Best Bread Machine in 2017 – Reviews & Top Picks

bread from a bread machineAs the name suggests, a bread machine is a machine for making bread! Don’t worry, we can be a bit more specific than that! This kitchen appliance is essentially a small electric oven. Inside the appliance is a large bread tin (also referred to as a bread pan) with an axle at the base which is connected to the electric motor. A paddle is connected to the axle and this is essentially used to knead the bread.

So why should you use a bread machine? Well, the main reason to buy the best bread machine is that you can make fresh bread quickly and easily. What’s more, the timer function on most products lets you have it whenever is most convenient for you! And when you do use your bread machine, there’s very little mess involved unlike with traditional baking! Despite the name, a bread machine can allow you to make more than just bread so it’s a very versatile kitchen appliance and, best of all, it’s they’re so easy to use!

If the many benefits of the bread machine have made you curious about this fantastic kitchen appliance, read on!

Our Top 5 Bread Machine Picks

ModelLoaf sizeItem weightRatingWarrantyPrice
Zojirushi BB-PAC20
Zojirushi BB-PAC20
2 lbs22.1 lbs4.6/51 year$$$$
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Breville BBM800 XL
Breville BBM800 XL
1 & 1.5 & 2 & 2.516.9 lbs4.3/51 year$$$
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Oster CKSTBRTW20
Oster CKSTBRTW20
2 lbs8 lbs4.3/51 year$$
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Cuisinart CBK-100
Cuisinart CBK-100
1 & 1.5 & 2 lbs18.2 lbs4.2/53 years$$
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Hamilton Beach 29882
Hamilton Beach 29882_small
1.5 & 2 lbs12.8 lbs4.3/51 year$
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Now we come to our bread machine reviews where you can find out all about the best bread machines on the market, complete with pros and cons! First, you’ll discover our short product reviews which are great for getting a feel for each product. Then you’ll come across our in-depth product reviews which really get into the specifics of each bread machine and provide you with all of the necessary information. Beyond this is our buying guide for tips and tricks when it comes to buying and using your bread machine. Let’s get started then!

1. Zojirushi BB-PAC20 - Our Top Pick

When you’re feeling more than peckish and in need of a substantial loaf of bread (perhaps for the whole family) then the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 will be right up your street. With this excellent bread machine, you can bake a traditional, rectangular-shaped 2 lb loaf. What’s more, the various gluten free and custom menu settings ensure that you can keep everybody happy, no matter their dietary requirements. There are many reasons why this is our top pick and this is reflected in the many excellent features on offer. A quick baking cycle and an LCD clock make this product more efficient and easier to use though the aluminum paddles are poorly designed and lack durability.

 With the 13-hour delay timer, you can essentially have freshly baked bread whenever you want, whether it’s when you wake up or when you return home from work. We think you’ll love the built-in heating element of this product which results in beautifully baked bread.

Pros

  • Makes the most delicious bread
  • Two paddles for more thorough kneading
  • Quiet when in operation with minimal vibration
  • So many customizable options available

Cons

  • Paddles lack durability

2. Breville BBM800 XL - The Runner-up

Such is the quality of the Breville BBM800 XL, it wasn’t far from being our top pick! Our runner-up, it’s advertised as being the smartest bread maker ever and it’s not hard to see why. The ability to choose from over 60 different recipes and make loaves of various sizes means that this is certainly one of the more versatile bread machines on the market. One of the best features is the smart LCD screen for progress indication, automatic settings and more, all at your fingertips. This Breville bread machine features a collapsible paddle which means no hole at the bottom of the loaf however it is notoriously tricky to clean, dividing opinion amongst consumers.

One feature that we know we like is the automatic fruit and nut dispenser which releases the ingredients at the optimum time. It’s also easy to appreciate the user-friendly design of the product with the large viewing window and interior light for increased visibility.

Pros

  • Excellent LCD screen for quick and easy selection
  • Collapsible paddle means no hole in the loaf
  • Fruit and nut dispenser automatic releases ingredients

Cons

  • Collapsible paddle can be tricky to clean

3. Oster CKSTBRTW20 - Best for the Money

If you’re reluctant to pay top dollar for a bread machine, the budget option of the Oster 2-Pound Expressbake may be for you if you can overlook the cheaper plastic assembly. With this product, you can bake bread of up to 2 lb in size which is ideal when you’ve got company. Despite the low price, it still has many of the settings you’d find on more expensive models. 12 bread settings and 3 crust settings mean that you can mix things up with a variety of bread.

This is a bread machine that was clearly designed with convenience in mind. Particularly handy is the large LCD display which makes following the bread’s progress nice and easy.

We also appreciate the 13-hour programmable timer which offers a great deal of flexibility, offering bread anytime night or day for exactly when you need it. Most impressive is the Expressbake setting for when you’re in a hurry and need bread in under an hour!

Pros

  • This product is nice and easy to clean
  • Expressbake setting means bread in under an hour
  • Lots of features considering the low price

Cons

  • Cheap plastic construction isn’t the most durable
  • The light weight means it does vibrate on occasion

4. Cuisinart CBK-100 - Best Warranty

There’s little worse than buying a kitchen appliance that has or develops faults or breaks down completely. Peace of mind can be provided with the Cuisinart CBK-100 which comes with a 3-year warranty. Of course, you’re unlikely to need it since this is another top bread machine. With it, you have the option to make loaves of 3 different sizes. What’s more, there are 12 pre-programmed menu options and 3 crust settings so you’ll never get bored of bread! 

