Do bread makers use a lot of electricity and add a lot to your electric bill?
What if you want to bake bread at home every day? How much does it cost to use the bread maker machine?
And what saves you the most, using the bread maker, the oven, or buying ready loaves?
These questions and more, I will be answering in this article for you in order to help you make a wise decision before buying bread maker.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
Do Bread Makers Use a Lot of Electricity?
Bread makers do not use a lot of electricity in order to make a piece of bread, as they usually take between one to three hours in order to prepare and bake bread, and usually, the ones that take longer have a relatively lower wattage of 450-550 watts.
While it might only cost 20-40 cents on the electric bill in order to make a piece of bread with the bread maker, but the total cost should also include the cost of ingredients that would be used in order to prepare the dough, in addition to the cost of labor, unless you are going to do it in your free time anyway.
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How Much Electricity Does a Bread Maker Use?
In order to make one piece of bread of 1-2.5 pounds, the bread maker uses around 1 kilowatt-hour on average.
The exact amount of electric energy the bread machine uses in order to make bread depends on three main things:
- The wattage of the bread maker machine, which depends on the manufacturer, and on the size of bread it makes.
- The time it takes to prepare and bake the bread.
- The operation mode.
A typical bread maker machines can do everything where you only add the ingredients, and it will mix and knead them in order to make the dough, let the dough sit for the proper period of time, and then bake it properly.
While some bread makers have some operating modes like the “dough” mode where they can prepare the dough for you, and you can then use it to bake in the oven, some have the “bake-only” mode, where you put previously prepared dough in the bread maker, and it will just bake it.
And some machines take longer than others in order to finish the kneading and baking, and some bread makers have the normal mode and the “express” mode where you can choose at what speed it should work.
Every machine and every mode uses a certain amount of energy in order to finish its job.
How Many Watts Does a Bread Maker Use?
Bread makers come in the power range of 450-1500 watts, usually with the higher wattage for the bigger bread size capacity and faster bread making cycles.
For example, a 450-550-watt bread maker might take from 2-3 hours in order to prepare a 1-2 LB bread loaf from scratch to finish, while a 1,200-watt bread maker could make the same loaf within one hour.
Note that these wattage ratings are the maximum power that a certain bread maker machine draws while running, but it might not be the exact power that it draws all the time within the baking cycle.
When doing a loaf from scratch in the bread maker, the machine will first do the mixing and kneading for a certain period of time, then it will let the dough rise for another period of time, and finally, it will bake the loaf with heat, and each one of these phases would draw a certain amount of power when it is activated, not necessarily the full wattage rating of that machine.
How Much Energy Does a Bread Machine Consume to Prepare a Loaf?
The bread machine consumes an average of around 1 kWh of energy when preparing a 1 or 2.5-pound bread loaf.
The exact energy consumption would differ from one machine to another, and from one user to another, based on:
- The bread machine wattage, brand and model.
- The time it takes to finish its job.
- The bread loaf size or weight.
- The operating mode: dough making, baking-only, full cycle, …etc.
- The bread type.
For example, a 550-watt bread machine might take around two hours in order to prepare a 2-pound loaf from scratch to finish, which would consume around 1.1 kWh of energy, assuming that it draws 550 watts all the time during the whole cycle.
On the other hand, a 1,200-watt bread machine might finish the job in one hour, which means that it consumes around 1.2 kWh of energy assuming that it draws 1,200 watts throughout the whole cycle.
While using the “dough preparing” mode, or the “baking only” mode through the same machine, would typically consume less energy than the complete cycle of mixing, kneading, and baking.
How Long Does a Bread Maker Take to Make Bread?
A bread maker takes anywhere between 1-3 hours in order to make bread loaf depending on the brand, the unit, the mode or setting, the size of the loaf, and on whether you run it to prepare dough from scratch or if you use ready-made dough.
Bread Maker vs Oven
The bread maker can prepare the dough and do a complete job from the scratch where you only have to add the ingredients, set the operating mode, and turn it on, while the oven can only bake the bread after you place the dough inside it.
This makes bread maker better than ovens if you don’t want to buy dough, but instead, you want to control the quality of the ingredients.
And when it comes to saving on electricity, ovens’ electricity usage can be higher compared to bread maker machines when you want to use both for baking the ready-made dough, as ovens usually have higher wattage in average, and they need to run for around 15 minutes or more just to preheat the space inside them before you put in the dough and run them for another 30 minutes to bake the bread.
However, if you intend on making 4-5 loaves at a time, then using the oven to bake them all together in one session might end up using the same amount of electricity or less than baking one at a time with bread maker.
Are Bread Makers Expensive to Run?
Bread makers are not that expensive to run as they use between 1-1.5 kWh per cycle in order to prepare a loaf of 1-3 pound.
The cost of this cycle would be between 15-30 cents, depending on the actual energy consumption and on the electricity prices in your area.
