Oster CKSTBRTW20 Bread Maker – Full Review

Oster CKSTBRTW20 bread maker-1enter1

  • Dealer: Amazon.com

 

 

 

An affordable bread machine with good performance, but some complaints.

The Oster CKSTBRTW20 is one of the lowest priced bread machines we have reviewed to date.  As of this writing it is listed on Amazon.com at $59.99 and close to 1700 previous owners have given it high marks, although there are some patterns of complaint.

 

Settings

Oster CKSTBRTW20 bread maker-2

The Oster CKSTBRTW20 has 9 pre-programmed setting including jams and jellies but it does not have a dedicated gluten free setting.  Some people have reported success with gluten free bread, but others have had problems.

I don’t like that I can’t use special flour like gluten free with this machine, the bread comes out nasty.

It also has 3 crust settings ranging from light to medium to dark but there are some comments about problems with these settings.

We have to set crust color to dark, in order for bread to come out medium color

It also has an “Expressbake” setting that will bake a loaf of bread in an hour and many owners were pleased with the result.  It addition, it has a delay cycle that can be set up to 13 hours in advance. Just make sure you don’t add any dairy ingredients like milk, eggs or butter if you are going to use a delayed cycle.  Find a recipe that uses non-dairy ingredients.

 

The Loud Beep Problem

Like all bread machines the Oster presents a series of beeps as it runs through the cycles from kneading to rising to baking.  The beeps on the Oster are very loud and created some problems for people using the delayed cycle while they slept.

The beeps during the kneading and then final baking process are so loud they wake me up through closed doors a few rooms away.

Circular Viewing Window

The Oster CKSTBRTW20 has a circular viewing window in the lid.  While this viewing window helps to observe progress through the cycles there were complaints about the lid failing to close tightly on some machines.

The product I received had a lid that didn’t close properly

Any gaps or leaks as a result of an ill-fitting lid can cause significant problems during the rising and baking cycles.  The result is a sunken or fallen loaf and it seems that many people have had this problem with the Oster.

I had hopes, and went through 10 pounds of bread dough. Lumpy, damp, top collapses, bottoms wet. Tried all suggested tricks. 

If you order this machine inspect it immediately.   Test the lid and bake a loaf or two.  If you have any problems you’ll want to return it.

 

Two Pound Horizontal Loaf Pan?

 Oster CKSTBRTW20 bread maker-5

I question the loaf pan description for a couple of reasons. For one, some owners describe this as a horizontal loaf pan although Oster makes no mention of it in their product description.

I love the size(s) and shape of the loaf pan; the shape is a standard ‘horizontal’, store bakery shape (not vertical), and the machine uses only one paddle to mix ingredients.

I looked at a top view photo of the machine and the pan appears to be a vertical configuration.  It might be a hybrid of horizontal and vertical, but here again Oster makes no mention of that idea.  It’s also curious to note that there is only one kneading paddle.  All of the bread machines that we have reviewed with horizontal configurations have two paddles to ensure the dough is well mixed and kneaded.  On that note there we some comments on improper mixing and kneading.

This is not an uncommon problem with any bread machine.  It could also be the result of a certain type of recipe or improper measurement of ingredients.  In fact, the standard advice is to add a teaspoon of water at a time if the dough is too dry, or a teaspoon of flour at a time if the dough is too wet or loose.

Another question has to do with loaf sizes.  Oster simply says it will bake up to a 2 pound loaf.  It was a few comments from customers that seemed to clarify the loaf sizes as 1.5 and 2 pounds.  However, many people said that the two pound recipes presented some problems.

I had a real mess when I followed the recipe on pg. 27. It called for 2 Tablespoons of yeast for the 4 cups of flour. It pushed the lid up and went down some over the sides of the pan. A mess to clean up.

 

Non-Stick Coating

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The bread pan has a non-stick coating but there is no mention of the type of coating.  Most bread pans have a Teflon coating or a Teflon derivative like PFTE or diamond-flourine.  The Oster CKSTBRTW20 is manufactured in China and all previous machines we’ve reviewed from that point of manufacture have Teflon coatings.

