I used to be much more active on Tumblr before it became (and un-became after the Great Porn Purge of 2018) overly porny. It was my primary blogging platform for a while, and there was a time where I wrote a bit about my experiences with my Thermomix. It actually got to the point where people would start asking me questions about it, even though I wasn’t a food blogger/entrepreneur nor a consultant. Given what I was asked, it may have been because my tone wasn’t all sunshine and unicorn tears about it at a time where many other Thermomix bloggers only showered praise.
For my original thoughts, this is a repost from my Tumblr from 2011. 8 years on, it’s still accurate. I’ve edited lightly, but the sentiments are still the same.
As an update, I still use my Thermomix TM31 once or twice a week for a variety of things, and find it to be a great extra hand in the kitchen. Given the number of blending type appliances I have previously burned out, the Thermomix has definitely been worth it for me for its build quality.
That said, Thermomix is not the only pony in this race anymore. There are at least a half dozen competitors out there, including Optimum’s ThermoCook. Feature-wise they’re pretty similar, but if you can get a demo of the appliance you’re considering it’s definitely worth it to observe some of the subtle differences first hand and ask questions. Also, check on warranty and after-service, and if the manufacturer’s local authorised repairers are available where you live, otherwise if anything goes wrong and you need to send it away, the postage will be expensive.
The price-points also vary widely, and while I haven’t used these others myself, I know people who have purchased some of the cheaper equivalents. In a couple of cases, they didn’t last a year (or failed just out of warranty). Mine has been going since 2010 and I’ve only had to replace the rubber seal and spatula once, and I think I could do with a new blade about now (I’ve been a bit neglectful in remembering to replace it, and have indeed noticed that it’s getting a little blunt).
But if you’re looking for an appliance that can do the miles… *gestures at her almost-9-year-old TM31*
Anonymous asked: Hi, It has been a few months since you started cooking with your Thermomix. I have read your blog entries and get the feeling that you are not very pleased with the results.
I am considering buying a TM, but I hesitate because I do not anyone that has one and have never tasted anything cooked in it. I have checked several sites and most people who have one are very enthusiastic about it. I think though that most people HAVE to find it fantastic after expending such a large amount of money. Am I being too cynical?
Please give me your opinion. I think it might help me with my decision. Matt.
I wouldn’t say that I’m displeased with the TM. But it depends on what you want it for.
If you are a discerning foodie type who wants the TM to create incredible meals end-to-end, this is not for you.
If you think this is a silver bullet for everything kitcheny and you can toss all your other appliances, this is not for you.
If you don’t like to cook, or if you like to cook but sometimes you just want a home-cooked meal which is quick and easy to make after a long day that tastes alright (not omnomnomnomnom but maybe just nom), then sure, why not.
If you like to tinker in the kitchen and want a minion/extra set of hands to help you out from time to time, yeah, go for it.
Really Long Answer:
I bought the TM because I like to cook and it would help me out. The fact it can do alright end-to-end meals is a bonus.
I have been blogging about the recipes for the TM that I’ve tried, but I haven’t really come across anything that’s outstanding. It does, however, make delightful congee, a reasonable rendang (but you need to put it on for longer than suggested to make it tender), and effortless ice-cream bases and soups. It also isn’t bad for kneading dough. Oh and the temperature control means I can also do Japanese style ‘onsen eggs’ which are slow poached. Love those.
Truth be told, the recipes I’ve tried for the TM are quite lacklustre. A few other people I’ve found online also share this opinion. I don’t know whether that’s due to the recipe or the machine. I’ve seen a few things like on youtube which are made using the TM, and created by actual food professionals, that I’m keen to try, but hadn’t had a chance to yet.
There is also a very active blogging community and forum where people post all sorts of recipes which might even be better than what’s in the books. Got an incredible salted caramel maple ice-cream recipe from there.
It does occur to me now though, that while I have written about some of the end-to-end meals, I haven’t really written about how it does at other things.
Not so good. Too much steam is trapped inside which makes it sweat instead of sauté.
Ditto. And really, a wok is much faster and easier to clean.
- Anything where you don’t want excess steam
Even with the little cup off, the hole is too small to let a lot of steam out and if this is important to your dish, it can really screw it up.
