Oster Belgian vs Nostalgia MWF5AQ 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
Nostalgia Mini Waffle Maker Review In-depth Review
Power
1080W
550W

Our Verdict

5.7
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.0/10
  • Design (20%)
    6.2/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    5.0/10
6.7
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.3/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.4/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    6.3/10

The Oster Belgian waffle maker and the Nostalgia MWF5AQ belong to a class we call “ultra-affordable.” They’re the cheapest in their respective classes.

But, looking at the test results for the two models, it’s clear that not all cheap waffle makers are built the same.

The Nostalgia MWF5AQ mini waffle maker has a markedly better cooking performance than the Oster Belgian. Both sides of the 4-inch waffles were relatively even, and while the texture and taste weren’t spectacular, they were acceptable for the price.

Meanwhile, the Oster Belgian waffle maker can make larger 7-inch waffles. However, due to an unstable heating element, the finished waffle usually had bad coloration. It could be cooked on one side, but undercooked on the other. Our chef also rated the texture and taste of Oster’s waffles to be mediocre.

Overall, between the two, we lean more toward the Nostalgia MWF5AQ.

Performance

6.0
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    5.2/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    6.8/10
6.3
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    6.8/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    5.9/10
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.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Self-Mixed Recipe
Top
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Self-Mixed Recipe 1
Bottom
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Self-Mixed Recipe 3
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Self-Mixed Recipe 2
Color: 6.5
35% * 6.5 = 2.3
Texture: 6
25% * 6 = 1.5
Taste: 7.5
40% * 7.5 = 3.0
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 6 minutes

The crust’s coloration was decent, with an appealing light brown color throughout. Within the wells were some dark brown burnt spots. They weren’t charred, but they still introduced a slight bitterness to the waffle. The texture was soft and fluffy, thanks to a high aeration rate. And taste-wise, our chef rated it as flavorful but held back from giving it a higher score due to the bitterness from the burnt spots.

Color (35%) — 6.5/10

  • Color tone: Light brown (Both)
  • Color distribution: Even

On the whole, the waffle had good coloration. The outer crust was light brown, with most of the darker spots concentrated inside the wells. Though it had a slightly mottled appearance, we still considered the waffle’s coloration to be uniform.

Texture (25%) - 6/10

  • Texture: Good
  • Aeration level: High - air bubbles were plentiful and well-sized within the waffle

The interior of the waffle was fully developed and aerated, resulting in a soft, fluffy core. Large air bubbles and pockets could be seen throughout the waffle’s interior.

Taste (40%) - 7.5/10

  • Flavor: Rich and sweet, slightly bitter
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and fluffy

Our chef described it as having a rich, sweet taste. Although the burnt spots on the crust introduced a slight bitterness to the waffle’s flavor profile, it was still delicious. Hence, the waffle received a good score in this section.

6.8

Birch Benders Mix

5.9
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.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Birch Benders Mix
Top
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Birch Benders Mix 1
Bottom
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Birch Benders Mix 2
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Birch Benders Mix 3
Color: 5
35% * 5 = 1.8
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 6
40% * 6 = 2.4
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 8 minutes

Though the pale coloration of the waffle didn't look great, the texture and taste were decent. It was soft and pliant with a taste that—while not gourmet—was good enough for breakfasts and light snacks.

Color (35%) — 5/10

  • Color tone: Pale gold (Both)
  • Color distribution: Even

The crust had a very light gold tone, with the pockets being slightly darker. Because the color was too light with the same tone as undercooked batter, we didn’t rate the waffle highly in this section.

Texture (25%) - 7/10

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

The overall texture was acceptable but certainly could have been better. We found several air bubbles throughout the cake's core when cutting the waffle open. They were small and had inconsistent distribution, resulting in a soft but spongy waffle.

Taste (40%) - 6/10

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

Our chef rated the Nostalgia’s performance in this test as “Good.” The full flavor of the Birch Benders mix was extracted: we got a sweet, slightly salty taste profile in this waffle. But where it fell short was in the mouthfeel. Though it was indeed soft, its mushiness affected the overall experience greatly.

