Iron Chef Shellie

Thermochef vs Thermomix

So here it is, my long awaited review; the battle between Thermochef vs Thermomix.

Having owned and frequently used my Thermomix for about a month or so, I was given the opportunity to road test it against the Thermochef. I had my doubts, I had heard stories but decided to adopt a fair approach and attitude when I did a series of tests.

I did a side by side cook off of various recipes, testing chopping, cooking, stirring, steaming to name a few. All whilst being asked “Is the Thermomix REALLY worth the extra $$$ if the Thermochef can do pretty much the same thing?

Well, let me explain my thoughts, and let you decide which you would rather buy.

Thermochef is based on an earlier model Thermomix. They both come with pretty much the same accessories:

  • 1 bowl and blade
  • 1 spatula that can be used to help remove the basket insert
  • 1 basket insert
  • 1 steamer canapé with split level
  • Basic cookbook to help get you started

The Thermochef comes with an instructional DVD, where as when you get your Thermomix delivered, the consultant spends about 15-20 minutes setting it up and showing you all the functions, making sure you understand what you are doing before they leave.

I know when I get a new gadget, I can’t be bothered reading how to use it, I just want to get in there and use it. So whilst I could figure out most of the functions due to my previous experience with the Thermomix, I had to consult the book. I found the videos on the DVD too long and boring to sit through.

The spatula for the Thermochef comes apart in 3 sections whereas the Thermomix’s spatula is just one piece. I wasn’t a fan of having to pull apart the spatula to be able to use the bit that acts as a handle to get the basket insert out. Thermomix’s spatula has a hook which allows for easy removal of the basket.

The butterfly attachments differ as well. The Thermomix’s butterfly has angled teeth on the outside  helping to keep the integrity of the food intact as it moves around in the bowl.

The blades of the Thermochef aren’t angled the same as the Thermomix. They may look the same but they aren’t. This resulted in my food being chopped up as you will see below. I believe the angles of the blades doesn’t allow for as much of a proper stir as the Thermomix does, as I will also explain below.

So the first thing I made with the Thermochef was mashed potato. I had made mashed potato using the Thermomix the week prior, which simply involved putting cubed potatoes and milk into the Thermomix bowl, letting it cook for about 20 minutes, then putting in the butterfly for a short while to make the mash light and creamy and I was done. Whilst it was underway I was able to kick back and watch telly for 20 minutes.

When I went to make mash with the Thermochef, I found it was more effort than using the Thermomix. I followed the Thermochef’s recipe to a tee, and resulted in a mashed potato with lumps. I was forever putting things in, taking things out. I wasn’t able to go do other things as easily.

Fried Bee Hoon: left – Thermochef, right – Thermomix.

Next I tried my favourite dish that I make in the Thermomix, fried bee hoon. Many people had said that they easily adapted Thermomix recipe to the Thermochef, so I gave it a go. Well, this is when I really became frustrated with the Thermochef. I had barely started, I had put my diced chicken in to cook and stir with the butterfly attachment locked into place, and it was not 5 seconds into stirring and the butterfly in the Thermochef had come off and was just going around loosely in the bowl. This meant I had to stop/pause the machine so I could unlock the lid and put the butterfly back on again. This resulted in all my settings (speed, time, temperature) being lost and having to put them in again. Whereas when you stop the Thermomix to have a taste or add something, all your settings stay the same, you just need to turn the dial to what speed you had on before and it will pick up from where it left off. I had quite a few moments where the butterfly detached whilst using the Thermochef, which meant I was constantly having to reset all my settings, and I was losing patience very quickly. Due to the butterfly coming off so often, I wasn’t able to walk away from the machine to do other stuff, just in case I had to attach it again.

I remember people being impressed at Thermomix demos, with how easily the Thermomix can do a risottoand keeping the grain of the rice intact. I thought surely the Thermochef could handle a risotto.

Risotto: left – Thermochef, right – Thermomix.

To grate the parmesan cheese in the Thermomix, you put in whatever amount you want, however big you want, and put on the required speed. When grating cheese in the Thermochef, I had to cut the cheese in cubes, and then blend by slowly increasing the speed. The scales of Thermochef also don’t work whilst the lid is locked. I didn’t overfill the bowl or anything, but once again, the butterfly kept coming detached. When I did eventually have enough and decided to walk away, I came back to the liquid bubbling and spilling over through the hole in the top. I had to stop it immediately as it was causing a mess. It was only a few minutes of being finished by the time I had realised what was going on, and was left with more of a ‘porridigy’ risotto, than a restaurant quality risotto.

I could smell the motor of the Thermochef for quite some time. People have said it goes away, but I’m yet to experience that. With the Thermomix I have never smelt the motor.

The Thermochef is noisier than the Thermomix. I felt like I was cooking with the hairdryer on high constantly. I’m not saying the Thermomix is a silent machine, it does make noise, but not constantly like a hairdryer.

Thermochef lid had a small gap between the bowl and the seal.

The lid on the Thermomix locks the bowl in place, where as you can remove the bowl at any time with the Thermochef, even whilst it is beating or cooking. You also have to press a button to release the bowl on the Thermochef which I found annoying, instead of just being able to pick it up.

