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.
Considering the affordability of this model, we didn’t expect it to have a very premium design from the get-go. The design assessment confirmed it. The waffle maker has a cheap-feeling plastic housing, so it definitely won’t be the most good-looking model you’ll have come across. Despite the mediocre appearance, the build quality is very good: the lid hinges are solid, and the waffle plates are well-built.
Like many other mini models, the Holstein waffle maker lacks a control panel.
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.
The Holstein 4-inch Waffle Maker is user-friendly. Much of the operation is simplified due to the lack of a control panel.
Once the indicator light at the top shuts off, pour in your batter and wait until your waffle is cooked to your liking. Due to its compact size, all of the surfaces on the waffle maker become piping hot after a few cooking sessions, so make sure to wear oven mitts while handling it. It’s because of this reason that the Holstein doesn’t score very well in our safety tests.
Cleaning the waffle maker after cooking is easy. The plastic housing doesn’t grip aggressively onto the dried batter, and the waffle plates’ non-stick coating ensures that it’s a mess-less affair.
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.
Though our chef was satisfied with the waffle's quality and noted it as “decent”, it didn’t stand out from the other mini models in our test.
Pros & Cons
- Performs decently in our test with Birch Benders mix
- Fairly compact design makes for easier storage
- Responsive temperature control dial
- Highly affordable
- Compact size and lightweight
- Handling is simple and smooth
- Acceptable build quality
- Excellent cleanability 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
- Mediocre cooking performance with our self-mixed recipe
- Cheap-looking design
- Lacks a control panel
- Safety rating is very low
Although it is larger and more expensive, the Oster Belgian delivered one of the worst cooking performances in our tests. The unit we received at the lab has very unstable heating elements. Their erratic heating patterns caused the test waffles to look and taste bad. One side of the waffle would be burnt, while the other would still be undercooked. Texture tended to be mushy and taste bland.
The Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B fared better in our tests. Its performance wasn’t spectacular, but at least its waffles were relatively even, and its texture and taste were acceptable.
Another thing worth mentioning: the Holstein Housewares HH-09125016B is a mini waffle maker, while the Oster Belgian waffle maker is a full-size model. The former can only cook 4-inch waffles, while the latter cooks 7-inch waffles.
Still, even if you’re looking for a full-size Belgian waffle maker, other models are just as cheap as the Oster while performing far better!
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.
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.
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.