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DASH No-Drip Belgian 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 13, 2023
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Jan 13, 2023
The Dash No-Drip waffle maker with its lid opened, revealing its black waffle plates. To either side are instruction manuals.
The Nostalgia MWF5AQ mini waffle maker next to its instruction manual and shipping box.

Our Verdict

8.0
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.7/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.7/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    9.6/10
6.7
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.3/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.4/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.3/10

At a glance, it may seem like the DASH No-Drip Belgian waffle maker, and the Nostalgia MWF5AQ are in totally different classes. The former is a giant waffle maker about as big as a dinner plate, and the latter can fit in the palm of your hand.

But they share one key difference: both of them make 4-inch waffles. The DASH No-Drip, with its large waffle plates, can make four square waffles simultaneously, each one measuring about 4 inches. The Nostalgia MWF5AQ can only make one waffle at a time, measuring 4 inches across but in the more traditional round shape.

So, if you are looking for a waffle maker that can cook in bulk, the DASH No-Drip is the one to go for. On the other hand, if you want a cheap, compact waffle maker, try the Nostalgia MWF5AQ.

Great in All But One Thing

DASH No Drip Waffle Maker’s Performance

Nostalgia Mini Waffle Maker’s Performance: Great, As Far As Mini Waffle Makers Go
6.7
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)6.5/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)6.9/10
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
DASH No-Drip Belgian Self-Mixed Recipe
The golden - very dark brown top crust of a waffle baked for 3 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
The golden - very dark brown bottom crust of a waffle baked for 3 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
A cross-section of a waffle baked for 3 minutes using our self-mixed recipe, revealing the air bubble-filled inner core.
A waffle being torn by hand to test its consistency and texture. The interior of the waffle is revealed.
Color: 5
35% * 5 = 1.8
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 7.5
40% * 7.5 = 3.0
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 3 minutes

The coloration of the waffle wasn’t great but still passable. There were some prominent burnt spots on the crust that introduced a degree of bitterness and dryness to the waffle. The interior of the waffle was soft, which garnered a good score from us. However, it was still slightly mushy. And taste-wise, our chef judged the waffle to be flavorful, despite the bitter aftertaste that the burnt spots on the waffle produced.

Color (35%) — 5

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

There were prominent dark spots on both faces of the waffle. They mainly concentrated inside the wells and on the right side. On the left side, the coloring was light.

The uneven color distribution and the burnt spots ruined the waffle’s aesthetic. But since the burnt spots weren’t charred black and the light spots weren’t so pale that they looked undercooked, the waffle still passed this part of the test.

Texture (25%) — 7

  • Texture: Good
  • Aeration level: Medium, small bubbles were filling the interior of the waffle, but large cavities hadn’t formed yet

The texture of the waffle was soft and spongy, which was a pleasant surprise considering the half-burnt state of the crust. Additionally, though not numerous, there were a lot of tiny air bubbles and cavities within the waffle, which explained its softness.

Unfortunately, the waffle's interior was still developing, so the consistency was slightly mushy.

Taste (40%) — 7.5

  • Flavor: Sweet and rich, but with a hint of bitterness due to burnt spots on the crust
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and pliant, dry at the burnt spots

Though it didn't look quite as appealing, our chef judged the waffle as flavorful. The mouthfeel was great (soft and pliant). But, as we mentioned earlier, the burnt spots were dry, tough, and bitter in the mouth. Due to the bitterness, we knocked a few points off for this section.

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.

6.9

Birch Benders Mix

5.9
DASH No-Drip Belgian Birch Benders Mix
The top crust of a waffle baked for 4 minutes using a batter made from Birch Benders mix. It has a very light gold color.
The bottom crust of a waffle baked for 4 minutes using a batter made from Birch Benders mix. It has a very light gold color
A cross-section of a waffle, revealing its core with prominent air cavities and multiple air bubbles.
A waffle, baked for 4 minutes, torn down the middle by hand to test it for consistency and texture.
Color: 6.5
35% * 6.5 = 2.3
Texture: 6.5
25% * 6.5 = 1.6
Taste: 7.5
40% * 7.5 = 3.0
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The waffle was mediocre in all aspects: the coloration and texture were acceptable but weren’t outstanding. Taste-wise, according to our chef, it was palatable and relatively flavorful. The spongy mouthfeel, however, prevented it from getting a better score.

Color (35%) — 6.5/10

  • Color tone: Very light 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 to be poor.

Texture (25%) - 6.5/10

  • Texture: Soft and pliant, lacks crispiness
  • Aeration level: Medium

The waffle was nicely aerated but compared to some of the better waffles we have tested (like that of the Cuisinart WAF-F20P1), the air pockets were quite small few in number.

Still, despite the room for improvement, the waffle was soft and pliant. It was a bit limp and there was little to no crispiness but not to the point of being gooey.

Taste (40%) - 7.5/10

  • Flavor: Sweet and slightly salty
  • Mouthfeel: Fluffy and soft

Our chef gave the waffle a “Good” score. It was flavorful: the sweet and slightly salty flavor of the Birch Benders mix goes very well with the soft texture of the waffle. However, the waffle could use some crispiness in the crust, which would have improved its score significantly.

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.