 

A Very Lightweight Machine

At 8 pounds the Oster CKSTBRTW20 is the lightest bread machine we have seen.  As a contrast, many of he Zojirushi machines weigh up to 20 pounds and more. A lightweight bread machine has advantages and disadvantages.  The lighter weight makes it easier to lift and store if you don’t want it cluttering a countertop, but less weight makes it subject to vibration and “walking” on the countertop.

I noticed a lot of people have mentioned that this machine dances around.. They’re right, it does. In fact, the first time I used it, it danced right off the cabinet onto the floor. I’m shocked it didn’t break

 

The Instruction Book Problem

It’s amazing how often we hear complaints about instruction books and user’s manuals for bread machines.  While the complaints about the Oster instruction book weren’t as frequent as we’ve seen for other machines, there were enough to raise some level of concern.

The manual is a disaster — it’s not clearly written, leaves out important information.

The first thing you might experience reading through the manual is a sense of anxiety. The manual stresses using ‘exact’ measurements and vehemently recommends ‘bread machine flour’.

 

Control Panel and LCD Display

The control panel is easy to use and the Oster CKSTBRTW20 features an LCD display.   There were few complains about controls although some owners mentioned that the LCD was not backlit and sometimes hard to see.  There were also some concerns about the raised buttons on the panel.

 

A Good Value for The Money

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While many owners had various levels of problems with the machine, 66% of them gave the machine 5 stars.  However, I found some of the 5 star reviews to be a bit suspicious.  They were very lengthy and covered every feature and benefit of the machine with a writing style you would expect to see from a professional copywriter.  I omitted some of those quotes but many seemed authentic including this one.

For the price, there is simply nothing out there to compare with this machine.

The Oster CKSTBRTW20 measures 13.8 x 13 x 14.1 inches and as previously noted weighs 8 pounds.  It is available in white only and has a 1-year limited warranty.  It’s a good machine for the money but inspect the lid, be careful where you place it on the counter in case it walks, and see how you feel about the crust color.

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Steve Nubie

Steve Nubie has been writing professionally for 38 years. He is a Chef and has traveled across Asia and Europe studying language, culture and cuisine. He instructs culinary classes in the Culinary School at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and has written extensively on cuisine, cooking, diet and nutrition. He is a published author of 10 books including a cookbook and continues to write on subjects related to culinary trends.

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6 Total Score

7Editor's score
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5User's score
Overall Rating
5
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8 Comments
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  1. Reply
    Alice April 8, 2019 at 11:28 am
    3
    Overall Rating
    60

    I’ve had my Oster for several years now and even stored it up on the shelf because I never liked the yeasty tasting bread that came out of it. But I haven’t tried the Expressbake setting yet so I’m hoping with a shorter bake time with one rise and a different kind of yeast (bread machine yeast) I can lose the yeasty taste.

    Like others say it dances around on the counter because it is pretty light weight. Quickly realizing this I put a silicon mat under it half way so the air can still circulate though all I see is a belt and gears under this particular bread machine. Depending how my bread turns out using the Expressbake setting will determine if I will keep it or not.

    + PROS: Nice looking Bread always look great Lid removes easily for cleaning.
    - CONS: Lid comes off if when I don't want it to. Yeasty tasting bread Yeasty smelling bread
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  2. Reply
    Pam September 12, 2018 at 6:27 pm
    4
    Overall Rating
    80

    Joan, look at the “tabs” on the plastic lid and see how they fit into the plastic hinges on the machine. On mine the right tab comes out of the hinge if I lift the lid too quickly, which then pulls out the left tab, causing the lid to fall off. If you lift the lid slowly while watching to make sure the tabs stay in the hinges the lid should stay on. If this doesn’t work putting a very small piece of electrical tape over the opening on the right hinge should keep the lid on. I haven’t done this yet because opening the lid slowly is working as a temporary fix.

