4 Stars By Arjun on 2016-08-29
Zojirushi BB-PAC20 VS Breville BBM800XL
My mom and I spent 5 days comparing the reviews and articles on the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 and Breville BBM800XL. We finally ended up comparing both models side by side because a friend has the Breville. For us, it ultimately boiled down to these key features:
+Longer loaf tub (makes a more normal sized loaf like you'd buy at the store
+Heating element in the lid for consistent and even browning all around
+4 loaf sizes
PICTURE DESCRIPTIONS: First loaf we baked was white bread (regular speed, medium crust). I could have shaped it more evenly so it wasn't taller in the middle. Notice how small the holes are since I removed the paddles. The loaf in plastic wrap is wheat bread from the grocery store. Also compare it to a mostly eaten white bread made from the Breville. See how the top is much lighter than the sides? The Breville doesn't have a top heating element. Second bread we made was olive bread from an online recipe. I shaped this one better, also the recipe called for 2 tsp yeast instead of 2.5. Again I compared it to the size of a regular bread from the grocery store (half the bread is missing from the plastic bag).
+Breville has a much nicer user interface. Pretty surprising Zojirushi has an interface that looks like it's from the early 2000s. But ultimately, our decision is going to be purely about bread quality.
+Zojirushi allows you to create 3 custom profiles in which you can adjust the timings for each phase (Rest->Knead->Shape->Rise1->Rise2-Rise3->Bake->Keep Warm) whereas the Breville allows you to create 9 custom profiles and adjust the timings AND temperature for each phase (Knead 1->Knead 2->Rise 1->Rise 2->Rise 3->Keep Warm).
We realized we didn't care too much about the number of custom profiles, because for most bread, the tried and tested standard settings provided by both machines are already sufficient.
+The Zojirushi has a "Shape" option where it will beep before the first rise phase and give you an hour to open the lid, take the dough out and shape it with your hands so it looks nice and even, put it back and then close the machine. Don't recall the Breville having this specific feature, but realized it doesn't matter because the ideal shape time is right after the last punch down phase. More on that later.
+The Zojirushi has 2 paddles and the Breville has one. The number of paddles isn't specifically a benefit in either machine's favor. It is more of a result of each machine's tub shape. The Breville is narrower and taller, and the Zojirushi is shorter and long. I think that the tub shape goes in favor of the Zojirushi, as I mentioned earlier.
+Breville has foldable paddles. Don't really care, because we remove the paddles before the final rise even on the Zojirushi, so the holes are super small (1 centimeter diameter)
+The Zojirushi has much sturdier build quality, whereas the Breville is made of thin, unpolished brushed aluminum. As others have noted, it dents very easily. In fact, our Breville arrived with a dent in it. Again, not too big a deal. Ultimately which one makes better bread?
+Breville looks more modern and sleek. Zojirushi looks like a typical appliance.
+Zojirushi makes less noise. At its loudest, it has the deep droning sound of a washing machine. Breville makes a banging noise as the paddles spin..which is pretty loud.
+Zojirushi says it can be used for meatloaf and sourdough starter, Breville has a yeast free option or something...personally I don't care, plus you can probably customize settings on the Breville to make those work. (Just look up online instruction manuals from either companies to see what their timings are for each setting, and you can custom program that timing into the other machine)
+Breville has a light you can turn on when peeking through the viewing window. I use my phone's flashlight when using the Zojirushi (though you can kinda see what's going on without it)
+The nut dispenser was a pretty awesome get sure in favor of the Breville, but I want to point out that the Zojirushi will beep when it's time to add those ingredients. The automation is missing from the Zojirushi. So this isn't a neutral point - it's a big win for the Breville. But I wanted to point out the beeping of the Zojirushi as an FYI.
+The Breville's marketing material goes out of its way to mention the punch down phase, but in fact not machines have this. Right before Rise 2 and Rise 3, the paddle (s) spins slowly a bunch of times in order to let trapped air escape out of the dough.
