Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker Review
The first automated home bread machine was brought onto the market by Panasonic, then known as Matsushita Denki, back in 1986. In today’s competitive bread machine market, there’s no time to rest on one’s laurels and bask in the glory of the day gone by. Out of all the best bread machines to choose from, we look at the Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker, to see how it holds up to its name and reputation.
Bakes good bread
3 loaf sizes up to 2.5 lb
Easy to use
Easy sandwich bread option
Automatic yeast dispenser
A little noisy and heavy
A white plastic-coated box
No gluten free setting
No medium crust setting
Bad customer support
Bread and Butter Basics
The first consideration when choosing a bread machine is that it must make good bread! The loaf must look appetizing, taste good, and have a consistently nice texture. An easy to use machine is all the more appreciated. A machine that wakes the neighbors while kneading dough or walking off your counter, not so much. Utilitarian is also not good enough either because people equate style with value. And nobody is going to click the Buy Now button unless they know their money will be well spent.
- People love the bread it makes
- Simple and intuitive to use
- It does what it claims to do
- It complements your kitchen
- Spare parts and good support available
If you would like to read more about bread machines, we have an in depth guide and reviews of the seven best bread machines, including popular brands such as Zojirishi, Cuisinart, Breville, Oster and more.
Panasonic SD-YD250 Bread Maker Review Score Sheet
We took the Panasonic Bread Maker to task examining its merits and demerits, as well as noting what users had to say, and what testers had to reveal.
How Good Is The Bread : Score 9
This is where the Panasonic scores high and why it’s one of the more popular, larger machines. A couple of bake offs alone are not going to determine how good a bread maker actually is. What impressed us the most is how happy long terms users of this bread machine are. Many users who have had the machine for three years and more, get consistently good results. Even for beginners, or people who take a more casual approach to measuring ingredients, this machine can be very forgiving.
A number of users, however, have found that the dark crust setting can overdo things a bit, especially if the bread is left in the machine for a while after baking. This is often an issue with bread machines though, and the downside is that this Panasonic SD-YD250 bread maker only has a light and dark crust setting.
Ease of Use: Score 9
The user interface on this machine is pretty straightforward considering the minimal options available. The basic loaf mode is preselected, so it’s really convenient to just select the size, crust and then start. For add ins, the machine will give a double beep and blink raisin bake for three minutes, which is quite convenient and well thought out.
There’s also a handy red light that flashes and eight beeps sound when the dough cycle is over, or when baking is done. This machine takes quite a long time—up to 4hrs — to bake a standard loaf. You cannot bypass any of the long resting periods. The rapid bake option takes about two hours—the Oster by comparison will take just less than an hour.
It has the standard 13 hour delay bake option, and will automatically go into one hour keep warm mode if you don’t remove the loaf. The power save option in case of power loss, is only 10 minutes which is considerably less than similar models.
Versatility: Score 7
This Panasonic SD-YD250 doesn’t have as many options as similar priced models. It does what it says it does–it bakes white, whole wheat, multigrain, and French breads. It doesn’t have any setting for gluten free breads or sweet breads, so if that’s what you want, there are other machines that will do this.
One unique and much appreciated feature is the special Bake Sandwich option which automatically selects the smallest size of bread, and bakes with a soft crust. It bakes sandwich bread really well, which is one of the most popular demands of a bread machine.
On the downside, this machine only does light and dark crusts and not medium—which is too bad because medium crust settings tend to work out the best. There’s no way that you can adjust any of the settings, or enter in your own program.
Apart from baking bread, you can use this machine just to knead dough, bake a limited variety of cakes, or you can run the bake cycle alone. Panasonic doesn’t advertise their bread machine as a jam maker, a casseroler or a meat-loafer.
Noise: Score 6
All bread machines make a bit of noise when kneading the dough. The larger the dough mass, the more noise you can expect, and the Panasonic can manage a large 2.5 lb loaf. One factor related to noise, or when machines ‘go walking’, is not enough liquid which makes the dough tough to knead.
Probably one of the least appreciated points of this otherwise good bread maker, is unfortunately the noise. For many, if you want your bread delay baked, piping hot first thing in the morning, this machine will probably wake you up well before it’s done. If you live in a large house, have a nice basement or can put it in the garage, then that may be a solution.
Durability: Score 10
With any product there will always be manufacturing bloops and machines that break down. This issue really is how frequently this occurs. For the most part, there are very few user reports of machines that didn’t live up to manufacturing standards. Furthermore, many reviewers of this machine report issue free use for as many as seven to 10 years. The dough kneading paddles are also high quality, and hardly any users have had the need to get them replaced.
Style and Design: Score 7.5
The all plastic design has a lot to be desired, but part of the issue could be that Panasonic doesn’t quite understand American and European aesthetics (nor does Zojirushi). The coating is plastic, but under-the-hood is quite durable and solid, so this is a heavy machine (15.4 lb / 7kg). Even so, there are no side handles, and there is no place to wrap around or store the cord.
Most bread machines have a viewing window, but not this Panasonic, although the claim is that this ensures better internal heat retention and more even cursting. Compared to similar machine designs, the Panasonic is not as wide as the imposing Cuisinart, and rather taller, though not as wide as the Zojirushi Supreme.
The automatic yeast dispenser is a unique feature that says a little something for the design of this machine. Some people insist that yeast needs to be added within an optimal time window for best results. Perhaps this is one reason the bread this machine bakes is so consistently good.
The other advantage here is that you can add ingredients in order you wish because the yeast is kept separately. The manual recommends dry ingredients first and then wet. Usually it’s the other way around because keeping the yeast dry, and away from salt, is crucial for delay bake. Also, flour does not get stodgy around the kneading paddle during a long waiting period as it does when water goes in first.
Warranty and Customer Support: Score 8 / 3
The warranty for this machine is a standard one year for repair or replacement—and that does not include shipping. The only bread machine manufacturer which distinguishes itself in terms of an extended warranty is Cuisinart. They have a three year warranty on their bread machine.
Customer support at Panasonic has a lot to be desired. Many users complain of reps not knowing anything about the product and issues taking a long time to be resolved, or getting the runaround. Emails often get no response and they even charge for tech support calls. On the bright side though, this is a well constructed machine and most of them hold up for many years with no issue. As long as you don’t hit a landmine, you’ll be fine.
Value for Money: Score 7.5
The Panasonic SD-YD250 is quite a popular machine. It’s sold through many different distributors and the price can vary quite widely. The price range is similar to that of the Zojirushi Supreme or sometimes the Breville, depending on the deal you can get.
This isn’t exactly a cheap machine, but it’s durable, and for a lot of users it has stood up to many years of good use. It’s easy to use and quite forgiving in how you use it. For the price you often pay, it doesn’t have a lot to offer in terms of versatility and programmable functions. The Zojirushi Supreme is a much better deal, and if you want something more affordable, then the Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker is the best you can get—although it’s quite large.
If you can pick this machine up at below $250 it might be worth it. Other than that, it’s not a bad choice if you’re prepared to buy a used model.
Go here to see our full guide and reviews of the best bread machines including models such as the Zojirushi, Cuisinart, Breville, Oster-Sunbeam and more.