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Zojirushi is among the leading brands of bread machines in the world. The Japanese company, which has been in business since 1918, has made a name for itself and earned a reputation for producing quality household products that are durable, versatile, and easy to use. The best Zojirushi bread maker not only delivers flavorful homemade bread but can be used to make a plethora of other foods, including meatloaf, pizza and pasta dough, cake, jam, and butters.
For this review, we considered all the different features that are important in a bread maker. They include size and weight, loaf capacity, number of programs, and power. Further in the review, we’ll look at each of these features in greater detail and tell you why they matter. As you understand the role each feature plays, you’ll be better placed to find a Zojirushi bread maker that works for you by comparing different models based on these features.
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve analyzed and tested different Zojirushi bread makers to find out how good they are, what types of bread and related stuff they can make, and their capacity. We’ve relied on our own experience using these machines, the experience of other consumers, and insight from dealers. Read all about it below. We’ve made it easy for you to follow along and have included in-detail reviews of each product and a detailed buying guide. We believe this information will provide answers to the questions you may have about bread makers, how they work, and how to choose the best.
If you frequently bake large loaves of bread, the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme bread maker with a 2lb capacity will prove to be a timesaver. Two blades ensure that the dough is thoroughly kneaded. The cooking pan, with its high rise, provides ample space for the bread to rise and take shape. The bread pan is non-stick, meaning the baking and cleaning process won’t be messy. It’s also removable, so you can clean it with ease.
With 10 pre-programmed settings, it’s super quick and easy to bake your favorite type of bread. Choose from options like sourdough, whole wheat, cake, jam, dough, and homemade. From these, you can bake a wide range of delicacies like cinnamon rolls, meatloaf, pizza, bagels, and more. The sourdough function will make the starter, but you can also make and use your own starter if you prefer.
In addition, you can choose from 3 crust shades and set the timer. The timer allows you to delay the end of the baking time by up to 13 hours, which is welcome if you like coming home/ waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread as you can program it to finish baking at these times.
For added safety, it has an auto shut-off feature which is activated if the temperature gets too high. It also has a 10-minute power failure back-up, which gives you sufficient time to connect to an alternative power supply if your power goes out.
Besides an owner’s manual, the bread maker also comes with an instruction video and a recipe booklet.
What are its best features?
3 memory settings
Large viewing window
10-minute power failure backup
What could be improved?
Paddles must be properly aligned at every use, otherwise you get lopsided bread
The Zojirushi BB-SSC10WZ Home Bakery Maestro is ideal for the person who wants to bake smaller loaves of bread – up to 1lb. It’s especially well-designed, with a tall frame that occupies little counter space.
To ensure you spend little time prepping for baking, it comes with a host of preprogrammed courses that include pasta dough, pizza dough, cake courses, jam course, and customizable homemade courses. Simply select the desired course from the LCD control panel, add ingredients, and let the bread maker mix the ingredients, knead the dough and carry on with baking. Or use the customizable homemade course with a custom recipe of your own. There’s a 13-hour delay timer that lets you choose when you’d like to have your bread ready.
Zojirushi uses double heaters in this bread maker to rapidly heat the interior, creating an oven-spring that leaves you with a light, well-cooked, airy crust. With Crust Control, you can choose between a medium or dark crust for each loaf you bake.
Other cool features include the Auto Add Dispenser, a special unit that dispenses nuts and other ingredients. It’s removable and washable and therefore easy to clean. The sturdy carry handle makes it easy to move and store the bread maker. The add-ons like the measuring cup and spoon are guaranteed to ensure you get the ingredients right every single time. And the 50-recipe booklet provides you with tons of recipes to consider whenever you’d like to try out something new.
With a capacity of 2 lb, the Zojirushi BB-PAC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso is a good choice for those who often bake large loaves. It comes with 10 pre-programmed settings that include baking options for whole wheat recipes, dough, cakes, jam, and homemade, a setting that allows you to program the knead and rise according to the custom recipe you’re using. What stands out about the menu settings in this model is just how diverse they are. The most notable of these is the gluten free option, which makes it possible for you to bake bread for anyone with dietary restrictions. You also get 3 memory settings, which can make the baking process even faster if you like to bake the same type of bread regularly.
The bread maker uses double blades to ensure the dough is perfectly kneaded for the best results. An extra heater on the lid guarantees that the top of your bread is well-cooked and ensures even baking. You also have the choice to remove the dough and remold it with your hands into a nice, even shape. The bread maker will beep when it’s time to do so, usually before the first rise, so watch out for that.
The LCD control panel is easy to use and responsive. It allows you to choose the desired preset course, set the timer, and check the completion time. The large viewing window allows you to monitor the baking progress without opening the lid.
The Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Mini Breadmaker, with a 1 lb capacity, is perfect for small families and those who stay alone and for whom small loaves of bread are adequate. Its slim and compact design takes up little counter space, making it perfect for smaller kitchens.
In addition to menu settings that include programmed courses for basic bread, quick bread, French bread, dough, pasta dough, cake, and jam, it also comes with a choice of three bread textures – regular, firm, and soft.
This 450W bread maker is fast, with the quick baking cycle preparing bread in under 2 hours. The timer has a delay mechanism that allows you to delay the finishing of the baking process by up to 13 hours. You can monitor the progress through the viewing window on the lid. The lid is removable for easy cleaning.
An easy to use LCD panel makes it easy for you to adjust the settings. It’s from this panel that you select your preferred mode, bread texture, set the timer, and start or reset the baking process.
Carry and store it with ease using the sturdy handle that makes lifting the bread maker easy. There is a slot at the back where you can conveniently and safely store the cord.
The bread maker comes with a manual, instruction video, and recipe booklet.
It’s good to know how different Zojirushi bread makers work and their pros and cons, as we’ve done above. However, the real deal in buying a great bread maker is in understanding how these machines work and how to choose the best when you go shopping. This is what we’ll cover in this next section.
Reliable and durable – Zojirushi bread machines benefits
Zojirushi has a history that’s about 100 years old, having been established in 1918 in Osaka, Japan. Dedication to developing quality products and in later years striving to automate as many of its products as possible propelled the company to become one of the leading household product manufacturers in the world. Zojirushi bread makers are made to this same high quality the company has come to be renowned for. When you buy one of these bread machines therefore, you’re getting:
Easy to use device
A multifunctional machine that can make all kinds of dough, bread, cake, and jam
A bread maker that offers you a range of customizable options, depending on the model
Durability and reliance
A simple way to enjoy delicious, homemade bread at any time
Zojirushi bread maker prices range between $200 and $400 on average. Small bread makers with few features fall in the $200 price range, while large bread makers and those with diverse features and accessories fall in the $300 and above range. When choosing a Zojirushi bread machine based on price, it’s important to also consider other features such as loaf capacity and programs, as these can limit your usage if they’re not at par with your requirements.
Features to consider while buying the best Zojirushi bread maker
Let’s now look at the specific features you should be paying attention to when buying a Zojirushi bread maker. These matter because they determine what size of bread you can make, how many preset courses it supports, how customizable the settings are, and how easy it is to find replacement parts among other important things we’ll talk about.
Weight and size
When it comes to Zojirushi bread makers, weight is almost always commensurate to size. Large bread makers like the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme and Zojirushi BB-PAC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso, which are designed for baking large loaves, tend to be heavier and weigh between 20 lb and 25 lb. Because of their bigger size, they take up more space in the kitchen. So ensure you have sufficient counter space before choosing one of these. Small capacity bread makers, typically used to make 1 lb bread loaves, weigh between 10 lb and 16 lb. Their compact design makes them perfect for small kitchens since they don’t take up a lot of space.
This refers to how big of a loaf the machine can make. A bread maker with a 1 lb capacity can only make 1-pound bread or smaller. If demand for bread is high in your house, go for a bread machine with a larger capacity, say 2 lb, like the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme. With such a bread maker, you can bake 2-pound loaves of bread with ease. You’ll also be able to use the machine to bake smaller bread if need be. So you enjoy some flexibility.
Easy to operate
A good bread maker should be easy to operate. Luckily, all Zojirushi bread makers are designed to be user friendly. The controls are conveniently located in an LCD control panel at the front. To change settings, you only need to push the buttons. Each button is clearly labeled, easy-to-read, and responsive. Further, the bread maker does all the mixing and kneading. You only need to add the ingredients in the recommended order and the machine does the rest.
Zojirushi bread makers come with preset programs for specific recipes. All you have to do is add the indicated ingredients as per the program you want and the machine mixes and kneads the mixture appropriately. The number of preset programs available varies with each model, so be sure to check how many programs the model you want to buy supports. They include programs for making different kinds of dough, cake, jam, and a range of homemade recipes. Many Zojirushi bread machines also come with memory settings. If you frequently bake specific types of bread, memory settings will save and remember your choice of program the next time you bake, further simplifying the whole process for you.
Design and materials
Zojirushi bread makers are made in a rectangular shape, with a bread pan that produces bread in a similar shape to the bread from your grocery store. Some bread machines (mostly mini bread makers) are slim and tall, while others are low-set and wider.
