Who doesn’t have too many small appliances cluttering up their kitchen? They all seem like a great idea at the time: That high speed blender will make all your smoothies. The rice cooker will get used every week. A food processor will lead you to cook more meals at home, and that hand-blender will take care of salad dressings and whip cream… and don’t even get me started on air fryers, smart ovens and smart toasters. They all end up taking up space, and emptying your wallet and they probably don’t get used as often as they should. Enter the Thermomix TM6. I recently upgraded my older model Thermomix TM5 to the TM6, because I’m a fan of this technology.
The Thermomix TM6 is billed as kind of an ultimate all-in-one cooking robot. But what is it, exactly, what can it really do, is it truly useful and what makes it so?
In this review I’ll tell you what it’s like to own one of these smart cooking robots, how it integrates into your life, as well as about the improvements to the TM6 over the TM5—which are actually substantial.
At A Glance: Thermomix TM6
Easy to Use
Value for Money
Thermomix is a capable, handy kitchen robot that can replace most small appliances.
- 20 kitchen functions in one
- Easy to use
- Recipes are great, lots of variety
- Large footprint
What is Thermomix?
In a nutshell, Thermomix is a kitchen appliance that looks like an oversized food processor that’s been bred with a huge blender, though this device is a lot more than that. It has the ability to connect to thousands of online recipes, and it will guide you through cooking all of them step by step, measuring ingredients, and doing all the chopping, prep and even the cooking in this one device. It’s pretty shocking actually, what this machine can do.
What can Thermomix do?
Let’s go over the highlights, and we’ve all heard those pitches: It dices! It chops! It whips! And it stirs! This magical do-it-all wizardry is the fodder of late-night infomercials. But in this case it’s no sales pitch.
The Thermomix TM6 can blend, puree and liquefy, it can also chop, grate, beat, whip, knead dough and shred. It can peel vegetables or garlic, and Thermomix also has some other properties that will blow your mind; it can steam vegetables and fish, cook rice, and make creamy risotto, sauté onions and garlic, weigh your ingredients, make you a salad, and even go as far as cooking not just a dish, but an entire meal.
Oh, did you think I was done? No… it can ferment, sous vide, cook eggs and work as a kettle. Oh, and it will wash itself too.
What do you get with a Thermomix?
The Thermomix sits on a base, which does require a plug. The base houses the computer guts, heating elements, and the safety technology that keeps everything safe while your cooking. On top of the base sits what’s called the mixing bowl, which looks like a giant jug with a handle, and inside is a sharp blade. Inside is a lidded simmering basket for steaming veg or making rice. A lid goes on that and it has a removable stopper called the measuring cup.
You can use the included whisk attachment over the blade for gentler tasks.
You’ll also get the Varoma basket which works when you remove the measuring cup and place it on top of the lid; this 3-piece, two layer steamer basket is used for steaming fish, or even baking cakes, and it can handle multiple different foods inside.
Thermomix TM5 vs Thermomix TM6: what’s the difference?
Now is a good time to talk about what’s new on the Thermomix TM6.
The new Thermomix TM6 uses the same basic design as the TM5 (and you can read my full review of Thermomix TM5 here), with the same blade, same bowl design and same motor, but it’s important to mention the bowl is not swappable between models (due to different electronic connectors in the base.
While the TM5 had 12 kitchen functions, the TM6 is now able to do 20.
Now with Wi-Fi
The older Thermomix TM5 needed small recipe chips or magnetic discs installed in order to use the guided recipes. The new TM6 has Wi-Fi built in, so instead of needing to load specific recipe “books”, you get automatic access to the entire Thermomix recipe library. And while access is automatic, you do need to pay a yearly fee for the “Cookidoo” recipe library; it’s $69 CAD or $55 USD a year. There’s also a Cookidoo app and website where there are thousands of recipes available. You can even create or tweak recipes to your own tastes and safe them for future reuse.
New Blade Cover/Peeler
There are a few more features on the TM6 that are also new, and one that I fell in love with right away is the blade cover-slash-peeler. I’ll show you this little slice of amazement in a minute…
Higher heat, longer heat times
The TM6 also has a higher heat mode than the TM5; it’s gone from a max of 120 degrees to 160. It also allows for longer heat times so you can sous vide (cook using a warm water bath) or ferment too.
Larger colour display
The TM6 has a much larger display screen, and adds colour for the first time.
Improved measuring cup, lid, simmering basket, spatula
The measuring cup, which acts as a lid stopper is now rubberized and fits tightly instead of knocking around as the pervious version did, and the steamer basket now also has a lid. It also comes with measurements on it, a strange omission in the previous version.
Finally the spatula has a bit more of a flexible rubberized tip, and the lid on the Varoma steamer basket is now opaque instead of clear. (I actually kept my old one).
How does Thermomix work?
Despite the somewhat intimidating amount of functions, the Thermomix is easy to use.You simply choose a recipe, and the bot walks you through what to do; it handles the order of tasks, timing, all the measuring, stirring, speed and fine tuning. You just add ingredients and follow its instructions.
Cooking with Thermomix
Perhaps the best way to show you what Thermomix can really do is to cook with it. I made more than a dozen recipes with my TM6.
Let’s start with the first one: risotto.
