Saturday 4 October 2014

A review of the TM5 and a note about My Kitchen Thermomix recipes and the TM31

Up until last week, I was the proud owner of a TM31, which served me well every day for 18 months. But when the news hit that a new model had been released (the TM31 having first been released in 2007), I couldn't help myself. Within a day, I had decided to upgrade and, within 2 days, had advertised and sold my beloved TM31 so that I could justify the expense of the upgrade.

So how different are the two machines?

The biggest differences relate to the operating system, rather than the design of the primary components. TM31 and TM5 perform exactly the same functions and should produce identical results for most things. The blade is the same, as is the bowl albeit 10% larger (which doesn't sound like much, but it certainly looks bigger to the naked eye). The TM31, although now superseded, remains a technologically ingenuis kitchen appliance. But, as you must expect, the TM5 is a new model and necessarily incorporates new and more advanced features.  

Most obviously, the new TM5 features a colour touchscreen and recipe chip technology including guided and automated recipes. Recipes on the recipe chip can be accessed and scrolled through using the touch screen. 
The programmed recipes are a definite time saver as a result of not having to constantly refer to a hard copy recipe book. 

A single dial now controls temperature, speed and time. I have found this surprisingly easy to use and control (and perhaps even slightly quicker) compared to the manual buttons on the TM31 for each function.

The TM5 is definitely quieter when performing most functions but chopping ice, cheese and nuts is still as loud as with the TM31.

The automated cooking function is a nice touch. All you have to do is select the automated recipe you want, put the ingredients in the bowl and the machine does the rest. At the moment, the only automated recipes included are custard, rice and yoghurt. I have made all 3 and they have worked well. I imagine that Thermomix will ultimately include other automated recipes on the TM5. One downside of upgrading to the new TM5 early is that it does not seem that any mechanism has been included to enable newly released automated recipes to be downloaded to already purchased TM5s.

The design of the butterfly has changed significantly and the changes must make a difference because everyone keeps raving about how fluffy their egg whites are with the TM5. The other big design change that has been made is to the lid.  The lid seal is now built in (and it is easy to clean around it) so there is no longer any need to remove the seal, clean and reinsert before using the lid again. The lid also locks in place after you turn the dial for speed so it does not need to be manually locked.

The design of the MC has also changed and, in my view, has decreased its functionality. With the TM31, I used the MC to scrape ingredients off the lid into the mixing bowl. With the newly designed MC, that is difficult to do. 

Overall, I am happy I upgraded. So far, the only downsides I have identified relate to the new design of the MC and that it seems unlikely that automated recipes released in the future will be made available to existing TM5 owners. For me, the technological advances make up for these, relatively minor, issues.

Finally, a note about the recipes on this site.  Up until this point, all recipes published on this site were developed using a TM31. There will be absolutely no issues following the steps in these recipes using a TM5. But, now that I am developing recipes using a TM5, a couple of things need to be borne in mind by TM31 owners.

Firstly, the new TM5 has the ability to increase temperature increments by 5° whereas the TM31 can only increase increments by 10°. Temperature settings will need to be rounded up or down on the TM31 when referring to recipes designed for the TM5 using a 5° temperature increment. 

Secondly, the Varoma setting on the new TM31 is the highest temperature setting (set at a steady 115°) whereas Varoma temperature setting on the TM5 is designed to vary between 100° and 120° so as to produce a constant stream of steam.  On the TM5, the Varoma setting is intended to be used only for steam cooking and reducing water based liquids.  For sauteing, it is recommended that the new 120° temperature setting be used on the TM5.  As a result, in new recipes published on this site, I will identify which temperature setting should be used when steaming or sauteing depending upon whether the unit you are using is the TM31 or TM5.

Happy cooking!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent information, so very helpful, thank you.