(Zojirushi has a new model that we have reviewed, the Zojirushi BB-CEC20)
I have had the new Zojirushi BBCC-X20 for a little over a week now and have made over 30 recipes in it from plain white bread to a heavy multi-grain sourdough bread to hamburger buns to cinnamon raisin cinnamon rolls all of which turned out perfectly and even on the heaviest dough the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 didn’t have any problems handling it.
New Features and Improvements
- New look and feel; the lid is no longer a sleek looking dome but a flat and in my opinion chunky and unattractive. Also, the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 is about 1/2″ taller than the Zojirushi BBCC-20 at least that is what I get when I measure it.
- Larger Viewing Window; the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 now has a bigger viewing window; though not in my opinion any easier to see in to when the lid is closed. It is still too dark and still makes me wish they had included an interior light like the older West Bends had. Once you have an interior light you will wonder what you ever did without it.
- No Safety Switch; the Safety switch is gone, you can now open the lid and the machine will keep right on working. This is great news since it is very important to check your dough as it is kneading and having the machine stop when you open the lid makes this very hard to do.
- Light Sourdough Starter Cycle; now you can make a light sourdough starter in 2 hours, this mode isn’t all that swift. Basically it is like doing a custom program with a short kneading and 2 hour rise. Also, because their recipe calls for commercial yeast it isn’t real sourdough (which contains no commercial yeast) it is a biga or sponge that is allowed to sit and ferment. While this cycle works ok it is a disappointment for me. It would have been nice if they had done a program for a real sourdough starter and bread.
- More Custom Programs; the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 now allows you to create and store three custom programs instead of one like the Zojirushi BBCC-V20. This is a nice addition; however more would have been nice too. I use the custom programs exclusively myself and haven’t used a pre-programmed cycle in over 2 years.
- Control Panel Changes; the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 has some slight changes to the control panel; the background color is dark grey; the control buttons are oval instead of round, they are also smaller which I think makes them a little harder to use. I like the buttons on the Zojirushi BBCC-V20 better.
- Longer First Rise; when creating a custom program the first rise can now be up to 24 hours instead of the 2 hours on the Zojirushi BBCC-V20. Rise 2 and Rise 3 are still limited to 2 hours each. I wish they had extended all three of the rises to 24 hours or even better 48 hours. This would have made creating a custom cycle for real sourdough a snap.
- Faster Time Increments; when holding down the time button when creating a custom program the time advances in 10 minute intervals. If you press and release the button it advances in 1 minute intervals. The Zojirushi BBCC-V20 advanced in 1 minute intervals regardless of method used.
- Preheat Off; on regular cycles you can now press the “Cycle” and “Time” buttons at the same time and hold for 3 seconds to turn off the preheat part of the pre-programmed cycles. This is a real time saver when you ingredients are already fairly warm or it is a warm day.
- Bake Protection; the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 now includes a feature that prevents you from stopping the machine during the bake part of cycles. Unlike the Zojirushi BBCC-V20 where you could cancel the cycle at any time including during the baking the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 prevents this. Because of the power failure memory feature where the machine will resume what it was doing after the power comes back on even unplugging the machine wouldn’t stop the baking cycle unless you unplug long enough that the power failure memory limit is exceeded. There is no indication in the manual how long the power failure memory is. However, most machines with this feature limit it to an hour or two.
Like with the Zojirushi BBCC-V20 the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 has a White, Wheat, Rapid White, Rapid Wheat, Jam, Cake, Dough, and Rapid Dough and as noted above it has a new Light Sourdough Starter cycle and two new Custom Program cycles. The rapid cycle gives you the end product in about half the time (White bread in 1 hour 58 minutes, and dough in 45 minutes.)
Also like the Zojirushi BBCC-V20 the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 has a preheat cycle for all of the pre-programmed cycles and any of them that bake in the machine has a keep warm function. The keep warm function doesn’t work well and if the bread is left in the machine and pan to long it will become soggy keep warm cycle or not. I don’t like the preheat or the keep warm cycle so I don’t use any of the pre-programmed cycles, I create my own using the custom programming features this way I can turn those two off.
Zojirushi BBCC-V20 Owners
If you already have the Zojirushi BBCC-V20 is the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 worth upgrading too? Well, you will have to look at the list above and see if there is something that would make the cost of the upgrade worth it you. For me I unfortunately have to say no. I wouldn’t spend the money to buy the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 as an upgrade to my Zojirushi BBCC-V20. There just aren’t enough improvements and new features to make it worth my while.
While some of the features are nice, most can be faked with the Zojirushi BBCC-V20 if you get creative. The sourdough cycle can easily be done by doing a custom program on the Zojirushi BBCC-V20 with a 10 to 15 minute kneading and a single 2 hour rise.
