Sleek and minimalist in design, my Balmuda toaster has become a fixture in my home. Within minutes, croissants get warmed to buttery perfection, flaky on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside. Bagels get crisped without getting burnt and leftover pizza is revived to its original fresh-baked status. This is all due to Balmuda’s innovative steam technology, designed in Japan by Gen Terao. The key to its technology is a small teaspoon of water deposited into the toaster, where it begins to envelop around the dish, whether it’s a pastry, piece of toast, or fried chicken (I’ve honestly tried everything)—the water helps seal in moisture and flavor.
I’ve tried many toasters over the years, as well as my fair share of toaster ovens and regular ovens. My main qualms have always been the lack of consistency in settings which prevents me from achieving the perfect “toast” each and every time (and instead comes with the risk of a burned, inedible mess). With the Balmuda, there are four easy visually-cued settings to choose from (i.e. a croissant or baguette image) as well as three oven settings, should you need the toaster to cook heftier items like lasagna. On the right side, you can select the time frame (up to 15 minutes) though most items can be warmed within just three to four minutes. Unlike traditional ovens, there’s no time wasted to “preset” either. The Balmuda heats up instantly.
Six months ago I moved into a new apartment in Brooklyn during the Coronavirus pandemic. When I started to decorate my new space, creating a simple, minimalist home was top of mind—I only wanted key essential items on my countertop. The Balmuda sits in a compact 8.2 inch by 14.1 inch space, and its chic white shade and simple design fit into my new apartment seamlessly. Since May, I haven’t gone a day without using it, from cooking breakfast bagels and croissants (bought in bulk from the grocery store) to turkey sandwiches in the afternoon and Italian dinners at night with garlic bread and pizza. The $329 price tag seemed steep at first, but when I look at cost per use, it feels like a worthy investment. And given my own experience, I’m quick to recommend it as a perfect wedding gift for a newlywed couple, housewarming gift, or present to give (or request!) for the upcoming holiday season.