Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B 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
Holstein Housewares Mini Waffle Maker In-depth Review
Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian Waffle Maker In-depth Review
Power
350W
800W

Our Verdict

6.5
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.3/10
  • Design (20%)
    7.0/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.5/10
8.3
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.9/10
  • Design (20%)
    9.7/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    9.7/10

The Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B is a mini waffle maker. It has a lightweight and super-compact form factor that’s about the size of a softball. The mini design makes it a popular choice for travelers since it can fit snugly in a backpack for freshly-baked waffles on the go.

Its small 4-inch waffles also make for great mid-day snacks or a quick breakfast at home.

Meanwhile, the Hamilton Beach 26031 has a more traditional, full-size design. It makes larger 7-inch waffles.

According to our performance tests, both waffle makers did their job well. The Hamilton Beach 26031 had a higher score and made tastier waffles overall. Meanwhile, the Holstein only got a passing grade.

Not to mention how the Hamilton Beach 26031 is far more premium with its stainless steel baking chamber, while the Holstein has an all-plastic design.

Performance

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

Self-Mixed Recipe

6.8
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Self-Mixed Recipe
Top
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Self-Mixed Recipe 1
Bottom
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Self-Mixed Recipe 2
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Self-Mixed Recipe 3
Color: 5.75
35% * 5.75 = 2.0
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 6.5
40% * 6.5 = 2.6
  • Heat Level: 3
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The coloration was decent but looked slightly burnt. The interior was filled nicely with bubbles and softened, though it was still mushy. As for the taste, the waffle only received a mediocre score from our chef, on account of its mushy core and slightly bland taste.

Color (35%) — 5.75/10

  • Color tone: Very dark brown
  • Color distribution: Uneven

Most of the waffle’s crust was a light gold color but within the deep wells are dark brown spots that indicate overcooking. Several of the wells were darkened beyond the point of “overcooked” and into “burnt” territory.

The color distribution is messy. The upper left-hand side is darker than the rest, which is a symptom of an uneven heating grid.

Texture (25%) - 7/10

  • Texture: Soft and fluffy, but still slightly mushy
  • Aeration level: High, with multiple air bubbles and pockets within the waffle’s core

Texturally, the waffle had filled out nicely with bubbles and air pockets all through its interior. This resulted in a decently soft and airy consistency. But our chef assessed the interior to be excessively moist and mushy still, resulting in only a “Good” score.

Taste (40%) - 6.5/10

  • Flavor: Sweet and buttery, but has off-tastes from burnt spots on the crust (bitter) and undercooked spots in the interior (raw batter taste)
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and fluffy, dry at burnt spots, and mushy on the inside

The overall taste was flavorful. The waffle’s flavor profile was sweet and buttery. However, burnt spots on the crust imparted a slightly bitter taste. And within the waffle, the mushy, undercooked spots also gave the waffle a raw batter-like taste. They effectively ruined the overall tasting experience.

In the mouth, the waffle was generally soft and spongy, but it wasn’t a consistent experience. Burnt spots on the crust felt dry on the tongue. And the undercooked portions within the waffle’s interior were disconcertingly wet and mushy.

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.

6.3

Birch Benders Mix

7.1
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Birch Benders Mix
Top
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Birch Benders Mix 1
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Birch Benders Mix 2
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Birch Benders Mix 3
Color: 5.25
35% * 5.25 = 1.8
Texture: 6.5
25% * 6.5 = 1.6
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Though the waffle may not be the most attractive or have the best texture, it was edible and, most importantly, quite tasty. It would do the trick for breakfasts or snacking.

Color (35%) — 5.25/10

  • Color tone: Very light gold (Both)
  • Color distribution: Even

The waffle had a very light gold crust, with the deep wells having a dark brown tone. Although the color distribution on both sides of the waffle was even, we noticed the wells at the top to be more erratically colored. Notably, some wells are darker than others. This may indicate that the top lid's heating element is slightly unbalanced.

Texture (25%) - 6.5/10

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

The waffle’s texture was acceptable. It had a medium aeration rate, and air pockets had populated the waffle’s interior. But many portions of the waffle were still quite dense. These thick, mealy parts significantly affected the overall texture.

Taste (40%) - 7/10

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

The flavor was well-developed. Our chef appreciated the sweet and slightly savory taste of the waffle. The tasting experience was impacted by the mushy mouthfeel of the underdeveloped parts, though.

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

7.0
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    7.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    9.5/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    0/10
9.7
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    9.5/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    10/10

In The Box

Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B In The Box
  • Holstein Housewares 4” Personal Waffle Maker
  • User manual

The box contains the waffle maker itself and the instruction manual.

