If you love freshly baked bread, but hate the time-consuming prep work then let a bread machine do the work for you. These appliances mix, knead, and bake all with minimal supervision. Some of the advantages of making your own bread include:
- Cheaper – Over the life of a bread machine you will save money over buying store-bought bread.
- Better Tasting – You can prepare any type of bread including artisan loafs which will be much more fresh than anything you can buy.
- Healthier – You control the ingredients you add, so you won’t have any additives or preservatives.
When shopping for a bread maker you obviously want one that consistently bakes great tasting bread. Some other features to look for include pre-programmed bread cycles (at a minimum a normal cycle and dough cycle), quiet operation, simple intuitive controls, size of the machine (a 1-pound loaf yields about 8 slices while a 2.5 lb loaf yields about 20), add-ingredient signal for nuts or raisins, delay timer so you can wake up to freshly made bread, easy to clean, and specialty options or settings like for gluten-free.
Pricing ranges from about $50 to $300 for the best models. Below we review our top picks for the best bread machines.
Simply put if you want the best bread machine you can buy go with the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Virtuoso. While it does cost about $280, it is also the highest rated model available on Amazon with a 4.7 overall rating. The Virtuoso has an extra heating element on top compared to the very similar Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Supreme which ensures perfect crust every time from 3 different crust shade selections. Some other features that come with this model include 10 preset bake options including gluten-free, handles up to a 2 pound loaf, 13 hour delay timer and has 2 kneading blades.
We highly recommend this Zojirushi model – there really are no negatives except the price, so just be aware that there are cheaper options available if price is a concern for you.
We highly recommend the BB-CEC20, although for a few more dollars you could get the BB-PAC20. There are also options available that are much cheaper as well.
The Panasonic SD-YD250 with a price of $128 provides users with solid performance and plenty of settings which makes it an overall great value. You can bake three loaf sizes up to 2.5 lbs. and choose between 3 shades of crust. It also has 6 different bread/dough options, automatic yeast dispenser, and 13 hour preset timer. Users say it is easy to use and clean.
We like the Zojurishi models a little bit better than this Panasonic one, but this bread maker costs about half as much which is why we chose it as the best value.
So far there a only a few user reviews available on places like Amazon, but they have all been very positive. We really have nothing to complain about this West Bend model and think it is a good option due to its price.
If cost is a major concern then check out the Oster CKSTBRTW20 Expressbake Breadmaker which can be bought for just $63. This 2 pound capacity model is the best selling bread machine on Amazon. It comes with 9 bread settings, 3 crust options, and a 13 hour delayed timer. While it does not perform as good as the more expensive choices, it still produces outstanding quality bread for the price.
We only would recommend this Sunbeam model if price is the number one priority for you.