I have four bread machines, and they are all candidates for the trash
can. One has motor problems, three have bread pans that don't last
(the shaft seizes). None of them have lasted me a year. Not
surprisingly, all of them are made in China.
So, what is a good quality bread machine not made in China? I'm
willing to pay a bit extra for it, I've certainly paid enough for the
junk machines I already have. I don't need bells and whistles, I just
need something that I can run 3-4 times a week. I seldom let it bake
the bread, I just use it to nead the dough. I prefer to take the ready
dough and shape it myself - I have a couple of nice Ecko french bread
shaped pans that work nicely.
Failing to find a good bread machine not made in China, can anyone
recommend a good bread dough neading machine? I'm not sure what they
are called - I've seen them from time to time, heavy duty mixers that
can make bread dough. Again - I want one NOT made in China.
Most people buy the cheapest product on the shelf. To deliver the lowest
price possible, US manufacturing has forced to move to China.
Consequently, the remaining 5% of us that are willing to pay extra for a
high-quality product are screwed.
About all you can do is buy the cheapest machine, use it till it craps
and then toss it on the heap at your local landfill.
On Wed, 01 Feb 2012 05:35:43 -0500, Harry Johnson wrote:
Yes, all too common unfortunately :-(
I'm not sure when home-use bread machines really started appearing; my
usual solution to these kinds of problems is to find something that was
built years ago, but was designed well, then do any necessary restoration
work on it.
Don't always blame China. Blame the (often US) designers that
specified the material. It was probably designed and engineered here
and them made for cheap in China, to the specifications they were
Get a Made in the USA Kitchen Aid mixer for the dough and use the oven
for baking. Your hands make good dough kneading implements barring a
lot of arthritis.
I'm betting you've never tried any of the no-knead recipes. I've
done a couple and they are surprisingly good. [though I still
usually use my Kitchen Aid to do required kneading-- made in USA & a
lot more versatile than a bread machine]
No-knead is not a quick bread-- it usually lets time take the place of
This one doesn't even do that-- and it isn't bad.
That may happen in 5% of the cases. In the other 95%,
the US company knows damn well what they're getting.
And if any of it makes it to the consumer, it's mostly
the US company's fault anyway. They are supposed to
have the appropriate quality control processes in place
to prevent crap from getting through. And a responsible
US company would stop
doing business with any vendors that try to pull such
Oh, please, that's just pure BS. There are numerous quality control
strategies that any company with a pulse can use to prevent
that from happening.
Or they set up phony assembly lines for quality
And when you do normal quality control sampling of the incoming
product that is made like crap, you find it. Or if the product
won't fit on the assembly line or breaks you know you have a
problem. Then you figure
out what they pulled and you send it back, don't pay for it,
and cut them off your vendor list.
They can have a tactics they want. Any decent US company
that is concerned about quality won't let them get away with it.
On the other hand, there are US companies that don't give a
damn, and know perfectly well what they are buying. If you're
a US company shipping crap that is made in China, it's not
because of the Chinese, it's because of YOU.
I have migrated away from the bread machines (Panasonic) that did a good job
Bought them used at the Goodwill for peanuts. ( House & Cabin)
I have since bought a Cuisinart Stand Mixer
The big one can do dough for 2# loaves at a time.
A bit more time involved in making the bread, but far more options of the
sealed, permanently lubricated, ball bearing type bearings. They all
seem to use some variant of rubber/plastic friction fit seals where the
shaft of the beater blade penetrates the bread pan. I've had 2 cheap
bread machines each last more than 8 years by (1) minimizing the amount
of water soak time I use (generally about 5 minutes) to soften the
residual crust around the shaft and seal after each bake job, (2)
manually rotating the shaft by inserting the blade and rotating it for
about 1 minute after drying and before storing, and (3) repeating step
#2 immediately prior to adding ingredients for another loaf. I
generally make 5-6 loafs/month. Although the shaft sometimes starts
with considerable friction, a minute or so of manual rotation always
seems to free it up. If the shaft is really seized, put a small puddle
of cooking oil in the bottom of the pan and let it soak for about 20
minutes, pour out the oil, put on the blade and try to force the shaft
If all else fails, I found that even after I badly damaged a seal by
using WD-40 on the underside of the pan, to the point where the shaft
was vertically loose, there was no leakage when preparing a loaf if I
added most of the dry ingredients before adding the water to the pan.
Even early in the kneading process, the dough is too viscous to creep
through the damaged seal.
My main gripe is that after using each new machine for only a few
months, the finished loaf tears from the beater blade when you dump the
finished loaf out of the pan. Well lubricating surface of the blade
with cooking oil doesn't seem to help. Very mysterious given that I
don't see any surface defects in the "no-stick" coating on the blade.
I used to work for a customer service company that took the complaints
of consumers through their 800 numbers. Each complaint was classified,
grouped and analyzed by the parent company. Any deviation from normal
stats were flagged. The defective products could be tracked by
production runs to the manufacturers country, factory, date, time,
shift. All products would have records of the materials used as well
as the labor. I agree with Trader4. With the multi-national
manufacturers like Panasonic, nobody can just substitue inferior
material and get away with it for long. It is the parent company that
specifies a plastic cog or a metal one. Ryobi uses plastic parts in
their drills. DeWalt uses metal parts.
All that stuff about tracking complaints and tracing them back to the
shift sounds good on paper.
However, if you've ever heard the term "garbage in, garbage out" so
then you shouldn't put much faith in the process.
I recently called Panasonic about a bread machine I received as a
gift. I gave them the model number and asked a question about the
relationship between their loaf sizes of "Medium, Large and Extra-
Large" and some recipes I had that listed the size in weights (1.5 lb
and 2 lb).
The rep repeated the model number back to me and then looked something
up and said that "Medium, Large and Extra-Large" meant 1 lb, 1.5 lb
and 2 lb loafs.
Since I still had the box right in front of me I asked her: "So why
does the box says it makes "up to 2.5 lb loaves"?
She put me on hold and came back to tell me that she had looked up the
wrong model number and should have told me 1.5, 2 and 2.5.
The point here is that unless the reps really know what they are
doing, the data they enter will not be accurate and the trcking data
will not be accurate. We've all had situations where we knew more
about the product that we were calling about than the CSR at the 800
number, so I don't put much faith in the accuracy of their 'tracking"
Garbage In, Garbage Out, Garbage Tracking
That is just totally bogus. There is a whole process of
qualifying vendors. A responsible company doesn't just
find a company in China or anywhere and then take and
ship their product. You inspect their facitlities, see what
they are doing, do random quality inspection of incoming
product. This isn't anything new. This is how business has been done
for a LONG time.
You ship me garbage and you're out
We've all had situations where we knew more
Customer service is a whole different process than
making sure what's coming in meets the company's
I'm not sure who you are "bogusing" here.
I was responding to Edge's comment that these Customer Service
organizations tally consumer complaint data and use it to trace
problems all the way back to the shift that built the unit.
Based on my experience with CSR's representing countless companies,
and having worked on the management side of IT help desks, I would put
no faith in the assertion that they can pinpoint a problem that
(allegedly) occurred during C shift on March 3, 2011 at the Yung Min
Teng factory. I just don't believe that the folks wearing the headsets
are entering data accurate enough to do that. I've experienced it as a
consumer and I've seen it in practice at work.
My "Garbage In, Garbage Out" referred to the data entered by the
CSR's, not to any product.
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