If you’re one of the people who doesn’t want to have to manually mix the ingredients, knead the dough, and then proof it, then you’ll love a bread machine. This convenient tool makes it a lot easier for you to serve freshly baked bread on your dining table without having to spend too much time or make too much effort.
A bread machine can help you make delicious bread by mixing the necessary ingredients, kneading the dough, and allowing the bread to rise before you bake it. This is very helpful to those who don’t have the time or simply don’t have the physical capacity to do so. With a bread machine, you can knead as many loaves of bread as you want without worrying about running out of time or health problems such as arthritis. Another great thing about bread machines is the many tasks you can do with them. Since bread machines come with the latest technology, you can make homemade macaroni and cheese, scalloped potatoes and even pizza! Imagine the possibilities!
Some people may tell you that you don’t need a bread machine. If you love baking bread and preparing small meals for your family, then don’t listen to the naysayers! A bread machine won’t heat up your kitchen and it doesn’t require a lot of cleaning even if you mixed something messy like meatballs in it! If you want to save time and effort and still make bread of great quality, you should definitely buy a bread machine.
|MODEL||PRODUCT DIMENSIONS||BREAD CAPACITY||USER RATING||PRICE|
|Zojirushi BB-CEC20 ||17 x 8.5 x 12.8 inches||up to 2 lbs.||4.4/5||$$$$
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|Oster 2-Pound Expressbake ||13.8 x 13 x 14.1 inches||up to 2 lbs.||4.3/5||$
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|Cuisinart CBK-100||18 x 12.2 x 15 inches||up to 2 lbs.||4.2/5||$$
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|Breville BBM800XL ||9.6 x 16.4 x 13.3 inches||up to 2.5 lbs.||4.2/5||$$$$
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Our Top Pick – The Overall Winner
This Zojirushi BB-CEC20 bread machine is our go-to choice, and in our opinion the best one on the market right now. Weighing 2 lbs, it comes with a powerful, high-end dual blade that makes rectangular-shaped loaves. The thing we love the most about this machine is its ease of use. It comes with an instruction manual, and within just 3 minutes you’ll be set and know the ins and out of this easy-to-use machine. It comes with 10 powerful, pre-programmed settings that make it very easy to insert the ingredients, chose the crust shade (light, medium or dark) and decide on the program. Then just leave it for a few hours and the house will be filled with the sweet, fragrant aroma of freshly baked bread.
Another welcome feature of this product is the LCD control panel which is very quick and easy to use. You’ll be guided through the few steps, and even if you’re not a whizz with technology, you’ll still be able to use this bread machine since it’s very user-friendly. Now, if you’re not confident with leaving it for hours without being able to see the process, then don’t fear. The bread machine has a large viewing window which lets you see the magic happen. What’s more, the BB-CEC20 turns off automatically when not in use for a certain period of time. As such, there’s no need to worry about the risk of a fire! Another great feature worth bringing up is the 10-minute power failure back-up. Should there be power interruptions, its exclusive homemade menu with 3 memory settings will come in handy.
We have 2x Zojirushi BB-CEC20’s, and even though we’ve had them for years, they’re still as powerful as the first day we started using them. They also still look great, which is a proof of the excellent durability of this product. However, this product does have a few issues to consider. It only comes with a 1-year warranty which is relatively short in comparison to other products on the market. However we’ve never had a problem in this respect since the machine is so durable, and is still in great shape after years of use. Another arguable disadvantage of this product is the price. While it is in the higher price range, its powerful features, consistency, and delicious breadmaking skills certainly make up for this.
Most importantly, out of all the machines we tested, it was this one that made the tastiest loaves of bread. The bread was just like the way mom used to make it: delicious and light.
- Very durable
- Easy to use
- Makes delicious bread
- Numerous powerful baking programs
- Only a 1-year warranty
- In the high price range
The Top Bread Machines Within Different Price Ranges
We have measured, monitored and tested over 56 bread machines. With all this data, we have compiled a list of the best bread machines for different price ranges, which you can find reviewed below. Of course, the more prominent the brand, and the better technology and options it comes with, the more expensive it usually is. Regardless of your budget, you’ll still be able to find a fantastic bread machine at an affordable price. If you’re looking for the best bread machine for the money, then you’re reading the right buying guide. We’re confident that you’ll find out bread machine reviews very useful indeed!