The Thermochef scales are more flexible by reading in 1g increments, whereas the Thermomix only goes up in 5g increments. This means if I’m not using the Thermomix and want a precise measurement, I will get out my other kitchen scales. The scales on the Thermochef are separate to the bowl, whilst the Thermomix’s scales are built in under the bowl, so you can measure straight into the bowl. I wasn’t too sure if I would prefer separate or integrated scales, but after lots of testing, let me say, integrated scales are far better. If I wanted to measure into the bowl with the Thermochef I had to unlock the bowl and put it on the scales, but then it would error out if I exceeded 3kg. The problem with separate scales is you have more cleaning.

Going through the cookbooks for both, Thermomix recipes allow you to cook the pasta in the machine, whereas similar recipes for the Thermochef say “serve with cooked pasta”. This is probably due to the fact that the lack of reverse function would result in you having chopped up pasta.

Finally, the price. People will often question whythe Thermomix retails for $1939, when they can get the Thermochef for $795 from Kitchenware Direct for basically what they believe to be a similar performing machine.

Thermomix offers different payment plans to cover the cost of the $1939, whereas if you are buying a Thermochef, you have to pay it outright (or lay-by if your retailer has this option).

I’ve heard people complain that they don’t want to have to attend a Thermomix demo party, or have a consultant in their home, and they would rather just buy it off the shelf. Thermomix is used in commercial kitchens all over the world. Some examples are: Adriano Zumbo, George Calombaris, and many more, there are lots of functions to see, more than the Thermochef, so it makes sense to see it at a demo party and buy from there.

If I hadn’t been spoilt with the Thermomix, or the Thermomix wasn’t on the market, I’d choose a Thermochef. The Thermomix is expensive against the Thermochef, but the Thermochef is expensive for what it can do.

I just recently found out from Dani Valent, author of the lastest Thermomix cookbook “In The Mix, Great Thermomix Recipes” that you can use your Thermomix to get the seeds out of a pomegranate! I saw it in action and can’t wait to give it a go myself!

Thermomix TM 31

Thermochef Natura

Price

$1939 AUD
3 payment plans available: outright, 3 payments, or currently 12 months interest free. Only available through Thermomix Consultants, which includes a delivery demonstration, Everyday recipe cookbook, spatula, basket insert, steam trays, butterfly attachment and instruction manual.

Extras include a Thermoserver if you have a delivery demo as a party.

Price also includes after delivery support, being able to contact your consultant at any time for information or help.

German design, made in France.

$795 AUD
Once off payment, unless you lay-by it. Available through Kitchenware Direct, or other kitchen retailers.Price includes a cook book of basic recipes, DVD, spatula, basket insert, steam trays, butterfly attachment and instruction manual.Made in China.

Warranty

Thermomix and Varoma carry a 24 month warranty against faulty parts and workmanship when used in a domestic environment. Guaranteed against defects caused by faulty workmanship and materials for 2 years domestic use.
Power 500W and goes from 100 up to 10,200 RPM (revs per minute).Maintenance-free, Vorwerk reluctance motor.

550W and goes from 110 up to 8,700 RPM (revs per minute).

Lid and Seal

The lid locks into the place and you can’t physically remove the bowl unless the lid is off.

The seal is separate to the lid and can be taken out for easy cleaning. It can easily be replaced without the need to replace the entire lid.

The lid is extremely stiff to remove and put on. The lid also leaves a small gap between the bowl around the spout area, which can cause some splashing.

When the seal wears out or breaks, you need to replace the entire lid.

Spatula

The spatula is a single unit that does not come apart. With a hook for removing the basket insert from the machine.

The spatula comes apart in three sections, and you need to take it apart to be able to use the clip to take the basket insert out from the machine.

Butterfly Attachment

Has teeth on the outside to help keep the food intact.

No teeth on the outside.

Reverse Function

Yes, allows food to stay in chunks when required.

No, can tend to chop or mush food more than intended.

Scales

Scales are integrated into the machine, allowing you to measure into the bowl.

Measuring range from 5 to 100g in 5g increments; 100 to 2000g in 10g increments (to max 2kg).

Scales are separate to the bowl, and go up in 1 gram increments. There is a maximum load of 3kg.

Bowl and Blades

2 litre capacity.

Is made from surgical grade stainless steel with heating system and temperature sensor integrated.

Is dishwasher safe.

Blades can be removed for easy cleaning.

2 litre capacity.

Made from stainless steel.

Not dishwasher safe.

Blades can be removed for easy cleaning.

Pausing Whilst Cooking

If you need to stop the machine to taste your food, or add ingredients whilst cooking, just remove the lid, do what you need to do, then simply select the speed you want, and all the settings for temperature, and time are remembered, and resumes from where you left off.

If you need to stop the machine to taste your food, or add ingredients whilst cooking, you will lose all settings: time, temperature, speed. Extremely annoying if you don’t know where you were at.

Temperature

37-100°C + Varoama (steaming)

37-100°C

 

Click here for more information on Thermomix.

Click here for more information on Thermochef.

If you are interested in purchasing a Thermomix, I have consultant details in Melbourne & Perth I’d be happy to recommend. Just email me using the contact details on the contact page.

Iron Chef Shellie road tested the Thermochef courtesy of Kitchenware Direct. The Thermomix was already a part of Iron Chef Shellie’s kitchen. Testing of both appliances occured over several weeks.

