Best Bread Machines in 2017 – Our Top Picks
- 1 Top Rated Products on the Market
- 2 Benefits of of Using a Bread Maker
- 3 Our Top Picks
- 4 Choosing the Best Bread Machine – Buyer’s Guide
- 5 FAQ about Bread Makers
- 6 Conclusion
Bread should be one of the essential elements of your meals. However, a lot of food is made of inferior quality ingredients nowadays because most bakeries aim for quantity instead of quality. Consequently, you end up with a loaf of bread which doesn’t have any nutritional values whatsoever.
Many people take it for granted, but eating poorly made food can cause some health issues. The solution is pretty simple – make your own food!
If you want to start eating healthy, take a look at these bread machines, and you might find something of interest. All of them are affordable, useful, and most importantly – worth having.
Top Rated Products on the Market
Oster 2-Pound Expressbake – Healthy Choice for Your Family
If you have a large family, this model is the one you should check out. It has up to 2 lbs of capacity, which is more than enough to feed five or six individuals. One of the greatest things about this particular bread machine is the Expressbake feature meaning it can bake a loaf of bread in under an hour. While it’s quick and incredibly useful, it’s also quite affordable.
The design is one of the things that make this bread machine a good investment. It’s well made, sturdy, and aesthetically appealing. Although many people don’t care much about the looks, it’s still a good thing to have a modern-looking unit on your kitchen counter. The control panel is pretty straightforward.
A lot of people think the more controls it has; the harder it is for use. However, it’s not necessarily the case, as you can see with this model. While it does have a couple of modes, buttons, and features, it’s still just a bread machine and using it is a piece of cake. However, because almost every other bread machine operates in a different way, make sure to read the user manual before making your first loaf.
The LCD screen offers information about the stages of the bread making process. It’s quite useful, and it comes in handy if you don’t want to hassle with timing and other things. The programmable modes allow you to fine-tune and customize each stage and make a perfect loaf of bread. There are three crust and twelve bread settings meaning you have the opportunity to bake a loaf just the way you like it.
People who don’t have any baking experience often don’t want to buy these machines. However, all you have to do is add the ingredients into the unit, and that’s it. It will mix, bake, and knead automatically. Furthermore, you don’t even have to pay attention to it until it’s finished. If you want to add seeds and other post-baking ingredients, set the timer and the unit will notify you with an audible signal.
The delay timer is something you have to love. It works on a very simple principle, and it’s extremely useful. For example, if you set the timer to eight hours and pour the ingredients into the unit before you go to bed, a fresh loaf of bread will be waiting for you right on time for breakfast. Take a moment and check it out, it’s worth the time.
What We Like:
– Large capacity
– Expressbake feature
– Delay timer
– Well made
What We Don’t:
Zojirushi BBCCX20 Home Bakery – Top Quality Machine
When it comes to useful and customizable controls, the Zojirushi BBCCX20 is one of the best models on the market at the moment. It has everything you’ll ever want from a bread machine, quick cycles, good capacity, recipe functions, and much more. Zojirushi is one of the leaders on the market, and you can rest assured that a vast majority of the models they make do perform as expected and advertised.
This particular model is great both for beginners and experts. While you can tackle some of the more demanding recipes, you can also bake bread regardless of your previous experience with these machines. It’s safe to say that it’s a valuable device even for devoted bakers because it controls the temperature while the dough is rising.
As far as the design goes, it’s pretty good. Even though it doesn’t look as modern as some other models from our list, it’s still an appealing unit, and it fits perfectly in any kitchen. The controls are quite straightforward. There are no complex programs, redundant buttons, and complicated menus; everything is as simple as it can get.
The timer function is what makes these machines so useful and irreplaceable. Although it takes around two hours for the bread to bake, you can pre-set it 13 hours ahead. In simpler words, you can schedule the baking process. The benefits of this function are great. For example, you can set the machine in the morning to bake a loaf of bread which will be ready when you get home from work. That way, you’ll always have fresh and healthy food on your table as soon as you come home, without any hassle whatsoever. Apart from saving money, these units also save a lot of time.
The window located on the lid comes in handy if you want to follow the process, or check the progress. It’s important because adjustments are necessary sometimes after the mixing cycle. Instead of starting all over again, you can open the lid and add the missing ingredients without jeopardizing the whole baking process. The thing that separates this model from the others is the fact that it has two mixing paddles instead of just one. According to the manufacturer, it speeds up the process, and it also mixes the ingredients better.
