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October 17, 2008 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Thermomix, useful or just another overpriced kitchen gadget?

Any Thermomix users willing to share its experience? This food processor/blender/cooker is appearing in stores around here but is supposely widely popular in europe. Does it lives up to its 1000$ price tag?
posted by racingjs to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
1000$ for a heating element with a mixer? I can;t think of anything this would be really useful for. I'd just get a 12$ handmixer and perch it on the edge of a pot if for some reason I needed constant mixing. Maybe I'm missing something about the Thermomix, but my initial response is to scoff mightily.
posted by GilloD at 9:50 AM on October 17, 2008

For $1000 it'd better shop, cook dinner, and clean up afterward.

Seriously, this looks like total bullshit to me, and I'm usually pretty easy to seduce with nifty kitchen gadgets.
posted by jacobian at 10:01 AM on October 17, 2008

I vote overpriced gadget.
It seems to be for those who truly, truly loathe cooking and want to avoid time in the kitchen as much as possible.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:06 AM on October 17, 2008

Do you know how much takeout soup you could buy with that money? :) Seriously overpriced.
posted by twiki at 10:13 AM on October 17, 2008

It's a slow cooker? With a mixer? I could see $200 MAYBE but if it's seriously $1,000 then it's just going for people who have more money than sense.
posted by GuyZero at 10:22 AM on October 17, 2008

Here's an informal hands-on with Alton Brown (from 2005).
posted by O9scar at 10:35 AM on October 17, 2008

Popular where in Europe? Never heard of it, and the the site made me laugh my ass off.

MHO: It's a crock.
posted by Iteki at 10:54 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Iteki: MHO: It's a crock.


I have to agree with this sentiment.
posted by zennoshinjou at 11:09 AM on October 17, 2008

I saw these demonstrated at the food show in Madrid last year. They must of had fifty people and 200 machines, making everything from bread to beans. They really put the hard sell on me, so I tasted pretty much everything I could. I think the main innovation is in marketing, convincing people who think tomato sauce is beyond their skill level that they can be Julia Child.
posted by Wet Spot at 11:29 AM on October 17, 2008

Alton Brown warns against the evils of uni-taskers: countertop space-consuming gadgets that do little little and cost much. Heating and twirling aren't useful or efficient enough to warrant dropping a grand, anyways.
posted by zoomorphic at 11:29 AM on October 17, 2008

I always find it surprising that so many people who profess a love of cooking then go out looking for devices that (supposedly) remove all the time and effort. Get a blender for blending, maybe a mixer if you bake cakes, but other than that a sharp knife, a well-seasoned wooden board and a glass of wine will make you glad you decided to spend the five extra minutes it takes to prepare things the old-fashioned way.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 11:38 AM on October 17, 2008

This is what that \$1000 machine saves you from:

Setting the burner to low and stirring occasionally.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:15 PM on October 17, 2008

1. Slow cooker.
2. Lash broomhandle to ceiling fan.
3. Save $960.
posted by Shepherd at 12:36 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm a keen cook and food exhibition attendee and had never seen/heard of this until now (I'm in the UK) but it appears from what I've Googled that it's popular in Spain and Italy.

Here's an article from the NYT about it. My take on it is that it'd probably be great if you cook a lot of French food with those delicate sauces, or if you wanted to make labour-intensive desserts more easily, but in my kitchen it'd gather dust.
posted by essexjan at 2:03 PM on October 17, 2008

I would guess it will do quite well with recipes designed specifically for the device. Outside of these parameters, it won't do the majority of your prep, it won't do the majority of your measuring (unless you're prepared to convert every recipe to weight measurements), it won't react to anything unexpected that happens in the pan as a result of substitution or improvisation. And I expect it "virtually cleans itself" about as well as every other device I've ever owned that supposedly cleaned itself.

I got a breadmaker when I got married. It had some crumbs in it from probably the fifth or sixth batch my friend hand made in it when she got it when she got married. We gave it to someone else eventually also barely used. If you're not baking a bread, the work of kneading, sticking dough in a pan, and sticking a pan in the oven may be part of the problem, but it's not enough of the problem that automating those things alone will get you baking bread. If you're not cooking, getting something like this will not get you cooking. If you find yourself frequently in the position of cooking things that require a lot of constant stirring over heat, and can toss a thousand dollars around without feeling concern about it, this would probably be a good buy.
posted by nanojath at 2:32 PM on October 17, 2008

My wife went to a "Thermomix party" (ie, home demonstration) just a couple of days ago. The host cooked a full meal (starters, main and desert) using the product and it was apparently very nice. All very "easy" and simple.

"Oh really?" I asked, mildly interested. I wasn't getting too excited though as I cook 99% of our family meals and I'm a traditionalist when it comes to preparing food. "Was it good? Really? It was? How much does it cost?"

"HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!! $1,800!!!! (Australian). you've got to be fucking kidding me!!"

Needless to say, my wife, who cooks next to nothing anyway, didn't convince me we needed another appliance the cost of a half-decent, old second hand car.

What a load of bullshit.
posted by Mephisto at 8:22 AM on October 18, 2008

Thanks for the answers, I guess I'll put these dollars in my retierement account down the drain instead.
posted by racingjs at 2:14 PM on October 18, 2008

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