Oster Belgian Waffle Maker Review

Matthew Lee
Reviewer
Tuyet Pham
Culinary Consultant
Lap Vo
Test Lead
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist
Updated
Tested Methodology v1.0
Oster Belgian Waffle Maker Hands-on Review
Power: 1080W

Overall Verdict

5.7
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    5.9/10
  • Usability (30%)
    5.0/10
  • Design (20%)
    6.2/10

The Oster Belgian waffle maker is unimpressive even after we have given it many leeways for its entry-level price. Performance is mediocre, even approaching unacceptable at times. We've never once managed to make a waffle with bright, even coloration with the Oster. The same goes for texture and taste, which almost always turn out to be mushy and bland.

It doesn't do well in other departments, either. Design-wise, the waffle maker has awful build quality. It's evidenced through the poorly-tooled parts and exposed electronics at the back.

Besides its cheap pricing and good usability, thanks to the simplistic control panel, there isn't much about the Oster waffle maker that's worth praising.

Things We Like

  • Affordable
  • Performs decently in our test with Birch Benders mix
  • Fairly compact design makes for easier storage
  • Responsive temperature control dial

Things We Don’t Like

  • Unremarkable performance in our test with our self-mixed waffle batter
  • Bad build quality
  • Exposed electronics could be safety hazards
  • Very dim indicator lights

The Oster Belgian waffle maker is an attractive, budget-friendly option for those who need a machine that will do the job. Despite the low price point, Oster promises to deliver “restaurant-quality Belgian waffles.”

Is that claim legitimate? We’re not convinced. After testing the Oster waffle maker in our lab, here’s what we found out about this model.

Oster Belgian Waffle Maker In-depth Review

Performance

How We Tested
5.9
Performance Scores
  • Self-Mixed Recipe (50%)
    4.9/10
  • Birch Benders Mix (50%)
    6.8/10

The Oster didn’t impress on the grounds of performance. On both recipes, it failed to impress. All waffles came out either undercooked or burnt. Texture tends to be lackluster. Taste is often hit-or-miss, but this waffle maker usually misses more than it hits.

4.9

Self-Mixed Recipe

Oster Self-Mixed Top side Color
Top side
Oster Self-Mixed Bottom Color
Oster Self-Mixed Texture
Oster Waffle Maker  Self-Mixed Recipe
Color: 4.25
35% * 4.25 = 1.5
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 perform well in this test. The color tone and color distribution of the waffle are terrible. The texture is wet and mushy due to an undercooked interior. The waffle maker also failed to form the complete flavor profile of the batter, leading to a bland, unremarkable waffle.

Color (35%) — 4.25/10

  • Color result: Charred black (Both)
  • Color distribution: Uneven

The waffle’s coloration after 5 minutes of cooking was not good. It looks burnt and unappetizing. Dark, charred spots concentrate within the indents of the waffle pattern. These spots are bitter and dry to the taste. The outer rim has a lighter, more attractive appearance. Unfortunately, the charred spots in the center totally ruin the aesthetic of the waffle.

Coloring is the same on the underside. Charred spots are distributed all throughout the waffle. A few streaks of undercooked spots can also be observed. The ugly and inconsistent coloration points to a much-too-powerful and poorly designed heating element.

Texture (25%) — 5/10

  • Aeration level: Low
  • Texture: Wet, mushy

Aeration isn’t high. Though air bubbles are visible, they are small and few in number. Furthermore, the waffle has a mushy, wet consistency which signifies an under-developed interior. The contrasts aren’t positive: the outside is burnt while the inside hasn’t fully cooked. Together, they make for a disappointing experience.

Taste (50%) — 5.5/10

  • Taste: Bland, bitter at charred spots.
  • Mouthfeel: Dry, mushy

In the end, our chef rated the Oster waffle maker to be 5 out of 10, citing its lackluster taste, mushy texture, and bitter, carbonized crust.

6.8

Birch Benders Mix

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.

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

The waffle maker is very close to failing this test. Build quality is terrible with poorly-tooled details and exposed electrical wirings at the back. But, in return, the non-stick waffle plates work well, so long that you don’t mind using Teflon. The control panel is good with a tactile browning control button.

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.

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 lbs (1.5 kg)

The Oster waffle maker is quite compact. It won’t take up much space on the countertop. Storage is easy thanks to its size. Notably, you can store the waffle maker standing upright (vertical), too.

4.5

Build Quality

Oster Waffle Maker Build Quality
Oster Waffle Build Quality
Play video
Oster Waffle Maker  Build Quality Video

The stainless steel housing gives the Oster waffle maker a sharper, pricier look. However, when you scrutinize it up close, the waffle maker’s rough edges are clearly revealed. The stainless steel surface can be easily smudged by fingerprints. 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 weren’t able to restore it even after several attempts at wiping it down and polishing.

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 all over. Worse still, the backside of the waffle maker has gaps that reveal its guts, exposing its internal wiring and circuits.

For all of these reasons, we assess the Oster’s construction quality to be mediocre at best, sub-par at worst.

8.5

Waffle Plates

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, do note that unlike PFOA, PTFE is inert and relatively harmless at temperatures under 400°F. Only when temperature exceeds 400°F can the PTFE coating become a problem by releasing noxious 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.

9.0

Control Panel

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.

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.

Accessories: N/A

not image
  • 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.

Ease of Use

How We Rated
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

Handling is awkward due to the shaky lid hinges. The Oster waffle maker doesn’t do well in our safety tests due to the exposed wirings at the back, which presents an electrical hazard. The only part where the waffle maker gets a perfect score is cleanability. Lastly, the indicator lights on the control panel are hard to see, especially under intense lighting.

6.5

Handling

Play video
Oster Waffle Maker Handling Video

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.

1.7

Safety

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.

9.0

Cleanability

not image

The Oster receives a good score in cleanability. Although it doesn't have a drip tray for spilled batter, when a batter spill does happen, it can be dealt with fairly easily. Even when the batter dries out and settles on the waffle maker’s body, all surfaces can be scrubbed down easily with the aid of a dash of mild detergent.

4.5

Indicator Light Visibility

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. In harsh daylight and studio lights, the lights aren’t visible at all.