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DASH DMW001AQ Mini vs Oster Belgian 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 aqua-colored Dash Mini waffle maker next to its shipping box (left) and instruction manuals (right).
The Oster waffle maker, with its metal lid and black plastic base, sits amidst its shipping box (left) and manual (right).

Our Verdict

6.9
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.5/10
  • Design (20%)
    6.0/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    8.3/10
5.7
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.0/10
  • Design (20%)
    6.2/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    5.0/10

Visually, the DASH DMW001AQ Mini enjoys a much more lightweight and compact form factor (hence the “Mini” part). Its smaller size makes the Dash DMW001AQ an excellent waffle maker for campers, hikers, or anyone who needs to make waffles on the move. But not just so, its 4-inch waffles are the perfect size for a healthy midday snack for children and adults alike.

Performance-wise, the DASH DMW001AQ didn’t do half-bad in our performance tests. In our test with the premade waffle mix, it managed to bake a delicious, palm-size waffle with good coloration and texture.

The Oster Belgian waffle maker is full-sized and, compared to the DASH DMW001AQ’s 4-inch waffles, can bake far larger 7-inch waffles. However, its performance through two tests is mediocre at most. This waffle maker didn’t impress in terms of build quality, either. It has poor craftsmanship and a low safety rating due to exposed wirings at the back.

A Mixed Bag

DASH Mini Waffle Maker DMW001AQ’s Performance

Oster Belgian Waffle Maker’s Performance: Often Disappoint More than It Please
6.5
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)6.0/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)7.0/10
6.0
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)5.2/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)6.8/10
6.0

Self-Mixed Recipe

5.2
DASH DMW001AQ Mini Self-Mixed Recipe Video
The golden-very dark brown top crust of a waffle baked for 6 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
The golden-very dark 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 using our self-mixed recipe, revealing a dense core with few air bubbles.
A waffle baked for 6 minutes using our self-mixed recipe being torn down the middle by hand to test its consistency.
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.

Oster Belgian Self-Mixed Recipe
The very dark brown-dark gold top crust of a waffle baked for 5 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
The very dark brown-dark gold 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, baked for 5 minutes, is torn by hands to test for its consistency. The interior of the waffle is revealed.
Color: 5
35% * 5 = 1.8
Texture: 5
25% * 5 = 1.3
Taste: 5.5
40% * 5.5 = 2.2
  • Heat Level: Max
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The Oster didn’t do well in our performance test. The coloration of the waffle—with its blotchy, charred crust—was disappointing. Cutting it open, the waffle had a dense and under-developed interior. It translated to an underwhelming mouthfeel in the taste test. And because the batter was only half-cooked, the waffle still tasted like raw batter.

Color (35%) — 5/10

  • Color result: Very dark brown - Dark gold (Both sides)
  • Color distribution: Even

The waffle’s crust was darkly colored, especially within the wells of the waffle, which had dark brown to very dark brown coloring. Fortunately, while they may look charred, we didn’t see any carbonization when we closely looked at each well.

Outside the wells, the waffle was a rather beautiful dark gold. But it’s still not enough for us to give the waffle a higher score than a five.

Both sides have roughly the same color gradient.

Texture (25%) — 5/10

  • Texture: Wet, mushy
  • Aeration level: Low

Despite the burnt-looking crust, the interior of the waffle wasn’t as well-developed as we had hoped. Air bubbles were visible, but they were small and few. Furthermore, the waffle’s core was dense and slightly mushy.

Taste (50%) — 5.5/10

  • Taste: Bland, bitter at charred spots.
  • Mouthfeel: Dry on the outside, mushy on the inside

The contrast between the overcooked outside and the undercooked inside makes for a disappointing tasting experience. There was a hint of the batter’s sweetness and buttery taste. However, the tastiness was ruined by the bitterness of the burnt crust and the egg-like taste of the undercooked core.

Ultimately, our chef rated the Oster waffle maker 5 out of 10.

