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Kerry Beal was kind enough to bring her Thermomix to the Heartland Gathering last year, so I've at least seen it in action. I think it's easiest to think of it as a heated blender with a built-in scale, though of course that doesn't quite capture it. The speed range is larger than a conventional blender, allowing much lower-speed mixing. I think it's much more useful for some styles of cooking than others.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Well, I sure wouldn't buy one sight unseen: if you are considering it, I'd definitely try to find someplace where you can try it out first. Like I said, I definitely think it's better suited to some cooks than others. The people who I know who own them rave about them, but I have no interest in one.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Check this blog by Helene she has 49 videos of the TM31 in action.

Here's a series of photos showing how to make butter in the TM31

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Thanks very much to all for helping me get a better idea of what it is. Not sure I'm a good prospect for one since rather than aiming towards one pot meals, I'm more and more disassembling recipes into component parts and treating them each separately to optimize each component as best I can. Way more dishes to wash but my food has improved a great deal.

It's not cheap. At the cost I see on those web pages, I could get a very good chamber vac or SV circulator. But price and my preferences aside, it appears very well made for one way of thinking about cooking. Were I to be making certain sauces and soups etc. in great quantity, I'd be thinking about one.

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  • 6 months later...

I'm bumping up this topic to add a link to a recipe for Dutch Baby Pancakes converted by one of the members of ForumThermomix, complete with lovely photos.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Its been around since the 60's but only in Australia since 2000. Here it sells for a whopping $2000 and has mixed reviews. Our Choice magazine says its good for busy family cooking or inexperienced cooks but the price is too high. I imagine it probably appeals to busy family people or maybe those who work and also like to cook. Would like to try one though and see what it can do.

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  • 1 month later...

From The Atlantic, Megan McArdle on her Thermomix, and on kitchen gadgetry in general. (Warning: misleading headline)

I wanted to out myself before I put out the kitchen gift guide (going up later today!), but I was pretty sure I was going to take a lot of flak for owning this thing, This was a sound guess. "Why on earth would you need such a thing?" was the most common response, followed by "How can you justify spending so much money?" and a dozen or so sniffy variations on "real cooks don't use machines to do their cooking for them", often with the not-so-subtle implication that before I acquired the Thermomix, my culinary repertoire was probably limited to box cake mixes and casseroles involving tuna and cream cheese.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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The problem with things like the Thermomix is that you can buy a complete set of unautomated kitchen gear for less money.

For $2,000, I can have:

-A food processor

-A crock pot

-A sous vide kit for the crock pot

-A kitchenaid mixer

-And a secondhand Honda.

Sure, it's not automated. But the kit above will do most of what the Thermomix does, and will also drive me to the airport.

That said, devices like the Thermomix are generally intended for small volume sales. This results in huge overhead for the manufacturer, increasing the price per unit, and an enormous retail mark-up - as high as 100%. Build them by the million and sell them through Amazon, and the same product could just as easily be $700.

Edited by jrshaul (log)
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The problem with things like the Thermomix is that you can buy a complete set of unautomated kitchen gear for less money.

For $2,000, I can have:

-A food processor

-A crock pot

-A sous vide kit for the crock pot

-A kitchenaid mixer

-And a secondhand Honda.

Sure, it's not automated. But the kit above will do most of what the Thermomix does, and will also drive me to the airport.

That said, devices like the Thermomix are generally intended for small volume sales. This results in huge overhead for the manufacturer, increasing the price per unit, and an enormous retail mark-up - as high as 100%. Build them by the million and sell them through Amazon, and the same product could just as easily be $700.

Its blades also stir in Reverse mode, food processor does not do that.

It works like a blender with things that don't blend completely in a food processor.

It cooks at a higher temp than the crock pot and it steams so you would have to add a rice cooker/steamer to your list. And the fact that one thing can be cooking at high temp in the bottom and another item be steaming in the Varoma basked on top, which a rice cooked can't do.

It kneads bread much, much better and more volume than the standard size food processors.

You didn't include the price of a kitchen range with thermostatic controls to maintain proper temperature WITHOUT CONSTANT ATTENTION.

And for people with minimal kitchen space, where all those other appliances would not fit, it is ideal.

And it being almost self-cleaning, (the Vita Mix does this but most blenders do not).

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 1 month later...

Just saw this in a shop: Thermo Chef

It cost $795 (Australian) - much cheaper than the Thermomix....

It looks like a Thermomix knockoff. Doesn't have any specific information (i.e. scale measurement, temperature increment) so I don't know how it compares to the Thermomix.

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Just saw this in a shop: Thermo Chef

It cost $795 (Australian) - much cheaper than the Thermomix....

It looks like a Thermomix knockoff. Doesn't have any specific information (i.e. scale measurement, temperature increment) so I don't know how it compares to the Thermomix.

Would be interesting to do a side by side. Looks very much like the older TM 21.

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There is a topic about the ThermoChef on Forum Thermomix

On page 4 of the topic there is an extensive report about it by Therminator.

