Baking bread at home is always a pleasure, but few people have the time or energy for it. To be quite honest, it takes a certain amount of skill too to get a crusty, airy, and flavorful loaf. Also, not many of us have that!
Panasonic, Breville, and a few other manufacturers realized this predicament and came up with a genius solution. A bread maker that a child can operate. No wonder it’s selling like hotcakes all over town!
But is there a brand that’s better than the other? And seeing the wide gap in prices, do we really get what we pay for? Or does it translate to excesses we can live without?
In the following sections, we’ll examine two of the most popular machines. Their performance, their strongest points, weakest points, as well as how the other users feel about them. It’s a thorough comparison between the Breville vs Panasonic bread maker.
Let’s see how this match plays out!
Both bread makers are high-end, allow several operating modes, and they come with an automatic fruit and nut dispenser tray. This last option is unique to these machines, you wouldn’t find it in most other bread makers.
The two machines are actually quite similar in many aspects. That’s why we’ll skip matters like aesthetics, ergonomics, ease of use, and routine maintenance requirements. They’re almost identical in all these aspects, or at least they have nothing remarkable in that respect.
To be more specific, both the Breville and the Panasonic aren’t big on looks. They take the same effort to load and unload, and they’re both easy to work with.
The Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker is a fully automated machine that reads your requirements and customizes a baking cycle to grant them.
It comes with both manual and automatic programs to make bread, dough, pasta, and jam. In addition to the preset programs, you can save up to nine of your favorite recipes, and recall them anytime you like.
It’s made from a stainless steel housing and premium-quality components. It comes with a collapsible paddle for dough, and an extra set of fixed paddles for jam. The fruit and nut tray loads at the top for total ease of handling.
The best feature of the Breville bread makes is the flexibility it offers in loaf sizes and ways of baking it. A loaf could be as small as 1 pound, or as large as 2.5 pounds, with two more medium options in between.
There are programs that make gluten-free bread, yeast-free bread, as well as various degrees of crustiness. The focus of this bread maker is baking the exact type of bread that you fancy. And to that end, there are 13 automatic settings.
- 13 settings
- 3 crust options
- 4 loaf sizes
- 46 recipes
- Automatic fruit and nut dispenser
- Collapsible kneading paddle
- Smart LCD screen
- Progress indicator
- Power is approx. 830 Watts
- Works on 110-120 Volts
- Customizable personalized settings
- Manual and automatic programs
- Full monitoring through large LCD
- Nuts and fruits are introduced at the right time automatically
- Minimal holes due to the pull-back of kneading paddle
- 60 minutes of backup power
- Too big for one-pound loaf users
- The texture and taste of some recipes isn’t too great
- The bread is a bit difficult to get out of the pan
- Power 120AC, 60Hz
- Microprocessor controlled for even...
- Special dispenser for addition of Fruit...
- Diamond fluorine non-stick coated pan...
- 5 Baking modes for 2 different loaf...
The Panasonic SD-RD250 Bread Maker is all about ease of operation and full automation. This includes setting a timer 13 hours ahead of time and getting a hot loaf of bread exactly when you need it, and how you like it.
It also comes with the fruit and nut addition, and like the Breville, it’s filled from the top. This option is in line with the various baking selections that come with this machine. It can bake the basic breads all the way to the French varieties. In addition to pasta, croissant, cake, and pizza dough.
The breads can have a wide range of varieties like white bread, whole-wheat bread, raisin-bread, and multi-grain bread.
- Fruit and nut automatic dispenser
- Non-stick pan with a special coating
- Microprocessor controlled
- 5 baking modes for 2 loaf sizes
- Crust darkness setting
- Scratch-resistant pan
- Large LCD display
- Works on 120 Volts
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Consistent results
- The timer can be set 13 hours in advance
- Doesn’t have a viewing panel
- Two loaf sizes only
- The fruit and nut dispenser is a bit small
- Limited amount of good recipes
To understand any machine fully, we often look at the manufacturer’s profile. Their history in the market, design philosophy, and what they really focus on.
This is a brand that’s been in the market since 1932. Breville started in Sydney, Australia, and soon opened up markets worldwide.
This global appliance manufacturer is a big player, a formidable competitor, and a brand that users trust.
