The Cuisinart CBK-100 2-Pound Programmable bread maker is a lower cost bread machine with features you would expect on higher priced models. It bakes loaves in 3 sizes including a 1 pound loaf, 1-1/2 pounds and 2 pounds. It also has 3 crust-color settings and 12 preprogrammed settings. A built in timer allows you to delay the baking cycle up to 13 hours. The pan is non-stick and bakes a tall loaf as opposed to a long loaf.
The cost of the Cuisinart CBK-100 is about half the cost of many of the high-end bread machines. The Cuisinart website currently lists it at $99USD. Considering that some fully featured bread machines cost $200 to $300 and more, the Cuisinart provides a good set of features for the money.
Gluten Free and 100% Whole Wheat Settings
It was surprising to see Gluten Free and 100% Whole Wheat settings on the Cuisinart CBK-100. These are the kind of options that usually are available on the higher priced machines. Better yet, customer reviews indicate that both settings work well with gluten free and 100% whole wheat recipes:
“The gluten free cycle is perfect. It bakes the best gluten free bread we have ever had.”
Not all of the comments were as positive as this one although this next person seemed to be more bothered by the complexity of some gluten free recipes rather than the machines performance.
Intuitive and Easy to Use Touch-pad Control Panel
The Cuisinart CBK-100 features 12 preprogrammed settings including basic/white, French/Italian, whole wheat bread, sweet bread, gluten free, packaged mix, cake/quick bread, dough, pasta dough, jams, bake only and rapid rise. It also has a timer so you can pre-set the baking cycle up to 13 hours in advance if you want to come home to fresh baked bread, or wake up to a sweet bread in the morning.
The only lament from owners was the lack of a customizable feature that would allow them to alter or change bread settings.
“This machine is not at all flexible with programs, it has preselected menu and doesn’t appear to have any other options.”
Once again this flexible setting option is often seen on more expensive bread machines, but given the range of options available on the CBK-100 you should be able to accommodate most of the breads you like to make.
Non-stick Loaf Pan and Kneading Paddle
Both the loaf pan and the kneading paddle are non-stick. The coating is defined as Silverstone® which is a line of non-stick coatings based on Teflon. Cuisinart does not identify the non-stick coating as Teflon, but most bread machines still use Teflon for their bread pans. The single paddle works fine for kneading and is common on many bread machines. The Zojirushi is an exception with its dual-paddle design. Some customers commented that the paddle on the Cuisinart BK-100 came off when the bread was finished baking, but this is fairly common with many bread machines.
“This is my second bread machine and in both machines the beater has come off in the bread so I try and remember to look for it before I cut the bread.”
Pre-set Beep Reminders
Like many bread machines, you sometimes have to add ingredients during the kneading and rising process. This includes the addition of fruits and nuts; in some cases yeast, or any herbs or seeds as an ingredient or topping. The beeps are preprogrammed to remind you, and in the opinion of some owners this beeping feature is a negative attribute.
It should be noted that some people appreciated the reminder and the loudness of the beeps, but enough people complained about it that I thought it deserved mention.
Viewing Window in the lid
The Cuisinart CBK-100 has a viewing window in the lid that’s large enough to allow you to observe the bread making process across the steps. It can help to assess the status of a loaf when the reminder-beeps sound for the addition of an ingredient, or to check the browning on top.
Recipe Book with Recipes for All 12 Bread Settings
Many people appreciate the recipes included with the Cuisinart CBK-100 but the directions are typically brief; identified by volume rather than weight (or both), and more than a few people were dissatisfied with the overall quality of the recipes and the directions.
“All attempts at using Cuisinart’s recipes and instructions have been met with complete failure; however, Panasonic recipes and instructions produce excellent bread. I have decided to keep the machine and recycle the recipe book.”
It’s a bit unusual to see a pattern of complaints for a recipe book, but most owners seem satisfied with their results and many have used their own recipes with success. Even then, there appears to be some fundamental errors in the recipe book.
Cuisinart Customer Creativity
Like all bread machines, the Cuisinart CBK-100 requires some work-arounds and improvisation. Here again owners have often come up with innovative and creative solutions as they explore their bread making.
“Box mixes aren’t turning out right? What do I need to do different?”
I’ve never had a problem, I use box mixes all the time. If it’s too dry add more wet ingredients like butter or milk.
“Can you remove the paddle before the bread bakes?”
Yes, indeed. The small post that attaches the paddle remains, but it is the size of a 1/2 inch pencil.
“I want to bake the bread in my cast iron pan. Can I cancel the system after the final kneading and raise?”
Yes. There are beeps to tell you when it is ready.
“True dimensions of this machine? Can someone who owns this machine tell me what the actual dimensions are?”
14.5″ x 8.5″ x 12.5″ (W x D x H). That includes the handles on the sides.
I found that last question about the “true” dimensions to be a bit curious when I first came across it so I looked into it further. It turns out, it’s a very good question. Many online retailers including Amazon.com define the dimensions for the CBK-100 as: 18 x 12.2 x 15 inches, and a weight of 18 pounds. However, the Cuisinart website identifies the CBK-100 dimensions as 14.5 x 7.5 x 12.5 inches and a weight of 22 pounds. Based on my own measurements the quote from the owner in the Q&A is the most accurate in terms of size and yes, it weighs 22 pounds.
The CBK-100 May be Your Best Bet for the Money
All things considered, the Cuisinart CBK-100 offers a lot of features for the price. While some owners have some complaints related to the loud reminder beeps and the recipe book, most of them seem genuinely happy with the machines overall performance. It’s available in stainless steel and comes with a 3-year limited warranty.