Edit 5/11/12 – I have had quite a few people contact to ask me to review other similar machines to the Thermomix and Thermochef. I will not be testing any other products that are similar. The Thermomix was purchased out of my own money, whilst the Thermochef, as stated on this review was given to me by Kitchenware Direct. I do not wish to purchase any other similar machines to road test, as these reviews take up a lot of my time and money. If you are after further reviews on either of these machines, or any other ones similar, I suggest you check out what CHOICE have to say.

Spatula

The spatula is a single unit that does not come apart. With a hook for removing the basket insert from the machine.

The spatula comes apart in three sections, and you need to take it apart to be able to use the clip to take the basket insert out from the machine.

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Comments
93 Responses to “Thermochef vs Thermomix”
  1. Briony says:

    Really great comparison, I’m really impressed with the amount of work you went into! I know exactly how you feel too – sometimes you just can’t downgrade again when you’ve experienced something really good (e.g. me and my iPhone 4s vs a complimentary Nokia Lumia 800). Great review xx

  2. Esz says:

    Wow awesome review!! Very thorough. The Thermomix does definitely look like the most well thought out machine of the two.
    Have you made anything all fancy-pants sous vide with it yet?? I’d love to see one of those uber-perfect poached eggs :-D
    Esz recently posted..Going away for a few days

  3. hmmm…. I still need to find a space for the Thermomixer. Always go for the original. Thanks for the test!
    penny aka jeroxie recently posted..El Loco, Surry Hills

    • Una Ferguson says:

      Hi Penny – I hope you can find space on your kitchen bench – you will definitely find yourself using it a couple of times a day.

  4. Great review, Shellie! Thanks for that information, very helpful. One more thing about the integrated scales on the Thermomix – you can actually weigh up to 6kg, in 2kg lots. So once it reaches 2 kg, you have to reset the scales, then you can keep weighing for another 2 kg, then reset, then another 2. Pretty cool, huh!

  5. Rachel says:

    I often do the perfect slow poached eggs for Sunday brunch in my Thermomix using freshly collected free range eggs from our pet chooks. They are divine & so easy to pop on & walk away whilst your fresh bread is baking & you take a leisurely shower or play with the kids. Whip up some fresh hollandaise once they are done & hey presto! A cafe quality (or better) Sunday brunch at a fraction of the cost with very minimal effort. Thanks for the review, a lot of people are asking how they compare.

  6. Fantastic review Shellie!!! I’ve been waiting to read all the details of your tests especially after hearing some of your frustrations on twitter. You can clearly see the Thermomix is much gentler on food, and worth the money. I told my Mum about your frustrations as she was going to buy the Thermochef but has since bought the Thermomix. Looks like I need to keep saving for a Thermomix :)
    Jennifer (Delicieux) recently posted..WIN 1 of 10 De Bortoli La Boheme & Rococo Blanc de Blancs Gift Packs!!

  7. Thanh says:

    Excellent review Michele.

    Having now read your review, as an engineer, I would never ever buy the Thermochef. What they’ve done is copy a product, but like copies of iPod, it’s the software and the interface that makes all the different. Having the spatula in three pieces and falling off all the time would annoy the hell out of me. Little details like having a hook on the spatula and having the bowl completely seal matters. Lots of engineers have spent time doing the systems engineering of the Thermomix to make it work so easily and smoothly.

    For the motor, which you may be able to investigate more for me, I think while the Thermomix motor is a belt-less induction motor which won’t have wear and tear, by the fact that you can “smell” the motor would mean the Thermochef is a basic belt driven motor. Given the high speeds and heavy duty mixing the machine will do, I’d be surprised if the motor didn’t break down real quick.

    So I think while on the surface the specifications look super similar, the details and execution is where it matters. I may have considered buying the cheaper Thermochef before but now I definitely won’t.
    Thanh recently posted..Easy Tiger

  8. Sara says:

    A thorough review, thank you. I am thinking of getting one.

    • Una Ferguson says:

      It will be the best decision you will ever make Sara. I bought mine 12 months thru the “Consultant Training” program and it’s the best decision I have ever made.

  9. Amanda says:

    What an excellent revue and very fair comparison, thanks Shellie.
    I have owned a Thermomix for 3 years now and love it, so have wondered how the Thermochef stacks up against it.
    Wondering no more!!
    Amanda recently posted..More Christmas food traditions – Gingerbread & Mince Pies – where on earth did they come from?

  10. DavetteB says:

    I’m not totally understanding the point of either machine – are they supposed to cook and stir at the same time?
    Do they do anything else?
    DavetteB recently posted..Welcome to My Home on the Web!

    • Iron Chef Shellie says:

      The can chop, mince, cook, make sorbet, steam, pretty much everything. I suggest you check out the links above if you want to know more.

  11. JP says:

    Great review. shows you get what you pay for. The end results are completely different.

  12. msihua says:

    What an amazing and detailed review. I am very impressed by your dedication!

    Haha at Thanh’s very engineering focussed comment :)
    msihua recently posted..Dinner at Penny Farthing Espresso @ Northcote, VIC

  13. Emma says:

    A great read Michele – you’ve presented it clearly, an easy way to compare the two. Thank you!

  14. Now, this convinces me a little. heheheh
    Michelle chin recently posted..Review: Set lunch @ Fukuharu, Lorong Nibong off Jalan Ampang, KL

  15. Erica says:

    Great review. Seems like a no brainer to me! I’ll take my Thermomix over the Thermochef anyday :)

  16. Teresa says:

    I’ve had my Thermomix for almost a year now and I love it! It’s the only appliance I use in my kitchen so in my books it’s worththe $1939 price tag.

