The WMR-CA did great in our test with the premade Birch Benders waffle mix. In particular, the WMR-CA produced a beautiful and evenly-colored waffle with the last test. The texture and flavor weren’t excellent (a bit mushy), but it did surprisingly well for an entry-level waffle maker. Regrettably, it flunked the test with our self-mixed recipe, which indicates an inconsistent cooking ability.
The design is simple but solid and well-built. The controls aren’t hard to grasp as there’s only one switch.
Things We Like
- Did a great job in our test with Birch Benders mix
- Fast cooking time
- Compact and lightweight design makes it easy to store
Things We Don’t Like
- Poor performance on self-mixed recipe
- Heating element is too strong and can easily burn waffles
- Dim indicator lights
Cuisinart offers the WMR-CA as their entry-level waffle maker. Its affordable price makes this model accessible to most buyers, which is how it became popular. But does affordability equal value in this instance?
We put the machine through its paces in our lab to give you a close-in look at the waffle maker. See for yourself how it stacks up against the rest of the line-up in our database!
Where to Buy? Price at publication $29.95
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7.2Performance: Bad At First, Redeemed Later!
The WMR-CA mostly fell short of expectations, struggling to produce anything but unsatisfyingly burnt and flavorless waffles in our tests with the self-mixed waffle recipe. Its performance ratings were thankfully redeemed in later tests with pre-mixed Birch Benders mix, where it pulled out all the stops and amazed us with surprisingly tasty results.
The waffle has a bright color but noticeably lacks uniformity. Rings of burnt batter were stamped to the top and bottom of the waffle. The texture and taste were surprisingly decent. The interior has begun to fill with air bubbles, producing a soft, fluffy texture. And the taste—while not exceptional—was decent enough to make for a hearty breakfast.
Color (35%) — 6.25/10
- Color result: Very dark brown (Both)
- Color distribution: Uneven
After spending only 2 minutes in the waffle maker, our self-mixed waffle already achieved a dark gold — almost brown — color. Reaching this color after such a short stint and only half power suggests that the heating element must be extremely strong. This was further evidenced by the large circle of burnt batter on the top of the waffle.
Texture (25%) — 7/10
- Texture: Mediocre
- Aeration level: Medium, air bubbles have begun to fill the interior
The interior of the waffle has started to aerate. Thanks to this, the waffle had a soft, almost fluffy texture. But the size of the bubbles was small, and their number was few compared to the waffles we had baked with other models. This led us to believe that the overall texture of the waffle could be improved further.
Taste (40%) — 7/10
- Flavor: Bland, unexceptional. Still tastes like raw batter.
- Mouthfeel: Dry on the outside, mushy on the inside
Flavor-wise, the waffle was great. The sugar and salt in the batter were converted into a delectable sweetness with a slight hint of savoriness. Combined with the buttery aftertaste, the waffle was quite delicious.
The mouthfeel was unexceptional. As we mentioned earlier, we believed that the Cuisinart WMR-CA hadn’t managed to unlock the full potential of the batter here. It could be far softer and fluffier.
7.7Birch Benders Mix
The waffle’s coloring is excellent in this taste. An appealing golden-brown crust covers both sides of the waffle uniformly. The interior has filled out nicely with air bubbles and becomes soft and pliant. However, it’s still slightly mushy in certain parts. It is flavorful and without a trace of bitterness.
Color (35%) - 7.5/10
- Color result: Light brown (Both)
- Color distribution: Even
The pre-made mix managed to bring out more of this machine’s potential. After 4 minutes, the waffle maker produced a beautiful waffle with a light golden tone, highlighted by faint pockets of browning near the center.
Color uniformity was also good. But for a faint brown circle on the upper surface, its light golden brown tone was spread evenly throughout the entire waffle. We’re pretty sure the brown was caused by the unit’s powerful heating element, and is the main reason the WMA-CA lost points in this category. In contrast, the distribution of color at the bottom was almost perfect.
Texture (25%) — 7.5/10
- Texture: Good
- Aeration level: High, air bubbles were large and well-developed
The waffle filled out well. Its interior ended up nicely aerated, and we found large bubbles when we cut the waffle open. In terms of texture, it was soft and fluffy. Regrettably, our chef assessed the waffle to be still slightly mushy, so its score took a hit.
Taste (40%) - 8/10
- Flavor: Sweet, slightly salty (due to the mix). No bitterness.
- Mouthfeel: Soft and spongy. Slightly mushy.
The waffle received a high score from our chef. The crust reached just the right level of crispiness, and the inside was reasonably soft. The batter had fully developed on the inside, unleashing its complete flavor profile. However, as previously mentioned, our chef still noticed a faint hint of mushiness.
The Cuisinart WMR-CA offers a great design and build quality, boasting a glossy metal top lid. The waffle plates are coated with a layer of Teflon non-stick, which has proven itself to work quite effectively during our cooking tests. We’ve never had to deal with sticky waffles or batter residues throughout the review phase.
Although simplistic, its control panel is very simple to use.
In the Box
- Waffle maker
- User manual
In its small shipping box you will find just the WMR-CA waffle maker and the user manual. It doesn’t come with any extra accessories.
The compact size of the WMR-CA is an advantage in terms of storage. It will fit snugly in a small cupboard. Since it doesn’t take up a lot of space, you can also leave it on the kitchen island.
At 1 pound, the WMR-CA is lightweight. You can bring it in and out of storage with ease.
The exterior shell of the waffle maker is made from brushed metal. All external parts are made from plastic, except for the waffle plates.
Cuisinart benefited greatly from the WMR-CA model’s simple design. There appear to be no significant design flaws. We didn’t find any part that was poorly tooled, either.
While it’s not a sophisticated or high-end design, all parts of the WMR-CA fit together and — more importantly — work together well.
There were a few minor annoyances, though. The metallic exterior is prone to fingerprint smudges and scratches. The metal went from pristine to worn after only a few days in the lab. It’s not difficult to wipe off the smears with some mild detergent, but the scratches remain.
The control panel is bare-bones, befitting an entry-level waffle maker. You can use only a single slider at the front to adjust the temperature. Having the option to control the cooking process is still better than some other entry-level waffle makers like the BLACK+DECKER WMB500, which doesn’t come with a control panel at all.
The slider is easy to manipulate, but there’s a lack of resistance. A light touch could push the slider out of the desired position.
The base features a pair of indicator lights beside the slider: a red POWER light and a green READY light.
The POWER indicator turns on when you plug in the waffle maker. The green READY light will turn on when it has reached the temperature you set using the temperature slider.
The waffle plates are made from cast iron and coated with Teflon (PTFE), which is the non-stick layer. In this respect, it’s similar to the Oster waffle maker, which also has Teflon-coated plates.
Teflon is generally safe for use as a non-stick coating due to its relative inertness at average cooking temperatures. However, in special circumstances, the Teflon may become carcinogenic (if it’s heated beyond 570 ℉, for example).
Also, note that you should not use metal utensils on non-stick surfaces — they can scrape the coating off. The Teflon flakes aren’t harmful if you ingest them so long that it’s not overheating. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to try and keep the non-stick coating as intact as possible.
These waffle plates are designed to make classic-style waffles; they have shallower wells (the indents) compared to Belgian-style models. This is crucial information to know before you buy.
The power cord measures 3 feet long. The length can be a problem in some kitchens. There’s a good chance that you’ll have to resort to an extension cord if you don’t keep the waffle maker near an outlet.
The Cuisinart WMR-CA waffle maker doesn’t come with any extra accessories.
9.1Ease of Use
Unlike its easy-to-use control panel, the control panel of the WMR-CA can be difficult to deal with for some people due to the dim indicator lights. They can be very hard to see under bright lighting.
The Cuisinart WMR-CA did decently well during safety tests. Most of the surfaces on the waffle maker are cool to the touch, even after several cooking sessions.
We noticed no significant problems while working with the WMR-CA. All the controls are easy to figure out, even without a user manual. Opening and closing the lid is easy and safe, thanks to the large handle at the front. The user will still be able to use the handle even after several cooking sessions.
The lid is solidly built. When open, the lid rests at a slightly backward-tilted angle. It won’t unexpectedly snap closed while you’re adding the batter.
We dropped the handling rating to a nine because the temperature control slider feels so loose.
The Cuisinart WMR-CA received an excellent safety score. Even after multiple cooking sessions, the control panel and the handle don’t become too hot.
We recorded the handle’s temperature at 96.4°F, only slightly above room temperature.
The upper shell of the waffle maker gets quite hot, though. The metal conducts heat very well, so it could become hot enough to give you a burn after a waffle or two. The plastic piece at the top can also become hot enough to cause a burn. We recorded a temperature of 181.7°F.
We’re able to touch the bottom side of the waffle maker without feeling any heat at all. It measured a comfortable 94°F.
The WMR-CA is relatively easy to clean. The dry batter will come off with a few spritzes of detergent and a little scrubbing.
On the inside, the non-stick layer makes it very easy to clean.
For the most part, all we had to do was run a dry cloth through the waffle plates’ grid pattern to pick up the gunk. However, the narrow indents can be hard to reach.
6.5Indicator Light Visibility
This model’s indicator lights are dim. They are difficult to see under harsh studio lights or bright sunlight. However, both the red and green lights should be easy to see in the average kitchen.
About your guide
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.