Euro Cuisine WM520 vs Hamilton Beach 26031 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
Euro Cuisine Heart-Shaped Waffle Maker In-depth Review
Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian Waffle Maker In-depth Review
Power
850W
800W

Our Verdict

7.1
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.3/10
  • Design (20%)
    9.8/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.6/10
8.3
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.9/10
  • Design (20%)
    9.7/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    9.7/10

In most aspects, the Euro Cuisine WM520 and the Hamilton Beach 26031 are the same.

Both are mid-range models and share the same polished design. Regarding cooking performance, the Hamilton Beach 26031 has the edge over the Euro Cuisine WM520. Nonetheless, we assessed both models to be capable of making decent-quality waffles for breakfasts and daily meals.

Where they differ is in the patterning of their waffle plates. The Hamilton Beach 26031 is a Belgian waffle maker. Meanwhile, the Euro Cuisine WM520 comes with Norwegian-style, heart-shaped waffle plates.

Most people are familiar with (and prefer) the thick, classic-looking Belgian waffles. But heart-shaped waffles can be a fun addition to the table for festive times like Christmas or Thanksgiving. There’s also nothing stopping you from eating heart-shaped waffles every day!

So, the choice between these two is simple: do you prefer Belgian waffles (Hamilton Beach 26031) or some unique-looking heart-shaped waffles (Euro Cuisine WM520)?

Performance

6.3
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    6.3/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    6.4/10
6.9
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    6.8/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    7.1/10
6.3

Self-Mixed Recipe

6.8
Euro Cuisine WM520 Self-Mixed Recipe Top Color
Top
Euro Cuisine WM520 Self-Mixed Recipe Bottom Color
Bottom
Euro Cuisine WM520 Self-Mixed Recipe Texture
Euro Cuisine WM520 Self-Mixed Recipe Taste
Color: 7.5
35% * 7.5 = 2.6
Texture: 5
25% * 5 = 1.3
Taste: 6
40% * 6 = 2.4
  • Heat Level: Medium-high
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes 30 seconds

The waffle has beautiful coloration: golden-brown on the outside with dark brown spots within the wells. However, the interior was mushy, which also affected the taste of the waffle by introducing a slight raw batter-like taste to its flavor profile.

Color (35%) — 7.5/10

  • Color tone: Light brown
  • Color distribution: Even

We rated the waffle to have great coloration. The outer crust had a light brown tone, and the diamond-shaped wells had a dark brown color. Examining the wells closely, we found that they weren’t charred, which is ideal.

Both sides of the waffle were roughly the same color, but the wells at the bottom were lighter-colored than the top.

Texture (25%) - 5/10

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Low, minimal presence of air bubbles and air pockets

Though the outside of the waffle looked splendid, the interior was a different story. It was clear that the batter hadn’t had the chance to fully develop, judging by how mushy it still was.

The low aeration level was also apparent in the low number of air bubbles and air pockets within the waffle’s interior.

Taste (40%) - 6/10

  • Flavor: Sweet and savory, with a hint of raw batter
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and fluffy, but slightly dry

Our chef found the flavor of the waffle to be acceptable. The sweetness and the savory taste of the batter were there. However, there was also a slight taste of raw batter due to the undercooked interior, which effectively ruined the tasting experience.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Self-Made Recipe Top
Top
Hamilton Beach 26031 Self-Made Recipe Bottom
Bottom
Hamilton Beach 26031 Self-Made Recipe Texture
Hamilton Beach 26031 Self-Made Recipe Taste
Color: 6.3
35% * 6.3 = 2.2
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Heat Level: Between 1 and 2
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Right away, we assessed the color of the waffle to be fairly disappointing. The color distribution was uneven, with light and dark spots mingling randomly on the crust. Texturally, the waffle was also unremarkable. The aeration rate was minimal, resulting in a rather dense waffle. But scoring picked up slightly in the taste department. Our chef rated the Hamilton Beach’s waffle sufficiently tasty for breakfasts and other light meals.

