The Zojirushi bread makers, especially the Virtuoso, are incredibly popular and considered to be some of the best bread machines on the market by a lot of people.
When there’s a discussion about this kitchen appliance, it’s highly likely that you’re going to hear the name Zojirushi and, probably, more than once.
This is a manufacturer known for its highly quality, which is directly proportional to its prices – high quality high prices.
Even though they’re popular and superior without any doubt, the Zojirushi bread makers are not going to match everyone’s budget.
To be completely honest, they’re a bit too much for mine, too.
I’ve gathered the best Zojirushi bread makers and I’m going to review each one in detail so that you can find the perfect Zojirushi bread machine for you.
I’ll begin my Zojirushi bread makers reviews with the least expensive and end with the most expensive.
It seems like the way to go since they’re all so good.
The 3 Best Zojirushi Bread Makers
When it comes to Zojirushi bread machines, there are 3 models to speak about:
- the Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery 1-Pound-Loaf – great machine with a lot of not-so-obvious functions, the emphasize is put on portability and it only makes 1-pound loaves
- the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme – just a bit more expensive than the above model but with a bigger capacity, makes 2-pound loaves, and their shape is rectangular, like the ones you would bake in an oven
- the Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso – the most expensive and probably the best bread maker at the moment, if you can easily afford it
1. Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery 1-Pound-Loaf
- the Zojirushi BB-HAC10 is also called a mini bread machine because it only bakes 1 pound loaves and it’s comparatively smaller than the other two
- it only weighs 14 pounds so, it’s pretty light, you could even store it away if you don’t have space on the counter
- it even has a sturdy handle so that you can carry it easily for storage, it’s something that I haven’t seen in any other model from any other manufacturer, people just carry them in their arms if they don’t keep the machine on the counter full-time
- plus, it has a power cord holder to keep things neatly when storing it away– you can read more in the user manual
- viewing window in the lid
- and it’s the only Zojirushi bread maker with a removable lid
- the control panel is quite easy to use, very straightforward and intuitive, I like it a lot – that’s a surprise because the next two Zojirushi bread makers have a lot more functions, you need to study the user manual a bit more before understanding those other two
- there are 8 settings: basic bread (regular or firm and you can also select between light or regular crust), soft (for a softer texture, you will have to use all purpose flour instead of bread flour and you can also make banana bread under this cycle), quick baking (makes a loaf in 2 hours, you’ll even find a chocolate bread recipe for this cycle), French bread (no crust options available, there’s even a wheat French bread recipe), dough, cookie/pasta dough (ready in just 13 minutes), cake (corn meal bread can be made under this cycle as well as zucchini bread and chocolate cake), and jam
- at first look, this list of 8 cycles is nothing impressive but read further to discover some very interesting things
- there’s no separate whole wheat setting because you can make it under the basic bread regular cycle – there are a few interesting whole wheat recipes in the user manual
- another unexpected things under the basic bread regular is that you can make gluten-free breads
- there are a lot of interesting recipes in the user manual – I love the recipes the most
- under the basic bread firm you can make white breads and whole wheat loaves – the measurements are different
- there’s a particular feature that only the Zojirushi BB-HAC10 has: you can choose the texture of the bread from regular, firm (choose between the two for the basic cycle) or soft (a separate cycle)
- there are only 2 crust settings: light and regular
- for some users, the crust was too crunchy – in that case it’s best to try out the soft setting
- only 1 loaf size: 1 pound
- the 1 pound size makes it perfect for a small family or for a single person but it’s totally inconvenient for a large family
- 13-hour delay timer
- the machine beeps when it’s time to add additional ingredients, like nuts/fruits/chocolate chips/herbs
- the Zojirushi BB-HAC10 comes with: non-stick pan and kneading paddle (it’s not collapsible, the loaf will have a hole left after baking), measuring cup and spoon
- it bakes horizontal breads
- if you want to try even more recipes, the good news is that The No-Fuss Bread Machine Cookbook by Michelle Anderson includes the measurements for 1 pound loaves too, it’s a really good bread machine cookbook
The Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery 1-Pound-Loaf is not a cheap bread machine but it’s considerably more affordable than the Zojirushi Virtuoso, whose review you’ll find below.
It’s a pretty fantastic bread machine, really easy to use, with awesome portability.
The included recipes are great and they really show you how to use this kitchen appliance to make delicious loaves.
It’s great for dough making, too.
