Thermomix TM6 full review
Vorwerk's latest Thermomix model is the TM6, making it the sixth generation. We’ve had a chance to put the "20-in1" appliance into our kitchen and cook a few meals with it to see what the hype is all about.
Price & availability
The first thing to know about the TM6 is that it isn't cheap: it'll set you back a not-insignificant £1,099/$1,499 - so you'll want to be sure you're getting something worthwhile. Carry on reading and you'll see that it really is worth the money.
You can also only buy it direct from the company itself. If you're in the US you can just buy it from the Thermomix website, but if you're in the UK like us you'll need to actually book a demo session from the company. That may sound like a hassle, but it's a good chance to test the Thermomix out for yourself and make sure that it's for you.
For more clever kitchen tech, check out our dedicated guide to the best smart kitchen gadgets.
Chopping, cooking, and more
So what does the Thermomix TM6 actually do? For the uninitiated, this is a kitchen assistant. It can't be pinned down into one category.
The Thermomix has a heating element, hence 'Thermo', and a motor for fast or slow blending and stirring, which is the 'mix' part. These two functions combined allow the Thermomix to simultaneously carry out steaming, emulsifying, blending, precise heating, mixing, milling, whipping, kneading, chopping, weighing, grinding and stirring. It has a weighing scale built in as well, with a measuring range from 1 to 3000g, in 1g increments.
You might not be familiar with the Thermomix line, either because of the eye-watering price tag or the fact that you can only order one via a visit from a Thermomix representative. Or maybe you’ve just never heard of these things.
The brand has been around for quite a while and the TM6 is the company's 10th model, which brings a few new features to the kitchen table. Those include a larger touchscreen display, and options for slow cooking, sous vide, and even fermentation.
Perhaps more importantly, the TM6 also integrates the Cookidoo online service. This required a small cook-key device to be purchased separately in the past, but, as the TM6 now has built-in Wi-Fi, it is no longer required.
Cookidoo includes a database of over 50,000 searchable recipes, in full colour. It allows you to create personalised recipe collections and plan out your weekly meals, and can even automate your shopping list for you. It does come with a cost though: the service is subscription-based and costs an additional £30/$40 a year, though you do get a one-month free trial. If you’re not willing to spend the extra cash, the Thermomix does come with about 200 popular recipes on board.
Design & build
Built from high quality plastic and stainless steel the Thermomix unit and its accessories feel tough and should withstand regular kitchen usage for quite a while. The unit is heavy at 7.95kg and quite large at 32.6 x 32.6 x 31cm, so be prepared to have a bit of space on your kitchen counter as well as storage for the accessories.
The base unit has a turning dial and a new 6.8in colour touchscreen, which works quite well. The unit comes with the same 2.2 litre stainless steel mixing bowl as the previous model, as well as a varoma plate, a simmering basket with lid, splash guard, butterfly whisk, a measuring cup and spatula - which are all dishwasher safe. Oh, and there's a Simple Ideas cookbook too, in case you prefer good old-fashioned paper.
Although the latest model of the Thermomix puts the emphasis on its step-by-step Guided Cooking - where you follow the recipe instructions from start to finish - it does also have dedicated modes for some specific functions, if for example you need to quickly use the blender. These are found by swiping the screen to the right and include the Scale, Dough, Turbo, Pre-clean, Kettle, Blend, Slow Cook, and more.
Swiping the screen to the left will take you to the main menu where you will find your saved recipes, recently cooked recipes as well as your weekly planned meals (if you’ve used the Cookidoo website to set this up) as well as settings and a help menu. You will find the full instructions manual here as well - handy in case you lose the printed version.
So what’s it like? Well we have to say, it’s very easy and enjoyable to use. Set-up was simple and after a few moments and a quick firmware update (which happens automatically, once you’ve got Wi-Fi working) we were up and running.
Searching through recipes is very easy and fun, especially on the coloured screen, and kids also loved helping out with the cooking because the TM6 is such a great-looking gadget..
You can use the search function to type in exactly what you’d like to cook or go through categories, if you’re not sure what you’d like to eat. You can also search recipes by tying in individual ingredients that you might have in your kitchen already, or excluding ingredients you might not have handy.
All of the recipes we’ve tried were from the Cookidoo service. Although they claim there are over 50,000 of them this includes all recipes in all languages, which means that you might be limited to only those that are in English - though there are still plenty. However, if you can read another language, you will have access to even more (more exotic) recipes in that language as well. It would have been nice to see those foreign recipes translated into English though.
Almost everything you cook in the Thermomix is placed into the mixing bowl, which houses four removable blades at the bottom. The built-in scale measures the amount of ingredients you are adding into the bowl. If something needs to be chopped, stirred or warmed up, you're asked to place the top lid on. A pair of arms built into the unit lock the top lid in place before any mixing or cooking takes place. The lid does have an empty centre (usually kept closed by the measuring cup accessory) which does allow stream to escape for certain cooking techniques as well as when using the varoma plate for steaming food.
It's easy to use, even for a beginner, and really does speed up the process of cooking- as it will basically do all the most tedious parts of the cooking process for you, especially weighing and measuring ingredients. Don't forget, too, that because you're cooking from scratch, with raw ingredients, the meals are healthier, and don't have preservatives.
The main strength of the Thermomix is that it takes the worst parts of cooking - both the mundane and the fiddly - and simplifies them for you, with impressive results. With that in mind, the TM6 is even better than previous models, with more modes, better precision, and a vast - and growing - database of recipes.
It might not be the absolute best appliance for every single task, but it's a jack-of-all-trades, capable of doing the majority of different cooking types well enough to relegate the bulk of your kitchenware to the cupboards.