Color (35%) —6.3/10

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

Both sides have roughly the same color shading. However, as a whole, both sides have uneven coloration. We noticed one side of the waffle tends to be more cooked than the rest of the waffle to the point of having a dark brown tone. Fortunately, this discolored patch wasn’t so cooked that it’s charred.

Dark spots tend to concentrate inside the wells of the waffle, too, giving the waffle a mottled appearance.

Texture (25%) — 7/10

  • Texture: Excellent
  • Aeration level: High, the interior was filled with large air cavities

The waffle’s interior doesn’t aerate well. Cutting it open, we observed the core to have a very dense structure with few air bubbles. The result is a sub-par waffle with a mushy texture rather than a soft, fluffy consistency like we hoped.

Taste (40%) — 7/10

  • Flavor: Sweet with hints of bitterness at charred spots
  • Mouthfeel: Soft, dry at charred spots

The taste was great, according to our chef. The Hamilton Beach 26031 was able to bring out the full flavor profile of the recipe. The waffle was buttery and sweet, with a hint of saltiness. Unfortunately, our chef assessed that it hadn't reached the point of being "restaurant-quality". Still, it will suffice for people wanting to cook quick breakfasts with this waffle maker.

6.4

Birch Benders Mix

7.1
Euro Cuisine WM520 Birch Benders Mix
Top
Euro Cuisine WM520 Birch Benders Mix 1
Bottom
Euro Cuisine WM520 Birch Benders Mix Texture
Euro Cuisine WM520 Birch Benders Mix Taste
Color: 7
35% * 7 = 2.5
Texture: 5.5
25% * 5.5 = 1.4
Taste: 6.5
40% * 6.5 = 2.6
  • Heat Level: Medium-high
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes 30 seconds

The Euro Cuisine WM520 managed to carry over the same level of performance it displayed in the self-mixed recipe test to this second test. The coloration—slightly lighter than in the previous test—was still considered good. Texturally, the waffle has a marginally better aeration rate compared to the waffle from the previous test. It resulted in a slightly better taste score from our chef due to the improved softness.

Color (35%) — 7/10

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

Both sides of the waffle were covered in a light brown-gold crust. While beautiful, it was a smidge lighter than ideal, resulting in a slightly lower score than the waffle made from our self-mixed recipe. Within the diamond-shaped wells of the waffle, the coloring was an attractive light brown.

Texture (25%) — 5.5/10

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Low, few air bubbles

The aeration rate of the waffle remained low, but it still has more air pockets spread out throughout the interior than the waffle from the previous test. Texturally, the waffle was moist and mushy.

Taste (40%) — 6.5/10

  • Flavor: Savory, slightly sweet
  • Mouthfeel: Fairly soft, but mushy

Due to the improved texture, the tasting experience was also better. Since the Birch Benders mix had a different composition than our self-mixed recipe, the flavor was different too. It was more savory and less sweet, but tasty nonetheless.

Though the waffle was still considered mushy, our chef welcomed the soft texture.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Birch Benders Mix Top
Hamilton Beach 26031 Birch Benders Mix Bottom
Hamilton Beach 26031 Birch Benders Mix Texture
Hamilton Beach 26031 Birch Benders Mix Taste
Color: 6.5
35% * 6.5 = 2.3
Texture: 6.5
25% * 6.5 = 1.6
Taste: 8
40% * 8 = 3.2
  • Heat Level: Between 1 and 2
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The coloration of the waffle made using the Birch Benders mix was a very light gold tone, giving it an undercooked-looking appearance. And indeed, the interior wasn’t as developed as the last waffle made in the test with the self-made recipe. However, our chef rated this waffle to be tastier overall.

Color (35%) — 6.5/10

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

At these optimal conditions, the pre-made mix gave us a more attractively colored waffle than did our self-made recipe. It had a nicer blonde tone that looked much more inviting. However, the color uniformity isn’t as good as we had hoped. The waffle maker was unable to maintain an even color throughout — one half looked lighter than the other.