Their credo is designing according to customer’s insights and needs. Kitchen devices that make people’s lives easier and free up their time. The broad range of innovative products they offer shows that clearly.
This electronics giant saw the light in 1894. Panasonic is a corporation with a long and eventful history behind it. There’s even a museum to show its achievements and tell its story. Also, a time capsule dating back to the ’70s. There’s so much to tell!
Pnasonic is a Japanese manufacturer that went global. The headquarters is in Osaka, Japan, but it has operations and representation all over the four corners of the map.
They are among the top players in the electronics market, and on top of that, they make rechargeable-batteries, automotive parts, and aviation electronic systems. They’re also big in the construction business and have several mega building renovation projects under their name.
Their philosophy is quite simple and profound, that is “To create things of value”.
What We Think
It goes without saying that Panasonic is the heavyweight when it comes to brand power. But that doesn’t necessarily negate the importance and dependability of Breville.
Loaf Size, Crust, and Orientation
This is definitely a matter of personal preference. But it’s also related to usage.
A family of five who prepares school lunches every morning would need larger amounts of bread. They’d be quite different from a busy couple who are always eating out, and fancy homemade bread every other weekend. Let’s see where each machine stands in that regard.
The baking pan of the Breville bakes a vertical loaf of bread, with 3 crust colors. It has three size options which are:
- One pound
- One and a half pounds
- Two pounds
- Two and a half pounds
The multiple options are definitely a big plus here. This is especially helpful for a family that has variable demand for bread. So sometimes they’d need a one-pounder, and at other times the family-sized, two-and-a-half pounds loaf is just right. A grandma’s house comes to mind here.
A household where the larger size is constantly in need, or another where the one-pounder is the usual, are both probably off the mark if they go for the Breville. There are other machines out there in the market that are more dedicated to occasional or heavy usage.
The Panasonic bakes a horizontal-leaning loaf that looks like a box, more-or-less. It has two-crust color options, which are light and dark. As for the sizes, there are also two choices only: Medium (M) or Extra large (XL).
The seemingly limited choices could be viewed as a flaw in the design. Others could see it as an easy to operate the machine, with the most frequent choices that people make.
What We Think
We tend to see the excessive options in any device as an unnecessary excess. Which places the Panasonic in the place of the winner here.
However, we should also admit that the Breville machine isn’t showing off options that would never be used. The various choices of loaf size and crust color could come in handy in certain households.
Users often like to take a peek and see how the bread is doing. We do that when something is in the oven as well. Probably our inherent need to make sure everything is OK, the way we do even with washing machines.
And maybe it’s a part of the sensual experience of cooking. The eyes eat before the mouth, right? The viewing panel is an integral part of most cooking devices, that when it’s missing, we tend to take note and ask why?
The Breville has a viewing panel on top, the way most bread makers do. It’s not a big affair though, and the glass tends to be too opaque to show much of the action.
The Panasonic bread maker is unique in the fact that it’s missing a viewing panel. While the users feel that it detracts from that model, the manufacturers have a different opinion.
According to Panasonic, the viewing panel is intentionally absent, and it’s promoted as a plus in the design. They say that “The absence of a viewing window creates a more even reflection of heat inside the unit, which offers the following three advantages: excellent crust, good rising, and even color.”
What We Think
This might be plausible, but it’s hard to verify. Anyway, if you’re the kind that likes to check on the food and constantly open the lids of pots and pans, this could feel limiting. If you appreciate the full-automation of these devices and often let them be, then you wouldn’t even miss that viewing panel.
Kneading the bread dough requires strong paddles. They’re often sizable, to do the job well, but there’s a downside for that. They tend to leave a hole at the bottom of the bread loaf. Many users ignore it and enjoy the bread anyway.
However, some manufacturers, like Breville, became aware of that. And they decided to find an innovative solution.
The Breville machine has powerful kneading blades that collapse on themselves right before the baking cycle starts. Thus, they avoid the gaping hole that’s a trademark of automated bread.
In theory, this sounds amazing. However, in practice, it doesn’t always operate as anticipated. The blades sometimes collapse halfway. And when this happens, they leave an even larger hole in the bread. Technology is a bit moody that way.