    Thermochef – you are a poor imitation to the real thing! You’re like a cheap instant coffee compared to a beautifully brewed ground coffee bean espresso, bloody disgusting instant cheap …..!!!

  17. Thanks Shellie for this great comparison! I’ve been thinking about Thermomix but because of the price…Mr Bao hasn’t allowed me to get one YET lol i’m still trying to convince him :)

    Also the Thermomix lady I saw last time snobbed me off :( I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a Uni student or because she didn’t think I was serious…I don’t think i’ll get the Thermochef I’d rather save up and get the real deal hehe
    Daisy@Nevertoosweet recently posted..Hong Kong Special – Kung Wo Sweet Beancurd

  18. Cheryl says:

    Such a fun read! Enjoyed it immensely.
    Cheryl recently posted..News for Thermomix Switzerland and my latest Fall demo’s

  19. Wow oh wow — such a lot of work for this thorough comparison. Thanks so much. I can’t wait to link to your page as there are many who visit my blog wondering the same thing.

    I guess like never owning a car and first going out to buy one. You can buy a cheaper one that drives (insert a brand name here) or you can buy one that with better suspension, good tires, more solid construction, safety features, and oh yes… reverse gear! ;-)

    Big thanks for this fair and thorough comparison.

  20. Leah says:

    I have wanted a Thermomix for a while now, after reading your review it makes me want one even more now :D

  21. Sarah says:

    So what you are saying is… Ben should definately buy me one :) My campaign for a kitchenaid took 2 years… I wonder how long the campaign for a thermomix will take?
    Sarah recently posted..Raspberry Lemonade Bars

  22. Marie says:

    Thanks for a great review! Makes me feel ever more comfortable with our TMX decision! Any chance you can road test the VitaMix too?

  23. Robyn says:

    The most expensive appliance in your kitchen is the one you don’t use!
    Buy once…& Buy Well! Buy a Thermomix! The Design & materials are superior, you only have to use it once to see & feel the difference.
    Our family (yes…. including kids & Husband!) use our Thermomix on average 7-9 times a day. Special Occasions we have used it up to 21 times eg. to prep for a kids birthday party.
    The best investment I have ever made, its paid itself many times over and now saves me money!

  24. Nola says:

    I feel your “comparison” is very biased. The points you raise are really very small things. I have only had my butterfly pop off once, when I hadn’t fitted it properly. I noticed you didn’t let your risotto rest for 10 minutes to absorb any extra moisture.

    You don’t have to feel so threatened by the Thermo Chef. You have a very nice machine in the Thermomix. It will stand on it’s own record, without pulling a competitor to pieces. I have a Thermo Chef, and my daughter has a Thermomix. I love them both. I am saving my pennies and in 4 years time I will have enough to buy a Thermomix. In the meantime, I am having a wonderful time playing with my Thermo Chef, and becoming “Thermie savvy” and when I am able to afford the “mix” I will have one machine for sweets and one for savories. How decadent is that.

    • Iron Chef Shellie says:

      Hi Nola,

      Thanks for your comments. I did however let the risotto rest and it still appeared to be like it is in the photo.

      I don’t feel I have been biased, I have just stated things as they happened when I was doing my series of tests.

    • Susan says:

      I agree the points are small things. I like the appearance of the Thermo Chef more – but I get that’s a very personal thing. At this point in my Thermo Chef I wouldn’t consider spending so much extra on something that does so little extra. I like being able to have two bowls. It is decadent! Lol

      • Al says:

        I too agree the points are small ones. It sounds very biased and at over twice the price the product should have twice the functions or is the thermomix overpriced? If looking at buying a car would you buy a Ferrari over a Ford because it has more options or because that’s what you can afford?

  25. Stewart says:

    Hi Shellie, good and fair comparison on the Thermomix verses the Thermochef, I believe that maybe you should look at and consider doing a review on the HotMixPRO. It has features such as being able to cook between 130°C for the entry level machine to 190°C for the premium machine, this machine also features programmability and a 1gb SD card for its memory. The area where the jug is seated is insulated so there is no chance or getting a serious burn, what they do not have are the scales. Let me know if there is any further info that you may like, alternatively have a look at our website at http://www.hotmixpro.com.au

    • Iron Chef Shellie says:

      Hi Stewart,

      Yes I have heard of the HotMix as one of my favourite cafes, LuxBite recently acquired one and told me all about it. If I’m offered one to road test, then I shall happily review it on here.

      Cheers
      Iron Chef Shellie :)

  26. Stewart says:

    I forgot to mention the price, entry level $2085.00 inc GST and $2635.00 inc GST for the premium level with programming.

  27. Stewart says:

    Just a correction re the parmesan cheese and grating it in the Thermomix…. I believe that at the demo’s you are told that the cheese should be cut into pieces no larger than a walnut

    • Iron Chef Shellie says:

      I’ve been to a couple of demos and they have been large chunks of cheese, not cut into smaller cubes.

