Oster CKSTBRTW20 2-Pound Expressbake Breadmaker review

Oster CKSTBRTW20 review photo

Oster CKSTBRTW20

Oster CKSTBRTW20 2-Pound Expressbake Breadmaker review

The Oster CKSTBRTW20 2-Pound Expressbake Breadmaker is one of the most popular bread machines out there, and it’s also one of the most economical.  It’s a great entry level bread machine for those looking to get started making bread by machine, or for a lower priced option.  It’s also easy to use and comes with a detailed and helpful instruction manual.  This is my top choice for a bread machine under $100.

Key features

  • Large capacity, up to a 2-pound loaf
  • Variety of settings – 9 bread settings and 3 crust settings, including dough and jams
  • Express setting bakes bread in less than an hour
  • Programmable baking timer (13 hours)
  • Large LCD display shows stages of the bread making process
  • Viewing window

Loaf size and shape

This machine can handle loaves up to 2 pounds, so you can use 2 pound recipes as well as 1 and 1-1/2 pounds.  The loaf is horizontal but is still a little bit wider and shorter (less rectangular) than a more traditional loaf.  What this means is that when you slice the bread, the slices will be larger than if the pan was narrower and longer.

Dimensions

13.8 x 13 x 14.1 inches

Settings and cycles

There are 9 different bread settings (basic, French, whole wheat, sweet, European, dough, bagel, jam and bake) and 3 fast bake settings (express bake 1.5lbs., express bake 2.0lbs. and quick), for a total of 12 settings.  There are also three different crust settings – light, medium, and dark.  This is a large variety of options for a machine in this price range.

Cycle length (approximate times)

1 Basic 2 lbs. (Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes)
2 French 2 lbs. (Time: 3 hours, 35 minutes)
3 Whole Wheat 2 lbs. (Time: 3 hours, 23 minutes)
4 Sweet 2 lbs. (Time: 3 hours, 27 minutes)
5 Express Bake 1.5 lb (Time: 58 minutes)
6 Express Bake 2.0 lb (Time: 58 minutes)
7 Quick 2 lbs. (Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes)
8. European 2 lbs. (Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes)
9 Dough (Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes)
10 Bagel Dough (Time: 2 hours)
11 Jam (Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes)
12 Bake (Time: 1 hour)

Additional features

The Oster’s Expressbake feature lets you make yeast breads in under an hour, using rapid rise yeast.  This is really fast – most other express cycles still take over an hour.  There are a few things you should know about this cycle before you buy.  Breads made with this express cycle tend to have a thicker and darker crust because baking is done at higher temperatures.  This also sometimes causes the loaf to crack.  An express loaf is also shorter and denser than with a normal setting.  There is no crust control and you can’t use the delay timer with this cycle (although if you had more time, you wouldn’t be using this cycle!).  For best results with this cycle, use the Expressbake recipes that come in the manual.  You should use bread flour for these recipes, and make sure the liquids are very warm (between 115 and 125 degrees F).  Still, this is a great option if you need bread in a hurry.

Pros

This machine has a great low price point and is easy for beginners to use.  Lots of different cycles give home bakers many options.  The control panel is easy to clean.

Cons

There is no pre-warming function like on higher end models, so as per the instruction manual, you should let all the ingredients get to room temperature before making bread.  One way to get around this is to load all the ingredients and set the timer so the ingredients have time to warm up before the cycles begin.  This can add time to the process.

Some users complain that this machine doesn’t handle larger 2 pound loaves as well, and is best suited for recipes up to 1.5 pounds.

Conclusion

The Oster CKSTBRTW20 is a great machine for those looking for an inexpensive model with a variety of cycle options and large capacity.  The loaf shape is horizontal, but not quite as long and narrow as a traditional loaf of bread.  It doesn’t have advanced features of higher end machines, but most reviewers find this machine to be reliable and most importantly make great bread.  The Expressbake cycle lets you make yeast bread in under an hour, which is faster than most other bread machines.

This is my top choice for a bread machine under $100.

You can usually find this bread machine for under US$60 on Amazon.

I do not have personal experience with this bread maker, so this review here has been created based on extensive research about the features, pros, cons, and consumer satisfaction levels for this particular model.

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