Presto Flipside Belgian vs Hamilton Beach 26031 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 Dec 8, 2022
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
Updated Dec 8, 2022
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker In-depth Review
Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian Waffle Maker In-depth Review
Power
1100W
800W

Our Verdict

7.3
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.5/10
  • Design (20%)
    6.6/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    9.2/10
8.3
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    6.9/10
  • Design (20%)
    9.7/10
  • Ease of Use (30%)
    9.7/10

Both the Presto Flipside Belgian and the Hamilton Beach 26031 are mid-range models. So, they come with features cheaper waffle makers don't have.

For example, both have flippable baking chambers, but how they do it differs. The Hamilton Beach 26031 rotates on an axis. Meanwhile, the Presto Flipside will require you to "flip" the baking chamber 180° from one side to the other using the handle.

The Hamilton Beach 26031 has a full control panel with a browning control dial - the Presto doesn't. Instead, it comes with a timer for you to time the cooking process.

In terms of performance, though, the Hamilton Beach 26031 is the better of the two. The Presto has the unfortunate tendency to overcook its waffles. During our tests, most of its waffles sported a noticeably dark, almost burnt appearance.

Performance

6.5
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    6.0/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    7.0/10
6.9
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    6.8/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    7.1/10
6.0

Self-Mixed Recipe

6.8
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker (03510) Self-Mixed Recipe
Top
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker (03510) Self-Mixed Recipe
Bottom
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker (03510) Self-Mixed Recipe Texture
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker (03510) Self-Mixed Recipe Texture 1
Color: 5.5
35% * 5.5 = 1.9
Texture: 6
25% * 6 = 1.5
Taste: 6.5
40% * 6.5 = 2.6
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The Presto waffle maker did a mediocre job in this test. The crust was overdone, as evidenced by the dark coloring of the crust. Though there were quite a few air bubbles and cavities in the waffle’s interior, they weren’t large enough to give it the ideal consistency we were looking for. As for the taste, the bitterness of the carbonized crust carried over the tongue with each bite due to the burnt crust.

Color (35%) — 5.5/10

  • Color tone: Charred black (Both)
  • Color distribution: Even

The Presto has very strong heating elements. Combined with the lack of any temperature control function, the outer crust of the waffle was close to being burnt. The wells on the waffle have very dark brown coloring. Some of which were approaching the point of blackening.

The bottom of the waffle was lighter in color, but the wells were still dark brown.

Texture (25%) - 6/10

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Low; the aeration process had begun, but the air bubbles were still too small

The intense heat cooked the batter enough to kick-start the aeration process. But, by the 5-minute mark, the air bubbles were still tiny. Excess moisture was still present inside the waffle, making the waffle very mushy.

Taste (40%) - 6.5/10

  • Flavor: Sweet and buttery, but bitter from the overcooked crust
  • Mouthfeel: Dry on the outside, mushy on the inside

The desired sweetness of the sugar and the buttery aftertaste of the batter was there. But unfortunately, the bitterness of the charred spots on the crust ruined the tasting experience.

The crust felt dry on the tongue, which was an off-putting contrast against the mushy core.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Self-Made Recipe Top
Top
Hamilton Beach 26031 Self-Made Recipe Bottom
Bottom
Hamilton Beach 26031 Self-Made Recipe Texture
Hamilton Beach 26031 Self-Made Recipe Taste
Color: 6.3
35% * 6.3 = 2.2
Texture: 7
25% * 7 = 1.8
Taste: 7
40% * 7 = 2.8
  • Heat Level: Between 1 and 2
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Right away, we assessed the color of the waffle to be fairly disappointing. The color distribution was uneven, with light and dark spots mingling randomly on the crust. Texturally, the waffle was also unremarkable. The aeration rate was minimal, resulting in a rather dense waffle. But scoring picked up slightly in the taste department. Our chef rated the Hamilton Beach’s waffle sufficiently tasty for breakfasts and other light meals.

