Is it possible to be in love with a toaster? Because I am. Unequivocally, utterly in love. I first lay eyes on Balmuda the Toaster, which I am going to call BTT, the very year it came out in Japan.
We were walking in BIC Camera and there was a giant display: a bigger than life poster of picture-perfect toast with a pat of butter lusciously melting in the center. The promo talked about steam technology and crisp-on-the-outside and fluffy-on-the-inside toast. I longed for it, but spending ¥30,000 on a toaster seemed excessive, especially with a lack of luggage space. Fast forward several years and I finally got my hands on one! Mike gifted me Balmuda the Toaster for Christmas and I am SO HAPPY.
By the way, this is in no way sponsored, I just wanted to share my love of my new toaster!
The toaster for toast lovers
If you know me, you know that I love toast. Especially Japanese bread that has been toasted. I am a huge fan of shokupan, the super fluffy, soft, and sweet loaves of white bread that toast up perfectly. Mike and I make a point of visiting specialty shokupan bakeries when in Japan and I love it fresh but I especially love it toasted.
Most people, when they think of Japanese breakfast, they think of a teishoku breakfast complete with rice, fish, miso soup, and pickles. But the truth is, a lot of Japanese people prefer bread for breakfast. So it’s no surprise that there is a speciality Japanese toaster that is perfect for Japanese bread.
Balmuda the Toaster uses steam technology and precise temperatures to give you the perfect toast every time. If you’ve ever tried a steam oven before you know how it locks in moisture. BTT steams the bread to heat it up, then increases the temperature to toast and caramelize the outside so that the insides are fluffy and the outsides are crisp. Honestly, if you haven’t tried toast from BTT I can see how you would be skeptical, but it really is the perfect toaster.
Side by side toaster test
We have another fancy toaster, the Magimix Vision toaster, and I did a side by side comparison of toast in Balmuda the Toaster and the Vision and there is no contest. Honestly, I couldn’t believe that the bread was from the same loaf, that’s how different the toast tasted. The toast out of the Magimix was dry and definitely would have benefited from butter. The Balmuda toast was moist and fluffy but at the same time crisp. It was perfect as-is – seriously, it was so good! (left is balmuda).
It’s so much fun!
Part of why I love Balmuda so much is the whole ritual of making toast. You slice your bread (or pull it out of your sliced loaf), place it on the rack with the top of the bread closest to the window – as per the instructions – pour in a tiny bit of water into the top, then press the button and turn the dial. The oven starts to steam up then glows a beautiful neon orange while it toasts. There’s something so pleasant about taking the time to enjoy something as humble as a simple piece of toast.
What else can it do?
Technically, it’s a little steam toaster oven, not just a toaster, so it can do anything a toaster oven can do. You can reheat essentially anything inside: pizza, fried chicken, french fries, anything you’d put in a toaster oven, you can use your Balmuda the Toaster for. I’ve baked Japanese sweet potatoes and mochi. It works perfectly every time. If you’re looking for something with a moist interior and crispy crunchy exterior, Balmuda the Toaster will do it for you, every time.
Where to buy Balmuda the Toaster
We got ours from Huckberry, but Amazon also carries it (in more colors), and you can get it direct from Balmuda. You can also get it direct from Japan when visiting, but with Japanese appliances it’s usually better to buy the International version as Japanese electricity is slightly lower voltage, making Japanese domestic versions run hotter sometimes. If nothing else, it’s worth getting the American version if only because the instructions and recipes are in English.
I can’t wait to make some recipes that use the toaster oven aspect. I don’t love heating up a giant oven just to bake single cookies or baked oats, so this little guy is perfect. Honestly, it brings me so much joy looking at it sitting on our countertop. Aesthetically pleasing, functional, and fun, what more could I want? I love my Balmuda!