It’s been four years since the Thermomix entered my life. Since then, that kitchen appliance with that price tag has gone from being an object of either infamy (gasp!) or obscurity (huh?), to having regular air time on national television. So while I think we can all agree that the mighty TMX has moved past being a fad, the question still remains for many people: Should I buy a Thermomix?
With Christmas coming up and the Thermomix likely to be on a fair few wish lists, I thought I’d bring up some points based on personal experience and observing other Thermomix users to help people decide if purchasing one will be money well spent (or not) for their household.
I think you’ll get the most out of a Thermomix if:
- You very much enjoy food, cooking and eating – The Thermomix is going to be most loved and used if you already spend a lot of time voluntarily in the kitchen. You’ll love how much this machine easily extends your capacity to make different types of food and more of it. The Thermomix encourages you to make things you’d ordinarily shy away from because of lack of time or experience. Sounds a bit cliched but the Thermomix is quite the empowering beast!
- You are time poor but want to ensure your family still eats healthily – I know the drill: It’s been a long day at the office and you literally only have 15 minutes to make dinner before heading out again. It’s tempting to turn to frozen pizzas but doing that two nights in a row seems a bit wrong. Let the Thermomix nourish your tribe with a hearty soup or curry. There’s usually a lot of leftovers to take to work or freeze for another emergency dinner.
- You (or your family) have food allergies or special dietary requirements – I know a lot of people are frustrated by the lack of commercially made nut or gluten free alternatives and/or aghast by the higher cost of such specialised food. Yes, it may take time for the Thermomix to pay for itself but you’ll have so much fun making your own seed or nut butters and alternative flours in the meantime. You name it, it can make it!
- You’d love to get more wild and creative in the kitchen but lack the confidence – It’s hard to whip up something extra amazing if you’re worried about burning pots, wasting food and disappointing hungry people. Some people may liken cooking with a Thermomix to painting by numbers but there’s nothing wrong with that! Thermomix cooking can be super complicated or super simple. For the less hands-on, it’s a great start point for making great food and avoiding feeling discouraged by kitchen fails.
- You are an avid baker and could easily bake something every day – I have certainly become a more active baker since buying a Thermomix. Whipping up a batch of cupcakes and cookies is a breeze. I don’t have to wait for my butter to come to room temperature so I can bake ASAP. What’s wrong with waiting for butter to soften? Nothing, but if you have a busy household, you know ‘later’ often turns into ‘never’. The Thermomix’s dough capacity is a tad smaller than a stand mixer but its kneading function is excellent so bread makers will take delight in that alone.
I recommend thinking twice about buying a Thermomix if:
- You have not attended or do not wish to attend a Thermomix demo – I know direct sales and related gatherings draw fear in the hearts of many but I can’t stress the importance of attending a Thermomix demo enough. Of course Thermomix consultants would love to make a sale but definitely not through hard-selling. It’s not a difficult machine to work out on your own but the demo is a comprehensive guide to what it does or doesn’t do, which is something every potential buyer should be fully aware of before ka-ching’ing (I made that up…).
- You are a habitual buyer of any new, whizz-bang gadget that comes on the market – I unashamedly fall into this category of consumer which is why I’m grateful I thought long and hard before committing to a Thermomix. Happily my TMX gets used way more than my PS3 but these days I love cooking more than Assassin’s Creed. However, if you don’t spend much time in the kitchen, put off buying a Thermomix for a couple of months. They’re not going out of fashion so please consider if any of the first five points I raised apply to you and your household.
- You are a competent but reluctant and unenthusiastic cook – Not everyone enjoys cooking. In fact, a lot of people hate it with as much passion as those who love it. The Thermomix will not make you love cooking if it’s just not your thing. You may dabble with a recipe or two from the accompanying Everyday Cookbook but it probably won’t miraculously turn you (or your loved one) into a domestic goddess or god.
- You are a traditionalist or ‘set in your ways’ where cooking is concerned – You are probably not going to get a lot out of the Thermomix if you are comfortable with how you currently cook and see no point in deviating from your tried and true ways. Never made a gluggy risotto on the stovetop? Then making a TMX risotto may not thrill you. Like anything, a period of adapting is also required and that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I guess the old adage of ‘if it ain’t broke’ does apply here, so if you find chopping vegetables therapeutic or take joy in watching Bolognese sauce simmer away quietly on the stove for hours, I suspect you’ll find the Thermomix more a nuisance than revolutionary.
- Your cuisine of choice is not compatible with Thermomix cooking – The Thermomix does a might fine job producing great tasting food but I’ll be the first to admit that some traditional methods cannot be identically replicated or done at all with the TMX. I might raise the ire of some consultants but frankly, the Thermomix doesn’t fully replace a wok for stir frying, nor can it beat a stovetop or slow cooker for recipes that require a long, gentle simmer. If most of the things you cook every day require slow cooking, deep or shallow frying, or cooking without moisture, you might not get much out of a Thermomix.
Ultimately, should you buy a Thermomix? I’d love to be an enabler and tell you to go for it but if any of the points I raised (for either argument) does strike a chord then please have a chat to other Thermomix owners (the Recipe Community has a great forum) and discuss at length. Please also feel free to ask questions to me here.
Without being that said enabler, I can wholeheartedly say that I’ve never regretted my purchase and it was worth the time it took to save up for it. It’s made me a better cook overall simply because I cook more often and I’m willing to experiment. I still cook via traditional methods but quite often, I might make dinner on the stovetop but dessert with the Thermomix. As I’ve always explained to people, the Thermomix is my kitchen helper; it make my life easier but I’m always in charge :)
(All images copyrighted to Vorwerk. Captions are all mine and made with tongue firmly in cheek.)