On purpose, not accidental. Does pretty well. But I have steamer baskets that I use on the stove as well, so it’s much of a muchness. However, if like me you occasionally forget when you’ve got things on the stove, having the TM on a timer is probably better than letting your pot boil dry…
- Steamed rice
I think it sucks. Too squishy and wet for my liking. Other people think it’s awesome. But like all sensible Asian folk, I have a dedicated rice cooker.
- Blending things
Awesome. I have burned out three different devices which were designed to be able to grind spices and make pastes for curries and things. I didn’t abuse them either. Short periods of pulsing and not overloading the container. They just couldn’t take it. The TM, on the other hand, makes this an absolute breeze.
Ace. I don’t have to mind these things on the stove anymore. (eg. custards, sauces)
- Doughs for bread and pastries
Pretty good. And if you put it on 37C while you’re doing the yeast-based ones, it makes it rise better/faster too. And you could even leave it in there for the rises because the bowl is still warm, and give it a quick spin for the knock-down. The rocking from the kneading action is a little annoying because you have to watch/hold it so it doesn’t rock off the counter, but given you’re never kneading for very long, this isn’t terrible.
- Chopping things
If you don’t care that they’re uneven sized bits.
- Whipping things
I was surprised that it does this pretty well too. Whites and cream are definitely doable. But I hate cleaning the butterfly whippy attachment. Pain in the bum. I have a blendy stick with the whisk attachment. I much prefer washing that.
- Heating milk
This is a weird one to add to the list, but I got into making flavoured milk-based drinks like novelty lattes and chai. I have a coffee machine with the steamer thing, but if you want to add spices to steam through the milk it that clogs up the steam wand. For two drinks, stick the lot in the TM, heat it at 70-80C for about 5 minutes on speed 4, pour it through a sieve, et voila flavoured latte.
Appliances I still have despite owning a TM:
- Stick blender/Food Processor
I have a stick blender which has whisk and food processor attachments. The stick blender attachment isn’t really used now I have the TM. For whisking it’s about 50/50 Thermomix or whisk attachment. I mainly use it for the bladed disc attachment for grating/slicing. Anything that would have used the twin blade is generally done in the Thermomix.
I bought this after I got the TM. Because it’s shiny, and because I prefer doing most of my baking with it. I will, however, use the Thermomix for pizza dough because just works. Biscuits are okay in the TM, just don’t over process.
- Tupperware Smooth Chopper
This replaced the bullet blender which is now well dead. It’s quick and easy for drinks like smoothies and milkshakes for one (and a half). And smaller to wash.
I’m a cynic too, so I see where you’re coming from with the idea that people might rave about it because of the money they dropped on it. But if you’ve ever attended one of the periodic classes they hold from time to time for people who have one (mainly for them, but for people who are thinking about getting one as well), you’ll see the affection they have for their TM is quite genuine.
My suggestion to you is to find your local TM agent and organise a demonstration. Call the head office in your country/region and tell them you’re after a demo. They’ll find an agent for you. They’re free and zero obligation. You just provide the ingredients and the agent will bring the TM. It’s like a Tupperware party but you don’t get any host gifts unless you buy something.
You’ll need a minimum of three households to attend, so grab a neighbour, and a parent or sibling and you’re set. Suggested size group for the amount of food they’ll prepare at the party is probably about 6-8.
And find out from one of the agents when the next regional class is going to be held. They don’t cost a lot, but you get fed pretty well, and you get a demo of a few different things dishes. One I went to had bread, butter, dips, cake, ice-cream, non-alcoholic margaritas, soup, and at least two other things I don’t remember just now.
Check it out, see how you feel not just about the resulting food products, but also what the TM is being used to do. And see if you can ask one of them to demo an ice-cream or something (sorbets are standard for the basic demo, but you might get lucky). Those are fun.
I didn’t feel pressured at all by the agent or at the class, they seemed pretty laid back and friendly. Just very enthusiastic about their Thermomixes. 🙂
I’ve blabbed a lot here because I don’t know much about you or your cooking background, but I hope you find at least some of it useful to help make your decision. If you have any other questions about the TM, just let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them.
 I was trying to be diplomatic then, but let’s be honest, it’s the recipes.