Best Bread Makers

Best Bread Makers

Store-bought bread just doesn’t seem to cut it for most of us. Today, we’re learning about the best bread makers out there and how they can change the bread game forever! Whether you’re looking for a bread maker with a gluten-free option or one that can produce a delicious, fluffier bread, these options will surely help you craft something to suit some, or all, of your carbohydrate cravings.

Brand/Model Key Features Ratings More Information
Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso (BB-PAC20BA) Horizontal baking
2 pound capacity
Two kneading blades
4.9 out of 5

For more information, click here!
Zojirushi Home Bakery Mini (BB-HAC10) Vertical baking
1 pound capacity
One kneading blade
4.8 out of 5

For more information, click here!
Sunbeam 5891 Vertical baking
2 pound capacity
One kneading blade
4.7 out of 5

For more information, click here!
Cuisinart CBK-100 Horizontal baking
2 pound capacity
One kneading blade
4.6 out of 5

For more information, click here!
SKG Automatic Bread Maker Vertical baking
2 pound capacity
One kneading blade
4.5 out of 5

For more information, click here!

 Baking Bread for Beginners

Before we start trying to figure out which machine we need, let’s take a look at why we’re interested in getting a bread maker to begin with.

Are you desperately searching for the perfect type of bread to no avail? Does store-bought bread just sit on the shelf in your house until a new loaf is bought? Do you want to live a healthier lifestyle?

There are many benefits of purchasing one (or more) of the best bread makers out there, let’s talk about how one could enhance your life and satisfy your particular demands.

First, we need to address our relationship with baking in general. Are you new to this or are you experienced?

Have you recently become enamored with the idea of concocting the most delicious, warm bread anyone in your neighborhood has ever eaten? Or have you been through several bread makers, just hoping that the next one will do everything you want it to?

The best bread makers come in different shapes, sizes, and have different features. Many of the ones we’ve reviewed are great for both beginners and veteran bakers.

Take note of your experience when researching the right kind for you. There are options out there that aren’t as novice-friendly and could prove to be a headache for a newbie to figure out.

It might seem silly but a personal-use bread maker isn’t going to perform quickly enough to serve the masses… so don’t get one and try to open a bakery without any additional help!

The bread makers we’ve taken the time to review are not meant for commercial use. They’re meant to be used in your home. Some are capable of making 2 or 3-pound loaves, though!

Now, let’s get some ideas about what to look for or consider while browsing the best bread makers around.

  • How often do you want to use it?
    • This might seem trivial but it’s far from it! Some machines are able to withstand a heavy workload while others are only designed to be used on occasion.
    • Do you plan to use it every day? Once or twice a week? What about once a month or only during the holidays?
  • What’s your budget?
    • An all-too-important question. Quality isn’t always costly but additional features almost always are.
    • Evaluate your needs or expectations and compare them to the features and price tags on your favorite models.
    • It’s possible to find a good bread maker for less than $100 but most of the ones we found landed in that price range or a little over it.
  • What do you want to make with it?
    • Bread, obviously, but some models allow for other recipes, too!
    • Some double as waffle makers, cake creators, pizza dough pals, and more.
    • Certain models have specific compartments for specific ingredients as well. This can prove to be a beneficial feature if you’re known for forgetting to add nuts or fruit in time.
    • Another cool thing about some of the modern models is the fact that they have a gluten-free option! Now it’s even easier to find and make yummy, gluten-free food.
    • Some bread makers cannot handle certain ingredients like whole-wheat, so be sure to read all the details.
  • How much bread do you want to make?
    • Always look at the maximum capacity on a model. Most personal bread makers can produce 1/2-pound to 2-pound loaves. Some are only able to make one size while others can be adjusted as needed.
    • Another good bit of advice would be to consider the weight of your ingredients before preparing a batch. A handful of raisins might not feel like much in your hand but it could overwhelm your bread maker and prevent it from functioning properly in the future.
  • Which design do you like best?
    • Most of us are familiar with store-bought bread and how it appears. Those loaves aren’t very tall but they are kind of long, right? Those are horizontal loaves.
    • Vertical loaves are taller and the crust looks different than it would on a horizontal loaf.
    • When it comes down to taste, the design won’t usually impact that. We know all about not wanting to use something because we don’t like the way it looks, though, so be sure to consider the design before you make a purchase.
    • Consider how much space the appliance will take up during use and in storage. Several models are a bit bulky but there are a few miniature models available.
  • Does it come with a warranty?
    • Warranties are great for many reasons. Sometimes defective products are sold and a warranty protects you from losing your money and your machine. Check the details, but a good warranty will cover replacements and repairs as long as the issue didn’t arise from user error.

