The Cuisinart CBK-200 Bread Machine

Overall the Cuisinart bread machine is excellent; it comes with a unique convection bake feature, a beep to let you know that the mixing paddle can be removed before baking and cycles for low-carb, gluten free, and artisan breads. But, it also comes with a few problems. Whether or not you should buy this appliance will depend on you perceiving that the good points out weigh the band ones.

The Cuisinart CBK-200 Bread Maker is a convection cooking machine and can make 1, 1.5, or 2 lb loaves of bread and features 16 main cycles: white, rapid white, whole wheat, rapid whole wheat, French/Italian, rapid French/Italian, quick bread/cake, low-carb, gluten free, dough/pizza dough, artisan dough, sweet breads, rapid sweet breads, jam, last minute loaf, bake only. You can further modify these cycles, giving a total of 101 overall, so it's quite a versatile bread machine.

The convection fan is one of its main plus points. It's a little noisy but it really does produce crispier, more evenly browned crusts. The convection fan is optional, so you don't have to use it. This is perhaps the best feature of the Cuisinart bread machine, but if you do use it you should not leave the bread in the pan after it's been baked as the steam released from the cooked loaf will soften the crust, which rather defeats the purpose of the convection fan feature. Also, you need to be careful about how much flour you put it. Use only the correct amount as specified in the recipe; if you put in too much, the fan has a tendency to 'blow out' some of the flour from the pan on to element, which results in a burnt flour smell during baking.

Another plus point is the carb, gluten free, and artisan breads that you can bake with the Cuisinart CBK200. The Artisan cycle is especially nice; the bread machine takes basic dough through several long, slow cool rises for meatier textures and rustic crusts.

Another great plus point also happens to be a negative one. The appliance has an audible sound to tell you when you can remove the mixing paddle before baking begins. This is great as removing the paddle means you don't have to dig out the paddle after baking, leaving a hole in the bottom of the loaf. But, the audible alarm is loud. This usually isn't a problem, but if you're planning on using the 12 hour delay overnight, so you wake up to freshly baked bread, you're going to be woken up by the rather loud alarm just after you've gotten off to sleep!

You can't turn it off either! While you can turn off the audible signal that tells you when you can add extra ingredients, you can't with the signal to let you know when you can remove the paddle: a small, but rather annoying, oversight with the design of the Cuisinart breadmaker. If you do remove the paddle, here's a tip: after removing the paddle, but before returning the dough, give the little shaft a thin coating of vegetable oil - this makes it much easier to take out the loaf once it has been baked.

A major negative of the Cuisinart CBK-200 bread machine is its overall exterior design. You may or may not like its 'retro' look with brushed stainless steel casing and black-trimmed lid, that's not the issue. What does matter is that the design of the top of the bread maker features corrugated sides and a black trim. Baking bread can be messy; even if you're meticulously tidy you're going to get flour around the surface of the lid. Cleaning this machine is far more difficult than it should be and you're going to be spending more time than you would like cleaning it. Giving a machine a 'trendy' look is okay provided it doesn't make using it less easy; style over functionality is to the detriment of the Cuisinart bread maker.

Another consideration before you buy is that this bread machine only comes with a power outage backup feature of only 15 minutes - the Breadman Ultimate bread machine comes with a 60 minute power failure backup.

Despite these shortcomings the Cuisinart CBK-200 bread machine is a good quality kitchen appliance and will suit both beginners and experienced bakers. It also comes with an excellent, spiral bound recipe book.

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About The Author, Robino
Follow the links for the Cuisinart bread machine and bread machine reviews on leading models like the Oster, Zojirushi and Breadman bread machine.