Thermomix Review – A Man’s Perspective
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Last Updated 28/02/2017
Thermomix – couple of thousand dollar black hole or most versatile appliance in the world? Now that I have experience as a house husband I’ve been hitting up the Thermomix a fair bit to help me with performing my household duties. So I can see for myself where my money went and I can write this review on my experience. Not quite as macho as my usual fishing and camping hobbies. I do wonder whether that qualifies me to call this article “A Man’s Perspective” or whether it should be “A bit of a Pansy’s Perspective”. I went with man.
We have the old TM31 Thermomix. That is what this review is based on. Even if you’re interested in the new model, I’d recommend reading this review since practically everything in it is applicable to the new TM5 Thermomix. For a review on the new one, click here.
I’ve used the Thermomix to make banana smoothies, blend stuff, chop garlic and onions, make chilli paste, cook rice, grind peanuts into peanut paste, weigh ingredients, steam vegetables, cook eggs, boil water, cook pasta, make curries, heat milk for coffee and knead dough. So I have a bit of experience under my belt but it may not be comprehensive. The Thermomix can do quite a few things. So what do I reckon? Am I still bitter about the wife spending so much money on a fancy blender? Can I forgive her for buying an appliance worth more than my first car? Also it’s worth more than my second and third car. Read on for my Thermomix review.
What Is A Thermomix?
A Thermomix is a fancy blender with many features. It’s marketed as “the world’s smartest kitchen” and “portable kitchen station.” It has a heating element in the bottom of it so it can cook and in built weighing scales so it can weigh ingredients. It’s available only through direct marketing.
Is Thermomix A Pyramid Scheme?
I added this section to explain the relationship between direct marketing and pyramid schemes. It’s not really specific to the Thermomix so skip to the next section if you’re not interested.
Pyramid schemes are illegal. Thermomix is a legal business. So, according to the law, Thermomix is not a pyramid scheme. However someone’s opinion does not need to be consistent with the law.
Pyramid schemes involve promising returns to participants for enrolling into the scheme without any real product or service to sell. The income generated is through enrollment fees rather than from the sale of a product or service. So, as an example, you’d pay $300 to enter the scheme. You’d receive nothing for your investment apart from the opportunity to enroll others into the scheme and receive a portion of their $300 enrollment fee.
A pyramid scheme business can sell a token product to circumvent the “no product or service to sell” criteria and avoid being labelled a pyramid scheme. So, following with the example above, you’d pay $300 for a paperclip, and you’d try to sell more paperclips for $300 each. No longer is it a pyramid scheme. It’s a paperclip business. But clearly nearly all of the money is the enrollment fee to fund the pyramid scheme. So in this case it would still be classified as a pyramid scheme despite having a real product to sell. What if it was a whole box of paperclips? What if it was a whole carton of paperclips? What if it was $299 worth of paperclips? You can see that the definition of pyramid scheme becomes blurry. It becomes a matter of whether the product or service being offered is sold at it’s true market value or whether the product or service is overpriced to fund the income distribution of the pyramid scheme. Under this definition any direct marketing arrangement can be a pyramid scheme. Actually, every direct marketing arrangement is a pyramid scheme in my opinion. Some portion of the price of the product or service is used to fund the pyramid hierarchy. How overpriced the product or service is and to what extent it funds the pyramid hierarchy dictates how much of a pyramid scheme the business is. Rather than deriving a complicated pyramid scheme rating system to evaluate whether a business is a pyramid scheme or not, I just refer to all direct marketing businesses as pyramid schemes. It makes it simple and I like the negative connotation it conveys about the business (I don’t like direct marketing). Also it annoys direct market salespeople and sparks some fun controversy related to this article. It’s just my opinion. Some people might not like direct marketing being associated with pyramid schemes. Some people might even like direct marketing.
Any product sold through a pyramid scheme type arrangement I am immediately skeptical of. I instantly dislike it. Some things that go through my mind include:
– Why can’t your product be on a store shelf where it has to compete with similar items? Isn’t it competitive? Is it over priced?
– Wouldn’t you make more money if it’s available on a store shelf due to greater exposure and sales? Or is it not competitive enough to make you money in that way?
– Why do you force me to make an emotional decision by offering discounts for “buy it now” during the home demo rather than allowing me to consider alternatives? Again, is it not competitive with alternatives?
– I do not want to pay for half a day’s worth of direct marketing plus the pyramid hierarchy profit plus the local distributor’s profit plus the manufacturer’s profit when I buy an appliance. When I buy anything, I want to maximize the percentage of the money that I am handing over that actually goes into the thing that I am buying. I want to minimize the percentage of money that goes into profit margins. Why should I pay for huge margins? I want more product and less margins, not the other way around. A product sold in a pyramid scheme is inherently going to have higher margins. They shift less volume. There’s a good chance that such a product is going to be poorer value when compared to something you can get off the shelf. You will struggle to find a pyramid scheme product that is cheaper than an off the shelf equivalent. I have never found one.
The above points are about the product itself and the pricing. Another thing I don’t like about pyramid schemes is that they prey on vulnerable people, using emotive, personally targeted techniques to convince someone to buy something they didn’t really want or to pay too much for it. For example the Thermomix seller will tell mothers they can prepare healthier meals for their kids, making the mother feel like they are not doing the best for her children. Throw in a free gift and some pressure to buy it now to get a special deal, and you’ve put the mother in a vulnerable position. I’m not convinced that it’s an ethical system. This sort of marketing strategy is not specific to Thermomix. I do not want to single out Thermomix. Whether it’s vacuum cleaners or cleaning products or beauty products or anything else, similar marketing techniques are used in other pyramid schemes to take advantage of people.
Another negative aspect of pyramid schemes is that social occasions become business opportunities. Instead of socialising with people to enjoy their company, the pyramid schemer sees every individual in their social circle as a potential client / victim. Family, friends, friends of friends – they’re all on the list. Actually people in the biz use the word “prospects”. Prospects you know personally are collectively referred to as the “warm market” whilst strangers are the “cold market”. Social gatherings are soured by the pyramid schemer constantly trying to recruit and sell to. Relationships are strained and sometimes ruined.
There’s many more negative aspects of pyramid schemes – the similarities to religious extremism / cults. Convincing members that the product really is the best thing in the world and that friends and family must buy it to take advantages of the benefits. The fact that the vast majority of people who attempt pyramid schemes end up making little or no money and instead just send their own money up the chain. The false hope that it gives people with stories of financial independence and early retirement. The fact that they rely on testimonials from cult members rather than data such as average earnings per member. The lack of data on failure rate and number of members who call it quits after no success. The way that they continue to encourage and sap money out of members who are eventually destined to fail.
So straight away Thermomix got me off on the wrong foot since, for me, it’s a pyramid scheme. The issues I have with pyramid schemes are not specific to Thermomix, it’s just an automatic perception I have about any direct marketing product or business.
The Thermomix is hugely expensive. Not slightly expensive. Massively expensive. We’re talking orders of magnitude more expensive than alternative products. Compared to a cheap blender, it’s say 40 times the price. It’s not fair to compare it to a cheap blender though. It’s not comparing apples with apples. The Thermomix does a lot more than a blender and the build quality is better than a blender. I’d easily expect it to be say 5 times more expensive. But 40 times?
The Thermomix is good but will it outlive 40 blenders? Even if a blender only lasts a year, that’s 40 years that the Thermomix has to last just to break even. Doubtful, but again it’s not fair to compare to a blender. Actually a Thermomix is so astronomically expensive that if you take into account the time value of money it will never save you money even if it lasts forever, when compared to a cheap blender that only lasts one year. Interest will cover the cost of a new blender every year with some money left over to grow your cash savings.
Also, despite lasting a long time, the Thermomix does require maintenance. It needs a new rubber lid seal every couple of years (pretty cheap). It also needs a new set of blades once they dull (worth more than a cheap blender), but you might get 5 or more years out of the blades. There’s no way a Thermomix is saving you money compared to a cheap blender if you include the maintenance costs.
The Thermomix is probably 10 times more expensive than the combined price of a blender, steamer, kitchen scales and electric hotplate. So you need to pay an order of magnitude more to get an all in one product. Usually all in one products are cheaper than the combined price of dedicated products. Parts and costs are shared. Mind you the Thermomix is better quality than cheap appliances. I suppose the difference would be much less when comparing to the combined price of good quality European brand name blender, kitchen scales, steamer and electric hotplate.
Usually with pyramid schemes you get good service. There’s a lot of fat in the margins to cover for it. In the case for the Thermomix, it’s very good service. Good demonstrations, good training and first class aftersales support. Call them up with a problem and they’re onto it straight away. If you have a concern, they want to resolve it. Want to make a warranty claim? You’ll get instant service. If the warranty involves one of the external fittings then expect a new fitting express post delivered to your door in a couple of days, no fuss. The service is really good. It exceeded my expectations.
I can understand one reason why the Thermomix is sold in a pyramid scheme. The manufacturer doesn’t want it to become relegated to the back shelf of the kitchen. They want personal training. They want you to be motivated to use it. They want you to get the most out of it. They want you to have an emotional attachment to it. This means, despite the extravagant price, people will see value in the product after some long term use. This value perception will spread via word of mouth and help market the product. If the Thermomix was available off the shelf, maybe it would get a lot of bad press from people who spent a lot of money on it but were not motivated enough to use it. More people would encounter a problem and not bother pursuing a solution. More people would think it was a waste of money. Regardless, if you’re keen to get your monies worth, the support is there to help you.
The Thermomix is a quality unit. As a whole it feels heavy and sturdy. The plastic housing and external fittings feel durable. The bowl is a high grade stainless steel that’s tough and very resistant to physical and corrosive damage. Similarly the blades are a high grade stainless steel that stay sharp and resist corrosion. The buttons and interface panel are durable.
Our unit is around six years old and the blades are still sharp enough to do its job. The bowl still looks like new if given a good rub. The plastic is all in good condition. The fittings used for steaming look almost new which is surprising. You’d expect steamed plastic to start to look a bit scruffy from constant heat exposure.
After about four years of use, our Thermomix did develop a problem with detecting the lid in the locked position. Sometimes the speed dial is still locked when it shouldn’t be. Sometimes an error message is reported after blending. The problem is due to some play developing with the fittings related to the lid locked position. See below under “Lid and Dial Interlocks”.
Regardless, you can expect to get good use out of a Thermomix. It’s built to last. It comes with a two year warranty and the aftersales support will ensure any problems can be easily rectified.
I’m not a Thermomix veteran who’s been using the Thermomix 3 times a day every day for the last 10 years. So I’m not the most experienced Thermomix operator but I have had a fair bit of play over the last few years. I’ll provide some feedback on what I know.
From a technical perspective, as a drive / motor system, the Thermomix is superior to anything else I know in the kitchen. The motor is powered by a true variable speed drive. The same type of equipment used in industry to control motors in complex processes, except the Thermomix is a brushless DC design rather than the 3 Phase AC motors used in heavy industry. What does this mean? The speed control is continuously variable and very accurate. The motor can deliver massive torque from a standing start. The motor can run very slowly. The motor can run very quickly. The motor can run backwards. The motor can be braked to slow down rapidly. The motor starts softly to reduce mechanical wear. Power output is controlled to ensure the motor is kept within safe operating limits at all times. So there are many advantages to this arrangement. The downside is complexity and cost.
As a blender, the Thermomix is a powerhouse. Unusual for an all in one compromise, it blends better than a dedicated blender. The motor is super strong and can spin the blades extremely fast. It can do in a few seconds what a blender may take more than a minute. The speed control is continuously variable and the motor will compensate for varying load to maintain steady speed.
As a steamer it works perfectly. It’s not hard to steam food. Chuck water in, put the food in the steamer fitting on top of the Thermomix, push a couple of buttons and away it goes.
Cooking stuff in the Thermomix works well. It’s good for soups and sauces and anything with lots of liquid that you’d typically cook in a pot. It stirs for you, controls temperature, stops the bottom getting burnt, and terminates the cook according to the time you specify. The size of the bowl may be inhibitive if say you’re cooking up a huge batch of pasta sauce or massive soup. It will easily do a serving for 4.
It boils water well. We use it for making hot water for tea and coffee when we’re on the road when it’s not practical to whip out the Kelly Kettle. It won’t boil as fast as an electric kettle, but still it takes just a few minutes to boil enough water for a few cups of tea.
It’s a handy tool for general prep work. I use it to weigh ingredients, chop up garlic and chilli, grate cheese, aerate flour, chop onions. For chopping, it has similar limitations to any blender style chopper. It’s a compromise between even chopping (run it longer to ensure everything gets chopped) and avoiding grinding into a paste (don’t run it too long). It won’t give you nice evenly sized cubes that you can get when chopping by hand. Mind you it does a better job than most rotating blade style choppers because it has a function where it accelerates to maximum speed as quickly as possible, then brakes the motor to stop it as quickly as possible. This mode minimizes the time the blade spends at slow and medium speeds. Higher speeds deliver a more even chop.
I’ve made dough with the Thermomix. It’s good for everything from sloppy pancake mix to thick bread mix. You can get away without requiring a sieve as the Thermomix will aerate dry ingredients. It will mix and knead nicely but it won’t bake. It won’t replace a breadmaker.
The Thermomix is not a juicer. It will blend. Blending oranges makes orange juice. Blending most other things makes a thick paste. It’s ok for juicing if using lots of oranges or watermelon in the mix to provide the water to dilute all the fibre and pulp. You can also dilute with water and crushed ice. You’ll get a very fibrous juice. It isn’t able to filter the pulp like a juicer can.
Lid and Dial Interlocks
One thing I don’t like about the Thermomix is how the lid and speed dial interlocks have been implemented.
Firstly the speed dial interlock. If the lid is not correctly locked in then the speed dial cannot be moved. This means that, if you inadvertently fail it properly lock in the lid and quickly go to ramp up the speed, you can place excessive force onto the speed dial. This is a dumb design. It means that after years of use the speed dial starts feeling imprecise and loose. Eventually it will fail. The dial does not need to be interlocked with the lid. It is the electrical circuit that energizes the motor that needs to be interlocked with the lid. If the lid is not in position then the motor should be inhibited from starting but the dial should be free to move. Moving the dial should yield an error indicating the lid is not in position.
The lid interlock is similarly a problem. If the speed dial is not turned all the way to the “lid off” position, then the lid is locked into place. This means that, if you accidentally fail to turn the speed dial all the way down, you can put excessive pressure on the lid trying to remove it. This is a dumb design. The lid locked position starts feeling imprecise and loose after years of use. Actually, on our Thermomix, it now sometimes fails to detect the lid is in the locked position. If the rotor is not turning then the lid should be able to be removed regardless of dial position. Once the lid is removed the motor should be electrically isolated.
