Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve written about lots of bread and baking tools before — including a toaster made for artisan bread, the best cast-iron pot for no-knead bread, and every tool experts recommend for baking — here we’ve rounded up the best bread machines, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated bread machine
Nearly 2,500 customers gave this bread machine five stars, because, as one reviewer, says, it “has all the features you could want,” such as, “a viewing window, four bread types, light/medium/dark crust settings, and much more. It beeps when it is time to add fruit and delay timers.” People love that they can make multiple loaves of bread in no time, like this mom of six who writes, “With this bread machine, I won’t dread bread-making day since the machine does 90 percent of the work for me. As a first-time bread machine user, I definitely recommend giving in to the new technology and investing in a bread machine. This one proved to be very easy to use and made very delicious bread for my family.” Another experienced bread maker was “dumbfounded” by how high quality this machine is for such a low price, writing, “How does this plasticy, light weight, cheap-looking (with all due respect) bread machine make a way better bread than my previous expensive, high-end bread machine? How? Just how? The dough mixed well, rose well, and after it baked, the crust was just perfect, and the crumbs, oh the crumbs! It is moist, soft, bouncy, chewy, nutty, did I mention soft? Forget about all the over $100 or $200 expensive bread machines. Just get this one.” Plus, reviewers loved they could save money on bread after buying this. “Baking your own bread with this machine is easy and economical. You can take pride in it just as you would when making bread and kneading it with your own two hands,” as one reviewer sums it up.
Best bread machine for beginners
Dozens of reviewers describe this bread machine as “easy to use,” which is why it seems to be such a hit with beginners. “I purchased this bread machine because I struggle with making homemade bread, and really needed something that is fool-proof. This little gem made me perfect bread,” writes one. “The first time, I followed the instructions exactly for the #1 simple bread, and it was perfect.” Other beginners were concerned their bread wouldn’t be as authentic from this machine as if they made it themselves, but at least one reviewer assures that this isn’t the case: “As newbies to this sort of thing, we thought we were making some compromises in order to keep things simple. Bread-making is way easier than we thought it would be, and we’re really enjoying fresh bread, without all the additives of store-bought.” One likes the machine so much, he jokes, “I’m going to get fat,” but overall he feels the machine is worth it, writing, “Very easy machine to use, put it all in, and it does the work. Bam, 3 hours later you have bread.”
Best programmable bread machine
Many love that they can program this bread machine’s cycle, so the baking process fits within their schedule. One reviewer comments it’s “very handy for a busy mom who needs to put off her pizza dough until after I get back from shopping,” and another who loves this feature writes, “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using this bread-maker, especially programming it to have hot bread when you wake up in the morning.” One initially skeptical reviewer believed “an art such as bread making cannot be replicated by a machine,” but after his first go, his opinions changed. He writes, “With great trepidation, I set it and let it go. Soon, my home was filled with the delicious aroma of fresh bread. Could it be? Could the legends be true? I easily released the bread from its pan and took a bite. Holy guacamole, I made bread by dumping some crap in a bowl, sticking it in a machine and going to play video games.” Another just loves that this bread machine is “so simple to operate, is very quiet, and makes bread making a lot more fun than it used to be.”
Best bread maker for gluten-free bread
More than one reviewer called this bread maker with a gluten-free setting a “life saver.” One mom with two kids with Celiac disease complains that store bought gluten-free bread is “half the size of a regular loaf of bread and twice as expensive,” and so she loves this bread machine, writing, “It has performed beautifully to make us affordable bread for my family.” Another was fed up with store bought gluten-free bread, commenting, “I forgot how soft bread can be. This made a great loaf of gluten-free bread. I can have bread that wasn’t frozen first and I don’t have to toast it to eat it.” This reviewer who doesn’t have access to gluten free bread for her husband with celiacs felt this bread machine “has been heaven-sent.” She continues, writing, “I have baked several loaves, and every loaf has been perfect. Slices well, looking just like regular store-bought bread.The machine has paid for itself already.” One reviewer has been baking for over 70 years and just enjoys making bread with or without gluten. He writes, “For those who want a ‘quiet’ machine, you will not be disappointed. For those who want ‘quick; easy; and convenient,’ you will also be happy. Best of all, your bread will be tasty and satisfying.”
Best bread machine for one-pound loaves
Many complained that a two-pound loaf was too big, like one who writes, “The loaf size, at just a pound, is perfect for singles like me. I do not have to freeze so much extra bread, and it gets eaten before it gets stale or bad. I love this little machine.” He updated his review years later, writing, “Five and a half years and still going strong. Holy kitchen counter appliances, Batman. Now, at 49, I’ve had to slow down on my bread consumption for health reasons, but every single time i use the baby Zoji, it still works perfectly.” Another reviewer agrees with all points, noting, “It is a heavy, quality product. I would highly recommend. The one pound size is great for households with one or two people. Love waking up to the smell of bread cooking.” One reviewer feels more passionately, calling this machine “a life saver.” She writes, “Having a child with multiple, multiple food allergies and not being able to buy bread has been quite a challenge. With this machine, I just put all my own allergy-friendly flours and starches in the machine, hit a button, go do other things, and three hours later, I have a loaf that my child can safely eat. It is worth every penny.”
Best durable bread machine
Lots write that they’ve had this bread machine for years and it still works as if it’s brand new. One who has used hers for over eight years, writes, “The bread is very consistently made. If there’s a failure, it’s from mismeasuring or curious onlookers opening the machine during its cycle. It’s the best machine I’ve owned for bread making. I’d give it more stars if it were possible.” Another bought a Zojirushi bread machine 15-years ago and just updated his model with this version. He writes, “The new machine operates just like the old one, with the same electronic, easy-to-understand choices. It is stainless rather than white, and the new machine is significantly quieter than the old white one.” More reviewers completely agree, with one noting, “This is my 3rd Zojirushi in the past 30 years, I use it just about every day. The best thing about this model is it has 2 mixing blades so your dough is mixed evenly.” Others love the simplicity of this model, saying that “you truly can spend 5 minutes putting ingredients in it then come back to a beautiful loaf of bread 4 hours later,” as one puts it.
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