This is the first Black Friday deal we've seen for a breadmaker: Kohl's, in its leaked circular, is featuring the Oster 5838 ExpressBake at an advertised price of $40. However, read the fine print and you'll see that you'll actually pay $60; the $20 savings comes in the form of a mail-in rebate. If you're the type that sends in rebates, it's not a bad deal, but if not, there are better deals out there on better breakmakers.
The deal: Oster 5838 ExpressBake Breadmaker for $40 (after $20 rebate)
The verdict: A good deal if you're diligent about mailing the rebate
At $40, the ExpressBake isn't too bad; it retails for $60 to $80 elsewhere. We read mixed reviews for it overall. Editors at BreadInfo.com say it delivers a fine loaf in just 58 minutes, but it occasionally chokes on raisins and other heavy ingredients. At Amazon.com, we read several accounts of brick-like and sunken loaves. Owners say you should be prepared to experiment with the amount of liquid and yeast in order to strike the perfect balance between soggy loaves and tough crusts.
Overall, if you want a simple, budget bread machine, the Sunbeam 5891 is best in its price range, according to our report on bread machines. It has a few extra cycles not commonly found in similarly priced models, like a jam cycle and a crust color selector, along with bake-only and dough-only settings. Right now, it goes for $55 online, and it gets slightly better user reviews than the Oster version.
Taking advantage of rebates poses its own set of problems if you're giving the Oster bread machine as a gift. That's because you're going to have to mail in the receipt to take advantage of the rebate. Therefore, the recipient isn't going to be able to return the breadmaker if they don't like it. Just something to keep in mind -- if you're going to claim the rebate, make sure the recipient is happy with the gift first.
The bottom line: Owners seem a little happier with the Sunbeam 5891, but for $40, the Oster bread machine is a pretty good deal.