Need to know
- CHOICE experts have tested the latest model of Thermomix, the TM6, which retails for more than $2500
- Although this machine scored highly in our performance tests, CHOICE experts have a safety concern about the latest models, so don't recommend it
- We test a range of all-in-one machines for all different budgets in our kitchen labs to help you find the appliance that’s right for you
With its hefty price tag of more than $2500, adding a Thermomix to your kitchen collection is a significant investment. Now that there are plenty of competitor all-in-one machines also available at a range of prices, it's important to weigh up all your options before you buy.
Is a genuine Thermomix really worth splashing the cash on? Are you going to use it every day and really get your money's worth, or is it another of those appliances that is going to sit at the back of your cupboard gathering dust?
IMPORTANT UPDATE: 31 August 2022 Thermomix manufacturer Vorwerk has issued a safety notice about the TM5 and TM6 machines, due to the TM6 cup potentially allowing dangerously hot food to spill under certain circumstances.
What is an all-in-one kitchen machine?
The TM5 Thermomix has now been superseded by the latest model, the TM6.
All-in-one machines, like the Thermomix, combine multiple features such as slow-cooking, food processing, steaming and mixing, letting you make thousands of different recipes from homemade bread and curries to pasta sauces, stock pastes, yoghurt, ice cream and nut butters.
"All-in-one appliances combine several appliances into one, which can free up precious cupboard and bench space," says CHOICE home economist Fiona Mair.
In fact, the latest Thermomix model has a compact design that takes up only slightly more surface area than an A4-sized sheet.
"This style of appliance is great for people who are just starting out setting up their kitchen or for keen cooks who want to get rid of multiple appliances in favour of just one," says Fiona.
The machines we tested range from budget brands such as the Kogan Thermoblend all-in-one machine priced at $350 and the Aldi Stirling Thermo Cooker ($249) up to the higher end of the price scale, with models such as the Magimix Cook Expert at $2499 and the Thermomix TM6 at $2579.
The Thermomix TM6 does the job of more than 20 appliances, allowing you to chop, beat, blend, whip, weigh, mill, knead, mince and more. You can use it to whip up everything from banana bread and scones to butter chicken, pumpkin soup, pizza dough or mashed potato – the recipe possibilities run into the many thousands.
The TM6's Wi-Fi connectivity gives you access to 50,000-plus recipes from the touchscreen.
Here are just some features of the Thermomix TM6:
- 30 functions, two pre-set tools and 17 modes including sous vide, blending, slow cooking and fermenting for making things such as yoghurt, dough and cheese.
- 2.2L stainless steel bowl housed in high-grade plastic.
- Touchscreen cooking and Wi-Fi connectivity.
- 120 pre-programmed recipes, plus a further 80,000 recipes to search via the Cookidoo online recipe library/app – a six-month subscription is included with your purchase and costs $69 per year after that.
- Integrated scales
- 24-month warranty plus service centres available.
- Ability to use step-by-step guided cooking, pre-set recipes or manual cooking (our testers note that using the machine manually can cause some safety issues).
What makes the Thermomix different from other all-in-one machines?
CHOICE kitchen expert Fiona Mair notes that the features that stand out to her as differentiating the Thermomix from other cheaper models are its general performance, and its pre-programmed recipes via Wi-Fi connectivity that gives you access to a huge database of step-by-step cooking guides and recipes.
"When it comes to all-in-one appliances, you get what you pay for," she says.
"Cheaper all-in-one appliance brands such as Aldi's Mistral have limited instructions and recipe guides as compared with the more expensive brands, which can be an issue if you've never used an all-in-one appliance before.
CHOICE tip: In our full review of the Thermomix TM6 we compare it with other machines, including the TM5 Thermomix, to give it a detailed score on performance, how easy it is to use and safety.
The Thermomix is designed to help you whip up a dizzying array of dishes, including soups and stews.
- Compact: Unlike other kitchen appliances that need to be dragged out and pieced together every time you need to use it, the Thermomix is surprisingly compact, with minimal parts. It's designed to live on the benchtop and with a flick of a switch, it's ready to go.
- Reduces physical tasks with hands-free functions and modes: The Thermomix is set-and-forget, with a timer and the ability to stir while cooking – great news for busy (or distracted) cooks who might be called away from the kitchen while trying to put dinner together. Best of all, this feature prevents burning and overcooking. Thermomix is National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) approved, due to its ability to make meal prep tasks like dicing, grating and slicing, and following instructions, simpler, safer and more accessible.
- A+ for nutrition: The Thermomix is a great partner in crime when it comes to sneaking vegetables into meals. With a powerful set of blades, it can pulverise carrots, celery, broccoli and more, blending all that hidden goodness into pasta sauces, risottos and soups.
- Cooking from scratch: Making food yourself is usually cheaper and healthier than buying pre-packaged or ready-made options, but it takes a lot of effort. Not so with the Thermomix. Muffins can be whipped up and shoved into the oven in minutes. Biscuits and even pastry are equally easy and fast. Other fast favourites include smoothies and juices – all whipped up in seconds. The pre-programmed recipes and guided cooking functions mean that even a complete kitchen novice can follow the step-by-step instructions and produce things they may have never made before, such as pizza dough.
- Ongoing support for updates and services: Vorwerk (the manufacturer) continually updates their technology and the TM6's Wi-Fi connection means that you are able to access new software updates as they become available. There are also bricks-and-mortar service centres you can visit for repairs and service.
- Getting creative: If you're feeling adventurous you can even use your Thermo to whip up things like your own laundry detergent, body scrub and moisturiser.
