Best Features of this Machine:
Traditional shaped large loaf.
Many different programs.
Two holes from paddles in bread.
May be issues with quality control.
People who bake a lot.
As I started doing research into the Zojirushi Bread Machine, I was really impressed. It does seem like the "zo," as some people affectionately call it, has a lot of great features. However, there are a small percentage of negative reviews that have me a bit worried. $200 is a lot to spend on a bread machine – so I know I want to make sure I'd be getting the best possible machine at that price point.
First, there are a lot of great features with the Zojirushi BBCC-X20. It makes a more traditional shaped loaf, which is something I know my family would prefer. One of the reasons I usually bake our bread in the oven is to get a better shape – one that's easier to slice for toast. There are also a lot of different programs for bread, as well as the ability to create 3 custom programs. You can also make sourdough bread, jams, and cakes in the machine. It has one of the strongest motors out there, which makes it perfect for thicker doughs. It has a 13 hour timer for programming bread ahead of time.
There were a few things that gave mixed reviews. Most people said it was quiet (though there were a few exceptions). This could be because the paddles were inserted incorrectly or the machine was off balance. Also, some people did not like the short electrical cord. At three feet, they found it wasn't long enough – though I believe it's that length for safety.
The machine works best for large loaves of bread. People who tried to make bread recipes with less than four cups of flour found that the loaves were misshapen and often overcooked. So if your family does not go through bread quickly, this machine may be a little much for you.
With the shape of the pan, you need two paddles to get the ingredients to mix properly. This leaves two holes in the bottom of the bread, which many people did not like. Also, in smaller loaves of bread, the dough tended to end up higher on one side, leading to an uneven loaf.
There were also a lot of complaints about the teflon coating. For some people, they found that the coating lasted about a year before it started to flake off. Others said they had no problem as long as they followed the instruction manual. If you use this machine, you should never put the pan in the dishwasher and avoid abrasive cleaning products. Most people said they could clean it by wiping it out with a damp sponge, although some had to soak it to loosen baked on bread.
Unfortunately, it seemed that a small number of people received defective machines, which may indicate a problem with quality control. For some people, the Zorijushi made bread that was unevenly baked – hard on the bottom and undercooked on the top. Another complaint was that the seal above the paddle leaked, causing lubricating fluid to get on the bread. Both of these problems are covered by warranty.
Overall, if you need a machine you will use frequently for large loaves of bread, I would recommend the Zorijushi. Just make sure to keep your receipt in case you end up with one that made it past quality control.