Low Price Range
This $60, 2-lb. loaf bread maker by Oster is the best budget bread machine. With a control panel, an LCD display, 6-minute memory function, 60-minute automatic keep warm mode, and 4 crust color buttons, it offers much more than the price tag suggests.
The crust color options are light, medium, dark, or rapid. This budget machine also features a delay timer for up to 13 hours, a glass viewing window, a removable bread pan, and 12 menu settings. In addition, it allows you to choose the loaf size you want. You can make a 1lb., 1.5 lb., or 2lb. bread. The machine also offers a 1-year limited warranty which covers defects in material or workmanship. The package comes with recipes, a user guide, a measuring scoop, a measuring cup, and a kneading blade removal tool.
The menu settings consist of:
Basic, French, Whole Wheat, Sweet, Express Bake 1.5 lb., Express Bake 2 lbs., Quick, European, Dough, Bagel Dough, Jam, and Bake.
The Oster Expressbake also gives an audible signal during the kneading cycle to remind you that it’s time to add raisins or nuts if the recipe requires. However, the signal emitted can be loud so we recommend that you don’t make recipes with fruits and nuts overnight unless you want to be woken up in the early hours of the day!
Other disadvantages of this particular bread machine are as follows: it lacks a gluten-free bread cycle, it does not produce a traditional loaf because of the pan shape, and it prevents you from programming your own custom knead, rise, and bake times.
- Very affordable
- Comes with a lot of basic features: pre-set programs, crust options, etc.
- Only a 1-year warranty
- It doesn’t produce a traditional loaf because of its pan shape
- Not much room for customization
- Not the most beautiful bread machine
Mid Price Range
For less than $100, you’ll get this easy-to-use, programmable, silver-finished bread maker. It makes horizontal 1lb., 1.5 lb., and 2lb. loaves in just two hours. The CBK-100 even has a 13-hour delay timer that allows you to prepare the ingredients before going to bed and wake up smelling the aroma of your freshly-baked bread. Just like most high-quality bread machines, this has a large viewing window, 3 crust settings, and 12 pre-programmed settings.
You will find other products in the mid-price range claiming that they are the best. But with the features and specifications of the Cuisinart CBK-100, you’ll see why I say it is the best of the bunch. Aside from the features previously mentioned, this bread machine also has a setting to produce gluten-free bread that tastes better than the ones you can buy from the stores. In addition, this heavy-duty bread maker is equipped with a removable lid, pan, and kneading paddle for plain sailing cleanup.
The CBK-100 also comes with a manual, recipe book, removable bread pan, removable kneading blade, measuring spoon, and measuring cup.
However, you cannot customize the color or loaf size in the gluten-free setting. What’s more, the bread maker is big and heavy and can be fairly noisy when in use. We’ve also heard from some users that their pan starts breaking after a couple of years. This bread machine is also known to break down faster than many other bread machines on the market.
- Fairly affordable
- Beautiful design
- Easy to use
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- Louder than most other models
- Not the best pan – not very durable
- Not as durable as other machines – known to break down
High Price Range
If you can spend $249 on a bread machine then we have quite the treat for you! With its beautiful stainless steel design, this Breville product continues to wow customers with its features. One of the best features is its automatic fruit and nut dispenser. Ever struggled with time wondering when you should add the fruits and nuts? Well, struggle no more. This machine will automatically release your favorite add-ons at the perfect time. This is a beneficial feature and also saves you from forgetting to add them during the process.
Unlike other bread makers that make 1-2 lbs., this also makes a 2.5 lb. loaf. It bakes for three hours, has a 13-hour delay timer, a large viewing window, and has two types of kneading blades, one of which is collapsible. It mixes ingredients together then collapses before the baking phase. This bread maker has the following 13 pre-programmed settings: custom, basic, whole wheat, rapid, gluten-free, crusty loaf, sweet, yeast-free, dough, pizza, pasta, bake only, and jam. It also features a smart LCD screen that keeps you updated.
Despite the hefty price tag, there are some minor cons to consider. The automatic dispenser is a bit small. Also, the collapsible paddle is difficult to clean and the dough can get caught in the paddle.
- Easy to use
- Automatically adds add-ons at the perfect time
- Has a bread capacity of 2.5 lbs.
- 1-Year warranty
- Not the easiest to clean
Bread Machine Buying Guide
Bread machines, just like other products, have various features, sizes, specifications, and appearances. A lot of them will try to claim and prove that they are the very best bread maker on the market. You’ve probably heard all the adjectives they can use to try to convince you. To give you a hand, we’ve picked out the most important features to look for in a bread machine.
