With a $1,499 price tag, the Thermomix TM6 is not just a splurge, it’s a commitment. However, if you’re a fan of geeked-out, do-it-all kitchen appliances, the German-made Thermomix is the best of them all.
Launched in the 1970s, this all-in-one kitchen helper has long been a cult favorite in Europe and Australia, but it’s only been available in the US for about five years. A pimped-out, smart appliance that can replace most of what you may already have littering your countertop and/or shelves, it does everything from chop to blend, knead to stir, cook to steam, with a total of 24 cooking modes. It also has a built-in scale that magically weighs and measures your ingredients, and a touchscreen that walks you through your recipes step by step.
I spent a few weeks putting the Thermomix TM6 through its paces in my kitchen, and I was completely blown away. As an avid home chef, I was thrilled with the ease of creating all types of meals, especially crowd-pleasers like risotto, chicken cacciatore and shepherd’s pie (thanks to the newest accessory, which actually peeled my potatoes) — and as an anxious baker, I reveled in my new ability to make gorgeous breads, cakes, pies, pizza and even bagels. But it was also a snap to whip up things like almond butter, oat milk, whipped cream and all types of smoothies, soups, dips and spreads.
A well-designed champion of a machine, there is nothing else like it on the market today. However, as much as I adored using it, it also prices out most average users, making even the lofty VItamix look inexpensive in comparison.
Is the Thermomix TM6 worth it for you? Here’s what you need to know before you plunk down the cash for this Cadillac of kitchen appliances.
The Thermomix TM6 is a do-it-all smart kitchen workhorse that will replace a litany of larger, bulkier appliances like a stand mixer, blender and food processor. Not only does it mix, chop, knead and even cook your food, it also weighs all your ingredients right inside the bowl. That means less mess and an easier cleanup. Plus, it will expand your horizons on what you prepare, helping even the most bashful cooks and bakers find their inner Julia Child.
When asked to explain the Thermomix TM6, I’m always temporarily flummoxed.
“Well, it does EVERYTHING” is what comes to mind. But that doesn’t do the trick. So, let’s start at the beginning.
A massive space saver, easy setup and a simple recipe aggregator
As an apartment dweller, space has always been a large consideration when adding appliances to my kitchen. For instance, when I decided on an Instant Pot and Braun TriForce blender, I had to forgo a stand mixer and food processor. C’est la vie. But the Thermomix TM6 supplants all of these things as the one product to rule them all. And though this is a necessity for my home, I’d counter that even those with a spacious country kitchen will appreciate having a single go-to appliance for the bulk of workhorse duties.
Once I had it physically set up and plugged in, I connected it to the internet, downloaded the app and logged in to the official Thermomix recipe platform, goofily named Cookidoo. This is nonnegotiable because the bulk of what you’ll make will live here, and it will cost you $55 per year.
But, in return, you’ll have access to more than 60,000 trusted, tested recipes, which you can search using the app, a laptop or even the onboard touchscreen. Need to get rid of that haul of summer tomatoes from the farmers market? You’ll find a wealth of dishes to create, such as a tomato tart tatin, tomato bread pudding or essence of tomato water shots if you’re feeling quirky.
You can also save individual recipes or create collections, which makes it simple to find and go back to favorites. I have a Basics collection, with simple recipes like brown rice, gazpacho and hummus, and a Baking collection with things like my beloved bagel recipe, strawberry shortcake and pizza dough. After weeks of perusing Cookidoo, I have yet to be disappointed with the quality of a single recipe.
In addition to the mixing bowl with included blades, you get a litany of included attachments to use for different recipes. This includes a few steaming bowls that sit on top of the machine and a whip and whisk attachment that slides over the blade (that nifty potato peeling blade is sold separately).
Thermomix also offers an individual Zoom call to every customer to help you get a grip on the different ways to use it. At first I wasn’t sure I’d need the instruction, but after a solid fail trying to make bread dough on my own with no direction, I was thrilled to have someone walk me through the basics. In addition to showing me how to use the machine’s digital dials on the touchscreen, which lets you control the blade speed, time and heat, we also cooked a basic risotto recipe. And this is where my inner cooking life went from black and white to technicolor.
It all started with a knob of aged Parmesan cheese. To make grated cheese, the first step in the risotto recipe, I threw the chunk in the mixing bowl and turned the speed dial to 10 for 10 seconds. And for the first few seconds, it sounded like hail on a tin roof. Soon, however, the Thermomix was purring, and when I lifted the lid and peeked inside, I was met by gorgeous tufts of snow-colored cheese. The entire recipe took 30 minutes, and included chopping and sautéing garlic and onions, cooking the wine and simmering it all with the rice. All this happens inside the Thermomix and with no measuring cups, pots or pans to clean up after.
From my first risotto, I was hooked. I immediately went back to my failed bread recipe, which was a cinch now that I understood how to use the dials. The Thermomix warmed the yeast and water, and after I added the flour, it kneaded it into dough (yes, it actually KNEADED it), then fermented the entire thing in a separate basket placed on top of the mixing bowl. I even had my 14-year-old son execute the second part of the recipe, punching the air out of the dough, placing it in a casserole dish and throwing it in the oven.
