Power consumption

This depends on the type of bread machine you own as well as the type of bread you usually make. Different bread makers use different amounts of power so you should take this into consideration. Also, it depends on the duration of the program you choose (baking certain types of loaves requires more time).

To answer your question of how much power does a bread machine use, we will compare various models of bread makers to calculate how much energy they use to make a single loaf of bread.

Buying Bread or Making One in a Bread Machine: Which Is More Cost-Effective?

Again, this depends on the extra ingredients you’re using to make a loaf of bread as well as the type of flour you use. Also, baking a whole wheat loaf of bread with seeds, raisings, and other ingredients will cost a bit more than making a plain white loaf of bread.

For example, using dried cranberries, raisins, chocolate chips, whole grain seeds, and other ingredients will certainly add to the overall cost of homemade bread.

However, this is not the only relevant factor here. We also need to consider the program duration. A bread maker typically needs about 3-4 hours to deliver a fresh loaf of delicious bread.

But note that adding extra ingredients might prolong the duration period thus increasing energy expenditure. Baking a healthier type of bread with whole wheat flour and seeds can take longer than baking a simple white loaf of bread.

In conclusion, the total cost of baking bread in a bread machine depends on the size of the loaf, the ingredients you prefer, and the program you use. Therefore, if you want to buy a bread machine to save money, you won’t save much if you bake fresh bread every day using costly ingredients.

In fact, you’ll find that the cost of making bread at home vs buying one at a local bakery is pretty much the same.

The price of the bread machine should also be factored in when calculating the cost-effectiveness of home baking. If you buy one of the more expensive bread makers, it will take many loaves of bread until it really pays off.

Alternative: You can buy a second-hand bread machine and save money. Or consider purchasing a smaller bread machine if you don’t intend to bake 2-pound loaves of bread every other day.

Which Bread Makers Use the Least Amount of Power?

Bread makers have garnered quite a reputation for their modest energy expenditure. But there is also an abundance of options to choose from ranging from relatively cheap models to those that cost up to $400.

Power consumption of these appliances also depends on the size of the bread machine (smaller bread makers usually use less energy). It is also important to remember that baking a larger loaf of bread requires more energy. A 2-pound loaf of bread equals at least 800 watts or more.

If you decide to buy one, you’ll definitely want to know as much as possible about the model in question.

This information will come in handy. We’ve compared bread machine models and their energy expenditure levels to help you with your decision.

Bread Machine ModelWattage RangeProgram DurationTotal Cost
Zojirushi Mini Bakery Bread Machine250-999 (0.75-1.4kWh)3-4 hours0.09p-0.16p
Zojirushi Black Home Bakery Supreme500-990 (1.5-2.9kWh)3-4 hours(0.18p-0.34p) 
Breville Bread Maker The Custom Loaf500-990 (1.5-2.9kWh)3-4 hours(0.18p-0.34p) 
Cuisinart Bread Machine- 2-lb Convection 500-990 (1.5-2.9kWh)3-4 hours(0.18p-0.34p) 
Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus-2lb Bread Machine500-990 (1.5-2.9kWh)3-4 hours(0.18p-0.34p) 

We’ve used the most popular bread machine models for comparison. As you can see, a smaller bread maker has a lower power range when compared to the bigger models. Furthermore, you’ll notice that the wattage range (hence, the total cost per cycle) of larger bread machines is pretty much the same.

Baking in a Bread Maker vs Baking in an Oven

You might be wondering why buy a bread maker in the first place when you already have an electrical oven?

Well, that makes sense to an extent. However, if you consider the cost of baking in a bread maker vs baking in the oven, you’ll think twice.

Ovens use 1000 to 5000 watts with the average wattage range being about 2400 watts. If you multiply that with the average price per 1kWh, you get 0.28p per 1 hour. Note that this amount can get much higher if your oven stays on for several hours.

Plus, all the kneading and proofing that goes into the process of making and baking bread in an oven…

You do the math.

Although, baking in an oven does have its benefits when compared to bread machines.  One of them is the fact that you can bake several loaves of bread at the same time. But, again, you may as well count in the effort of kneading and proofing the dough into the total cost of baking in an oven.

Important: This is an estimate based on the average cost of electricity in the U.S. (12 cents/1kWh). However, the cost varies greatly from state to state. See more info on electricity prices in the U.S. here.

Cost vs Quality

Even if you deem that making your own bread in a bread maker might not be the most cost-effective option, there is one much more important factor you need to remember, quality.

Store-bought bread can contain suspicious chemical additives used to extend its shelf life as much as possible. These are not very good for your health, as you already know. When you’re baking bread at home, you know exactly what goes into a loaf of bread that you and your family eat on a daily basis.

Oxidants/reductantsAzodicarbonamide (E927),Ascorbic acid (E300), I-Cysteine (E920)
EmulsifiersMono- and diglycerides (E471), Lactylates: (E482 and E481), Polysorbates (E491-E496)
PreservativesPropionates, Sorbates, Acetates, Fermentates
HydrocolloidsXanthan gum (E415), Guar gum (E412), Cellulose gum (E466)

Chemical additives and processing aids used in breadmaking are numerous (you can read more on additives here). The only way you’ll know that your bread is 100% healthy is if you make it yourself.  Making bread in a bread maker gives you more control.

Tip: Additives used in store-bought bread are indicated on the package so you should read it before purchasing. If you’re having trouble understanding the meaning behind these complex names, follow this principle: if you don’t recognize it as a food, it’s an additive you can do without!

Final Word

To sum up, we wouldn’t exactly say that bread machines don’t use a lot of energy but on average, they certainly use less energy when compared to electrical ovens.

The key is to buy the right bread maker to fit your needs. If energy consumption if your priority and you intend to bake for yourself only, you could benefit from purchasing a smaller model that uses significantly less energy.