The new Thermomix has changed how the lid is locked which resolves this complaint, click here for more info.
Too Much Automation?
Some cooking hippies believe cooking should be about feel, emotion, tasting as you go, adding as you go, etc. This is not a valid argument against the Thermomix in my opinion. The Thermomix helps with the mechanical parts of cooking. It’s a blade and a heating element. You still need to know how to cook. You do not have to follow a recipe. Use as much feel and emotion and instinct as you want. Get a machine to do the rest. With the time you save you can sit around in a circle with your friends and play guitar and sing about love. Maybe smoke a spliff.
I’ve seen some people suggest the Thermomix is for people who aren’t good cooks. Again, this is rubbish. Having a Thermomix doesn’t mean your ability is limited to following a recipe like a robot. Use it to do whatever you want. If the world’s best chef sees an opportunity to use the Thermomix to some advantage then he’ll use it. It’s got nothing to do with lack of cooking ability. I’ve seen the Thermomix used in commercial applications (restaurants, cafes) and have heard of professional chefs using it.
When you’ve got limited space there’s not much that can match a Thermomix. Well maybe a small box with a couple of thousand dollars in it. But disregarding price, a Thermomix does more stuff than any other appliance I know. All in one solutions are exactly what you’re after when camping, touring and caravaning with limited space.
For blending, the Thermomix uses a few hundred watts which is pretty easy for your typical 12V system in a car or caravan. For cooking it uses up to around 1200W. Thats about 100A on a 12V supply. Pretty high current but a good 12V system with a reasonable inverter will handle it ok. We can cook with the thermomix using our inverter without a drama but it uses a lot of energy. With our 100Ah second battery, we can run the Thermomix on maximum heat for about half an hour for the battery to become 50% depleted. Lead acid batteries should not be depleted below 50%, otherwise they wear out too much. With the car’s engine running we could cook for much longer periods. It’s a good idea to run the engine when cooking with the Thermomix regardless of how long you cook for. It prevents taking a big slice out of your battery capacity that you need to keep your fridges running.
The main duty of the Thermomix whilst we are camping is blending. Especially for making banana smoothies. So you might say we could have got away with just a blender. But also we commonly use it for boiling water so it’s negated the need for an electric kettle. We’ve used it a few times for preparing ingredients – weighing, grating, chopping, etc. We’ve used it a couple of times to knead dough when making some camp oven bread. We’ve used it a couple of times for actual cooking. So despite being mainly used as a blender, its other features do get used and are handy to have.
Boiling water in a Thermomix takes only a couple of minutes so it’s not a big deal for the batteries. I still run the engine to make sure I keep the battery charged enough to keep my beer cold. We’ve only used it for long cookups when staying at caravan parks where power has not been an issue. Using it to momentarily blend and prepare ingredients uses little power so can be done anytime without the car’s engine running. A couple of hundred watts for a couple of minutes is bugger all.
High power consumption for cooking is not unique to the Thermomix. It’s not a deficiency of the Thermomix. It takes lot’s of energy to heat stuff up, and for that reason it’s usually not practical to use electric cooking appliances when camping or caravaning. Usually the energy source would be from a gas bottle or a fire. Actually the Thermomix is more efficient at transferring heat to food than a typical electric hotplate because the heating element is integrated into the bowl which maximizes heat transfer and minimizes heat escaping to the environment. Also the constant stirring by the blades ensures heat is transferred to the bulk of the food rather than accumulating at the bottom and dissipating out the sides.
For camping, touring and caravaning, the Thermomix is probably the best solution for your camp kitchen. That’s assuming price is not an issue. For a guide on how to set up a 12V system for camping and touring, click here.
If you fill the Thermomix to near full capacity, put it on maximum heat, then turn the blade at several thousand rpm, there’s a risk you’ll get burnt. No shit. Use your brain. Never use high speeds when the temperature is high, regardless of amount of liquid in the bowl. Avoid high temperatures when nearly full. If you must use high temperatures when nearly full be especially cautious. The liquid will likely bubble over even without turning the blade. Use only stirring blade speed.
There are a few alternatives to the Thermomix, however I have no experience with them. Alternatives include the Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master, Thermochef, Magimix, Maxi ThermoFoodPro Superchef, Philips Jamie Oliver HomeCooker and Kenwood Cooking Chef. They all do some or maybe all of what a Thermomix can do. From what I have read, the Thermomix is superior with it’s variable speed drive. The other products may not have continuously variable speed and may not be able to go in reverse. Whether this is much of a problem or not I can’t say. Some of them cannot weigh ingredients. Many other features are very similar to Thermomix but I can’t comment on performance, build quality or reliability.
I’ve read obviously biased reviews on Thermomix alternatives. Clearly biased towards the Thermomix. So take care when doing your research. There is a huge emotional attachment to the Thermomix, which to me detracts from its desirability.
The Thermomix is a good product. I’m not disputing that. The question is whether it’s worth the money. That’s a personal choice. In my opinion, it’s marginal. Good, but maybe not good enough to justify the expense. I can understand why people buy it and I can understand that there is value there if you make use of it. Apart from value garnered through the convenience of using it and the time saved, it can also produce value by actually saving money by encouraging you to make more stuff at home, like home made bread, home made peanut butter, icing sugar, blending leftovers into soup, etc. The problem is I keep comparing it to what I could have got for the same price. Maybe a small dinghy for chasing barra. Maybe some ridiculously huge tyres on the Hilux to make it look like a monster truck. I’d look really tough in my Hilux if it had massive tyres, even with the Thermomix in the back.
If you’ve outlaid a lot of money for something and have had to convince other parties to agree to spending that money, then there’s a good chance you’ll suffer from confirmation bias (for the Thermomix example, this is the wife). If you make money yourself from an item then obviously you have a conflict of interest in your opinion (in this case, the Thermomix pyramid seller). Similarly if you were skeptical about outlaying the money for something then there’s a good chance you will also suffer from confirmation bias (that’s me). So any review has bias, including this one.
For me, I’d probably buy a Thermomix if it were half the price and available off the shelf. I don’t want to go to Thermomix parties or deal with irrationally biased salespeople and I don’t want to pay for massive margins. However we’ve got enough use out of it for me to be impartial. I’m not angry anymore. I can live with a Thermomix and normal sized tyres on the Hilux. We do use it. At least now I finally own a car worth more than the Thermomix.
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Really enjoyed your manly perspective on my favourite subject Joe! Thanks for the helpful tips about using Thermomix from battery power. I’d be curious to know how your wife feels about the Thermomix… It’s easy to feel this machine is overpriced if you’re not using it to it’s full potential. For me the value kicked in when I started using it for almost all my cooking, (not just blending) at least three times per day. That’s when I started reaching for the Thermomix instead of other cookware because Thermomix is so much easier to clean up. I wonder if you have noticed this ease of cleaning stainless steel in camping situations?
Thanks for such a comprehensive review. I’m adding a link from my blog!
Hi Helene thanks for your kind words. Yeah easy cleaning is handy whilst camping, especially without proper kitchen space or a sink. Also minimizes water use with the Thermomix as it means less things to wash, which is good when we are somewhere remote with no water.
Good article as it is very hard if not impossible to find an independent view of the Thermomix. Far too many of tche purchasers seem to feel the need to justify their expenditure (as you would if you spent the cost of a return flight to Europe on a kitchen device. (Although he stuff about pyramid selling, while extremely important, was a tad boring). Hope your wife wont mind but your article has convinced me to check out the cheaper alternatives.
Hey Kate Thanks for your feedback. Boring ay, I’ll endeavor to improve my writing style in future posts. I aim to please even the most demanding critics. Not sure how you looking at alternatives could possibly affect my wife even in the slightest way but I’ll offer her my full support should she by some incomprehensible reason become upset at your decision. Since it bears exactly zero impact on her I think we should be safe but your consideration is appreciated nonetheless.
You’re an absolute true blue bloody legend Joe! Onya!
Thanks for the camping tips, ours is yet to go camping, but it is something that will happen…
For men I compare the price and use to men and their shed full of power tools, you know, the ones that get used on 3 or 4 weekends a year? I know my husband’s collection of drills probably cost the same, or close to, as the Thermo, don’t even get me started on the triton bench… 😉
Haha yeah I’m certain I have some expensive stuff in the shed that I don’t use much. I suppose the cost of a Thermomix isn’t that much in the scheme of things. People spend that much money on stuff all the time, often on something less practical or something rarely used.
Yes, but it keeps the little petal happy and out of your kitchen!!!
Our thermomix gets used every day! It took me a while to come around to the price tag, what ended up pushing me to do it was my hubbies announcement he and his brother were going halves in a tinny. My $2000 gets used a lot more then his (by me, him, and the kids) and saves us time. The tinny gets used three times a year lol.
Yeah all good reasons that a thermomix does have value. On the other hand the tinnie wouldn’t have cost 40 times more than a similar product. You’re paying for motor and hull, not huge margins. Not that I am saying Thermomix definitely has huge margins, it’s just a different point of view. Independent of how often you use something, it can still be overpriced. The Thermomix is very expensive compared to alternatives.
Great to have a review from a guy, but it’s obvious you haven’t attended a demo as some of your facts are incorrect. Wattage total is 1500w, 500 for blades and1000w for cooking. Normal hot plates are 2400w each.
The grey ‘plastic’ parts are actually food safe polypropylene that’s why they’re so good.
Use the turbo button to give a more consistent size chop.
There are so many other things to make just using the blender or with short cooking times. How many of the TM cookbooks do you have? What about the recipe community www.
I hope you protect the scales while traveling?
Thermomix is a quality German product and well worth every cent.
I love mine and have a cooking session at least twice, sometimes three times a day.
You are quoting power ratings, which is different to how much power it actually uses. For example the motor won’t use maximum power when stirring very slowly whilst cooking. Also, when cooking, the element is switched on and off frequently to maintain setpoint temperature, so average power use of the heating element is less than rated. I actually measured power consumption over various cooking and blending cycles using instruments as it was of interest to me when commissioning the 12V design in my camping setup. Even when blending quickly, the motor typically uses less than rated, apart from short term spikes that would be experienced when say crushing ice.
Yes, the plastic is a type of plastic, and I guess the stainless steel blades are a type of stainless steel.
We have lots of thermomix recipe books. Everyday cooking is the main one I’ve used, good for starting out. I don’t think number of recipe books we own is really relevant to the article, nor is membership to communities. The purpose of the article is not to give a biased perspective from an extreme Thermomix fan. Mind you I have my own biases.
I think when using the turbo button, my comment is still valid regarding chopping. It’s an inherent property when chopping with a rotating blade. It can’t be avoided.
Value is up to individuals to decide, I guess that’s the point I am trying to make in the article.
I think the problem here is that Outback Joe should have stayed outta the kitchen.
That’s no man’s land.
I’m a new age guy, what can I say, not scared to mix it up in the kitchen. I’m still macho though.
‘Questionable Science’…and Rosie,I think OutbackJoe did a great review,and good on him for being in the kitchen!That only makes him more of a man in my eyes and as a young woman, I find a man that is not sexixt and not scared of the kitchen is appealing…outdated sexism is an absolute turn off.OutbackJoe you have me very intersted in the Thermomix,thanks for the article!
That is about the most retarded thing I have heard in a long time. Men make the best chefs. All the men in my family cook. We’re not inept or too f*****g fat and lazy to whip up some good food without some crazy expensive Jetson’s robot.
Wattage total is 1000watts then. You don’t just add them up. Do you know what watts means????
There is no food safe plastic. Polypropylene leaches carcinogenic esters into every meal with traces of highly carcinogenic dioxins. Thermomix plastics increase your risk of cancer 6 times.
Thermomix is a terrible terrible product.
It might interest you to know that Thermomix is manufactured in China and the design was bought by a German company, it isn’t German designed.
Hey claracloclo sounds like bullshit can you point me to the research paper relating polypropylene to cancer risk?
And your source for the original thermomix design?
“It might interest you to know that Thermomix is manufactured in China and the design was bought by a German company, it isn’t German designed.”
That’s an interesting claim; how about substantiating it?
I love my Thermomix. The major plus for me is the fact that people with disabilities can use it to cook, especially where chopping or kneading by hand is simply not an option. There are similar products on the market but they don’t come anywhere near the quality of Thermomix which is obvious in your review. I have a tiny kitchen so my bench top has ‘one’ appliance, not a dozen and it really does everything I need apart from bake in the oven. Thank-you for your review, I enjoyed reading it.
Hey there Rinaki yeah good point with chopping and kneading with disabilities, for a rotating blade I think it chops better than your average rotating blade. Glad you liked the article!
Outback Joe – that is hands down the best review I have read, of anything, ever. And I am a review guru. I share your thoughts on pyradmid schemes, and your ‘need to know’ about ALL the particulars of potential new purchases. So, your review is one of many I have read and really, really ticked a few boxes. Thank you! And it was fantastic to read a review of a kitchen applicance written by a man, especially one whose qualifications made the review so deeply informed.
So….to buy or not to buy? I can already tell I will end up a Thermomix owner. I do think I will explore purchasing direct from Europe though – seems $13-1400 including freight and can avoind the need to have a strange woman / women in my home trying desperately to sell me something I am almost certain I already want. I deeply dislike being ‘sold’ to, and instead prefer (like you I expect) to do my own extensive research and form my own opinion as rationally as possible. Although…..the Thermomix website is pretty damn slick, and the only devotees kinda add to the appeal.
Anyway I am banging on and have nothing to add as I am not yet a member of the Thermo Club.
But, really – thank you for taking the time to write such an informed and detailed review. Well worth a Xmas evening read!!!
If you don’t already, you should consider finding a way to turn your review writing skills into a paid hobby.
Hi Cassandra, thanks for your kindly words, it’s the most positive feedback I’ve ever received. Make money out of my hobby ay. I’d love to, that’s my dream. But I’m just a macho fisherman who rarely catches any fish, is it possible? Maybe I should have sucked in my stomach and styled my hair for the first photo, for marketing reasons.
Thanks for your comment, good luck with your thermomix future, happy new year!
Styled your hair????? Funny. Thanks for the review – I was starting to weaken and think about buying a Thermomix – have been OK for about a year now, but the willpower was fading – and you have now hardened my resolve NOT to buy one, and maybe check out the alternatives instead. Great review – fun to read. Cheers.
Haha I’m glad I helped your will power. I forget, did I say thermomix was good or bad? What convinced you? You’re also after a small dinghy to chase big barra?
HI mate, how often did you find it was still dirty, or busy doing another task when you wanted to use if for a different function, IE it was makin rice when yuo wanted to make sorbet, but yuo hade replaced your blender and rice cooker??
