Zojirushi Virtuoso Breadmaker

Last updated date: February 7, 2019

DWYM Score
9.5

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We looked at the top 1 Bread Machines and dug through the reviews from 7 of the most popular review sites including New York Times Wirecutter, BestReviews, Village Bakery, Bread Machine Pros, BreadMachines.com, KitchenMaker HQ and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Bread Machine you should buy.

Overall Take

Whether you're interested in making gluten-free, banana nut or sourdough, the Zojirushi Virtuoso bread machine can handle it with ease. You'll get even cooking, thanks to a heater in the lid that ensures your loaves are browned all over.  As an extra, the timer gives you a specific time that the bread will be done rather than merely offering a countdown clock. In our analysis of 57 expert reviews, the Zojirushi Zojirushi Virtuoso Breadmaker placed 1st when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 16, 2019:
Checkout The Best Bread Machine for a detailed review of all the top bread machines.

Expert Summarized Score
9.8
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
1,810 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The settings on the Zojirushi are easy to use, and the digital display lights up, making it easy to read. And, rather than telling you how long the bread has left to bake, like all the other machines we tested, it tells you what time the loaf will be done. That sounds minor, but it’s nice not to have to do the mental math.
- New York Times Wirecutter
March 9, 2018 | Full review
Off the charts performance. High customer satisfaction rate. Extremely versatile - can make pizza dough, cake, etc.
- BestReviews
One of our favorite features, though, is that the lid has an additional heater for even baking across the top to match the bottom. There’s nothing worse than a doughy product that isn’t all the way baked or cooked.
- Village Bakery
December 25, 2018 | Full review
One of the best things about the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Virtuoso was its ability to make delicious gluten-free bread. It’s hard to bake gluten-free bread to taste as good as regular bread, but the Virtuoso made it effortless. It made gluten-free bread that tastes even better than what you get at the store.
- Bread Machine Pros
May 23, 2018 | Full review
Zojirushi added a top-browning element in the lid to create uniform browning over the top of the loaf. It works equally well for 1 pound, 1-1/2 pound and 2 pound settings.
- BreadMachines.com
October 31, 2016 | Full review
The BB-PAC20 is the only Zojirushi bread maker that has a gluten free course. It has a powerful motor, dual paddles and a heavy construction. It can handle gluten free dough.
- Bread Maker Guides
Two kneading blades do the hard work for you. Remember, just put in the ingredients, set your mode and the machine does the rest. Kneading blades mix the ingredients and work the dough.
- KitchenMaker HQ
What experts didn't like
Zojirushi is the sturdiest of all the machines we tried, but also the biggest, which is a downside for anyone short on space.
- New York Times Wirecutter
March 9, 2018 | Full review
On the more expensive side.
- BestReviews
Another disadvantage of this machine is that through the first bread making cycle or heat application, you’ll find an odor, only because the product is new and must be worn in with the heat in the machine.
- Village Bakery
December 25, 2018 | Full review
However, we still don’t see an automatic fruit and nut dispenser with this machine, whereas the upgraded version for the “mini” model now has an automatic fruit and nut dispenser. If they included a dispenser it would have been the perfect bread machine. For now you’ll have to add the ingredients yourself at the “beep”.
- Bread Machine Pros
May 23, 2018 | Full review
Stability has a downside as well. The Virtuoso is a heavy machine weighing in at 27 pounds. It’s light enough to lift and move but you’ll need two hands to do it. Most owners find a dedicated spot and keep the unit in that location. Its power cord is only 3 feet long so any location will need to have an electrical outlet in close proximity.
- BreadMachines.com
October 31, 2016 | Full review
Dough might sometimes rise unevenly causing the top crust to be slightly higher on one side.
- Bread Maker Guides
It's quite expensive.
- KitchenMaker HQ

