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Breville vs Zojirushi Bread Maker (2022): Comparing the Best Machines for Homemade Bread

Bread machine, bread maker, or whatever you’d like to call them is a godsend and a worthwhile addition to any kitchen. That goes double if you don’t have the time and patience to knead your own dough and stick it into the oven. Assuming you’ve already done a bit of research on the subject, you’ve likely come across Breville and Zojirushi. That’s because these are among the most popular brands that make these miraculous appliances. 

On that note, the Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf and Zojirushi BB-PDC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus stand out from the crowd, but each one has its own advantages over the other. We compare the two to give you a better idea of what these can do and help you decide which one to get.

Breville vs Zojirushi Bread Maker Comparison Chart

Top-Rated ModelsBreville BBM800XL Custom LoafZojirushi BB-PDC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker
Amazon productAmazon product
PriceAmazon productAmazon product
Loaf Sizes1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5 lbs2 lbs
Kneading Blades1 collapsible paddle, 1 fixed paddle2
Kneading SystemSingleDual
Custom Programs93
Settings1315
Crust OptionsLight, medium, darkLight, medium, dark
Delay TimerUp to 13 hoursUp to 13 hours
LCD DisplayYesYes
Viewing WindowYesYes
Backup PowerUp to 60 minutesUp to 10 minutes
Dimensions (W x H x D)16.4″ x 13.3″ x 9.6″18″ x 12.88″ x 10.5″
Weight16.85 lbs24 lbs
Warranty1 year limited6 months

Design and Build

Both the Breville Custom Loaf and Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus scream premium.

Breville vs Zojirushi Bread Maker Design and Build
A closer look at the LCD displays and controls of the Breville Custom Loaf (left) and Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus (right).

The Breville Custom Loaf and Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus are solid pieces of work, each boasting a stainless steel construction that gives off a reliable vibe. That gives some heft to them, and at the same time, it gives them the durability to last for years.

In a similar vein, the two bread makers sport an LCD display for easy access to their settings, and they also have a viewing window, though the Virtuoso Plus has a larger one. Speaking of size, the Custom Loaf is slightly more compact in width, making it easier to find a spot on one of your kitchen countertops. They’re inherently large machines, so the less space they consume, the better.

While this is entirely subjective, the Virtuoso Plus looks sleeker than the Custom Loaf, and its rectangular form factor, shorter height, and two-tone silver and black color scheme add a lot to that effect. It’s worth mentioning at this point that it builds on its predecessor, the Virtuoso, with a black control panel instead of silver and reworked buttons, which make it more streamlined.

However, the buttons and the dial on the Custom Loaf are arguably more polished in comparison. Overall, the layout is clean and arranged logically, and the interface is more intelligible with simple graphical icons that make the whole bread-making process more intuitive.

Features and Performance

The Breville Custom Loaf has more handy features than the Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus.

Breville vs Zojirushi Bread Maker Features and Performance
The Breville Custom Loaf (in photo) features an automatic fruit and nut dispenser.

Right off the bat, the Breville Custom Loaf packs more features than the Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus. For starters, it has an automatic fruit and nut dispenser. Needless to say, it adds fruits or nuts to the mix at the right time if a recipe calls for it, all on its own. It even has mutable alerts if you want it to bake bread during the night or if you simply find them too annoying.

What makes the Custom Loaf more flexible is it allows you to choose between four loaf sizes (1, 1.5, 2, or 2.5 lbs). On top of that, it can remember up to nine programs as opposed to the Virtuoso Plus storing up to three and accommodate wider temperature and time ranges. Last but not least, it has an hour’s worth of backup power at the event of a blackout for uninterrupted baking, beating the Virtuoso Plus’ 10-minute charge.

Now one of the advantages of the Virtuoso Plus is you won’t be limited to just bread, dough, and jam since you can also make meatloaf with it. In addition, it ships with a manual containing a ton of recipes you could try for days on end, including pizza and pasta doughs and sourdough starters. What’s more, it has dual kneading blades for a more homogeneous dough and dual heaters (one on the lid and another on the bottom) for even browning.

As for their similarities, both bread makers have a delay timer of up to 13 hours. It goes without saying that you can wake up to freshly baked bread every morning thanks to that. You also get to choose between light, medium, and dark crust on either one. Moreover, they have options that cater to special diets, such as a gluten-free cycle, but the Virtuoso Plus takes it up a notch with sugar- and salt-free courses and a vegan program.

Click here to see how the Breville Custom Loaf compares to another popular bread machine, the Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker.

Other Considerations

These bread machines can’t please everybody, which is normal.

Breville vs Zojirushi Bread Maker Other Considerations
The Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus (in photo) uses two blades with non-stick coating for thoroughly kneaded bread.

Granted, the Breville Custom Loaf and Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus can make tasty homemade bread, and there’s a lot to love about them. But like with just about anything else, they’re not perfect. 

To begin with, the Custom Loaf is a bit on the noisy side, and we’re not talking about its beep alerts. Some users also say its collapsible kneading paddle feels gimmicky and leaves holes in loaves, but on the other hand, some say it does a pretty good job. Regardless of which band you’re in—or will be in—you can always remove it before baking, and there’s even an alert to let you know when to do so. For the record, the bread maker comes with a fixed paddle for jams as well.

Meanwhile, the Virtuoso Plus has users divided about its kneading blades’ and bread pan’s non-stick coating. A few say that it comes off way too easily, making cleanup a delicate process, but others say it makes cleaning a breeze and sing praises for it. 

In general, bread made using these appliances tend to be more dense than bread made the traditional way (read: oven baked), which are typically more airy and lighter. The recipe you use here matters a lot, obviously. Still, the convenience you get from these machines is hard to pass up.

Verdict

Compared to the Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus, the Breville Custom Loaf is just more well-rounded in terms of features.

Amazon product

Without a doubt, both bread makers are valuable and deserving of a place in any kitchen, but if we had to choose, we’d go with the Breville Custom Loaf. After all, it has an automatic fruit and nut dispenser, up to nine customizable programs, a one-hour backup power, mutable alerts, and varying loaf sizes.

However, the Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus isn’t without its charm. It works more quietly and is equipped with dual kneading blades and dual heaters. Additionally, it can be used not only for dough and jam but also for meatloaf, and it has plenty of presets for special diets.

FAQs

📌 Which brand of bread maker is best?

Breville and Zojirushi are generally accepted to be among the best bread maker brands available. Particularly, the Breville Custom Loaf is considered as the best when it comes to features and settings, while the Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus is one of the top models for overall performance.

📌 Is a Zojirushi bread machine worth it?

Yes, the Zojirushi Virtuoso and Virtuoso Plus are some of the most popular bread machines of the company. That’s because they have plenty of features and balanced performance across the board, and they’re versatile to boot.

📌 Is it worth buying a bread maker?

Yes, the convenience that comes with owning a bread maker is just too good, especially if you bake often. It can do all the heavy work, from kneading the dough to baking it, saving you plenty of time and effort.

📌 Is homemade bread healthier than store-bought?

It depends on the ingredients you use, but homemade bread is typically healthier because most store-bought bread has preservatives and whatnot to extend its shelf life.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.