A TM5 review

Our Thermomix TM5 review

Thermomix TM5
Thermomix TM5

If you have been following this New Zealand blog it’s probably obvious we love our Thermomix.

In the past 100 days, any spare time, I have had, has been spent cooking with the thermomix. Creating this blog has stopped me from boring friends and family with our thermomix experiences. In NZ, the thermomix is not well known. So it has been exciting to see readers from all over the world click onto this blog and see how this machine has worldwide appeal.  To mark 100 diary posts and 100 days owning the thermomix, I wanted to summarise our thoughts about the thermomix TM5. As a first time new owner,  I am still amazed by what we have been able to produce in the kitchen with the thermomix. Not being a great cook, although have always loved baking, it has totally changed what we eat and how we eat. Our fridge and pantry are stocked with more fresh ingredients – nuts, seeds, whole grains homemade stocks, dips and raw salads. We have come to rely very heavily on the speed and convenience of having a thermomix. It definately has ignited a passion for cooking healthy whole food from scratch. We have made so many new meals with the thermomix that just for variety alone it has been worth it’s weight in gold.

What’s so great about the thermomix TM5? Well….it does do what they promise ( you can look at the thermomix websites for videos and product information, suffice to say it’s a well engineered, extremely powerful blender that does the job of probably five kitchen appliances)

  • First it’s a top notch high quality food processor. It’s milling power allows us to make icing sugar from sugar in seconds, flour from whole grains, nuts, and seeds in seconds . Love not having to buy icing sugar, caster sugar and being able to mill seeds, rice and nuts into gluten free flour is awesome.
    Gluten free bread
    Gluten free bread

    It crushes ice and fruit and vegetables to make smoothies in seconds.

    Green smoothie
    Green smoothie

    It is versatile enough to be used to chop salads in seconds or even a few sprigs of parsley or one clove of garlic or a block of cheese with no change in blades or equipment.

    Grating cheese
    Grating cheese

    We regularly make thermomix broccoli salads, beetroot salads, and coleslaws.

    Beetroot and pomegranate salad
    Beetroot salad

    They literally take seconds to chop in the thermomix with dressing  at the same time so they’re ready to serve straight away.. And dressings, mayonnaises, yoghurt, butter, nut milks can all be homemade easily in the thermomix.

    Brocoli salad
    Brocoli salad
  • It sautes, cooks, and steams. It makes short work of stocks, soups, stews, desserts, sauces like bechemal sauce, hollandaise sauce, cheese sauces, chocolate ganache, custards, jams are touchscreen guided recipes fail and foolproof, no stirring or standing by the stove.
    Creamy custard
    Creamy custard

    Boiling pasta is easy, add pasta and boiling water, set the timer and walk away.

    Boiling pasta
    Boiling pasta

    The thermomix- made vegetable and chicken stock pastes are our kitchen staples, additive free and made from pure ingredients you chose yourself, better than store bought with exceptional taste.

    Chicken stock
    Chicken stock

    And nutritious soups like vegetable,  our favourite leek and potato soup, mushroom soups are delicious  and fast to make with the thermomix.

    Red lentil and sweet potato soup
    Red lentil and sweet potato soup
  • It’s a super fast kneading machine and is great for making doughs for any type of bread you care to find a recipe for, focaccia, pizza, scrolls, rolls, gluten free, pita, naan, pretzels and the list goes on.
    Pretzels
    Pretzels

    Most bread doughs only require between 2 – 3 minutes kneading in the thermomix and there’s no need to change blades or equipment.

    Annabel Langbein cinnamon buns
    cinnamon scrolls
  •  Possibly the top reason we love the TM5, it  comes with a recipe chip which is magnetically attached to the side of the machine.
    Basic recipe chip with second chip below
    Basic recipe chip with second chip below

    This basic chip contains 170 recipes that can be automatically called up and followed on the touch screen, making familiarising yourself with thermomix cooking so easy, just follow the instructions and keep pressing ‘next’. It’s like having an electronic  chef right there in your kitchen. Perfect for teaching kids or the less confident cooks how to produce a meal.

    Touchscreen recipe
    Touchscreen recipe
    Recipe Instructions
    Recipe Instructions

    A second chip is now available and there are more chips coming which is exciting.

