The best bread maker for the money!
The leader in the best bread maker for the money category is the Breadman TR520, a versatile, inexpensive machine that has the same basic settings of its more expensive cousins. The compact machine is ideal for those who want to try their hand at making homemade bread, but don’t need a lot of options and custom settings.
The TR520 does an excellent job of preparing dough and baking basic, French, whole wheat, sweet, and quick bread. It is capable of producing 2-pounds loaves up, has three separate settings for the crust, a quick bake cycle, and a 13-hour delay.
The “dough only” setting gives you the ability to knead dough for pizza crust, specialty bread, or dinner rolls. The “bake only” cycle skips the kneading process, letting you finish dough that has already been prepared or use the machine for cakes and desserts.
Unlike the other, more costly machines that take two hours on their rapid cycle, the Breadman Programmable Bread Maker’s quick bake setting clocks in at one hour.
Despite being inexpensive, the Breadman Programmable Bread Maker holds its own when it comes to delivering quality results.
It’s easy-to-use, a few clicks of the buttons start the entire process; the top screen displays your settings clearly, and an alarm sounds to let you know when the first cycle is finished and the time has come to add extra ingredients.
One note, during the mixing cycle the non-stick pan needs to be checked periodically for dry ingredients that gather in the corners of the tray.
A large window is built into the top cover, letting you check the baking progress without opening the unit and disrupting the baking cycle.
Cleaning is a snap; the rugged plastic housing only needs to be wiped, and the non-stick pan is washed quickly using soap and water. The small size, 13.5 x 13.5 x 12 inches, means that the entire machine fits easily into a cupboard, cabinet, or on a pantry shelf.
Versatile and Easy-to-Use
The versatility, range of settings, and ease-of-use of the Breadman TR520 step up the game and gives you the freedom to try different bread recipes while gaining confidence in your skills in the kitchen. Without the hassle of multiple settings to worry about, new methods result in creative bread for entertaining or add a homemade touch and a variety of bread to your weekly menus.
While high-end bread makers typically sit dormant until dusted off for special occasions, the TR520 is a layman’s appliance, robust enough for every day use and also capable of producing specialty bread for holidays, parties, and special occasions.
The rich flavors of homemade bread using the Breadman TR520 reveal its secret; quality bread is a matter of tried and true know-how and craftsmanship instead of relying on bells and whistles. With the included recipe book an instruction manual, making a tasty loaf of bread every time is as easy as adding ingredients to the pan, shutting the lid and pressing the start button. Buy the Breadman TR520 at Amazon.
Alternative: Zojirushi BB-PAC20
The Breadman TR520 is temporarily unavailable, but this one is a great alternative. The Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker includes a gluten-free setting that has a rest cycle, three rise stages, a baking period, and a keep-warm function at the end of the process that browns the loaf of bread to perfection.
The Best of the Rest
1st Runner Up- Oster CKSTBRTW20 Bread Machine
Often overshadowed by larger brands, Oster has built a reputation for high quality, cheap kitchen appliances that come in ahead of their competitors.
The CKSTBRTW20 is the first of our runners-up because of its one-hour rapid baking setting, its 12 agile preset functions, the standard three choices for crusts, and a 13-hour delay timer.
Falling a bit behind the curve for aesthetics and design, the inexpensive model takes up the slack in functions and versatility.
Putting fresh, homemade loaves of bread on the table in half the time of its high-end competitors.
2nd Runner Up- Hamilton Beach 29881 Bread Maker
Another option for those looking for an all-purpose, inexpensive bread machine that comes in ahead of the game and produces homemade bread that exceeds the price tag, the Hamilton Beach 2-Pound Bread Maker deserves its spot as 2nd Runner Up.
Twelve different menu options cover the major bread types, and specialty features round out the basics that other brands skip instead of complicated, custom adjustments.
An innovative gluten-free cycle makes it easy to produce tasty, high-quality bread for strict dietary requirements, and three different crust settings and a 13-hour delay timer found on the more expensive models are incorporated into the easy-to-use controls.
3rd Runner Up-Sunbeam 5891 Bread Maker
Rounding out our list of runners-up is the Sunbeam 5891; a light, affordable machine that has 12 settings for basic bread, dough, and specialty recipes from the included booklet.
Its express setting finishes baking in an hour, better for smaller loaves as the bigger volume causes the machine to struggle on the setting. The Sunbeam has the tried and true functions that let you control the crust and set a delay timer for 13 hours. The flat loaf pan bakes 1.5-2 pound loaves.
Because of its lightweight, the machine can move when in knead mode, but overall is a solid choice for those looking for a basic machine that produces an evenly cooked loaf of homemade bread.
Alternative: Breville BBM800
The Sunbeam 5891 Bread Maker is temporarily unavailable, but this one is a great alternative. The stylish, stainless steel light-medium Breville BBM800 has a robust set of 13 settings that include basic, wheat, French, and specialty bread; and a gluten-free bread and jam cycle.