Hey nic I can’t say I’ve had this problem, but I haven’t had much experience with using the thermomix for big cookups. I don’t think it’s much to worry about anyway, at worst you’re waiting 12 mins or so for rice, most of the time each task only takes a few minutes or less, could do sorbet before the rice for example and your rice is delayed by only couple of minutes, it cleans easily by just chucking in water and cranking it up for a few seconds as long as you don’t let it dry out and cake on. I suppose if you’re pumping out rice and sorbet non stop you’d need dedicated equipment.
Or get a 2nd bowl and that expands things even more! I always have one in the machine and one in the wash, love being able to put my hands on a clean dry bowl when I need it.
I’ll wait till the Aldi version of Thermomix comes out- 95% as good at 1/20 the price.
I’m sure a cheaper alternative will become available eventually, and if it’s off the shelf and shipped on mass then it will be hugely cheaper. Don’t know how long the wait will be though.
Great review! Btw, there are already cheaper alternatives, Target sells the Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master for around $300-$399. There’s also the ThermoChef around $700-$800. Google it 🙂
Thanks Sharon, yeah I should throw in a paragraph about the alternatives you mention. Not that I’ve ever used them, but still useful info to point people at some alternatives to research. Might do that when I get some time.
Your awesome you made my morning and after that very comprehensive review i dont need to waster any more time looking. You have said it all. Thanks for the laugh and info. Cheers
Thanks for such kind words Trumaine!
Fantastic article – thanks! You also perfectly summarize how I feel about pyramid selling. The Thermomix looks like it would be a useful appliance to have in our kitchen where many meals need to be quickly produced for hungry small children. But GULP the price is unsettling. Might try the import route which a previous poster mentioned.
Hey Kate thanks for visiting. Good luck with your decision, it’s a tough one when so much money is at stake! If only thermomix was half the price they’d make it so much easier. Take care if importing – local distributors will not offer warranty or support. You need to deal with the origin and so may have to send your thermomix overseas for repairs.
Yeah! Outbackjoe!! Awesome article! Funny but informative..So to buy or not to buy??? Make it cheaper I d say and more people will buy it! I like the idea of bringing it in from Germany..I think I ll investigate that avenue! Cheers!
There is the Bellini Intelli Kitchen Maater which sells for $279 at target on special. The Maxi Thermo Food Pro Superchef around $500 at the good guys, you can purchase extended warranty up to 3 years, or the ThermoChef from the Kitchen Warehouse that sells for around $900 though I saw on the website last night specials for $695 which includes a spare bowl valued at around 89 dollars. All cheaper alternatives if you want something more realistic in price. I must admit though, I really do have my heart set on a Thermomix. I’ve read mixed reviews on all products but TM owners seem to swear by their products, so it’s very difficult to find unbiased reviews. My choice was really narrowed down to a ThermoChef or a Thermomix. I have read some good things about the TC but I’m worried abouy purchasing one and wishing I’d gone for a TM. I don’t like the party style salespitch but as there is no other choice, I may just have to ‘bite the bullet’ and get the one my heart is set on. Great review btw. It was a lot nicer of a read than the ‘biased’ ones I have sen an abundance of.
Yeah there are many overly biased and emotionally attached reviews on the thermomix. It all stems from the pyramid scheme approach – you’re either attached because of how much it costs or because you make money from it. The cheaper alternatives attract more risk in terms of being less tried and tested. For the lowest risk you’d get a thermomix, but it doesn’t come cheap. Thanks for your comment, I still need to mention the alternatives somewhere in the article to make it more complete.
Hi Joe, I liked your post for it’s honesty and I can understand your way of thinking. I will be up front and say I am a consultant but I became one at the same time that I purchased my Thermomix as a way of earning the money to have one in my kitchen and because I totally believed in the product. Prior to this I had done my own extensive research regarding friends and family who had one, how long, how much were they still using etc. probably for about a year before I even went to my first demo. This was at my cousin’s place, she is a total foodie and always swore she would NEVER get one and then one day she did. She is NOT a consultant but IS a total fan. I think cheap doesn’t always = good value in terms of quality and what it takes to get that quality, including customer service/components/warranty etc.. For example I am with iiNet and have been for many years as I LOVE their great customer service and happily pay more than the cut throat competitors are charging to get your business. I always research every buying decision and generally compare the pros and cons of all similar items on the market. Although I haven’t used the others, I have read many independent reviews. I am quite happy with what I invested for the benefits I gain and don’t feel I have an emotional attachment although I do get great enjoyment from it. Anyway it is refreshing to see peoples true opinions and I like an open debate so keep it up. I certainly appreciated having 1:1 instruction when I got my Thermomix even though I consider myself an accomplished cook and technology savvy. At the end of the day, it may not be for everyone but people have free choice as to what they spend their money on and I would say if not happy with what is presented then there is no pressure on you (or your wife) to purchase. Thanks for giving the pros and cons, a well considered opinion.
Hi Stephanie yeah generally you get something for paying more, it’s just a decision on whether it’s worth it. Thanks for your comment, now I’ll look at your other ones!
Bellini intelli kitchen Master (made in China) is a similar product but it doesn’t weight and the variable speed motor only turns one way needing a change of blades from chopping to stirring. Cost about $400 at Target. see http://www.belliniappliances.com.au/electrical/subcat.aspx?range=14
Great article Joe! I agree with most of your article, but although Ive tried to refrain from commenting I really just want to talk about the pyramid scheme you talk about. First up I will say that I am a Thermomix consultant and certainly not trying to be defensive, just clarify for you all how it is we work. I understand how you feel and struggled with it myself to begin with and that people had that perception of me. We don’t work in a pyramid scheme, if you want to see how a pyramid scheme works you can read wikipedia’s definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_scheme
For me my job is about showing people the Thermomix, it’s great when they buy, but not expected. I hate to think of myself as a sales person, although in the end that’s what I am. I joined up because of what Thermomix did for me and I wanted that for more people, it wasn’t about the money.
This is how I explain how Thermomix works in a way most people understand…my mum used to own a kitchen store. She made money from the items in her store, but before that happens, other people get a cut. Her staff to start with, then the rep who sold her the products. Further up the chain is the wholesaler who import the product from overseas (the equivalent of Thermomix In Aus). The shipping company makes money somewhere in there too and then you end up at the factory (in this case France where a whole village is supported by Thermomix) and then right at the top with Vorwerk the makers of Thermomix. Yes there are people in the company who make more (they are what you would call managers in any other business).
I hope this helps and doesn’t come across as defensive. I agree with you that in the end everyone will make their own judgement on the price and every other aspect of the Thermomix, I just like people to have the correct information.
Hey Witsy, thanks for your comment. Pyramid schemes are when you give money for no product and the money is distributed up the pyramid. They are illegal. To circumvent the law, the scheme can involve selling a token product. For example pay $300 for a paper clip to participate in the scheme and now it’s not a pyramid scheme, it’s a paper clip business using direct marketing to make sales. So the question becomes is the product being sold at market rate or is it highly inflated in order to fund the pyramid scheme. Now any direct marketing business can be legally defined as a pyramid scheme, including thermomix, if the product is being sold at an inflated price in a direct marketing arrangement. What if it’s just slightly inflated price? So there is a big grey area of overpriced direct marketing but not overpriced enough to be a pyramid scheme. To simplify, I just call them all pyramid schemes.
I don’t believe anyone works for any reason other than money. But that’s a separate philosophical discussion beyond the scope of this thermomix article!
I suppose I should mention that calling thermomix a pyramid scheme is a bit harsh, especially without explanation. It’s not the same as buying a paper clip for $300. My point is it’s different shades of brown of the same crap, so to speak. I’d rather off the shelf.
I am with you on so many of these points. My wife is making the ’emotional purchase’ of a Thermomix pretty much while I write this and boy does the argument escalate quickly if I point out what it doesn’t do.
It does some things amazingly well, but not $2000 well. Really, that’s quite a lot of sorbet and risotto.
While I hate the ‘party plan / direct sales’ thing, I feel you are a bit harsh on it. Doesn’t buying from a retailer also pay a distributor and a wholesaler, sending profit ‘up the chain’.
Hey Ben ha yeah that is a lot of sorbet. True profits go up the chain in traditional sales platforms. The way I see it, traditional sales has manufacturing, distribution and retail. For pyramid schemes they still have manufacturing and distribution but instead of retail they have the pyramid with the bottom of the pyramid being the final retailer – one person selling the item and needing to make a large margin to make the time worth it. Normal retail have very small margins. But that’s just theory, a good experiment is to compare direct marketing prices with equivalent off the shelf prices. Direct marketing is universally more expensive.
I just posted very similar comment….agreed with Witsy
We’ll have to disagree on the name for it then. You call it pyramid scheme (there’s no scheming going on though), I’ll call it direct selling. And when a customer asks me why we do it this way, I ask them would they buy it if they saw it sitting on a shelf next to a blender? You yourself have called it a blender, but to be fair on the product it is way more than that. You have to see it to understand it’s full potential, hence a cooking demonstration. Not everyone is into that, and I have customers like yourself who would rather have the retail experience without the rest of it. And they can. But the Thermomix is still worth its high pricetag. It’s surprising that you still don’t think it’s money well spent even after using it. I don’t know many who would be without it even if I offered a full refund.
Then you ask about it being highly inflated. I don’t think so. If it was actually compared with other high end kitchen appliances then it soon becomes a bargain. Maybe we’ll have to agree to disagree on that too though. 🙂
Can I just say I was in fits of laughter reading your bit about singing songs about love to get that good feeling. I might have to use that one next time someone says that to me at a demo! 🙂
Every product sitting on the shelf is trying to differentiate itself. Why is thermomix special? My article states it’s not fair to call it a blender. Doesn’t mean it’s unique in the sense that it has to demonstrate its merit the same as any other off the shelf product in the world.
Pyramid selling or direct marketing are just a type of business model where the philosophy is low volume, high margins. Nothing more complicated than that. A company can make a lot of money with large margins despite shifting few units. For me I prefer the business model of huge volume. Ridiculous volume. That way the margins are low and I get more product for less money. In the end it’s just a business decision based on making profits.
Low volume/high margin? – you mean like a Ferrari or BMW? Its apples and apples, the profit rolls in at 100x$1, or 1x$100 for the owners and I believe people who convince themselves buying (then replacing, and re-replacing) cheap and inferior products are kidding themselves.
I really enjoyed your review and thought, on the whole it was very unbiased – except given a few more truths, you may have leaned more towards the Thermomix?
1. Pyramid selling always raises hackles among the population scarred by Amway, Kirby and other fly-by-night scams that pedalled $1 crap in $50 wrapping. Thermomix is different because the quality is there, the development and design is there, the aftersales service is there = cost impact.
2. Recruitment and flowlanes of commission only exists for first few sales made by a newbie consultant because there is a huge amount of shadowing by your recruiter. However, the consumer doesn’t pay this, it is deducted (quite fairly) from the commision that the newbie will receive if/when a sale is made.
3. It is direct marketed because there are SO MANY Thermomix functions, the purchaser is assisted with actual physical follow-up visits by their consultant to ensure they are maximising the benefits of owning a Thermomix. Also to assist in achieving improved outcome in an attempted, less successful recipes. Try ringing Breville at 6:30pm to ask why your chicken veloute is underdone!!
In fact, why not try going to Myer or Goodguys with a bag of flour and some yeast and ask if you can whip up a pizza dough to test out THEIR product??
Or can you find an appliance salesperson who believes SO STRONGLY in say, KitchenAid, that they will bring their own machine to your place and let you see it in action?
The above all have a financial impact on the end price of Thermomix….. but, from the bottom of my heart I believe Thermomix is worth every cent.
PS You obviously have a very clever missus who saw the benefit of Thermomix and I hope you appreciate her good business sense everytime you see the “Thermie” sitting on your kitchen bench.
Hey Jacqui nah not like a BMW or Ferrari. When I say low volume / high margin I mean relative to competition. Ferrari and BMW have similar volume and margins to their competition. For example a Ferrari doesn’t cost ten times more than a Lamborghini. The company makes profit either way like you say (100x$1 or 1x$100) but the consumer loses out with paying more for the same thing when margins are high.
Yeah each pyramid scheme business says they’re the one with good quality and good value whilst it’s all the other businesses that give direct marketing a bad reputation.
If you offered a salesman $2,000 for a blender provided they gave you a demonstration in your home I am sure they would do it regardless of how strongly they believed in the blender.
Yeah getting cheap and inferior products can end up costing you more money. Not when the better product is so ridiculously expensive that interest income alone would allow you to buy the cheap alternative every year and have interest left over to grow the savings.
You commented on the good quality. I was at a demo with an Italian woman who was still using her Bimby (Italian name for the Thermomix) that she had bought in the 1980s…so they do last a long time. The demo also showed me what the Thermomix could do…I would never have believed the blurb on the packaging if I’d seen it on a retailer’s shelf.
20 years wow that’s pretty good. The thermomix feels like good quality. I suspect the competition would struggle to match it.
Yeah direct marketing can provide a good feel for the product. It comes at great cost though.
Time must move at a different pace in the ‘outback’…she’s had it for 30 years 🙂
Ha whoops I meant 30. I think I’m just in denial of my own advanced age which is similar to her thermomix.
Thanks for this great review….I googled “Thermomix are they worth it?” and yours was the first review I read. I have been scared off by the price and the zeal this product seems to inspire…
I am going to stick to my mortar and pestle, knives and bread machine.
The next time someone says to me “You need a Thermomix!!” I can safely say “Nah..I don’t”
ha yeah there’s always a lot of emotion when it comes to pyramid schemes. Good product though.
You can’t work your whole life paying for frivolous gizmos from pyramid schemes. So choices need to be made. It’s a reasonable decision to either buy or not buy.
Generally a good article but I get the impression you have have missed something crucial.
First does it blend as well as a magimix, we brought one second hand off a friend and we have never used a blender that cuts as well without making a paste. A magimix can cost $600.
The main point though is you didn’t cover it’s abilities as mix master. The question in my view is does out do as good a job as a kitchen aid. A kitchen aid costs another 600 – 700.
Once you compare the thermo-mixer to those products you only need to make up 700 dollars to justify a thermo-mixer. It’s other functions as hot plate, streamer etc go a way towards this. The space saving are also a consideration.
If I was staying afresh today I would buy a thermo-mixer as an investment. It’s harder through if you already have a good blender and mix-master.
PS you have completely missed the point of a pyramid scheme. That is where each successive investment by people is needed to pay previous investors their dividends (the money they were promised) because the business model is unsustainable (sometimes called pinto schemes). Many famous examples were in financial services where the returns promised to customers were so high that they couldn’t be paid.