      • Yes, you can do larger cheese but it’s not recommended. I spoke to someone recently who had to replace her blades (after 18 months) and was told by the distributor that “they are not meant for doing parmesan that way”. Lesson learned. (I only say this because I would hate for it to happen to anyone else. The replacement blade was not cheap but she didn’t mind. What she DID mind was not being able to use her TMX for three days while waiting for the mail!
        ThermomixBlogger Helene recently posted..In defense of a Thermomix purchase

        • Iron Chef Shellie says:

          So I’ve just been informed by a consultant; as long as it fits through the hole of the lid it’s fine :)

  28. Wow! Awesome review :) the Thermomix def seems the go. you can even see it in the images of the food. The Thermomix seems to keep everything in tact and it much more user friendly. Less userfriendly price but yeah if you can get it on finance, then its worth it in the long run
    nic@diningwithastud recently posted..Platform 7 – Sydenham

  29. Fantastically informative! I actually like that you can go to a demo for the Thermomix, I went to one in KL and really liked that they could show you exactly how to use it and all the functions that came with it – hands-on learning obviously triumphs books and videos! Plus I reckon if you’re going to make that kind of investment for your kitchen you might as well go the whole hog and get something of really good quality ;)
    Vee @ Munching (in) Melbourne recently posted..Courting Miss Jackson

  30. Tenina says:

    Excellent work…have been planning on doing this myself for an age, but just ran out of time. You have been thorough and fair based on my experience also.
    xx
    Tenina recently posted..The good news of the day is that Dinner Spinners are back in stock as of Monday,…

  31. Sarah says:

    Thank you for the time & effort you put into this review. I will pass it on to all who enquire. Many many thanks!!

  32. Andrea says:

    Thanks Shellie! That is exactly what I thought. I bought my Thermomix (TM 21) 12 years ago back in Germany. Now here in Australia I am Thermomix Consultant in Melbourne and proud owner of the TM 31. The Thermochef is a cheap copy of the old Thermomix. I would never spend so much money for more then 15 year old engineering . Love my TM 31 …

  33. Thank you for such a great comparison. I an one of those people that haven’t been sold on a thermomix, I obviously need to know more about them, but I sure would not buy a thermochef.

  34. Meg says:

    Ok I am reading the review. I’ll state up front I own a Thermochef which I bought after 6 months of research between the thermochef and thermomix and I want to address some of the issues raised. Before I start, The two are not the same machine, they are different, I freely acknowledge that.

    First she says she didn’t read the instruction book….ok I get that….and says the videos (about 20 minutes of them) were too boring and too long…then she totally disassembles the spatula…why? You just push the easy button on it to split it in two. No mention of the stainless steel basket versus plastics either. And complains when the butterfly falls off. If she had read the instruction book it might not have, as it specifies that you must be quite firm with it.

    I don’t eat mashed potato so maybe someone else could comment on her experience with making them? re the risotto, I am yet to make one as well, as the grains are a problem for me to eat. I suspect she set it to exactly the same levels as the Thermomix to make the risotto…the speeds are a little different on the blades so sometimes a small adjustment can make a difference. Same deal for the pasta….I don’t eat it; so someone else will have to comment.

    When I first got my Thermochef, there was a smell from the motor as I pushed it through it’s paces. it’s gone now. And in the actual Thermomix instruction book it states that the thermomix may give off an engine smell. (yes, i have read it…I told you I did my research before I bought this!)

    As for the noise levels, they are both noisy, and I couldn’t hear any difference between them. I consider having to press the button to remove the jug is a safety feature that Thermomix would do well to adopt, particularly with society now encouraging children to cook via junior masterchef etc.

    As for lifting off the whole jug and putting it on the scale to weigh an ingredient…. Hasn’t she heard of a dish? For more heavy handed people like myself that works better. And as for more cleaning….pfffttt! what garbage….a quick wipe with a cloth across the glass at the end of the session…same as you would wipe over the thermomix.

    Lid seals: yes, my lid was stiff initially too. Now it goes on easily….as the steamer basket does, and I am grateful there are not rings and bits in the lid to fiddle with, as they would be sure to get lost in this house! I notice the cooking function (TC) didn’t get a mention although the varoma function did in the chart.

    I have used both and they are both good. I baulked at paying $1200 extra for a reverse gear, which is essentially the difference between them. Maybe I’ll eat my food in smaller bits, it has yet to be an issue in this house as long as the food is hot, appetizing and enjoyable!

    • Iron Chef Shellie says:

      Meg,

      In regards to your comments, let me clarify a few things:
      – I did read the instruction book, and I did consult it on a number of times. I watched instructional videos online as well.
      – I did dissemble the spatula to show in the photo, and if you look at page 9 of the instruction booklet you will see how they just use the handle as I’ve shown in my photo
      – I didn’t feel the need to mention the baskets were made out of different material as the photo shows that
      – I was forceful with the butterfly, and I did use it at the recommended speeds.
      – I did a side by side cook off, following instructions from the corresponding books for the recipes.
      – During this side by side cook off I could monitor the noise levels
      – I did also use a dish to measure things separately on the scales of the Thermochef. You can also do this on the lid of the Thermomix.
      – You can’t lift the jug of the Thermomix off whilst cooking as the lid locks the bowl into the unit. That is it’s safety feature.
      – When I referred to “more cleaning” I was referring to more dishes to clean.

      I understand you may be very happy with your Thermochef purchase, but I was simply just stating what happened when I was road testing the two appliances.

  35. Alana says:

    It seems to me that there are a few green eyed monsters out there who regret not purchasing a Thermomix.

    I think this is a great comparison review – very informative for someone like me who is just setting up my kitchen and looking at what is out there.

