Bread maker buying guide: How to find the best appliance for you

You can enjoy delicious, freshly baked bread every day.

Making your own bread from scratch produces delicious results but can take a lot of time and effort. So if you want to wake up to a freshly-baked loaf each day, you might want to consider buying a bread maker.

A bread maker is a kitchen appliance that does the hard work of baking bread for you. There are a variety of models to choose from with prices ranging from $80 to almost $500.

Our guide will lead you through the key features you need to consider to compare products and find the best bread maker for your kitchen.

What is a bread maker?

A bread maker is a kitchen appliance that makes bread. That much is obvious, but what some people don’t realise is that these handy machines fully automate the baking process.

After you pour your ingredients into the tin, the bread maker uses a paddle to combine the ingredients and knead the dough. The bread maker then lets the dough proof and rise before baking your loaf of bread.

In short, these appliances take much of the hassle out of making different varieties of bread.

Compare some of the best bread makers

Data obtained November 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Average Price (AUD) Programmable Loaf capacity (kg) Dimensions (H x W x D) Weight (kg) Purchase today
Sunbeam BM2500
Sunbeam BM2500
$119
Yes
0.8
359 x 320 x 383 mm
5.3
The Sunbeam BM2500 is equipped with a pasta making mode and a warming setting.
Breville BBM100WHT
Breville BBM100WHT
$124
Yes
1
285 x 273 x 373 mm
The Breville BBM100WHT offers three crust options and nine modes including yeast free and gluten free.
Kogan 2.0L
Kogan 2.0L
$149
Yes
0.9
310 x 345 x 248 mm
6.7
The Kogan 2.0L offers a 15-hour delay start feature and a large viewing window.
Sunbeam BM4500
Sunbeam BM4500
$189
Yes
1
405 x 426 x 313 mm
8
The Sunbeam BM4500 comes with an automatic fruit and nut dispenser and 14 preset baking options.
Morphy Richards 48319
Morphy Richards 48319
$189
Yes
1
330 x 375 x 290 mm
The Morphy Richards 48319 includes a viewing window, a fruit and nut dispenser and a two-year warranty.
Sunbeam BM7850
Sunbeam BM7850
$219
Yes
1.3
371 x 453 x 295 mm
7.4
The Sunbeam BM7850 makes three loaf sizes and has a progress monitor to keep track of baking time.
Panasonic SD-2501
Panasonic SD-2501
$249
Yes
1.2
382 x 256 x 389 mm
7
The Panasonic SD-2501 can make jams and compotes as well as spelt loaves.
Panasonic SD-ZB2512
Panasonic SD-ZB2512
$314.95
Yes
382 x 256 x 389 mm
7.6
The Panasonic SD-ZB2512 can be set to rustic and artisanal modes and includes sourdough and brioche functions.
Breville BBM800BSS
Breville BBM800BSS
$330
Yes
1.3
352 x 248 x 399 mm
The Breville BBM800SS bread maker comes in brushed stainless steel and allows up to 9 personalised recipe settings.
Kenwood BM260
Kenwood BM260
$356
Yes
1
300 x 280 x 330 mm
6.7
The Kenwood BM260 comes with 11 baking programs and can bake a loaf in 85 minutes.

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Why should I consider a bread maker?

There are a few key reasons why a bread maker can make a great addition to your kitchen:

Why shouldn't I consider a bread maker?

Of course, you also need to ask yourself whether a bread maker is an appliance you absolutely must have, or whether it's something you can do without. If you're not committed to regularly baking fresh loaves, a bread maker will end up as little more than an expensive waste of precious kitchen space.

Maybe your kitchen cupboards are already home to other bulky appliances that seemed like a great idea at the time, but after the novelty wore off were rarely used. So if there's any chance you won't be bothered to make your own bread, or if you simply don't have much space in your kitchen, you'll be better off saving your money.

What types are available?

When shopping for a bread maker, you'll be able to compare products from a host of well-known kitchen appliance manufacturers, including:

  • Breville
  • Chef
  • Cuisinart
  • Oster
  • Panasonic
  • Sunbeam
  • T-fal
  • Zojirushi
One of the key ways to distinguish between the many models available is to consider the loaf capacity they make. The four main loaf sizes are:
  • 500g
  • 750g
  • 1kg
  • 1.25kg

To put this in perspective, a 500g loaf will usually make eight slices. Some bread makers only offer one loaf size – for example, a 500g machine – but most offer multiple loaf sizes. The key is to consider how many people you're cooking for and how much bread you plan to eat, and then choosing a machine that suits your needs.

How to compare bread makers

To ensure that you choose the best bread maker for your needs, you'll need to think about the type of baking you'll be doing and how much money you want to spend. Consider the following features:

Which bread maker is best for me?

The best bread maker for you will vary depending on several key factors, including the type of bread you want to make, how often you plan on using your machine and how much money you're willing to spend. Once you know what features and inclusions you need in a bread maker, you can then start comparing suitable products in your price range.

To give you an idea of what to look for, we've compared the pros and cons of five popular bread makers in the table below:

The goodThe bad
Breville BBM800XL
  • Wide range of settings
  • Plenty of positive customer reviews
  • Not cheap
  • Short power cord
Cuisinart CBK-100
  • Reasonably priced
  • 12 pre-programmed settings and delay timer
  • Quite bulky
  • Loud beeps annoying if cooking at night
Panasonic SD-YD250
  • Good quality and well-priced
  • Conveniently compact
  • No gluten-free setting
  • No viewing window
Sunbeam 5891
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Results aren't as impressive as premium models
  • Poor instruction manual
Zojirushi BB-SSC10
  • Plenty of pre-programmed and customisable settings
  • Auto-add dispenser
  • Expensive
  • Not big enough for large families

While bread makers aren't ideal for all home cooks and kitchens, they're a very useful purchase for anyone who loves freshly baked bread.


 

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