“The Thermomix TM6 Cooking Robot takes the place of a half-dozen appliances in your kitchen.”
- 20 different cooking functions in one device
- Easy to use
- Thousands of recipes available
- Nice big screen
- Automated cooking modes in addition to recipes
- Yearly Cookidoo recipe subscription required
We’ve all been there: You get a small appliance that seems like a good and useful product at the time, but it ends up sitting in a cupboard and never gets used after the initial excitement wears off. But now there’s a new gadget for the kitchen that promises to be much more than a one-task wonder. Meet the Thermomix TM6. This appliance is billed as kind of an ultimate all-in-one cooking robot, but some more cynical types might refer to it as a “food processor with extra steps.” So what is it, exactly, what can it really do, and is it actually useful? In this review, I’ll show you what it’s like to own one, how it integrates into your life, and our thoughts on if it’s actually worth it.
What is Thermomix?
Simply put, Thermomix, made by Vorwerk, is a kitchen appliance that looks like a giant food processor or blender. While Thermomix may look similar to other appliances, it’s nothing like them: the Thermomix TM6 has the ability to connect to thousands of online recipes using Wi-Fi and the Cookidoo app or website, and it will guide you through cooking them, measuring ingredients, and performing all the chopping, prep, and even the cooking in this one device. In all, the Thermomix TM6 is able to handle 20 different kitchen appliance functions.
Several special modes can also quickly automate common kitchen tasks. Egg mode can do easy soft or hard-boiled eggs. Kettle mode boils water, while the rice cooker mode makes fluffy rice easily. The rice cooker mode is actually my favorite way to make rice since it does such a good job, leaving it nice and grainy, perfectly cooked, and never sticky.
The appliance consists of a powered base and a lidded mixing bowl shaped like a pitcher with a sharp blade inside. There’s also what’s called the Varoma basket which sits on top of the lid. This 3-piece, two-layer steamer basket is used for steaming fish or vegetables, or even baking cakes. Another small steamer basket will sit inside the bowl and there’s also an included whip.
Getting the TM6 set up is easy: Plug it in and turn it on. You’ll connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi network, and then you’ll need to sign into or sign up for a Cookidoo account ($50 per year) to access the online recipes.
When you’re ready, choose a recipe and start cooking.
Anyone who’s familiar with Thermomix may wonder what’s new on the TM6 version, over the previous TM5. The upgraded TM6 has Wi-Fi connectivity (the previous version needed recipe “chips” installed), and a larger color screen, plus it now boasts a higher heat option and longer runtime.
Cooking with Thermomix
Despite the somewhat overwhelming array of functions, the Thermomix is easy to use. Just choose a recipe, and the bot walks you through what to do; it handles the order of tasks, timing, all the measuring, stirring, speed, heat levels, and fine-tuning. You just add ingredients and follow its instructions.
I made about eight meals in the three weeks I spent with the machine, and perhaps the best way to help understand how it works is to walk you through a recipe.
Anyone who’s ever made risotto from scratch knows it’s hard; it requires constant stirring and careful attention. For that reason, Thermomix risotto is somewhat legendary because it’s able to achieve the perfect risotto velvety texture while staying a bit toothy.
The Thermomix will have you freshly grate parmesan by dropping a hunk into the bowl and turning it on high power for a few seconds. Far from turning the cheese to mush, it is able to finely shred it.
The cheese gets set aside and then the Wi-Fi-connected recipe will tell you the next steps and measurements. After you add one quartered onion and a couple of cloves of garlic, the machine will prompt you to put the lid on and turn the dial. The TM6 first chops and then sautées the vegetables in the bowl. With the aliums sufficiently sweated, the TM6 prompts you to add water or stock, which it will heat for a few minutes, then pause and ask you to add the rice. It will then heat the broth, and stir the dish constantly to get that creamy perfection. In about 30 minutes you have legit restaurant-quality risotto.
I made a steamed fish dish that was cooked with a side of broccoli and a beautiful spicy cashew sauce. I also tried a butter chicken dish. I’ve never made butter chicken from scratch, thinking it was too complicated, but the Thermomix TM6 walked me through it, chopping, stirring, cooking, and simmering it. The butter chicken was creamy-tangy and quite easy (and I served it with a fresh batch of fluffy rice using that rice cooker mode), plus I made pretzel buns, too. The machine makes the dough for you, and you pop the buns into your oven to finish them.
It’s a great way to bring family recipes into the modern era.
Reading through the Cookidoo app one evening looking for inspiration, I found a blackberry gin cocktail called the Blackberry Bramble. It’s pretty fun to learn that this device can not only make dinner but cocktails, too, turning your Thermomix bowl into a de-facto cocktail shaker. With the addition of some ice, gin, fresh blackberries, and simple syrup, the TM6 whipped up a beautiful violet sipper that was a fun change from our usual glass of wine.
Create and save your own recipes
One of the newer features Thermomix TM6 has is the ability to create your own recipes using the Cookidoo app. You can input your own ingredients and measurements, then lay out the steps. The TM6 will then execute them in order. It’s a great way to add family recipes and bring them into the modern era.
A kitchen robot that cleans itself
All the parts of the Thermomix are dishwasher safe, but one of the easiest ways to clean it is to add soap and hot water, then run the motor for 10 seconds. There’s also a longer more automated cleaning cycle called Pre-Clean.
The new Thermomix TM6 is a capable, helpful kitchen device. Despite its larger footprint, it can actually replace a lot of small appliances (goodbye blender, food processor, grater, kettle, and rice cooker) and automate many kitchen and cooking chores. Plus, you can use it to cook a dish or a full meal, and not have to worry about overcooking something because it’s programmed to make everything with the touch of a chef.
On the downside, it’s quite expensive (ringing in at $1,499), but when you realize it can replace literally half a dozen other appliances (or prevent you from needing to buy them in the first place) it seems like it can more than pay for itself quickly.
Are there any alternatives?
The short answer is: There are few alternatives. While the Julia cooking robot was touted by manufacturer CookingPal back at CES 2020 as a similar product, it seems never to have launched under that name, but the “Multo” by CookingPal is for sale on Amazon at $1,499 (and looks suspiciously identical to the original Julia version). The Cuisinart Cooking Food Processor is also available for $699. As I’ve not had the pleasure of reviewing either I can’t say if these are indeed worthy competitors.
How long will it last?
The device seems sturdy and well-built, but Thermomix includes a two-year warranty for residential use and a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with the product.
Should you buy it?
If you’re looking to learn more about cooking and do more food preparation at home without taking cooking classes, the Thermomix TM6 is a major gateway to culinary success in my opinion. You could also check out our list of smart ovens if you’re not convinced. Thermomix TM6 is available from Thermomix’s website.