Then again, when it does work as indicated, it leaves the bottom of the loaf in a much neater state.
The Panasonic machine leaves the typical hole without any shame or remorse.
What We Think
The collapsible paddle or blade is certainly a clever idea. But its flakey behavior detracts a bit from its status as a trailblazer of the bread making appliances.
It should also be noted that the hole at the bottom of the automated loaf isn’t as annoying for all users. Adding a sizable chunk of money to get that option is justifiable to some, and much less digestible by others.
The timer option needs the bread maker to be as accurate and fully automated as possible. Any glitch is final, chances are you wouldn’t be around to sort out an error, reset a cycle, or replenish ingredients.
It’s not really just a press of a button, a wake-up alarm, or a stop-watch. We are fully aware that it needs good design, synchronized mechanical action, and perfect performance, to pull off a bread-making timer.
While the Breville is loaded with options, it doesn’t have that thoughtful feature. It’s understandable though, as adding more bells and whistles would’ve driven its price up even more.
Having a bread maker set to serve the family a fresh loaf of bread as soon as they wake up is bliss. The same goes for setting it for the time when we return home after a long day at work. Or to help in organizing a brunch, where we could go out shopping, while the machine does its thing.
Using the timer can really come in handy for people who like multitasking.
What We Think
Panasonic scored big in this one!
Bread Maker Size and Weight
Why does that point matter? Devices that take up too much counter space, or have a significant weight, aren’t the best options in a modern kitchen. After all, how many of us have unlimited space to spare, or like to move heavy objects around? Yeah, neither do we.
This bread maker is around the average among its peers. It measures around 10 x 16 x 14 inches and weighs approximately 17 pounds.
This is not going to be an elephant in the room, and considering the size of the bread pan, it’s probably a good size.
The Panasonic is slightly smaller than the Breville. It would take up a counter space of around 11 x 9 x 14 inches, and weighs approximately 15 pounds, which is 2 pounds less than the Breville.
What We Think
This difference might not be the deciding factor between the two devices, but if all else looks similar, then we should bear it in mind.
Price and Warranty
This is usually what sweetens the deal, or what comes as a deal-breaker. But the price thing here doesn’t fall into either of these categories. It’s frankly a bit of a debate.
The price of the Breville hovers around the $300 mark. There are occasional discounts in holiday seasons, or hikes when the demand for home appliance spikes, like during a lockdown.
The closest peers of the Breville range in prices from $70-$800. So, the Breville machine isn’t as outrageously priced as some might think. It’s actually a mid-range appliance. Whether or not it deserves the price tag, that’s a very different question.
It has a limited warranty for one year only. Which is rather common these days among domestic appliance manufacturers. We’d like to see more reassurance from the makers though.
The Panasonic holds a competitive price compared to the Breville, as it sells at around $220.
There are a few other Panasonic bread makers that exceed that price point and reach up to $600. This applies to a high-end model like the Panasonic Bread Maker Sd-bh1001-r. This red-lid model also has a fruit and nut dispenser, plus a few more bells and whistles.
It comes with a limited warranty for a year, wherein product registration is not compulsory, and a bill is sufficient to process a claim. The warranty extends to the first buyer only, and the service involves mail-in or carry-in.
What We Think
When people plan to buy a new machine, they often think in terms of $50 dollar increments as long as their new device is below the $1000 mark. That’s why the difference between the $300 of the Breville, and the $220 of the Panasonic could be a deciding factor.
As always, we recommend looking at the big picture, and bearing in mind personal preference. Budget is also key, but we highly doubt that the more expensive model would be excluded based on budgetary concerns alone.
The warranty is clearly a tie between the two machines.
The Breville has more baking options, a collapsible kneading paddle, a viewing window, and an abundance of baking recipes.
Facing that, the Panasonic has a minimalist design, an easy to use interface, highly precise automation, and a cycle timer.
Otherwise, they come pretty close in their aesthetics, the counter space they occupy, and even the price range. So which one is best? And given the choice which one should you select? That is not an easy answer!
Let’s just say this: if you’re a household with varying needs for bread, go for the Breville. And if you’re a multitasker who appreciates utility and good design, the Panasonic will be a valuable addition to your kitchen.