Color (35%) —6.3/10

  • Color result: Dark brown (Both)
  • Color distribution: Even

Both sides have roughly the same color shading. However, as a whole, both sides have uneven coloration. We noticed one side of the waffle tends to be more cooked than the rest of the waffle to the point of having a dark brown tone. Fortunately, this discolored patch wasn’t so cooked that it’s charred.

Dark spots tend to concentrate inside the wells of the waffle, too, giving the waffle a mottled appearance.

Texture (25%) — 7/10

  • Texture: Excellent
  • Aeration level: High, the interior was filled with large air cavities

The waffle’s interior doesn’t aerate well. Cutting it open, we observed the core to have a very dense structure with few air bubbles. The result is a sub-par waffle with a mushy texture rather than a soft, fluffy consistency like we hoped.

Taste (40%) — 7/10

  • Flavor: Sweet with hints of bitterness at charred spots
  • Mouthfeel: Soft, dry at charred spots

The taste was great, according to our chef. The Hamilton Beach 26031 was able to bring out the full flavor profile of the recipe. The waffle was buttery and sweet, with a hint of saltiness. Unfortunately, our chef assessed that it hadn't reached the point of being "restaurant-quality". Still, it will suffice for people wanting to cook quick breakfasts with this waffle maker.

7.0

Birch Benders Mix

7.1
Presto Flipside Belgian Birch Benders Mix
Presto Flipside Belgian Birch Benders Mix 1
Presto Flipside Belgian Birch Benders Mix 2
Presto Flipside Belgian Birch Benders Mix 3
Color: 7.25
35% * 7.25 = 2.5
Texture: 5
25% * 5 = 1.3
Taste: 8
40% * 8 = 3.2
  • Heat Level: N/A
  • Cooking Time: 6 minutes 30 seconds

The Presto did a great job on this test. After 6 minutes and 30 seconds, the waffle came out with a beautiful, light brown crust. Taste-testing the waffle, our chef considered it to be very flavorful. However, the texture was a bit too spongy due to a low aeration rate.

Color (35%) — 7.25/10

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

The waffle’s coloration was great. Both sides sported a brown, crispy crust that was light in the middle and gradually darkened the farther it got from the center. Inside of the wells, the batter was cooked to a dark brown. Fortunately, none of the wells were charred.

Texture (25%) — 5/10

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Low, few air bubbles

For texture, it didn’t score highly due to a low aeration rate. Air bubbles were small in size and few in number, resulting in a fairly dense-looking interior that indicated mushiness. And indeed, the waffle’s texture was quite mediocre.

Taste (40%) — 8/10

  • Flavor: Savory, slightly sweet
  • Mouthfeel: Mushy due to the waffle’s underdeveloped interior

Our chef rated the waffle as flavorful: savory, and pleasantly sweet. But the mushy mouthfeel detracted from the tasting experience.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Birch Benders Mix Top
Hamilton Beach 26031 Birch Benders Mix Bottom
Hamilton Beach 26031 Birch Benders Mix Texture
Hamilton Beach 26031 Birch Benders Mix Taste
Color: 6.5
35% * 6.5 = 2.3
Texture: 6.5
25% * 6.5 = 1.6
Taste: 8
40% * 8 = 3.2
  • Heat Level: Between 1 and 2
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes

The coloration of the waffle made using the Birch Benders mix was a very light gold tone, giving it an undercooked-looking appearance. And indeed, the interior wasn’t as developed as the last waffle made in the test with the self-made recipe. However, our chef rated this waffle to be tastier overall.

Color (35%) — 6.5/10

  • Color result: Very light gold (Both)
  • Color distribution: Uneven

At these optimal conditions, the pre-made mix gave us a more attractively colored waffle than did our self-made recipe. It had a nicer blonde tone that looked much more inviting. However, the color uniformity isn’t as good as we had hoped. The waffle maker was unable to maintain an even color throughout — one half looked lighter than the other.

Texture (25%) — 6.5/10

  • Texture: Mediocre
  • Aeration level: Medium, air bubbles could be seen, but haven’t fully bloomed to their full sizes

Texture was significantly improved compared to the waffle produced using our self-made batter. The inside of the waffle appeared well-developed, with air bubbles filling out the waffle’s structure. That resulted in a very soft and pliable waffle. However, it wasn’t aerated enough to hide the slight mushy texture.