    Mango and apple sorbet
    Pineapple sorbet
  • It has a self weighing function that allows you to weigh ingredients at any time even while cooking and the ability to zero off (tare)scales between ingredients, saving dishes and time.
  • Add some detergent and water and it can self clean with a few  turns of a dial.
  • With access to a huge online recipe community  http://www.recipecommunity.com.au meals  creating recipes for the thermomix, there are thousands of recipes to chose from, practically any recipe you can think of has been adapted for the thermomix, all with useful members comments, user star ratings and you can create your own online recipe collection to refer to, along with shopping lists, reminders,  and you can sort recipes by star ratings, author, comments, or ingredients.
  • There are many thermomix cookbooks and online blogs covering all types of cuisine so you can be further inspired to create new and interesting meals.
    Thermomix recipe books
    Thermomix recipe books

    You will never run out of new recipes to try and adapting your own family favourite is easy, just find a similar thermomix recipe online and adjust it for your own recipe ingredients and method.  Any special dietary requirements like dairy free, gluten free or vegan are well, caterered for within the online recipe community, with the recipe books, or online blogs. Our tendency to prefer paleo recipes is easy with the thermomix.

  • Set and forget… This feature of the thermomix is a fantastic. You can set the cook time, or the processing time and the thermomix turns itself off like your slow and fast cookers. Then you can leave the kitchen and do something else.
  • Reverse function, tap the screen icon and you can reverse the spin of the blades so it stirs instead of blending,  great for sauces, curries, stews and risottos.
  • With the butterfly attachment it can be used as a cake mixer, making meringue or pavlovas are a breeze. It whips the eggs whites, cream perfectly.

    Eggs whites whipped
    Eggs whites whipped
  • Designed with simplicity in mind, there is no need to change any blades for different recipes. The only attachments are a butterfly whisk and the varoma tray and dish which sit on top of the thermomix when in use.
  • Easy to operate, there are three touchscreen dials which dictate time, temperature and blade speed.
    Three touchscreen dials
    Three touchscreen dials

    With the guided recipes, following a recipe is as easy as 1.2.3.

  • Comes with excellent support from a single dedicated consultant. The thermomix is delivered with a personal demonstration of how to use it, and demonstration of vegetable stock. And the consultant is a available to contact if you face any issues. Thermomix hold courses regularly to inspire new or existing owners with new recipes to try.
  • It’s exciting new technology, touch screen, recipe chips, in this age of iPads, iPhones and digital devices, kids love it and can easily follow the recipes too. There’s a thermomix app to download in which you can search recipes too. So when you’re at the supermarket you can easily pull up a list of ingredients for a recipe.
  • It really comes into another dimension when you use the varoma cooking.
    Varoma tray
    Varoma tray on top

    Being able to cook several components at once is extremely useful for a busy home cooks. You can cook soup, pasta, or rice in the thermomix bowl while you cook vegetables meat or seafood in the varoma above.

What are our favourite recipes

We love to make focaccia bread, cinnamon scrolls, any kind of scroll, gluten free bread, pizza, pretzels, custard, gourmet icecreams, salads, soups, hummus, pesto, spice mixes, muesli,casseroles, curries, steamed buns, steamed fish, roast chicken, scones, biscuits, banana cake, muffins, sorbets, smoothies, my favourite green smoothies made from raw herbs, steamed vegetables and fruits and all the standards kids love  lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, macaroni cheese are much easier with the thermomix.

Soft butter rolls and pesto
Soft butter rolls and pesto
mint chocolate icecream
Gourmet mint chocolate icecream

We are constantly making dishes we’ve never made before and with so much less fuss. And we buy far less packaged goods because so many are better made in the thermomix. Its fun to be in the kitchen now.

Never fail scones made in a minute
Never fail scones made in a minute

Using the thermomix makes chopping, grinding, blending, stirring and cooking simple and fast. We’re even finding using the thermomix is easier than takeaways.  Found an amazing recipe for KFC chicken, using natural spices milled in the thermomix and used to coat chicken. It’s better than KFC, tastier, homemade and healthier!

KFC chicken spice mix
KFC chicken spice mix

What to think about

With Varoma cooking, food is steamed, the thermomix doesn’t replace the stove or oven. Having said that, there are some recipe books which use the thermomix in isolation for many meals. Because food is steamed at lower temperatures, it retains its nutritional value and there’s no added fat. If you’re looking to deep fry or fry at high temperature the thermomix won’t achieve that result. It is a different way of cooking and it’s really up to the cook to decide what you want to use it for. When making lasagne, we still pan fry our bolognaise and use the thermomix for the pasta and bechemal sauce, but this may change after we try Quirky cooking recipe for  bolognaise.  Post note: having tried the quirky cooking bolognese now, it’s now our go to bolognese and delicious made in the thermomix. See the spaghetti bolognese post in the home page for details and recipe link. When making breads or pizza, dough is prepared with the thermomix and the breads are still baked in the oven.

