kids

ROADTEST: I made a whole week of meals in a $2.2k Thermomix to see if it's actually worth it.

I’ve made my fair share of monumental screwups over the years, but accidentally tossing out an unopened, top-of-the-range Thermomix might just top the list. Especially as it wasn’t even mine. Even now, a couple of weeks on from the unspeakable event, I can’t think about it without cringing/crying/wanting to bash my head against the nearest wall. 

And it had all started so well. 

Side note: Here are some health benefits of eating chocolate. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

I’d always wanted to try out a Thermomix. The number of people I knew who swore by their Thermie – it’s changed my life; saved me a fortune; we finally eat together as a family; I actually make my own washing powder etc. 

But were they really that good or were they just trying to justify spending the cost of a small, well-used car on a kitchen appliance? I was itching to find out.

When the very nice PR from Thermomix asked me if I’d like to borrow one of their latest TM6 machines for a test run (I write about appliances for magazines from time to time), I jumped at the chance. 

A week later, it arrived. Along with a firm email recommending that I don’t start cooking with the machine until I’ve had a virtual demo with a Thermomix consultant who would take me through all the features and how to use them.

So while I was eager to rip that baby open and give it a whirl, I decided No, this time I would take the grown up approach. I would be patient. I would wait. I would give this much-revered machine the respect it deserves. 

Only it was one of those weeks. Kids, school, work, deadlines – they all piled up in an ugly heap and there wasn’t a minute to squeeze in the all-essential demo (translation: deep clean my kitchen before it’s viewed on-screen by a complete stranger). 

So I left the Thermomix unopened in its box in the corner of the hall where it would be safe from any kind of danger. Or so I believed. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Enter my husband. As it turned out, one of the other things I’d booked into that oh-so-busy week was a council kerbside collection of all the junk we had lying around the house. How efficient of me. So efficient, in fact, that I’d totally forgotten about it. 

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud, Mamamia’s podcast with what women are talking about this week. Post continues below.

Historically, council collections were something my husband and I did together, ie I bark instructions and he does the heavy lifting of toys/broken furniture and then we reward ourselves with a bottle of wine. Only this time for some unknown reason, he decided to be proactive (why, why?!) and put all the junk we had piled up inside the house out on the kerb himself while I was at the shops. 

As I drove in, he stood there proud as punch alongside a two-deep pile of boxes and broken garden furniture. I won’t lie; I was a little thrown by this sudden display of initiative, which I now believe may have stopped me from doing a proper kerbside inspection. But (as he continues to point out) I did check the pile. I gave it the thumbs up. We went back inside and carried on with our day. 

A couple of nights later when the kids were in bed I decided it was safe to take the precious Thermomix out of its box in readiness for the demo I’d finally booked in for the following morning. 

I go to the corner of the hall where I left it. It’s not there. A tiny fluttery feeling starts in my toes. Husband must have moved it to another room when he was sorting out the council clear up. 

I go to said room: nup, not there. 

The corner where it should have been. 

ADVERTISEMENT

He’s deep asleep at this point. 

“You threw out the Thermomix,” I whisper-screech into his ear. He opens an eye, mildly confused. Cocks his head. 

“That box near the door? Actually I did think it felt kind of heavy.” 

Cue shock, denial, crying, threats of divorce - the works. We (somehow) agree this was a shared f**k-up (not quite sure how we got there, but anyway...) and set about trying to think of what to do next. 

8am the next morning I’m on the phone to the council. When they give me the number of the local tip my hopes raise ever so slightly. Maybe this will be okay...

I speak to a lovely lady at the tip, tell her our tragi-saga... "is there maybe a room or area where all the junk gets stored for a day or so before it gets disposed of? Perhaps I can come and have a look….”

“Thirty minutes,” she says. Huh? “Every thirty minutes metallic and steel items go through our crusher.”

Right. So no chance of getting it back then. 

Worse still, now I was going to have to 'fess up to the PR. I mentally ran through all my options; fire, theft, self-combustion. But the shame was too much: I told her the truth.  

Long story short, she was incredibly understanding. So understanding, in fact, that she sent me a second machine to review a couple of days later. 

The box sat unopened (in a much safer spot with signs propped on top DO NOT TOUCH/OPEN/TOSS) for a week. I broke out in a sweat every time I walked by it.

After days of googling ‘Thermomix PTSD’ I decided enough was enough and it was time to lean into my fear. If a week of home-cooked deliciousness was to be my penance, so be it. I rolled up my sleeves and got cooking.  

So here’s how my week cooking with Thermie 2.0 went: 

Dish 1: Vegetable stock paste.

What was the cooking process like: Super easy. 

I basically bunged a load of vegies and herbs into the Thermie, which were then chopped and blended like magic. A few minutes later, out came a gloopy, flavourful vegetable paste. I’ve been adding a tablespoon to dishes all week for extra oomph.

Score: 10/10. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Dish 2: Meatballs with tomato sauce.

What was the cooking process like: When they say the Thermie is an all-in-one, they really mean it; with this recipe the machine chopped, sauteed and steamed – all in the one bowl. It was fascinating to watch and meant I only had a couple of things to wash up at the end. 

Score: If you can’t walk into Ikea with scoffing a few meatballs, you’ll love this recipe. Me, I can’t get enough of a good Allemånstratten, so these were a solid 8/10. My husband, not such a fan – he gave them a 4.

Dish 3: American-style pancakes.

What was the cooking process like: One of the nicest surprises about the Thermie was how it drew my cooking-averse 13-year-old daughter into the kitchen. She loved scrolling through the online recipes on Cookidoo (Thermomix’s recipe platform) and found it easy to follow the step-by-step recipes. This was the first one she chose, which we made together. 

Score: 10/10 all round. Yummiest pancakes I’ve ever made. 

Dish 4: Beef rendang.

What was the cooking process like: Curry-type sauces for me have only ever come in a jar, but with this recipe I made all the flavourings from scratch. The list of ingredients was long, but the results were a revelation – I might never go back to store-bought sauces again.  

Beef Rendang - I swear it tasted better than it looks.

Score: Mouthwatering deliciousness. 8/10 (only brought down because I couldn’t for the life of me find galangal at the shops). 

Dish 5: Salted caramel ice cream.

What was the cooking process like: I won’t lie – the 48 steps in this recipe scared the bejesus out of me. But most of them were pretty easy, such as ‘add the sugar’. 

ADVERTISEMENT

It ended up a two-day process, what with the freezing part, but it was a fun and straightforward little project for my daughter and I to do together. The end result tasted like actual ice cream and it was good knowing that no nasties went into it.

Salted caramel ice cream - just like the real thing! 

Score: 10/10. 

Dish 6: Quick fruit sorbet.

What was the cooking process like: My daughter did this one all by herself in just a few minutes after school and declared it “yumtastic”. 

Score: 10/10. 

Overall verdict

If I had a spare $2.2k kicking around I’d love to buy this machine. 

I have cupboards chock-a-block with rice cookers, slow cookers, electric scales and mixers, and the Thermomix would replace them all and more. 

I love how the machine holds your hand as you go step-by-step through the recipes, and it meant I ended up making things I’d normally never dream of (ie: salted caramel ice cream). 

Plus, you know, those people at Thermomix were so nice about my stupid, inexcusable f**k up, they really do deserve all my money.

Georgia Madden is an author, interiors writer and mum of two teenagers and three cats living in Sydney.

00:00 / ???