If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of trying to make that perfect loaf of bread on your own, you’ll appreciate the excellent results a bread maker can produce. You don’t have to spend a fortune, or even dedicate a large amount of counter space, to get the best bread maker for your money.
As with many other small appliances, there’s a variety of models to consider. Some bread machines are quite basic, and are ideal for producing smaller batches of standard bread. On the other hand, you can also find machines with more options, such as the ability to make gluten-free bread or to choose from one of many automatic functions for delicious end results.
Aside from capacity and price, certain features may make one bread maker more enticing than the other. For example, some include a viewing window, while others come with recipes and measuring cups to help you get started. Having a non-stick bread pan is essential if you want to keep clean-up to a minimum.
1. Oster Expressbake Bread Machine
The Oster Expressbake Bread Machine is a good size for families and anyone who wants to feed several people at once. In addition to its 2-pound capacity, this large bread maker also has 650 watts of cooking power.
There are several available bread and crust settings for delicious end results. A quick bake setting yields fresh bread in less than 60 minutes. Other features include a programmable timer and a user-friendly LCD display. To use the machine, just add your favorite ingredients, select the appropriate settings and wait for the bread to finish.
- Ideal for families
- Large LCD display
- Multiple settings
- Tends to move around a bit when making larger quantities
- Mixing blade doesn’t always get to the bottom of the bread
- A bit loud
2. Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker
If you’d prefer to leave your bread machine on the counter and would like a stylish appliance, consider the Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker. This bread maker features an eye-catching brushed stainless construction. To make something other than a traditional loaf, simply choose from options such as gluten-free and low carb breads.
On the inside, it’s equipped with a convection fan for control over the timing and speed. In addition to bread, you can choose from dough, cake and jam options. If you like to add mix-ins to your bread, just wait for the audible tone. This machine comes with a 12-hour timer and a backup in the event of power failure.
- Attractive brushed stainless finish
- Convection fan for even baking
- Also cooks cake, jam and more
- Oddly sized loaf pan
- Display is a bit tricky to read
3. Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso
A growing number of bread machines offer gluten-free bread options, including this Zojirushi bread maker. As an added bonus, the bread machine has two kneading paddles for quick and even incorporation of ingredients. The machine has enough room to bake a large regular-sized traditional 2-pound loaf. If you’re in a rush you can opt for the quick baking cycle, which delivers a fresh loaf of bread in around two hours. A measuring cup and spoon come with the bread machine.
Price: $299.00 (8 percent off MSRP)
- Gluten free menu setting
- Accommodates gluten and organic ingredients
- Quick baking cycle
- Pre-heating feature could be better
- Annoying beeping sounds
- Blades wear a bit fast
4. Breadman Professional Bread Maker
Use the Breadman Professional Bread Maker to make loaf sizes ranging from 1 to 2 pounds. There are several pre-programmed settings for baking bread, whether you want to make wheat, white or another type. You can also use the machine to make jam. A built-in dispenser lets you add fruit and nuts when desired. There’s also a viewing window, so that you can keep close track of your bread. A recipe book is included, along with a measuring cup. This machine has a delay start timer and a keep warm function. In addition to the type of bread, you can also choose how light or dark you’d like it to be.
Price: $84.97 (23 percent off MSRP)
- Built-in fruit and nut dispenser
- Includes a recipe book and measuring cup
- Several pre-programmed settings
- Some complain that bread sticks to the pan
- Paddle doesn’t always fully scrape ingredients
- A few complain that the beeping is too loud
5. Sunbeam Programmable Bread Maker
You can make expert artisan bread in under an hour with this bread machine. The programmable bread maker lets you pick and choose your desired type of bread, whether it’s dinner rolls, whole wheat sandwich bread, cinnamon raisin bread, or something else. A user-friendly design boasts straightforward controls and a bright and highly visible LCD display screen.
Another highlight is the viewing window, which lets you keep a close watch over the bread as it cooks without needing to lift up the lid. There are 12 settings along with three crust choices — light, medium, and dark. A 13-hour programmable delay bake timer lets you cook bread as your schedule permits.