Lower down on that page is a report by maddy about a demo on a TV show.

On page 6 is a report from Belle75 about a demo she had.

And from Marie2mil a report after purchasing the machine.

There are other notes and then on page 12 a report from stacelee who has the Thermomix, ThermoChef and the Kenwood Cooking Chef.

The main objection I would have is that it does not have a reverse function, which I use often so the blades do not cut into the food being cooked.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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There is a topic about the ThermoChef on Forum Thermomix

On page 4 of the topic there is an extensive report about it by Therminator.

Lower down on that page is a report by maddy about a demo on a TV show.

On page 6 is a report from Belle75 about a demo she had.

And from Marie2mil a report after purchasing the machine.

There are other notes and then on page 12 a report from stacelee who has the Thermomix, ThermoChef and the Kenwood Cooking Chef.

The main objection I would have is that it does not have a reverse function, which I use often so the blades do not cut into the food being cooked.

Ah, so it is more like the TM 21. Does it have a knead function? I notice all the 'attachments' for it relate to pizza so they must be thinking of it for dough.

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I was investigating getting a ThermoChef quite seriously but didn't because of lack of space and it not really fitting with my cooking style (I know, the style fits the equipment but that was my decision).

It appears from my readings that once someone makes the decision to purchase a Thermomix in Australia, they seem to get almost evangelical about it. Given the cost here, I can see why this happens but it makes gaining objective comparisons very difficult.

The forum that andiesenji mentioned above is actually a good source if you can sort out the objective (few) from the subjective (many). I'd recommend reading the posts in there by Stacelee (eg. this one). She compares the two directly and apparently fairly.

Bottom line of my research was that the ThermoChef is very similar to an earlier version of the Thermomix (the TM21). It is less powerful that the current Thermomix and doesn't have a reverse function (although it does have a plastic cover for the blades, which at low forward speed gives similar results).

To me, the bottom line was the price for features. At around $2000 for the Thermomix versus $800 for the ThermoChef, to my mind there is not sufficient difference to justify purchase of the Thermomix. Had I decided to purchase one or the other, I would have picked the ThermoChef. For balance on this opinion, check out this review, just remember that it was written by someone who had already purchased a very expensive Thermomix.

On the other hand, if you decide to spend $2K, you could always get a professional machine for a bit more.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I've owned cars that cost less than a Thermomix.

I've owned cars that cost less than my Sunbeam Mixmaster - so?

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Good one that. I'm in the same category - and I have owned several vehicles that cost more than the first house I owned. Last summer I gave away an espresso machine that cost much more than the TMX and was not as versatile. It's all in the eye of the beholder.

I don't use my Thermomix as much as most of the avid enthusiasts on Forum Thermomix, but I use it enough to make it worthwhile for me to own.

If I had to justify the cost I would be unable to show a clearly defined justification but comparing it to the ThermoChef doesn't work for me. I simply have never been able to settle for "second-best" when it comes to things like this. If I can't buy top of the line, I wait until I can, unless that category only includes accessories for which I have no use.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Oh, I'm not making anything out of it. It was just an observation. I've never used a Thermomix and can't comment on its utility in my kitchen. I don't think I'd use it enough to justify the expense, that and having to find room to store it.

It's the same way I think of sous vide. It looks interesting and all, but I don't have the money to get invested in it or the room it requires.

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Oh, I'm not making anything out of it. It was just an observation. I've never used a Thermomix and can't comment on its utility in my kitchen. I don't think I'd use it enough to justify the expense, that and having to find room to store it.

It's the same way I think of sous vide. It looks interesting and all, but I don't have the money to get invested in it or the room it requires.

But you don't store it as it stays on the counter, does not take up much space, looks good and gets used practically every day!

I know it cost a lot but if you can afford it it's worth it, as the machine is well engineered and high quality. My TM31 over 4 years old, only issue is I've worn most of the numbers off the front. When I've talked demonstrators about why not on general sale, firstly response is it's not something people "GET" without a demo, also if you know retail then you'll know the mark-up on electrical goods in retail etc my guess is they would charge any thing from 50 - 500% more. Anyway after my Thermomix purchase a collegue soon decided to get a TM21 for themselves, another a purchased a TM21 and just upgraded to the TM31. In the 8 desks around and inc me there are now three thermomixes and we're all happy with them. I wish i'd had one as a student :-)

As for sous vide try some experiments in ziplock bags and water monitored with a thermometer, you can get some great results in a short time if your using fish.

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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  • 3 years later...

I got an email this morning that the TM5 is now going to be sold in the US, which, of course, got me to looking into them again. Are those of you who own them still in love with them and using them regularly? I have a couple other large counter top toys (Instant Pot, Airfryer) that have been added to my kitchen Arsenal and are being stored downstairs, as all are BIG. This would definitely fall into that category, as I just don't have room for them on my counters permanently. I guess the good news is that carrying them up and down stairs burns off at least a couple calories.  :/

 

"There are no mistakes in bread baking, only more bread crumbs"

*Bernard Clayton, Jr.

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