The baking pan is usually made from non-stick stainless steel for durability and easy cleaning. The outer shell can be made from hardy plastic, which is also durable and easy to clean, as well as heat resistant so it stays cool to the touch. Other important components are the steel paddles, which are responsible for kneading the bread mixture, and the motor, which keeps the machine running.
Some bread makers produce bread that has the same shape as regular store-bought bread. Others produce bread that is vertical. Slicing the latter gives you large pieces that will not fit in your toaster or sandwich maker, for example. You will need to cut and shape these slices to the right size if you want to make toast. Why the difference in shape? Some bread makers have only one paddle. Because the paddle is limited in how wide it can reach, the bread pan is made in a tall design to accommodate the vertical reach of the paddle. This type produces tall slices of bread. Bread makers that give regular-shaped bread have dual paddles, one on each side of the pan. The paddles are able to reach both ends of the pan, hence producing bread that is horizontal. These types of bread makers are more expensive though, so remember this as you decide whether the shape of bread is important to you.
Spare parts availability
Some bread maker components will need to be replaced over time due to normal wear and tear. The parts you’re likely to replace with time include the kneading blade, paddles, and baking pan. Spare parts for Zojirushi bread makers are widely available and easy to purchase from the company itself and from authorized Zojirushi dealers both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.
Zojirushi offers a 1-year warranty for each bread maker. The warranty covers workmanship and materials, excluding non-electric components, accessories and disposable parts. If the bread maker becomes faulty during the warranty period, return it to the authorized dealer from whom you purchased it, any Zojirushi service center, or to the manufacturer (Zojirushi). To benefit from this guarantee, be careful not to void the warranty. Some of the circumstances that are not covered under the warranty are:
Damage due to misapplication, misuse, abuse, accident, or neglect.
If the bread maker has been modified in any way without written permission from the manufacturer.
If the bread maker has been serviced at a non-authorized service center.
If you have not maintained it as per the user manual.
If you’ve used it for commercial purposes.
If the lot number has been defaced/removed.
If it wasn’t manufactured to US/Canada market specifications.
If it wasn’t imported by Zojirushi.
Great Zojirushi bread recipe
If you’re new to using Zojirushi bread makers, having a go-to recipe that always delivers the perfect loaf of bread can help you get started and give you the confidence to try out other recipes. Here’s one of our favorite Zojirushi bread recipes:
Pour 2 cups water into the bread pan.
Add ⅓ cup honey.
Add 2 teaspoons of salt.
Add 4 cups of whole wheat flour (can be store-bought or home ground).
Add slightly less than ½ teaspoon of regular yeast.
Close the lid.
Select the Homemade Course.
Cooks in approximately 3 hours.
You can use this dough to prepare 1 whole wheat bread, 14 rolls, or 2 pizza crusts.
Zojirushi bread machines are largely produced in China, even though the brand is Japanese. That said, the company’s head office is in Osaka, Japan, where most of the research and development and quality assessment guidelines and decisions are made.
Follow the recommended guidelines when weighing your ingredients to ensure that they do not exceed the capacity of your Zojirushi bread maker. This can cause damage to the machine and void your warranty. Zojirushi gives the following guidelines:
1 cup Bread Flour equals 4.5 oz or 128g
1 cup Whole Wheat Bread Flour equals 4.2 oz or 120g
If using home milled/ground flour, measure by weight rather than volume, bearing in mind the flour may be too coarse or too fine compared to store-bought flour, which is what is typically used in bread machines. As a guideline, 4 oz equal to 1 cup of home milled flour.
If the bread maker has a gluten-free program, for example, the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme, select this option from the control panel and follow the prompts to add the ingredients in the specified portions. The machine will then mix, knead, and bake your gluten-free loaf within the indicated timeframe. If the machine does not have a gluten-free option, you can adapt any gluten-free recipe to the bread maker’s cycle times. Zojirushi recommends using the Basic course to make gluten-free loaves.
Our top choice of bread maker is the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme. We like its large capacity as you can bake 2lb loaves of bread. Other impressive features include the dual blade mechanism, pre-programmed and memory settings, auto shut-off, 10-minute power back-up, and instructional video.
Our second choice is the Zojirushi BB-SSC10WZ Home Bakery Maestro, a small bread maker that is ideal for small families. There are many attractive features and accessories in this model, including the double heaters, crust control function, programmed courses, auto add dispenser, carry handle, and measuring cup and spoon.
Our third best Zojirushi bread maker is the Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Mini Breadmaker. We like its slim and light design. We also like the wide choice of preset programs, including the bread texture options and quick baking cycle. Other cool features are the handle and removable lid. It is also attractively priced. So that’s another winner.