Earlier this year we had the exciting opportunity to welcome a Thermomix unit into our kitchen for 2-3 weeks. I don’t own a Thermomix and this is an unpaid review. The thing is that we first approached Thermomix almost 2 years ago to discuss their product and have seen it in a variety of demonstrations and heard about it through a variety of other community members, friends and of course other bloggers. It took them a while to come on board and I believe the reason is that they are on fire and just didn’t think that more promotion was necessary for them. It was a bit odd though, when essentially I was just another customer like you and wasn’t getting a very warm response.
I guess this is definitely a product that is selling itself and through word of mouth. It is just astounding how passionate people become about this machine; and one of the things that has struck me is that you are hard pressed to find a Thermomix owner that does not rave about the machine. You rarely see them for sale second hand. That sort of enthusiasm just gets one thinking… you know? Maybe this machine has something.
What is a Thermomix?
A Thermomix is a multi-function kitchen appliance that is sold through small gatherings by demonstration. Earmarked by the company as the ultimate kitchen appliance, the Thermomix can chop, beat, mix, mill knead blend and cook, stir, steam weigh and melt. It has a fairly hefty base for the high quality Vorwerk reluctance motor and a stainless steel jug containing Solingen steel blades that are surprisingly easy to take out and clean. Very functional. The base itself acts as a control centre and you quickly learn to your way around directing it’s many functions. That part was really not hard, but the support is also first rate so that when you make your purchase you get one to one instruction from your consultant to get you started.
About us: Cooking and Thermomix
Blogging our food as long been an element of what we do that we really enjoy. It’s something that both DH and I do for relaxation and we love cooking. DH is amazing with creating new recipes and understanding the biochemistry of food to get recipes perfect. He’s very persistent and we both get a lot of joy from creating nourishment and tweaking our recipes each time we make them until we reach perfection. We had thought that the Thermomix would expand our options in the kitchen and give us a new avenue of motivation and interest in trying new things. We also heard from others that it made cooking easier for busy parents and we were all for that idea.
Finally we heard from all sources that the Thermomix would support our clean eating habits. Yet we already cook from scratch. We already don’t eat take away under ordinary circumstances. We love to cook and bake from ingredients sourced close to origin and with as minimal processing as possible. We generally eat clean and we generally eat at home. What would change for us with a Thermomix?
In the context of how we eat, this chance to review the Thermomix was very interesting. It hasn’t necessarily left me with firm answers about whether or not we will make the Thermomix leap. Much of this is based on the restrictions of our budget but there are payment plans from time to time and if this machine had blown my socks off I believe that the finance would have seemed a worthwhile trade. That said, if the machine wasn’t such a significant outlay, the decision would be a no-brainer.
I’m sorry if you wanted me to be strongly in one direction or the other on this – I’m just not. I can only tell you my thoughts and hope that in itself is valuable. Many people commented to us while we had our machine that they would have loved that chance to test the machine in their own home for an extended period, and everyone laughed that you wouldn’t find many Thermomix owners who would be willing to lend their machine even for a day. If you are in the midst of making this decision yourself, I hope that sharing our reflections is helpful to you.
We found that the:
Thermomix was great for
Recipes that require constant stirring with or without heat
Fine grinding/milling especially of ice, grains
‘Set and forget’ tasks – the machine turns itself off when the timer is up
Cooks that like dividing their cooking into separate tasks
Reducing use of measuring cups and dishes in general
Recipes that aim for a smooth texture
Thermomix was not so great for
Creating complete meals or ‘all in one pot’ style cooking
Cooking in volume
Achieving complex or well developed flavours [oooo contentious :P]
Our Thermomix improvements wishlist
Delayed/Timer ON Switch
Some of the Thermomix Recipes we tried in our 2-3 weeks trial
Sweet Coconut Black Rice
Oat Milk Custard
Various Green Shakes and Smoothies
Butterscotch Self-Saucing Pudding
Zucchini and Carrot Hash Browns
Banana Chocolate Icecream
Milled Sugar> Icing Sugar
Various Cake Mixes
Extras we used to enhance our Thermomix experience
Silicone cupcake cups (for use with Varoma)
Flexible silicone spatula
The end verdict of our Thermomix Review
Having a Thermomix in our home for near 3 weeks was exciting and very much appreciated. We worked hard to get the opportunity and it was definitely interesting. For our household to fully embrace a Thermomix as a complete meal making appliance, we would need to make some significant lifestyle or attitude changes around our food preparation. We cook a lot in bulk, in very large pots and we cook complex dishes with developed depth of flavour. Essentially cooking ‘right now’ is much easier with the Thermomix and this would remove the need for bulk cooking to some extent, but would we actually use this machine to create our evenings meals? I never found myself anxious to create our dinner meals with it.