7.0

Birch Benders Mix

6.8
DASH DMW001AQ Mini Birch Benders Mix Video
The very dark brown top crust of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using a batter made from our Birch Benders mix.
The very dark brown bottom crust of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using a batter made from our Birch Benders mix.
A cross-section of a waffle baked for 7 minutes using our Birch Benders waffle mix. The interior of the waffle is revealed.
A waffle baked for 7 minutes using our Birch Benders waffle mix is torn down the middle by hands to test its consistency.
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.

Oster Belgian Birch Benders Mix Video
The very light gold-dark brown top crust of a waffle baked for 3 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix.
The very light gold-dark brown bottom crust of a waffle baked for 3 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix.
The interior of a waffle baked for 3 minutes using a Birch Benders batter mix. Small air cavities can be seen within.
A waffle, baked for 3 minutes using our Birch Benders batter mix, is torn down the middle by hands. The interior can be seen.
Color: 6.3
35% * 6.3 = 2.2
Texture: 6.5
25% * 6.5 = 1.6
Taste: 7.5
40% * 7.5 = 3.0
  • Heat Level: Max
  • Cooking Time: 3 minutes

Although color distribution is uneven, the brighter and more palatable color tones are a big step up. The interior has developed this time, resulting in a soft and fluffy waffle. Our chef also rated the waffle’s taste highly, appreciating its sweetness and velvety texture.

Color (35%) — 6.3/10

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

Coloration is slightly better this time around with the pre-made mix. Unfortunately, the difference between this one and the earlier sample made from our self-mixed batter isn’t drastic enough to give it a significant score boost.

The color tone is better with a nice golden brown shade at the center of the waffle. Surrounding the center is a noticeable “ring” of burnt batter that ruins the aesthetic of the waffle. Out along the edges, the crust there has a light gold of undercooked batter.

It’s because of this unequal distribution of colors is the reason why it doesn’t get a higher score in this segment.

Texture (25%) — 6.5/10

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Medium; air bubbles were beginning to form, but their sizes were still small

Texture is acceptable. Despite the unattractive coloring, the inside of the waffle has nicely developed. The aeration process has formed a lot of tiny air bubbles on the inside, creating a soft, fluffy texture. Although it is not excellent, the texture of this one is at least acceptable.

Taste (50%) — 7.5/10

  • Flavor: Sweet
  • Mouthfeel: Soft, no excessively dry spots

Taste is the best part of this test. Compared to the earlier test done with self-mixed batter, the sample produced with the pre-made mix tastes better, according to our chef. Because there’s very minimal burnt spots, the flavor is sweet without any hint of bitterness. This, combined with the fluffy texture, creates a decently-tasting waffle that comes closer to the “restaurant-quality waffle” slogan that Oster has placed in its advertisements.

Expectedly Mediocre

Mini Dash Waffle Maker’s Design

Oster CKSTWF2000 Belgian Waffle Maker’s Design
6.0
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)5.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)0/10
6.2
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)4.5/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)8.5/10
  • Control Panel (10%)9.0/10

In The Box

What’s In the Box of the Oster Belgian Stainless Steel Waffle Maker?
The aqua-blue waffle maker is in the middle. To its left and right are its instruction manuals and pamphlets.
  • 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.

The Oster waffle maker, with its stainless steel top lid and black plastic detailing, is placed next to its manual.
  • Oster waffle maker
  • User manual

In the box, you get the waffle maker and a simple user manual. There are no extra accessories. This is not surprising considering the budget price point of this waffle maker.

Baby DASH Waffle Maker’s Dimensions & Weight

Dimensions
The DASH DMW001AQ Mini waffle maker’s dimensions. The length is 6.3 inches, height 2.5 inches, and width 5 inches.
  • Length:
    1.3" (3.3 cm)
  • Width:
    6.3" (16.0 cm)
  • Height:
    5.0" (12.7 cm)
  • Weight:
    2.5 lbs (1.1 kg)

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.

