Hitachi is one of the worlds largest producers of home appliances, with a company history dating back over a century. This includes kitchen appliances too, although their line of bread machines has since been discontinued. One of the more well known models in this product range was the HB-B101 model which is what we are going to look at today. It may be quite old now, but does it still have what it takes to compete against modern bread machines? More on that below.
To begin with we have a look at the design of the HB-B101. Now before we begin we should say that we aren’t exactly sure when this model was made. There are no manufacturing dates on it or in the user manual, but we would guess sometime in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s. Our first impressions with the design are indifferent, as the machine looks a bit dated now. It looks very run of the mill for a bread machine released in this time period, and has no exciting or interesting design features. The entire machine is a glossy white color, and it is rectangular in shape. The main control panel is on the front of the machine on a slanted section, and this contains the lcd and the main control buttons. The lcd is quite small in sized, and this sits at the very center of the control area. The lcd does not really display much info about the current cooking program, and it simply counts down the time to the end of the program. On top of the machine is the viewing window, which is quite small compared to other models in this time period. This is not necessarily a bad thing as you can still peer in to check the progress of the cooking program easily enough. The size of this model is not too large, and it has dimensions of 9.5″ W x 14.5″ D x 13.5″ H. It is a bit on the heavy side though at 7.5kg, but it certainly does feel quite sturdy and well made. Aside from that there is not a whole lot else to say about the design, except that it does look a little old at this point.
Now lets move onto the features of this machine. This is a horizontal style bread machine, so don’t expect standard store bought shapes. Instead you will get rocket shaped loaves of bread, and this is due to the square shape of the loaf pan. You can bake three different loaf sizes with this model including the small 200g, the medium 395g and the large 590g. These are some strange loaf sizes, as we often see models that produce small 500g loaf sizes, medium 750g loaves and 1000g loaves. As you can see the largest one produced by the HB-B101 is the “large” 590g which is only slightly bigger than the standard “small” size offered by most other models. It is a strange design choice, as the loaf sizes produced by this model seem to be well below average in size. It may be ok for one or two people, but if you are making bread for a family then this is one model to avoid. There is no mention of what size motor powers this unit, but it does say 680W of power in the users manual so we are assuming this is the motor size. Most other models are powered by 600W motors so there is a slight advantage to the Hitachi in this case. The ingredients are mixed by a single paddle, which is to be expected from a horizontal style bread maker.
As usual there are three crust varieties to pick from including light, medium and dark. There are only 4 recipes included with this machine, which is a bit of a let down compared to other older models. These include Bread, Bread Rapid, Mix Bread and Dough. There is a delay timer built into this model, and you can delay the cooking times up to 13 hours. This can only be used with the Bread recipe, and can be set from 4:20 up to 13:00.
Now lets talk about the performance of this HB-B101. Cooking times are nothing extraordinary, with the main Bread program taking 4:10 to complete. The Rapid Bread recipes takes 2:50 in total, which is quite slow compared to some of the 60 minute rapid programs on competing models. The Bread Mix recipe takes 4:10 minutes, while the Dough program finishes in 1:40 minutes.
Since this is quite an old model it is tough to get some comprehensive feedback on it. Nonetheless it seems like the built in programs do get some praise. The Bread program apparently works quite nicely, with the taste and texture being quite good. The ingredients are said to mix well, but this could simply be down to the small quantity of them which makes the mixing process quite simple. There aren’t many complaints regarding the operation of the machine, and it sounds like it is quite reliable as there are still quite a few of these being bought and sold second hand. However the small loaf sizes are a letdown, and the few features are not enough to make it a good buy in our opinion.
So that is a look at the HB-B101 model. It comes with a measuring jug, double sided measuring spoon, a bread knife and the cookbook. The HB-B101 is quite old now, and certainly has a lack of features. For that reason we suggest that unless you get this model at a bargain price in a thrift store, you should steer clear of it.
User Manual: You can find a copy of the Hitachi HB-B101 users manual over here.
- Works well
- Easy to use
- Small loaf sizes
- Lack of programs
- Looks dated
The Hitachi HB-B101 is quite old now, and the loaf sizes are simply too small. For that reason we suggest you look for something a bit more modern and conventional. You can read some user reviews and fine out more about this model on the Amazon product page.
This Post Has 7 Comments
I just got this one. It’s used. I love it. Works great for me.
Bought on in 1995 and loved it. Works great. Lost it in a house fire. Found a used one on Amazon and it was cheap but looked like new. Still works great. Bought two more used ones on eBay and gave to our kids as Christmas presents. They are still using them. If you can find them anywhere. Beware of slick sellers tho. Found one on eBay for$29.95 with $116.25 for shipping.
I just got one at a thrift store and it works fantastic!
I got one for Mother’s Day in the 1980’s. Still works fine.
Great machine, had since new,had stored for many years. During pandemic got out of garage storage and am now making our own bread. again. Bread Machine looks and works perfect, get one if you ever get a chance.
I got mine new for Christmas in 1994, and it saw years of teenagers making daily snack breads.
It’s been used almost daily since we first got it. Those teens have kids of their own, now!
I really don’t care how “old” or dated it looks; the thing is a workhorse, and the whole “planned obsolescence” culture skipped over this product. If you can find one used, snap it up!
I still use mine. I bought it in the late 80’s . O love it