Texture (25%) — 6.5/10

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Medium, air bubbles could be seen, but haven’t fully bloomed to their full sizes

Texture was significantly improved compared to the waffle produced using our self-made batter. The inside of the waffle appeared well-developed, with air bubbles filling out the waffle’s structure. That resulted in a very soft and pliable waffle. However, it wasn’t aerated enough to hide the slight mushy texture.

Taste (40%) — 8/10

  • Flavor: Sweet, no hint of bitterness
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and pliant, slightly mushy

Our chef awarded the Hamilton Beach 26031 a good score for this category. The aesthetically-pleasing coloring and the soft texture made for a pleasant tasting experience. In terms of flavor, the waffle was sweet. Since it didn’t have any charred patches, that flavor profile was consistent and never bitter. Unfortunately, the slight mushiness of the waffle negatively impacted its scoring a little.

Design

9.8
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    9.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (35%)
    10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    9.5/10
9.7
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    9.5/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    10/10

In The Box

The-Euro-Cuisine-WM520-In the Box
  • Euro Cuisine WM520 waffle maker
  • Instruction manual

In the box are the waffle maker itself and an instruction manual. No other accessory is included.

Hamilton Beach 26031 In the Box
  • Waffle maker’s body
  • Two (2) Belgian-style grid plates
  • One (1) removable drip tray
  • User manual

Within the shipping box, you get the waffle maker itself, two (2) removable Belgian-style waffle plates, a drip tray, and the manual.

The waffle maker comes wrapped in a protective plastic bag with some thick foam blocks as padding. Other accessories are only wrapped in plastic without extra padding.

While simple plastic wrap is okay for the plastic drip tray and manual, we felt some concern for the waffle plates. Since they’re made from brittle ceramic, we would appreciate a little padding for them too.

Dimensions

The-Euro-Cuisine-WM520 Dimensions
  • Length:
    10.0" (25.4 cm)
  • Width:
    8.0" (20.3 cm)
  • Height:
    4.5" (11.4 cm)
  • Weight:
    4.0 oz (113 g)

The Euro Cuisine WM520 has an average size relative to other standard-size waffle makers in our database. It weighs 4 pounds and has a broad body that measures 10 inches long and 8 inches wide. Thus, it will take up quite a lot of space on your countertop.

Since it’s roughly the same size as the average Belgian or classic-style waffle maker, it shouldn’t be any more challenging to store.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Dimension
  • Length:
    16.5" (41.9 cm)
  • Width:
    8.0" (20.3 cm)
  • Height:
    8.7" (22.1 cm)
  • Weight:
    3.1 oz (87 g)

Because the Hamilton Beach 26031 is a flip-style waffle maker, it is taller than your average non-flip model. At just over 9 inches tall, there’s ample clearance for the plates to smoothly turn.

The machine weighs 3.06 pounds, which is about average for a waffle maker.

For easier storage, it comes with a foldable handle.

9.0

Build Quality

9.5
Euro Cuisine WM520 Build Quality
Euro Cuisine WM520 Build Quality 1

The build quality of the unit is very decent.

The outer chrome plate has a mirror finish, which looks stunning out of the box. However, like with any other mirror-finished surface, we noticed that it’s highly susceptible to scratches and fingerprints. Oil splashes during cooking can also cause faint black stains on the lid.

Due to being mounted on a pair of loose hinges, the lid tends to wobble when in use.

The chrome-plated lid aside, other components like the control panel and the bottom casing are made from plastic. The front handle is also made from plastic and is rubberized to protect the user from the heat.

Underneath the handle is a rubber piece that comes off very easily, only needing a light tug. Behind it is a pair of screws. We presume the screws are to attach the handle to the front of the lid. It’s a clever way to hide the hideous screws and make the design look seamless.

However, many people may throw it away, not knowing what it does since Euro Cuisine did not mention it in the manual. Or, it could be easily lost due to its size and how it comes off so readily.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Build Quality

The housing of the Hamilton Beach 26031 is made from brushed stainless steel. All other parts, including the control panel, handle, and raised base, are black plastic. There are rubber feet at the bottom to keep the waffle maker from slipping.

