Balmuda Steam Toaster
This isn’t your regular toaster oven. No, friend, the Balmuda Steam Toaster is a toaster oven for bread connoisseur – its unique design combines steam and heat to transform even the most boring piece of bread into a fresh-from-the-oven wonder.
Balmuda founder and CEO Gen Terao discovered the power of steam during a company gathering on a rainy afternoon. He and his employees made the best toast of their lives on an outdoor grill – when the rain stopped, they tried to recreate their glorious creation only to fail. Which is when lightening struck – the metaphorical kind – and Terao realized the importance of water in the toasting-bread process.
Terao with his team developed Balmuda’s THE TOASTER (that’s its official name). This device uses steam to trap moisture inside the bread while using low temperatures to toast it. The temperatures start out low, letting the steam work its magic while the exterior is still cool(ish). Then, at the end of the cycle, it cranks up the heat to give your bread a crisp, golden crust. The end result is a piece of bread that feels, smells and tastes like it came from a freshly-baked loaf.
Balmuda’s Steam Toaster isn’t just for regular bread. It also toasts baguettes and croissants, and has the usual toaster oven setting for other foods you may want to heat up. There are five settings: Toast mode – top and bottom baked evenly; Cheese Toast mode – top side baked longer than bottom side; Baguette mode – just enough to warm the inside; Croissant mode – warms the inside and slightly bakes the outside; and Classic mode – cook dishes other than bread.
Unique steam concept aside, what makes this toaster worth the investment is the sheer quality of the design, construction and controls. The device has a high quality matte finish that isn’t likely to rust or scratch. It’s easy to clean – just wipe it down – and has sturdy knobs that won’t pop off. Instead of a coiled wire heating element, the Steamer Toaster has a quartz tube, providing consistent heat. Finally, it’s very easy to use – pour water in (where indicated), turn the knob to your desired mode, add your bread and let it work its magic.
All of this power is cased in a “modern classic” design that is inspired by the wood-fired ovens of yore. Available in black, white or grey (limited edition), the steam toaster is quite petite – 36cm wide, 32cm deep and 21cm tall – it won’t take up too much counter space leaving you free to cook up the rest of your meal.
Balmuda doesn’t sell directly to Canada or the US (and they don’t have any plans to expand to this part of the world anytime soon). Luckily for us, there are companies selling the Balmuda Steam Toaster on Amazon. You can do a price comparison to find one in your budget.
Balmuda Steam Toaster / $450 – $575*
*Depending on which supplier you purchase from on Amazon