Oster CKSTBR9050 Bread Maker Review by Elsy Haschke
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The Oster CKSTBR9050 bread maker has a very traditional look. A big, rounded rectangle houses controls on top in front of the flip-up lid. From that humble beginning, it blossoms into a workable appliance that turns out fine bread.
Basic Design & Features
The Oster CKSTBR9050 measures a modest 13.5″ x 13.2″ x 12.1″. That medium-sized case still allows this model to produce a nice big 2 lb loaf. Fortunately, it’s also large enough to house that loaf in an oval, non-stick baking pan. That makes it just barely large enough to slice horizontally. Bread comes out tasty in vertical loaves in other bread makers, but I prefer my crust on top when the loaf is sliced.
I do wish the paddle were a little easier to remove. I appreciate that you don’t want it to wobble loose during baking, but this one is a little too snug for my fingers. It also squeaks a bit from time to time, not a good sign of quality manufacturing. Still, that may just be this particular unit. There’s always some variation in manufacturing processes and Oster has a good reputation overall.
By contrast, the baking pan was easy to remove. Some models require you to be an Olympic weightlifter to get the darn thing out of the case. The pan in this unit fits securely but lifts in and out of place without undue effort.
One thing this Oster lacks is an automatic fruit & nut dispenser. That’s not essential but it would be nice to have. If you’re like me, once you set up your bread maker you tend to forget about it until the timer signals you.
It’s not hard to compensate by using a manual timer, of course, but that requires you to open the lid during baking. I try to avoid that, even though in reality it presents a pretty small effect on the final product.
Controls & Settings
A small or medium-sized loaf won’t take an excessively long time to produce, thanks to the EXPRESSBAKE cycle this bread maker offers.
Normally, I’m averse to marketing buzzwords, especially when they jam multiple words together. I like my appliance descriptions straight. Here, I don’t mind because the thing does what it says. It makes a loaf in under an hour.
In fact, as implied above, there are two separate settings – one for a 1 lb loaf and another for 1.5 lb. Sorry, no one should expect a 2 lb-er to be done in 58 minutes. Given that a Basic loaf will take almost 3 1/2 hours, that’s a bigger benefit than it might appear at first glance. Even the Quick setting takes an hour and twenty minutes.
That said, even without that specialty item the CKSTBR9050 is a good bread maker. One reason is the 13 settings that make it easy to bake just about any bread recipe you might wish without being a chef.
Those choices include Basic, Whole Wheat, French, and other common settings – like Pizza, Dough, Jam, and Cake. But they also include a feature more and more bread chefs are starting to love: Gluten Free.
That’s a particularly tricky recipe and even those bread lovers without gluten sensitivity are starting to try that speciality item. If you’ve ever used quinoa or almond flour in your bread maker you know what I mean. This model makes that chore easy.
I do wish the Delay Timer were a little more flexible. It extends to 15 hours, which is nice but doesn’t cover those longer times you might be away from home. Still, that’s rare so it’s a minor complaint.
Menu & Display
All that and more is, luckily, very easy to configure. The LCD screen is large and the fonts are easy to read. The information displayed is not at all confusing. When, for example, you select the shade for toast from light, medium, or dark it would be very hard to make a mistake.
The buttons are all right up front, well labeled and provide positive feedback. They are not the usual “under the plastic” sort that I’m not fond of in general.
This somewhat old-fashioned style provides much easier operation. I don’t have to bruise a finger to select the options I want and I’m always sure of when I’ve pressed.
I’m not overfond of the + or – buttons; they too-often require many presses to get where you want to go. But they work reasonably well on this model.
The CKSTBR9050 comes with a modest set of accessories, the standard ones you would expect: a measuring cup and spoon.
Frankly, I’m not sure why manufacturers continue to include these things. It would seem to be more trouble than it’s worth. Still, I suppose if they didn’t I and other hard-to-please buyers might complain about that. On the upside, the ones in the box are made of sturdy plastic and they fit my hands very well.
The Oster CKSTBR9050 isn’t the sort of bread maker likely to make anyone exclaim “Wow!”. The features are adequate but fairly simple. The design is just so-so. On the other hand, it’s a reliable unit that produces consistent results. The most outstanding feature is the ease of making Gluten Free bread, but that’s far from exclusive to this model.
Still, at this price, you can hardly go wrong, provided your expectations are reasonable.