This week I had the opportunity to attend a Thermomix demonstration. If you've never heard of it, it's a kitchen machine that combines a high-powered grinder with a heating element. It blends, grinds, mixes and cooks. I have a couple of friends who own them and now I've had a chance to see what the machine can do, and even helped use one to cook tonight's dinner.
Here are 5 reasons why I won't be buying a Thermomix (TMX) in the near future.
At just under $2000, this is a top-end machine that will take a long time to earn its keep. If you eat takeaway or restaurant food most nights, then yes, you would save money by cooking at home, but you don't need to spend two grand on a TMX first. Buying simple ingredients and cooking them yourself with cheap, basic kitchen tools will save you a lot of money, and other tricks such as using frozen vegetables or tinned fish (very nutritious), growing your own herbs and vegetables, and eating less meat will make your money go even further. Plus, I have too many other things that I want that $2000 for.
2. Crumbles are Ugly.
The TMX is an oversized, overpowered coffee grinder. Would you make normally make salad in a blender? No? Then don't try and convince me that a TMX can make a salad. To me, a salad needs to look good. Strands of finely grated carrot, soft tangles of shredded cabbage, paper thin slices of radish or sharp diagonals of shallot. Even a salad made using a food processor looks better than what the TMX can do.
3. I don't think it actually Saves Time
The TMX demonstration is a little bit misleading. The demonstrator arrives with a TMX and containers of ingredients that have been already prepared. They gloss over the fact that you still need to peel and chop many vegetables before they can go in the TMX - so where is it saving you time, exactly? It also has a relatively small capacity at around 2L - which prevents you from cooking in large batches. Give me a pressure cooker anyday. It actually reduces cooking time, AND my electric one doesn't require my supervision. You can get one for $100. May I also mention 90 second self-saucing chocolate pudding in the microwave?
4. I'm Sorry, I Can't Hear You
If you have a problem with noisy appliances, this machine is not for you.
5. It can't make Toast
Actually, there's lots of things it can't do. It doesn't bake or roast, it doesn't fry or stir fry. You can't put a whole chicken in it to make stock, or make a perfectly fried egg, sunny side up. It won't bake your muffins and it won't melt the cheese on your pasta bake. It won't do the washing up or the shopping, or help you decide what to cook for dinner.
All of these things won't bother people who already own one, and I'm not saying it's a bad machine, just that I don't feel that I can justify having one in my kitchen at the present time.
I found the Thermomix cookbook particularly amusing today. Can anyone explain to me why, if you had a Thermomix at your disposal, you would use tinned apricot nectar to make Apricot Chicken Risotto? Maybe I should write a cookbook...