The company would pay investments made by their next client to previous clients instead of investing it in assets. Then the next clients would be paid their dividends from the clients investments after them.
Given that thermo-mixers are a successful business they are certainly not a pryamid scheme and but I suspect you don’t mean they are.
Your complaint is that they only do direct sales which can appear dodgy. I guess though most of their customers would be very disappointed without the high level of training etc that their model provides.
Thanks for your comments.
The magimix does a lot of what a thermomix can do at a fraction of the price. It’s up to individuals to weigh up the extra costs / benefits of the thermomix. You can’t dictate value perception.
In my experience, and in the experience of my wife, there is exactly zero doubt that a mix master does the job it’s designed to do better than a thermomix. We’ve found the thermomix inconsistent and unreliable when trying to produce light, fluffy mixes of the highest caliber. Mix master does it with ease. Not only does our experience suggest that the mix master is superior, but also common sense does. Making an all in one product means making design compromises. You cannot optimize the design for a certain function. When making the dedicated product, the design is optimized for its purpose. There are no conflicting goals to simultaneously achieve. If the thermomix blades were superior at mixing, then for certain the mix master engineers would adopt a similar design. However they are not constrained by an all in one goal. They build a dedicated machine optimized for it’s purpose. This can be seen in its performance.
I think you have completely missed the point regarding pyramid schemes. I have added an extra section in the article to explain.
Might I suggest you would be more credible if you researched the terms you used in the article. I don’t sell thermomix, I have owned one for four yrs. however I believe that you should understand what your talking about otherwise you can do damage without cause. For instance your use of the term pyramid sales. They are illegal. They involve a scheme where you buy into a program but receive no product. That is an illegal scheme. All companies that sell and actual product or products and rely on party plan, network marketing or direct sales are merely cutting out extra mark ups from middle men and the need to pay advertising companies. They are not however pyramids and simply shapes will match that of almost all companies. Please. Try to use accurate terms. You paste all those companies in the bounds of illegal activity but not understanding what your talking about.
Hi Philippass, I added an extra section in the article to alleviate your concerns.
Well written article , thanks . As for the Thermomix ( over ) enthusiasts – just chill and go make yourself a Cocktail with the Wonder machine already.
Hey Deb thanks for your comment. I’m somewhat under-enthusiast but will heed your advice too, however I will resort to drinking beer.
I am not convinced by the Thermomix propaganda and certainly the price placed the product in the “well that just stupid” class. I agree with you that if Thermomix was available for half the cost and not via direct selling then there would no question about the value.
Thanks for the review and I liked the way you have handled the feedback from the Thermomix apparatchiks.
Now back to the real reason I visited your blog – we are looking at RTT (cost less than a Thermomix too)
Hey thanks Jacinta good luck with your roof topper. I’d take two roof top tents over thermomix, I love camping.
Hi Joe – Great article!
I’d love a Thermomix and the price is pretty much the only thing holding me back – although – they do currently have an interest free plan 🙂
Just thought I’d throw my 20 cents worth in the Direct Sales Marketing conversation while I’m here.
When Tupperware (another rather pricey product) first came out, it was originally sold in stores/shops – but the sales were terrible. Which is why they adopted the party-plan sales model – people apparently needed to see the product being demonstrated – to learn how to “burp” the seals to get their air tight containers which was pretty important as new-fangled fridges were popping up in every ones houses at the time and the drier air was causing food storage issues – the rest of that story of course is history.
Maybe Thermomix decided to use the direct-sales sales model for similar reasons. After all – it essentially comes with one on one training and ongoing service/follow up. I have no idea what sort of commission a Thermo consultant works for – but given that it should be a one off (once-in-a-lifetime at that price) purchase and that the consultant then goes on to give you whatever follow up service is required (I’m guessing – unpaid) I’d hope they are earning enough to make that after sales service follow up worthwhile. Because any other industry that I’ve had to deal with won’t set foot in front of your gate without a minimum $50 call out fee (except for Power Water of course).
Just my thoughts.
Hi Johanna thanks for your comment. Yeah direct marketing can provide a better demonstration for a product then off the shelf. At great expense though. I’d rather just do some of my own research, read the manual and not pay for huge margins. Doesn’t mean direct marketing isn’t good for other people, just my opinion.
Many companies provide good after sales support for their products. It’s not a special property of direct marketing, but because there’s so much fat in the margins with a direct marketed product often you do get good support.
Hi Outback Joe
What a great review. I’m off to a Thermo party tonight, so wanted to read some unbiased reviews before going. I realise now that it will be very hard to find unbiased reviews given the nature of the pyramid.
I have been borrowing a friends Thermomix for a week now and I reckon that is one of the best ways for one to decide whether to spend their hard earned money or not.
Since I have no emotional investment I’d like to think I have a less biased view. I reckon TM is definitely over priced for what it is. I keep comparing it to other appliances I use everyday like my expensive German washing machine and dishwasher, which both cost me less than a Thermomix. I have used the Thermo quite bit since borrowing it, I like making the sorbets, risottos and soups, however I could go out to a lot of great restaurants and cafes for that $2000 price tag and eat amazing stuff that I haven’t had to lift a finger to cook.
Secondly I don’t understand why the warranty is only 2 years when it’s supposed to be such great quality. Why can’t they give us a better warranty?
Finally, why has the price not come down with the high Aussie dollar? I guess I can answer this myself by saying the price is set to cover the huge margins of the pyramid scheme and not the cost of producing the item.
Thanks again for the review which was not only informative but also very funny.
Hi Melanie, I agree comparing to for example a quality built-to-last German dishwasher, with it’s mass of electronics, pumps, motors, moving parts and stainless steel construction, for less than the price of a thermomix, it really illustrates how expensive the thermomix is. Some of the expense is because it’s a quality unit. Much of the expense is huge margins to feed the pyramid hierarchy.
Thanks for such a helpful review outbackjoe!
I also found all the comments and your replies helpful too.
I am spending the next few months deciding on whether to get one, and have been thinking for a few months already. No need to rush into such a big purchase!
In some of my research I have seen a few negative comments about some of the alternatives, without the same about the Thermomix. The only downside I see is the price.
Btw, I believe the Target Bellini machine has been taken from the shelves as it was such a blatant hack of the TM. I understand they were taken to court over the issue.
Hey Megan do you have any references to support your claim that the Bellini has been taken off shelves? I understand that there was a problem with the cook book referring to thermomix. A case of very lazy copying. At least use the search and replace function!
The cook book was updated and the Bellini is still selling according to what I’ve read.
Target’s Bellini has been re-called 3 times!
References please. I see a pattern of bashing anything that isn’t thermomix, I suspect from those with an emotional attachment to thermomix.
I owned one of the Bellini models in the second recall. I’ve still recommended them though. The quality isn’t nearly that of the thermomix (I owned mine for 7 months and in that time had 2 bowls replaced because they stopped heating, plus some of the plastic bits melted). Even if it wasn’t recalled I would’ve had to return it as it started causing power outages every time we used it.
On the plus side – Bellini give great customer service and it’s pretty risk free as Target are great with refunds. The down side is that now I’m finding it hard to live without so will probably end up having to get a real thermomix.
Hey Jonni is the recall you speak of regarding the user manual that referred to thermomix? The recall involved getting a new manual? I can’t find evidence for any other sort of recall. For the price the Bellini may still be not a bad option. As long as it lasts a few years you could buy a new one every time it fails from the interest you’ve earnt from the thermomix savings.
No – it was leaking blue dye, apparently not poisonous, but still freaky. There should be a couple of conversations regarding this on their facebook page – that’s where they announce most tips and hints (and problems).
I have to agree – I still recommend the Bellini Intelli if the budget prevents a thermomix. Even though mine died so quickly I got a lot of use out of it in that time (I used it up to 5 times a day!). Also, I can’t fault them on their customer service – I had 2 bowls stop heating, so I rang the maintenance guy listed on the facebook page and had a new bowl courier delivered the very next morning!
There is a part of me that hates that whole disposable mentality though – so if you can afford to buy quality, do it – it’ll work better, and we won’t have a million broken Bellinis in landfill lol…
Yeah I agree it’s not nice to keep throwing stuff away. Paying a bit more for something that will last is good for the environment. But for a couple of grand you can buy quite a few solar panels, buy a new Bellini every couple of years with the energy savings plus reduce your carbon footprint. The Thermomix isn’t slightly more expensive, it’s massively more expensive, which turns an easy decision of going for quality into a difficult decision. No matter how rich you are, every dollar you spend is a dollar that can’t be spent on something else.
I loved your article. I have been cooking for a family for 25 years without a thermomix and over the last year year after attending a demonstration have felt compelled to buy a thermomix. I have always felt that the thermomix reminded me of the ENYO products which I also felt compelled to purchase in a demonstration as apparently after years of cleaning I did not clean well enough and my family would suffer accordingly. Both ENYO and thermomix do what they say but are ridiculously expensive. I am waiting for a product of similar capacity to reach the retail stores at a cheaper price, just like e Enyo products. At note we all suffer from confirmation bias !
Hi Bronwen thanks for your kind feedback, glad you liked the article.
Bronwen if you are happy cooking without the Thermomix, good on you, don’t feel compelled, go with what you want to do, no one will suffer except for you if you buy one when you were not convinced of its value. I was so I am happy but if not, do not go there. What gets me is that people buy things and then blame the company. You only get the benefit of something you buy if you actually value and use it. If you don’t think they are of value, do your research before you buy, and don’t buy if you don’t think it is of value, quite simple really. I would NOT take an order for a Thermomix if I thought someone was just buying out of peer pressure, and yes I have said and done that.
Interesting review, but it’s not a pyramid scheme. In a pyramid scheme, you can never make more money than the person that introduced you. In direct marketing, if you do the work, you make the money. The person who introduces you has to do work to make more money than you, they can’t just introduce you and then profit off your work.
The benefit of direct marketing is that the ‘advertising’ is done via word of mouth, by people that use and love the products. There are no (minimal) advertising fees, no costs to have shop fronts, no employing of staff who really don’t care about the product or if they sell one, just as long as they get their $20/hour!
I’m not a thermomix distributor, just wanted to let you know you’ve got the idea of direct marketing wrong.
Hey Emma, thanks for your comment. The definition of pyramid scheme according to wikipedia is:
“a non-sustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public”
How the profit is distributed is irrelevant. Your point is entirely not valid. It has to do with whether enrolling people into the scheme is a significant portion of the revenue raised, as opposed to the contribution from the product itself.
Regardless, someone lower in a pyramid scheme hierarchy can earn more than someone above if the lower person enrolls more people and the higher person doesn’t earn much from other members below him.
Loved your article. Returned from Thermomix party last night and, you guessed it, the wife wants one. Have the same reservations about direct marketing as you and believe product is worth about half its actual price, at best. Nonetheless, I fear I will end up with one in my kitchen. While I don’t like the party-plan approach to marketing it does work well, particularly for females who are often into the “community” as much as the actual product.
Hey mate thanks for your comment, I also reckon you’ll end up with a thermomix. If your wife wants it, then the cost may well be less than the pain of not getting it.
Hey hey, that’s a life lesson (and secret of a happy marriage?)
Love to read through this blog.
Can’t thank you enough for your honest review! As a sufferer of confirmation bias from both Enjo and Tupperware (and watched slack jawed as two close relatives paid out $4000 each for a Rainbow vacuum cleaner – YUP!!!!) its so refreshing to see a review that takes in the big picture and finally gives me an explaination/label for that feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when I go to one of these demonstrations!!!!!
And I agree with you on the selling scheme – regardless of previous posts 🙂 The products work on a legalised version of the same thing roughly – and the tactic includes making the suitor feel like they are not doing a good job without one. I give myself a hard enough time as a mum/wife/friend without someone else bashing me about the ears with it whether they mean to or not!!
Agree, Thermomix seems like a fantastic product & loved the demonstration, but am happy to continue saving to buy the camper trailer and the tinny to put on top of it. You’ve helped me not feel guilty about not owning a TM 🙂
Thanks again and you should def consider going into paid reviewing – best one I’ve read ever 🙂 Incredibly helpful from any perspective. Was really surprised at the negative reviews, but I guess thats what balance is all about 🙂
Hey Tae I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Yeah get your camper trailer first and enjoy the country. Paid reviewing ay. I’m waiting for the job offers to come in but have got none so far. Maybe it will pick up with a change in government?
I was searching for “how much does it cost to run a Thermomix” & found your interesting review. I will confess straight up I am a Thermomix consultant & have had a TM for 5 years. I hated cooking before getting it & really enjoy it now so it’s saved us masses of money as I don’t “do” take away meals any more. I am not fanatical nor do I do everything in it that I could. My reason for commenting is on the pyramid aspect of your review. My understanding (vs a definition) of a pyramid scheme is that what you invest dictates what you get returned. This means that there are different entry levels that people go in at enabling them to buy the “product” being sold at lower & lower prices so that they get a higher margin. As Thermomix consultants we all pay exactly the same for a Thermomix so it can never be described as a pyramid sales method. You mention that margins must be higher in the direct sales model because of reduced sales volumes. You are forgetting the $ required to advertise, ship, warehouse, train sales agents, provide follow up service as well as manufacture any product sold in a store. The Thermomix would be much more costly if we were to sell it in retail outlets NOT cheaper simply to enable the level of customer competence around using it. They really do have to be seen in action for anyone to get their heads around them. No one is denying that they are a chunk of money. In 5 years I have only had one person regret buying it & she could have purchased a blender for what she wanted it to do. No consultant with any longevity in this business does the “hard sale” nor an emotional sale. There are plenty of consultants around these days & all those of you who resist the idea of having some stranger in your home trying to twist your arm to buy one needs to do is ask around. You’ll easily be able to find a consultant who will meet you where you’re at. We can do one on one demonstrations & there are cooking classes readily advertised on the website to enable you to see one in action. There are advantages to having a personal demonstration and only you can decide if that’s the level of service you wish to enjoy. Don’t let the sales model put you off finding out if a Thermomix is for you or not. On the competitors all I will say is that we have had a number of customers who have bought the cheaper copies & later bought a Thermomix when dissatisfied with their original purchase. That is not to say there are not a number of very contented Thermo-cooker owners out there however if reliability and quality are important to you then the Thermomix wins every time.
Hey Jane thanks for your comment.
Your understanding of pyramid schemes is not correct and your reasoning isn’t valid. The intricacies of how a pyramid scheme is set up are irrelevant. The definition is very simple and clear. Check wikipedia. With many pyramid schemes, everyone is on the same level. You pay your enrollment and earn money by getting others to enroll, same as everyone else who has enrolled. Anyway it doesn’t matter whether this is the case or not.
