So the Optimum Thermocook used in this review was sent to me to try by Froothie. I haven't been paid to write this review and all of the view contained within it are my own. Now that I've got that out of the way, I'd like you to meet my new kitchen hand. I make no secret that I'm a kitchen multitasker, but lately I've had a little assistance with that. I love to have a few things on the go at once, I really don't like to waste any time while I'm cooking and that means I'm more efficient and so is my use of energy.
When froothie offered me an Optimum Thermocook to try in my home, I have to admit I was skeptical. I've never bought a thermomix for so many reasons. And these same reasons applied to the thermocook (because it basically does all the same things) Reason no 1: price! Reason no 2: I love to cook, so why would I want a machine that does it for me? Reason no 3: I already have a blender, mixer, stove top, rice cooker, slow cooker etc....so why move to something else?
Well. Two months in and I'm trying to work out how I can take it camping with us in January. I think I would give up my seat in the car for it to happen. Really? Yep, Totally converted. What? Yep, I have used it EVERY single day. Sometimes twice a day...sometimes even more. Even after the initial novelty wore off, I've been using it constantly. So you understand how much I've been using it, I'm going to explain a little about the Optimum Thermocook. In the picture above...it was making chicken and veggie stock whilst I had pneumonia...seriously completely handsoff!
There are over 20 functions that the Thermocook can help you out with in the kitchen: chopping, whipping, mixing, emulsifying, grinding, milling, kneading, cooking, satueeing, blending, stirring, steaming, weighing, precise heating, slow cooking, pureeing, melting, yoghurt making, keeping warm and also reheating. Basically everything except for baking, bbqing and frying. It's got a stainless-steel blade, powerful 500W motor (it can be noisy, but so is my food processor), 1000W heating element, overheat/overload protection and safety protection system. One major selling point for me is the stainless steel steamer- there are two baskets and they give you a HUGE amount of steaming space- think veggies, puddings, anything!
Now what have I made? Custard was the first thing I made and I've perfected it. I love a thick creamy custard with apple pie...and you can make it as thick as you like in the Thermocook, without standing stirring it for ages. I've done yoghurt in it, and if you don't need the thermocook for a 10 hour period (say overnight) the yoghurt setting is perfect and helps you to make the most delicious and creamy yoghurt because it keeps it at the perfect temperature.
I've been making my blissballs, pasta sauces, fruit purees...so many things in there! I've mixed pastry, rice gets cooked in there, meatballs get mixed in it, this cheesecake base, filling and jelly were made in it!
Really? It's become an important part of my kitchen. If you've ummed and aahed about a thermocooker of any description before, you should bite the bullet. At only $1600 retail and currently on special for $849 it's a bargain!
I have always prided myself on the honesty of my reviews, so here's the negatives. The recipe book, it needs work. But, bloggers like myself are helping to fix that, so you can rest assured that there will be awesomeness on the way. Plus you can easily convert any thermomix recipe to work with the thermocook. The other negative for me: I really need a second bowl, because it doesn't go in the dishwasher (a pet peeve of mine with appliances), it feels like a mammoth effort to wash the bowl regularly, especially when changing from blending to mixing in one recipe. But there's good news there too, as you can purchase an extra bowl and still come out on top.
Another aspect of this amazing machine that gets me very excited: the preset programs. It basically takes the guess work away. You can set and forget on so many of the programs meaning you can slow cook, stir soup without being there and even keep warm after a program is finished.
Here's one recipe I've made using the thermocook...basil chicken pasta sauce and there's many more to come that I'll be adding to this post as I do!
Interested? You can find out more at Froothie.