Taste (40%) — 8/10

  • Flavor: Sweet, no hint of bitterness
  • Mouthfeel: Soft and pliant, slightly mushy

Our chef awarded the Hamilton Beach 26031 a good score for this category. The aesthetically-pleasing coloring and the soft texture made for a pleasant tasting experience. In terms of flavor, the waffle was sweet. Since it didn’t have any charred patches, that flavor profile was consistent and never bitter. Unfortunately, the slight mushiness of the waffle negatively impacted its scoring a little.

Design

6.6
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    6.0/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    8.0/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    6.0/10
9.7
design Scores
  • Build Quality (60%)
    9.5/10
  • Waffle Plates (30%)
    10/10
  • Control Panel (10%)
    10/10

In The Box

Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker (03510) In the Box
  • Presto Flipside waffle maker
  • Instruction manuals

The shipping box is simplistic. Inside, you will find the waffle maker and the user manual. No extra accessory is included.

Hamilton Beach 26031 In the Box
  • Waffle maker’s body
  • Two (2) Belgian-style grid plates
  • One (1) removable drip tray
  • User manual

Within the shipping box, you get the waffle maker itself, two (2) removable Belgian-style waffle plates, a drip tray, and the manual.

The waffle maker comes wrapped in a protective plastic bag with some thick foam blocks as padding. Other accessories are only wrapped in plastic without extra padding.

While simple plastic wrap is okay for the plastic drip tray and manual, we felt some concern for the waffle plates. Since they’re made from brittle ceramic, we would appreciate a little padding for them too.

Dimensions

Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker (03510) Dimensions & Weight
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Dimension 1
  • Length:
    12 inches (Horizontal)/4.5 inches (Vertical)
  • Width:
    11 inches (Horizontal)/10.5 inches (Vertical)
  • Height:
    4.4 inches (Horizontal)/11.5 (Vertical)
  • Weight:
    4.9 lbs (2.2 kg)

Its compact size sets the Presto 03510 apart from every other flip waffle maker. Thanks to its unique design, the waffle maker measures only 4.4 inches tall (on its side). That’s less than half as tall as the more “traditional” flippable models like the Hamilton Beach 26031, which measures 8.7 inches in height.

However, while it is more compact vertically, the waffle maker takes up a lot of counter space. As you flip it back and forth, the waffle maker requires a working area two times its length (around 25 inches on both sides of the waffle maker).

When it’s time to store it away, you need to grab it by the handle and lift the body upright. Then, there is a “vertical lock” — a red piece of plastic attached to the base — that you can use to keep it standing vertically.

It brings the waffle maker’s height to 11.5 inches. In return, its length is reduced to just 4.5 inches.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Dimension
  • Length:
    16.5" (41.9 cm)
  • Width:
    8.0" (20.3 cm)
  • Height:
    8.7" (22.1 cm)
  • Weight:
    3.1 lbs (1.4 kg)

Because the Hamilton Beach 26031 is a flip-style waffle maker, it is taller than your average non-flip model. At just over 9 inches tall, there’s ample clearance for the plates to smoothly turn.

The machine weighs 3.06 pounds, which is about average for a waffle maker.

For easier storage, it comes with a foldable handle.

6.0

Build Quality

9.5
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Build Quality
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Build Quality 1
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Build Quality 2

Build quality is great, but it could be better in some respects. The body of the waffle maker is made from solid stainless steel. Its metallic gleam gives the waffle maker a beautiful, premium look.

The base is made from plastic. It looked sturdy at first glance. However, upon closer inspection, we observed many design and manufacturing flaws.

At the bottom of the handle, two big dents can be seen. They were already there when we took it out of the box, so it’s likely to be a manufacturing defect.

In addition to the damaged handle, a large gap can be seen in the joints that connect the waffle maker’s body with the base. The way that they’re unevenly set made us suspicious of bad workmanship.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Build Quality

The housing of the Hamilton Beach 26031 is made from brushed stainless steel. All other parts, including the control panel, handle, and raised base, are black plastic. There are rubber feet at the bottom to keep the waffle maker from slipping.

