In just a few years, the food processor has become The Star of kitchens. As versatile as it is practical, it sells like hot cakes (+ 7% in 2018/2017 according to GfK). Faced with this success, it becomes difficult to sort out the different models, especially since the price difference is sometimes astronomical. The price of a food processor can indeed vary between € 300 and € 1,400 from one brand to another. It is therefore important to test models before making your choice and that is what we have done for you in this guide. Find our selection of the best robot cookers below.
Food processor: the latest news
The ax fell on Lidl. The German giant has been ordered by the Spanish courts to withdraw its Monsieur Cuisine robot from the store. In question, the violation of several patents belonging to Vorwerk, manufacturer of the Thermomix. If this decision concerns only the Spanish market, it could be the same in France. Vorwerk has indeed announced that it has initiated the same proceedings against Lidl in France.
It was due out in fall 2020, we will have to wait until early 2021 to discover the Bosch Cookit, the new food processor from the German brand. Highly anticipated on the market, it should come with 140 recipes and will be accompanied by several automatic cooking programs. WiFi compatible, it is rumored that it will be equipped with Alexa voice control! The price has not yet been revealed by the brand, but we are waiting for it to be added to our ranking.
At the same time, the market giant Thermomix did not wait and released its Vorwerk Thermomix Friend, an extension to the classic Thermomix. With the TM5 and TM6, it allows you to launch two preparations at the same time thanks to its two different bowls. It works in Bluetooth. Available for sale since December 14, 2020, the new culinary duo costs 499€ and is only available via a contact form on the Vorwerk website.
What are the best food processors?
✅ Ease of handling
WE DON’T LIKE
❌ The noise quite pronounced
❌ The high price (2 to 3 times more expensive than the competition)
Somewhat noisy and equipped with a bowl of only 2.2 liters, the Thermomix TM6 is nonetheless an efficient robot and easy to use, especially with Cookidoo. Assets that come at a high price.
✅ Efficient cooking
✅ Small footprint
✅ The integrated scale
WE DON’T LIKE
❌ Basic operation, without recipe guide
Space-saving, rather quiet and equipped with a scale for weighing, the ClickChef also offers efficient cooking, all at an attractive price. A good choice, as long as you agree not to be guided by the recipes.
✅ Efficiency (it rises quickly in temperature and is equipped with a kitchen arm)
WE DON’T LIKE
❌ External scales and less intuitive controls
This Kenwood connected model is equipped with an arm that allows slicing or grating while allowing cooking. It quickly rises in temperature and is silent. Weak points: the external scale and the less intuitive controls.
✅ The quality / price ratio
✅ Ease of use
WE DON’T LIKE
❌ The imposing size
This robot signed Lidl is rewarded with an excellent quality / price ratio. We can blame him for his size, but for the rest – ease of use, capacity of the bowl, silence… – he is almost faultless.
A robot cooker, what is it for?
It browns, simmers, kneads, grinds, emulsifies, steams sometimes on several floors – the basket, the Varoma and the steam tray are superimposed on the Thermomix… These robot-cookers are not multi-functional for nothing, then. But some are a little more so than others: the Kenwood KCook Multi Smart also allows you to slice, grate or sear a steak at the bottom of the bowl, once the knives are removed. The Thermomix TM6 is distinguished by its slow cooking modes, sous vide, etc.
Maximum temperatures are around 120/130 ° C, the Thermomix TM6 can reach 160 ° C, only from a guided recipe, for safety. The Kenwood KCook Multi Smart even goes up to 180 ° C for deep frying. You can also weigh the ingredients directly on the robot (Thermomix, Monsieur Cuisine) or from an external scale (KCook Multi Smart), a less practical system.
In general, versatility is a priority criterion, depending on the culinary affinities of each. However, a robot cooker is not the miracle product: it needs at least an oven by its side for many recipes, such as pastries and gratins.
What capacity do you need?
The capacity of the tank varies from around 2 liters to more than 4 liters for the most generous models. Enough to feed four to six people with a single meal, depending on appetites. Please note, the nominal value must be qualified. For example, Kenwood indicates a capacity of 4.5 liters, limited to 2.6 liters for cooking. Otherwise, it could overflow.
How do you use it?
Some recent models have a good size touch screen (7 inches) coupled with a few buttons or a wheel. As long as you are used to touchscreen tablets, browsing through recipes and selecting manual functions – timer, rotation speed, temperature, weighing, etc. – or programmed modes are hardly difficult.
It is no longer an equipment reserved for high-end robots, since Lidl’s Monsieur Cuisine Connect is similarly equipped, despite its lower price. Its microphone also suggests the imminent arrival of voice control. A small display accompanied by a few mechanical keys is a more basic option, chosen by Kenwood for the KCook Multi Smart and by Moulinex for the ClickChef.
What is the Internet connection used for?
Available on some robots, it is not essential, but provides some practical benefits. Connected to Wifi, the Thermomix TM6 gives access to the Cookidoo platform (paying service at 36 € / year) and to its catalog containing several tens of thousands of recipes. The Thermomix website is in a way duplicated on the robot cooker tablet.
The Monsieur Cuisine Connect uses more or less the same principle. Ditto for the KCook Multi Smart – hundreds of recipes described step by step – except that the interface is displayed on the user’s smartphone. A note: Wifi allows you to keep the robot cooker software up to date.
How is it cleaned?
A self-cleaning function is sometimes available: the robot starts up for a few minutes to degrease the bowl, which is partially filled with water and washing up liquid. Sufficient when the dish cooked beforehand was not too messy (soup…). The bread dough may stick more and require elbow grease. Otherwise, most parts and accessories are dishwasher safe, but manual dishes are recommended to preserve the resistance of plastics in particular.
It’s noisy ?
As soon as a recipe begins, the knives start rotating at the bottom of the stainless steel tank, whose metallic structure promotes the propagation of sound. The noise is bearable while simmering a dish (but can end up slamming the system if you stay nearby), intense while chopping an ingredient at full speed, thankfully quick. The Thermomix is known to be noisy, the robots from Kenwood and Moulinex are more discreet.
Is it bulky?
A robot cooker is built – about 30 cm wide – and weighs around ten kilograms. It is therefore necessary to provide space for it on the kitchen countertop. And not far from an electrical outlet, that goes without saying.
Robot cooker: isn’t it too expensive?
Judging by the price of a Thermomix TM6 – € 1,300 – it’s hard to deny. The recent and striking arrival of Lidl, specialist in low prices, should however help to democratize this type of product, quite elitist.
Note that the Thermomix TM5 is no longer manufactured but is negotiated at half the price of its successor on the second-hand market. A good deal. The recipe keys are always available, even if the collections are no longer renewed.