Thermomix Tips for Beginners
New to Thermomix? Read these top Thermomix tips for beginners to find out how to use your new kitchen machine on steroids to its full potential. Useful tips and practical advice.
I cannot imagine how exciting it must be when the postman finally pulls up and delivers your Thermomix. It is a feeling I wish I could go through again. You are probably already thinking of changing the entire world of cooking with this machine and have spent days planning what meals to cook first. There are so many new functions to learn about and I have summarised a few tricks for you to make it much easier to start with your new personal chef.
I have put together a few very basic Thermomix tips that include how to use all the Thermomix functions and what you can do with the lovely accessories that accompany it. There is also a nice little menu in the bottom that you can use to christen your Thermi but don’t be tempted to scroll all the way down and let your excitement take over, read some of the tips first. You will find they come in handy. I’ll help you save some space and become a super efficient chef in your kitchen. Let’s get started.
Thermomix recipe language
Reading recipes made for the Thermomix is sightly different to the standard recipes. Every recipe always includes the Time / Temperature / Speed function so that you can just dial the right numbers and go. This is the standard format in which a recipe is displayed.
For example: 1 Min. / 37°C / Speed 3.
There are a few more functions that are different.
Varoma = Steaming attachment that is used to steam vegetables, fish or meat. It is the large oval bowl. Always place on top of the lid.
Measuring cup (MC) = this is the measuring cup that goes on the lid. Some recipes require you to put the measuring cup on and some will advise to leave it off. In the recipe it will tell you when to leave it off, it is quite safe to assume otherwise to just place the measuring cup on.
TTS = Refers to time, temperature and speed. This is the order of the instructions in the recipes. Just make sure you always dial a time before selecting a temperature and speed. Particularly with the TM31, it will not heat up otherwise.
Kneading function = The little wheat symbol is the kneading function. It will be used when making your bread dough. When you read that, for the TM5 simply dial the little wheat symbol within a square and then put it on dough mode. Then you just turn the speed dial slightly and it will start kneading.
Stir = The stirring function is a very good one to use when you want to very gently stir something. This could be anything from gently warming up baby food to stirring meat when frying it.
Reverse blade function = Reverse blade function refers to the blade rotating in the opposite direction and therefore not chopping. This function is very useful if you are making a meat stew and you do not want the meat to be chopped any smaller.
Using the speeds correctly
When you first start using the speeds, make sure to do lower rather than higher speeds. I have been there, trying to chop some onions and ending up with onion mash. The general guide is anything below speed 5 will chop roughly, speed 5-7 will chop finer and speed 8-10 will blend.
The whisk attachment
The whisk attachment is a very useful tool. It can be used for whisking egg whites, making genoise and making buttercream. Just note that you should never go above speed 4, otherwise it will come off the blade and get chopped up and break. Make sure when you attach the whisk attachment that it is slotted in correctly before proceeding. When you add your ingredients, pour them to the left and right of the attachment, never directly on top, otherwise it may not whisk everything nicely.
Using your bowl as a scale
Please make sure you have a big box in the kitchen with you during the next couple of days. There will be quite a few items that you can safely store away and either give to charity or to your friends and family who do not have a Thermomix yet (they will get there though). The scale was one of my first items to put in that box. If you quickly need to weigh something before chopping it up and you just don’t know how many potatoes equal 250g, simply place a bowl on top of the lid and press the scale function. You can then weigh your items and know exactly how many potatoes to chop up before putting them in the Thermomix bowl. No waste and another item less to fill your cupboards.
The Varoma is the steaming attachment that we use when we want to make very juicy meat, fish or tender vegetables that are gently steamed to retain the vitamins and moisture. Add the rice cooker and any steaming crockpots or slow cookers to the list of items to put in that box. You will not need them any longer.
Tip: A great trick for using the varoma when cooking fish or meat is to insert a sheet of greaseproof baking paper in the top compartment. Slightly wet it first then place it in the compartment and your meat or fish on top. That ensures you don’t have any of those juices dripping down on the veggies or rice.
