The Master Multitasker
By Michael Hiller
Photos Courtesy of Thermonix
One weekend last month, I celebrated spring by cooking mushroom risotto and whirring up a black garlic romesco to go with some lamb chops that caught my eye at the market. A crusty pan of focaccia? Why not, I thought; that’ll only take a few minutes. For dessert: champagne creme brulee, which came together in less time and with even less effort.
I didn’t need a culinary background or a fancy kitchen to do any of it. Except for one pass into the oven, a single countertop appliance called a Thermomix TM6 handled all of the weighing, chopping, stirring, blending, sauteing and cooking in a single metal bowl that literally cleaned itself with the push of a button.
The stout all-in-one device looks like a cross between an industrial blender and a touch-screen computer, but it possesses superpowers. Yes, it’s the one you’ve probably seen in buzzy restaurant kitchens or in background shots on cooking shows — a programmable, Wi-Fi-connected appliance loaded with more functions each time a new version pops up every few years. In addition to all the paces I put it through to prepare dinner, the TM6 can also grind, whip, emulsify, heat, steam, boil and sous vide.
That’s a heck of a lot of features to pack into one appliance. It’s brawny enough to crush ice and boil soups, but can also cook rice, ferment yogurt, mix cake batter, knead bread and turn out stretchy pizza dough. And because it can stir and cook simultaneously, it produces effortless risotto and impossibly creamy polenta.
I downloaded all those spring dinner recipes using the product’s built-in app, which connects to an internet database containing thousands of well-tested Thermomix recipes, then downloads cooking instructions into the TM6.
Home cooks and chefs from all over the world contribute their best dishes, which makes it a fun way to explore Italy, Thailand and India, for example, through cuisine instead of passport control.
Because those recipes also program the TM6 with step-by-step cooking instructions, even a kitchen novice can turn out something more easily than following directions in a cookbook or YouTube video. The TM6 tells you when to add each ingredient and weighs correct amounts. You also can improvise or override any of the steps by turning a dial or pushing buttons.
People love this thing. Chefs like Christof Syré at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, New York City’s Wylie Dufresne and Italian superstar Massimo Bottura rave about its ability to turn out effortless emulsions and sauces. Home cooks like you and me are connecting over the internet to swap recipes, share tips and prepare dishes together over Zoom.
At $1,499, it’s a splurge; we hear it makes a great gift, too. The TM6 is available online at thermomix.com.
Michael Hiller is always on the lookout for the next kitchen gadget to make cooking even more fun.