Haven't we all fallen for an advert for one or other kitchen gadget that promises to do everything? We fork out for it, open the box with joy and anticipation, and perhaps even use it for a few weeks before it becomes an annoying kitchen dinosaur that's too hard to operate, open, clean or whatever reason that we end up not using it. I was really concerned that the Thermomix from Vorwerk would be the same, but I did not expect for a moment that it would change my entire kitchen-slash-cooking life in just one week.
The Thermomix is an all in one machine. It replaces more than half the gadgets cluttering up the kitchen.
The Thermomix weighs with built in scales that can be set to zero after each addition. It grates nuts, cheese, parmesan and chocolate in about 3 seconds.It mills rice, grains and other pulses to flour in seconds. It makes icing sugar out of regular sugar in seconds - and I mean 3 or 4 seconds. It purees vegetables, and blends soups and smoothies and milkshakes, it cooks, boils and simmers too. Fried onions take 3 minutes, perfectly steamed fluffy rice takes 16 minutes, a risotto takes 20 minutes. Whip cream in 1 minute, make butter in 3. Knead dough for bread, cinnamon scrolls, bread rolls in under 4 minutes. Temper chocolate at 37 degrees. It steams vegetables to perfection, better than my three-tier steamer.
The Thermomix doesn't bake, and doesn't slice or julienne. It also doesn't deep fry, but it does everything else.
I had the great fortune to be able to borrow one for a week, and I am totally and utterly sold on it. Truth is I'd been eyeing them out on Youtube for two years, and lusting after them at friend's houses, so I was really keen to do a practical test and see if it really is all that, and you know what: it is.
We try to eat whole foods, and most of the time I cook from scratch. We also dabble in gluten free cooking - I say dabble because I find gluten free to be an extremely difficult way of living, especially when it comes to chocolate brownies! Cooking from scratch is always more time consuming though - or at least, it was.
A couple of weeks ago I spent an entire day, three dishwasher loads, and pretty much every pot and pan in the house on preparing 12 portions of food for a friend who was due to have her baby. I had planned to give them enough that she didn't need to do any cooking for a few weeks. The week I had the Thermomix, I spent no more than an hour a day in the kitchen, making our meals each evening, and also making meals for someone else. In 6 days - translate that to about 6 hours of cooking time - I made six meals for four adults, and NINETEEN freezer meals for two adults. That is phenomenal in my book.
The first thing I made was a salty stock to use in place of stock cubes, then I made two soups inbetween putting the kids to bed. Then I made a curry, another curry, a stew, a bread, cinnamon scrolls, steamed veggies and rice - the list goes on and on.
I borrowed the Thermomix for 1 week. I didn't get anything free for writing this review, and I didn't get paid for it. I gain absolutely nothing by saying nice things about this machine, but even at £885, I can't think that it's anything but worth it!
Especially if you deal with food allergies. If you cook with hazelnut flour, for example, you can buy 200g bags of hazelnuts from Tesco - surely not your cheapest option - for what amounts to £8.95 a kg. We buy hazelnut flour from a healthfood distributor for £13.98 a kg. So by buying the nut and milling our own flour in under 10 seconds, we save almost £5 per kg! Our healthy peanut butter - no added sugar or other additives - costs £7 per kg, whereas a kg of peanuts is £5.45. That's another £1.55 per kilogram that we save. I looked at our regular food order and found that by buying the whole product and milling, chopping, grating, etc, ourselves, we'd be able to save on average £50 - £80 per month, meaning in just over a year, we'd have made up the cost of the machine! There's a costing on their website showing similar savings, but I haven't checked them myself.
From a time perspective I've also found the 'savings' to be fantastic. I can put food in, get it going and walk away. The timer stops the food, regulates the temperature and prevents burning. It's constantly stirring, so nothing gets burned to the bottom. I've even cooked whole pieces of chicken and sausages in it, and they've not been broken up or torn in the cooking. I put the ingredients for a bread in every morning, and we eat breakfast while it rises, then pop it in the oven, and we've had fresh bread or rolls for lunch every afternoon, free from preservatives, additives or chemical enhancers, which is really the best I can offer my children.
- There's no shortage of 'good' things in the review above.
- It's also a total god-send for nutbutters, dairy free milk and a general raw food diet.
- It uses opposing magnets to power it, rather than a motor, so no chance of burning out.
- It costs an absolute fortune, and I can totally understand why people are scared of the price tag. It's taken me two years to get to the point of buying a Thermomix - despite the fact that they have some really good payment plans, and the occasional interest free offer too.
- I honestly think if they offered some kind of loan scheme they'd probably sell a lot more, because being able to try it for myself and see it in action in my life and my kitchen has swung the vote for me entirely from 'will it be a wonder machine' to 'how do I live without you'!
- Also, it really bugs me that you can only buy from a consultant, rather than in a shop. It gives Thermomix a bit of a gimmicky feel, and puts it in the category of Tupperware. It's so much better than that!
Will I buy one? Definitely. First chance I get. I've already spoken to a consultant. For my husband the winning thing is the decluttering of the kitchen. For me, it's everything else. It loses points on the price, but its worth it, regardless. I don't 'get' anything for saying how much I love this machine, I just love it so much, I can't help saying it!