I understand that Thermomix enthusiasts don’t like the negative connotations of associating thermomix with pyramid schemes. Unfortunately that’s part of the game when direct marketing.
Direct marketed products are universally more expensive than their off-the-shelf counterparts. I know of exactly zero examples to the contrary. It’s because of the higher margins and money that feeds the pyramid hierarchy.
Most experiences I’ve had with direct marketing are negative. Pushy sales people trying to convince me to get something I don’t want or pay more than what I’d usually be prepared to pay. Depriving me of the opportunity to compare against competitors. Using sleazy emotionally charged marketing techniques.
Yes some people may like direct marketing. There are advantages. It’s not for me though and generally I won’t allow any direct marketing purchases. Wife was lucky to sneak this one through!
Hi Joe, It seems the truth is coming out now… what started as a balanced review is now talking about , sleazy, emotionally charged marketing, enthusiasts, games, expensive, high margins, feeding the hierarchy. Can you please give an example of another product similar to Thermomix that fits into your idea of this scheme, perhaps an Ab-Cruncher or the like as I do not understand your persistence with the Pyramid scheme idea. By the way there is a cooling off period after your wife purchased her Thermomix where she could have returned it if not happy and also if you list on eBay for sale I am pretty you will get a very good return on your money as the demand is so great, then you wont have to be in so much angst about your wife’s regretful purchase and could purchase that small dinghy and maybe a paperclip for $300 : )
Yo Stephanie when I talk about pyramid schemes and direct marketing I am not targeting thermomix. I’ve never been to a thermomix sales session, the above comment is my general experience with direct marketing. I didn’t mean to convey that I am in so much angst about the thermomix. Actually in the article I say I’m ok with it. Anything direct marketing I call a pyramid scheme. Enyo, Amway, Bessemer, etc. Nothing against thermomix in particular. I just don’t like direct marketing and I explain why in the article.
Thank you very much, that’s what I call a perfect review! I’ve really enjoyed it, very funny and still everything is included what I need to make a wise decision later on, thank you, Joe!
You’re welcome thanks for your kind words glad the article was useful, happy thermomixing.
hi OUTBACK JOE.
Thanks for the review. Im particularly interested in the portable side of using a thermomix. Being in a camper van.
I feel the thermomox would be ideal for camping trips due to its alomost all in 1 approach. My concern is the necessary wattage of power required to work the thermie.
I dont currently have a dual cell battery or inverter. Considering the aim is to run a thermomix, what size battery and inverter would you suggest for a camper van??
would a 100aH dry cell battery and a 1000W inverter suffice??
I get that to use the thermie it would be best to run it when the ignition is on, but whats the least wattage of an inverter that could be used without blowing fuses etc?
Hey Brad if you are using the thermomix to cook then you will need maybe 2000W inverter to be safe, the total rated power of the thermomix is 1500W. If just blending and not heating then 1000W would be fine. A 100Ah battery will last about 30 minutes to 50% capacity if cooking with the thermomix. That’s with no other loads. I think I might write a camping with the thermomix article to tidy up these sorts of questions. Don’t know when I’ll get around to it.
Thanks for your wonderful article!
I totally agree with your reservations regarding direct marketing, especially the fact that the price is fixed with no discounts available, and that I can’t shop around. I resent having to pay considerably more money for the product just because I live in Australia, which makes me hate the thermomix business model.
All that said, I have just ordered a thermomix from a local consultant anyway! I decided that dispite all the stuff I hate surrounding the thermomix, I still really want one, and want it badly enough to buy one even with its inflated price.
I have never been to a demo but have used and borrowed friends’ thermomixes, and am sure of my decision. When I contacted my local consultant I said I didn’t need a demo before buying since I already wanted one. She was happy with that but offered me a free thermoserver if I had a delivery demonstration – which of course I accepted 😉 I get something for “free” and she gets the opportunity to generate more sales – win-win 🙂
Hey Mim hope the article was useful good luck with your new thermomix!
Thanks for the article, I’m looking at getting a Thermomix soon and its great to have another opinion. Love the camping option, wouldn’t have thought of it.
My only comment, after reading quite a few articles on this, is that the demonstration model (aka pyramid selling) might be the best and fairest way to sell such a complex product. I can’t currently believe that it can do all the things they say – and wouldn’t buy it off the shelf, no matter what price, as I would think it was over-promising. A demonstration allows you to show all the options and justify the price.
Hi Annie I’d prefer half the price and read the manual. There are far more complicated and expensive products that are not sold via direct marketing. But there are some advantages of direct marketing that some people might prefer it.
Loved yr review , convinced me I’d enjoy a thermomix.
You’ve a harsh view on direct-selling though. And irrespective of ‘wikipedias’ ‘definition’, anytime I, or the average pleb hear the words ‘pyramid scheme’, we immediately think things like – scam, Christopher Scase, no-product and duped! And so do most people!
So regardless of the fact that thermomix’s selling model of choice fits with wikipedia’s literal definition of pyramid scheme, it certainly doesn’t fit with most people’s generalized perception of ‘pyramid scheme’. Hence, why you received so much corrective rebuttal from your readers for using the words ‘pyramid scheme’ in context with thermomix.
I’m with Annie1608 – I’m a – need to see it to believe it kinda person too. The price doesn’t intimidate me if it does what it claims to, but sitting in a box on a shelf in a store, would never entice me to buy it. Neither would watching videos. Reading reviews or hearing about it. I want to see with my own eyes. Taste with my own mouth what this machine can do. So a demo, is the ONLY way they’ll entice me or get my money.
As for making mums feel bad about what there feeding their kids, nobody can make you feel anything. Offering a device that can prepare food minus the nasties is just a truthful health benefit the machine offers.
Hey Moana glad the article was helpful. Many people I know associate pyramid schemes with over priced direct marketing. And many people I know, plus myself, have had negative experiences with direct marketing. It does have advantages though, like you say. But there are far more expensive and complicated items that are not direct marketed. I’d rather pay half the price and read the brochure or the manual. Other people might prefer paying double and having the hands on demo and support. There is huge emotion with direct marketing, both from the sellers and the buyers who have confirmation bias. Hence the massive thermomix cult and the dislike of associating thermomix with pyramid schemes. This is the same for any direct marketed product.
Six months after reading your review, I still can’t decide whether to get one or not. I have to mention that I did buy the cheap Bellini. I didn’t use it much, but, returned it because of some blue dye coming out of the steamer. I read lots of posts on their facebook group. It seems that there’s always something wrong with the machine. But to give Bellini credit, they do honour their warranty. No one seems to have any problems with getting their machine replaced. I’ve even read someone who’s on their 4th Bellini already :).
TMX is not without it’s limitations. Despite what people think, the TMX does NOT diced, sliced or grate. Then there’s the plastic issue, lots of parts that come into contact with food is made of plastic. Food heated/cooked in plastic is a big ‘no-no’ for me. It’s also super-loud when it’s grinding / milling. I almost needed an ear-plug when I went to the demo.
Now, I’ve just found out there’s another competitor, called: HotMixPro (HMP). It’s made in Italy. So, it’s gotta be better than any ‘Chinese-made-wannabes’. It’s not cheap, though. Apparently the selling price in Europe is almost the same as in Australia. Unlike the TMX, where the price in Australia seems to be UN-justly inflated.
If anyone is interested, this blogger did a comparison chart for the various different Thermo cookers in the market.
The only thing missed in the chart is the Kenwood Cooking Chef. Which I think would probably be the only machine that does it all (including: slicing, grating, julienne – all of which the TMX can NOT do). The only draw-back is it’s got waaaay too many attachments.
Lastly, I hate how the TMX owners are soooo defensive, snobby & biased! (There, I said it! It’s like a cult, almost!). Apart from you, OutbackJoe, ofcourse, you’re the 1st un-biased TMX owner I’ve ever met in the blog sphere. For that, I thank you! 🙂
Hey Sharon thanks for your kind words, I’m glad my review comes across as less biased than some of the Thermomix cult leaders. Mind you I don’t think that’s hard to do given how extremely biased some of them are!
The price difference between the Bellini and the Thermomix is so extreme that you can’t compare. No doubt the build quality of the Bellini is poorer than the Thermomix. But I wouldn’t give up on the Bellini. Once the teething problems are sorted it could end up being a pretty good product at a fraction of the price.
Hi Joe!! ( and Sharni) Its amber here Krystles sister.
I am about to become a thermomix consultant and as I am still very skeptical about the whole price, and product and have only seen one in the flesh twice, i thought id do some googling and came across your blogg here.. I have just read it out loud to hubby ( allan) who laid on the couch with arms crossed the whole time.. once I finished though he sat bolt upright and said.. well lets go camping! haha
thanks for the good read and for your personal (manly) opinion on the thermomix!
ill definately refer friends who are trying to “convince” their better halfs they NEED a Thermie, to read your blog for inspiration. 🙂
Yo Amber Thanks for visiting, glad the article was useful. Good luck with the selling. Yes go camping and enjoy our beautiful outback!
Thanks for this review, Outback Joe.
My concern with the Thermomix is that although there might be “endless” recipes you can make in/or with the help of this machine, people cite the same ones over and over again. ie. bread dough, sauces/custards, risotto, sorbet, butter. The smoothness of and easiness of making a sauce in this machine is great, but there is nothing else it really offers that I don’t already have a machine to do. I own a really good Braun juicer, and I use it. I have a Kenwood, and I use it. I don’t make cakes from packets (why would I? I can cook…) Therefore, it does not make an endless array of dishes. I could have a different dish every night, the demonstrator told me – but that would mean I actually thought about the recipe, bought the ingredients, just like with making a new or exciting dish by any other method
So I’m finding even though I can recognise the cleverness of this device, its an utterly unjustifiable expense. “It makes bread dough!” Yes but so do my hands. So does the Kenwood. “It juices!” Yes but not the sort of juice I’d ideally like to drink, thank you very much! “It makes daiquiris!” I have an ice-crushing blender already, and it looks nicer than the Thermomix does. Spice grinding, icing sugar… yeah yeah I do that in the kenwood already. You can do that with a barmix handwand thing, too, as I did in the years before I had my own place and didn’t have a proper kitchen machine.
Are there times when I would like a Bearnaise sauce but can’t be fagged to make it? Of course. Would Thermomix overcome this? Yes. Is Bearnaise-sauce-accessibility worth $2000? Don’t be ridiculous.
I think part of the popularity is the expense itself. I think it would sell less if it cost $500 (know what I mean?). My oven is good, cooks a range of foods very evenly (from baked custard to roast chicken, to cakes and other baking), has 4 hotplates and a grill, and cost about 50% of a Thermomix (!). I didn’t buy a pyrolytic oven because I couldn’t justify the expense (and this morning I therefore had to spend a few minutes rubbing vinegar and bicard over the inside of the oven door to get it clean) but think how many more people WOULD buy them if they were being demonstrated at your friend’s house. My awesome Avanti flatbar roadbike cost 40% of a Thermomix.
Yes, I’d have one. Nup, definitely not getting one.
Yo Justine thanks for ya comment. Yeah the thermomix nuts present it as if it’s a life essential but for the price you can argue you don’t get much for it since other stuff does most of what it can do already. A problem with pyramid schemes is there’s so much emotion in the product rather than just letting folks make their own judgement on value.
I thought the idea of a reluctance motor was to save costs ? Yes, near maximum torque at all speeds is a huge bonus, but isn’t it really a cost-cutting exercise by not having to use permanent rare earth magnets ? The ‘complexity’ being the electronic control circuits or switching circuits rather than the motor itself.
My issues with the TM are much the same as yours. The company has obviously consulted psychologists (and history) to work out how to massively overprice something, and still have a happy and loyal fan-base. I personally cannot get over the 2 year warranty period (top-end competitors offer 10, even 20 years on their motor) that they say is not transferable.
Good, balanced review.
Yo suburban Joe yeah I’m not sure of the reasons for using a reluctance motor specifically. It might be a bit cheaper than a typical brushless DC. They could have done the same job with a brushless DC or even an AC induction motor which does not use permanent magnets. The point is a reluctance motor would not be used for a fixed speed application. The cheapest design is fixed speed and definitely not using a reluctance motor. So firstly it’s decided that variable speed is required (which will increase cost regardless of design) and then the type of motor is chosen. So thermomix engineers came up with the reluctance motor for their variable speed solution, maybe because it’s cheaper than other variable speed solutions, but still much more expensive than fixed speed. The arrangement in the thermomix is much more expensive then say your standard blender. You can get a brand new blender for $50 and it will most likely use a universal motor. Yeah warranty is annoying. You’d be pretty pissed if your thermomix broke in two years just out of warranty especially with its huge expense.
Hi, Just wondering who the top end competitors who offer 10, 20 year warranties?
I think SuburbanJoe means generally some expensive stuff comes with a long warranty. For example your mates at Bessemer and CutCo offer lifetime warranties I believe. Bryston speakers have a 20 year warranty. Some cars have 10 year warranties on engine and driveline. My waeco car fridge has a 3 year full warranty and a 5 year warranty on the compressor. Dyson vacuum cleaners and Loewe TVs have a 5 year warranty. Thermomix has less than half the warranty of all these. Sometimes, for expensive stuff with a motor, the motor has a long warranty, because the motor is pretty expensive and should last a long time. I am sure there should be some examples for expensive fridges and dishwashers or something. Not sure, I don’t buy that stuff, let’s see if SuburbanJoe responds.
Thanks for your review. I found it informative, well written and fair.
I have been involved in direct selling (not very good lol), and I know people who have been caught by pyramid schemes, and I understand the comparison. I agree that demonstrations are great for showing people how to use the products, but there is alot a emotion involved as well. People will spend more when they are shown perceived benefits of the items being demonstrated. Brand loyality also encourages spending. Enough said.
I have become interested in purchasing a Thermomix, but I am put off by the high cost and/or lack of warranty. I appreciated finding your review, as so many blogs/reviews are by consultants and therefore not unbiased there seems to be alot of emotion attached to the Thermomix which makes it difficult to make an informed purchase. Also the other competitors do not have as many people discussing their benefits.
I enjoy cooking, it is my hobby, but I am also time poor. Space in my kitchen is another consideration, too many appliances, not enough storage. So a machine like the Thermomix or Thermochef looks attractive to me.
Great to come across a review that is not emotion driven. Still interested in the Thermomix although I am finding it hard to justify the expense.
Hey Vanessa glad the article was useful and thank you for your positive words. Thermomix make it a tough decision by charging so much. Good luck!
This is a brilliant review! I think your points about direct marketing and confirmation/economic bias in most TM reviews are very well made.