+The Breville has 2 programmable knead phases. The Zojirushi has 1. I don't understand what this is about...They both knead for the appropriate amount of time, so maybe the Breville just let's you get more detailed about the process if you want? If both bake great bread, then I really don't care either way.
+The Zojirushi has an optional rest phase in which it allows all your ingredients to come to room te
premature for optimal baking. Don't recall the Breville has this. On both machines, you can always skip a step if you want (on the Breville, you hold down the start button, on the Zojirushi you hold down the up and down buttons on Select Course, if I recall correctly...it's in the manual)
Okay, so what was our verdict?
Well, it ultimately came down purely to bread quality, and here the Zojirushi is the winner. Just check out the pictures I uploaded. The browning is ridiculously consistent on all sides of the bread. Not overly chewy on one end of another. I have to attribute this to the Zojirushi's heating element in the lid, since I suspect the Breville ends up heating the sides and bottom longer in order to give the top a sufficient amount of browning.
The Zojirushi also has a spectacular loaf size. The first time around, it was a bit high. But check out the olive bread we made on the second try...compared to a regular loaf you'd buy at a store, the size is spot on. I put a ruler next to the white bread pics so you can see. However, the white bread was our absolute first loaf we tried, and we could've done one or two things to make it as perfectly formed as the olive bread (see below).
Loaf size was an important factor for us, because we want regular sized slices that fit in our toaster. With the Breville, you might be able to achieve these sizes by using a lower bread loaf setting and adjusting the amount of ingredients. But you'll end up with less bread. While we really liked the ability to choose multiple bread sizes with the Breville, we liked that the Zojirushi makes a standard looking loaf right out of the box. And we found out that the recipe book does show you how to make 1.5lb sized loaves of wheat bread and some others.
So how did we make the perfect looking bread you'll see in the pics?
1) Read the instruction manual precisely and/or watch the first part of the DVD (liquids first, dry things second, make a little pocket for the yeast, and be EXACT for the ingredient measurements)
2) SHAPE YOUR DOUGH AND REMOVE PADDLES: Use the instruction manual to identify when the last punch down phase will begin. For the white bread regular setting, this should be 55 minutes after the Knead phase ends. The knead phase was 19 minutes and the Rest 30...so that means you should set an alarm to get back to your machine 1 hour and 44 minutes after pressing the start button. At that time, you will hear the paddles making one rotation every few seconds. It does this about 15 times. As soon as it stops doing this, it means the final rise phase will begin. Open the machine (it automatically pauses where it is in the process), and take the dough out with your hands. Put it on a table or mat or something (maybe parchment paper that is lubricated with olive oil - that's what I did), and roll the dough a bit and shape it with your hands so it looks nice and smooth. Better is if you shape it to look like a rectangle that will fit the tub perfectly, and flatten it a bit so it has an even night all the way. Then, remove the paddles (they are slippery so use something that has a good grip to pull them out). Put your loaf back in so it takes the full space of the tub, maybe pat it down one last time, and close the machine. Your bread will have a great shape.
+Bonus tip: one of the reviewers mentioned putting your paddles in the same orientation before putting in the ingredients. Not sure if it helped, but I definitely did this. I pointed both my paddles in the 6 o'clock position.
The first recipe we used was the Basic White Bread Regular (meaning we used active dry yeast instead of fast/instant yeast). Medium crust setting, except we left it in for 5 minutes extra after it was done to let it brown more.
The second recipe we used is some southern olive bread recipe I googled in which they happened to use a Zojirushi as well! I used the dark crust setting and took it out immediately. Here's the "Kalamata Olive Bread Recipe from Southernfood/Aboutfood : http://southernfood.about.com/od/breadmachine/r/r70412a.htm
Don't forget to let your bread sit for 30 minutes before slicing!
Bottom line: The Zojirushi's even browning and standard loaf size make me feel it makes an overall better bread loaf. Check out the pics!
After seeing the modern look, cool interface, and more granular programmable control of the Breville (e.g. temperature control) I want to take one star away from this machine. I may not use all those features, but maybe I would! But c'mon - it's the 21st century. Great looking user interfaces should be standard.
