This is not a sponsored post. This is an honest review of the Balmuda Toaster from my personal experience for having had the toaster oven since August 2021. As of this writing, my family and I have been using it for 18 months.
Issues with Previous 2-Slice Toaster
Prior to owning Balmuda toaster oven, we were using a 2-slice toaster. We got ours from Target. The biggest issue I had with the 2-slice toaster was that the bread always came out dry and hard. The crumbs get stuck in the toaster and it was difficult to clean in hard to reach nooks and crannies of the toaster. Over time, the metal parts showed burn marks and stains making the toaster looked dirty.
Problems Finding Good Toaster
When it was time to replace with a new toaster, initially I considered getting another similar 2-slice toaster again from Target, for the low price as well as for the compact size. At that time, I had been looking for a new toaster for awhile from big brand stores including Crate & Barrel, William Sonoma and Amazon. Many brands make their 2-slice toasters that are too big in my opinion and take up too much space on my countertop especially given that they only serve one purpose. Despite a large footprint, they just aren't designed for modern household definitely not for display on the countertop.
Balmuda's Perfect Balance of Form and Function
If you are looking for both form and function for appliances you use in your kitchen, the Balmuda toaster oven has the perfect balance of functionality, performance, and aesthetic.
One may think that the toaster oven is bigger than a 2-slice toaster but not if you realize it serves more than one purpose. For a toaster oven, it is actually very compact. And, it is mighty functional being a small oven.
Balmuda's Aesthetic Will Elevate Your Kitchen
Having such a small footprint, the toaster oven with its sleek design is the minimalist aesthetic you need on your countertop. It's beautiful with 4 different color options to choose from, all crafted in matte finish with modern clean lines. As if that's not enough, it looks even more attractive when it lights up while heating food, you can also easily see inside of the toaster oven with its see-through window. There's no annoying sound from this machine, but only the most pleasant sound that beeps alerting you that your toast is ready. The knobs are super easy to turn letting you choose settings for the cooking mode and timer.
Balmuda's Functions Work Beyond Making Toasts
There are five cooking modes with 4 preset functions and an oven mode that lets you select 3 different temperatures.
5 Cooking Modes (and how to use each setting, according to Balmuda)
- Sandwich Bread Mode: Heats both sides of the bread evenly at a moderate temperature. Recommended for thin slices and everyday sandwich bread.
- Artisan Bread Mode: Heats at a moderate-to-high temperature. Recommended for thick slices and fresh bread with high moisture content.
- Pizza Mode: Heats at a high temperature, especially on top. Recommended for sliced bagels and toast with toppings to give a crisp, golden brown finish. * With oily foods or toppings that can drip, be sure to use the baking pan.
- Pastry Mode: Heats at a moderate temperature without browning. Recommended for bread that you just want to warm up, such as croissants, rolls and baguettes.
- Oven Mode 350 / 400 / 450°F: Heat is regulated to reach the desired temperature without the use of steam. Recommended for dishes such as gratin, cookies and even frozen foods that can be oven-cooked.
- 1 to 10 / 15 minutes: The timer can be set up to maximum 15 minutes only per cycle. If I bake something like sweet potato that I want it to taste softer, I will just run the cycle 2 rounds.
How We use The Balmuda Toaster At Home
Although at first I bought the toaster for the purpose of toasting bread for my kids, but as it turned out, we as a family regularly use all the cooking modes for a varied of foods.
The Best Toast (Try: Assembling Avocado Toast)
We use the sandwich mode for toast breads, it always comes out crispy on the edges and moist in the inside. Any store bought regular bread has really worked well for us. From a well toasted bread, we make avocado egg sandwich, and it's my daughter's favorite breakfast / lunch menu. Peanut butter and jam tastes just as good too. Balmuda toaster really makes great toast that is soft and bread-like inside.
Revives Pizza Like No Other (Try: Reheating Leftover Pizza)
Cooking anything else that has toppings, we use pizza mode. Obviously, reheating pizza is best using the pizza mode. My kids also like baking Totinos Pizza or Bagel Bites in it. The cheese melt nicely and even stale pizza comes out fresh afterwards. I think it must be the steam, it really revives leftover pizza in a way that a microwave couldn't. Pizza doesn't taste soggy coming out of this toaster, but probably will in a microwave, if I try to add water or cover it under wet towel. Pizza dough still taste soft to the bite.
Fresh Pastries Like It Came From Bakery (Try: Warming Up Croissants)
Now, pastry mode is probably the most popular heating mode we use at home. It warms up food without browning, which is what you want for croissants, strudels, pies, tarts, buns, pastries, etc. I especially love toasting croissants with the toaster, the croissants come out fresh and all the layers lightly crisp, so good that I can eat them plain but I do make them with ham and cheese for the family.
Most Effortless Warm Snacks (Try: Roasting Sweet Potato)
Last but not least is the oven mode, which has 3 temperature settings, ideal for heating up frozen food such as chicken nuggets, fries, dumplings or roasting sweet potato. It's convenient when you only need to cook them in small batches. I can enjoy roasted sweet potato warm and perfectly charred without having to clean up a big baking sheet or cooking pot afterwards. Not to mention, also not having to heat up the whole house or use so much energy with a full-size oven.
Is Balmuda Toaster Worth The Price?
With all the cooking modes the toaster is capable of, the Balmuda really function beyond just a bread toaster. It works an alternative to a full-size oven with added convenience. That is why when I asked myself if it was worth it to spend almost $300 on a toaster, my answer was yes, because it functions like a toaster oven. It delivered and surpassed our expectations. It has given us many delightful experiences to enjoy different dishes. My husband, my kids and I love it so much, I recommend this product to all my friends and also write about it.
How Do I Keep The Balmuda Toaster Clean?
Maintenance wise, it's rather easy to up keep the Balmuda toaster. I clean out the crumb tray once a week, if it's not too messy, I just use my baking brush to clear the crumbs, anytime it gets sticky stuff is when I start using dish detergent to wash, rinse and dry the crumb tray.
I don't always use the baking tray but I highly suggest you use it if you want to keep the interior of your toaster in absolute clean state.
Here's another view of my baking rack, cover for the water tunnel, and the crumb tray. They still look pretty clean and new after 18 months of daily use.
Countertop Organization Tips
Every order comes with the 5cc water cup. What you see in my picture with the hanging hook and bamboo tong are not included. I got the magnetic hook from Amazon and it's been a great little purchase to keep my water cup in its place. My kids use the toaster all the time, and they have been good in making sure to put the cup back in the little hanger.
I also bought the bamboo tong myself. It's really convenient to grab food out of the toaster using the tong without having to reach for utensils from my adjacent drawers.
It also comes with a small baking tray. The baking tray is my least favorite thing of the entire purchase. It is useful but after food burn on it, it is not possible to clean it completely spotless. Instead, I use enamel tray from Noda Horo which fit in the toaster perfectly.
Since price is a major factor for anyone considering buying this Balmuda Toaster, I'd say if you are willing to shell out your money for it, find great uses for lots of different recipes you will enjoy from this toaster oven, then you will not regret it.
I have been pleased with it because I am able to enjoy dishes that otherwise would not have been possible from a bread toaster. And, the fact that my kids are able to operate this little toaster safely themselves for after-school snacks specifically pizza is a winner in my mommy POV.
The toaster is well-made and durable to last a long time. After 1.5 years, it still sits pretty on my countertop with very timeless aesthetic.
P.S.: If you'd like to support me by ordering from my shop, you can buy Balmuda Toaster and other Balmuda products (Free Shipping) here. THANK YOU!