I have had a Bellini Intelli Kitchen Machine (BIKM) for a few months now, and as someone who cooks a lot and enjoys cooking I find it very useful and a true timesaver. I take on cooking tasks with it that I would have previously been deterred from by the combination of chopping, monitoring cooking to avoid burning the food, and washing up multiple pots, pans and containers. Last night, for instance, I rounded out scanty Indian takeaway leftovers to a full meal for visiting friends by making lentil dahl at short notice, as well as making my toddler fried rice for her dinner. Having the BIKM has also reinvigorated my interest in making jams and preserves and other food “extras” that aren’t necessarily cheaper than bought but are certainly more enjoyable to eat.
Your comments about camping also make me wish I’d had a BIKM or similar during the 18 months I spent bluewater cruising. It would have been incredibly useful, and we certainly had an inverter capable of handling the power requirements.
Although the BIKM clearly doesn’t perform at quite the same level as the TM, mine has been reliable and the customer service is excellent. The lack of reverse function really does mean shelling out $80 for a second bowl will enhance its usefulness greatly, though. Having the BIKM has made me slightly regret my prior but still recent purchase of a Breville food processor to replace my old Kitchen Wizz that finally threw in the towel after twenty years of dedicated service. If only the BIKM/TM machines would grate food amongst their many other functions! (As an aside, when did a “mid-range” food processor begin costing $350-$400!)
For anyone considering a TM purchase, I would strongly suggest buying a BIKM and seeing if you actually like and use this style of appliance. If you buy one on special at $279, you can usually sell it secondhand for $200+ if you don’t use it or find you eventually want to upgrade to a TM. Also with minimal modifications you can easily use all the TM recipe resources and tips that are available online.
$2000 is a huge risk for a purchase you may or may not use enough to get value from!
For myself, I’m off to a TM demo this morning. The consultant needs bums on seats and I’m keen to pick up what tips I can for my BIKM cooking. At least I know that if there was something sneaky in the drinks and we did unexpectedly decide to buy into the TM dream I would actually use it rather than acquire an expensive dust collector!
Hey stepmum thanks for your feedback. Glad you’re getting good use out of your Bellini. Yeah 2k is too much risk for me to buy a fancy blender. Wife decided otherwise though! Bellini is a good entry like you say.
I love my TM. I understand the reluctance to shell out $2K for a kitchen appliance BUT I am sure if you took a good look around your kitchen at the current appliances you have – it would add up to much more than $2k. I had a Bellini to start with and it blew it’s motor three months after purchase. So I took it back, booked a TM demo and haven’t looked back. It is a different way of cooking and it takes a couple of months to get used to it but it is a fantastic machine and I haven’t regretted it for a minute. Hubby is right into it these holidays too. He made polenta pizza and corn bread yesterday and the day before shortbread! Oh and the reason TM is sold via direct sales is because if you saw this machine in DJ’s next to all the other kitchen appliances, you wouldn’t believe that one machine could do all the things it claims to do (and it does!). Seeing really is believing in this case.
Hi Sekai, a blender, electric hotplate and kitchen scales would sum to about $200 and you get the flexibility of dedicated equipment. So thermomix is 10 times more expensive then equivalent kitchen appliances. Yes if you keep summing the value of all your appliances it will eventually exceed a thermomix but not sure what your point is there. A house also costs more than a thermomix.
Yes each and every pyramid scheme has a reason for their product “needing” to be sold in a pyramid scheme. I don’t think the reasons are valid. Is there a limit to the number of features that can be marketed traditionally? What is the limit and how is that limit derived? Wouldn’t a demonstration help sell off-the-shelf products? Anything can be sold in any arrangement with the same advantages and disadvantages. No product is special.
Great article and humour. I’ve bookmarked your site as it’s solid!
Hi, my sister and I have been looking at the thermomix for a little while now. (nice if you could get a discount for 2 or more) I think I would have been keen to buy one before when I was newly married and did not have the amount of kitchen equipment bought over the years. I will be looking more into the purchase before I part with so much money. Surely the time saving is just as important in our busy lives. I must admit the best kitchen appliance was an easy oven my mother bought for my sister and I over 20 years ago. I can’t count how many friends have bought one since.
Fabulous article, I really enjoyed it, thank you 🙂 I also really appreciate the male perspective, as well as a male in the kitchen – that doesn’t happen in my house 😦
I just wanted to comment on the party plan, direct selling method.
I purchased a Bellini just before Christmas, brought it home, and had no idea what to do with it. In fact, I was intimidated by it. It took a week or two to build up the courage to force myself to make a recipe to try and figure out what to do with it. After I started making a few recipes, I finally started to build up confidence.
Since purchasing my Bellini and trying out the cooking style, I’ve upgraded to a Thermomix.
A consultant comes to my home, shows me how to use it, and we both make something together to ensure that I know what to do and how my machine works.
I think that direct selling ensures that you understand the product you have, and how to use it. People are loyal to Thermomix because they know how to use them and get the best out of them.
I think the Bellini is a great introduction to the world of Thermal cooking, but I have always wanted a Thermomix, and the Bellini just wasn’t reliable because of the build quality. For me it was a stepping stone, to try out the cooking style and see if it was for me, and it served it’s purpose well.
I like to compare it to they type of car you drive. Some people buy Kia’s, and some people buy Merc’s. It comes down to what you can afford, what you’re comfortable spending, and personal taste.
I am in agreement with some of the reviewers however – you do have a talent for writing reviews 🙂
Thanks for the read
Hey Misheemee thanks for your feedback and kind words. Yeah direct selling has some advantages but it comes at great expense. Glad it worked for you and your thermomix. Happy cooking!
I’ve been researching Thermomixes for months now, and this was one of the best reviews I’ve read!
Maybe strangely, this article has finally convinced me to buy one. It helped me realize that what really was grossing me out was the “pyramid scheme” flavour of the product. It just rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning. In my age (fairly young) and circle of friends, anything sold by direct marketing is immediately suspect and probably a rip-off. But I was so torn, because seeing it in action and reading from all the cultish worshippers it sounded and seemed so fantastic.
My conclusion is that this is a good marketing technique for this machine, because of what it is and what it does and how much it costs. It’s a prestige type item that women want to show off to their friends, and rightly so. And while I’ll never be a consultant and won’t be talking my friends into it, I will humbly show it off when they come over for dinner.
To me, a youngish person who is really learning to love to cook and doesn’t have dozens of high-end kitchen appliances (I have a crap blender that hardly crushes ice, a hand mixer that smokes when I try to mix something too dense) this is an investment that will allow me to conveniently cook much healthier than I otherwise would. I have saved up for 6 months and considered carefully, and I think I can overcome the slightly shady feeling that the direct marketing brings.
Thanks for your enlightening and amusing article!
Really a great review.
I’m still in the ebay price mind set. Best price but don’t expect service support.
If I want service and support then I buy locally from a shop.
Warranties on overseas purchases are not valid in Australia. And warranties on Australian Purchases are not transferable. Two year warranties are now standard minimum I believe by law.
I’d like to encourage OutBackJoe to attend one of the direct marketing presentations now and post his review here. I think it would make a fantastic follow up article to an excellent original review. Trusting the second review would be just as honest as the first. Letting us know if the sales pitch was hard or soft. Then have their local consultant give the after sales demo and post a review here as well. And see if you appreciate your TMX any more or less. i.e. a renewed interest in cooking with the TMX.
And yes, I’ve heard the big spend justification afterwards with private schools and round the world holidays and luxury cars. It’s natural and everyone does it. It just makes people feel better about spending so much money. So I can’t hold it against them.
hey whodatbedare cheers for your feedback. You won’t see me at any direct marketing presentations, all the cheese makes me feel sick. If anything it would make me feel worse about the thermomix since I dislike direct marketing.
Unbiased review of the product. Biased review of the company. Not interested in an unbiased followup. Fair enough. Ya gotta be you. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Can’t hold that against you or your review. And never will. You could attend the presentation without compromising your prejudice. And just keep it to yourself if it isn’t what you wanted it to be. Or go with an open mind and be happy with whatever the outcome is. Confirming or deducing that its not the evil empire and not so clearly if it ain’t white then it’s black. And tell us not so fortunate how it went. Cheese or no cheese would be very interesting. And give this thread a huge boost. Positive or not. That’s if you get the time between camping, fishing, writing unbiased reviews (kinda) , responding calm, cool, and collected to these replies, and cooking with the TMX. Love your work.
Maybe biased against the company or sales method, but my biggest gripe is the price. Root cause of the price is the sales method, but if it was super cheap and sold in a pyramid scheme I’d snap it up. I can’t do pyramid scheme presentations or parties. When they start crapping on about how this or that would make me feel or what I’d do with all the extra spare time or money saved or whatever other sales routine they’ve been trained to spew forth it makes me quite sick.
I know this article is a bit old but I wanted to add a comment about my TMX experience. My TMX is now six years old. And while I enjoy using it I have had some big issues. Not long out of the 2 year warranty my TMX broke down twice. And both times I had to pay in the hundreds of dollars to have it repaired. At the time I fought black and blue with Vorwerks for my right to not to have to pay for repair on a product that they claim lasts unto and beyond 30 years. I now know that in Australia we have laws that I should have used to protect MY consumer rights, and Vorwerk should have paid for these repairs, as the product was no longer fit for purpose within a reasonable time frame, considering their claims(verbal and non verbal) and the cost of the item. (e.g. if you buy a $5 toaster you should not expect it to last beyond 6 to 12 months)
I am very disappointed to now hear that a friend of mine is having the same problems and Vorwerk are refusing to cover the costs of her broken TMX(that is broken in no part due to anything she has done wrong). I believe these breakages are rare, however the customer assistance in repairing our TMX is NOT to current sales standards or consumer rights.
I know that many of my friends saved up for years to be able to purchase their TMX’s and would not be able to afford the repair costs that Vorwerks refuse to pay, and like my friends who’s has broken they would become $2,000 paper weights.
And for the record my $5 toaster has lasted longer than my TMX did.
Hey R’ee that’s disappointing about your thermomix. It would be very annoying to pay such a huge price for a premium appliance and have it fail after a little more than 2 years. Like already mentioned by others, a longer warranty would be great, even if the longer warranty is just on the expensive bits inside like what some other premium appliance vendors offer. What failed on your thermomix?
I honestly can’t remember I went hunting for the receipts a few weeks back but can’t find the repair receipts. I recall both times it flashed up with “Er..” and a number. It was something internal not working correctly. I don’t think it was electrical.
Hi outback Joe, great review!!! I would love a thermomix but with its price and only 2 year warranty I just can’t justify that. My husband has drills a third of this price and he has a five year warranty and uses them daily too. I will be buying a cheaper alternative that has a longer warranty, the Kogan thermoblend has the option of 5 years and is under $300, so that is more realistic I think.
Hey Jennifer yeah Kogan seems like a good deal. Doesn’t look like it weighs stuff but for such a massive saving if it does everything else good then could be a nice option. Have you got your Kogan yet? Any good?
Really well written blog! A bit blokey, a bit techy, a bit plain old fashioned, respectable “this is my opinion, based on my experience, take it or leave it”.
Anywa, not sure if this has been addressed / raised in previous comments, or if it’s of any interest to your audience, but a big thing for me when deciding whether or not to buy a Thermomix was the environmental credentials. I am mortified by the economic rationale of buying a cheap, crappy something now, and then throw it out and buy a new cheap, crappy replacement when the other one dies. The whole concept of inbuilt obsolescence I find abhorrent. The reason for there being cheap, crappy things on the market is because somewhere along the line of mining and transporting the raw materials, manufacturing, production, packaging, transporting, marketing, middle men, retail, something(s) or someone(s) is missing out. Known as externalities, where the cost of something is not born by those who profit from it. Usually the environment or workers in offshore factories. There’s a really great little 20 minute video called The Story of Stuff which is really worth watching / sharing around http://storyofstuff.org/
Anyway, I feel that the Thermomix is something that will pretty much last a life time. I remember “them” saying that the unit only has a 1 or 2 year warranty because if anything is going to go wrong, it will surface pretty quickly because there won’t be any wear & tear damage because there aren’t any moving parts in the motor (ie. cogs that interface with each other) because the motor is turned by some magnetic field… I don’t remember what it’s called.
Hi Mon yeah good point chucking stuff away all the time is depleting the earth of resources and bad for the environment. I don’t like doing it. But it’s hard to validate for the case of the thermomix because it is so ridiculously expensive. For example if minimising depletion of the earth’s resources is a high priority then you could have bought a $300 al-cheapo and $1700 worth of solar panels and have those solar panels helping to reduce our impact on the planet for the next 30 years. The opportunity cost of investing a lot of resources into the better quality product needs to be considered. If the better quality product doesn’t require much more resources to procure compared to the inferior quality product then it’s a no brainer.
Hi Joe, thanks for a great article. I loved it and puts into words a lot that I have also been thinking about the thermomix.
Now I’d love a similar assessment of purchasing those hilux wheels.
There is an x factor that you take for granted in relation to these tyres but don’t even acknowledge in relation to the thermomix. But I assure you that it’s at least as strong. Jane
Yeah there is x factor. If it makes someone happy then it’s a good thing. However the line between “making someone happy” and “conned by consumerist society” can be blurred.
I sell them and the reason was to learn more of what I can do, from that community. The price pales into insignificance when I was a person who hated cooking and so bored with every meal decision. Yes I am a raving fan and proud of it. I don’t “sell” I just tell people it will be their decision of when not if!! I have people ringing me 12 months later saying “I’m ready”
First thing that goes into the van when packing!!
Fantastic article, and browsing through these comments has given me a bit of a chuckle. I will show this to my wife. Great perspective!
Ha yeah lot’s of Thermomix nuts out there. Hope your wife enjoys it!
Hi Joe, good on you for taking the time to write such a detailed opinion on your Thermomix Journey, I found it to be a great read. Whilst I can’t say I agree with everything you say I love that at the end of it all you are happy with your machine and in particular the customer service. I know for a lot of people they are not harnessing the full potential of their Thermomix so feel like it was not money well spent which is such a shame. For me I use it probably between 5-8 times a day on various things. Something as simple as grating the cheese to preparing a full Indian banquet! I thought I would share with you my analysis of cost saving. I really felt I needed to take a close look at my pre TMX days to now so I could fully appreciate how and where we are saving money if any. I was delighted with the outcome. Its different for everyone but for me it was money more than well spent and I would do it again in a heartbeat! Ebony 🙂
Hey Ebony thanks for your comment and share on facebook. I checked out your savings on food and stuff, it’s a lot. It’s good that thermomix helps contribute to that saving by encouraging you to make more stuff at home.
So whilst I have been on a 6 month job in Africa I also became the proud owner of a Thermomix – I’m told by my wife that it is the answer for World Peace. If it cooks well (looks great in the photos) then I’m sold.