I really love the complexity of this machine that looks so simple at a glance but it’s exactly the opposite. I can totally see why it’s so popular.
It’s impressive that it can make gluten-free loaves, too – the complete package.
2. Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme
- the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme is a large bread machine, it weighs 20 pounds – it will need a permanent space in your kitchen
- the design is not that beautiful to me but that’s not something that matters much
- it’s just a bit more expensive than the Zojirushi BB-HAC10 but there are a few things that set them apart, besides the design
- the control panel is not that intuitive as it was with the above model but once you read the user manual carefully, you can figure it out
- watch the DVD, too, there are plenty of rules that need to be followed
- it has a viewing window
- there are 2 kneading paddles, instead of one – the paddles are a bit smaller, the holes at the base of the bread are smaller but there are two of them instead
- it bakes rectangular loaves – many users find this appealing since it looks like a bread that you would make in the oven using a bread pan, some don’t like the horizontally shaped ones produced by other models
- 2 loaf sizes: 1.5 and 2 pounds
- 3 crusts: light, medium, and dark but the crust control button is only available for the basic, quick, cake, and home made cycles, you cannot control the crust for the whole wheat, which is quite disappointing, I don’t know why it’s like that
- on the plus side, the two kneading paddles seem to be working well for the whole wheat recipes since they come out nicely risen
- it even handles whole wheat dough perfectly, maybe it’s best to make the dough and then bake it in an oven
- 13-hour delay timer and 10-minute power failure backup
- there’s no fruit & nut dispenser
- it comes with measuring cup and spoon but for flour it’s best to use a digital scale, it’s the most accurate, and the ingredients absolutely need to be weighed accurately, exactly as it says in the recipe
- 10 cycles: basic, basic wheat, basic dough, quick, quick wheat, quick dough, jam, cake, sour dough starter, and home made (you can take your favorite 3 recipes and program them as cycles)
- even though it doesn’t have a gluten-free cycle, you can make gluten-free loaves under the basic setting, there are even two recipes included in the book, it definitely works well
- there’s no French cycle but there’s a crusty French recipe included under the home made cycle, a meatloaf recipe is featured there, too
- you can make sourdough starter in about 2 hrs and then immediately add the rest of the ingredients and make light sourdough bread using the basic cycle
- or, once the sour dough starter cycle is complete, you can let the starter sit in the pan for 7 to 10 days at room temperature and then make traditional sourdough bread – all the instructions and steps are detailed in the user manual
- there are quite a few recipes included in the user manual and you can find more on their website
The Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme is very good, there’s no doubt about it.
If you want the absolute best when it comes to the Zojirushi bread makers, there’s one more model that you should check out.
3. Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso
- this is by far the best of the 3 Zojirushi bread makers
- the most complex, with a wide array of cycles and functions
- the most expensive – not only the most expensive Zojirushi bread machine but one of the most expensive bread makers on the market
- the high price hasn’t stopped it from also being the most popular bread machine that people always recommend and are impressed with
- it’s a heavy machine, it weighs 24 pounds, you’re not going to move it around too often
- it has a lot in common with the above Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme but there are a lot of differences, too, there had to be in order to justify the considerable price difference between these two Zojirushi bread makers
- before starting on the technical aspects, I must say that the Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso is prettier
- the control panel is very straightforward, much more easy to use and intuitive, simple but complete
- it comes with measuring cup and spoon and 4 nested measuring cups for measuring dry ingredients but you can also use a digital scale, it’s much easier in my opinion
- the bread pan is identical – there are two kneading paddles and the loaves baked are rectangular
- there’s a heating element in the lid for perfect crust on top, too, not only on the sides and the bottom
- 3 crusts: light, medium, dark – there’s no crust control for the whole wheat, European, sugar free, and homemade cycles
- 2 pounds loaf size
- 13-hour delay timer
- no nut & fruit dispenser
- there’s an impressive number of 15 cycles: white, whole wheat, European, multigrain, gluten free, salt free, sugar free, vegan, rapid white, rapid whole wheat, dough, sourdough starter, cake, jam, homemade (where you can record 3 of your favorite recipes)
- there’s not much more that you could ask for from a bread machine
- it also includes a recipe book with plenty of recipes
The way I see it, as long as you’re comfortable with the price tag and are enthusiastic about owning a bread machine, go for it, choose the Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso from these 3 Zojirushi bread makers, you’ll definitely appreciate the high quality and be completely satisfied with your choice.