The model comes with a 1-year warranty, which is not bad, but far from impressive. Make sure to read the manual before using it for the first time.
What We Like:
– Good capacity
– Window on the lid
– Good design
– No complex programs
What We Don’t:
– Only 1-year warranty
Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery – Very Good Unit
The Zojirushi BB-CEC20 has many great features to offer whether you’re a novice or an expert. It can bake a 2lb loaf of bread in about two hours. It comes with a user manual, tutorial video, and a book of recipes. It’s a great product for any occasion, and the most important part is the fact that it’s quite affordable. While it doesn’t stand out as the best of the best, it has more than enough functions for most of your needs.
The design is pretty standard; it has a control panel with various functions and a display, a window on the top of the lid, and much more. One of the surprising functions is the auto shut off feature. While it sounds pretty standard, you would be surprised how many bread machines don’t have it.
However, the BB-CEC20 has this feature built in, and it helps a lot. For example, you don’t have to worry about power consumption because as soon as the baking cycle is finished, the unit shuts itself down to preserve power.
The menu settings include basic, dough, wheat, jam, quick, cake, sourdough, and more. As you can see, versatility is one of the strongest points of this unit. The pre-programmed options include whole wheat, jam, cake, homemade, and dough. Each one of these modes represents a different concept of baking. For more detailed information, refer to the manual. In fact, read the manual before using the unit for the first time, regardless of your previous experience with these machines. It’s important because some models work on a different principle than others.
As far as the price goes, it’s acceptable. As we previously mentioned, it is an affordable unit, but it’s not cheap by any means. However, the somewhat premium price is justified by the usefulness, quality, and versatility of this model. Therefore, if you’re on a tight budget, try finding something simpler and with fewer functions. On the other hand, if you’re a devoted professional, you’ll get everything you’ll ever need for baking a delicious loaf of bread.
One thing you might not like is the “clicking” sound of the baking pan. It can get annoying after a while, and it’s pretty loud. It’s not a big deal, but some people find it stressful. Other than that, there are no significant shortcomings. Many people recommend this particular model; it’s up to you to evaluate whether it’s the thing you’re looking for.
What We Like:
– Quite affordable
– Auto shut off feature
– Versatile menu
– Acceptable price
What We Don’t:
– “Clicking” sound of the baking pan
Sunbeam 5891 – Cheap yet Effective Bread Maker
The Sunbeam 5891 is perfect for making basic bread recipes. While it’s not a heavy duty professional piece of baking equipment, it still packs more than enough features for your everyday needs. This bread maker also has programmable modes meaning you can customize a lot of things before commencing the baking cycle.
The first thing people notice about this model is its simplistic design. While some other models on the market have a ton of buttons, functions, and menus; this one doesn’t. In fact, it only has six buttons and a display which shows basic information during the baking cycle. However, the simplistic design can be a disadvantage for people who look for ultra-modern machines with fancy lights and incomprehensive functions. Therefore, don’t expect a futuristic-looking device.
The ease of use is the trademark of this particular unit. Even if you never baked a loaf of bread, you’ll get a hold of it within minutes. However, don’t forget to read the manual first which should help you to setup the unit properly. There are twelve settings available, and three different crust settings as well. If you have kids who don’t like eating hard crust, select the light crust mode, and that’s it.
People usually associate cheapness with low quality. However, it’s not the case with the Sunbeam 5891. It’s well-made, sturdy, durable, and most importantly – efficient. It offers similar features as some other models on the market, but it’s much cheaper. One of the things that people don’t like about this particular model is the cleaning process.
It has quite a few edges and inaccessible parts meaning you could have some issues with maintenance. It far from impossible to clean it, but it gets quite annoying after a while, especially when cleaning the blades. Remember, it’s not a dishwasher safe unit, and you shouldn’t use any aggressive detergents. Also, don’t use metal silverware because you risk damaging the surface of the non-stick pan which is then irreparable.
The warranty conditions are not bad, although bear in mind it’s made in China. Some people don’t like buying products that were assembled on the Asian market due to unfavorable warranty conditions. The power consumption is pretty standard; you don’t have to worry about the bill at all. It has a one-hour “keep warm” function which is pretty rare for bread machines, especially the ones from the cheap category. Overall, it’s worth checking this product out if you’re looking for a decent bread machine.