    • Nola says:

      Nope, not a greeneyed monster (although I do have green eyes). Love my “Chef” and don’t regret for one minute it’s purchase.

    • Marie says:

      Or it could be the opposite. People who have purchased the thermomix at $1200 more than the chef and trying to justify to themselves why they spent the money by picking apart the thermochef…

      • Sarah says:

        Alana actually I think you have it wrong. I am a Thermochef demonstrator. I go around to stores promoting the product, not for New Wave but for one of the retail outlets that sell it. I have been abused by Thermomix owners, sworn at and recently had 3 people stand in front of me belittling the product. To me I see these Thermomix people as jealous and upset that they spent $2,000 on a product that now has good competition. As for copies. Tell me ladies what isn’t a copy. Cars are a copy of another brand! Like buying a car or house. People need to shop around to find a product that suits their budget and requirements. I can tell you first hand that ThermoChef is an amazing product at a great price. As far as it smelling and being noisy that is untrue. As far as the spatular being in 3 peices I can tell you I have never had to pull it apart! I have only had the butterfly bar come off once and that we due to my not clicking it into place correctly. There are going to be a lot more of these types of cooking units on the market soon and I do wonder what anti everything except for ThermoMix people are going to do bag out then!

  36. EatPlayShop says:

    Thank you for a very comprehensive review! I have been eagerly awaiting a review like this for ages. As you know I have a thermomix, I love it and I use it most days, in one way or another. Glad to feel I’ve made the right choice :)
    EatPlayShop recently posted..Batch #16 – Morello Cherry White Chocolate Ganache & Lime-Lemon Macarons

  37. Hannah says:

    Fascinating read, lady! Well done you for being so thorough with the review. Having bought a Vitamix for half the price of the Thermomix I most certainly won’t be able to afford this anytime soon (plus I really need some, you know, pots and pans and frypans first…) but the dream is nice :P

  38. Undecided says:

    Its tricky, I believe the thermomix is the better machine, simply with history and engineering. I don’t believe the thermochef isn’t worth every bit of its $735 plus extra bowl you can get online at the moment.

    It would be difficult not to be somewhat bias, when you love the thermomix so much. I’ve friends made disasters in the thermomix, but work out the machine and they are enjoying the fruits of its labour. Surely this is the same with the familiarity of the thermomix and the ‘go word for word by the instruction book’.

    The spatula seems a little stiffer on the thermomix than the thermochef, but either way I think I’d prefer my silicon one for scraping out the bowl. My girlfriend is not a fan of her thermomix spatula for anymore than the sorbets.

    I’ll keep looking. Trying to get hubby to believe I need (who ‘needs’ really) to spend hundreds maybe thousands on a new kitchen appliance. Wish me luck, and thanks for the review.

  39. Fiona says:

    Great review Shellie! A side by side cook off is a fair way to do it and your comments seem valid. I’m a Thermomix (TM) owner and have also had the opportunity to test the Thermochef. The stand out things for me were the different safety features between the two. TM definitely appears to be safer ie no boiling liquids spilling out, blending hot soup much safer in TM, etc. I also found the Thermochef chopped things as it cooked and agree re the locking in/out of the bowl – very annoying.
    In my opinion there will always be a market for both due to cost. Yes, the TM is expensive but the money I save on groceries each week pays for my machine and my power bill has decreased by 25% (I used electric hotplates prior to owning my TM). In this day and age the old saying of “you get what you pay for” still applies.
    Well done and thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us all.

  40. Mez says:

    This is SUCH a good review.

    I’m about to show Hamish, we are seriously considering one for home. You’ve sold me on the Thermomix. It looks AMAZING.

