The Cuisinart CBK-200 boasts a convection fan for better baking, but is it all just a lot of hot air?
The convection fan circulates the hot air in the baking chamber during the baking cycle as well as the keep warm cycle. This makes the bread machine more efficient when it comes to crust color and crispiness.
However, the convection fan might increase the effectiveness of the baking process just a little too much causing the bread crust to become much darker and thicker than expected. The light and medium crust color settings might be the safer options if you do not like very dark crusts.
Cuisinart CBK-200: Features
- 15-minute pause function
- 16 preprogrammed menu options
- 3-year limited warranty
- Audible tone for when kneading paddle can be removed
- Audible tone for when nuts and fruit may be added
- Audible tones when bread is baked and also at the end of the keep warm cycle
- Choose between 3 crust colors as well as 3 loaf sizes: 1 lb, 1.5 lb or 2 lb
- Chrome stay-cool handles on the left and right sides
- Control panel featuring LCD display (not backlit)
- Convection fan circulates hot air inside the baking chamber
- Delay start timer for up to 12 hours
- Glass viewing window
- Instruction manual with recipe booklet printed on reverse
- Measuring spoon and measuring cup are included
- Power failure backup (maximum 15 minutes)
- Removable nonstick bread pan
- Removable stainless steel lid with chrome handle
The stop/pause button pauses a cycle for 15 minutes if pressed once. The bread maker will automatically resume the bread program cycle after 15 minutes has elapsed. If you want to resume the cycle before the 15 minutes are up, then you may press the start button. The pause feature might come in handy when you want the dough to rise just a few minutes longer before the baking cycle starts.
You need to press and hold the stop/pause button for three seconds if you want to stop a bread program. If you make a mistake with the loaf selection or otherwise, you do not have to unplug the machine and wait around for more than 15 minutes to reset it. Use the stop button and start over again by selecting the correct control panel settings and then pressing the start button.
Sixteen Menu Options
The Cuisinart CBK-200 offers 16 menu programs, but it does not allow you to program your own custom cycles. Experienced bread machine bakers might miss having the power to reprogram or tweak certain settings such as the rising or kneading cycles. Ordinary bakers might not mind using the factory settings.
The instruction manual provides a timetable for each program that even takes into account the crust color and loaf size. It provides times for the preheat, knead, rise and bake steps. It also shows the specific times when audible tones will sound to either throw in fruit or for removing the paddle.
Here are the 16 menu programs as listed on the control panel:
2. Rapid White
3. Whole Wheat
4. Rapid Whole Wheat
6. Rapid French/Italian
7. Quick Bread/Cake
8. Low Carb
9. Gluten Free
10. Dough/Pizza Dough
11. Artisan Dough
12. Sweet Breads
13. Rapid Sweet Breads
15. Last Minute Loaf
16. Bake Only
Menu option number sixteen is the bake-only program which does not knead or rise but only bakes. This may be used for baking previously prepared dough or for extra baking if a bread loaf needs to darken some more after a specific bread program has finished. It can be set for a minimum of 10 minutes up to a maximum of 90 minutes in 10-minute intervals.
Power Failure Backup
If the power goes off while the machine is busy, then the bread maker will keep the current bread making cycle in its memory for up to 15 minutes. If the power returns before that period of grace is over, the machine will resume the process from memory.
Please note that unplugging the bread machine to cancel a menu program is not the best way. You need to wait for 15 minutes until it loses its memory (by which time you might have lost your temper) before plugging it back in and starting again. Rather use the stop button: press and hold for about three seconds until the bread machine stops. Then you can choose new menu options.
Mix-Ins Audible Tone
A series of audible signals (4 sets of 5 beeps each) remind you to add mix-ins near the end of the second kneading cycle. It is on by default on most bread programs except for low carb, quick bread, gluten free and last minute loaf. If you want to deactivate the signal, press the mix-ins button once before you press the start button. The mix-ins LED light will turn off to show that it has been cancelled.