But that’s only the cost of the electricity used by the bread maker, and the total cost of preparing bread with it should include the cost of the ingredients and labor as you will see in the next section.
How Much Does a Bread Maker Cost to Run?
A bread maker costs between 14-21 cents in order to finish a complete cycle of preparing a 1-2 LB bread loaf, from mixing ingredients, kneading dough, and baking, based on the average bread maker energy usage of 1-1.5 kWh, and the average electricity price of 14 cents/kWh.
Per month, bread maker would cost between $4.2-$6.3 on average, assuming that you use it to prepare one bread loaf every day of the month.
The exact cost of running the bread maker would differ based on the actual wattage of the bread maker you have, the operating mode, the frequency of using it, and most importantly, the price electricity in your area, as energy companies sell at different rates from one another.
For example, in Connecticut, the electricity rate is around 21 cents/kWh, which is 50% higher than the average, while in Idaho and Utah, it’s around 10 cents/kWh, which is around 30% less than the average.
It is important to note that this is the running cost of the bread maker on the electricity bill in order to prepare one loaf per day, while that total cost of preparing the bread loaf with the bread maker machine includes other costs.
How Much Does it Cost to Make a Loaf of Bread in a Bread Maker?
On average, it costs around $1.8 in order to make a 1-pound loaf of bread in bread maker, which includes the electricity running cost of the bread maker machine of around 20 cents per loaf-making cycle, and the cost of ingredients of around $1.6 as estimated by The Spruce Eats.
This is based on the average price of electricity of 14 cents/kWh, but even with a higher rate like it is at Connecticut, the total cost of making bread loaf with the bread maker would still be below $2 for a 1-pound loaf.
Now this does not include the cost of your own time to prepare the ingredients and add them to the bread maker, but I will ignore this component as it does not take a lot of time to do it, and mostly, you have enough free time in order to invest ten minutes preparing the ingredients.
You may also get a ready-made dough that costs less than $1/pound, and use the “bake-only” mode of the bread maker machine, and the total cost of making a 1-pound loaf would drop to around $1.2 on average.
Does Baking Your Own Bread Save Money?
The average price of bread loaf in the US is around $2.8 for a 1-pound loaf.
With the cost of making a 1-pound bread loaf at home with the bread maker of around $1.8 when preparing the dough ingredients by yourself, you save around $1 per 1-pound bread loaf.
And if you use ready-made dough that costs around $1.2 per loaf (dough price + electricity cost), then you save around $1.6 per 1-pound loaf.
Assuming that your family consumes 1-pound of loaf per day, five days a week, or twenty days a month, then you would save around $20 dollars per month when making bread at home from scratch if you buy the ingredients, and around $32 per month by using ready-made dough.
In a year, you could save between $240-$380 when making bread loaf at home with the bread maker machine, when preparing a 1-pound loaf five times a week.
With the average price of bread maker machines of around $150, you would make back your money within 5-8 months.
Are Bread Maker Machines Worth it?
Based on the above estimates, bread maker machine can be a money-saving investment.
Assuming that you buy a $150 bread maker machine that lasts to make only 500 loaves (many have a much longer lifespan), then the bread machine would save you between $500-$800 during its lifetime before you have to replace it, assuming that you save $1 per loaf with it.
Deduct the price of the machine from that amount, and you end up saving from $350-$650 in total during the lifetime of the bread maker.
If you use ready-made dough, you end up saving more, and if your machine lasts to make more than 500 loaves, you save even more.
How to Choose & Use Energy Efficient Bread Makers?
In order to save money on the long term with bread makers, you need to take some things into consideration when you buy and use one, such as:
- The size of the loaf you want to make with it, for example.
- If you consume one pound per day, it would be more efficient and saver to make a 2-pound loaf every other day.
- After knowing the size of the machine, find out which one uses less energy (wattage in kW X cycle time in hours) in order to finish one full cycle.
- Get one that have other modes such as: dough preparation, bake-only, …etc.
- A bread maker with a timer can help you save money if you want to use the bread maker when electricity is cheaper as some electricity companies charge different rates during the day based on the time of usage.
- Try to find if there’s any data on the lifespan of the bread maker, calculate the savings like in the previous section above, and choose the machine that gives you more savings during its lifetime.
Conclusion – Bread Makers Can Be a Money Saver
Making bread at home is becoming more popular thanks to its money-saving benefits and because you can control the quality of the ingredients in order to get healthier bread.
As I showed you above, bread maker machines do not use a lot of electricity despite the high wattage because they don’t run for a long period of time, which is similar to the coffee maker electricity consumption for example.
And you can follow the tips in the previous section in order to minimize the running cost of bread maker machines and save as much as you can with them.
If you still need help or have other questions, please, let me know in the comments’ section below, and I will do my best to help you out 🙂
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