The Balmuda is no ordinary toaster. This modern-looking device from Tokyo-based company Balmuda delivers the ultimate texture and aroma using precise temperature control and unique steam technology. The result is perfect toast and other items that taste as though they came fresh out of the baker’s oven. It recently garnered Tik Tok fame from foodie influencer Emily Mariko. It’s also won the 2020 Esquire Gadget Awards for Best Small Kitchen Appliance. 

Its modern technology and thoughtfully crafted aesthetic make it the must-have kitchen appliance of 2022. If you’re a toast or cookie lover, here’s everything you need to know about Balmuda and their popular toaster. 

Quick Links

Performance/Experience

What is a Balmuda toaster and what sets it apart from other toasters on the market is its ability to use steam to heat up its contents. This gives toast, cookies and more that coveted crisp-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside texture to stale goods. Unlike a regular toaster, the addition of moisture lets you heat and reheat without drying out your food and sacrificing flavor. 

The process of figuring out how to use a Balmuda toaster isn’t too difficult. Before toasting, users add a small amount of water with the included measuring cup to an inlet, allowing air to heat rapidly while creating a thin steam layer to envelop the food and preserve flavor. After the toaster door is closed, a flap hides where the water is added. The water then travels through a tube in the side of the Balmuda. It’s delivered onto a tough that turns the liquid into steam.

Like the majority of toasters out there, the Balmuda has a crumb tray that’s hidden from view. As soon as the door opens, the wire rack automatically moves forward and the cooking rack sits on top of that. This makes the cooking process more ergonomic and removes the needs to manually grab and slide the rack to get to your food. A small non-stick baking tray ensures that no cheese or crumbs are left behind when the toaster is doing its work. However, some users note that it may slightly discolor over time but still works.

Performance-wise, it’s definitely superior to your average toaster and can revive stale goods, bringing their flavors and textures back to life like they were freshly baked. 

Design/Aesthetic

A functional and beautiful toaster, Balmuda’s offering is sleek, cute and minimalist, making it perfect for a range of kitchens. While the miniature measuring cup allows you to place the right amount of water in to achieve that desired texture, it is super small. Therefore, always keep it in a designated spot next to your toaster or in a silverware drawer so that it won’t disappear when you’re not using it. The cup holds 5 ccs, which is a smidge than a teaspoon. 

It does have a small footprint, which can be both a pro and a con. It takes up minimal counter space, but can only hold two regular-sized pieces of bread or two English muffins. The cover over the tough is removable, allowing excess water can be mopped up easily.

The toaster comes in chic neutral tones like black, gray or white and has a style that’ll fit in with all kitchens.

Features

It has multiple modes total: Sandwich Bread, Artisan Bread, Pizza, Pastry and Oven with three temperature settings. The pizza setting is perfect for leftover slices or open-faced sandwiches. Even baking can be done on the bake setting, which doesn’t use water like the toast setting. With the pastry setting, a small amount of water is used, and baked goods emerge like they were fresh-baked. As effective as this toaster is at making cookies, it’s even better at reheating them. Just remember not to use parchment paper, which can be a fire hazard. There are certain settings that utilize steam, and others that don’t =- they’re grouped separately so it’s easy for users to see. 

The Artisan setting is also amazing for sourdoughs and other crusty bread that can quickly get hard or stale. They preserve the interior elasticity while crisping up the surface.

One finicky thing about the Balmuda toaster is that the “on” button, which is located in the timer dial, has to be pressed before selecting the time. Tiny lights around the dial will light up and blink with the ticking timer as the seconds count down. It can cook for up to 15 minutes at a time. 

Accessories

The main accessories are the tiny baking pan and the little measuring cup (5cc, or a teaspoon) for adding water. Be sure to keep this cup in a designated place to avoid misplacing it. 

Price

At over $300, we can’t deny that the Balmuda toaster oven is an expensive toaster for its size. However, it also allows bakery-level items to be conjured up on a whim in your home. Similarly, compact toasters can’t rejuvenate the way that this device does, nor can they produce a toast with that golden exterior and soft inside. Other toasters turn contents dry and brittle if left for too long. If you’re a carbohydrate lover and frequently have leftovers, the price on the Balmuda is an investment that’ll make your next-day foods taste better than you thought possible.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Yields delicious toast
  • Makes leftovers taste fresh
  • Doesn’t take up much counter space
  • Uses unique steam technology

Cons

  • Expensive 
  • Small interior capacity
  • Measuring cup may be too small for some
  • Limited range of temperatures and short timer

Conclusion

Although the design and features are both charming, it’s the Balmuda toasters’ precise steaming function that really makes this sleek kitchen appliance stand out. It doesn’t use quite as much water as a steam oven, but for a small device, its power is mighty. It’s also great for anyone with small kitchens or minimal counter space. That being said, if you don’t use a toaster at least a couple of times a week, it may not be worth the high price tag. Although it has five modes, it has limited temperature settings that don’t let you broil. 

Still, with reviews calling it a “masterpiece” and “a brilliant piece of product design”, this creative invention is hard to ignore. Ultimately, if you’re not cooking large amounts and dream of all things baked, toasty, or gooey, you’ll love Balmuda The Toaster.

FAQs

The Balmuda toaster oven is made in Japan. Their headquarters are located in Musashino, Tokyo, Japan.

You can cook a range of foods, from reheated leftovers to stale bread and croissants. There are five modes total that allow you to bake, cook pizza, prep sandwich bread and warm artisan bread and pastries. 

W 14.1 in. × D 12.6 in. × H 8.2 in.

You shouldn’t insert food that exceeds 2.2 inches in height, Doing so will cause excessive heating on the surface of the food.

This is because of the structure of the heater tube. The center remains dark but it’s still heated, so if you don’t see the tube turning red, it’s not a malfunction.

Subscribe to our newsletter
for editor picks and exclusive deals

Finders & Keep has an advertising relationship with some of the brands discussed on this site and we may receive a referral fee when someone clicks on one of our affiliate partner links. 

The opinions expressed on Finders & Keep are entirely our own. The content was chosen by our editorial team. Any product claim or representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.