5 Stars By 'Zannah on 2012-02-03
Worth Every Penny!
Our trusty, 18-year-old Zo was still going strong when the non-stick coating began to peel. When no replacement parts could be found, we faced the inevitable and began to look for a worthy successor. After much research, other brands seemed to have serious issues we hadn't had with our old workhorse, despite its age (it was a hard act to follow!). Plunking down mega-bucks for the Virtuoso took much soul-searching, especially after so many negative reviews of its predecessor, but we checked 2DayDeliver's price daily and took the plunge when it went on sale, since it could be returned if it was a dud.
Surprisingly, this machine actually has exceeded our expectations; even 100% whole wheat bread, which in the ancestor Zo could be iffy, is perfect. In both 2 lb. and 1.5 lb. loaves, the crust is just right - not tough or hard; the top is golden and even; every loaf/cake, complex or simple, has been almost freakishly flawless (true, you are paying for those double paddles and top heater, but do they ever make a difference!). In true Zo form, it's simple to use, very quiet and stable, and finished goodies slip right out with minimal holes and cleanup. Paddles remain in the pan, not the bread, and separate easily after briefly soaking the cooled pan in warm water. A "Shape" stage can be used to remove the dough to specially form it or remove the paddles before baking (the splines will remain, but the resulting holes will be much smaller without the paddles), and raising the lid will stop the machine temporarily without interfering with the program. Like older models, the initial "Rest" period warms ingredients as needed before mixing so no need to bring them to room temp first, but a cool new feature is the ability to bypass this stage if you don't need it, which shortens the overall time considerably. The "Add" signal also beeps for a longer period so you have less chance of missing it, which is easy to do if you're not nearby since it isn't very loud. Although the DVD manual provided is unintentionally comical and prim, and mind-numbingly redundant, it does have some useful info not included in the written manual.
One consideration before buying would be your available space: since it bakes a horizontal loaf, this is a hefty machine with a footprint 18"w, 11"d, and with the lid raised, 20"h, plus space needed behind and at sides for vents. An extension cord will probably be needed unless parked directly in front of an outlet.
Although we've only begun to tap its many talents, after over a month of frequent use (2 - 3 times/wk. for whole-grain breads w/nuts/fruit/seeds, banana bread, cakes, and pizza dough so far, and hopefully noodles soon), we're delighted with our new Zo and recommend it without reservation; we also appreciate 2DayDeliver's free shipping and right-on-time arrival before Christmas.
Just an added note if you're new to bread makers (and to set straight some previous detractors' comments) - for best results with any machine, take the time to measure ingredients by weight rather than volume and add them in the order recommended in your machine's manual, since order can vary by manufacturer and doesn't necessarily match that listed in cookbook recipes. And if you need more reasons to think Zo, check out the King Arthur Flour website blog where they used one to cook almost every dish last Thanksgiving (except the turkey)!
1 Stars By Glary on 2014-11-16
Blades are designed to wear out in a year
This is a great quality overall except that it is designed to sell more parts after the warranty expires. Usually after about 100 cycles everyone will hit the same issue of wearing out the blades' notches and they will need to buy replacement. Read other negative reviews to confirm the issue. It is also filed here:
If you are handy enough you can fix it yourself drilling the blade and put a screw. It will last forever:
5 Stars By P4FUN on 2011-12-16
Great machine. High price but 100% worth it.
I have owned bread machines ever since about 1987 at a cost then of close to $600! Since then I have had just about every brand at one time or another. My favorites have been made by Panasonic and Zojirushi. In short you really do get what you pay for in quality and durability. This new "Zo" is heavy duty and makes a truly excellent and normal shaped loaf. I say normal as most make slightly odd shapes that are a little too wide or too tall. The added top heater solves the small flaw the previous Zo had and that was the top would have less color than the rest of the crust. I have had this machine about 2 weeks and have already made 10 loaves. All have come out perfectly including 100% whole wheat.
