Panasonic Bread Makers – Are They Any Good?

If you’ve never heard of the Panasonic brand, all I can say is you’ve either been living under a rock or you were born yesterday. Panasonic is one of the biggest brands in the world. It was originally known as Matsushita Electric at the time it was founded in Japan in 1918. It’s so funny to learn that the first product they sold was duplex lamp sockets. After achieving some success with that, they began to produce bicycle lamps. To cut the long story short, they now produce and market a vast range of products, including bread makers, TVs, home entertainment products, personal care products, heating and cooling products, and more.

Panasonic models are unique in a way. The latest models have 30+ preprogrammed options, and that’s one of the highest number of preprogrammed options I’ve seen in the models I’ve used and reviewed so far. For some reason, Panasonic bread makers aren’t popular in the US, but the reverse is the true in the UK. I could only find two Panasonic models on Amazon US, whereas, there are seven models listed on Amazon UK. I’ll start by reviewing the models available on Amazon US and then I’ll review the models available on Amazon UK.

Reviews of US Panasonic Bread Makers

Panasonic SD-RD250/SD-MT3-W Review

This is an expensive bread maker and perhaps this is the reason why there are only two Panasonic machines listed on Amazon US. The SD-RD250’s price is well above $300, and the price of the second Panasonic model available in the US is above $400. On the other hand, the models being sold in the UK are within the normal price range of bread makers. This might change in the future, and in the event that it does, this article will be updated to reflect those changes. For now, if you’re in the US and you aren’t keen on spending $300+, you’re better off forgetting about Panasonic and checking out the models other brands have to offer.

The Panasonic SD-RD250 comes with 12 preprogrammed options – 6 bread options (whole wheat, multi-grain, French, cake, tea bread, and basic) and 6 bake/dough options (basic, pizza dough, pasta dough, rapid bake, French, and bake only). It has an automatic dispenser for raisins, fruits, and nuts, a scratch-resistant baking pan with nonstick coating, and two bread size and crust options. Unlike most popular products available today, this one only offers two crust color options – light and dark. The medium color option is missing. The size options are medium and extra large.

This appliance has a few good features going for it. It has a large LCD display for easier operation, and a 13-hour delay timer to schedule bread making for hours into the future. This model doesn’t have a viewing window, and this was intentional because, according to Panasonic, this promotes even reflection of heat in the machine, which improves rising, loaf color, and crust. That said, I’m pretty sure most users would prefer the convenience of having a viewing window to the negligible advantages of not having one.

If you’d like to read more about this product, including reviews of customers who have bought and used it, click here. The other Panasonic model available in the US has the model number SD-MT3-W and is imported from Japan. Its recipe book and manual are written in Japanese too, which is a bummer. It’s actually a really good product, albeit its steep price. Click here to read more about it if you don’t mind translating its Japanese manual to English.

I wouldn’t really recommend these models as there are better models, both from Panasonic (although they are not available in the US) and from other brands that offer way more value, quality, and features at much lower prices. So, if you live in the US, I recommend you don’t buy a Panasonic model at this time. That said, if you really want to use a Panasonic model, you can buy one of the better models from Amazon UK and get a voltage converter/transformer to make it compatible with the electrical voltage and frequency in the US. But why go through that strain when there are so many good models from other brands in the US?

Reviews of UK Panasonic Bread Makers

If you live in the UK or the electrical voltage and frequency in your country coincide with the UK’s voltage and frequency, then you have a ton of options as far as Panasonic machines are concerned.

Panasonic SD-YR2550s Silver Automatic

Like I mentioned above, newer models have 30+ preprogrammed options, which is a lot in a good way. I’m sure most customers would appreciate the flexibility these options offer. This particular machine has 31 options, and since they are so many, they are grouped into 5 different categories and listed on the panel of the machine, as many other manufacturers do. Here are the categories and the options under each one:

Bread: basic, basic rapid, basic stuffed, basic raisin, bread mix, bread mix raisin, whole wheat rapid, whole wheat, whole wheat raisin, brioche, rye, sourdough, and French.

Gluten-free: gluten-free cake, gluten-free bread, gluten-free pasta, and gluten-free pizza.

Dough: basic, basic raisin, whole wheat raisin, whole wheat, sourdough starter, sourdough, pizza

Sweet: cake, jam, compote, bake only

Manual: cake kneading, bread kneading, rise.

That’s a ton of options and they can seem a bit overwhelming. However, the recipe book and manual combo provides you with all the information you need to understand how to use the options to get the best results out of this machine. The gluten-free options on the Panasonic SD-YR2550s are generous. Unlike most machines that can only make gluten-free bread, you can make gluten free cake, pasta, and pizza with this appliance too. The manual settings let you adjust the kneading and rise times to suit your recipe, which means you can make way more recipes with this machine than you think possible.

I like how this machine kneads your ingredients into dough just like an artisan baker. This is made possible by its special kneading blade, which is designed to mimic the kneading methods of artisan bakers. Home bakers also have a variety of crust options and loaf sizes to choose from, specifically 400g, 500g, and 600g loaf sizes.

Panasonic SD-2500WXC Compact

As its title indicates, this is a compact appliance, which means more space on your countertop. It has most of the features you’d expect to find in a bread maker, except a viewing window. There are 25 preprogrammed modes on this machine for bread and dough, and they are as follows: basic, basic rapid, basic raisin, whole wheat, whole wheat rapid, whole wheat raisin, French, Italian, sandwich, brioche, gluten-free, specialty, specialty raisin, bake only, jam, compote, and pizza. Some of these modes apply to both bread and dough. This machine can make 3 loaf sizes: XL, L, and M, and offers 3 crust options – dark, medium, and light. There are a couple of neatly arranged buttons on its panel for easy operation.

This product does not have an automatic fruit and nut dispenser, but when you visit the product page of this machine on Amazon UK, you’re presented with several customization options to choose from. The type and model of the bread maker changes as you select a new option. The models are as follows:

SD-2500WXC: This is the model reviewed in the paragraphs above. It doesn’t have a nut dispenser.

SD-2501WXC: This model has the same features as the 2500WXC model, and it has an automatic dispenser for nuts and fruits as well.

SD-2511WXC: This one has 33 modes with a couple of new modes, such as the rustic soda bread, rustic sourdough, and rustic artisan bread modes. It also has a temperature sensor and an automatic nut and fruit dispenser.

SD-R2530: This is a new version of the original SD-2500WXC, and so it has a new and improved design with 30 modes to choose from. The modes available on this machine are exactly the same modes available on the SD-YR2550s model (the first UK model reviewed in this article), so it has similar features as this one. It also has an automatic yeast, fruit, and nut dispenser.

SD-B2510: This is the same machine as the SD-R2530, except that it doesn’t have an automatic dispenser.

Are Panasonic Bread Makers Worth the Money?

The short answer is yes, and the long answer is yes, if you live in the UK or a country where there are cheaper and better models available relative to the ones in the US. If you’re in the US, and you have a high budget, then consider buying the models available on Amazon US. Otherwise, check out what other brands have to offer.