Design

6.2
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    4.5/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    8.5/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    9.0/10
8.4
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    9.0/10
  • 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.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ In The Box
  • Nostalgia MWF5AQ MyMini waffle maker
  • Instruction manuals

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).

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Dimensions
  • Length:
    6.8" (17.1 cm)
  • Width:
    6.5" (16.5 cm)
  • Height:
    3.5" (8.9 cm)
  • Weight:
    1.3 oz (35 g)

True to its name, the Nostalgia MWF5AQ has a lightweight and compact design. The waffle maker weighs 1.25 pounds and is small enough to fit in one’s palm. Consequently, Nostalgia has focused a lot on travelers and hikers in their marketing for the MWF5AQ as they may enjoy having a waffle maker that is small enough to fit in their backpacks or luggage.

4.5

Build Quality

9.0
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.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Build Quality
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Build Quality 1
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Build Quality 2

The Nostalgia waffle maker has a solid build quality for the price. Although its plastic construction makes it look and feel quite cheap, every part is built and finished well. The coloring on the lid is vibrant, the lid hinges are solid and don’t wobble, and we didn’t find any significant design or build-related issues.

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.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Waffle Plates
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Waffle Plates 1
  • Numberof Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Classic-style
  • Plate Area:
    15.9 inches2
  • Plate Length:
    4.5 inches
  • Plate Width:
    4.5 inches
  • Material:
    Die-cast aluminum
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The waffle plates are Belgian-style and are coated with a layer of non-stick. Nostalgia didn’t disclose the chemical composition of the non-stick layer. Nevertheless, throughout our performance tests, the coating held up well. We have never had to deal with a sticky waffle.

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 Nostalgia MWF5AQ has a single indicator light at the top. It does not have any additional control features.

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.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Power Cord
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    8.2 inches
  • Cable Management:
    Yes

The power cord only measures around 8 inches long. As such, you will most likely need an extension cord.

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 Nostalgia waffle maker does not come with any accessories.

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
6.3
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)
    7.5/10
  • Safety (40%)
    2.5/10
  • Cleanability (25%)
    9.5/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)
    10/10
6.5

Handling

7.5

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.

Working with the Nostalgia waffle maker is easy. Since the waffle maker has no control feature, most people won’t need to read the instruction manuals before getting started.

The lid can be opened and closed smoothly, and the hinges are solid enough that the top doesn’t jiggle or sway too much from side to side.

Like most mini waffle makers, its small size means the surfaces on the unit heat up to dangerous temperatures after a while. So, oven mitts are a must for handling the waffle maker.

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.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Safety
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Safety 1
Nostalgia MWF5AQ Safety 2
  • Top Side Temperature:
    169.9°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    127.9°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    149.2°F

Due to its small size, the waffle maker’s surfaces heat up quickly. So, every surface—from top to bottom—got dangerously hot.

We also noticed the Nostalgia having the same problem as other mini-size waffle makers: hot steam. After a cooking session, a hot plume of steam wafts upward from the plates when you open the lid. The flash of pain can be startling if you’re unprepared and may cause you to drop the lid, potentially damaging the waffle plates.

As such, you should always wear oven mitts while operating this waffle maker (Nostalgia included this point in the safety section in the user’s manual).

At the top of the lid, the temperature measured around 170°F.

9.0

Cleanability

9.5
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.

Nostalgia MWF5AQ Cleanability

The non-stick plates help a lot with the clean-up afterward. Since the batter and the waffle didn’t stick to the plates, we only had to wipe lightly with a cloth to remove the debris and residues.

But because it’s so small, there were waffle spills from time to time. But thanks to the outer shell of the waffle maker being made from smooth plastic, which doesn’t grip onto batter tightly, they can be cleaned with just a cloth and mild detergent.

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 waffle maker’s sole indicator light is bright. We could observe it easily from afar as well as under harsh studio lighting.