Price: $58.96 (24 percent off MSRP)
- Large LCD screen
- Viewing window
- Multiple bread and crust settings
- Manual could be better
- Initial learning curve
6. T-fal ActiBread Bread Machine
This bread machine stands out for its 15 automatic programs. Selection include gluten free, whole wheat, salt free, French bread, jam, dough, cake, and pasta. There are three loaf sizes — 1, 1 1/2, and 2 pounds. You can also choose between light, medium and dark crust settings. Another highlight is the ergonomic top loading lid, which has a viewing window so that you can keep track of each loaf as it cooks.
A number of accessories come with this 700-watt machine, such as a measuring spoon and cup, hook, recipe book, and a kneading blade. A brushed stainless steel housing with black accents makes for a modern and upscale appearance.
- 15 automatic programs
- Various loaf sizes and crust settings
- Viewing window
- Mixing paddle occasionally gets stuck
- Instruction book could be better
- A few consumers complain of an initial plastic smell
7. Hamilton Beach Bread Maker
Don’t be fooled by the lower price tag, as this bread maker has a lot to offer. You can easily make gluten-free bread as well as bread without trans fats or preservatives. All you need to do to get started is add the necessary ingredients, select the desired cycle, then press the start button.
There are 12 different cycles to consider, including cake and jam along with French, gluten free, and quick bread. Other options include 1 1/2 and 2-pound express settings. A delay timer function allows you to prepare the ingredients ahead of time to ensure that you have fresh bread just when you need it. The machine comes with two kneading paddles. High customer ratings and fast shipping make this an Amazon’s Choice product.
- Suitable for gluten free baking
- Easy to use
- Multiple cycle settings
- Doesn’t always completely mix ingredients
- A bit large
- Tall loaf pan
8. Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme Breadmaker
This Zojirushi bread machine features a dual-blade construction for optimal mixing and kneading. It also has enough room to make rectangular-shaped 2-pound loaves of bread. There are 10 pre-programmed settings and three crust shades to ensure your desired results. Other handy features include an LCD control panel and a 13-hour delay timer. A large viewing window lets you sneek a look at the bread while it’s cooking. There’s also a removable nonstick pan for effortless cleanup. The machine comes with recipes, a measuring spoon, and a measuring cup.
Price: $265.22 (9 percent off MSRP)
- Dual-blade construction
- Many bread and crust settings
- LCD control panel
- Paddles sometimes create holes in the bottom of the bread
- A bit pricey
- Initial learning curve
9. SKG Automatic Bread Machine
High customer ratings, an affordable price tag and fast shipping makes the SKG Automatic Bread Machine an Amazon’s Choice pick. This bread maker offers a 2-pound capacity along with a delay timer and keep-warm function. It’s also beginner-friendly, and comes with an array of programs to ensure delicious results. You can use the machine to make traditional bread, along with gluten-free bread. Recipes and instructions are included.
- Multiple automatic programs
- Includes 1-hour keep warm setting
- Ideal for beginners
- Some say the capacity isn’t quite two pounds
- Recipes could be better
- Lid could fit tighter
10. Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker
If you’ve ever struggled to figure out precisely when to add in fruits, nuts, or other goodies (or if you tend to forget this step), you’ll really like this machine’s automatic fruit and nut dispenser. This feature allows your favorite add-ins to be released and incorporated at just the right time.
Another highlight is a unique collapsible kneading paddle, which thoroughly mixes ingredients together, then collapses prior to the bake phase. This design ensures that your bread won’t have holes at the base. A smart LCD screen keeps you updated as the bread is cooking with a progress indicator. The machine makes anywhere from 1 to 2 1/2 pound loaves and boasts 13 automatic settings along with many crust color and loaf size options.
Price: $186.99 (25 percent off MSRP)
- Automatic fruit and nut dispenser
- Collapsible kneading paddle
- Smart LCD screen
- Small automatic dispenser
- Collapsible paddle is tough to clean
- Dough can get caught in paddle
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