The best bread maker

Bakeware & Baking Tools

You can use bread makers to knead and prove dough without baking it, which is great for making rolls, pizza, and any yeasted bakes other than standard loaves.

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The best bread maker for your kitchen

Not only does homemade bread taste better, it’s great to be able to make your own loaves when you can’t get to the store. Baking bread, however, can be a hassle — unless you have a quality bread maker to simplify the process.

With a bread maker, you just add the ingredients, adjust the settings as appropriate, press “start,” and in a matter of hours, you’ll have freshly baked bread.

We’ve researched the latest advances to bring you the best bread makers. Our updated shortlist includes two new favorites plus a long-standing top pick that still stands up to scrutiny.

Top bread makers

1. Zojirushi’s Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker: A returning favorite to our top spot, this bread maker has a huge range of settings so you can bake your bread just how you like it. Top and bottom heating elements make for an even bake.

2. Hamilton Beach’s 2-Pound Digital Bread Maker: This affordable option is a new favorite of ours due to its ease of use and decent range of settings. A great choice if you’re on a budget or get put off by anything too high-tech.

3. Cuisinart’s CBK-200 Convection Bread Maker: Another new favorite that’s made its way onto this list due to its extensive settings and convection cooking for a more evenly browned loaf.

For full reviews of these products, scroll to the bottom.

What you need to know before buying a bread maker

There’s no point in buying a bread maker if the loaves it makes aren’t big enough to feed your family for even a day, so always check the loaf size. The majority of bread makers on the market today produce two-pound loaves, which are about the size of average store-bought loaves. However, you can find smaller models for those who don’t eat much bread or slightly bigger models for large families.

All decent bread makers should feature at least a handful of preset programs for different types of bread, such as white, whole grain, and gluten-free. You should also get to choose between light, medium, and dark crust colors, according to your preference. It’s nice to have the option to knead and prove dough without baking it, plus the ability to add mix-ins, like seeds or dried fruit, after the first rise. Bread makers are designed to make your life simpler, so they should be easy to use, with clearly marked programs and buttons for things like crust color.

With most bread makers, the kneading paddles stay in place during baking, which gives you a small yet annoying hole in your finished loaves. To avoid this, look for models with collapsible kneading paddles or ones that allow you to remove the paddles before baking.

You can find some basic bread makers for less than $50, while the most high-tech models can cost over $500.

Best bread maker FAQ

Q. Are bread makers easy to clean?

A. Most bread makers have removable nonstick pans and kneading paddles, so it’s easy to take them out of the machine to clean them. Although many manufacturers state their loaf pans and paddles are dishwasher-safe, the nonstick coating will last longer if you wash them by hand with a non-scratch sponge or cloth.

Q. How long does it take a bread maker to produce a cooked loaf?

A. Sometimes you’re prepared to wait, but other times you want your bread ready as quickly as possible. You can find bread makers with rapid settings that produce a loaf in around two to two-and-a-half hours. Standard settings, however, tend to take between three and five hours depending on the proofing and baking times for the setting you’re using.

In-depth reviews for best bread makers

Best of the best

Zojirushi’s Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker

Zojirushi’s Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Bread Maker

What we like: Rapid programs can bake loaves in less than 2.5 hours. A choice of 15 programs plus variable crust settings. Compact dual paddles don’t leave a large hole.

What we dislike: Would like collapsible paddles considering the high price tag.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck

Hamilton Beach’s 2-Pound Digital Bread Maker

Hamilton Beach’s 2-Pound Digital Bread Maker

What we like: Offers 12 settings, including non-bread options, such as cake and jam. Delay timer allows you to add ingredients but bake later. Comes with an extra paddle.

What we dislike: To keep the unit compact, the loaves come out taller and shorter than an average two-pound loaf.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Cuisinart’s CBK-200 Convection Bread Maker

Cuisinart’s CBK-200 Convection Bread Maker

What we like: Between programs, crust color settings, and size options, you can customize your loaf in over 100 ways. Convection system cooks bread evenly.

What we dislike: Some users were disappointed with results from the gluten-free and low-carb settings.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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