If you are searching for a new bread maker, you might have already realized that there are some pretty good machines out there. Big names like Breville, Panasonic, Cuisinart, and Zojirushi rule supreme in the world of home-bread baking. If you are stuck choosing between the latter you may be wondering: which is better, the Zojirushi or Cuisinart bread maker? Both of these machines are very popular and have a lot to offer the avid bread lover.
So, which one is right for you? In this blog post, Allow me to compare these two machines and help you decide which one is the right machine for you!
Zojirushi vs Cuisinart Bread Maker
To make it a fair comparison, throughout this article I will be comparing the Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus and the Cuisinart CBK-200. These are the two most popular models that both manufacturers produce and are similar in terms of both size and features.
If you are in a hurry and just want a quick summary of the key differences between these machines, then take a look at my comparison below.
|Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus||Cuisinart Convection|
|Capacity||2lb||1lb, 1.5lb, 2lb|
|Bread Pan||Horizontal, Non-Stick||Vertical, Non-Stick|
|Kneading Blades||Dual Blades, Non-Stick||Single Blade, Non-Stick|
|Customizable Settings||3 Customizable Settings||N/A|
|Crust Settings||Light, Medium, Dark||Light, Medium, Dark|
|Heating Element||Dual Heaters||Convection Heating|
|Fruit and Nut Dispenser||N/A||N/A|
|Delayed Timer||13 Hours||12 Hours|
|Power Failure Backup||N/A||Yes|
|Accessories||Recipe book, measuring cups, measuring spoon||Recipe book, measuring cup, double-ended measuring spoon|
If you have a couple of minutes to spare and want to hear my full Zojirushi vs Cuisinart Bread Maker comparison, then read on!
Let’s kick this head-to-head comparison off by talking about the capacity of each machine. When it comes to loaf sizes, the Cuisinart and Zojirushi have the same maximum capacity of up to two pounds. This is standard for most bread makers and is the perfect size for families.
Where the Cuisinart one-ups the Zojirushi is the variety of loaves it can make. Although both have the capacity of a 2lb loaf, the Cuisinart has three loaf sizes you can choose from.
As well as the 2lb, you can make a 1lb and a 1.5lb loaf. This is a great feature as you are not limited to just making one large loaf which might go to waste in a small household. If you have a smaller family or want to make a loaf just for yourself, having that option is nice.
Bread Pan Shape
Most bread machines out there have a vertical pan. The Cuisinart is no different. Although the actual body of the machine is rectangular, the actual loaf comes out tall and thin.
The Zojirushi, on the other hand, has a horizontal bread pan. This is much more in line with a traditional loaf of bread which is rectangular in shape. The horizontal pan ultimately makes for a longer loaf allowing you to get more slices than you would with a vertical loaf.
Both bread pans are non-stick which makes it easy to remove your loaf from the tin and are BPA-free so you can rest assured you are making healthy bread.
The paddle action is where these two machines really differ. The Zojirushi has a dual paddle action. There are not many dual paddle bread makers out there, so this definitely a unique feature of the Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus.
The dual paddle action does a significantly better job at kneading and mixing all the ingredients in large bread pans. With a single paddle, you are bound to find the odd pocket of flour or unmixed ingredients. The dual paddle helps mix all the ingredients properly without leaving anything behind.
The Cuisinart, on the other hand, has a single paddle action. Although this isn’t as effective as the dual paddle action, it still does a good job of kneading the dough. The single paddle will help mix the ingredients together, but don’t be surprised if you come across the occasional pocket of unmixed ingredients.
The majority of bread makers out there only have a heating element at the bottom of the machine. Although this is pretty standard, this can cause uneven browning on the loaf, with the bottom becoming overcooked and the top being left pale and soft.
The Zojirushi is one of the only machines out there with a dual heater design. There is one located at the bottom and one underneath the lid. The extra heater means you’ll get a nice even browning on your loaf.
Cuisinart, on the other hand, opts for a different strategy to guarantee an evenly cooked loaf. The CBK-200 is the only bread machine on the market that currently uses convection heat.
So how does that work? Well, I’m sure you are already familiar with convection ovens, right? They are extremely common and are found in almost every household. The convection setting on the Cuisinart works in a similar way. There is a fan located inside the bread maker that circulates hot air all around the loaf, ensuring even baking and a perfect crust.