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

Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Dimensions
  • Length:
    5.1" (13.0 cm)
  • Width:
    6.5" (16.5 cm)
  • Height:
    3.5" (9.0 cm)
  • Weight:
    1.1 oz (31 g)

The Holstein 4-inch waffle maker fits perfectly into the Mini class size, weighing only one pound and compact enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Its compact, lightweight design may put it on the radar of hikers and travelers who want a portable waffle maker to cook on the go.

For those at home, the small size takes up very little space on the countertop. And when you have to put it away for storage, it can fit easily into a cupboard or a drawer.

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.

7.0

Build Quality

9.5
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Build Quality

The build quality of the Holstein 4-inch is acceptable.

It is made almost entirely from plastic except for the cast-aluminum waffle plates. The plastic shell feels far cheaper than some other waffle makers we have tested that are made of metal. And of course, compared to metal, plastic can be more prone to damage, too. Still, at this price point, we can't ask for more.

Certain parts of the waffle maker are very well-built. The lid hinges, for example, are solid and don't wobble a lot when opened or closed.

But when inspected closely, various manufacturing flaws reflect this waffle maker's budget price. We observed hideous gashes on the plastic at the back of the unit and exposed electrical wirings.

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.

9.5

Waffle Plates

10
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Waffle Plates
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Waffle Plates 1
  • Numberof Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Classic-style
  • Plate Area:
    17.72 inches2
  • Plate Length:
    4.75 inches
  • Plate Width:
    4.75 inche
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The waffle maker has a set of two cast-aluminum waffle plates. They are treated with a layer of smooth non-stick that, throughout our performance test, seemed to work very well. We never had to deal with a sticky waffle, and we could easily wipe off debris and residues.

Surrounding the plates is a small anti-spill channel. It will help minimize the mess in the event of a minor batter spill.

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.

0.0

Control Panel

10
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    No

The Holstein 4-inch waffle maker doesn’t come with a control panel. The only thing it has is an indicator light at the top. When you plug the unit in, the light will brighten to indicate that it is receiving power. Once the plates are heated and ready for use, the light will turn off.

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

Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Power Cord
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    25 inches
  • Cable Management:
    Yes

The power cord measures roughly 25 inches long, which is shorter than average compared to other models in our database. Some users may have to rely on an extension cord.

Integrated to the back foot of the waffle maker is a small grommet. When you have to put the waffle maker away into storage, you can wrap the cord around it for easier management.

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 Holstein 4-inch waffle maker does not 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

6.5
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)
    9.0/10
  • Safety (40%)
    1.8/10
  • 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
9.0

Handling

9.5

Since the waffle maker lacks any control feature, the Holstein is a “plug-and-play” device. You only need to plug it in and let it handle the rest.

We can open and close the lid smoothly. When pushed back, the lid leans at an angle. As a result, there’s no risk of it unexpectedly snapping shut on your hand while you’re pouring the batter.

However, the lack of a control panel greatly reduces the waffle maker’s versatility.

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.

1.8

Safety

10
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Safety
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Safety 1
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Safety 2
  • Top Side Temperature:
    234°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    85°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    105°F

The waffle maker doesn’t do well in our safety assessment. It suffers from the same all-surface heating issue as the other mini waffle makers that we have tested. Particularly, after two or three cooking sessions, every surface on the unit becomes piping hot, including the handle. It warrants wearing oven mitts throughout the entire process.

But with our thermometer, the waffle maker fared significantly worse than any other mini waffle makers we have tested.

The top lid measured 219°F. This is hot enough to cause a serious burn injury.

The bottom is considered warm at 113.7°F, which is great if you need to move the waffle maker immediately after cooking. However, we still recommend wearing your oven mitts when you touch the unit, just in case.

At 160.7°F, the handle is unacceptably hot.

We also noticed a problem with steam. After a few cooking sessions and when the plates are thoroughly heated, a plume of hot steam can eject from the plates whenever the lid is lifted. It’s not going to seriously injure, but it can be startling if you’re unprepared or aren’t wearing oven mitts to insulate your hands.

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
Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B Cleanability

The waffle maker has excellent cleanability from a variety of factors. The non-stick waffle plates are helpful during post-cooking clean-ups. Any cooking residue can be easily wiped off with a cloth. And if there were to be a batter spill, the anti-spill channel surrounding the plates will minimize the amount of batter ending up on the table.

As it is made from smooth plastic, the exterior of the waffle maker doesn’t grip the batter tightly. So, even after the batter had dried out, we could quickly deal with it with a few spritzes of light detergent followed by a little buffing with a cloth.

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 sole indicator light on top of the lid is fairly bright. We could easily observe it from afar, under 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.