The numerous plastic parts in the 26031’s design are a drawback in terms of durability. The important components like the handle lock, spin lock, and waffle plate latches are made of simple molded plastic. They may not last as long as metal or metal-reinforced parts and are more prone to breakage or cracking.

8.0

Waffle Plates

10
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Waffle Plates
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Waffle Plates 1
  • Numberof Plates:
    2
  • Grid Pattern:
    Belgian-style
  • Plate Area:
    44.18 inch2
  • Plate Length:
    7.5 inches
  • Plate Width:
    7.5 inches
  • Material:
    Ceramic
  • Non Stick Coating:
    Yes
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    No

The waffle maker comes with a pair of ceramic plates coated with a layer of non-stick. Each measures 7.5 inches in diameter and has a small moat running around the perimeter of the plate to catch spilled batter.

The non-stick coating works most of the time. But, every so often, a waffle would stick to the plates, and we would have to pry it out with utensils.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Waffle Plates
Hamilton Beach 26031 Waffle Plates 2
Hamilton Beach 26031 Waffle Plates 3
  • 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:
    Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The set of waffle plates is made from cast aluminum and is coated in a layer of ceramic non-stick (Durathon®). The non-stick layer works excellently. We’ve never had to deal with a stick in all of our tests. Even the batch that came out undercooked and was still semi-liquid didn’t stick to the plates.

With the 26031 model, the two plates are copper-colored. If you get the 26030 model, the plates will be black. The difference between them is purely aesthetic. Both have the same design and identical performance.

Both plates are removable and are dishwasher-safe. You can remove the plates by working the yellow latches at the front of the waffle maker.

6.0

Control Panel

10
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Control Panel
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    Yes
  • Timer:
    Yes
  • Browning Control:
    No

A large red light is situated on one side of the waffle. When you plug the waffle in, the light will glow red. Once the waffle plates have reached the right temperature, the light will turn off.

Underneath the light is a timer with a digital screen. You can set the countdown via the small button underneath the screen. The corresponding numbers will appear on the display. Once the countdown is completed, a small speaker will alarm you.

Note that the timer only keeps the time. It won’t shut down or control the waffle maker for you. The timer is a separate component from the waffle maker and operates on batteries. So, even if you unplug the unit, the timer will still work.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Control Panel
  • Indicator Lights:
    Yes
  • Audible Alarm:
    No
  • Timer:
    No
  • Browning Control:
    Yes

For such a nice waffle maker, the control panel is very simplistic.

There are two indicator lights: a red POWER light and a green READY light. The POWER indicator turns on when the waffle maker is plugged in. Once it reaches the optimal cooking temperature, the READY light will illuminate. The latter will continuously cycle on and off during cooking as temperature fluctuates.

A second READY button can be found on the underside of the housing. It’s there for when you flip the waffle maker.

Underneath the indicator lights is the browning control dial. There are four settings: MIN, 1, 2, and 3. Each corresponds to a browning level, with MIN being the lightest and 3 being the darkest.

Power Cord

  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    36.5 inches
  • Cable Management:
    No

The power cord is very long, measuring over 36.5 inches. There’s no cable management feature. When we need to put it away and into storage, we have to wrap the cord around the waffle maker's body.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Power Cord
  • Plug Style:
    Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
  • Length:
    26 inches
  • Cable Management:
    No

The power cord is quite short. It may be inconvenient if your kitchen doesn’t have many power outlets. In that case, an extension cord will prove useful.

N/A

Accessories

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

The Presto waffle maker does not come with any accessories.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Drip Tray
  • Material:
    Plastic
  • Removable:
    Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The drip tray is removable and goes into a slot directly under the waffle maker’s body. It is made from a lightweight, heat-resistant plastic. The tray is dishwasher-safe.