The only new feature that is very nice to have and can’t be simulated on the Zojirushi BBCC-V20 is the storage of 3 custom programmed cycles. The Zojirushi BBCC-V20 is limited to one and there is nothing you can do about that. But, is this alone enough to warrant the cost of upgrading to the Zojirushi BBCC-X20? I don’t think it is, at least not for me. Programming the Zojirushi BBCC-V20 is so simple that changing the program as needed isn’t an issue.
Now as I said you might have different feelings and decide that the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 is worth the upgrade cost. This is something only you can decide.
Looking for your First Bread Machine or Looking to Upgrade from an Old One:
If you don’t have a bread machine but want one or if you have an old one or you have a basic one and want a more advanced one is the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 a good choice?
This is the easy question and the answer is a definite yes. The Zojirushi BBCC-X20 is an excellent machine and will last you many years and provide you with many great loaves of bread and many great batches of dough.
The Zojirushi BBCC-X20 while not quite as nice looking as the Zojirushi BBCC-V20 is well made, it has dual kneading blades which I feel do a much better job kneading the dough than do single blade machines. It has a true horizontal pan so you get loaves of bread that look exactly like you bake them in a bread pan in the oven. It has all of the cycles you need and with the custom programming features you can make the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 conform to your likes and needs.
With only a few cosmetic changes and a few feature changes the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 is almost exactly like the Zojirushi BBCC-V20. I have had my Zojirushi BBCC-V20 since it came on the market which is at least 4 years ago. Most bread machines have a life expectancy of about 3 years. The Zojirushi BBCC-X20 includes a 1 year warranty. It comes with a very nice user’s guide with clear easy to follow directions. The new user’s guide also includes cycle times with time breakdowns. Also, included is a video tape tutorial which is in my opinion kind of worthless. It is far too basic and in many cases just shows the person setting the machine and goes no further. I expect a full video demo of all cycles. The faking of it just doesn’t do it for me.
I don’t think you can go wrong with Zojirushi BBCC-X20. It is a great machine for the new bread machine owner; it is a great upgrade for those with lesser more basic machines or for those with older machines that want a new modern one.
While I don’t think the Zojirushi BBCC-X20 is worth upgrading to for the Zojirushi BBCC-V20 owners it is a wonderful machine for those just getting in to bread machines or those with older or more basic machines. You can’t go wrong with a Zojirushi.
All of this said I can’t help but feel disappointed with this new machine, we have waited 4 plus years for this machine and in the end it offers very little in the way of enhancements or new features. I think this new machine is kind of clunky looking and most of the new features can be faked with the Zojirushi BBCC-V20.
I know twice during the life of the Zojirushi BBCC-V20 I gathered feature requests and wish lists from Zojirushi BBCC-V20 owners and sent them off to Zojirushi in the hopes that the new machine would be a power house. Instead we ended up with a less than remarkable new machine (from the stand point of us V20 owners.)
I guess we will just have to wait and hope for the next generation to bring us the features and enhancements we want. Until then it isn’t so bad being happy with the Zojirushi BBCC-X20. It does make great bread and dough.
Features I Would Like to See
Some of the features I was hoping for and suggested along with many others to Zojirushi well over a year ago include:
- An Interior light, it would be nice to be able to check the dough without having to open the lid and let out the moisture and warmth that the dough needs to make the best possible bread.
- Expanded custom programming features which include: 4 kneading cycles with time limits of 1 hour each.
- 6 rise cycles with time limits of 48 hours each
- Punch down/stir down control with 10 minute time limits.
- Control over the chambers internal temperature during the kneading and rise times.
- Preheat temperature control.
- The ability to set and then arrange the rising and kneading cycles in the order I wanted.
- Extend the baking time to 3 hours max.
- Control over the baking temperature.
- I would like see a touch screen added to the machine. This would make programming the above features easy and fast and very visual.
- The ability to enter in and store you own recipes. A USB and wireless interface to your computer would make entering, removing and editing the recipes a snap. With this you would never have to worry about locating the recipe you wanted as it would be right there in the machine ready for you. Simply call it up, it would display the needed ingredients and their amounts (with the ability to convert to and from US cups and spoons, metric or weight like ounces and grams), you put the ingredients in and press start. Because the recipe also contains a custom program cycle for the kneading, rises, etc. the machine knows exactly what to do and it does it.
I realize that the above would add to the cost of the machine. But, from the feedback I have gotten over the years since the Zojirushi BBCC-V20 came out I think people would be more than willing to pay for a machine like this. With computer memory as cheap as it is ($80 for 512MB) and the advent of ultra tiny gigabyte plus hard drives there is no reason a machine like this couldn’t be made.
You can also purchase a Zojirushi Bread Machine from Kodiak Health.
Zojirushi’s Official WebSite: http://www.zojirushi.com
Are You Having Problems With Your Zojirushi
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