One thing you may tire of is the various noises it makes. The mixing process isn’t particularly quiet and the beeps are fairly frequent and loud. On the plus side, you’ll easily know what stage of baking it’s at! This is helped by the viewable window and the LCD display which add to the convenience.

Aside from being easy to use, the CusinartCBK-100 has a non-stick baking pan that is very easy to clean, saving you valuable time.

Pros

  • Excellent LCD display makes it very easy to use
  • Can make multiple sizes of loaves
  • Nice stainless steel design

Cons

  • Quite noisy when in operation
  • Machine’s beeps are quite loud
  • Baking pan could be sturdier

5. Hamilton Beach 29882 - A New, Inexpensive Option

Even bread machine experts may not have heard about the Hamilton Beach 29882 and that’s because it’s new to the market. This is another inexpensive option that is making a very good first impression. The HomeBake Bread Machine lets you make 1.5 lb and 2 lb loaves. Indeed, there are 12 different settings which include French, gluten-free and sweet as well as 3 different crust settings.

We think that this product is great for anybody who wants a bread machine that is easy to use (and who doesn’t?!) and affordable. It has a compact profile and a sleek black design that’s easy on the eye though the viewing window does tend to steam up, making viewing difficult.

As with any cheaper product, be aware that the quality of construction is usually inferior to the market leaders though this is not a common complaint with this particular item.

Pros

  • Very easy to use thanks to LCD screen and button layout
  • Can make many different types of bread
  • Mixes dough extremely well for the price

Cons

  • The construction is cheap, reflecting the price tag
  • No visual indications of progress

Factors to Consider When Buying a Bread Machine

nice bread loafBuying a bread machine is easy, buying the right bread machine is another matter entirely! That’s why we’ve not only included in-depth reviews of the best bread machines available, but also this comprehensive buying guide. Here you will find out all about the essential features to look for and more. So read on if you want to find a product to be proud of!

Loaf Size

There’s plenty you can look for when buying a bread machine. One of the first things you should look for is the loaf size. Most of the top bread machines on the market allow you to make loaves of various sizes which could be anything from 1-2 lbs, for example. However, not all offer this. If possible, you should try to find one that is adjustable since it allows you additional flexibility when baking. That way you can be ready to bake a loaf that’s the right size for you and your family or a larger one for when you’ve got guests.

Bread Type

As with the loaf size, many bread machines offer the ability to bake different types of bread. The very best models on the market are programmable and feature automatic settings for the most popular types. Such automatic settings mean that the appliance will make all of the necessary adjustments in the kneading and baking process, making it much easier for you! So what are some of the types of bread you can expect from the best bread machines? Well, there is everything from basic wheat and dough to gluten-free and sweet bread! Most good bread machines also have different crust settings (typically three) of light, medium, and dark.

Size and Weight

If kitchen space and storage is an issue then the size and weight of a bread machine naturally become more important. Most people like to keep their bread machine on the work surface all the time, especially if they’re regularly baking loves. Bread machines can weigh as little as 10 lbs if they’re constructed of plastic but those that are of higher quality and more durable can be up to 20 lbs. Our advice is to check not just the weight of the product (in case you have to lift it to put it in storage) but also the dimensions. That way you can ensure you’ve got the space you need for your new kitchen appliance.

Noise

The noise made by bread machines varies a great deal from product to product. The general rule is that the cheaper the model, the more noise it makes. This is because the more budget bread machines tend to be made of plastic and thus, lack the stability of more top of the line products. Some of the noise comes from vibration so try to make sure your bread machine is placed on a very flat surface.

What about Features?

  • Kneading Paddle

Kneading paddles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes but all do the same thing! Some bread machines just one kneading paddle and others have two. In our opinion, it’s better to opt for a bread machine with two paddles as this tends to have better results. One of the problems of kneading paddles is that they can produce a hole in the bottom of the loaf in the baking process. Thankfully, some paddles are collapsible or removable which addresses this issue. Some products come with a spare paddle which is useful if one breaks or is lost.

  • Delayed Timer

One particularly useful feature that is included in many bread machines is a delayed timer. This means that you can add the ingredients to the bread machine in advance and set the timer to start at your convenience, day or night! So you could then wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread!

  • Alarm

Connected to noise is the alarm of the bread machine. Some of the alarms can be very noisy and if they’re quite regular then they may well become irritating! Of course, the alarms of bread machines are not designed to be invasive. Their purpose is to let you know when it’s time to add other ingredients to your loaves such as fruit and nuts.

  • Viewing Window and Light

Because bread machines bake bread automatically, a viewing window isn’t an essential feature. Nevertheless, a viewing window is a quick and convenient way of seeing how a loaf is progressing. Some viewing windows steam up too easily so this is something to bear in mind.

  • Control Panel

A fairly self-explanatory feature, the control panel allows you to control the baking of your bread! These vary from product to product but tends to be designed with ease of use in mind. From the control panel, you can start and stop the appliance, select the size of loaf and type of crust.

  • Ingredient Dispenser

Most bread machines have an alarm to indicate when you can add certain ingredients. This could be fruit and nuts, for example. Some of the very best products have a compartment in which you can place the ingredients and this will automatically open at the appropriate time.

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s so much to consider when buying a kitchen appliance such as a bread machine. From the size and types of loaves that it makes to features such as kneading paddles and delayed timers, there’s plenty for you to consider!

At the end of the day, the bread machine you choose is entirely down to you! Regardless, we hope that our reviews of bread machines are helpful in making your choice. We understand that there are so many products to choose from at so many different price points. Hopefully, you now have the relevant information at hand in order to make an informed decision. We wish you the best of luck and happy baking!

And lastly, here’s a great video on how to use your bread machine when you’ve received it.