Our kitchen experts used the TM6 Thermomix to make honeycomb, following a recipe in the Cookidoo recipe database.
- Safety issues: The Thermomix TM6 allows you to perform high-speed blending on liquids over 60°C. Our kitchen experts believe a safety cut-out feature is needed when blending at high temperatures and this is the reason we haven't been able to recommend the Thermomix in our tests. See below for more on Thermomix safety.
- It can't brown or caramelise very well in large batches: This is due to the small surface area of the jug. If you are sauteeing meat for slow cooking for example, it's best to do so in small batches.
- Yet another appliance: One of the pros of a Thermomix is that it can do cooking tasks performed by many other appliances, which is great if you don't already own those appliances. However if you've already invested money in a range of good-quality appliances, this is a significant expense that could be avoided.
- A different way of cooking: Learning to cook differently is a bit of a drag at first. It can take some time, effort and practice to learn how to get the best out of your machine (however the idea is that that time invested will pay off later).
The new Thermomix blade cover and attachment accessories
Thermomix recently release a new accessory, the Thermomix Blade Cover and Peeler ($69), which is compatible with the TM5 and TM6 Thermomix models. It's designed to protect food during slow cooking and sous vide cooking (so your slow cooked food or sous vide bags don't end up pulverised). But it can also be used to effortlessly peel potatoes, which could be especially handy for people who have dexterity issues or limited time for food prep.
We put the new accessory to the test in a range of cooking tasks and while it didn't produce outstanding results all round, it does bring welcome functionality to what is already a very expensive appliance. Read our review of the Thermomix blade and peeler accessory.
Peeling potatoes with the Thermomix Blade Cover and Peeler accessory.
Thermomix in Australia was fined $4.6 million in April 2018 for misleading customers about the burn risks of their TM31 model. At the time, CHOICE testing had found the TM5 Thermomix to be an excellent all-in-one kitchen machine but we suspended our recommendation due to substandard customer care.
As a result of the fine, Thermomix offered to upgrade any customers who had bought the TM31 model between July 2014 and 23 September 2014 to the newest model at the time – the TM5. The ACCC allegations about the potential safety risk in 2014 did not relate to the Thermomix TM5 or TM6.
Although this product performs well in our tests, we would like to see a safety cut-off feature that prevents users from performing high speed blending when the contents are above 60°CCHOICE kitchen expert Fiona Mair
Our kitchen experts agree that the TM6 model includes improved safety features, but there are still some concerns if users choose to operate the machine manually.
Fiona says: "The safety feature in the latest TM6 model is that it will stop heating the contents if the user exceeds blending speed six. But it doesn't prevent users from performing high speed blending on contents that are already very hot, which presents safety concerns.
"Although this product performs well in our tests, we would like to see a safety cut-off feature that prevents users from performing high speed blending when the contents are above 60°C before we recommend this product."
Thermomix issues safety notice in August 2022
Thermomix manufacturer Vorwerk issued a safety notice about the TM5 and TM6 in August 2022, saying it had observed a "few cases" where, under certain circumstances, the use of the TM6 cup in the machine could cause uncontrolled spillages and potential burns. They advised owners of both the Thermomix TM5 and TM6 models that they should use the simmering basket instead of the TM6 measuring cup when cooking at temperatures of 95°C and above to avoid any dangerous issues.
CHOICE believes that although the Thermomix manufacturer has been proactive in dealing with the safety issue, the solution they have offered is imperfect and consumers may be entitled to a refund under Australian Consumer Law.
CHOICE staff member Clarissa has owned a Thermomix for years and says she uses it at least once every day.
"I use it for loads of things – smoothies, baking, cooking sauces and dips and things like dukkah," she says. "Today I will be making pizza dough and pizza sauce for homemade pizza. I also frequently do all-in-one meals (bangers and mash all at the same time is a favourite in our household)."
Of the expense, Clarissa says: "It is expensive, however, if I were to break it down and weigh it up against how often I use it, I would say it is probably worth it. I would be curious to try a cheaper competitor as well, though."
Another staff member and owner Kate says: "I bought a Thermomix when my youngest was a baby and I used it quite a bit because I was home all the time. I really like the built-in recipes as it makes it super easy to use, although we don't use it that much for cooking full meals.
"Despite not using it every day, I do think the expense is worth it. Whenever I do use it, I marvel at its simplicity and functionality. Not needing to get out a bunch of chopping boards, scales, multiple bowls, pots and pans etc. is amazing."
I use it for everything: cooking main meals, grinding, making smoothies, mixing dough and more.Thermomix owner Karen
Thermomix fan Karen is onto her second machine – her first she owned for 13 years before upgrading recently to the newest model.
"I use it for everything," she says. "Cooking main meals, grinding, making smoothies, mixing dough and more.
"If you broke the expense down to a cost per year, my Thermomix would cost me $140 per year so far, so I think it's worth the investment, as opposed to buying a cheaper machine that you have to replace every couple of years.
"This type of cooking is not for everyone, but you really need to see it in action before you dismiss it."
Where can you buy a Thermomix?
You can't buy a Thermomix from a standard retailer. They're sold by independent consultants, who hold 'Cooking Experiences' in homes and workplaces to showcase the features of the machine.
Once you've bought one, your consultant will deliver your Thermomix for an introduction, and they are also supposed to be available for advice, ideas and assistance with your machine.
Vorwerk has not provided any news about the possibility of a new model of the Thermomix being released. In July 2023 they released the limited edition Thermomix TM6 in sparkling black, which makes the release of another new model this year unlikely. Previous new models have been released every few years without notice so it's not likely that consumers will receive much warning ahead of a TM7 release.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.