Gluten free pizza
Gluten free pizza

Our expectations for thermomix recipes are set quite high so when the results are not top quality, it’s a surprise, but most times the mistake or the difference is obvious, it’s still an ongoing learning experience but that is the beauty of cooking, not every dish will be exactly the same every time you make it and that’s exactly how new recipes are formed.  At the end of the day you’re using all raw or whole foods and  ingredients. Even with mistakes knowing this outweighs the minor irritation of not perfecting the result.

Negatives?

Price tag, it is expensive but compared to top blenders or cake mixers like kitchen aid and vitamix, it does so much more. We have so much more variety now, more whole foods, less additives in our food and  at the end of the day health is not something you can out a price on.

You do need time ….It does take some time to become familiar with all this machine can do; the Varoma steaming, bread making, emulsifying, blending and whipping. And if you’ve bought it to make cost savings and buy less packaged food,  you need to have time to stock your pantry with more raw ingredients and time to prepare these items and look at recipes etc. Its only now after three months full time use that we understand its capabilities. Being able to  invest some time to try as many recipes as possible to fully appreciate all it’s features and capabilities will be the key to fully utilizing a thermomix. I’m not sure it’s saved us any time in the past three months because we’ve become more inspired to try more recipes and are cooking from scratch constantly; and so  we all have probably spent more time in the kitchen than ever before. However the experience now is so much more rewarding. There’s something very satisfying about seeing your family eat and enjoy natural whole homemade foods.

Many times I’ve misjudged the power of the blades and so whilst having the blending power is fantastic, within two seconds I have often blended a salad into a dip or purée.

Sauté doesn’t brown, but I now increase the length of time an extra minute to make sure the onions are cooked and there’s no raw flavour.

The noise when you’re grinding at high speeds can be annoying but it’s a mild negative. Seeing the results from a noisy few seconds is enough  compensation. Super smooth smoothies, super fine nut or seed flours.

Does the thermomix take away from the joy of cooking?

Can you adjust recipes or guided recipes? Yes, once you become familiar with how the tm5 functions, you can make your own adjustments to recipes, often I will make substitutions or delete ingredients or even cook longer, blend less, or blend more depending on how the food looks or tastes or depending on what I have in my pantry or fridge. You can interrupt blending or cooking easily by depressing the speed dial and then you can open the lid to look at the food and make any adjustments you think necessary. So just like you would on the stove, you can open the lid and add something and carry on cooking but it does require a change in mindset. Those who  love the manual process of cooking and who love to chop their own onion and garlic by hand or stir by hand will not want a thermomix.  However you can use functions of the thermomix as much or as little as you prefer. Once you understand how this machine works you can start using your imagination to create new recipes or adapt your own favourites. Its a fantastic kitchen tool, expensive but amazing. Prepare for a food revolution.

Who would find this thermomix useful?

This would be a great wedding gift ,at a time when you hopefully may not have heavily invested in other equipment. It would be  so useful for busy parents with babies or young children. I would have loved to have had one when my children were babies. It’s definately the closest thing to having a extra pair of hands in the kitchen to make meals, baby food, purees, it cooks and blends at the same time . Bread can be left proving in the thermomix whilst you get on with other work. With the set and automatic turn off you can minimise time attending to pots and cooking.  The simple guided recipes and the huge Australian and worldwide community constantly sharing recipes and tips make this machine great for those just learning to cook,  and those with special dietary restrictions or food intolerances. There are specialised recipe books and online blogs and recipes dedicated to dairy free, vegan, gluten free diets.

I’m thinking back to when I would be home from work late at 6/7pm and dinner was the last thing I wanted to prepare, you just  wanted to eat fast simple healthy food or when you’re rushing out the door in the morning and haven’t time to eat. The thermomix is definitely great for people with time pressures. Tasty salads with whatever you have in your fridge take  seconds no hand cutting or chopping, a delicious homemade soup can be ready in the time it takes for a shower, a healthy dip or yummy smoothie can be whipped up from fruits, vegetables, herbs, seeds or nuts can be served in the time it takes to load the thermomix. Your fridge can easily be stocked with homemade stocks, jams, dips and dressings. You will be shopping in the fresh section of the supermarket and looking for natural whole ingredients more than the aisles so that you have the raw ingredients to hand.

I predict one day this kitchen tool or something like it, will become as standard a piece of equipment as having an oven or a stove. And we wouldn’t be without it now.

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