DASH Deluxe No-Drip Belgian Waffle Maker’s Design

Nostalgia MyMini Waffle Maker’s Design: Doesn’t Feel Cheap!
8.7
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)9.5/10
  • 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

What’s in the Box of the DASH No-Drip Waffle Maker

In The Box
The blue Dash No-Drip waffle maker next to its shipping box and instruction manuals.
  • DASH No-Drip Belgian waffle maker
  • Instruction manuals and leaflets

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

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
A side profile of the Dash No-Drip Belgian waffle maker. It has a blue plastic lid and black-painted base.
  • Length:
    6.3" (16.0 cm)
  • Width:
    5.0" (12.7 cm)
  • Height:
    2.5" (6.4 cm)
  • Weight:
    8.0 lbs (3.6 kg)

Due to its bulky frame, the DASH DNMWM400AQ takes up a lot of room on the countertop. It is heavy to boot at 8 pounds. Unless you just leave the waffle maker on the countertop, finding somewhere to store it could be a problem.

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.

9.5

Build Quality

9.0
DASH No-Drip Belgian Build Quality
DASH No-Drip Belgian Build QualityA close-up view of the back side of the DASH No-Drip waffle maker’s lid in the closed position.
A close-up view of the lid hinges of the Dash No Drip Waffle maker.
Side view of the DASH No Drip waffle maker. The blue top lid and the black bottom of the waffle maker can be seen here.

Overall build quality is good despite the cheap-looking design. The unit was spotless when first taken out of the box (no scratches, scrapes, or dents). Every detail is well-built and solid. The hinges have very little travel, so the lid doesn’t wobble when we shake it.

 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.

10

Waffle Plates

10
One of the waffle plates of the DASH No Drip waffle maker. It’s separated into four sections, each can cook a small waffle.
One of the waffle plates of the DASH No Drip waffle maker. It’s separated into four sections, each can cook a small waffle.
A zoomed-in view of the anti-drip moat on either side of the DASH Deluxe No-Drip Belgian waffle maker.
Waffle batter overflowing from the waffle plates and into the anti-drip moat during a cooking test.
  • Number of Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Belgian-style
  • Plate Area:
    69.6 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    8.7" (22.1 cm)
  • Plate Width:
    8.0" (20.3 cm)
  • Material:
    Aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The plates are the most impressive part of this waffle maker. They are made from aluminum and coated with a Teflon non-stick layer. During our performance tests, the coating worked very well. It didn't take much effort to coax a cooked waffle off the plates.

The plates are divided into four equal quadrants, each measuring around 4 inches.

DASH have built large gaps onto the lines that divvy up the plates to form "links" between the four waffles. You can shear off these links with your hands and separate the waffles. However, these gaps are troublesome if you want to pour enough batter to fill one section and cook a single waffle. The waffle will form stubby lumps that you must cut off if you want a symmetric waffle.

Attached to either side of the waffle plates are large trenches. In the event of a batter spill, the trenches will catch the excess and stop them from flowing out of the machine. The plates are smartly designed with four "ventilation holes'' on each side to discourage the liquid batter from flowing through the machine's front or back.

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.

0.0

Control Panel

0.0
The blue top lid of the DASH No Drip waffle maker. The indicator lights can also be seen here. They’re currently off.
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    No

The DASH No-Drip Belgian waffle maker does not come with any control feature. It has a pair of indicator lights at the top so that you can monitor the cooking process, but that’s it.

  • 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.

DASH No-Drip Waffle Maker’s Power Cord

Nostalgia MyMini Waffle Maker’s Power Cord
The power plug of the Dash No Drip waffle maker, focusing on its Type-A prongs.
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    2.3 ft (0.7 m)
  • Cable Management:
    Yes

The power cable of the unit is fairly long, at 31.5 inches. You most likely won’t need an extension cord for it.

There is a grommet built onto the back foot of the waffle maker. The cord can be wrapped around it for easier storage.

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.

N/A

Accessories

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

The DASH waffle maker does not come with any accessories.

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

The Nostalgia waffle maker does not come with any accessories.

Ease of Use

DASH No Drip Belgian Waffle Maker Review

Nostalgia Mini Waffle Maker Review: Ease of Use
9.6
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)9.5/10
  • Safety (40%)9.2/10
  • Cleanability (25%)10/10
  • 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
9.5

Handling

7.5

The DASH waffle maker is easy to handle. As we said earlier, the lack of a control panel makes using it as straightforward as can be. You can start using it without having to read the user’s manual at all.

The lid can be opened and closed via the large handle at the front, which doesn’t heat up at all despite being made from plastic.

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.

9.2

Safety

2.5
The temperature of the DASH No Drip waffle maker’s top lid is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 202.3°F.
The temperature of the DASH No Drip waffle maker’s top lid is being measured using a thermometer. The screen reads 202.3°F.
The temperature of the underside of the DASH No Drip’s handle is being measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 151.5°F.
The temperature of the top side of the DASH No-Drip’s handle is being measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 120.0°F.
  • Top Side Temperature:
    202.3°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    151.5°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    120°F

Safety is great for this particular model. After several continuous cooking sessions, using a thermometer, we found that most of the waffle maker’s surfaces were still at acceptable levels. Especially the handle, which was only warm to the touch, not scorching hot.

Top side temperature was recorded at 202°F.

The temperature at the bottom, around the front foot of the unit, was at 151°F.

In the areas surrounding the handle, we recorded a relatively cool temperature of 120°F, which was merely warm.

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.

10

Cleanability

9.5
Excess batter overflowing from one of the waffle plates and into the anti-spill moat during a cooking test.

The large anti-spill channels to the side of the waffle maker are very effective at catching excess batter. We noticed that these channels are easier to clean than the add-on drip tray that many waffle makers use these days.

The non-stick coating of the waffle plates further improves cleanability. We never encountered one sticky waffle throughout the performance test phase.

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
Indicator lights at the top of the DASH No-Drip waffle maker. Left is the red POWER light and right is the green READY light.

The indicator lights are bright enough to be clearly visible under 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.