Oster Belgian vs BLACK+DECKER WMB500 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
Oster Belgian Waffle Maker Hands-on Review
BLACK and DECKER Belgian Waffle Maker In-depth Review
Power
1080W
1000W

Our Verdict

5.7
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.0/10
  • Design (20%)
    6.2/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    5.0/10
7.4
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.7/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.7/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    7.7/10

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.

Performance

6.0
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    5.2/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    6.8/10
6.7
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    6.8/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    6.5/10
5.2

Self-Mixed Recipe

6.8
Oster Self-Mixed Recipe
Top
Oster Self-Mixed Bottom Color
Bottom
Oster Self-Mixed Texture
Oster Waffle Maker  Self-Mixed Recipe
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.

BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Self-Mixed Recipe
Top
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Self-Mixed Recipe 1
Bottom
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Self-Mixed Recipe 2
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Self-Mixed Recipe 3
Color: 7
35% * 7 = 2.5
Texture: 5.5
25% * 5.5 = 1.4
Taste: 7.5
40% * 7.5 = 3.0
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The coloration was decent despite the waffle’s wells looking slightly burnt, and some spots on the crust looked undercooked. It received only a passable grade due to having a low aeration rate. Fortunately, it picked up the slack with its tastiness.

Color (7) — 35%

  • Color tone: Very dark brown - Light brown (both)
  • Color distribution: Even

The crust has a very delectable light gold tone around the perimeter and on the raised lines of the waffle pattern. Inside the deep wells, the color has a darker brown color.

The color distribution is great for the waffle. Both sides have relatively similar color tones and gradients.

Texture (5.5) — 25%

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Medium; air bubbles have begun filling the interior of the waffle. However, their sizes were small and their numbers were few

The concentration of air bubbles within the waffle’s core was way less than ideal. Most of the bubbles were concentrated near the crust, leaving the core dense with un-aerated batter. The result is a rather chewy waffle.

Taste (7.5) — 40%

  • Flavor: Sweet with a buttery aftertaste
  • Mouthfeel: Slightly mushy

The waffle tastes great, according to our chef. The BLACK+DECKER WMB500 was able to unlock the potential of the batter, releasing its sweetness and buttery aftertaste. But the mouthfeel was less than ideal due to the dense interior of the waffle. Its chewy texture ruined the tasting experience.

6.8

Birch Benders Mix

6.5
Oster Birch Benders Mix Color
Oster Birch Benders Mix Bottom Color
Oster Birch Benders Mix Texture
Oster Birch Benders Mix Taste
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.

BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Birch Benders Mix
Top
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Birch Benders Mix 1
Bottom
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Birch Benders Mix 2
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Birch Benders Mix 3
Color: 7
35% * 7 = 2.5
Texture: 6
25% * 6 = 1.5
Taste: 6.5
40% * 6.5 = 2.6
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 7 minutes

The waffle has beautiful coloration thanks to its dark golden brown crust. In terms of texture and taste, the waffle was mediocre. It was mushy and chewy inside, and the waffle was a bit too bland. Nonetheless, the waffle should still be good if you're not picky and want a simple, classic breakfast waffle. This waffle maker certainly won't be able to make anything gourmet!

Color (7) — 35%

  • Color tone: Very dark brown - Light brown (both)
  • Color distribution: Even

The waffle looked great to the eyes. The crust had a beautiful light gold color on both sides of the waffle. Inside the wells, the coloring was slightly darker, but not by much. None of the wells were charred.

Texture (6) — 25%

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Medium; air bubbles have begun filling the interior of the waffle. However, their sizes were small and their numbers were few

The aeration level was low. Very few air bubbles or pockets exist within the waffle, resulting in a very crumbly and mealy texture.

Taste (6.5) — 40%

  • Flavor: Sweet with a buttery aftertaste
  • Mouthfeel: Slightly mushy

Flavor-wise, the waffle was mediocre. The sweetness was there, and so was the signature salty taste of the Birch Benders mix. However, our chef assessed that the waffle's flavors didn’t seem fully developed. It’s still a bit too bland, possibly due to the underdeveloped core of the waffle.

Design

6.2
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    4.5/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    8.5/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    9.0/10
8.7
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    9.5/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    0/10

In The Box

Oster Waffle In the Box
  • 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.

BLACK+DECKER WMB500 In The Box
  • BLACK+DECKER WMB500
  • Instruction manual

The waffle maker itself and an instruction manual are the box’s only content.

Dimensions

Oster Waffle Maker Dimension
  • Length:
    10.0" (25.4 cm)
  • Width:
    8.0" (20.3 cm)
  • Height:
    4.0" (10.2 cm)
  • Weight:
    3.2 oz (91 g)

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).

BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Dimensions
  • Length:
    13.1" (33.3 cm)
  • Width:
    10.0" (25.4 cm)
  • Height:
    4.7" (11.9 cm)
  • Weight:
    4.0 oz (113 g)

The WMB500 has roughly the same dimensions as your average Belgian waffle maker. At 4 pounds, it’s not much heavier, as well.

But the special part is that BLACK+DECKER has used a smart trick to make it more compact and easier to store for the user. The rear of the machine is flat so that you can stand the waffle maker up vertically, making storage easier.

4.5

Build Quality

9.5
Oster Waffle Maker Build Quality
Oster Waffle Build Quality

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.

BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Build Quality
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Build Quality 1

The BLACK+DECKER WMB500’s baking chamber is made from stainless steel. While the metallic shine improves its look somewhat, we noticed that the metal is highly prone to fingerprints and smudges. So, to maintain the look, you must scrub down the waffle maker daily.

Except for the baking chamber, every other part of the waffle maker is made from plastic. That includes the handle, the back foot, and the lid hinges. All the components are well-built, and we didn’t find any obvious flaws during our inspection.

8.5

Waffle Plates

10
Oster Waffle Plates
Oster Waffle Maker Plates
  • Numberof Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Belgian-style
  • Plate Area:
    7.8 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    7.1 inches
  • Plate Width:
    7.1 inches
  • 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.

BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Waffle Plates
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Waffle Plates 1
  • 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:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The thing that stood out most to us was the coating on the plates of the WMB500. While most models we have tested have a matte, rough non-stick coating, the ones found on the WMB500’s plates are glossy and smooth. Unfortunately, BLACK+DECKER doesn’t disclose the formula of non-stick it uses for the WMB500. 

But while we can’t tell for certain what the coating is made of, we know that it works very well. We have never once had to deal with a sticky waffle during our performance tests.

9.0

Control Panel

0.0
Oster Waffle Maker Control Panel
  • 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.

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

The BLACK+DECKER WMB500 doesn’t have any control feature except an indicator light at the top.

Power Cord

Oster Waffle Maker Power Cord
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    27.5 inches
  • 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.

BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Power Cord
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    23 inches
  • Cable Management:
    No

The BLACK+DECKER WMB500 comes with a power cord measuring about 23 inches long. It’s quite short, so having an extension cord close at hand.

There is no “official” cable management feature on the waffle maker. You can wrap the cord around the back foot of the machine, but only while it’s staying flat. However, the cord will prevent the waffle maker from standing upright and makes it even more problematic to put into storage. A solution we have found is to simply wrap the cord around the baking chamber.

N/A

Accessories

N/A
  • 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.

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

The BLACK+DECKER WMB500 doesn’t come with any extra accessory.

Ease of Use

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
7.7
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)
    3.0/10
  • Safety (40%)
    9.9/10
  • Cleanability (25%)
    8.0/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)
    10/10
6.5

Handling

3.0

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.

The handling experience of the WMB500 is easy. When lifted, the lid doesn’t wobble like many other models we have tested in this price range.

Notably, when the lid is pushed all the way back, the hinges have a slight dampening force. It can protect you from a recoiling lid when you’re in a hurry and accidentally use too much force to open it.

1.7

Safety

9.9
Oster Waffle Maker Bottom-side temperature
Oster Waffle Maker Handle temperature
Oster Waffle Maker Top-side temperature
  • 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.

BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Safety
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Safety 1
BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Safety 2
  • Top Side Temperature:
    156.7°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    104.2°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    111°F

The BLACK+DECKER WMB500 did excellently in this respect, achieving a near-perfect score. Measuring temperatures at three critical points on the waffle maker—the top side, the bottom, and the handle—the figures are all within acceptable limits.

At the top, above the back foot, and near the indicator light, we measured a temperature of 156.7°F.

The bottom is where most people will hold onto when they need to pick up the waffle maker. Here, we measured a cool temperature of 104.2°F, which is merely warm.

The handle’s temperature was warm, but not uncomfortably so at 111°F.

9.0

Cleanability

8.0
Oster Belgian Cleanability

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.

Cleaning up after a cooking session is fast and easy. Spilled batter can be quickly scraped off from the exterior of the machine. And since the non-stick coating already works pretty well, we only had to pick stray crumbs and pieces of debris off the plates from time to time.

The stainless steel baking chamber is the real issue in this part. As we said earlier, it’s prone to smudges and fingerprints. You will need to clean it regularly if you want to maintain a pristine look for it. Else, it’s going to lose its luster in a week or two and look very worn.

4.5

Indicator Light Visibility

10
Oster Indicator Light Visibility

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.

BLACK+DECKER WMB500 Indicator Light Visibility

The light is decently bright and is visible even under studio lighting.