Review: Balmuda The Toaster
WIRED—Sunday, October 16, 2016
FOR REASONS THAT never became clear to me, my brother-in-law Gregory emailed over the summer suggesting that I review a toaster called the Balmuda available only in Japan and Korea. His subject line was persuasive. It read: “The Perfect Toaster.”
I’d done some research on toasters a year prior and found the industry to be something of a confused sea: neither the brand nor the amount of money—from dirt-cheap to ludicrous—spent on a toaster guaranteed quality. It’s also not a space rife with innovation. The toasters we’re using today and the ones manufactured a generation ago are pretty similar, though the ones we’re using now tend to be chintzier.
Toaster ovens are their own special category separate from traditional slot toasters, and, thanks in large part to the distance between the heat source and the toast itself, they’re not renowned for making great toast. In fact, toaster-oven toast tends to be dried-out toast. This one, dubbed Balmuda The Toaster (about $220), seemed like it should be lumped in the toaster oven category, but Gregory’s subject line nagged at me. I also watched a video where, before toasting, water is poured into a slot into the top of the oven before toasting, effectively converting the Balmuda into a mini steam oven, a hack designed to keep what’s being cooked from drying out.
Getting my hands on one required some effort.
Was it worth it? Hell yes! Read about it here!