The physical dimensions of the Oster Belgian waffle maker. The length is 10 inches, height 4 inches, and width 8 inches.
  • Length:
    10.0" (25.4 cm)
  • Width:
    8.0" (20.3 cm)
  • Height:
    4.0" (10.2 cm)
  • Weight:
    3.2 lbs (1.5 kg)

The Oster waffle maker is quite compact. Thanks to its size, it won’t take up much space on the countertop, and storage is easy. Notably, you can also store the waffle maker standing upright (vertical).

5.0

Build Quality

4.5
The back side of the DASH Mini waffle maker. White cabling sleeve can be seen through a gap at the back of the unit.
The back side of the DASH Mini waffle maker. White cabling sleeve can be seen through a gap at the back of the unit.
DASH DMW001AQ Mini Build Quality video

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.

The side profile of the Oster CKSTWF2000 Belgian waffle maker. The stainless steel lid is blemished from daily use.
The side profile of the Oster CKSTWF2000 Belgian waffle maker. The stainless steel lid is blemished from daily use.
Oster Waffle Maker  Build Quality Video
The back side of the Oster Belgian waffle maker. The power cables can be in-between the gaps created by the plastic hinges.

The stainless steel housing gives the Oster waffle maker a sharper, pricier look. However, the waffle maker’s rough edges are clearly revealed when you scrutinize it up close. Fingerprints can easily smudge the stainless steel surface. Even when you lightly scrape the surface with your fingernails, ugly scratches can appear on the metal.

After a couple of days in the lab, the top surface of the waffle maker lost its original shine. We couldn’t restore it even after several attempts at wiping it down and polishing it.

Like most affordable waffle makers, detailing like the handle, base, and control panel section are made from plastic. They look and feel cheap.

Build quality is poor on the review unit we received. The lid’s hinges are loose and rattle even when lightly tugged. On the backside, we found poorly tooled parts with rough edges, scrapes, and dents. Worse still, the backside of the waffle maker has gaps that reveal its guts, exposing its internal wiring and circuits.

For these reasons, we assess the Oster’s construction quality as mediocre at best and sub-par at worst.

10

Waffle Plates

8.5
An overview of the DASH Mini’s waffle plates. The plates are black and have a classic-style waffle print.
An overview of the DASH Mini’s waffle plates. The plates are black and have a classic-style waffle print.
A close-up shot of the DASH Mini waffle maker’s waffle plate. It is black and treated with a layer of textured non-stick.
  • Number of Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Classic-style
  • Plate Area:
    12.57 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    4.0" (10.2 cm)
  • Plate Width:
    4.0" (10.2 cm)
  • 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.

An overview of the waffle plates of the Oster waffle maker. It’s made from cast aluminum and has Belgian-style patterning.
An overview of the waffle plates of the Oster waffle maker. It’s made from cast aluminum and has Belgian-style patterning.
A close-up of the black, cast aluminum waffle plate of the Oster waffle maker.
  • Number of Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Belgian-style
  • Plate Area:
    7.8 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    7.1" (18.0 cm)
  • Plate Width:
    7.1" (18.0 cm)
  • Material:
    Die-cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The waffle plates are made from die-cast aluminum. It is imprinted with the classic Belgian-style grid pattern. The total diameter of the waffle plate (with the outer anti-spill moat included) is 7.8 inches. It is able to produce a 7-inch waffle.

According to Oster, the non-stick coating is food-grade polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE — also known as Teflon), and has been approved by the USDA.

The inclusion of PTFE can be a deal-breaker for many. However, note that, unlike PFOA, PTFE is inert and relatively harmless at temperatures under 400°F. Only when the temperature exceeds 400°F can the PTFE coating become a problem by releasing toxic gasses. During normal operation, the waffle maker isn’t going to come even close to this threshold. Thus, the waffle plates are still classed as safe for use.

The waffle plates are not removable.

0.0

Control Panel

9.0
  • 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.