Remember that homemade bread won’t normally last as long as bread from a grocery store would. Why? Because you’re not adding a bunch of preservatives to increase the shelf-life! So if you don’t think your family can eat a whole 2-pound loaf in a week or two, you might want a bread maker that is meant to produce a smaller amount.

Obviously, that’s a super basic guideline that anyone could follow. If you’re thinking about getting one of the best bread makers as a gift for someone else, try to keep the aforementioned list in mind.

You’ll want to get whatever it is they’re looking for, not something that’s incapable of doing the one thing they want most out of this kind of appliance.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s go over some of the cool features several modern-day bread makers seem to have and what they’re good for.

  • A removable bread pan. 
    • That might not seem very cool at first glance but it makes cleaning and reusing your appliance a breeze. It can be tricky trying to figure out how to clean a bread pan that is molded to the appliance. (Electrical equipment and water don’t usually get along).
  • Timers, alarms, signals. 
    • Some of the most useful features available include a delayed start, a “keep warm” option, and sounds that signal when one step is complete. Not all bread makers are able to make bread from start to finish without additional help from humans, so if you want to set it and forget it, check to see that you’re able to.
  • Viewing windows.
    • Surprisingly enough, some bread makers simply do not have this satisfying feature. A viewing window is nice to have (especially on bread makers without timers) so you can see what’s going on with your bread. If you couldn’t care less, then don’t worry about it if the model you like doesn’t have one!
  • Speed bake.
    • This is a nice feature to have if you’re really craving a baked good and only have a small window of opportunity to create and consume one in. Be sure to read the specs before you toss together some ingredients, set it on high, and hope that it gets done in 20 minutes.
  • Amount of kneading paddles.
    • For the experienced baker, you know how much of a difference these accessories (or lack thereof) can make. A few models come with two or more but most seem to come with one. The consensus is that two paddles are ideal.
  • Noise reduction.
    • The best bread makers in the world aren’t typically known to be silent. Given the specs of a model, you should be able to tell by the motor size and material whether or not you can handle its noise level. (Seriously, some people can’t handle how loud bread makers can get). Size can influence this detail but sturdiness usually means less movement and noise.
  • Programmable features.
    • Do you like your bread basically burnt, barely done, or somewhere in between? Many models offer control over this, allowing you to choose the darkness or lightness of your crust.
    • If you’re baking something that doesn’t require kneading, check to see that your bread maker can make that adjustment.
    • This is where whole-wheat, gluten-free, pizza, and dessert choices come in. If any of that matters to you, be sure the model you like has these features!
    • Keep in mind that most speed-bake settings require rapid rising yeast… read the machine’s manual for more details about each model.
  • Beginner’s bundles.
    • Some bread makers are sold singularly while others include a starter’s kit. If a bundle piques your interest, be prepared to spend a little more than you would on a standalone machine.

The Best Bread Makers and What They Can Do

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best bread makers currently on the market and detailed their features and functionality.

Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso (BB-PAC20BA)

  • The Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso is a moderately priced, multifunctional miracle!
    • While not as cheap as some of our other options, it’s full of phenomenal features.
  • The Virtuoso can handle heavy rye and whole-wheat flours thanks to its longer kneading time option.
    • Can produce 2-pound loaves.
  • Has 10 programmed options: Basic, Basic Dough, Basic Wheat, Cake, Home Made, Jam, Quick, Quick Dough, and Quick Wheat.
    • The Home Made setting allows you to tweak the kneading, rise, and baking times as needed. This option allows you to create culinary classics like meatloaf right in your bread maker! Isn’t that cool?! It’s also able to retain 3 memory settings.
    • The Jam option is pretty self-explanatory, making it possible to create delicious, fresh-fruit jams and jellies to go along with your breath-taking bread.
    • The Dough function makes it fun and easy to create your own pizzas, pretzels, and more. Just use the appliance to prepare the dough, turn on the oven, and bake them to your satisfaction.
    • The Quick cycles make it possible to enjoy bread in less than 4 hours.
    • Can create gluten-free and organic recipes.
  • Features a big, heated lid with a window.
    • The reason a heated lid is awesome? The top of your loaf will be cooked just as well as the bottom of it! The window is nice, too, of course, for those that are using the Home Made setting.
  • Has a delay timer (thirteen hours).
    • Delay timers are good when you want to start making bread but don’t want it to complete cooking until much later. (Easy to start before work, allowing you to come home to a freshly-baked bread side to go with your dinner).
    • Has an LCD clock.
  • Boasts dual kneading blades and a removable baking pan.
    • Comes with a complimentary measuring cup and spoon.
  • Isn’t lightweight, weighing over 20 pounds.
  • Bakes horizontal loaves.
    • Can produce light, medium, or dark bread crust.
  • Should come with a manual and DVD for easy setup.
    • Backed by a six-month, limited warranty.

Zojirushi Home Bakery Mini (BB-HAC10)

  • The Zojirushi Mini Breadmaker is affordable and relatively portable.
    • It takes up very little space, weighs less than 20 pounds, and even has a handle to make it easy to place it or carry it anywhere.
  • It has a 1-pound loaf capacity.
    • This is perfect for singles, couples, and small families.
  • The lid can be removed completely, making it easy to remove recipes and clean the inside.
  • Includes setup instructions and some recipes.
  • Comes with one kneading blade, which we forgive because of how small this unit is.
  • Has a viewing window and an LCD control panel. It does not have a clock on it, unfortunately.
  • Allows you to adjust the texture settings to be regular, firm, or soft.
    • That being said, you can easily prepare dough for noodles and cookies, too!
    • Other settings make it possible to prepare a basic or soft bread, cake, French bread, and jams.
    • Does feature a “quick bread” function which completes a cycle in 2 hours or less.
  • This is a vertical bread maker backed by a one-year warranty.
  • The cord can be neatly stored behind the bread maker in a little holder.

Sunbeam 5891

  • The Sunbeam 5891 is both efficient and affordable, typically falling under the $100 price range.
  • Has a 2-pound capacity but is able to make smaller loaves as well (1.5-pound).
  • Features an LED display (not backlit, though) that shows your settings and the current stage the bread is in.
  • Has a viewing window and a removable bread pan.
    • This has a nonstick pan, so it isn’t recommended to use metal utensils to remove, stir, or scrape any recipes.
  • Offers 3 choices for the color of your crust.
  • Has a delayed bake option for 13 hours.
  • 12 programmed settings: Basic, Bake, Cake, Dough, Express Bake (one for 1.5lbs and another for 2lb loaves), French, Jam, Quick, Sandwich, Sweet, and Whole Wheat.
  • Weighs a little less than 20 pounds.
  • Makes vertical loaves.
  • Backed by a one-year warranty.

