Oster CKSTWF2000 Review
Pros: Very inexpensive, can adjust temperature (and thus crispiness)
Cons: waffles on the thin side, drips lots of condensation
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Oster CKSTWF2000 is a good option for those that don't want to invest very much in an at-home waffle making venture, but would be a poor choice for those that want to make homemade waffles a regular appearance in their breakfast rotation.
Good Waffles, But Not Belgian
First off, we'd like to get this disclaimer out of the way: the Oster CKSTWF2000 is billed as a Belgian waffle maker, but its waffles are decidedly not Belgian. They are nice and fluffy, and comparable to waffles that other makers would classify as classic-style, but they lack the deep pockets and extra volume of true, restaurant quality Belgian waffles.
That being said, the Oster CKSTWF2000 still produces quite good waffles. They are evenly cooked, have a slight crunch on the outside and are quite moist on the inside. We highly doubt anyone is going to be disappointed with the Oster CKSTWF2000's waffles, unless they have their hopes set for truly Belgian-style fare. There is also a temperature knob that allows you to control the level of browning on the outside of the waffle. These settings aren't as consistent as those on some of the more expensive models, but they mostly get the job done
Lacks User-Friendly Touches
At this low a price point, one shouldn't expect any extra bells and whistles. The Oster CKSTWF2000 is no exception. Apart from having a single LED that lights up when the iron is up to temperature, it doesn't offer any useful touches that make the user experience any easier. You have to guess when the waffles are done (the manual suggests waiting about 4.5 minutes) and it is very easy to overload the iron and spill batter all over the counter. Even if you don't, the machine tends to create a lot of condensation, which creates a bit of a mess as well.
These annoyances are really not a big deal for infrequent use, but if you're making waffles every Sunday morning you'll definitely appreciate making a slightly larger investment in a more user-friendly machine. The $28 Cuisinart Round Classic is a small step up when it comes to user experience, and the $50 Presto Flipside is a much better brunch tool, if you can stomach the extra cost.
At $20, the Oster CKSTWF2000 is definitely a low-risk option. It makes good waffles, if with a few minor drawbacks, and is inexpensive enough that you won't feel put out if you realize making waffles at home isn't something you want to do regularly. If you already know you want to make waffle breakfasts a habit, however, a bigger investment in something like the Presto Flipside or even the Breville No-Mess will yield a better value in the long run.
The Oster CKSTWF2000 is a decent shoestring budget option, but isn't the best choice for frequent or long-term use.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata