If I said one device could replace nearly every kitchen appliance you own, you’d probably think I was starting a late-night infomercial. But an appliance I’ve discovered may actually be able to deliver on that promise. It’s called a Thermomix, and though it’s very popular in Australia and Europe, it’s virtually unknown in Canada and the US.
The Thermomix is a kitchen device that looks like an oversized food processor that’s been bred with a huge blender. And while it can blend, puree and liquefy, it can also chop, grate, beat, whip, knead and shred. But Thermomix also has some other properties that will blow your mind; it can steam vegetables and fish, cook rice, make risotto, sauté onions and garlic, weigh your ingredients, and even go as far as cooking not just a dish, but an entire meal. I received a newer model Thermomix TM5 for several weeks to test and review.
Thermomix is a kitchen robot that combines the functions of 12 kitchen appliances onto one unit. The device comes with a cookbook and computerized recipe chip which is installed into the side of the Thermomix, and that means the Thermomix can automatically execute a variety of recipes — with your help. Of course you can also make food from scratch and use it as an appliance without computerized direction too. Included with the device are a small steamer basket for use inside the mixing bowl, a spatula, a two-level steamer basket for use on top of the device and a whisk.
What can Thermomix do?
-grinds spices or coffee
If you like the freedom of having pre-programed recipes, know that there are several cookbooks produced by Thermomix. The Basic Cookbook is the quintessential Thermomix bible and comes with the device. You can purchase other books that come with recipe chips, such as a British Cookbook, gluten free recipes, vegetarian foods, a ‘taste of Asia’ book and even one for lunches and after school snacks. Prices range from about $15USD to $38 USD.
I tested several recipes from the Thermomix Basic cookbook.
One of my favourites was a Creamy Tomato Soup. The recipe sautées onions and garlic, then used canned tomatoes and fresh cream to create a fast and easy hot soup that’s absolutely delicious.
I also repeatedly made a broccoli salad that took just minutes; broccoli florets, apples, peppers and all the ingredients for a dressing get tossed in the Thermomix bowl and in 4 seconds (not even exaggerating) you have a perfectly chopped and dressed salad that tastes fantastic.
Cook an entire meal using Thermomix
A fun and easy feature of the Thermomix is its ability to cook a whole meal in the device. Thermomix will have you load the steamer basket with potatoes and some water, then the 2-tier steamer basket gets added on top; veggies in the bottom and fresh fish on top. The device lets you know precisely when to add each set of ingredients so that each gets cooked properly to perfection.
Powerful blending with Thermomix
The Thermomix has a very powerful motor and large sharp blades. While devices like the Vitamix (read my review of that here) get all the press for making the best blended drinks and smoothies, the Thermomix is just as good at shredding and liquefying frozen fruit and seeds into drinkable meals. I have used the Vitamix and the Thermomix and as far as I’m concerned, when it comes to smoothing making and blending functions, I’d be hard pressed to pick a winner. They’re both fantastic.
Cleaning the Thermomix
All the parts and pieces of the Thermomix are dishwasher safe, but one of the easiest ways to clean the basin is to add soap and hot water, then to run the motor for 10 seconds. It cleans the inside instantly!
How Thermomix works
With the recipe chip installed in the device, you use the dial on the front to select the meal you’d like to make. With the recipe loaded, the device takes you through the steps necessary in order; from adding ingredients, to chopping or whipping sauces, then walking you through the rest of the process. A chime lets you know when you’ve completed each step, and the recipe.
You can also go fully manual with the device, so you can chop, sautée or blend on your own. A word to the wise; the machine is very powerful; it’s easy to turn potatoes into glue, or whip cream into butter. Until you’re familiar with the device, start out slow and work your way up.
How can I get a Thermomix? Where do I buy Thermomix in Canada or US?
Sadly for some of you, you can’t just go online and order a Thermomix.
Thermomix is only available directly from Vorwerk’s subsidiaries or official distributors. You must see the device privately demonstrated and order from the authorized rep to get one. Think the Amway, Avon or Tupperware sales model. It’s not for everyone, but I will say having a personal demonstration allows you to ensure you’re going to make the most of this device.
Overall review of Thermomix
I really enjoyed my Thermomix experience. I found it easy to learn and use, and the recipes I tried were delicious from the cookbook. Making guided recipes was simple and fun, and even using the machine manually was easy. I found it quite handy, particularly for things like sautéing onions, whipping cream, grating cheese ad pureeing soups.
If I have my druthers, I’d definitely look at replacing some of my older small appliances with this one device, but it’s not an inexpensive prospect. A Thermomix costs about $1700 CAD so it’s certainly an investment. But considering a good food processor will cost you $100-200, a good blender like a Vitamix is upwards of $500, a hand mixer is about $75, a KitchenAid stand mixer is $200-300, not to mention of you want a hand blender or chopper kit ($150) you can see how it might make sense to just have one device.
If you’ve got the budget to invest in a machine like this, I have no doubt you’ll love it.