Vorwerk Thermomix TM31 robot test

Vorwerk Thermomix TM31 robot test


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It is armed with a bullet-proof vest, or rather a troll-resistant vest (I warn you, I am in a teasing mood today) that I launch out (well, some will say) in the test of use of the famous Vorwerk Thermomix TM31 (which is simply called the Thermomix). Remember, some time ago, I explained why I will not test this device (especially because of the sales system which is not my cup of tea). However, faced with multiple requests, I ended up getting a loan from the robot without having to go through the meeting box. I even had the good fortune to be able to keep it for a fortnight at home, long enough so to get a clear idea.

What is Thermomix?

The Thermomix is ​​more than a robot, I would say that it is presented as "all-purpose device". During the demonstration, (because we never leave you a Thermomix without having shown you all its capabilities), the emphasis is on its versatility and its ability to cook simultaneously. The demonstrator will make you a full meal in a jiffy since you can make a sauce or soup in the bowl, vegetables in the cooking basket and meat or fish in the Varoma (utensil which we will talk about later ). From this point of view, the Thermomix is ​​already distinguished from the Companion since it is capable of carrying out several preparations at the same time thanks to its "stages". Aside from this peculiarity, the Thermomix is ​​basically a bowl fitted with a blade and which is capable of cooking. Here we approach the functions of the Companion.

The accessories

The Thermomix accessories have almost nothing to do with the Companion accessories. If the latter offers accessories that are mounted on the axis of rotation, the Thermomix always keeps its blade at the bottom of the bowl. Everything will then depend on the speed of rotation and the direction of the blade (in the opposite direction it stirs instead of cutting). The Thermomix on loan was accompanied by a spatula which can be used as a mixer during operation, the steam basket (which is apparently part of the accessories not supplied) for rice, potatoes and vegetables, a whisk for the whites in snow, desserts and sauces and finally a varoma, that is to say a large steamer basket which is placed above the Thermomix and which allows you to cook vegetables and meat or fish. To compare with the Companion, there is therefore only one blade (the knife blade) that works for all preparations. For example, the Companion mixer is replaced by the Thermomix knife blade used in reverse. The advantage of having practically only the knife for all these uses is to limit handling (no need to change accessories along the way). However, we see that a specialized knife is always more efficient than a general-purpose tool: to want to do everything, that may be worse than that which does only one thing. Even in reverse, for example, the Thermomix knife blade does not give the same result as the Companion mixer. The Thermomix is ​​also supplied with a cookbook. Essential because the Thermomix is ​​a fairly complex tool and you need a dedicated book (or even several) to understand how to use it. From this point of view, I must say that the brand gives a fairly aging image, the images like the recipes have not been brought up to date which is really a shame because the under 40s will have a hard time to recognize themselves.

The use

As I explained before, Vorwerk works differently from the usual brands. Here the manual is a demonstrator. A lady (or even a gentleman) therefore comes to the house to demonstrate the possibilities of the Thermomix and how it works. If you decide to buy it, you will undoubtedly have the best after-sales service on the planet since your advisor / demonstrator must answer your questions if you have any concerns. You therefore have a known and privileged referent. In addition to that, you receive a one-year subscription to the quarterly magazine Thermomix & You and you can attend Thermomix cooking classes. Just as we don't know who came first, from the chicken or the egg, we also don't know if the adviser option was chosen given the complexity of the device or if the device's maneuverability has been set aside because there is a counselor. The fact is that without a counselor and even after the counselor has passed, we are still hesitant in front of this imposing machine. I admit that the possibility of breaking this machine and therefore having to reimburse 1000 € gave me cold sweats: "Is it this button?" and "Let’s check for the thirty-fourth time if I have screwed it properly".
Here again, the age of the Thermomix TM31 (10 years this year!) Is probably there for something. When you think about it, household appliances (especially in the kitchen) have evolved considerably, and the designers have worked a lot on an intuitive operation of the device. The Thermomix control panel is unfortunately anything but intuitive. It also has double security for opening and closing the bowl, this causes some confusion at the start. In 15 days of loan, I was not yet completely comfortable with the device and I still needed some time to think about getting started between the gears, the timer and the lock. In my test on the Companion, I emphasized the acoustic quality of the device during its operation. Here the Thermomix reveals its real weakness. Unfortunately, it quickly becomes very unpleasant to hear as soon as you switch to medium speed. Not only the volume is important but it is (at least to my ears) stressful and unpleasant. For higher speeds, it is even better to leave the room. A notable difference between these two devices is the presence of a built-in scale on the Thermomix. In fact, this allows you to skip a step since it is not necessary to take out your scale to weigh its ingredients beforehand. If the idea is very good, the Thermomix balance is unfortunately not very reliable when it is necessary to be very precise.

The functions

If the Companion has automatic programs, the Thermomix can only be used in manual mode. You must therefore refer to the cookbook to know how to use your appliance.
I tried to reproduce the same recipes as those used for the Companion, with some variations obviously because not everything was available. I will not give you the details of these recipes because, if the preparation went well, I was often disappointed. This is not due to the quality of the device but rather to the quality of the recipes given in the cookbook. I found the preparations dated and outdated and as I was not the type to improvise, I preferred the recipes of the Companion overall. However, I was thrilled with the puff pastry, made with frozen butter. Obviously we will not be at the level of a puff pastry made in a traditional way but it is easily measured compared to that of the trade. The sauces tested, like the béchamel, seemed very heavy to me, my soup was liquid and my dish prepared with the Varoma bland. The report seems cruel but, I repeat, it is not a question here of the qualities of the device. One cannot doubt the efficiency of the knife or the cooking of the Thermomix but the recipes given for using it are sorely lacking in "madness" or in any case on a more modern side.

The interview

I obviously add a word on the maintenance of the Thermomix which gave me a bit of trouble. The knife with four blades is so designed that many recesses under the blades are really difficult to access. As always, you will be given the tip to rotate the bowl with water and dish soap. As always, I groan because it never cleans thoroughly and unfortunately nothing replaces scrubbing in order.

The verdict

Although the Companion and the Thermomix are equivalent devices in the sense that their base "boils down" to a heated multifunction bowl, I find that the philosophy is very different. On the one hand, the Companion is undoubtedly a great culinary aid, perfect for making sauces, creams or any other preparation that requires mixing and cooking. On the Thermomix side, usage is close to all-in-one, especially with the use of Varoma and its "stages" which allow you to prepare a complete dish. In addition, I urge you to read Chef Nini's test on the Thermomix TM31, which I fully share the opinion and impressions of this device. She also made very extensive comparisons between the Thermomix and its various household appliances. Everything is argued, so you can get a more precise idea of ​​the possibilities of the device and its use. You can also check out the Companion test I did earlier.



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