From The Manufacturer

Get performance like you've never seen from a breadmaker. A revolutionary heating element built into our Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker changes the way you can bake bread at home. With perfectly browned crust every time, anyone can be a master baker. From novice to expert, now any home baker can take advantage of our most technologically advanced breadmaker, loaded with menu settings and options for the ultimate in versatility. For a basic bread recipe, simply add in measured ingredients, close the lid, make a selection from the user-friendly LCD control panel, and the Home Bakery Supreme takes care of the rest--baking up a rectangular-shaped 2-pound loaf of bread to perfection. Choose from three crust shades--light, medium, or dark--and from 10 pre-programmed settings that consist of Basic, Basic Wheat, Basic Dough, Quick, Quick Wheat, Quick Dough, Jam, Cake, Sour Dough Starter, and Home Made. Best of all, the machine's timer can be set to delay the end of the baking cycle by up to 13 hours, which makes it possible to wake up to the smell of freshly baked, homemade bread in the morning or to come home to a warm loaf at the end of a long day at the office. The bread maker provides two blades for thorough dough kneading and a higher rise, a large viewing window, an "on" indicator light, a start/reset button, and a removable nonstick bread pan for easy cleaning. A double-ended teaspoon/tablespoon measuring spoon, an 8-ounce measuring cup, and a user manual with a variety of recipes come included.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Zojirushi Virtuoso Breadmaker
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 7
2. T-fal ActiBread Bread Maker
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 5
3. Breville Custom Loaf Bread Maker
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 6
4. Oster Expressbake Bread Maker
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 4
5. Panasonic Automatic Bread Maker
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 6
6. Hamilton Beach Home Baker Bread Maker
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 6
7. Zojirushi Programmable Mini Breadmaker
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 5
8. Oster Expressbake Bread Maker
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 6
9. SKG Automatic Bread Machine
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 4

An Overview On Bread Machines

In the 1990s, bread machines took over the country, with some saying they’d be the next big essential kitchen appliance. Although the fad soon faded, bread-making appliances stuck around, remaining popular with those who love the taste of regular bread. If you’ve ever tried to make a loaf of bread the old-fashioned way, you likely know the appeal of inserting ingredients and pushing a button for fresh, home-baked bread.

Today’s bread machines have come a long way from the early days, especially when it comes to appealing to modern dietary restrictions. Now that they have gluten-free baking options, they’re appealing to an audience of people who have trouble finding delicious bread at the grocery store or neighborhood bakery. But not all bread machines have gluten-free features, and of those that do, only some can bake tasty gluten-free loaves. So it’s important to shop for that specifically if you’re on a special diet.

Whether you’re baking a gluten-free or regular loaf, though, you’ll want delicious-tasting bread baked consistently all over. This includes soft slices with the perfect outer crust. Some bread makers do better than others at this, based primarily on the way the machine distributes heat. It’s important to note, though, that some machines produce bread that doesn’t have that traditional “loaf” look and search for one that does if it’s important to you.

Some newer bread machines have fruit and nut dispensers that release those ingredients at the exact moment they’re needed. If you plan to make banana bread or date nut bread on a fairly regular basis, this might be a feature to consider while you’re shopping.

DYWM Fun Fact

Bread has a long history, which means it’s the subject of numerous legends and superstitions. In Scotland, for instance, you aren’t supposed to sing while waiting for your bread to rise since doing so will take the wind out of it. While slicing bread, if you accidentally drop a slice, it means friends are on their way. Your parents and grandparents may also have included bread as a good luck charm to new homeowners. It was customary to take a loaf of bread as a housewarming gift as a wish that the owners would never go hungry, as well as a bottle of wine so that they’d never go thirsty.

The Bread Machine Buying Guide

  • Bread machines can have a bit of a learning curve. You’ll need to first gather all the ingredients you need, then know which buttons to push. The Zojirushi Virtuoso bread maker has a light-up digital display and easy-to-use settings. The Breville Customer Loaf bread maker also has a large LCD screen that’s easy to read.
  • One notable feature in the Zojirushi bread machine is that it tells you what time your loaf will be done, rather than merely giving you a countdown timer.
  • If you plan to make fruity bread, consider the Breville Custom Loaf bread maker, which has a fruit and nut dispenser. Your ingredients will release at the designated time. The Zojirushi Virtuoso bread maker doesn’t have the dispenser, but it does beep when it’s time for you to manually add them.
  • More than 3 million Americans are following a gluten-free diet. Normally this would mean forgoing bread — and bread machines — altogether. However, some bread machines let you make delicious gluten-free bread at the press of a button. The Zojirushi Virtuoso creates gluten-free bread that tastes better than you’ll get in any store. You may even find it tastes better than regular bread. The T-fal ActiBread bread maker also has a gluten-free bread setting.
  • If you want the luxury of creating foods beyond bread, the Breville Custom Loaf bread maker might be the machine for you. You can make pasta and jam by just choosing those options on the menu and inserting the necessary ingredients.
  • If you’re on a budget, you may want to stick with the T-fal ActiBread or the Oster Expressbake since both retail for under $100. Both the Zojirushi Virtuoso and Breville Custom Loaf bread machines retail for more than $250.
  • When it comes down to it, your bread maker needs to put out high-quality, good-tasting bread. All of the other factors are important, but this one is a top priority. The Zojirushi bread machine has a heater on the lid that ensures each loaf is evenly cooked on all sides. No matter what size loaf you’re making, you’ll get this same result. The T-fal ActiBread makes delicious bread, but the shape of each loaf is different from what you’re accustomed to getting when you buy bread. You’ll find it’s taller and longer.