    xox
    Mez recently posted..Rag And Bone My Love :( :( :(

  41. Susan says:

    I bought a Thermo Chef about a month ago and I love it! So far I’ve been able to easily convert a heap of Thermomix recipes very easily (so far). My risotto looks like the photo of the Thermomix risotto but then I made my usual risotto, just guessing times and temperatures. I haven’t followed many of the Thermo Chef book recipes – for no other reason than I don’t often follow recipes. I prefer the ones I have or I like to look online. I’ve noticed a lot of posts on the Thermomix forums about mushy rice and pasta. Often there is reassurance that with a bit of tweaking you can get it perfect. May take more tweaking with Thermo Chef fo some? I’ve never cooked pasta in it so can’t comment.
    I have made the custard sauce recipe though and it wasn’t very nice and very runny. So I then made the ThermoMix custard recipe – it was delicious.
    As I said, I haven’t followed many of the recipes from the Thermo Chef book so I can’t comment on that. My spatula is easy to use, hasn’t fallen apart once. Though I also prefer a normal silicon scraper. The lid was a bit tight at first but my friends Thermomix was even harder to use for the first few weeks. Both are fine now.
    I’ve made a few curries and it hasn’t continued to chop things smaller as it cooks them (after the initial chop), but they’ve had a fair bit of liquid. I’ve been really happy with that. It does a great job of turning wheat into flour (a criteria for me).
    My butterfly blade came off once, the first time I used it – I hadn’t put it on until it clicked properly. I’ve never had the problem again. I haven’t noticed the difference in the noise. Ice or wheat is going to be incredibly noisy to blend in anything.
    The motor on mine smelt a little for the first use. The night I bought it I used it for about 3 hours straight. It’s had absolutely no smell since the first time I used it. If a product continued to smell there’s a problem and I’d be returning it. My friend said her Thermomix smelled a bit ‘enginey’ at first also.
    I’ve been to a Thermomix demonstration where a friend bought hers. (My only experience with a Thermomix has been the demonstration and then using my friends). There’s an additional charge with the payment plan that you didn’t mention at the end of your blog.
    When I did my homework before purchasing I found that the Thermo Chef is designed in Spain, has a Japanese motor and is assembled in China. A Japanese motor was okay with me.
    I don’t find lifting the bowl off to be any more hassle than my friends Thermomix. I love the separate scales. Perhaps Thermomix should look into them. At the Thermomix demonstration I heard you have to be careful the power cord isn’t caught under the product as the scales can be inaccurate.
    Thermomix goes to 110o on a particular setting also (sort of turbo).
    Years ago my mum bought a particular brand of stab mixer when they were the only ones on the market. As others joined the market some had different features, looked different, were different. Lots of people swore that only the original was the best. A few years later I bought one that was about half the price (still double the price of other ‘copies’) and it was excellent. I loved it and it outlasted my mum’s original stab mixer and I used it 5 x’s more than her. I don’t think a copy has to be a bad thing.
    My friend really appreciates all the support she gets from her consultant – recipes, questions answered. To her that’s worth a lot of money. I felt pretty confident I could work it out on my own. I got my Thermo Chef with extra bowl for less than $850. The Thermomix with extra bowl was just over $2330. I didn’t want to pay $1485 extra for a different scale, having to input info again after I’ve opened the lid… and…so far I can’t find any difference between them.
    I’m also happy to buy another product in 10 or 15 or more years if my Thermo Chef wears out – who knows what will be in the market then.
    Good to see a review of them both. I’m happy with my purchase, as Thermomix users seem to be also.

    • Confused says:

      Thanks for your addition to the original review. It sounds like maybe the TC cookbook is causing a few problems!

      I keep changing my mind, wishing I”d never heard of TM or TC and just bought a vitamix so my head wouldn’t hurt! :)

      Do either of them grate? I need a grater.

      • Iron Chef Shellie says:

        They grate sorta. Perhaps if you need a grater, just buy a grater? Tefal have a new one on the market.

        • Confused says:

          THat’s what I thought. So, I’d buy two machines! MY poor kitchen is so tiny …

          Thanks for your comments and the review. :)

  42. Mara says:

    Hello Shellie. Just one comment about the power. It says that thermomix goes from 100 up to 10,200 RPM. Actually, 100 RPM is on speed 1. The spoon goes just at 40 RPM, so the range is actually wider.
    Great comparison! I didn’t even know about the existence of Thermochef but I’m so glad I have my Thermomix!!! ;-)

  43. Winston says:

    Flippin AMAZING post!!! I want to get a Thermomix so bad now!! My sis always got one but we don’t have enough kitchen space in our home so decided to pass on the idea… Maybe one day, one fine day… Least I know that when that day comes, I will def go with the Thermomix without a question. BEST PRODUCT REVIEW EVER!!!
    Winston recently posted..Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  44. Wendy Philipson says:

    I have recently purchased and Thermo Chef and thoroughly enjoy using it and I have just read your review. It seems to come aross to me as though you did a recipe test from their respective recipe books rather than an actual side by side test with the same recipes.

  45. Cherrie says:

    What a fantastic review, Shellie. I like your honesty and fairness to both products. hmmm… now to convince hubby to buy a thermomix
    Cherrie recently posted..My 2011 Christmas Cocktail Party

  46. Jeanette Pearce says:

    Fantastic comparison Shellie,
    I have had a TM for 18 months and love it. I have come to the conclusion that those people that purchase a Thermochef ultimately want a Thermomix but may not be able to afford it . Your review will encourage people to save save save and get the real deal. Substitutes are disappointing and never measure up to the expectations of the real deal. Thankyou for being unbiased.

  47. Great review Shellie! Shame on me for not reading it sooner! :P

    I think you did a fair comparison and people will be entitled to their own opinion. Those people who love the Thermochef will obviously not like the comparisons you have done, but they should be happy with their choice.

    I guess the big price difference is going to a huge factor in whether someone chooses a Thermomix or Thermochef.
    April@MyFoodTrail recently posted..Tefal Fresh Express

  48. wayneguetta says:

    I’d like thermomix better because it works so silently.. Thermochef creates so much noise.. Btw. some yummy meal pictures up there.. You seem like a great cook.. Why not to publish some unique recipes? lol

  49. Lisa Hudson says:

    Just the type of review I was looking for! I have just returned from a 9 day stay with my sister. We fed a minimum of 9 people 3 healthy meals per day plus morning and afternoon teas using her Thermomix. We made everthing from scratch (even butter) and yet didn’t spend hours in the kitchen. I was soooo impressed but wondered if I should save money and buy the Themochef. I have decided that even though $2000 is a lot to spend, $800 is a lot to lose if I am not as satisfied and don’t get the use out of it. Will be buying a Thermomix asap.