The numerous plastic parts in the 26031’s design are a drawback in terms of durability. The important components like the handle lock, spin lock, and waffle plate latches are made of simple molded plastic. They may not last as long as metal or metal-reinforced parts and are more prone to breakage or cracking.

10

Waffle Plates

10
Euro Cuisine WM520 Waffle Plates
  • Numberof Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Norwegian-style
  • Plate Area:
    50.27 inches2
  • Plate Length:
    8
  • Plate Width:
    8
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The waffle plates are built remarkably well. The patterning on the plates is clear and precise. Within each heart-shaped segment are several “spikes” in the shape of diamonds. They are responsible for creating the wells on the final waffle. Each spike is sharp and well-built.

According to Euro Cuisine, the plates are coated with a layer of non-stick ceramic. Additionally, it’s completely PFOA and PTFE-free. In our test, the coating worked well enough that we never had to deal with a sticky waffle.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Waffle Plates
Hamilton Beach 26031 Waffle Plates 2
Hamilton Beach 26031 Waffle Plates 3
  • Numberof Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Belgian-style
  • Plate Area:
    50.27 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    8 inches
  • Plate Width:
    8 inches
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The set of waffle plates is made from cast aluminum and is coated in a layer of ceramic non-stick (Durathon®). The non-stick layer works excellently. We’ve never had to deal with a stick in all of our tests. Even the batch that came out undercooked and was still semi-liquid didn’t stick to the plates.

With the 26031 model, the two plates are copper-colored. If you get the 26030 model, the plates will be black. The difference between them is purely aesthetic. Both have the same design and identical performance.

Both plates are removable and are dishwasher-safe. You can remove the plates by working the yellow latches at the front of the waffle maker.

9.5

Control Panel

10
The Euro Cuisine WM520 Power Cord Control Panel
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    Yes

The control panel consists of two indicator lights and a browning control knob.

The knob is tactile and makes a satisfying clicking sound as it turns. There are markings on the dial, which correspond to four heating modes.

These amount to a MIN and a MAX  mode. In-between are two unnamed heating modes marked with one and two dots. For easier identification, we named these settings “Medium” and “Medium High,” respectively.

Above the dial are two indicator lights; each one is marked. A red POWER button turns on when you plug in the unit. The yellow READY button at the back will turn on once the plates are heated and ready for use.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Control Panel
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    Yes

For such a nice waffle maker, the control panel is very simplistic.

There are two indicator lights: a red POWER light and a green READY light. The POWER indicator turns on when the waffle maker is plugged in. Once it reaches the optimal cooking temperature, the READY light will illuminate. The latter will continuously cycle on and off during cooking as temperature fluctuates.

A second READY button can be found on the underside of the housing. It’s there for when you flip the waffle maker.

Underneath the indicator lights is the browning control dial. There are four settings: MIN, 1, 2, and 3. Each corresponds to a browning level, with MIN being the lightest and 3 being the darkest.

Power Cord

The Euro Cuisine WM520 Power Cord
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    27.5 inches
  • Cable Management:
    Yes

The power cord is relatively short, measuring around 26.5 inches. You will need an extension cord if it can’t reach an outlet in your kitchen. The user manual has more information on what type of extension cord you can use with the waffle maker.

Underneath the waffle maker is a convenient cord wrap that you can use to make storage simpler.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Power Cord
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    26 inches
  • Cable Management:
    No

The power cord is quite short. It may be inconvenient if your kitchen doesn’t have many power outlets. In that case, an extension cord will prove useful.

N/A

Accessories

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

The Euro Cuisine WM520 doesn’t come with any accessories.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Drip Tray
  • Material:
    Plastic
  • Removable:
    Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The drip tray is removable and goes into a slot directly under the waffle maker’s body. It is made from a lightweight, heat-resistant plastic. The tray is dishwasher-safe.

Ease of Use

6.6
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)
    8.5/10
  • Safety (40%)
    2.5/10
  • Cleanability (25%)
    10/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)
    10/10
9.7
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)
    9.5/10
  • Safety (40%)
    10/10
  • Cleanability (25%)
    9.5/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)
    9.0/10
8.5

Handling

9.5

The Euro Cuisine WM520 is rather straightforward to use. Tune the browning dial to the desired setting, wait for the READY light to come on, then load in the batter. If you have used a waffle maker before, you should be able to do everything without having to consult the user manual.