What We Like:
– Programmable modes
– Simplistic design
– Quite affordable
What We Don’t:
– Issues with maintenance
– Non-stick pan risk damage
– Country of origin
Hamilton Beach 29882 – Great Product for the Price
Baking a loaf of bread has never been easier. The Hamilton Beach 29882 is the number one bestseller in the bread machines category on Amazon. It has everything you’ll ever need for baking a delicious meal. Whether you’re looking to make gluten-free, French, or sweet bread, it doesn’t matter, this model will do the job, and it will perform as advertised. If you ever have a dilemma between this and any other model from the same price range, go with this one, it’s your safest bet.
The 12 program cycles come in handy because you don’t have to setup anything manually. The Basic program is for white and mixed bread made of bread flower. The French mode is for lighter types of bread made of fine flour.
As you can see, every mode has a purpose, and all you have to do is set the right one, pour the ingredients in, and wait for the cycle to finish. Once it’s finished, you’ll have a fresh and tasty loaf of home-made bread.
This model has the most appealing design among the units on our list. It fits perfectly in any kitchen because it has a modern and futuristic look. It also features a display which offers useful information during baking cycles. It’s important to point out the fact that the screen is indeed backlit, which is not the case with other models on our list. The lid has a small window which comes in handy if you want to check the progress. The non-stick pan is dishwasher friendly. However, you shouldn’t use aggressive detergents because you risk damaging the fine layer of protection thus jeopardizing the whole integrity of the pan.
The delay timer is also one of the neat functions of this product. It works on a pretty simple principle. You can pour the ingredients into the unit, but you don’t have to start the process right away. Instead, you can program the time and schedule the baking. That way, you can go to work and come back home to a freshly baked loaf of bread.
If you’re looking to turn your kitchen into a professional bakery without much hassle, this model is the one for you. It’s not hard to get a hold of it, and a lot of people are impressed with the results after the first try. While it’s affordable and useful, it also offers a healthy alternative to anyone who’s had enough of bread full of harmful and unhealthy additives.
What We Like:
– Appealing design
– Small window
– Delay timer
– Affordable price
What We Don’t:
Benefits of of Using a Bread Maker
Bread makers have many great benefits, and a lot of people oversee them. It’s always easier to go out and buy a loaf of bread, but if you make one, it’s going to taste much better, and it’s going to be a lot healthier than any commercial one. Therefore, the question is not whether it’s worth buying one, but why is it worth buying?
The fact that you know every single component of the bread you’ve baked is a great advantage. Bakeries use additives to preserve freshness, integrity, and the overall look of bread. Although many of those components aren’t a risk to your well-being, it’s always better to eat additive-free bread.
You can also add fruit, seeds, and other delicious stuff at any moment during the baking process. Also, people who have allergies don’t have to worry about the hazardous components if they make their own bread.
Many people give up on baking because of the aftermath. No one can knead a loaf of bread and not make a mess in the meantime. The traditional way requires a lot of time, effort, and nerves. It seems like a high effort – small reward in most situations.
However, if you own a bread maker, you can control the mess and minimize the invested effort.
If you have any diet restrictions, the bread you’re buying probably has a pretty hefty price. Take a moment and multiply the number of days in a month with your daily bread expenses.
Needless to say, it’s a huge number. The solution is pretty simple – use a bread maker.
Our Top Picks
|OSTER 2-POUND EXPRESSBAKE||2.0 lb. loaf capacity||12 bread settings and 3 crust settings||13 x 13.8 x 14.1 inches||8 lbs|
|ZOJIRUSHI BBCCX20 HOME BAKERY||2.0 lb. loaf capacity||3-level crust control; cake and jam settings; 13-hour programmable timer||19 x 14 x 12 inches||23 pounds|
|ZOJIRUSHI BB-CEC20 HOME BAKERY||2.0 lb. loaf capacity||Auto shut-off system; Quick baking cycle||12.8 x 13.6 x 18.9 inches||20 pounds|
|SUNBEAM 5891||1-1/2 or 2.0 lb. loaf capacity||12 cooking functions; 3 shade selections; 13-hour delay bake;||15 x 10 x 13 inches||18.6 pounds|
|HAMILTON BEACH 29882||2.0 lb. loaf capacity||12 settings; 3 crust settings; Delay timer||12.4 x 16.4 x 12.8 inches||12.8 pounds|
Choosing the Best Bread Machine – Buyer’s Guide
There are some factors you should think about before buying a bread maker. Many people oversee these little things, and they end up with a unit which is expensive, worthless, or not efficient at all. To avoid such scenario, take a look at these tips, and you will get a general idea of what to look for in a bread maker.
