The oven comes with what looks like a mug for an American Girl doll; it’s actually a tiny measuring cup, which you fill with 2.5 to 5 milliliters of water, depending on what you’re reheating, then pour into the silver hole on top of the machine. From there, you twist the dial to the picture of the type of food you’re reheating, set the timer if needed, and let it get to work.
The images on the dial may make it seem like the Balmuda just toasts or warms bread; no, no. While it does perfectly toast bread, be it Wonder or the artisanal croissant variety, the pizza and pastry modes are great for reviving a day-old slice better than the skillet-and-water-hack, or making a rock-hard muffin seem fresh from the oven.
No matter what I reheated with it, the results were…shockingly good. A bagel I literally smashed against the table, concerned I’d chip the granite before bending the fossilized dough, was pillowy and chewy after a trip in the Balmuda. I’ve never gotten the same results from the ol’ “wrap a damp paper towel around it and heat at a lower power setting” that we all use when microwaving (and, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit, I actually wrote a cookbook on hacking your microwave to better results!).
Whether I’m reheating chicken tenders or whipping up an avocado toast, I’ve found one rule applies: When in doubt, put it on pizza mode. It seems to work for everything heartier than an English muffin.