almost like they were charred. Upon closer inspection, it seems like they were only overcooked rather than burnt.

The crust was mixed between dark gold and light brown outside the wells.

Texture (25%) — 6

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Low, air bubbles were small and weren’t well-distributed

The interior was decently aerated. Air bubbles have begun to form on the inside of the waffle. However, they were pretty small and weren’t distributed evenly. As a result, the waffle was still relatively chewy and didn’t have the spongy softness we were looking for.

Taste (40%) — 6

  • Flavor: Sweet and savory with a hint of bitterness
  • Mouthfeel: Dense and dry

The taste was also mediocre. Our chef did recognize the sweet and slightly savory taste of the batter in the waffle. Unfortunately, the haphazardly burnt crust introduced a somewhat bitter taste to the waffle’s flavor profile. Plus, the underwhelming mouthfeel of the waffle also contributed to the waffle’s relatively low taste score.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Self-Mixed Recipe
Top
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Self-Mixed Recipe 1
Bottom
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Self-Mixed Recipe 3
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Self-Mixed Recipe 2
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.

7.0

Birch Benders Mix

5.9
DASH DMW001AQ Birch Benders Mix Top Color
DASH DMW001AQ Birch Benders Mix Bottom Color
DASH DMW001AQ Birch Benders Mix Texture
DASH DMW001AQ Birch Benders Mix Taste
Color: 6.3
35% * 6.3 = 2.2
Texture: 6.5
25% * 6.5 = 1.6
Taste: 8
40% * 8 = 3.2
  • Heat Level:  N/A
  • Cooking Time: 7 minutes

Compared to the results using the self-mixed recipe, the test results using the Birch Benders mix were significantly better. Coloration was still slightly messy, but it was smoother and more attractive. The texture was soft and spongy, but the interior was still too moist to garner a higher score though the waffle certainly was flavorful.

Color (35%) — 6.3

  • Color tone: Very dark brown (Both)
  • Color distribution: Uneven at the top, uniform at the bottom

The coloring on the top was still not great. The upper crust was still marked with seemingly random dark and light spots—the darker burnt areas being mainly concentrated within the waffle’s wells.

The underside was significantly better. It enjoyed a prettier color gradient that ranged from light gold to golden brown. The distribution of color was excellent.

Texture (25%) — 6.5

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: High, the interior was filled with sizable air bubbles

The aeration level was high, and large air bubbles could be seen within the interior of the waffle. This resulted in a decently soft and fluffy texture. However, our chef judged the inside to be still too moist to get a better score.

Taste (40%) — 8

  • Flavor: Tasty, but a hint of raw batter is present
  • Mouthfeel: Crunchy outer crust with slightly mushy interior

The Dash Mini was able to bring out the complete flavor profile of the batter. Sweet and savory, it was a great-tasting waffle. The well-developed crust gave the waffle a nice crunch. Sadly, the slight mushiness of the interior prevented us from giving it a perfect score.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Birch Benders Mix
Top
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Birch Benders Mix 1
Bottom
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Birch Benders Mix 2
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Birch Benders Mix 3
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.

Design

6.0
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    5.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    0/10
8.4
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    9.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    0/10

In The Box

DASH DMW001AQ Mini in the Box
  • Dash Mini waffle maker
  • Instruction manuals and leaflets

The shipping box contained the waffle maker along with the instruction manuals and advertising leaflets. This waffle maker does not come with any accessories.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ In The Box
  • Nostalgia MWF5AQ MyMini waffle maker
  • Instruction manuals

Dimensions

DASH DMW001AQ Mini Waffle Maker Dimension
  • Length:
    1.3" (3.3 cm)
  • Width:
    6.3" (16.0 cm)
  • Height:
    5.0" (12.7 cm)
  • Weight:
    2.5 oz (71 g)

The Dash Mini has a very compact form factor. All three of its dimensions measure less than 10 inches taking up very little space on the kitchen countertop. You can also easily fit the waffle maker into a cupboard when it’s not in use.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Dimensions
  • Length:
    6.8" (17.1 cm)
  • Width:
    6.5" (16.5 cm)
  • Height:
    3.5" (8.9 cm)
  • Weight:
    1.3 oz (35 g)

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.

