I’ve Been Using This Mini Bread Maker for a Decade — It’s Still Just as Great as It Was on Day One

published Feb 3, 2023
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Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

When my husband expressed an interest in owning a bread maker more than a decade ago, I didn’t really think we needed one. He’d grown up with a bread maker and loved it, but my family had never owned one, so I didn’t understand the appeal. Plus, at the time, we lived in a particularly small apartment that didn’t have room for another appliance — especially a single-use one like a bread maker.

However, my mother got wind of my husband’s want, and since her love language is gifts of kitchen gear, we ended up with a Zojirushi bread maker under the Christmas tree in 2012. 

What’s So Great About the Zojirushi Mini Bread Maker?

Yes, that means I’ve been using it for a full decade.

Cognizant of our small space at the time, my mom decided to gift us a mini bread maker that makes a small 1-pound loaf of bread. Well, it wasn’t exactly “mini,” but it was smaller than most and fit easily into a 12-inch-wide cabinet, so we could tuck it away.

Almost immediately, I realized that the Zojirushi was a fantastic appliance — making bread was SO easy. With a little bit of measuring and a push of a button, we could have an excellent homemade loaf in a few hours. I’d made bread before (this was only a few years after the Jim Lahey no-knead bread revolution), but it had always felt like a bit of a project and required me to be home at the right time for the rise. With the Zojirushi, the bread would be waiting for me when I finally got around to it. Plus, it didn’t heat up our apartment like the oven did — a major win.

At this point, I’ve been using my Zojirushi mini bread maker for 10 years, and I’m just as happy with it as I was back in Year One. It’s never given us any problems and works as well as it did when it was new. Over the years, my family has made many different bread recipes (we most often make a half whole-wheat flour loaf), but the thing we ended up using it for the most often was a surprise: pizza dough! The standard pizza dough that the accompanying recipe booklet prescribes is the perfect amount for two small pizzas or one half-sheet pan grandma-style pie — and the dough comes out perfectly every time (unlike my non-bread maker attempts).

If you have a large family, this bread maker would probably be too small for you, but for my family of three, the small loaves are the perfect size because we can finish them before the bread gets stale. We also love that it’s relatively easy to store, but if you’re truly cramped for space, it might be hard to justify purchasing another appliance.

I would absolutely buy the Zojirushi mini bread maker again (even though it shows no signs of breaking), and I’ve also recommended it to friends over the years. The price has risen since we first got ours, but I still think it’s worth it — especially if you plan to make bread (or pizza dough!) often. 

Buy: Zojirushi Home Bakery 1-Pound-Loaf Programmable Mini Breadmaker, $199.99 (originally $297)