Let me start by saying that I am not a Thermomix consultant, nor is this a sponsored post in any way.
I first heard about the Thermomix a couple of years ago, when a couple of friends started talking about theirs. At first it sounded quite bizarre – I couldn’t get my head around how one single machine could possibly chop, beat, mill, emulsify, mill, knead, blend, cook, stir, steam, weigh and melt. I figured that it was either going to be the size of an elephant, or it did a half-job of everything – you know, the jack of all trades, master of none.
Then I learned the price – $1940, and thought NO WAY! What a rip-off!
Over the space of about 18 months, I read and read and read and read as much as I could about the Thermomix. I attended three TMX demonstrations. And then I read some more. I looked at some of the other appliances on the market which claim to do some of the same things that the Thermomix does, and wondered whether I would be prepared to pay less money and settle for a machine that isn’t so fancy but still offers a lot of the qualities that the Thermomix does. Eventually I reached the point of deciding that the Thermomix was the machine for me. I scrimped and saved and paid off my machine over three monthly credit card installments, and in November last year, my Thermomix finally became part of our household.
So as I promised my readers, after 5 months of ownership, I wanted to give you my absolutely honest review of the Thermomix – warts and all – so that you can make an informed decision about whether this is the best machine for you and your family. I will also leave the comments open so that you can ask your own questions if they haven’t been covered and I will do my best to answer you. Please know that I am your average Mum of 4 children. I’m not a fabulous cook, nor do I particularly enjoy cooking for my family. But you know, they do kinda have to eat, so I can’t really escape that fact!
What do I love about the Thermomix?
Let’s start with my motivation as to why I bought one in the first place. Number 1 was that we have recently discovered that my son is sensitive to preservatives and additives in many processed foods. Having read about “numbers” in foods, we realised that we needed to know exactly what was in the foods we were eating. Cooking “from scratch” was the only way that we could do that. The Thermomix makes it very easy to cook from scratch, with very little extra effort.
Secondly, now that I have three children at school, our afternoons and evenings are incredibly busy. I was tired of walking in the door and being chained to to the kitchen preparing dinner and cleaning up. The Thermomix saves me SO much time. Either I can “set and forget” (like Risotto or Bolognese sauce) which means I can be doing other things while dinner is cooking, or foods are prepared so quickly (sometimes in a matter of seconds) that it only takes a moment of being in the kitchen and I am done.
Finally, the built in scales mean that I rarely used anything other than the Thermomix bowl to prepare the entire meal. Foods are weighed as they are added. There is very little left to clean up after preparing food which makes a busy Mum very happy.
What do I NOT love about the Thermomix?
My biggest gripe is that I find it hard to scrape out all of the sauce / mix / food out of the bowl because of the blades at the bottom of the bowl, and I hate wasting that little bit of food. I found that a silicone spatula tends to get a bit more out than the TMX spatula. I have also been told that by pulsing the machine on turbo speed a couple of times can help to get all the mixture out from around the blades. Some people unscrew the blades to scrape the bowl clean – but this seems like too much work for me!
Is it noisy?
It really depends what you are using it for. When chopping things like hard cheese or ice cubes, then yes it is noisy. But it is only for a very short time so it’s no different to the noise of a normal food processor. When cooking, the speed is set at such a low speed, that’s it’s more like a constant whir in the background. You might need to turn the TV up one notch, but that’s about it.
Will it change the way I shop for groceries?
In a word – yes. You will be buying more flours, grains, sugar, fruit and vegetables (and cream if you like to be a bit naughty!). Basically, the Thermomix means that you will be preparing meals from whole foods so you will find yourself avoiding all the “packet” aisles in the supermarket. Because many of these ingredients can be purchased and stored in bulk, you will usually find that your shopping costs less over time, and it’s really only the fresh produce that you will need to stock up on each week.
Are there enough recipes to use?
Absolutely. You will be given The Everyday Cookbook when you purchase the Thermomix which gives you so many recipes to start with. There is a huge selection in there, and many people would be happy to just cook from this book. However as you get more confident and creative, the Recipe Forum on the Thermomix website is always being updated with new recipes that have been contributed by consultants and TMX owners. If you have a particular dish in mind, you can simply Google it and add Thermomix, and there is a good chance that someone will have converted the recipe for the TMX.
So what have I made with it?
Lots!! Let’s see – dips, soup, salad, mashed potatoes, curry, casserole, custard, sorbets, smoothies, fried rice, sauces, grated cheese, icing sugar, biscuits, muffins, breadrolls, vegemite scrolls, beef stroganoff, risotto, porridge, devilled sausages, apricot chicken, slices, and more. They are all delicious and my kids now actually ENJOY eating their meals with lots of veges. There is very little that you can’t make in the TMX.
How often do I REALLY use it?
At least once a day. On the weekend I might use it 3-4 times, especially when baking.
Is it easy to use?
Yes. The recipes are very easy to follow. You basically have three steps to consider when setting the TMX – time, temperature and speed. This is always spelled out in every recipe so you don’t need to think too much about it.
Does it make enough for a large family?
I have 4 young children and it easily feeds our family of six. It is easy to pad out a meal with salad, rice, pasta or potato. As the children get older and eat more, I may invest in a second jug to make bigger meals, but at this stage there is plenty for all of us (and usually enough for seconds).
OK so… Is it worth the money?
Ahhh – the $2000 question! Look, the answer isn’t black and white. Is a kitchen appliance really worth almost two thousand dollars? Possibly not. BUT, is the Thermomix worth owning? I would have to say, if you can afford it, then yes. I know it’s a huge investment, and it’s not a decision to be made lightly. But if I were to consider how much time it saves me in preparing, cooking and cleaning, as well as how much healthier we are eating as a result of eliminating additives and preservatives from our diet, then the investment has certainly paid off for us. As far as the price goes, I kind of like the idea that every TMX purchased does actually allow someone (usually a Mum), to create a career that means they can work around their children. It also means that the service is more personal and help is often just a phone call away. Sometimes it is these little things that are worth paying a little extra for.
I hope this has been a little helpful for those of you who are making the decision about whether to buy a Thermomix. If you have a question that hasn’t been covered above, please do leave me a question in the comments section so I can try to answer. I’d love this to be a living resource for those who want some real life and impartial advice.