Steaming basket = sieve = bowl cover
Your steaming basket is a very versatile little gadget. I have used it in many ways besides rice cooking and boiling potatoes. If you are making orange juice in the Thermi and you are not a juicy bits kind of person like me, simply use your steaming basket to pass through the orange juice and it will catch all your little bits. It can also be used as a bowl cover instead of the measuring cup. If you are scared of splashing and cooking with the kids, you can safely place the steaming basket on top and it will let through the steam but also safeguard from splashing. This is especially useful when making caramel and in recipes, which do not use the measuring cup for certain steps.
The spatula is designed so that you can safely remove the steaming basket without hurting yourself. There is a little nozzle on the spatula, which fits the hole in the steaming basket. Simply insert and you can lift out your rice without burning your hands. The spatula has so many great qualities, it does not roll away because of its unique shape and also helps stirring very tough doughs. Because of its cap in the middle, it cannot touch the blade, which other spatulas definitely will and, trust me, I have broken many a spatula. You can use your favourite silicone spatula for removing dough or anything else, but this one is the best for lifting hot food and helping to stir.
Cleaning your Thermi
Now here comes a part that you can really play show off with. Thermomix can do a self-clean. I am sure in your demonstration at home you have already seen this, but if not, here is how you can do it. After usage, fill with water to 1l mark and add a splash of washing up liquid. Then put on speed 5 for a good 30-45 seconds. While doing that, press reverse blade function for a few times after 10 seconds so that everything gets cleaned nicely. Rinse and dry.
You can also put all the pieces in the dishwasher, just not the machine. I always do that when I have a bit of time and don’t need to use it straight away again. Just make sure that you dry the bowl properly, especially the heat contacts, otherwise it will come up with an error when trying to use it. Also, immediately get used to assembling the bowl properly before putting it back in the machine. Imagine how tragic it would be if you forgot and had an accident with liquid in the motor. The best way to reattach is to insert the blade first, then, holding the knife, turn it upside down and attach the bottom. Screw in place and voila you are ready to use it again.
Making bread dough and removing from the bowl
Another item to put in that box full of kitchen gadgets you won’t need anymore is the good old bread maker. I cannot emphasise this enough, you do not need it any longer, your Thermi makes the most incredible bread. Don’t believe it? Well, my dad used to be a baker and he only uses the Thermomix to make his doughs. I am completely obsessed with it. A few things to note, once you made your dough. Don’t worry, you can leave it in the bowl to rise, it does not need to be removed straight away. If you have activated yeast with heat, then it will be even better for the bread as it can rise in a nice and warm environment. If you want to read more bread baking tips, I have put together a few of my dad’s favourite tricks here.
Tip: When you remove the dough from the bowl, simply tip the bowl upside down on a work surface dusted with flour. Remove the bottom cap and press the knife in the bowl. The dough should come out nicely with the knife. Remove the knife and there is your dough. You can remove excess dough from the knife, but be very careful the knife is super sharp and I regularly cut myself using this knife.
What to make first
Finally, we are talking cooking and baking. After all that reading and thinking about how to use the Thermomix, your biggest desire probably is to finally make something in your new Thermi. It is very quick to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of recipes out there and deciding on what to cook or bake first can be tricky. I have put together a few favourite recipes that you can easily make at home using multiple functions of your Thermi. Great practice, and perfect for the whole family. Get the kids involved, too.
If you are really up for a challenge, why not make your first amazing bread in the Thermi. Your own artisan bread or overnight rye bread rolls are fantastic for the first breakfast from your wonderful kitchen machine.
For more tips and advice visit my tips section to learn all about baking with your Thermi. If you have any other questions, simply leave me a comment or fill out the ask Sophia form and I will reply to you as soon as possible. And remember, there is no silly question. We have all been there. Happy Thermi baking and cooking.
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