Our favorite is a rich egg bread also know as Challah and here is my personal recipe:
2 Beaten Eggs with water to equal 10 oz
- or 10 oz water and 0.90 oz of powered whole eggs
14.85 oz BY WEIGHT bread flour (I highly suggest King Arthur!)
1.5 t Salt
2 T Sugar
1/3 stick of butter (2.66 T or just cut a stick in 3 parts)
1.5 t Yeast (buy it in bulk here or at Costco as grocery store prices are insane)
Optional: 2 drops of egg yellow food color (I suggest AmeriColor available here)
Set the machine to the quick or normal cycle, light crust, and hit start. DO NOT use the timer as eggs are perishable.
The machine is still going strong and has now produced well over 100 loaves of delicious bread. The pan has held up nicely and shows virtually no wear. In short this is a winner.
Can you believe the machine is still working well!?!!
A few observations after many hundreds of loafs and years of use: The pan has aged as expected and should probably be replaced and the motor is making a little tiny squeak not. I may replace the machine but will just buy the same once again. I have more than gotten my money's worth on this Zo! You get what you pay for :-)
1 Stars By Fritz Fritto on 2015-09-18
The ongoing issue of Zojirushi's 'Paddle Waddle' Issue and their refusal to remedy the fault.
Regarding the 'Paddle Waddle' wear issue of the Zojirushi.
The letter from Zojirushi (manufacturer or some rep) responding to the complainants posted on http://www.saferproducts.gov/ViewIncident/1339046 about eating.aluminum and the engineered failure points of their bread machine.
This bread machine has generated NUMEROUS complaints about the Eating Aluminum question and the Paddle Waddle wear failures common to this device. Such a well engineered product EXCEPT for the paddles and the torque delivery system. There is, in my opinion, an engineered failure point in this part of the mechanism. The flats on the shafts, that take the brunt of the beating during the kneading process, are minimally adequate. The play (looseness) between the shaft and the paddle tube body promotes the "stripping" or wearing down of the 'bridge' material that is meant to drive the blades through the bread dough. I am looking at a 'brand new out of the box' device and see that this will fail in the near future. The play creates a brief acceleration of the harder shaft impacting the softer aluminum type material of the paddle body (sorry) each time the paddles change direction, resulting in an impact into the paddle's minimal bridge (locking notch) material. There are a number of simple solutions to this problem but Sojirushi states that it will not fix this problem.
There is a letter from the Zojirushi manufacturer (or some rep) responding to the complainants posted on http://www.saferproducts.gov/ViewIncident/1339046.
What I got out of their statement is the following (in a nutshell):
1. It is not a problem to *eat aluminum every day.
2. Their machine is destined to fail regularly due to the wear and tear of the paddle design.
3. It is your fault if it does because you used too heavy a mixture in the bread dough.
4. We will not fix this.
Opinions of family and friends to Sojirushi:
. . . 1. Ingesting aluminum: Your statement that adults eat 7-9 mg of aluminum DAILY is misleading and a bad excuse for your irresponsibility, in my opinion. Most producers of the antiperspirants, antacids, cosmetics, have eliminated and/or found safer substitutions to aluminum in their products. People who are taking control of their health and the food their families eat DO NOT WANT TO BE EATING ALUMINUM. It has been linked to dementia and Alzheimer's as well as other issues. You site statistics for 'adults' but not children, known to be more sensitive to toxins during their development. Fix the paddle waddle Soji and you will essentially fix the aluminum eating issue!
. . . 2. This is not rocket science. Making a paddle that will last is something that many of the lower priced bread machine market has mastered a long time ago. My current machine is 5 years in use three times a week and still works perfectly (we are tired of the tall breads). There are numerous ways to avoid the sticking issues other than your paddle waddle solution. Just do it!
. . . 3. Are you saying that your machine has limitations to making healthier whole grain or nutrient dense breads because it will quicken the failure points of your mechanism? So your machines are only good for making light white bread or we will pay the constant price of repairs? I can buy white bread in my local local markets for less than what it costs me to make my own. Where is your logic?