I’m also informed that there is a requirement to bring it bush…..
So adding a 2000W inverter plus a third battery (to avoid idling my truck or running a generator) certainly adds up!
$2k for the TM
$2k for an inverter hat doesn’t burst into flames… Ouch
Haha world peace ay, sounds right. 4k to cook in the bush, pretty harsh. At least you can run the hair straightener now too. I bought an al-cheapo inverter and although it’s a bit dodgy and has had some issues it hasn’t burst into flames yet.
Thanks for this well thought out review. I have been reading up on the Thermomix – a number of my friends have recently bought them – and I was getting a bit sick from all the sugar in the Thermomix Praiseathon. Your review adds a bit of balance and washes away a bit of the oversweet.
Hey Di glad the article was useful for ya, good luck with your ongoing battle in the Thermomix Praiseathon!
My woman cooks my food and very good food now. Can’t see how $2000 on a kitchen instrument will save me any time or make the food better.
haha yeah, it won’t save you any time at all if you’re woman is doing all the cooking. Use the money on some beer and fishing stuff instead.
Excellent review from a mans perspective. Also loved your thoughts on Pyramid scemes and lets face it MANY a product or “party plan” falls under that little one. For me, when the Mrs was asking if she could spend $2000+ on a fancy mixer, I asked a mate of mine who is a professional chef. His response was this: “Yes some professionals use them. But if it was my money I’d buy the Bellini. Much cheaper and just as good”. Now I know that the Bellini “doesn’t do reverse” and you have to switch blades, but that logic means that a “reverse gear” ALONE……ALONE is worth ~$1400 to you. Now THAT is comparing apples with apples 😉
Hey Chris the Bellini is only 300 big ones isn’t it? That means reverse gear is worth $1700. But I think the Beliini doesn’t weigh and build quality probably not as good although I aint never tried it.
An interesting article however a few points i want to make. They use the same emotional techniques even if you purchase something in store, its called sales. Also you talk about margins, what research and evidence do you have on this front as it would seem to me that even stores would have to have high margins to cover expenses such as employees, rent on building, running costs, advertising etc
Hey Kim are you saying going to a store is the same experience as going to a pyramid scheme party? Please, don’t waste my time. Can you explain why pyramid scheme products are universally more expensive than off the shelf equivalents? Do a survey on relative prices – theres the evidence. All the expenses you mention are encountered by both pyramid schemes and traditional stores but the pyramid scheme also needs to pay off the pyramid hierarchy.
What a great read! It took me a year of outright refusal to even look at a Thermomix. There was no way I was spending $2k on a kitchen item that would most likely end up sitting on the bench doing very little.
I finally had to use my mothers to make baby food which took me 40% of the usual time with my daughter attached to my hip. Which was just impossible the regular way lol. The next day I ordered one without ever seeing a demo.
After a couple of months, I realised that I wasn’t using it to its full potential. I took a couple of cooking classes and they totally opened my eyes to what I could do! And I tried – and loved – things that I would never think to make.
12 months down the track, the TM5 came out and it took 3 seconds for my husband to agree to me buying a second one as I often was cooking in the TM31 and unable to make anything else at the same time.
I truly do suggest that you and your wife take up a couple of classes if you haven’t already. Make your own butter. Infuse oils! Steam your sticky date puddings or cupcakes. Try multi-layer cooking. The flavours infuse and it may open your eyes to a whole lot of new possibilities.
Hey A you do know that any old belender can be operated one handed right? Actually easier than thermomix since the lid on the thermomix needs to be locked.
So it took you 3 seconds to decide to get a second thermomix? With that sort of financial acumen I bet you guys will be working until you’re 65.
Those motor controller features are not in the least impressive, I bought a controller from China for $10 that does all that, it is not rocket science. The question is not so much why this product is so great, but why the alternatives are so poorly designed and engineered. The lack of quality from its competitors mean they can charge 10x what the product would be worth, if there was decent competition.
I don’t cook for a whole family, so I’m going to make do with my old food processor.
Hi thanks for the review. Regarding your concerns on “pyramid” schemes. I think you’re confusing your terms. A pyramid scheme is a scam that doesn’t actually have any products passing hands. I think what you are referring to is “direct selling” which, unlike pyramid schemes, are a) legal, b) economically sustainable, and c) a business model where everyone can make money, not just those who were first in.
Regarding your statement, “I do not want to pay for half a day’s worth of direct marketing plus the pyramid hierarchy profit plus the local distributor’s profit plus the manufacturer’s profit when I buy an appliance.” Have you thought about what you are paying for when you walk into a shop and buy a product there? It’s even more of a “pyramid” than a direct marketing scheme. You are paying for someone to stock the shelves, someone at the checkout, a cleaner. You are paying for store rental. You are paying for the OHS manager of that store’s head office, and their marketing manager, general manager, all the admin and finance staff, and you’re also paying for the rent of head office’s premises. Then, on top of that, are the shareholders who are the top of the retail “pyramid”. So, there’s layers of cost involved in everything, it’s just that in direct selling they’re transparent about where it goes. The other difference is that individuals are rewarded for effort and brains, which is sorely lacking in retail. Just something to think about.
Lastly, often the reason products are sold though direct selling or party plan, is that they’re a new and different concept and need to be explained. This is how Tupperware invented party plan – because it gave consumers the chance to have a new and innovative product explained to them properly. You’re never going to get that level of education in a shop.
And I hope you get your monster truck tyres 🙂
Hello Hermione. Sounds like you didn’t read my bit on pyramid schemes. No big tyres yet, if we can avoid buying anything in pyramid scheme for a while I should be able to afford it.
Loved this article, which I found when trying to decide whether I wanted to risk taking my Thermie camping. I’m worried it will get stolen in the caravan park! I just wish my hubby had done as much cooking in my Thermie as you have in yours (your wife’s?). One word to the men who have commented on this site – how much money have you spent on your “toys”? You might find some benefits in spoiling your wife with a Thermomix! We have had a few “pleasant interludes” while our Thermie was busy cooking dinner for us in the kitchen! And to the consultants commenting – he’s just stating his opinion, which he has a right to! Thermomixers are expensive, even if you do use them several times a day. However there are many things I cook now which I never cooked without one, so I cook more from scratch than I ever did, and I love the fact it heats and stirs at the same time without burning or overflowing!
Pleasant interludes ay. I’ve yet to experience that benefit but will definitely make some enquiries. Yes we spend a buttload on toys, but we don’t buy them in pyramid schemes at 10 times the normal price.
Hi Joe! So thankful for your perspective as a male and husband. I also greatly appreciate your expertise as an engineer. Just wondering how you and your wife finds the time saving aspect of the Thermomix. I suffer from chronic fatigue and am thinking of purchasing a thermomix to save my energy levels when cooking and preparing food.
Hey Geesquires my wife and I have pretty much been gypsies since we’ve had the thermomix so haven’t really spent much time in the kitchen doing big fancy cookups. So there isn’t really much time to be saved in our routine (or lack of routine) apart from the few seconds improvement in blending compared to your al-cheapo blender and the occasional few minutes saved cooking other stuff.
I should’ve clarified regarding the inverter question. Would it be a 2000w model as peak or usual power? I’ve seen plenty of the pure sine models that are 1500/3000w, so should I go by the first or second number? Thanks again
Hey Mr G I am talking about continuous ratings only. 1500W continuous will probably do the job. The maximum continuous power draw on a thermomix should not exceed 1500W. However I’m not completely sure on the magnitude and duration of any potential overloads. So 2000W continuous might be safer. Even though the 1500W inverter can supply short term overloads it won’t be much compared to the overload an electric motor can safely sustain.
Amazing review, as an engineer myself who enjoys cooking it was a perfect description and exactly what I was looking for.
Cheers dude thanks for your feedback.
What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of
precious know-how regarding unpredicted emotions.
What made you decide to take it camping? Recently I went away for a week caravaning and was unable to persuade the better half that it was a good choice to pack?
A very forceful request from my wife made me take it. But, on a long trip of several months or more, it’s not a bad idea, providing you already have one. For short trips we don’t take it.
Can I put the bowl in a dishwasher?
Yep sure can
A thermomix recipe with beer and peanuts. Good find!
Outbackjoe, I’ve now read two of your articles (this one and the one about chipping you engine) and loved both because you express exactly what I think (about everything). Your writing style makes for easy reading and your responses to dickhead commentors deserves a whole section on its own. I have no interest in engine chipping but I did investigate becoming a Thermomox salesperson, but decided against it when it became obvious to me that your ‘prospects’ were to be your friends and neighbours. I agree the Thermomix is good but overpriced and I also agree that 50% of the price goes to fund the selling model.
Hey Tony cheers for your kind feedback, yeah I get a few cranky people coming in on the chip article, usually people who sell them.
Your friends and neighbours will be grateful for your decision!
Well well well outbackjoe! No idea how the hell I arrived on your Thermomix review. Hell, I’d never heard of one before reading this (and i read all of it)…
I fish, hunt, and don’t have kids. 2 grand to me, is a new game rod, a years ammo and a veggie plot that’d feed 100 for a year.
The Thermowatsit machine, I have NO interest in. – But you sir write a good review, like I said I read it all.
The internet needs more manly reviews!!!
P.S. your replies to some of the comments on here… You Hero!
Hey Stuart thanks for your kind feedback. Yeah your 2 grand seems more appealing to me than a thermowatsit.
Belgian in an internet search to justify bying this expensive kitchenmachine, I was overwhelmed by your comment ongoing for years. I already felt what you say, if I ever buy it, the decision will be emotional.
Nothing Pansy about a bloke cooking,. If a guy cant look after himself, he’s no man.
Lol Outback Joe! Best review ever! Still so undecided though! I’m really struggling with the price tag…and as a woman trying not to make an emotionally based decision, time vs money and hubby just bought a jet ski and motor bike #3 vs how much time I HAVE to spend in the kitchen and cannot prepare any processed food due to my daughters serious health and dietary requirements, which hubby also has. Everything must be made from scratch, that’s time consuming and ridiculous in our Qld summers…I’d rather be out on the JetSki or motorbike as well…not stuck in the kitchen!
I think I just may have justified my decision to spend money on a cooking device that does it all? Unless somebody can advise me of a cheaper alternative? Hubby will just have to suck it up?
Brilliant review. We ended up buying one and couldn’t agree with this review more. I can live with the smaller tires as well.
Hey Joe, I know this is a bit late now, but one of the good things about the new version coming out is that a lot of people are selling off their TM31s and even with a few years use they still seem to go on and on (bit like a Hilux!). So, I’m finally going to get one, now that they’re not ridiculous money. Your review has been extremely helpful to me, and I’m glad of the lightness of touch, too. Funny and informative is rare, but you’ve pulled it off. Good on you.
Yo Jol thanks for your kind feedback, hope you pick up a bargain old thermomix, enjoy.
I really think that a lack of effort and inventiveness has hampered cooks worldwide. If there was ever a time we needed people to have automated machines that prepared and cooked fresh meals instead of takeaways it is now. Time to ditch all the processed rubbish on the supermarket shelves that are packed with sugar gums abd starches. So if bread making machines can cook jam why cant the thermomix be used to bake bread and cakes? If propellor blades could change angle in Ww2 planes then why cant a horozontal blade change to a vertical dough blade in a mixung machine. Why not add a heap of good ployeurethane insulation and turn it into an all day dreampot that uses little electricity – or a modified casing and lid to produce a pressure cooker as well – i have heaps of other ideas and i just wonder why we are not more advanced in what we can buy for the kitchen. Thermomix is just a start – why copy it when there are so many other things to add – insulative cooking – deep fry- oven – pressure cooking – freezing – come on this technology has been around for years – lets see much more automated integration – thermomix could be soooo much better.
Hey Dale I don’t reckon it’s lack of effort. Every design is a compromise and your vision for the ultimate thermomix, although I’m sure would be incredibly awesome, would probably be both prohibitively expensive and impracticably big. I like your idea of variable pitch blades though, you could turn the unit upside down and turn it into a remote control helicopter!
Thank you so much for a most entertaining AND informative article, especially your observations as listed under “Lid and Dial Interlocks.” Being somewhat nerdy (I’m often mistaken for a man on boards), build quality and the engineering behind a product are especially important to me and it kind of distresses me that issues so obvious and correctable weren’t caught by Vorwerk’s design team (there’s an Australian Thermomix owners board that has a rather chilling series of photographs of a corroded TM31 circuit board that could have been avoided had Vorwerk taken the trouble to seal it). The TM5’s response seems like overkill to me. Regardless, I’ll be picking up a new TM31 next month because I, too, prefer buttons, and you helped confirm that I made the right decision, at least for me. I only wish that such an expensive piece of goods came with a better warranty; Bamixes are sold with a 10-year warranty (my own is a good 40 years old) and Vitamixes with 5 or 7. I also appreciated your take on why the Thermomix is sold by demonstrators. Vitamixes and Bamixes (both of which I own), until recently, were sold mainly through live demonstration and I personally LOVE to see a live demo of an excellent product being put through its paces, which is why I always make it a point to catch QVC’s Vitamix pitches when they air, even though I’ve been an owner since 1988. Because most of us owners know from the get-go what our appliances can do through live demos (ironically, I’m the exception), we feel compelled to “spread the love” if a potential new owner is interested and you’ve made me realize that manufacturers count on this phenomenon. However, it’s always good to temper such enthusiasm with a point of view like yours, after which–one hopes–a well-reasoned decision can be made. Thanks again from NYC!
Hey Karen glad the article was useful, enjoy your new toy.
Just got my TM31–so far, so good, at least from what I can tell (I’m guessing checking “under the hood” wouldn’t be in my best interest if I need to invoke the warranty). In fact, I think it’s a cool enough appliance that I might consider becoming a consultant down the pike. I just wish Vorwerk hadn’t gone gimmicky with the touch screen and electronic arms. Surely all that was needed were the few actual improvements that the TM5 possesses.
Keep those articles coming! I love a well-reasoned piece of writing. :))
Gimmicky is the way of the future unfortunately. Your TM31 should serve you well. Just don’t use it at high heat and high speed at the same time else you may end up in hospital.
Love your take on the thermomix. I am still sitting on the fence. Love 4wdriving and remote camping as well. Hmmmmm pethaps no time for gadgets!
I am glad Thermomix are sold via a demo. I had to see it in action to understand it. My friend told me about it and I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. t went to a demo and was impressed and I thought long and hard about whether it was worth the money before I bought one. I had my own demo and decided to buy it. Its been the best thing I ever bought. Sure I had the blender and food processor in the cupboard, but I never used them because they were in the cupboard. Now I whip up all kinds of food that I would have gone to the shop to buy instead of making it myself for a fraction of the price and time.