Just like with any other product, the price usually indicates the level of quality. In other words, you get what you pay for; it’s as simple as that. These machines usually range from $50 to $300. The high-end units tend to produce a prettier loaf of bread. Also, the more features a unit has, the higher the price. Therefore, the models with a lot of customizable modes, displays, and other auxiliary functions cost more than the standard ones.
If you’re looking to use the unit on a daily basis, you shouldn’t buy anything under $100. You can buy something cheaper, but don’t expect it to last long.
Although it seems pretty irrelevant, the shape of the paddles is paramount. Dual kneading paddles are your safest bet. It doesn’t mean that single paddle models aren’t worth buying, but the dual system is much more efficient. Also, you might want to check if it’s possible to remove the paddles after use because of cleaning.
Maintenance is much harder if you can’t remove the paddles because they usually have inaccessible spots. It’s also important because the units that don’t have removable parts usually leave an imprint on the bottom side of the bread.
It’s quite impressive that there are still models on the market without a built-in timer. It’s a great function, and it allows you to schedule the baking process. In other words, you don’t have to spend time waiting for the process to start.
Also, it’s great because you can schedule baking in the morning and go to work. Once you get back, a fresh loaf of delicious bread will be waiting for you.
A vast majority of these units mix and knead dough which can be a noisy operation. Another thing you should think about is the level of vibration during full operation mode. Some people reported that their unit “walked off” the kitchen counter due to hard vibrations.
Heavier units usually have fewer vibrations and a steady working cycle. You can’t consider these units extremely noisy, but if you decide to bake a loaf of bread for breakfast, the noise could wake up the rest of your family.
An alarm is useful if you’re planning to add fruit, seeds, and other things. If you put them into the unit at the beginning of the process, they will get smashed and crushed. However, if the model has a built-in alarm, it will notify you when the time comes with an audible signal. It doesn’t sound like an impressive feature, but it certainly comes in handy.
Did you know that you can make pizza, dough, jam, noodles, and gluten-free bread with a bread maker? If you want more than just a bread-making machine, check out some of the models with these functions. The only thing you might not like about this is the price. As we mentioned already, the more functions it has, the more expensive it gets. However, if you’re not financially limited, it’s recommended that you get a model with at least two or three additional options.
If you like bread with dark crust, you’ll need a unit with programmable functions. You can also control the kneading and rising process with the help of programmable options. The goal is to find a machine that requires the least amount of effort. For example, many models come with pre-set modes such as French, sweet, whole wheat, and more. The more pre-set functions it has, the less work for you.
Although it’s up to your personal taste, you should aim for a more modern design. For example, the lid should have a window so that you can monitor the cycles without taking it off and losing temperature. A display is not a mandatory thing, but it’s the future and the models without it are becoming obsolete.
FAQ about Bread Makers
Can I use my own recipes?
Most units come with a book of recipes that are specially written for that exact model. It is recommended that you try with those first so that you can get a general idea of how does the whole process look like. However, if you would like to try other recipes – you can. Make sure that the total amount of ingredients doesn’t exceed the recommended capacity levels of the machine.
Why is the crust hard and thick?
The most common cause of hard crust is too much flour. Reduce the amount of flour next time by two tablespoons, or use milk instead of water. One other cause could be a wrongly selected mode. Therefore, check the settings before tweaking your recipe.
Is it hard to use these machines?
Not at all. Whether you’re a professional or a beginner, it shouldn’t be an issue to get a hold of these devices. However, make sure to always read the manual first before using your bread maker because a lot of models work on a different principle.
Why are the kneading pads lose?
There is no need to get alarmed about that because it’s perfectly normal. It’s also normal for the pads to fall out if you turn the non-stick pan upside down.
If you have a few dollars to spare, make sure to purchase a bread maker. It will be your best investment of the week. Apart from saving money, you will also start eating much healthier food than before. Also, you can customize and control every aspect of baking meaning you can add fruit, artificial flavors, and virtually anything you can imagine.
The best thing about these machines is the fact that they are suitable for anyone’s budget. Because the price range is pretty wide, even people who can’t afford professionals units can buy a smaller-scale machine which does the job well. Take a moment and read these reviews, you’ll get a better insight into the capabilities of these devices.