Our recommendations are made independently through Research & Testing. We may receive commissions from purchases made via our links.

Oster Belgian Waffle Maker In-depth Review

The Oster waffle maker's poor cooking performance and sub-par build quality are not surprising, given its low cost. If you are looking for an incredibly affordable model, this waffle maker may be worth considering; however, with only a few extra bucks, you can get models with far better cooking performance and design.

By , , , and ·Updated
Tested Using Methodology v1.1
The Oster waffle maker on a wooden floor next to a plate of 7-inch and mini waffle makers.

Overall Verdict

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 needing a good waffle maker that can 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.

Key Specs

Features
Belgian-style waffle plates, tactile browning control, indicator lights
Adjustable Settings
Variable
Dimensions
L10 x W8 x H4 inches
Material
Metal/plastic housing; die-cast aluminum nonstick baking plates
Weight
3.2 lbs (1.5 kg)
Waffle diameter
7 inches

Where to Buy Price at publication $21.74

*You help support HealthyKitchen101's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.

Compared to Other Waffle Makers


Analysis and Test Results

6.0 Performance: Often Disappoint More than It Please

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.

5.2 Self-Mixed Recipe

Oster Belgian Self-Mixed Recipe
The very dark brown-dark gold top crust of a waffle baked for 5 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
The very dark brown-dark gold bottom crust of a waffle baked for 5 minutes using our self-mixed recipe.
A cross-section of a waffle baked for 5 minutes using our self-mixed recipe. The interior is dense with few air bubbles.
A waffle, baked for 5 minutes, is torn by hands to test for its consistency. The interior of the waffle is revealed.
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.

6.8 Birch Benders Mix

Oster Belgian Birch Benders Mix Video
The very light gold-dark brown top crust of a waffle baked for 3 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix.
The very light gold-dark brown bottom crust of a waffle baked for 3 minutes using a batter made from the Birch Benders mix.
The interior of a waffle baked for 3 minutes using a Birch Benders batter mix. Small air cavities can be seen within.
A waffle, baked for 3 minutes using our Birch Benders batter mix, is torn down the middle by hands. The interior can be seen.
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 highly rated the waffle taste, appreciating its sweetness and velvety texture, comparing it to the waffles baked by the Cuisinart WMR-CA and DASH Mini.

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

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.

In the Box

The Oster waffle maker, with its stainless steel top lid and black plastic detailing, is placed next to its manual.
  • 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

The physical dimensions of the Oster Belgian waffle maker. The length is 10 inches, height 4 inches, and width 8 inches.
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. 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).

4.5 Build Quality

The side profile of the Oster CKSTWF2000 Belgian waffle maker. The stainless steel lid is blemished from daily use.
The side profile of the Oster CKSTWF2000 Belgian waffle maker. The stainless steel lid is blemished from daily use.
Oster Waffle Maker  Build Quality Video
The back side of the Oster Belgian waffle maker. The power cables can be in-between the gaps created by the plastic hinges.

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.

8.5 Waffle Plates

An overview of the waffle plates of the Oster waffle maker. It’s made from cast aluminum and has Belgian-style patterning.
An overview of the waffle plates of the Oster waffle maker. It’s made from cast aluminum and has Belgian-style patterning.
A close-up of the black, cast aluminum waffle plate of the Oster waffle maker.
Number of Plates
2
Grid Pattern
Belgian-style
Plate Area
7.8 inch
Plate Length
7.1" (18.0 cm)
Plate Width
7.1" (18.0 cm)
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.

9.0 Control Panel

The control panel of the Oster CKSTWF2000 Belgian waffle maker. There’s the browning control knob and the indicator lights.
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

The power cord of the Oster Belgian waffle maker.
The power cord of the Oster Belgian waffle maker.
The Type A plug attachment of the Oster Belgian waffle maker’s power cord.
Plug Style
Type A (Flat Blade Attachment Plug)
Length
2.3 ft (0.7 m)
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 no lock or notch holds the cord in place, it can unravel easily.

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.

5.0 Ease of Use

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.

6.5 Handling

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

The temperature of the base of the Oster waffle maker is measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 143.4°F.
The temperature of the base of the Oster waffle maker is measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 143.4°F.
The temperature of the front handle of the Oster waffle maker is measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 189°F.
The temperature of the control panel of the Oster waffle maker is measured with a thermometer. The screen reads 176.9°F.
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

Excess batter spilling out from the waffle plates of the Oster waffle maker.

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.

4.5 Indicator Light Visibility

The indicator lights of the Oster waffle maker. To the left is the red POWER light, and the right is the green READY light.

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.

Behind the review

Headshot of Matthew Lee
Matthew LeeReviewer

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.

Headshot of Lap Vo
Lap VoTest Lead

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.

Headshot of Tuyet Pham
Tuyet PhamProfessional Chef

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.

Headshot of Nguyen Ntk
Nguyen NtkVisual Specialist

Nguyen Ntk is a graphic designer, photographer, and videographer whose philosophy centers around respecting and celebrating the beauty of reality. Through his lenses, Nguyen strives to capture the true essence of objects and events, showcasing and highlighting authentic features without distortion or exaggeration.

You have 3/3 full reviews left

To access unlimited full product reviews, product prices and other exclusive site features Become a Member