The control panel of the Oster CKSTWF2000 Belgian waffle maker. There’s the browning control knob and the indicator lights.
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    Yes

Though the control interface is barebones, that is to be expected for such an affordable waffle maker. There are two indicator lights. One will glow red when you plug it in (POWER light), and the other green light will light up when the waffle maker is heated to the correct temperature.

Above the indicator lights is a temperature control knob. The knob takes some force to turn and makes a distinct clicking sound as it does so.

DASH Mini Waffle Machine’s Power Cord

Oster CKSTWF2000 Belgian Waffle Maker’s Power Cord
The power cord of the DASH Mini waffle maker. It has a Type A plug.
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    2.5 ft (0.8 m)
  • 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.

The power cord of the Oster Belgian waffle maker.
The power cord of the Oster Belgian waffle maker.
The Type A plug attachment of the Oster Belgian waffle maker’s power cord.
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    2.3 ft (0.7 m)
  • Cable Management:
    Yes

The unit’s power cord is short. You will either have to move the waffle maker very close to a power outlet or use an extension cord.

The back foot of the waffle maker has a grommet. You can wrap the power cord around it for easier management and storage. However, since there’s no lock or notch to hold the cord in place, it can unravel easily.

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 Oster waffle maker doesn’t come with any extra accessories. Once again, at this price point, that’s what we expected.

Ease of Use

Dash Mini Waffle Maker Review

Oster Belgian Waffle Maker Review: 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
5.0
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)6.5/10
  • Safety (40%)1.7/10
  • Cleanability (25%)9.0/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)4.5/10
8.0

Handling

6.5

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.

Generally speaking, the Oster waffle maker is easy to handle. Even when it’s heated up, the large plastic handle at the front remains cool to the touch. However, the lid’s hinges are shaky. They make the closing and opening motion a bit awkward.

8.0

Safety

1.7
The temperature of the top lid of the DASH Mini waffle maker is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 191.3°F.
The temperature of the top lid of the DASH Mini waffle maker is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 191.3°F.
The temperature of the base of the DASH Mini waffle maker is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 120.2°F.
The temperature of the handle of the DASH Mini waffle maker is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 98.2°F.
  • 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.

The temperature of the base of the Oster waffle maker is measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 143.4°F.
The temperature of the base of the Oster waffle maker is measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 143.4°F.
The temperature of the front handle of the Oster waffle maker is measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 189°F.
The temperature of the control panel of the Oster waffle maker is measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 176.9°F.
  • Top Side Temperature:
    176°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    143°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    189°F

Using a thermometer, we checked the temperature of the waffle maker’s various parts.

The handle was dangerously hot, with a temperature of 189°F. After several cooking sessions, the heat from the heating element and the hot steam raised the handle’s temperature to the point that it could easily cause a burn injury. This is the most serious safety problem of the Oster.

Not just the handle, the control panel area was also piping hot at 176°F.

On the underside of the waffle maker, the front plastic “leg” got quite toasty at 143°F.

So, be careful if you pick up the waffle maker by grabbing the bottom legs. The front part may be quite hot.

The exposed electronics and wiring on the backside could turn the machine into an electrical hazard. A point was further deducted from the overall score.

10

Cleanability

9.0

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.

Excess batter spilling out from the waffle plates of the Oster waffle maker.

The Oster receives a good score in cleanability. Although it doesn't have a drip tray for spilled batter, it can be dealt with fairly easily when a batter spill does happen. Even when the batter dries out and settles on the waffle maker’s body, all surfaces can be scrubbed down easily with a dash of mild detergent.

6.0

Indicator Light Visibility

4.5
The blue center indicator light of the DASH Mini waffle maker is dimly shining.

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 indicator lights of the Oster waffle maker. To the left is the red POWER light, and the right is the green READY light.

The unit we received has very dim indicator lights. Under normal lighting conditions, the two lights are hardly visible.

It’s only when we cupped our hands above the lights to shade them from the ceiling lights that the indicators became clear. The lights aren't visible in harsh daylight and studio lights.