I’ll be honest: Baking has always felt unnatural. It’s too precise, it’s too messy and ever since I brought a half-raw carrot cake to a dinner party, I’ve left the cookies and cupcakes to the professionals. But the Thermomix offered me newly found courage to get past these neuroses, and I proceeded to turn out fluffy biscuits, flavorful blueberry muffins and my pièce de résistance: a half dozen everything bagels, which were snarfed up right out of the oven.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what the Thermomix can do. At first, I was all about planning my recipes, like a chicken paprikash or a Mexican creamed corn side dish. For the chicken dish, once I dumped the aromatics into the mixing bowl and set to chop, I only had to add tomato paste and chicken and use the stir feature to cook it all for 15 minutes. That’s dinner in an instant. The corn was even simpler, with the Thermomix chopping the garlic and chillies, then stirring and cooking them with the corn, for a total of six minutes.
I also made some staples in larger quantities, such as the simple hummus recipe with canned chickpeas and a vegetable stock paste, which I froze for future creations.
I then moved to recipes on the fly, trying the more freewheeling manual features you can find by swiping left on the touchscreen. When my 16-year-old asked for a smoothie for breakfast, I threw in a handful of berries, a banana, a dollop of almond butter, some milk and ice cubes. Then I found the blend feature, toggled it to level 10 and put it on for 45 seconds for a silky-smooth consistency. And when I wanted to get rid of my fresh summer veggies before they went bad, I mixed up yellow and green squash, onions, garlic, jalapeños and tomatillos, poured in some chicken stock and used the basic soup puree recipe to sauté, emulsify, blend and cook. Having that freedom to veer from the step-by-step recipes felt just as important for my kitchen creativity. Cookidoo lets you add your own recipes to your collections in case you want to try them again, though I didn’t bother to do so.
Finally, I was ready to test the $49 Blade Cover & Peeler, which Thermomix included but is usually sold separately. Like the rest of the accessories it fits right over the mixing bowl’s blades and claims to dial down your prep work by cleaning, scrubbing and even peeling your veggies. My husband was incredulous, so we cut up some potatoes, added some water and let ’er rip. Oh, the absolute joy of opening the cover to find cleanly peeled spuds. For anyone who has spent mindless hours on Thanksgiving readying the mashed potatoes, this is a splendid gift.
Last but not least, in addition to fewer extra bowls, pots, pans and measuring cups to deal with, the Thermomix also offers a quick cleanup. Just fill the mixing bowl with water, add a squirt or two of dishwashing liquid and press the Pre-Clean button. Got some sticky dough to deal with? There’s a setting for that as well. All in all, it takes approximately eight minutes, a quick rinse and your work is done, or you can just throw everything in the dishwasher if you’re feeling extra lazy.
Size and noise
The Thermomix is about the same size as a stand mixer, stand-alone air fryer or 10-quart Instant Pot, but unlike these products, you won’t want to store it in a cabinet. I use mine at least once a day most days, many times more. So, yeah, it will replace a bunch of different appliances in your kitchen, but you should still have enough space for it on your counter.
Another small quibble is the noise level of some of the functions, like grating that hard chunk of cheese, blending ice or soup, kneading dough or even some strange clunking sounds when cooking rice. Definitely not a deal breaker, but it’s something to keep in mind.
The whopping $1,499 price tag may keep the average home cook at bay, and that’s completely understandable. I’m pretty sure I paid less for my first used car. However, this is a one-of-a-kind product that may just change your life in the kitchen.
If you can’t plunk down the lump sum but simply must have it, Thermomix does offer flexible monthly payments through a partnership with Bread Financing.
There’s a reason that for decades now the Thermomix has racked up dedicated followers from cities around the world. Small kitchens need big ideas for space-saving appliances, which is why there are a handful of lower-cost, do-it-all alternatives to consider, though since this type of product has never really caught on in the United States, you may have to do some searching
CookingPal’s $999 Multo is a well-reviewed close competitor to the Thermomix, though that lower price means you won’t get a built-in LCD and will have to use the companion tablet to follow recipes, which for us isn’t as handy as the more compact all-in-one approach of the Thermomix. The ChefRobot seems to offer much of the same features for under $800, though professional reviews are sparse. Other lower-cost, close cousins of the Thermomix include the Cuisinart CompleteChef and the All-Clad Prep & Cook.
Of course, there are also other types of kitchen appliances that try to tackle multiple cooking tasks in the footprint of a single small appliance.
Most popular these days are multifunctional electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot Ultra multicooker with 21 preset temperature options and blenders with heating elements or friction cooking, such as the Ninja Foodi Hot & Cold Blender with 10 presets. These can’t do soup-to-nuts cooking that the Thermomix and its direct competitors can, but if you’re willing to do more prep they can let you prepare many dishes at a lower overall cost.
If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen like I do or you’re looking for a way to quickly and easily feed a family, the Thermomix TM6 is the most comprehensive and simple-to-use product available today. Not only will it allow you to purge your countertop and cabinets of other large appliances like a stand mixer, blender and food processor, but it is bound to inspire you to try more complex recipes.
With a built-in scale to measure ingredients, a 6.8-inch color touchscreen to walk you through each recipe and 24 smart cooking modes, from the basic chopping, mixing, sautéing and heating to the far-flung sous vide and fermentation, the Thermomix does everything but bake and serve your food. And because you have access to over 60,000 chef-tested recipes, your biggest problem won’t be finding something to create but choosing one at a time.
No, the Thermomix is not an absolute kitchen necessity. And yes, it’s expensive. But if you’re willing to splurge to make everyday cooking simpler, quicker and exponentially more fun, it may well be worth it.
And whatever you do, don’t forget to try the bagels (before they’re all gone).
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