Pre-Set Baking Menus
The settings don’t vary much in each bread maker. The Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus has 15 settings including: Basic white, rapid white, European, whole wheat, rapid whole wheat, multigrain, gluten-free, salt-free, sugar-free, vegan, dough, sourdough starter, cake, jam, and homemade.
The Cuisinart has one more with 16 settings: White, rapid white, whole wheat, rapid whole wheat, French/Italian, rapid French/Italian, quick bread/cake, low carb, gluten-free, dough/pizza dough, artisan dough, sweet bread, jam, last-minute loaf and bake only.
Both machines have various quick-bake settings and all the basic settings you would expect from a bread machine.
That said, if you are a fan of sourdough, then you will love the Zojirushi. The Virtuoso Plus has the ability to make a sourdough starter as well as sourdough bread, tasks that are often tedious and time-consuming if done manually.
I also really like that the Zojirushi settings are also fully customizable. This means you can customize your own kneading, rising, and baking times with the ‘Homemade’ setting and can quicksave up to 3 of your own settings for future use! Baking at high altitude? You can customize the Zojirushi depending on where you live.
The Zojirushi and Cuisinart both have three crust settings: light, medium, and dark, which is a standard feature for most bread makers.
Both bread machines default to the medium color setting, but this can easily be changed by the push of a button. The crust is one area you might have to experiment with to get the perfect setting for your family. If you like a softer crust, then the light setting is for you. If you prefer a crispy crust, then go with the dark setting.
I tend to keep my machine to the medium setting as you get a perfect balance between crisp and soft.
The delayed timer is another feature that is found in a lot of bread makers. This allows you to add your ingredients, set the timer, and have fresh bread ready when you wake up in the morning or come home from work.
The Zojirushi has a 13-hour delayed timer and the Cuisinart has a 12-hour delayed timer. There is not a significant difference between the two timers.
It is also worth mentioning that Cuisinart has a 15-minute pause feature as well as a power failure backup.
The viewing window is a handy design that allows you to check on the bread without opening the lid and interrupting the baking process.
Bread makers can vary greatly in the size of their viewing windows. The Zojirushi has a large viewing window that spans almost the entire length of the machine’s lid. The Cuisinart’s viewing window is much smaller, but it’s still large enough to get a good view of the bread.
Fruit and Nut Dispenser
Fruit and nut dispensers are a great feature found in many bread makers. If you are someone who enjoys adding various fruits and nuts to your loaf then you might be disappointed with the Zojirushi and Cuisinart bread machines as neither of them have this feature.
To counteract the lack of a fruit and nut dispenser, both machines do alert you with an audible tone when it is time to add in your favorite mix-ins.
Size, Weight, and Appearance
The Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus bread maker is a bit larger than the Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker. The dimensions of the Zojirushi are 10.5 x 18 x 12.88 inches and the Cuisinart is 12 x 16.5 x 10.25. The Zojirushi is also much heavier at 24 pounds, while the Cuisinart weighs around 16 pounds.
Weight really matters when it comes to carrying a bread machine. If you plan on moving your bread maker around a lot, then the Cuisinart is going to be the better option.
What I love about Cuisinart is the modern, minimalistic look. It has a full stainless steel body with black details.
With a bulky, dated exterior, the Zojirushi doesn’t look as sleek as the Cuisinart, but it’s not an eye-sore.
The Cuisinart is almost half the price of the Zojirushi, which is a huge selling point. You can find the Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker for under $200.
Zojirushi vs Cuisinart Bread Maker: Which is the best?
You should have a better idea as to which one of these breadmakers is the best for you and your family. Both the Zojirushi and the Cuisinart are great machines with similar features.
The deciding factor is usually going to be personal preference. Do you want a bread maker that is fully customizable? If so, then Zojirushi might be the right machine for you. Do you prefer a sleek, modern look? Then Cuisinart is probably your best bet. Plus, the Cuisinart is cheaper and lighter, making it a more attractive option for some people.
When it comes to performance, the Zojirushi takes the lead, but the Cuisinart is not far behind. You just can’t beat the superiority of the horizontal loaf that it produces.