MacDonald from Thermomix USA says that the Thermomix TM6 is "22 major appliances in one" and that may only be a slight exaggeration. The Thermomix can easily replace a blender, food processor, stand mixer, coffee/spice grinder, slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer and more. So, if you have some of these items already you may be able to make space in your kitchen by getting rid of them. (Or you might feel that you don't need a device with so many features.)
The latest model inherited all of the "classic" Thermomix functions like mixing, steaming, blending, weighing, stirring, grinding, whisking, emulsifying, simmering, kneading, cooking and chopping.
But in addition to those functions, the TM6 features a host of useful new settings, including:
- sous-vide cooking for super tender meats and veggies
- a fermentation setting for yogurt and kimchi
- a high-temperature setting for browning food or creating caramels and other candies
- a handy kettle function for quickly heating water (to any temperature, not just boiling) for tea or coffee
MacDonald is a big fan of the new "egg boiler" setting, which can be programmed to make soft-boiled to hard-boiled and everything in between.
Some professional chefs keep a Thermomix in the kitchen exclusively for making finicky sauces like hollandaise that require lots of time and attention. MacDonald explains that the Thermomix blade continuously measures the torque created by a slowly thickening sauce and dings at the desired consistency.
One moment from the virtual product demo really brought home the unique gifts of the Thermomix. MacDonald offered to show us how to make bread dough (focaccia in this case) in the machine.
Instead of starting with packaged whole wheat flour, she decided to make her own. She poured whole wheat kernels into the mixing bowl and whirred the grinder up to full speed for no more than five seconds. She opened the lid to reveal freshly ground whole wheat flour, to which she added the other ingredients (white flour, yeast, salt, olive oil, water), pressed the "knead" function and produced a soft and squishy ball of focaccia dough, ready to rise and bake.
One of the biggest selling points of the Thermomix is that it connects via Wi-Fi to an online recipe platform called Cookidoo. Yes, it has a silly name, but Cookidoo is a rich resource for exploring everything that the fancy gadget can help you cook. MacDonald says there are 63,000 recipes in Cookidoo, the product of 50 years of developing and testing international recipes for the Thermomix.
Which brings us back to something we mentioned earlier, the integrated scale function. Americans, in particular, aren't accustomed to cooking by weight, but the Thermomix makes it incredibly easy. Instead of measuring each ingredient before you add it to the machine, you just toss in the broccoli, chicken stock, flour, fish filets, salt, oil, etc. until the Thermomix tells you to stop.
This enables something Thermomix calls "guided cooking." Simply choose a recipe in Cookidoo and follow the steps on the built-in display. The Thermomix automatically heats up to the right temperature or stirs at the right speed as you add each ingredient to its precisely measured weight.
"It teaches you how to cook if you can't cook, and if you can already cook, it's a fabulous aide," says MacDonald.
It should be noted: Access to Cookidoo requires an annual subscription, which some may find annoying after already dropping so much dough on this appliance.