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Hamilton Beach HomeBaker Review

A solid all-around bread baking appliance that won't break the bank
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $70 List
Pros:  Fantastic value, easy to clean
Cons:  Isn’t amazing at mixing, no whole wheat setting
Manufacturer:   Hamilton Beach
By Austin Palmer and David Wise  ⋅  May 6, 2019
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Our Verdict

Claiming the Best Buy Award, the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker holds its own with bread makers that cost hundreds of dollars more, making it an absolutely fantastic value. It makes tasty bread that is fairly uniform in nature, though it does struggle a little bit to completely incorporate all of the dry goods. This bread maker is definitely the best bang for the buck that you can get and is one of the smaller and more compact appliances of the bunch.

Our Analysis and Test Results

If you are looking for a great way to quickly and easily make homemade bread on a budget, we would recommend that you check out the HomeBaker from Hamilton Beach first. This bread maker actually earned the runner-up position overall when it comes to performance, only finishing behind an appliance that costs over four times as much.

The HomeBaker is a fantastic option if you are shopping on a budget for a new bread maker.
The HomeBaker is a fantastic option if you are shopping on a budget for a new bread maker.

Bread Quality


While the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker produced relatively tasty bread in our three bread tests, it wasn't necessarily the best looking loaf we have seen to date. In our first test — white bread — the HomeBaker made a solid looking loaf of bread, but it doesn't quite match the aesthetics of the best models. It also left a little bit of unmixed flour on the corners of the bread, but it rose relatively nicely and has an overall uniform color.

The white bread had great texture and flavor but suffered a little in the aesthetics department compared to other models.
The white bread had great texture and flavor but suffered a little in the aesthetics department compared to other models.

The whole-wheat bread looked a little bit worse than the white bread, but still looked about average overall. It also had some unmixed flour and ended up with a sloping top after it slightly collapsed. However, the crust was still fairly even in color, with the top just being a shade lighter than the sides and the bottom. The gluten-free load is the worst looking of the bunch, with the top caving in a substantial amount — over half an inch!

The whole wheat bread collapsed a small amount during baking but still tasted alright.
The whole wheat bread collapsed a small amount during baking but still tasted alright.

There was also a fair amount of unincorporated corn starch on the sides and a stark color contrast between the crust on the top and the sides.

The Hamilton Beach is very convenient and easy to operate.
The Hamilton Beach is very convenient and easy to operate.

Ease of Use


The Hamilton Beach HomeBaker is solidly easy and convenient to use — like any good bread maker should be — but it is plain that some of the features common on high-end machines have been omitted to keep the cost down. The dough kneading paddle ends up wherever it is when the kneading cycle is completed, so it can leave to a decently sized cavity in the bottom of the bread. However, the paddle did come out of the bread relatively cleanly in most of our tests.

The HomeBaker did earn some points with us by having a bread pan that is both easy to clean and makes it exceptionally easy to remove the finished loaf of bread. The bread pan "locks down", so you can usually just dump the loaf right out without a ton of fuss.

We liked how easy the HomeBaker makes it to remove the finished bread and how easy it makes cleanup.
We liked how easy the HomeBaker makes it to remove the finished bread and how easy it makes cleanup.

The nonstick pan is also completely safe to totally immerse in water and to put in the dishwasher, making it one of the easier models to clean, by far. Unfortunately, this machine is also a bit on the larger size and has so many audible indicators that it borders on annoying.

The HomeBaker's plethora of audible chimes and beeps bordered on annoying the more we used it.
The HomeBaker's plethora of audible chimes and beeps bordered on annoying the more we used it.

Features


The Hamilton Beach doesn't have all the functionality that the top models have, but it does have a relatively impressive set of features given its budget nature. This bread maker has a delay timer so you can ensure that the bread is ready when you are and it also has an audible reminder to alert you when the machine is ready for you to add mix-ins, like dried fruit and nuts. The HomeBaker has preset cycle times for basic, French, gluten-free, whole grain, quick bread, sweet, 1.5 lb. express, 2 lb. express, dough, jam, cake, and bake, which is a bit less than other models, but still hit most of the common uses. This bread machine also includes an extra kneading paddle.

This budget appliance has an impressive amount of features.
This budget appliance has an impressive amount of features.

Value


If you are shopping for a new bread machine on a budget, then the Hamilton Beach HomeBaker is an all-around fantastic choice. It's an amazing value, earning it the Best Buy award.

Conclusion


The Hamilton Beach HomeBaker isn't the best bread maker that we have seen so far but it is pretty good, coming close to matching the performance of the best products we have seen to date at a fraction of the price.

Austin Palmer and David Wise