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  3. Reply
    Laura L Thielke June 4, 2018 at 1:56 am
    3.5
    Overall Rating
    70

    I picked up an older model through a friend. The bread pan is truly vertical, not like those pictured. Overall I’m fairly please with the end result, variety of options, and it’s the best toast in the world! But…The worst problem is getting the bread out of the pan. It gets hung up on the paddle and when it comes out it pulls a plug of bread out with it. Nothing in the manual about the best way to remove the loaf except to do it immediately or the steam will cause the loaf to collapse. Also, the crust is somewhat tough on the honey wheat loaf. Going to try a different setting for it rather than the medium called for in the manual.

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  4. Reply
    Renee Huenemann May 8, 2018 at 9:39 pm
    1
    Overall Rating
    20

    I have a new machine. I cannot bake a loaf of bread without the top of the loaf collapsing about an hour before the loaf has finished baking. It occurs over a period of 15 minutes. I’ve reduced the yeast by 1/4 tsp. as suggested. I thought perhaps it only happened with the 2 lb. loaf but happened with the 1.5 loaf also. Most of you seem so pleased with this machine. I’m ready to get rid of it. Please help me. What am I doing wrong? I had a Regal for many years and baking bread was a breeze.

    + PROS: Looks nice
    - CONS: The top of the loaf collapses about an hour before it's finished baking. I can't figure out why.
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    • Reply
      Steve Nubie May 10, 2018 at 6:15 am

      Hi Renee,

      There are typically two reasons why a loaf will fall during the baking process in a bread machine.

      1. Yeast integrity. The best yeast to use in a bread machine is actually called “Bread machine yeast.” It comes in a jar and while it appears expensive it’s actually a great value considering the amount of yeast you get for the money. What few people know (and the yeast manufacturers never tell you) is that all yeast should be kept refrigerated after purchase. Yeast is a dormant organism ( a form of fungus) and both time and temperature will compromise the health of the yeast resulting in a less effective rise overall.

      2. Drafts or air leaks from the bread machine lid. A draft of cooler air over the surface of a loaf can cause the loaf to fall while rising or baking. Typically this happens when people lift the lid during the baking cycle to see how the loaf is doing. It’s okay to lift the lid during the kneading cycle, but never lift it once the loaf starts to rise and bake. Even if you don’t lift the lid, a lid that does not seal tightly can also allow cooler air to enter the baking chamber. This is a mechanical defect. Any lid on a bread machine should close with a firm seal without extra effort.

      If your machine is still under warranty you might want to consider returning it if the yeast or the lid solutions don’t work. A loaf that has fallen is still good to eat, it just doesn’t have the look most of us want when we put our fresh bread on the table.

  5. Reply
    cindy February 11, 2018 at 2:54 am

    I have never had a problem what so ever, Great machine… the only complaint i have is the teflon coating on inside is toxic to birds, and i have birds so this a no no anymore….

  6. Reply
    Cheryl January 15, 2018 at 1:47 am

    Where can I get help? On my first loaf I got to the bake time and ended up with a panel saying EEE. It says that comes when the room is too hot–but it is about 69 degrees in my kitchen. I cleaned everything up but if I plug the machine in it just continues EEE and lots of loud beeping. I can’t clear the panel. Any suggestions?

  7. Reply
    Joan September 28, 2017 at 4:07 pm
    1
    Overall Rating
    20

    HELP……My lid keeps flying off when I open it! It’s fallen off three times already and this is the second time I’ve used my machine. Why haven’t you secured the lid down so it doesn’t release and fall off? My lid almost broke, was all scratched up because I have wooden floors, luckily the clear plastic middle did not break. Please give me some suggestions for the lid not to fall off. This was a gift and I’m unable to return the machine.
    Sincerely,
    Joan Matthews

    - CONS: Lid falls off if you lift it quickly or with one hand.
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