  50. Baz says:

    Thanks for the review! I have used both my parents Thermomix and getting to know a Thermochef that was given to me. Your review raises a few questions/comments in my mind:
    – why do you say the Thermomix butterfly design with exterior teeth is better for maintaining food integrity (I would think those teeth tear at the food)?
    – from personal experience, it is hard to see how the butterfly could come off if attached according to the instructions… I found in some cases the blades would not spin at all rather than kick the butterfly off…
    – my copy of the TM quick guide magnet notes the TM also requires hard cheeses to be chopped up before grating.
    – you don’t really explain why the Thermomix, while appearing better in some respects, is worth over twice the price? $1500, maybe :)
    – the table suggests the TM doesn’t have an equivalent to varoma (steaming) mode, but it does (the ‘cooking’ mode)
    – I think some unmentioned TM strengths are that it can do maximum blend speed at any temperature, and has a 40rpm stir mode vs TC’s 100rpm.
    Thanks again,
    B

    • Iron Chef Shellie says:

      Hi Baz,

      To answer your questions in order:
      – I believe the teeth help as they allow the food the flow through them, not just get mushed against the side of the bowl like i found with the Thermochef butterfly
      – The butterfly came off repeatedly for me, and I’ve heard of other TC owners having the same problem. I did fix it in properly, and I didn’t over fill the bowl.
      – Cheese needs to be chopped into smaller chunks for the TM but not as small as indicated in the TC book. I have put in a big chunk and it worked, but it is not reccomended.
      – Whilst appearing and functioning better, everything I list in the review states why I belived the TM is better than TC purely based on my experience. I believe the resetting of all settings if you pause your cooking on the TC is it’s biggest flaw.
      – The table shows what is also stated on both machine’s websites.
      – The strengths are also answerd in the questions/comments area.

      Thanks for your thoughts and input :)
      Like I said, it was purely based on my experience with both products.

  51. Lindsey says:

    Great review! I too have done a side-by-side with TM and TC and was also very frustrated with all the settings being cleared each time I paused the machine. I did sorbet which worked well in both and I did the Sabayon (same recipe in both units). TM made a delightful foamy Sabayon while the TC burnt the mixture to the bottom of the bowl and ended up with a thin, runny result in the bottom. Perhaps not the same ability when it comes to temperature control? The other things I noted was that Thermochef bread recipe has to be done in two batches and also that it’s not dishwasher safe…. perhaps that’s already been mentioned but there’s so much to read on this hot topic!!!

  52. Marie says:

    I own a thermochef and love it. I have found that the recipes available for the thermomix are better than the small cookbook that u get with thermochef however this hasn’t posed a problem because I simply google thermomix recipes and make them in my chef. They have all turned out really well so far with no problems. I am very happy with my purchase and feel that the 750 I spent to purchase my thermochef was worth every dollar!

  53. Meg says:

    If you have an iphone you can buy Robogourmet whcih is an app with thermo type recipes on it. I use it all the time and you also have the ability to make notes under each recipe. Good luck to everyone; thermomix or thermochef it’s a fantastic time saver in the kitchen. :)

  54. Confused says:

    where can you get it for 735 plus free bowl?

  55. Stewart says:

    The Thermochef is available at the moment from Chefs hat is South Melbourne for $699.00. http://www.chefshat.com.au

  56. jacinda says:

    i was swaying towards a thermochef because of the price but after your review i would definetly rather spend the extra money to get a thermomix. definetly a big help thanks!!

  57. Julieanne says:

    I am going to a thermomix demo and was interested as I knew how expensive it was compared to the competitor. My sister in law has one and loves it but I was not prepared to pay that much for yet another bench top appliance. I may now think about it as it really does outsell its competitors. I also read about the soup maker as a competitor but it does not have anywhere near the fuctions.
    Julieanne recently posted..Singapore Chilli Prawns

  58. jennifer says:

    I prefer the thermochef. The LCD display on thermomix is tiny, and old technolodgy. The large blue LCD is far superior to the thermomix but you do not mention this. I cook risotto frequently and get perfect results, unlike the sludge you seem to have made. The fact that thermomix cost $1000 extra for almost the same machine is ridiculous. Having to pay for the party plan sales system is why thermomix is so expensive. Just like tupperware this is an outdated sales system that leads to overpriced products. You say german made on thermomix, you are not mentioning thermomix is assembled in China. Both machines are designed in Europe.
    Both machines provide a 2 year warranty, and plenty of Thermochefs are selling to quality chefs and kitchens. I consider both machines to be superior kitchen appliances, that is all. If thermomix has the edge in some areas the large LCD screen gives some back to thermochef. But lets be honest, the $1000 extra paid for thermomix is not justified. Shellie I feel you are providing in my opinion a biased view. Anyway happy cooking to all, both machines are great, the agents of thermomix blogging here is not really a fair way to discuss both machines.

  59. jennifer says:

    Just one final note re price. We paid $695 for the Thermochef with a two year warranty, for the Chef shop, which is where many pro cooks go.

  60. Amelia says:

    I appreciate the comparisons but I can’t help but feel its very thermomix biased. We have just bought a thermomix and I feel it is the best machine for me, but I don’t think the thermochef is as bad as its made to look here. I’ve seen some of this stuff made with a thermochef when we were still making our decision and where the risotto was made and was sloppy and unappealing appears to be just an ingredient and temperature/cooking adjustment.
    The thermochef did a fine job especially for the price. When looking we found we could get one around $600 which is a significant difference but we went with the thermomix for various reasons though how it cooked some of the things above wasn’t it. I think the recipe should be adjusted for the two different machines for a more accurate result.
    Again we went with the thermomix I’m not an advocate for the thermochef I just think its an awesome price for what it does and it’s not as bad as the results above.

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