The flimsy craftsmanship of the waffle maker became immediately evident, with exposed electrical wires and poorly put-together details.
Fortunately, the non-stick Teflon plates proved to be a saving grace. They worked very well and saved us quite some time and effort during the clean-up. We also like the clicky, tactile browning control dial on the Oster waffle maker’s control panel. It’s quite satisfying to use.
The BLACK+DECKER WMB500 has a simplistic, blocky design—typical of an entry-level waffle maker. It looks quite similar to the Cuisinart WMR-CA, which is in the same price range.
However, its stainless steel baking chamber adds a shiny touch to the otherwise mundane look, making for a visually pleasing aesthetic overall.
Despite its low price point, the construction quality is great. The only downside is the noticeable absence of a control panel. Rather than buttons or the like, an indicator light at the top alerts you when your waffle is ready to eat.
The Oster waffle maker struggled greatly during our safety tests. After a couple of cooking sessions, we noticed that every surface of the machine became dangerously hot. This, combined with its mediocre build quality and many build quality issues like exposed wiring in the back, pushed us to give it a failing grade.
The control panel indicator lights were very hard to read under bright light, leaving us with an awkward handling experience.
Its only redeeming factor is cleanability. The plates are easy to clean off, thanks to their non-stick coating. The materials of the body also don’t grip onto the batter, so we were able to wipe it down just with some mild detergent and a soft cloth.
It’s simple to start with the BLACK+DECKER WMB500, mostly because it doesn’t have a control panel. Most of BLACK+DECKER’s budget-friendly offerings don’t have a control panel (case in point, the BLACK+DECKER Double waffle maker.)
All you need to do is plug it in and wait for the power light to go off, signaling that it's ready for use. Pour in your batter, wait for the waffle to cook, then lift the lid and extract your waffle.
The waffle maker did excellently in both fields regarding cleanability and safety.
The Oster waffle maker failed to impress in both waffle test recipes. All the waffles we baked with it were undercooked or burnt. Even after a dozen different test sessions, we still haven’t seen a waffle that’s right between these extremes baked by the Oster.
Taste is a game of chance with the Oster waffle maker, but it often disappoints more than pleases.
The BLACK+DECKER WMB500 displayed impressive cooking performance across both test recipes. The resulting waffles weren't restaurant-level quality, but certainly more than enough for a healthy homemade breakfast. It’ll be an ideal choice for families who simply need a reliably good option for breakfast.
Pros & Cons
- Performs decently in our test with Birch Benders mix
- Fairly compact design makes for easier storage
- Responsive temperature control dial
- Affordable pricing
- Decent cooking performance across both test recipes
- Good-looking stainless steel baking chamber
- The lid can dampen the force of a strong push, preventing the lid from accidentally snapping close to the user’s hand
- The non-stick coating on the waffle plates works very well
- Excellent safety rating
- Unremarkable performance in our test with our self-mixed waffle batter
- Bad build quality
- Exposed electronics could be safety hazards
- Very dim indicator lights
- Lacks control panel
- The stainless steel baking chamber needs regular cleaning to look its best
The Oster Belgian waffle maker and the BLACK+DECKER WMB500 are considered “affordable” models. On the market, they’re priced similarly (with the WMB500 being slightly pricier.)
In this case, we highly recommend spending some extra on the BLACK+DECKER WMB500.
Our performance tests have put the WMB500 at a much higher ranking than the Oster Belgian waffle maker. While the quality of the waffles it made wasn’t gourmet, the WMB500 was still able to produce some tasty waffles suitable for breakfasts and light snacking.
The Oster Belgian waffle maker has very unstable heating elements, causing the waffle to cook unevenly. One side can have a brown, cooked tone, while the other is still lightly colored and undercooked.
For this reason alone, you should pick the BLACK+DECKER WMB500.
Behind the Comparison
Matthew Lee is a writer and editor for HealthyKitchen101. With over 8 years working for various outlets and agencies, specializing in tech review and other subjects of note, such as current affairs.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef passionate about delicious and healthful foods. At HealthyKitchen101, she develops recipes and collaborates with our Research, Testing, and Review lab to evaluate the performance of cooking appliances. Her assessments add a strong authoritative voice to our product scoring process.
Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.