Oster Belgian vs CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini 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
Mini Waffle Maker Review In-depth Review
Power
1080W
0W

Our Verdict

5.7
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.0/10
  • Design (20%)
    6.2/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    5.0/10
6.8
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.2/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.8/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.6/10

The Oster Belgian waffle maker is considered an “ultra-affordable” waffle maker. It seems to be designed around the singular concept of being as cheap as possible. And, of course, that means compromises.

It delivered some of the worst cooking performances in our test database. Its design is also lacking, having loose lid hinges, exposed wirings, and cracked plastic parts. Overall, we’re not too impressed by it.

On the other hand, the Crownful 4-inch mini waffle maker is a solid machine for the price. Although its cooking performance is unremarkable, it’s still sufficient for making breakfasts and other light meals. Build quality is also solid. Unlike on the Oster, we didn’t find any design or manufacturing issues on the Crownful.

Thus, if you’re on the fence between these two models, we highly recommend getting the Crownful. But if you have reservations about its mini size and would like a full-size model, we recommend getting models other than the Oster. For now, it is not a good purchase.

Performance

6.0
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    5.2/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    6.8/10
6.2
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    7.1/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    5.3/10
5.2

Self-Mixed Recipe

7.1
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.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Self-Mixed Recip
Top
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Self-Mixed Recip 1
Bottom
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Self-Mixed Recip 2
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Self-Mixed Recip 3
Color: 7.25
35% * 7.25 = 2.5
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Our chef gave the CF-WM01's waffle a good score, citing the beautiful, lightly browned crust. The waffle's texture was soft, thanks to a decent aeration rate. But the waffle was still developing, and the air pockets hadn't expanded to their maximum size. Our chef also gave the waffle a good score in the taste section but didn't rate it highly as the waffle has a slightly cloying taste of the raw batter.

Color (35%) — 7.25/10

  • Color tone: Dark brown (Top) — Light brown (Bottom)
  • Color distribution: Uneven

The crust has an appealing shade of light golden brown. Within the deep wells on the waffle, the colors are darker, turning to a light golden brown.

We noticed the wells at the top of the waffle tend to be darker than the bottom. On some tests, the wells on the top side looked like they were charred, while the bottom remained lightly colored. This inconsistent heating pattern alludes to an unbalanced heating grid.

Texture (25%) - 7/10

  • Texture: Soft in most parts, but mushy in certain spots
  • Aeration level: Medium

The waffle’s interior has a medium aeration rate, and several air bubbles can be observed in its core. But since the bubbles were still developing, much of the waffle’s core was still solid and mushy. The mushy spots of under-developed batter stood out as an annoying contrast to the otherwise soft and spongy waffle.

Taste (40%) - 7/10

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

Taste wise, our chef judged the waffle to have a good blend of flavors: sweet and savory. But the mushy mouthfeel was a turn-off that ultimately resulted in the Crownful getting only a Good score in this section.

6.8

Birch Benders Mix

5.3
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.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix
Top
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix 1
Bottom
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix 2
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Birch Benders Mix 3
Color: 4.5
35% * 4.5 = 1.6
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 5
40% * 5 = 2.0
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The waffle was light colored and mushy when we picked it up from the plates. It was clear this test was a bust from the start. But surprisingly, while coloration and texture were discouraging, the waffle's flavor was decent. It saved the otherwise mediocre waffle from failing the test.

Color (35%) — 4.5/10

  • Color tone: Pale 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 not up to the mark.

Texture (25%) - 7/10

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

The waffle’s interior developed well. Slicing it in half, we saw prominent air bubbles and pockets inside. It should have resulted in a soft, fluffy waffle. Unfortunately, the waffle has a lot of moisture, making it limp and mushy. We let it rest for 5 minutes to see if it would get better, but the texture did not improve.

Taste (40%) - 5/10

  • Flavor: Distinctly savory and sweet
  • Mouthfeel: Very mushy

The waffle maker did a great job developing the waffle’s flavor profile. That was despite the lackluster color and texture. Our chef judged it tasty, with a distinct savory note, from the pre-made batter mix.

But while the taste was great, the mouthfeel was subpar due to the mushy texture 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
8.8
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    10/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    9.5/10
  • 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.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini In The Box
  • Crownful CF-WM01 waffle maker
  • Instruction manual
  • Warranty card

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).