I simply found that compared with our usual quality of meals, that the flavours it was creating for main meals fell short. We even made a side by side comparison with the spaghetti bolognese cooked in a pot and Thermomix; for us the Thermomix version was near inedible. It also had a strange texture that we didn’t find pleasant. Results were similar when comparing a TM risotto to DH’s pot stirred risotto – lack of flavour, poor texture in comparison. As I started with though, we have really honed in on our cooking to improve our recipes with time and we would be interested to see if this is something that would evolve with Thermomix recipes too, that we might find better ways of doing things. For us it just wasn’t out-of-the-box outstanding meal creation in any case.
I believe owning a Thermomix would enhance our cooking and provide better quality to some elements of our meals. With the ability to blend textures it seems easy to add superfoods to almost any preparation. I find that when you are eating Paleo it is often of benefit to produce ‘mock’ textures that resemble conventional products, and this holds true for gluten free eating too. Sometimes eating with dietary restrictions is about recreating a familiar sensory experience and I think the Thermomix can help with that. With the opportunity to mill your own grains it would just have to be easier to produce specific recipes that call for a multitude of gluten free flours when you are quickly able to make those flours on the spot as required. In terms of our dietary needs I found it easy to use our substitute milks in recipes and that the machine worked well with all of our clean food. I prefer our Hurom juicer for making nut milks because there is no straining required but many of our friends use the Thermomix for all of their juicing and nut milk creations simply straining with a nut milk bag.
I felt that the Thermomix was super handy for making ‘extra’ food; snacks, sweets, dips. In terms of ‘raw’ food – well it must create some heat with the rotational blades but can make an extremely smooth paste or chunkier dip out of a variety of vegetables for example. If we were entertaining there is no doubt that we would be able to whip up an array of goodness in short speed. There is no doubt that it saved us time and produced far better results for some single elements of dishes and in far less time, than we could have with any of our other appliances.
We could simplify our pantry stocks, where we currently have numerous glass jars without all manner of different versions of flours, sugars etc we could strip this back and begin with only the very most basic ingredients with the confidence that we had the ability to get them into the required form in no time. Grains can be milled quick smart and in the quantity required for an individual recipe, reducing waste. We could place a more dedicated focus on purchasing food in its original state such as purchasing millet grain instead of flour and there are arguments for better nutrition in that freshly milled flour.
I doubt that a Thermomix offers us any savings, as I have covered that we already cook and create from scratch and don’t eat takeaway. I almost felt that we were making more snacks and extras which we aren’t always a feature of our usual daily diet – so that in a way we may even spend more on food if snack eating and desserts became as super quick and easy as the chocolate banana icecreams, coconut water and fruit sorbets that the Thermomix whips up! This is the crux of things for us, as if we outlaid on a Thermomix I feel confident it would be as a valuable luxury item and not as a cost saving exercise.
Somewhere in all this is a decision about the value of the benefit this machine offers us. I’ve learned in life so far that quick doesn’t always mean good and I think whilst for prep quick is awesome, there’s some love lost somehow in the results of cooking a full meal. For single parents with expendable money, who are time poor for tasks such as watching a pot, to those who lack flexibility in meal prep and need fast options for their family or are still advancing their culinary skills, I’m sure that the Thermomix has a whole lot to offer. For time savings it is also worth noting that clean up is so quick and easy.
Thermomix owners are also joining some seriously committed sort of a club by buying their unit. There are literally endless Thermomix supporter websites and indeed even clubs offering recipe ideas and product tips for all manner of cuisines and dietary needs and the team themselves are right onto service and even offer Thermomix specific cooking classes with a focus on quality experiences for their users.
So there it is. Our thoughts, as best as I can lay them out. We hope that our reflections are helpful to anyone considering making the Thermomix leap xx