Which bread capacity should I aim for?
You should choose a bread machine that can make loaves big enough for your usage. Most bread machines on the market support up to 2 lbs, which is a standard bread size that’s perfect for a family of 4. However, pretty much all of the models that can make loaves up to 2lbs. can also make smaller loaves such as 1lbs. & 1,5 lbs.. Therefore we suggest that you go with a standard bread machine that has a bread capacity of at least 2 lbs. This covers all eventualities such as having unexpected guests for the weekend! Therefore, we always recommend a standard bread machine that can make up to at least 2lbs. of bread. Take a look at the following outline of the different loaf sizes, and what kind of family they are best suited for.
1.0 lbs. – 1.5 lbs.: Best suited for singles and couples.
2.0 lbs.: The standard loaf size. Best suited for couples, families & industrial production.
2.5+ lbs.: Best suited for industrial production.
Other factors to consider when choosing a bread machine
1. Price and Brand
- Different brands offer a variety of prices.
- Identify your budget. If it’s unlimited then you don’t have to worry.
- You have to consider the price if your budget is limited.
- Bread machines with more features and options are more expensive.
- Expensive bread machines can look more aesthetically pleasing.
- You actually get what you’re paying for when you buy bread machines.
- They range from $60-$300 so there are a plethora of choices to suit your budget and kitchen needs.
- The best brands in the industry include Zojirushi, Panasonic, Conair, Breville, and Oster.
- If you want to avoid regretting settling on a cheap product, then I recommend you purchase from the top brands.
- Each brand uses different materials for their bread machines.
- Durable products tend to be more expensive. But that doesn’t mean you cannot find a durable product for an affordable price.
- To be safe, read reviews about the product. Most customers mention the durability of their bread machines anyway so why not take advantage of that?
- Depending on the brand, a bread machine can have more features than the rest.
- One of the features you should check is the color.
- Some brands allow you to choose how light or dark you want your crust to be.
- Others will allow you to knead the dough without baking or bake without kneading.
- Several bread machines also allow you to control how long you want your bread to rise, knead, or bake.
- It’s better to choose a bread machine that has pre-programmed settings such as basic, french, whole wheat, sweet, and gluten-free.
- Top quality bread machines also allow you to program your own cycle if the machine’s pre-programmed machines aren’t enough to satisfy your bread needs.
4. Kneading paddles
- They come in various shapes.
- Some bread machines come with two – one for dough and one for pasta.
- Having two paddles is recommended in kneading the bread but if it has one, that’s already the standard.
- Removable paddles are recommended so check if you can remove the paddle after the kneading cycle. This will help you avoid baking bread with the paddle that will leave a hole at the bottom of your loaf.
- If your bread machine has a single kneading paddle, it’s better if it also includes a spare paddle.
- In some more advanced bread machines, a notification will appear when the paddles need to be removed.
5. Delayed Timer
- This refers to the feature that allows you to choose the time you want your machine to start baking bread.
- This is beneficial especially if you want to be woken up by the aroma of freshly baked bread.
- Most bread machines have a 13-hour delay timer.
- Noise is unavoidable when it comes to bread machines.
- But you have to bear in mind that the noise level depends on whether it’s cheap or expensive.
- Cheap bread machines are prone to producing more noise than high-quality ones.
- Aside from making a lot of noise, a cheap machine can start moving on your kitchen counter as well; requiring some attention to avoid an accident.
- Bread machines that are of high-quality use more durable materials making them sturdier, preventing them from making a lot of noise and moving around.
- The only noise you should be looking for and happy to hear will be the alarm that will notify you when to add the fruits and nuts.
- Try to aim for a bread machine with at least a 1-year warranty.
- The rule of thumb says that “the longer the warranty for a product, the more durable it is.” This is usually the case, but not always.
Bread machines are like any other machine meant to make our lives easier. Aside from the convenience they bring, the features and options they come with allow us to make more than bread. They’re easy to use, control, and maintain.
There are so many choices on the market right now, and going through all of them is impossible – it’s like a jungle! There are just so many features and models that choosing one for your kitchen can end up becoming more tiring and confusing than exciting. The first thing you have to consider is the price that you’re willing to pay. After that, take a look at the rest of the tips we’ve mentioned above.
I hope I have made it easier for you to make up your mind. If you have read my recommendations and tips, then you’re good to go! Good luck!