Anyone who’s ever made risotto from scratch knows it’s hard; it requires constant stirring and careful attention. For that reason, Thermomix risotto is somewhat legendary because it’s able to achieve the perfect risotto creaminess and texture, while remaining toothy.
Making it in the Thermomix is easy. The first thing you do is freshly grate parmesan. The Thermomix is very adept at this task, able to shred to a fine degree. The cheese gets set aside and then onions and garlic are sauteed in the bowl. Some broth, rice and a bit of time circulating around the Thermomix and in about 30 minutes you have restaurant-quality risotto.
I really wanted to try dough so next up I found a reciope for pretzel buns. The dough comes together really well and the machine has a kind of on-off mixing style ththat produces a quick dough. When thaty’s done, you wrap it in parchment and proof it in the Varoma basket for a few minutes. The final steps are boiling the dough in baking soda water then baking them in the oven.
One thing to note; not all the recipe steps necessarily take place inside the Thermomix. You may also need your oven, or stove.
The pretzel buns came out soft, tasty and chewy.
Butter chicken was my next challenge and the recipe I chose, while not to my taste and seasoning (I found it a bit bland, to be honest) came together well and I had a bowl full of butter chicken in about 35 minutes.
I also made butter. I had some cream that was never going to get used, and found a recipe for making a quick butter from it. Into the bowl and a few seconds on high and there was beautiful fresh butter plus a side of buttermilk! From there I squeezed the buttermilk out of it and left it to drain, then pressed it into a usable block using a Tupperware as a mold.
Making cocktails in Thermomix!
Cruising around the Cookidoo app one evening looking for inspiration, I found some cocktail recipes and immediately loaded a blackberry gin cocktail called the Blackberry Bramble. This essentially turns your Thermomix bowl into a defacto giant cocktail shaker and makes it easy to whip up fun drinks.
The machine made a beautiful violet sipper that was a fun change from our usual glass of wine.
Peeling vegetables & garlic
Another feature I fell head over heels for is the peeling. As I noted earlier, the new TM6 has an optional Blade Cover/Peeler insert. This wavy metal disc clicks over top of the blade and makes peeling just about anything a snap.
There’s a designated peeling program in the Thermomix, and you partially fill the bowl with water, then add potatoes, apples, carrots, beets or any hard vegetable or fruit you’d like to peel. The machine gently swishes the food around the bowl and after enough contact with the peeler, you’ll pull out ready to use food. The water in the bowl gets foamy, and the peels swirl around with the veg, so a quick rinse is all they need to be ready to use.
Making salmon, veg and sauce; an entire meal!
I also used the Thermomix to create an entire meal using just the robot, using a fantastic salmon recipe I found on the Cookidoo app. The first step is to create a spicy cashew relish, then to steam fish and vegetables together in the Varoma dish. Everything comes together in under 30 minutes and the sauce was so good it’s going to be a staple in my kitchen.
TM6: Created Recipes
One of the newer features Thermomix has is the ability to create or import your own recipes.
You’ll use the app or website interface to input the ingredints, measurements and steps, which is great for adapting family recipes to Thermomix.
On the website the page to add a recipe is straight forward. Add your ingredient list and measurements, then break down the steps. You can choose settings and options for temperature, speed and even from the cooking modes. The options are a bit daunting, so take my advice and create your recipe well before you want to use it.
Cleanup: a kitchen robot that cleans ITSELF
All the parts and pieces of the Thermomix are dishwasher safe, but one of the easiest ways to clean the basin is to add soap and hot water, then to run the motor for 10 seconds. It cleans the inside instantly! If you’ve got more stuck-on food, you can run what’s called the Pre-Clean Cycle… which is an odd name for something you do after it’s been used. Just choose this option, and walk away. The machine does its thing and after a few minutes will let you know when it’s clean.
The Thermomix TM6 has special Cooking Modes. These modes are essentially shortcuts to common functions and include:
- Egg mode
- Steamer (no blade movement)
- Rice cooker
- Pre-clean: deep clean cycle, times, adjusted to what’s made it dirty, and may use heat
To use these modes, make your choice and follow the prompts.
Who is Thermomix for?
Thermomix is great for a couple of particular users:
New or inexperienced cooks; since it guides you, pressure is off
Those just starting out, who need some appliances; with 20 functions, you don’t need more appliances
Busy professionals; surf recipes, add them to a shopping list, then load them up and cook
Overall review: Thermomix TM6
Overall, the new Thermomix TM6 is a major upgrade and a capable, helpful kitchen device. It can truly replace a lot of small appliances, and automate many kitchen prep and cooking chores. Plus, you can use it to cook a dish or a meal, and not have to worry about overcooking something. Simply saying it’s a capable, helpful and effective kitchen assistant doesn’t seem to do it justice.
On the downside, it’s quite expensive, but when you realize it can replace literally half a dozen other appliances (or prevent you from needing to buy them in the first place) it seems like it can more than pay for itself quickly. It may also be very large for some spaces.
In short, I can definitely recommend the Thermomix TM6 to you if you’re intimidated by cooking (you won’t be with a robot helper!), new to cooking or need timesaving help.
How much does Thermomix cost?
How do I get a Thermomix?
The Thermomix TM6 is available for purchase directly through thermomix.ca, and if you’d like a bit of guidance on using your device, you can request a special at home demo. Opting into a demo earns you free shipping on the bot.