The Vorwerk Thermomix logo
|Current supplier||Depends on country|
The Thermomix is a kitchen appliance made by the Vorwerk Corporate Group.
The name comes from the combination of “thermo” (heating) and “mix” (mixing). The current Thermomix has a heating element, a motor for fast or slow blending and stirring, and a weighing scale. The functions can be accessed simultaneously to carry out steaming, emulsifying, blending, precise heating, mixing, milling, whipping, kneading, chopping, weighing, grinding and stirring. The 2014 Thermomix TM5 also has a touchscreen with a guided mode which allows the user to follow recipes step by step.
The Thermomix was derived from a mixer series from Vorwerk originally called "VKM5", in 1961. It had seven functions: stirring, kneading, chopping, grating, mixing, milling and juicing. The justification for the development of the heating element comes from the managing director of Vorwerk France, who around 1970 came up with the idea of designing a machine that could simultaneously blend and cook, to make thickened soups and baby food, popular in France. In 1971 the original Thermomix VM 2000 was launched on the market – first in France, later in Spain and Italy.
The bright orange VM 2200 followed, with the ability to keep dishes hot or cold. The TM3300, the first version named "Thermomix", was released in 1985, with a white finish and having the mixing bowl lower than the previous model.
The next model, the Thermomix TM21, was released in 1996, with a bigger bowl, integrated weighing scale and a more modern appearance.TM5 incorporates digital technologies, and allows "guided cooking" using proprietary memory chips to provide settings and cooking instructions, and a touch screen instead of the buttons and knobs of previous models.
The chronology of Thermomix models is as follows:
- Thermomix VKM5 (1961)
- Thermomix VM 10 (decade of 1960s)
- Thermomix VM 2000 (1971)
- Thermomix VM 2200 (1977)
- Thermomix TM 3000 (1980)
- Thermomix TM 3300 (1982)
- Thermomix TM 21 (1996)
- Thermomix TM 31 (2004)
- Thermomix TM 5 (2014)
The Thermomix differs from ordinary blenders and food processors in having a thermostatically controlled heating element with a range of 37 °C (99 °F) to 120 °C (248 °F) in the TM5 model (a100 °C (212 °F) in the TM31 and previous models), a timer, and a built-in scale for weighing directly into the appliance.
The price at launch in its home country was €1,139.
Marketing and distribution
The Thermomix is sold through direct sales by a sales force of "Thermomix consultants".
Vorwerk claims the appliance may be used to prepare complete meals with no need for advanced culinary knowledge.
Three models continue to be widely used, the TM21, TM31 and TM5. The European machine was first released in a 200Vac model. The TM5 went on sale in North America in 2015.
Differences between the TM5 and the TM31
The TM5 is a digital machine. It has recipe chips, access to an online platform of over 28,000 recipes, and is equipped with guided cooking. The user interface is now via a touch screen, and it has a less noisy motor than previous models, a larger mixing bowl, a new steamer, a higher maximum temperature of 120 °C (248 °F),and support for online recipes.
The TM31 is a manual machine with push buttons without recipe chips. It can do the same things as the TM5 but the mixing bowl and steamer have a lower capacity.
In 2010 Stiftung Warentest rated the model TM 31 with mark 3.2 (satisfactory). The high price of 985 euro, the high noise level, and the lack of grating and slicing functionality was criticised. The successor model TM 5 was rated in 2015 with mark 2.9 (satisfactory). The noise level (measured at 91 decibel) was again criticised, and the testers said that this was the reason why it was rated down.
There have been numerous accounts of a Thermomix machine "exploding" and scalding people with hot liquids. In October 2014 the model was recalled over claims that hot liquid or food may splash out of the mixing bowl. The Australian consumer organisation CHOICE called for an ACCC investigation. In June 2017 the ACCC started court proceedings against the Australian Thermomix distributor, alleging that it breached Australian Consumer Law, failed to comply with mandatory reporting requirements for injuries, asked consumers to sign non-disclosure agreements, and made false and misleading statements about its 2014 recall.
CHOICE told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that it was aware of 87 cases where Thermomix consumers had been burned. The ABC understands that 18 of those required several weeks of treatment in hospital burns units.
In 2014 Thermomix TM31 (12423100 to 14323199) was recalled in Australia. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued recall notice 2014/14361 in October 2014. The sealing ring was identified as a point of possible failure in circumstances where the machine was operated at high speed and then switched to the lid open position. Vorwerk shipped all affected owners a replacement sealing ring in November 2014.
- "HISTORIA DE THERMOMIX" (in Spanish). Vorwerk. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
- Berkovicius, Christine (12 August 2015). "L'usine Thermomix dopée par le succès de son robot ménager" (in French). LesEchos.fr. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- abendblatt.de: “Ein Leben ohne Thermomix ist möglich, aber sinnlos“(in German) Hamburger Abendblatt, retrieved on October 12, 2015
- Zacharakis, Zacharias (10 December 2014). "Häckseln für den Lifestyle" (in German). ZEIT ONLINE. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Robot cuiseur Thermomix TM5 - La nouvelle version disponible - Actualité". Que Choisir. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- Thermomix TM31 Instruction Manual (PDF).
- Küchenmaschinen: Die Küchenprofis test.de (in German)
- https://www.test.de/Kuechenmaschinen-mit-Kochfunktion-Drei-von-neun-sind-gut-4947836-0/ Küchenmaschinen mit Kochfunktion: Drei von neun sind gut test.de (in German)
- Clark Thompson, Ashlee (18 December 2016). "Thermomix TM5 review: Finally, a countertop kitchen appliance that does it all". cnet.com. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
- Ray, Joe (17 December 2016). "Review: Thermomix, Smart Kitchen 101". wired.com. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
- "Vorwerk Elektowerke GmbH & Co. KG—Thermomix TM31 Sealing Ring". www.recalls.gov.au. Retrieved 2016-05-17.