What an awesome, detailed informative and entertaining review. One of the best I’ve ever read about any product and I research everything I buy. The wife wants one and this review has helped me decide to let her and also beside denying her would not be worth the crap and passive aggression I would Have to our up with.
The pyramid info was interesting as I didn’t know about it. Do you know any info about how successful thermometer is financially? I wonder if they would be more profitable by reducing the selling price and/or selling in stores.
I agree about the way it turns spousal events into business ones. I was asking my wife to recruit people for the upcoming visit from the thermomix lady so we could get a free thermal temperature control bag and realise now that it had made me see people as marks to help me get that.
Out of interest are you willing to sydney your job and Myers bring personality type – i understand if you arent ( I’m guessing engineer or mechanic and INTJ or similar
I’m gonna through your blog for other reciews now.
Hi Bill thanks for your kind feedback. I know nothing about Thermomix financials, but I can guess that the people at the top of the pyramid are incredibly rich whilst the people at the bottom of the pyramid make almost nothing whilst simultaneously alienating themselves from their friends and family!
The last bit of your comment is all fragmented, what you on about?
I’ve had my Thermomix for 5 years and I totally agree with your review!
Hey Joe, just wondering if im able to ask you some questions about the Thermomix as im doing a report on it t school ,thanks 🙂
Hi Madelyn sure fire away
Thermomix Australia – I am appalled with your customer service and the way I have been dealt with. I bought a Thermomix from you a year ago, with the intention of bringing it to Israel (a country to which I was moving to a month later). I specified this to my consultant at the time and let them know that the Thermomix would ONLY be used in Israel. She told me that this would not be a problem and that if I ran into any complications Thermomix Israel would be able to help me, just like they would in Australia.
Well here I am with a problem with my Thermo’s scales and Thermomix Israel is quoting me $300 to repair. This should not be a cost I need to incur. This issue should be solved between you and Thermomix Israel. The answer you gave me that ‘each division of Thermomix is not connected to the other’ is NOT MY ISSUE. It is yours.
I bought an expensive product from you on the premise that it could be used in Israel and that I would have no problems with my warrantee being used here. This confidence was given by my Thermomix consultant. I took her word on this and gave her the sale based on the information provided. Had she had told me that there would be an issue I would not have gone ahead with the purchase, and would have bought it overseas.
It’s unbelievable to me that your Customer Service Manager doesn’t take any responsibility for what your sales consultants promise. I’m still shocked that she told me that she cannot stand by the guarantee that I received from my consultant. It’s just a joke that one representative gives me assurance on one thing, and that Thermomix Australia doesn’t stand behind it and sends me to discuss it personally with my Australian consultant.
Thermomix Australia – you should rectify this problem. Leaving me with no solution but to pay the $300 is absolutely not acceptable!!!!
Do Thermomix Australia and / or your consultant admit that they gave you the wrong advice? If your consultant admits it, then ask her to escalate it through Thermomix Australia. You had a verbal contract. It must be honoured. They should sort it out with Thermomix Israel or they should simply transfer you 300 buckaroos in the form of a Tricky Dick Fun Bill.
But if your consultant just made some shit up to get a sale and now denies it then you’re stuffed. I’d suggest that such an experience is not unique when dealing with pyramid schemers.
I have an email from my consultant saying ‘I am sorry you are having this issue as I truly thought it would not be a problem. I have many customers o/s and I have not come across this before’.
Thermomix Australia should definitely put up the $300 or transfer my warranty.
Your consultant is the key. He or she needs to grow some balls and fight it with management. Convince management that not paying is dodgy and breaching a contract and giving pyramid schemes a bad name. He or she should ask management for support, especially if generally a good and honest consultant that deserves support. Or, if your consultant stuffed up and said something without knowing or checking if it’s correct, then he or she should admit wrong and personally pay.
Great review, really helpful and informative. I enjoyed the pyramid selling part it resonated with me a lot (and the principle of it irritated me-I also dislike this method of selling and it makes me skeptical. If money was no object, sure I’d get a thermomix. But for now will keep researching the alternatives carefully.
I am typing from Poland. Thanks for your so deep and comprehensive review, female type one ☺️. I read a lot of reviews before I buy sth expensivebut yours amazed me with its so many points of view.
I also avoid piramid type selling schemes. I can pay a lot for a product, but not for its marketing, advertisements, selling net or prestige i-phone like value.
I am a few days after Thermomix TM5 presentation. The appliance looks really good. My concerns, except astronomical price, are after-warranty parts prices and robustness od touch screen.
I am now looking for alternatives available on European market and I have to say, that Thermomix has real advantages mentioned in your splendid review.
When I find sth worth to be mentioned here, I will let you know.
Regards from Ciechocinek, Poland, Europe
I’m not sure about the new TM6, but my wife and I only bought the TM5 about 3 years ago and just the other day the shaft that spins the blade completely sheared off when using the machine to create a simple smoothie. I called up the customer service and our consultant to get a replacement blade and they both said they wouldn’t replace the blade because it was out of warranty and that the blade is an ACCESSORY. I’m pretty sure the definition of ACCESSORY is as follows (taken from a dictionary):
“a thing which can be added to something else in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive.”
If I am not mistaken, the blade is the core function of the thermomix and without it, the machine is completely useless. That is by definition not an accessory. And if you are expected to pay over 100 dollars for a new blade every couple years because it breaks, then why would anyone pay for the massive over 2000 dollars investment in the first place? People pay that kind of money to get a good quality product. The blade completely shearing off means my machine is absolutely useless now. It is a massive paper weight. That doesn’t sound like a good quality product.
Most good quality products also have substantial warranties. Why does Thermomix not have a warranty for the integral parts of their machines for the entire life of the machine? Good quality products also have great customer service. That’s also something else I felt Thermomix was lacking when trying to get this problem sorted so my wife and I could resume using the thermomix. The customer service rep that called me told me that THE BLADE IS DESIGNED TO BREAK BEFORE THE MOTOR so that you don’t have to replace the expensive motor. That is fine and all, but I was just making a smoothie when this happened. It’s not like I was trying to grind a brick into dust. I am a structural engineer and while you definitely take into account ways a structure can fail, you don’t say that you have designed the structure to fail under normal every day loading conditions so that you can replace it for cheaper!! Sure maybe work needs to be done on the building, but a broken thermomix blade is the equivalent of my whole structure becoming unserviceable.
The consultant that sold us the Thermomix definitely did not tell us that the blade was designed to break before the motor. If I new this, we definitely would not have bought one. How about you make this right and send us a replacement blade and take responsibility for the product you are selling?
I’m confused, when you buy a car and it’s out of warranty, are you expecting them to service and replace parts free of charge?
I think, when you spend that much on an appliance, you expect it to hold up better; you also expect a superior warranty.
My Vitamixes all have 7-year warranties that included the blade assemblies, PLUS they pay shipping both ways for repairs. My stand mixer, a Swedish import, also carries a 7-year warranty. My juicer carries a 12-year warranty; the purchase of these appliances includes excellent phone support. I’m debating between two home-use stone mills–one manufactured in Germany, the other in Austria. The former carries a 7-year warranty, the latter 12 on the mill and 24 on the stones. With the exception of the juicer, all other appliances cited carry list prices considerably less than a Thermomix. There are many owners of the cited appliances who’ve been using the same machines for decades and only upgrade to take advantage of newer technology. In addition, Thermomix has dropped support for their goofy recipe disks and you had a window in which to download them to your unit or lose the use of them. Unfortunately, I can’t find the one that shipped with my Thermomix, so I’m outta luck; in addition, access to their vast library of recipes involves a not-cheap annual subscription.
Bottom line: I’m disappointed in Thermomix. I signed up to be a consultant but couldn’t be bothered to pressure my friends into buying one, hence they dropped me–how do you drop someone who’s not on salary? I was okay with that–I didn’t need the money I might have earned and I really do like the appliance. However, rendering the (expensive) recipe disks obsolete was unconscionable–I can understand discontinuing them but planned obsolescence? I’d already had very mixed feelings about the Cookidoo subscription but the issue with the recipe disks was the last straw.
Read my reply to Irene below; I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m rather nerdy and expect my appliances to be well made (I don’t feel I can afford to buy crap). Forgot to mention my Bamix stick blender to Irene–made in Switzerland, 10-year warranty. I retired a model from the late ’60s I’d bought used on eBay 10 years prior for $25 when I was broke. It still worked when I gave it away and can still be repaired if need be.
As much as I like my Thermomixes, that warranty, when compared to those included with my other appliances, just never sat right with me. Vitamix recently upped the warranties on their newest models to 10 years. As one of their reps told me on the phone “It costs us nothing to boost the warranty.” But then, they stand by their products and bend over backwards to support their customers–they even honor warranties on machines bought used.
I’d ring around to verify that thermomix no longer sell the blades. These machines last for decades. Otherwise search online.
Thanks so much for this review. I’ve spent a very enjoyable morning reading it & the comments. I must say I admire your patience with the TM sellers/consultants whatever they are currently calling themselves (in the US it’s currently “Hunbot”) whilst I’ve never sold TMs I unfortunately HAVE in the past fallen for 3, yes that’s 3 direct selling/pyramid un_jobs. I’m a slow learner. I absolutely agree with you on price. And that’s based on your reasoning ‘re the pyramid & my experience. I find if both amusing & frustrating that the TM devotees are so angry about the pyramid thing. Kind of ExAcTlY like the people direct selling Essential Oils, Linen, I could go on. Direct Sales only gets away with being legal in Aus & the US because there is also a product. And in the US that is now being legally challenged, 1 has to assume suits will eventually follow in Aus. Any small amount of net research will give pretty clear info about MLM/Direct Marketing/Pyramid Schemes….. Does the up line get a commission, % of the downline profits & is there compensation for signing up other distributors? Ok so you have a ‘technically’ legal business, just, at the moment. But it is STILL a pyramid & is a highly unethical way of selling. Husband & i looked at TMs & other machines for 2 years before we decided. Cause we were investing a LOT of money. Kind of like me saying NO you are not buying yet another freaking tool set……. We went with a magimix Pattiseur cause in winter we cook on wood oven. And we invested in a German bench top flour mill. And some other gadgets (That’s why he wasn’t allowed the tools). TM sellers should probably do a bit more research on some aspects of the food, NOT just the function: a proper flour mill has Stone Plates (composite) & they crack the wheat germ against the plates as they grind. This is very important in terms of the quality of flour produced,(& so this doesn’t essay get even longer,) lets just say it treats the whole wheat berry/kernel differently than a Roller Mill or the blades used in a TM. So yes a TM mught make flour, but it will be inferior to even Supermarket flour which is almost universally produced via Roller Mill. This is just 1 example. And where my amusement comes in. Just because 1 machine can do many functions does not mean it can do them well, at the same level, or better than a single function item. And it would be nice if the TM consultants toned their rhetoric down just a notch. It is exactly the same kind of cultish fervour that certain Oil Distributors use to me when they say ONLY their company independently tests…… I point them to a few key peer reviewed scientific studies published on the internet that says quite the opposite. My problem with TM? Price, ridiculous, sales method, MLM unethical & the guru worshipping nature of the TM sales consultants & then the majority of ppl who bought a unit. If you are not IN the cult & agree & adhere to the group norms, us & all our friends will get you….. It’s a pretty insidious mentality. It’s also childish. And quite the opposite of what is being quoted above, IT IS high pressure sales tactics. You are in someone’s home to start off with. I stopped going to any Party Plan direct sales events years ago particularly because they all use exactly the same kind of sales tactics & it makes me feel pressured & uncomfortable! I know I’m not alone in this.
I hear ya on the virtues of a stone mill (as mentioned previously, I’ve been waffling over a Salzburger mill for years–real granite stones–and the Mockmill is interesting) but Thermomix- (or, for that matter, Vitamix-) ground flour isn’t necessarily inferior to store-bought, which can sit on shelves for months. People who grind their flour in a Vitamix rave about how much better their baked goods taste with fresh flour, plus the possibility of unwanted six-legged guests in your flour is vastly reduced. In addition, stones aren’t necessarily the best choice for grinding legumes and such for gluten-free flours, although I know someone (our online mixer-owners group’s list mom) who has the insert for her KoMo to keep its milling chamber from being cross-contaminated.
Re your observaton about one machine’s not doing everything well–the Thermomix really does multitask well and, being old and having grown up during the heyday of door-to-door salesman, I don’t mind a direct-sales model, although I think its time has passed in the U.S. Rather than repeat my complaints, I suggest reading my previous posts. What it boils down to is that I don’t think Vorwerk supports their customers OR their consultants. I wasn’t about to strong-arm my friends into buying ANYTHING, much less a very expensive appliance with a stingy warranty, and I certainly wasn’t going to start cold-calling my NYC neighbors, or restaurants–Thermomix has no NSF rating. I’m acquainted with a number of prominent people in the specialty foods industry–none of them were interested. And don’t get me started again on the now-defuct recipe disks.
Bottom line: I love the appliance, found my brief stint as a consultant bemusing, and–to put it mildly–am less than enamored with the company and the way they do business.
Great in-depth review. Loved it, particularly your humor which shined thru in your replies. Thanks for taking the time.
Ever tried to let it cook while bouncing 4wd style thru the bush to pull up to a nice hot bowl of something and save the batteries. I am guessing one of its many sensors would say no.
I assumed the role of cook as a deckhand and appreciated the ocean taking care of much of the stirring and am now curious if a dirt road could do the same.
Hi Justin no I’ve never tried it whilst driving, I reckon it will work. A nice meaty stew or something would be great rocking up to a cold night camp.
Looks like someone is trying a little to hard to be macho. Being shirtless for a photo while cooking? Big tires for your truck. How you could have spent your money on other macho things. Not much about how your wife likes the Thermomix. Nice.
Hey Buck nah it doesn’t look like that at all. For people more sophisticated than yourself it looks like parody.
Thanks for such an in-depth review of the Thermomix, this was such a great read. My mum has had the TM31 for coming up to 15 years and would use it daily.
What really drew me here was the question around camping and Thermomix and I’d love your opinion. Currently setting up a campervan with the plan to have solid off grid capacity. Electric only!
Our power set up has a total of 700W solar panels leading into 600AH lithium ion batteries and a 3000W pure sine inverter for the items we can’t run on 12V. We’ll be cooking with induction cook tops that have the ability to change the watt if we need. I’m pretty keen on a Thermomix for the set up because of the various functions you’ve mentioned above. How do you reckon it would hold up with our setup? Thanks in advance for your opinion!
Hey Claire you’ve got a big beefy system, it will easily do your thermomix. Might not be able to run it at the same time as your induction cook top.