Ease of Use

9.2
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)
    9.5/10
  • Safety (40%)
    9.8/10
  • Cleanability (25%)
    7.5/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)
    10/10
9.7
usability Scores
  • Handling (25%)
    9.5/10
  • Safety (40%)
    10/10
  • Cleanability (25%)
    9.5/10
  • Indicator Light Visibility (10%)
    9.0/10
9.5

Handling

9.5
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Handling
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Handling 1
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Handling 2

Handling is great. The hinges – of the lid and the flipping mechanism — are built exceptionally well. The lid opens and closes without wobbling. We can flip the waffle maker back and forth fluidly, too.

The handle is made up of two halves. Each half is built into the two lids of the waffle maker. You just need to split them apart when you want to open up the lid.

When you need to flip or carry the waffle maker around, bring the two halves together to make a complete handle.

Our only issue is with the timer. Even after reading the manual, it’s still hard to use and imprecise. So, for all of our tests, we use our timer rather than the built-in one. Fortunately, this is a minor annoyance.

The Hamilton Beach 26031 handles well. Opening the waffle maker is simple, and the baking chamber's turning motion is smooth.

The only problem we encountered while testing this model was the lid-locking mechanism. When you flip the waffle maker back and forth, there’s a lock to prevent you from opening the lid during the turn or while it’s upside-down. Sometimes, the lid would remain locked in place even when we flipped the waffle maker upright and returned it to its original position.

Luckily, it’s not a difficult problem to solve. Just jiggle the lid a little, and the lock will disengage.

9.8

Safety

10
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Safety
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Safety 1
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Safety 2
  • Top Side Temperature:
    167°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    95°F
  • Handle Temperature:
    94°F

Safety is excellent for the Presto waffle maker.

We recorded a top-side temperature of 167°F. While the temperature is dangerous, you’re never meant to touch the top of any waffle maker. Thus, the figure here doesn’t affect scoring much.

The base and the handle are both at room temperature. They were found to have a temperature of 95°F and 94°F, respectively.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Safety
Hamilton Beach 26031 Safety 1
Hamilton Beach 26031 Safety 2
Hamilton Beach 26031 Safety 3
  • Top Side Temperature:
     142°F
  • Bottom Side Temperature:
    90°F
  • Handle Temperature:
     88°F

We assessed the safety level of this waffle maker to be high. The top side doesn’t get too hot during or after cooking. Thanks to the elongated handle, you can open and close the lid without heat from the waffle plates radiating onto your hand the way many other models do.

After a few cooking sessions, we recorded a temperature of 152.2°F in the control panel section. It’s merely warm, not hot.

The other parts, like the base and the handle, remained at room temperature. They were perfectly safe to touch.

7.5

Cleanability

9.5
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Cleanability

Cleaning the waffle maker is easy for the most part. We rarely have to clean the plates, thanks to the non-stick coating. However, as aforementioned, the coating can sometimes fail and leave sticky remains on the plates. Fortunately, the residues can be easily removed with some vigorous scrubbing.

Certain parts of the waffle maker are challenging to clean, like the inside of the handle. The dried batter can bind to the plastic here very tightly. We could not scrub droplets of dried batter off even after applying mild detergent.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Cleanability

In terms of cleanability, the Hamilton Beach 26031 gets a rare near-perfect score.

The included drip tray does a great job at catching spilled waffle batter. Since it is made from smooth plastic, dried batter doesn’t stick to the tray. It can be washed off easily with water alone — no soap required.

You can remove the waffle plates and put them into a dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher, just rinse them with tap water. The non-stick layer should prevent dried batter and debris from collecting, so a cursory wash is usually all that’s needed to get them spick and span again.

We were able to clean the waffle maker’s body and most of its parts with only tissues and a dry cloth. The only section that was a challenge to clean was the space around the waffle-plate latches. Dried batter can infiltrate deep into the tiny details surrounding the latches, making it very hard to clean thoroughly.

10

Indicator Light Visibility

9.0
Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker Indicator Light Visibility

The indicator light to the side of the waffle maker was very bright. It’s easy to see even under studio lighting.

Hamilton Beach 26031 Indicator Light Visibility
Hamilton Beach 26031 Indicator Light Visibility 1

All three indicator lights (two on top and one on the bottom) are bright. In low-light or normal lighting conditions, the bulbs can be seen clearly. Even under harsh studio lighting, we still didn’t have any issue with them.