During our test, the wobbly lid was a point of annoyance. Fortunately, the wobbling motion wasn’t serious enough for it to become an obstruction or an outright safety problem.

The Hamilton Beach 26031 handles well. Opening the waffle maker is simple, and the baking chamber's turning motion is smooth.

The only problem we encountered while testing this model was the lid-locking mechanism. When you flip the waffle maker back and forth, there’s a lock to prevent you from opening the lid during the turn or while it’s upside-down. Sometimes, the lid would remain locked in place even when we flipped the waffle maker upright and returned it to its original position.

Luckily, it’s not a difficult problem to solve. Just jiggle the lid a little, and the lock will disengage.

2.5

Safety

10
The Euro Cuisine WM520 1
The Euro Cuisine WM520 2
The Euro Cuisine WM520 3
  • Top Side Temperature:
    146.8°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    107.6°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    137.8°F

The Euro Cuisine WM520 gets a fairly low score in this section. The entire waffle maker became piping hot after only three cooking sessions.

In particular, the control panel area became so hot that we had to use oven mitts to safely turn the browning control dial. Using a thermometer, we recorded a temperature of 146.8°F. You could receive a burn injury if you held your bare fingers there for only a few seconds.

The temperature at the bottom of the waffle maker was, fortunately, merely warm at 107.6°F.

The handle is our most serious concern. After three cooking sessions, it had already heated up to a toasty 137.8°F. which may result in a minor burn. So, wear your oven mitts while handling the waffle maker.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Safety
Hamilton Beach 26031 Safety 1
Hamilton Beach 26031 Safety 2
Hamilton Beach 26031 Safety 3
  • Top Side Temperature:
     142°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    90°F
  • Handle Temperature:
     88°F

We assessed the safety level of this waffle maker to be high. The top side doesn’t get too hot during or after cooking. Thanks to the elongated handle, you can open and close the lid without heat from the waffle plates radiating onto your hand the way many other models do.

After a few cooking sessions, we recorded a temperature of 152.2°F in the control panel section. It’s merely warm, not hot.

The other parts, like the base and the handle, remained at room temperature. They were perfectly safe to touch.

10

Cleanability

9.5
Euro-Cuisine-WM520-Cleanability

The non-stick layer on the waffle plates makes it very easy to clean. In our performance tests, very little debris or residue was left behind. Any leftover could be easily wiped off with a clean cloth.

In the case of a batter spill: as the exterior of the waffle maker is made from smooth plastic, the dried-out batter doesn’t stick. We only had to apply a little bit of detergent and scrub lightly with a cloth to knock any dried batter traces loose.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Cleanability

In terms of cleanability, the Hamilton Beach 26031 gets a rare near-perfect score.

The included drip tray does a great job at catching spilled waffle batter. Since it is made from smooth plastic, dried batter doesn’t stick to the tray. It can be washed off easily with water alone — no soap required.

You can remove the waffle plates and put them into a dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher, just rinse them with tap water. The non-stick layer should prevent dried batter and debris from collecting, so a cursory wash is usually all that’s needed to get them spick and span again.

We were able to clean the waffle maker’s body and most of its parts with only tissues and a dry cloth. The only section that was a challenge to clean was the space around the waffle-plate latches. Dried batter can infiltrate deep into the tiny details surrounding the latches, making it very hard to clean thoroughly.

10

Indicator Light Visibility

9.0
The Euro Cuisine WM520 Indicator Light Visibility
The Euro Cuisine WM520 Indicator Light Visibility 1

The indicator lights are bright. They can be seen from afar and underneath harsh studio lighting.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Indicator Light Visibility
Hamilton Beach 26031 Indicator Light Visibility 1

All three indicator lights (two on top and one on the bottom) are bright. In low-light or normal lighting conditions, the bulbs can be seen clearly. Even under harsh studio lighting, we still didn’t have any issue with them.