Best Cheap Bread Makers
Home-baked bread is more than just delicious; it's also frugal and healthy. The price of a high-quality store-bought loaf easily tops $4, but you can take the DIY approach for about $1 and avoid ingesting the refined flours, sugars, and preservatives that show up in the commercial product. What keeps many a home cook from baking bread, however, is the time-consuming and arm-wearying process and the fear of yeast failure. Cue cheap bread makers. Cheapism.com sifted through expert and consumer reviews of these nifty countertop appliances and found several models that provide all the benefits of fresh-baked loaves without the hassle and anxiety -- for $100 or less.
Our Top Pick
Cuisinart CBK-100 Review
- Well-shaped, horizontal loaves with excellent texture.
- Signal to remove the paddle before baking.
- 12 settings, including gluten-free, dough, pasta, jam, and bake only.
- 13-hour delay start timer.
- 2 stay-cool handles.
- Measuring cup and spoon included.
- 3-year warranty exceeds the norm.
- Heavy, at 22 pounds.
- LCD display is reportedly hard to read.
Takeaway: This Cuisinart bread maker is a large, sturdy, and versatile machine that bakes bread with a good crust and crumb (the soft inside of the loaf) and turns out other tasty delights. The ability to remove the paddle from the rising dough and reshape the loaf is a big draw.
Sunbeam 5891 Review
- Dependable results and life span.
- 12 settings, including dough, jam, and cake.
- Front-mounted LED display for easy access.
- Nonstick pan.
- Bargain price.
- Large and heavy; no handles.
Takeaway: A user-friendly machine and a hard-to-beat value, this Sunbeam bread maker thrills reviewers with its durability and performance. They report that this little machine has lasted years, even with frequent use, and produced consistently delicious results.
Panasonic SD-YD250 Review
- Tasty, high-quality loaves up to 2.5 pounds.
- Relatively small footprint.
- Automatic yeast dispenser.
- 6 bread settings and 4 bake modes.
- Nonstick baking pan.
- No viewing window.
- Can be hard to reset if you choose the wrong program, some users say.
Takeaway: Well-liked by experts and consumers, this Panasonic bread maker delivers loaves that are evenly textured and baked through. The yeast dispenser ensures that the rising agent is added at the optimal moment. Some reviewers were won over despite initial skepticism and others consider it a good value despite a perch at the higher end of the budget price range.
Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882 Review
- Excellent results with a variety of recipes.
- 12 settings, including gluten-free and dough.
- Easy to use and a breeze to clean.
- Dishwasher-safe pan and paddles (comes with 2).
- End-of-cycle beep is too loud for some users.
- Dances off the counter, some reviews report.
Takeaway: Tagged at a true bargain price, the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882 comes with all the important features and, according to users, performs above its grade. Beginners and skilled bakers alike talk up its virtues, most notably the tasty and tempting end product.
Kuissential BMC-001 Review
- Produces loaves with appealing crumb and crust.
- 13 settings, including gluten-free, sandwich, and customizable.
- Automatic dispenser for add-ins such as fruit and nuts.
- No recipe book.
- Some auto dispensers don't work, according to reviews.
Takeaway: Reviewers admire the performance of the Kuissential BMC-001 for the price. Bearing the label of a lesser-known brand, it stands on near equal footing with models from the big-league players.
Oster Expressbake CKSTBRTW20 Review
- Good results with no hassles, reviewers say.
- 12 settings, including keep warm, dough, and jam.
- Nonstick aluminum pan.
- Relatively compact size.
- More or less horizontal loaves, although some users describe an awkward square-ish shape.
- Sometimes wobbles, according to reviews.
- Some reports of poor mixing.
Takeaway: This Oster bread maker wins praise from hundreds of reviewers for the taste and texture of the breads it produces. A top-selling model on retail sites, it's basic and uncomplicated without any loss of functionality. Many users say it has performed admirably for years.
Breadman BK1050S Review
- Satisfactory, tasty results, according to reviews.
- 14 settings, including gluten-free, artisan, and low-carb.
- Collapsible kneading paddle.
- Comparatively long 15-hour delay and keep-warm mode.
- Nonstick pan.
- Automatic dispenser for add-ins.
- Reviewers observe that the paddle scrapes the bottom of the pan and may fail to mix and knead properly.
- Machine oil and flaking bits from the pan's coating may be incorporated into the dough, some users warn.
Takeaway: Mixed reviews for the Breadman BK1050S might make consumers think twice about this bread maker. The appeal of the collapsible paddle, which ideally means no gash in the bread post-baking, is marred by malfunctions. Consumers also report that the inside of the nonstick pan flakes and oil seeps into the pan.