5.0

Build Quality

9.0
DASH DMW001AQ Build Quality

Build quality is not good. The waffle maker’s outer body is made entirely from plastic with a very thin layer of paint sprayed on the top. During our tests, we noticed that the paint flaked off very easily. In fact, the layer of paint was so flimsy that fingernails could scrape it off.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Build Quality
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Build Quality 1
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Build Quality 2

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.

10

Waffle Plates

10
DASH DMW001AQ Waffle Plates
DASH DMW001AQ Waffle Plates 1
  • 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 waffle plates, however, are excellent and are coated with a layer of PFOA-free non-stick. As a result, cleaning the plates is effortless. We only needed to give them a cursory wipe with paper towels to clean off crumbs and other small pieces of food debris. We never had to deal with a sticky waffle throughout our week-long test.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Waffle Plates
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Waffle Plates 1
  • Numberof Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Classic-style
  • Plate Area:
    15.9 inches2
  • Plate Length:
    4.5 inches
  • Plate Width:
    4.5 inches
  • 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.

0.0

Control Panel

0.0
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    No

The Dash Mini doesn’t have a control panel. The only feature is the indicator light at the top, which turns on when the waffle maker is plugged in. Once the plates are heated and ready for use, the light will turn off.

With no controls, it gets a zero in this section.

  • 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.

Power Cord

DASH DMW001AQ Power Cord
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    30 inches
  • Cable Management:
    No

The Dash Mini has a very long power cord measuring 30 inches. Though it gives the waffle maker greater usability, the long cord can be an issue when it comes to storage. We had to loop the cord around the waffle maker’s body to store it.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Power Cord
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    8.2 inches
  • Cable Management:
    Yes

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

N/A

Accessories

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

The Dash Mini waffle maker does not come with any kind of accessory.

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

The Nostalgia waffle maker does not come with any accessories.

Ease of Use

8.3
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)
    8.0/10
  • Safety (40%)
    8.0/10
  • Cleanability (25%)
    10/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)
    6.0/10
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
8.0

Handling

7.5

Handling is adequate. As previously mentioned, there aren’t any manual controls on this waffle maker, so it functions as a ‘plug-and-play’ device. You only need to plug in the power cord, wait until the top light turns off, then pour in the batter.

The lid opens and closes smoothly. When pushed back, the lid leans backward at an angle. This effectively prevents the top from snapping closed unexpectedly.

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.

8.0

Safety

2.5
DASH DMW001AQ Safety Top-side temperature
DASH DMW001AQ Safety Bottom-side temperature
DASH DMW001AQ Safety Handle temperature
  • Top Side Temperature:
    191°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    120°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    98°F

Due to its small size, the entire waffle maker heats up after just one cooking session. We had to pick up the waffle maker by the power cord and let the machine dangle by the end to move it off the countertop after testing. 

Additionally, upon opening the lid after a waffle has finished cooking, you could be subjected to a startling plume of hot air from the waffle plates. The hot air isn’t dangerous, but the flash of considerable heat can still feel extremely uncomfortable.

The top surface reached a temperature of 191°F.

It is only slightly warm at the handle, measuring 98°F. However, like we mentioned earlier, beware of the plume of hot air when you open up the lid.

The base of the waffle maker is uncomfortably warm at 120°F.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Safety
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Safety 1
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Safety 2
  • 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.

10

Cleanability

9.5

The waffle maker is easy to clean. We only needed to wipe down the non-stick waffle plates once in a while to scoop up leftover debris.

Dried-out waffle batter doesn’t stick hard to the smooth plastic body when a spill happens. Cooking residues can be dealt with using mild detergent and a few scrubs with a cloth.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Cleanability

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.

6.0

Indicator Light Visibility

10
DASH DMW001AQ Indicator Light Visibility

The waffle maker has a large indicator light at the top. It’s difficult to see under harsh studio lighting and daylight. Under normal lighting conditions, however, the light should be clear.

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