When it comes to the best Zojirushi bread makers, there are quite a few models to review. After all, the Zojirushi Virtuoso is one of the most popular and one of the best bread machines on the market. But there are quite a few other models to consider, as well.
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.
After all, 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.
Zojirushi Bread Machines: Top 4 Picks
There’s a lot to love about the Zojirushi Virtuoso, from the rectangular loaf to the pretty nice design to the perfect crust and the high number of cycles (15 of them).
2. Runner-Up: Zojirushi Maestro BB-SSC10
This one could be considered the more expensive, newer, better looking version of the Zojirushi Mini Breadmaker. The Maestro Breadmaker is also capable of baking a 1-pound loaf but it has some very interesting cycles: gluten-free, multigrain, a vegan course and it also has an auto add dispenser. It’s quite complete.
This is indeed a small bread maker and it only makes 1-pound loaves, making it perfect for 1 or 2 people, it’s also very complex and can even make gluten-free loaves.
If you don’t want to pay the money for the Virtuoso but you still desire the rectangular-shaped loaf that Zojirushi is famous for, this can be the machine for you, it also makes gluten free breads under the basic setting.
Best Zojirushi Bread Makers: My Reviews
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.
When it comes to Zojirushi bread machines, there are 4 models to review:
- Mini – great machine with a lot of not-so-obvious functions, the emphasize is put on portability and it only makes 1-pound loaves
- 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
- Maestro – bakes only 1-pound loaf and it’s expensive but it has absolutely complex cycles that cover a wide array of needs and it even has an auto add dispenser for nuts and other additions
- Virtuoso – the most expensive and probably the best bread maker at the moment, if you can easily afford it, also bakes horizontal loaves, like the Supreme
1. Zojirushi Virtuoso BB-PDC20BA
Let’s first start by reviewing what I consider to be the overall best Zojirushi bread maker. It’s not only the most expensive but also the most complex, with a wide array of cycles and functions.
Even so, 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 Supreme but there are a lot of differences, too. There had to be in order to justify the price difference between these two Zojirushi bread makers.
For one, just by taking a singly look, you can tell that the 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 horizontal/rectangular, this is one of the best horizontal bread machines.
There is no nut & fruit dispenser.
13-hour delay timer.
It bakes 2-pound loaves. Zojirushi definitely seems to have a thing for offering few options in some respects.
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.
It has 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).
You can make pretty much anything you want and maybe even know that you wanted. As you can see by the fact that it has a sourdough starter option.
It also includes a recipe book with plenty of recipes.
The Virtuoso can be a perfect gift for bread bakers who don’t always have to time to make breads by hand.
Where to Buy?
2. Zojirushi Maestro BB-SSC10
It only weighs 16 pounds. It’s quite tall but narrow so, it won’t occupy too much space on the countertop.
However, if you want to store it away, in case you’re not using it that often, it has a handle at the top. It makes moving it from place to place so much easier. And, at 16 pounds, it’s indeed very mobile.
Bakes just 1-pound loaf
This characteristic makes the Maestro really suitable only for a narrow niche of people. It’s perfect if you only use it for one person, up to 2 persons definitely. It’s just not suitable for a whole family.
1-pound loaves are really small, I don’t know if I’ve ever baked such a small loaf because I bake for 4 or 5, it depends who’s around.
Given its expensive price, not that many people are inclined to pay so much money on a bread maker that bakes such small quantities, even if it’s one of the best Zojirushi bread makers.
The loaves are vertical.
Another thing that I don’t understand is that we can only select between 2 crusts: medium and dark. I always go for the medium but it’s surprising not to see the light crust option.
The fact that we can only select between medium and dark might be a problem when we’re making breads with a high sugar content. Usually, the light crust option is used. I don’t exactly understand why Zojirushi didn’t include all 3.
For some users, the machine makes the perfect crust. I’m relieved to hear that but I still wanted to let you know exactly how the situation stands.
We find the usual accessories: pan, kneading blade, liquid measuring cup, measuring spoon.
There is no viewing window. But you get a recipe book.
We can talk about exciting accessories without mentioning the auto add dispenser. If you’re into the habit of making breads with raisins, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, fruits or whatever else, the dispenser will make sure to release them into the dough when the time is ready.
The dispenser is also detachable so that you can easily fill it without making a mess.
The control panel is quite intuitive. If you read the user manual once, you’ll be able to figure it out quite easily.
This is where the Maestro really shines. I’m really impressed with its wide array of courses.
There are 14 cycles to choose from: white, European, quick white, whole wheat, quick whole wheat, multigrain, gluten free, salt free, sugar free, vegan, bread/pizza dough, pasta dough, cake, jam.
The surprises don’t stop there because there’s also a Homemade course where you can store 3 of your favorite recipes. You can add recipes for meatloaf, banana bread, a specific gluten free recipes or whatever else you can think of. Then, it will be accessible to you by the press of a button.
As I said, the cycles in their variety are the main attractive feature for this machine.
There’s a 13-hour delay timer.
Where to Buy?
3. Zojirushi Mini BB-HAC10 1-Pound-Loaf
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.
Plus, just like the Maestro, it has a sturdy handle so that you can easily carry it 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.
Additionally, it has a power cord holder to keep things neatly when storing it away– you can read more in the user manual.
And it’s the only Zojirushi bread maker with a removable lid.
I truly consider this Mini Breadmaker to be one of the best Zojirushi bread makers and not just because it’s also the most affordable.
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. You can totally see why it’s so popular. It’s impressive that it can make gluten-free loaves, too – the complete package.
Bakes just 1-pound loaf
The Zojirushi BB-HAC10 is also called a mini bread machine because it only bakes 1 pound loaves, just like the Maestro, which I reviewed above.
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.
The baked loaves are vertical not horizontal. For some, this shape might get a bit getting used to.
Don’t forget to let the loaves rest on a cooling rack for 30 minutes after they’re done.
The classic: pan, kneading blade, liquid measuring cup, measuring spoon.
The control panel is quite easy to use, very straightforward and intuitive, I like it a lot.
We also have a viewing window in the lid.
13-hour delay timer.
There are 8 course:
- 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)
- 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).
Where to Buy?
4. Zojirushi Supreme BB-CEC20
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. In my opinion, 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.
It comes with measuring cup and spoon but for flour it’s best to use a digital scale, it’s the most accurate. The ingredients absolutely need to be weighed accurately, exactly as it says in the recipe.
The control panel is not that intuitive as it was with the above models but once you’ve read the user manual carefully, you can figure it out. Watch the DVD, too, there are plenty of rules that need to be followed.
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 vertically shaped ones produced by other models.
13-hour delay timer and 10-minute power failure backup.
There’s no fruit & nut dispenser.
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 but it something you get used to when it comes to Zojirushi bread makers.
On the plus side, the two kneading paddles seem to be working well for the whole wheat recipes since they come out nicely risen.
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 homemade cycle.
A meatloaf recipe is featured in 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.
All in all, the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme is very good, there’s no doubt about it.
Where to Buy?
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 Virtuoso from these 4 Zojirushi bread makers, you’ll definitely appreciate the high quality and be completely satisfied with your choice.