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Dimensions
  • Length:
    5.7" (14.5 cm)
  • Width:
    5.1" (13.0 cm)
  • Height:
    3.1" (8.0 cm)
  • Weight:
    1.0 oz (28 g)

The Crownful lives up to expectations when it comes to compactness. You can easily fit the waffle maker inside a cupboard or a traveler’s backpack or duffel bag.

4.5

Build Quality

10
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.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Build Quality
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Build Quality 1
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Build Quality 2
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Build Quality 3

Since it is such a cheap waffle maker, we didn’t have high expectations of its build quality when we first received it in the lab. It was a pleasant surprise when we unboxed the waffle maker and found its build quality to be so good.

The top lid is made from textured plastic and has a pattern of raised, concentric circles. Contrasting the black paint of our unit is the light-colored wooden handle at the front, inscribed with the company’s name.

The build quality of the unit’s interior is also good. The lid hinges are solid, and the waffle plates are immaculate.

8.5

Waffle Plates

9.5
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.

  • Numberof Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Classic-style
  • Plate Area:
    12.57 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    4 inches
  • Plate Width:
    4 inches
  • Material:
    Cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The cooking area of the plates is nestled inside a raised moat, which acts as an anti-spill channel. It is slightly offset from the moat, creating a fascinating “Hawaiian earring” pattern.

Although the anti-spill channel is meant to catch excess batter and prevent it from spilling out of the machine while cooking, it doesn't work well in practice. The channel is very shallow, so it has very little value unless the spill is minor.

The plates are coated with a layer of non-stick, which works well enough. We have never had trouble scooping out a finished waffle during our 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:
    Yes

The waffle maker doesn’t come with any control feature. There is an indicator light at the top, which lights up when it’s plugged in, then turns off once the plates have been heated and are ready for use.

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.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Power Cord
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    31.5 inches
  • Cable Management:
    No

The power cable is very long at 31.5 inches, making it an even more attractive option for travelers who may not always have convenient access to power outlets. For those at home, the longer cord means you’ll most likely be able to skip using an extension cord (unless your kitchen has very odd outlet placement.)

But the longer cord can be a problem when it comes to storing the waffle maker, especially when it doesn’t have any cable management feature.

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 Crownful waffle maker doesn't come with any 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
6.6
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)
    8.5/10
  • Safety (40%)
    2.5/10
  • Cleanability (25%)
    10/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)
    10/10
6.5

Handling

8.5

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.

As it doesn’t have any control features, all you have to do is plug it in. The waffle maker will handle the rest. Once the waffle plates are heated up, the indicator light at the top will turn off. That’s the signal to pour in the batter. Wait out the cooking time for however long you want, then lift the lid and extract the finished waffle.

The opening and closing motion of the lid is smooth, thanks to the solid lid hinges.

1.7

Safety

2.5
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.

CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Safety
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Safety 1
CROWNFUL 4-inch Mini Safety 2
  • Top Side Temperature:
    187.9°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    129.6°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    188.4°F

The Crownful has an abysmal safety score. But it’s worth noting that the faults don’t lie with the manufacturer. Like most mini-sized waffle makers, the whole unit has bad insulation because of its small size. After one or two cooking sessions, every surface on the machine will become piping hot: It is unavoidable. Unfortunately, since this is what we measure to determine a waffle maker’s safety score, the Crownful failed miserably in this test portion.

Using a thermometer, we measured the temperature of the waffle maker’s top side, which was 187.9°F.

The bottom side was warm, measuring 129.6°F. It’s still safe to the touch. However, it’s better to wear oven mitts while handling the waffle maker.

The handle was scorching hot at 188.4°F. The hot handle, combined with the hot steam surging from the plates, makes wearing oven mitts a must. The heat is intense enough to instantly cause a burn injury.

9.0

Cleanability

10
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.

The Crownful is easy to clean, both from within  and outside. The non-stick coated plates only need a few scrubs with a clean, dry cloth to remove batter residues or waffle debris.

The exterior of the waffle maker, made from a type of smooth plastic, doesn’t grip onto the dried batter. We left spilled batter to dry on the exterior of the waffle maker for a day. We were able to scour it off with a few spritzes of detergent and a cloth without any difficulty when we cleaned it the next day.

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.

The indicator light at the top was decently bright. We could see it even under studio lighting.