Pros: Produces great bread easily with simple clean up.
Cons: Timer could be better and power cord should be longer
I purchased this bread machine for my wife for Christmas two years ago and we’ve been baking bread ever since. I balked at the price at first ($199) but after tireless online research, the Zojirushi rated tops on just about every site. It gets great reviews for reliability and actually produces a loaf of bread shaped like it came from a store.
I’ll start with the negatives, as I see only a couple. The power cord is very short at about 3 feet. I suppose they assume this a countertop appliance, but we like to station it on the kitchen island and the outlet and is closer to floor level on the back of the island, so we need a small extension cord.
The next improvement that should be made is with the timer mechanism. There is no clock, just a simple timer that must be set for the time you would like the bread to be completed. Also, the timer can only be set for up to 13 hours. There is no setting the timer to prepare bread for the following nights dinner; you have to set it in the morning before leaving for work. I think the machine should have a clock and you just set the time for the bread to be ready.
As for the actual bread making, this machine is great! The pre-programmed settings work great and give you perfectly cooked loaves in about 3 hours. Simply measure the ingredients from your recipe into the pan, select the program and hit start. The Zo does the rest. You’ll hear some occasional noises coming from your kitchen, and probably sneak in to check what’s going on… You can catch the Zo kneading (typically two cycles) or rising and finally the aroma fills the house as it begins baking. So honestly, it’s fun as well as convenient.
There are three settings for crust control, light, medium and dark as well as settings for wheat bread, pizza dough and jams. The Zo also has a warming function that keeps the cooked loaf warm for up to an hour after cooking. The paddles easily remove from the pan and cleanup is very easy – a quick soak and light sponge does the trick.
We have been experimenting with all types of bread, wheat; sourdough, Italian, and they all come out looking and tasting great.
I highly recommend this bread machine!