Remove Paddle Audible Tone
The second audible signal (three sets of six beeps each) reminds you to remove the kneading paddle. It happens just before the last rise cycle when the mixing and kneading has been completed. Removing the kneading blade decreases the hole in the bottom bread loaf. The paddle shaft will still leave a small round hole.
The best way to remove the paddle is to press the pause button once so the machine will rest for 15 minutes. This gives you time to open the lid, take out the bread pan, remove the dough, remove the paddle, put the dough back, replace the bread pan and close the lid.
You may then press the start button to let the bread machine continue immediately with the baking cycle or simply wait for the pause period to end and the bread machine to resume. If this sounds like too much trouble, then you may leave the paddle in the pan and remove it from the finished bread. It is your choice.
End Bake Audible Tone
The bread maker will beep ten times to let you know it has finished baking the bread. It now keeps the bread warm for 60 minutes, at the end of which twelve beeps will sound to mark its completion. The keep warm cycle prevents the bread from getting too soft from moisture, but it is best to take it out as quickly as you can and let it cool on a baking rack. The bread crust will probably get a little darker if you leave it in too long.
Jam Cycle Audible Tone
During the jam making menu program there will be tones at the five and ten minute mark to remind you to gently scrape the insides of the bread pan clean with a spatula.
Press the loaf button to select the loaf size that matches your bread machine recipe: 1, 1.5 or 2 pounds. The Cuisinart CBK-200 is set by default to a 2-pound loaf size. The gluten free and low carb menu options do not allow you to choose a 1-pound loaf size. You cannot set the loaf size on the bake-only program.
Crust color options are limited to the familiar three: light, medium or dark. The Cuisinart CBK-200 is set by default to a medium crust color. Sweet bread crusts tend to brown more easily because they contain more sugar and fat than other bread types. It would be best to choose a light crust color when baking a sweet bread, otherwise it might get too dark.
Delay Start Timer
It is important not to use perishable ingredients such as eggs or dairy products when you want to bake a bread using the 12-hour delay start timer. The ingredients might start to spoil before the bread is baked. If a recipe requires milk or eggs, then you might substitute it with dry milk powder or dried egg powder so that you may still use the delay start timer.
Cuisinart CBK-200 vs. CBK-100
The Cuisinart CBK-200 is a more expensive version of the older and cheaper CBK-100 (reviewed here). Nevertheless, the CBK-200 has the convection fan as well as menu options for artisan dough and low carb bread. Both these Cuisinart bread machines have a menu setting for making gluten free bread.
What is included?
The bread maker comes with its own instruction manual, measuring spoon and measuring cup. The instruction manual includes a recipe booklet printed on its reverse side.
Be sure to read the instructions carefully before using the bread maker. It contains operating instructions, explains features, talks about bread types, contains bread program timetables, provides bread making tips, provides troubleshooting tips as well as information on gluten free ingredients. Other useful bits of information can also be found within its pages.
The recipe booklet that comes with the bread maker contains a few bread machine recipes for each of the menu programs, except for the bake-only cycle. There are gluten free bread maker recipes as well as recipes for making dough, artisan dough, jams, sauces and chutneys.
- Audible signal reminds you to take out the kneading paddle.
- Dough setting is good for making pizza dough.
- Getting replacement parts from Cuisinart is not a problem.
- Parts that come into contact with the bread are free from BPA.
- Use the gluten free menu option to make your own gluten free bread.
- LED screen is not backlit and might be difficult to read.
- Manual and recipe booklet are combined and printed on the reverse side of each other.
- The bread maker can be noisy when mixing and kneading the dough.
- The dark crust color setting might be too dark: rather use medium and light.
- You cannot program your own custom bread making cycle.
The Cuisinart CBK-200 convection bread machine is worth an extra few dollars, but its dark crust color option might burn the bread crust due to the action of the convection fan. Nonetheless, the CBK-200 is probably the best bread machine with a convection feature (buy it from Amazon.com).