Do Bread Makers Use A Lot of Electricity?

Bread makers come in various sizes and shapes and use various amounts of electricity. Bread makers can be a more efficient way of baking bread, but the amount of electricity used for each model depends on the size, type of bread being made, and cycle duration.

Bread makers are fairly efficient machines, ranging from using 500 watts of energy to 1500 watts depending on the device’s size, run time, and bread type. 

Read on for a detailed list of the most and least energy-efficient bread makers to use in your kitchen and how they compare to traditional ovens in electricity use and price. We’ll discuss what makes these bread makers more effective than each other and more effective than conventional methods of baking. 

How Much Electricity Do Bread Makers Use?

Power consumption by bread makers varies by brand and model, and the maximum capacity each model can hold and its run time. Some bread makers are more efficient than others but have a smaller capacity, different run times, and a higher wattage, resulting in a costlier use. 

Smaller bread makers use less energy, and smaller loaves of bread, even in larger machines, will naturally use less energy. Still, there are a few bread maker models that find the balance in capacity and power consumption.

Below are some of the more efficient bread makers and how much power they consume. 

Bread Maker ModelWattageRun TimeMax CapacitykWh
Cuisinart Compact Automatic550 watts3-4 hr2 lbs1.6-2.2
Zojirushi Mini Bread Maker450 watts3-4 hr1lb1.35-1.8
Cuisinart CBK 200 Convection680 watts3-4 hr2lbs2.04-2.72
Zojirushi BB-CEC 20 Supreme700 watts3-4 hr2lbs2.1-2.8

The wattage of each of these bread maker models, when converted into kilowatts per hour, ranges from 1.35 kilowatts per hour to 2.8. Average residential customers in the United States pay 13.13 cents per kWh (Kilowatt hour), so the bread maker you choose can directly affect the amount you’re paying for electricity.

The wattage of a particular model will convert into how many kilowatts per hour that the until consumes. Kilowatts per hour is how consumers are charged for electricity consumption.

To find a model’s kWh, simply divide the unit’s wattage by 1000. You can use that figure multiplied by how many hours the unit is in use to find how much it will cost you directly. 

These particular bread maker models are some of the most efficient on the market in terms of kilowatts per hour, but let’s look at some of the models that could be considered less efficient and what makes them less efficient than those listed above.  

Bread Maker ModelWattageRun TimeMax CapacitykWh
Oster Express Bake1450 watts2-3 hr2lbs2.9-4.35
Breadman Professional850 watts3-4 hr2lbs2.55-3.4

These two models are on the higher side in wattage and kWh, but they offer additional features, such as a shorter run time. A shorter cycle is ideal for some consumers that are on stricter schedules. Time-saving can be more of a payoff for some, especially those in business or mass production. 

Both offer a similar max capacity as the other models we have addressed. These models could’ve proven more efficient with a higher capacity, as the quantity could be less than multiple cycles in a smaller machine, but that isn’t the case here.

In businesses, lower run times can prove more efficient by creating a higher quantity of product. 

Various factors can make a larger machine more efficient, even with higher wattage. Lower run times and higher capacities are two factors to consider when choosing the model for you. As you can see, some bread makers appear to be less efficient than others, but what is the actual cost comparison in a bread maker and oven? 

Are Bread Makers More Efficient Than Using An Oven?

In general, ovens consume 2.3kWh per hour, costing the average consumer $.30 per hour. 2.3kWh is an average number for oven power consumption but is on the higher end of power consumption for a bread maker. It is essential to compare the factors of bake time and capacity of oven space when comparing the two, just as you would when comparing two bread makers. 

The answer to this question lies in comparison. Bread maker cycles can, in some instances, last longer than it would take to bake traditional bread in an oven, but it again is dependent on the type of bread you’re making and the amount of time that bread takes to cook. More ingredients or denser ones create longer bake times. 

Speaking in terms of power consumption, many bread maker models use less power than ovens, thus making them more efficient.

Be careful of the bread maker model you’re choosing because some less efficient models can exceed the 2.3kWh of an oven. The Oster Express Bake listed above, for example, ranges from 2.9-4.35kWh.

Just as the efficiency of a bread maker can vary, the efficiency of an oven depends on several different variables. The age of the unit, its conditions, and the amount of bread you’ll need to bake in it are some of the variables that can make your oven much less efficient than a bread maker. 

  • Older models, for instance, can be much less efficient and run at upwards of 3 to 3.5kWh, decreasing the efficiency of bread making. 
  • The condition of even newer ovens can be critical to its efficiency. The seals around the oven doors should be clean and not damaged. The oven chamber itself should be clean and free of debris.
  • The amount of bread and type of bread being baked is key to determining the most efficient method. Denser bread will take much longer in an oven than a bread maker, and though multiple loaves can be cooked at once in an oven (unlike a bread maker), the length of baking will need to increase with each loaf. 

If you know your oven is older or in poor condition, a bread maker may be a decisively more efficient route to go. 

Which Bread Maker is the Most Efficient on the Market?

One of the most efficient bread makers on the market is the Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Maker. If you pick apart the features of this model, it has the precise balance of factors that make bread makers more efficient than traditional ovens. Here’s what makes this model ideal:

  • 550 watts, which translates into 1.6-2.2kWh in direct comparison to an oven’s 2.3kWh
  • An average 3-4 hour run time from start to finish, compared to a similar bread-making time frame from start to finish using an oven for baking.
  • The Cuisinart Compact Automatic has a 2lb max capacity while still being compact. 

Determining the most efficient bread maker on the market needs to be done on a case by case basis by deciding the most critical factor for you. Based on a few general factors we’ll discuss, the Cuisinart Compact Automatic Bread Maker comes in as an ideal model in each case.

Let’s address each of the factors and how they affect how efficient a bread machine is or is not. Ingredients that you commonly use, the amount of bread you regularly bake, and how long you prefer to spend baking are the key factors determining what model is the most efficient for you. 

Commonly Used Ingredients Affect Run Time

The ingredients used in your bread maker can increase or decrease its efficiency. Adding heavy ingredients like dried fruits or veggies could increase the machine’s run time, adding additional kWh used. Some denser loaves of bread could be more effectively baked in the oven, speaking in power consumption terms.

Max Capacity Can Be A Hindrance or Time-Saver

Bread makers vary from half-pound loaves to upwards of two and a half-pound loaves. You could see an increase in efficiency if you find yourself cooking only one-pound loaves. The smallest machines on the market are usually the most efficient ones.

If you are running a business or just bake large amounts of bread more frequently, a larger, slightly less efficient model could still be the best option for you. Larger units consume more power but tend to have the same or similar run times. 

Run Time Can Be Prioritized Over Power Consumption

If time is the most important factor to you, some models have express bake options, cutting the run time down by 1-2 hours. These models often use more power but can still cut down your kWh usage with faster cycles.

Bread makers can offer less prep time than traditional baking, as all of the work is done in the machine rather than by your hands.