Cuisinart CBK-100

  • The Cuisinart CBK-100 is an affordable two-pound bread maker.
    • Though it has a two-pound capacity, it can bake 1 and 1.5-pound loaves as well.
    • Bakes horizontal loaves.
  • The bread pan, kneading paddle, and lid can all be removed to make cleaning simple.
    • Features a viewing window.
  • Has handles on the side in case you need to move the bread maker while it’s in use.
  • Has 12 programs: Basic, French/Italian, Whole Wheat, Sweet, Gluten-Free, Packaged Mix, Cake/Quick Bread, Dough, Pasta, Jam, Bake-Only, and Rapid Bake.
  • Does have a delay start timer and crust color selection.
  • Backed by a limited, three-year warranty.
  • Weighs a little less than 20 pounds and is larger than some models in size.
  • Features signals during second kneading cycle that alert you to add any remaining ingredients.
    • Also signals when the cycle is complete.

SKG Automatic Bread Maker

  • This SKG Automatic Bread Maker has a 2-pound capacity with the ability to make smaller loaves and is surprisingly affordable!
    • Makes vertical loaves.
  • Has a “keep warm” option that lasts for an hour.
  • Can handle gluten-free and whole-wheat recipes.
  • Easy to use for beginners.
  • Has a delay start timer for up to 15 hours.
  • Has 19 preprogrammed settings, allowing you to make all sorts of bread and various recipes. (You can create jams, yogurts, stir-fry, and more with this bad boy).
  • Can adjust crust color to light, medium, or dark.
  • Weighs less than 15 pounds.
  • Features a viewing window, a removable baking pan, a handle, and non-skid footing.
  • Unlike many of our other options, you can try this bread maker out risk-free for one month!
    • If you go ahead and buy it, the parts are covered under a two-year warranty.

Our Favorite Bread Makers

Honestly, we could list tons and tons of bread-making appliances but just a handful of them are top-quality choices. There are many different kinds available and the costs range all over the place.

The reasons we chose these particular five to be featured on our best bread makers list are a bit varied. We tried to give you, our reader, a fair selection to choose from. We wanted the prices to be right, the machines to work well over an extended period of time, and for just about anyone to be able to figure out how to use them.

You can easily go to a large supermarket and buy a bread maker for next to nothing. The reason we didn’t take that route is that we want you to be able to use these machines on a daily basis for years to come!

  1. The Zojirushi Virtuoso is by far our favorite. It just looks and feels right. Sure, it’s a bit big, but it does everything we wanted it to do. It isn’t confined to just making bread. The materials used don’t feel cheap. It was one of the only options that came with two kneading paddles. Also, it might not matter much to you, but we like that it bakes horizontal loaves. We fell in love with the Home Made feature because it allows you to make your own recipes and you can store up to 3 of those settings for future needs.
  2. The SKG Automatic Bread Maker probably would’ve been our first choice had it come with two kneading paddles… but alas, it only comes with one. Despite that minor setback, it is full of features! We love that we aren’t obligated to make big loaves or nothing at all… there are 3 loaf size settings. It makes vertical loaves, so they look a little funny compared to store-bought bread, but everything still tastes wonderful coming out of it. Did we mention that this model has the most options out of all our choices? 19 settings!
  3. The Zojirushi Mini is our final choice because it’s just so darn convenient! It’s small and it’s easy to transport from location to location. It’s perfect for the apartment dweller with an interest in making more of their own foods. You’re able to craft cookie and noodle recipes in this bread maker, too, which is awesome. We love appliances with multiple functions! Tired of staring at all the cords in your kitchen? This one won’t add to that mess because it has a cord holder on the back.

Depending on your budget and your baking needs, it would be hard to find a better bread maker than the ones we’ve just discussed. We’re sure there are a few super high-end models out there that are quieter than these, made of better materials, and capable of creating even more recipes… but unless you’re trying to spend an arm and a leg, these are the best bread makers around for now!

Most of the models’ specs can be found on the manufacturers’ website if you’re curious as to just how noisy these culinary assistants can be. If you’re not concerned about noise and you just want to eat some fresh, nutritious bread, you came to the right place.

We can’t thank you enough for taking the time to learn about bread makers with us and we wish you luck in your search!

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