. . . 4. Bleeding your brand is not smart. Fix the problem. Don't be a Kodak in a changing world. I will return my machine till these issues are addressed. I do like your machine but what good is a luxury car that is unsafe and breaks down all the time? I will not feed my family, friends or myself a daily dose of aluminum to accumulate in my tissues and trust that these oxides and toxins will not be a problem. I also have a issue with your company's decision to extract an additional 'usage tax' with your engineered device failures. There are many other bread machines at a fraction of the cost (I can buy 4 or 5 others to your 1) or go to your direct competitor, Breville, if I want to spend this kind of money.
*Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and also state that the average adult American eats 7-9 mg of aluminum per day.
4 Stars By PAHunter on 2017-04-18
Huge advancement over breadmakers of years ago
May give it fewer or more stars as I use it more but I have to say (after using it twice) -- 1. sturdy, high quality construction, unlike the $89 breadmakers I've seen in big box stores. 2. My first 2 loaves were perfect (one gluten free and one basic). 3. Easy to use and very intuitive buttons.
5 Stars By TMeyer on 1969-12-31
Gluten-free program seems short on rise & bake times
I bought this machine solely for gluten-free baking. Most of the loaves I've tried have not risen as well as they should and are not baked enough (temperature of center is under 200 degrees, instead of 200-205). After a few attempts, I'm finding that you have to program the homemade cycle with no rise1 and 2 and a Rise 3 of 45-50 mins (not 30). To avoid the loaves being undercooked, I'm baking for 70-75 mins (not 60). I use no more than 50% starch for multigrain breads. I'm at high altitude, which complicates things more, although it should make the yeast rise more, not less (which was my problem).
Otherwise I'm happy with the machine itself; it's well made, easy to program and clean. It will just take another few tries before I get it down. I recommend that you find one recipe you think should work (I'm now using Annalise Roberts bread machine book as it's written for this machine), and then fine-tune it until it's good. Make good notes too and take pics.
I'm surprised not to find a Facebook group for this machine? I did find a Gluten Free Baking club but the manufacturer needs to start its own group.
5 Stars By P.L. on 2015-12-25
So Glad I Took the Plunge!
I was hesitant about buying this, based on the high price, but am so glad I did. It makes excellent dough and bread. So much so, that we no longer buy any dough products from the supermarket, as we now make our own rolls, bread and other dough products. We are going to use the dough making function to try and start making our own pasta as well. Based on my experience so far, I can see us not having to buy pasta from the supermarket in the near future. For anyone sitting on the fence regarding buying one of these...go for it, you will not regret it.
5 Stars By MiMi B. on 2015-05-24
Makes fantastic gluten free bread and I baked a Betty Crocker ...
Makes fantastic gluten free bread and I baked a Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix using the Gluten Free Course. Added wet ingredients first (only whipped eggs with fork) then toped with cake mix. The machine did the mixing of all ingredients When it stopped in 16 minutes for any additions (like nuts, etc.), I added 5 Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles and then let it continue mixing and then baking. I checked the cake during the last 6 minutes and it was done so I stopped the machine and removed the cake. It made an attractive chocolate loaf with an extremely moist center. After cooling, I topped with a favorite chocolate icing. This was easy, flavorful, moist, and in this machine you don't have to heat your house up with a big oven to bake! Sliced it on day 2 and individually froze all of the slices for later enjoyment. Tastes great minutes after removal from the freezer. YUM!
5 Stars By Sadie SG on 2016-09-20
The reviews are correct--the manual makes it sound fairly intimidating. In truth, this thing is a breeze! I don't use a recipe from the manual; I use the same recipe I've used for years. I freely admit that my measurements are less than precise. No matter...this thing is a dream to use. Push three buttons and you're there. The bread came out perfectly. My family is ecstatic. I haven't tried any of the other functions (and probably won't.) I bought it to make bread, and it is pure perfection. The only criticism I have is the timer; instead of telling you how long it has to go, it displays the time it thinks it'll be done...which is great if you keep the clock set. I don't leave it plugged in, so I don't bother re-setting the clock.This is an utterly minor kvetch.