Exciting news – I’ve got my hands on a HotMixPRO for the next two weeks! So as well as the Bellini posts, there will be a few recipes featuring the HotMixPRO. One of the most popular posts on this blog is the thermal cookers comparison chart, so I’m guessing that lots of people have an interest in the different types of thermal cookers and their features. If not, and you are only here for the Bellini posts, the HotMixPRO is only here for a short time (sadly) so normal service will resume shortly.
Disclaimer: The machine has been loaned to me by the Australian distributor to trial the machine and blog about it (and make ridiculous quantities of fudge). They are not paid posts, and all opinions are my own.
For the uninitiated, the HotMixPRO is a type of thermal cooker – the main difference being that it was originally developed for the commercial market (restaurants, bars etc). Most of the cheaper thermal cookers on the market are based on an older Thermomix model, TM21. The HotMixPRO differs from these machines and from a Thermomix in several ways, so I’ve taken some pictures to illustrate.
The jug and blades
Unlike all the other thermal cookers (correct me if I’m wrong here), the HMP does not have the heating element in the jug, but in the base unit. This means you can immerse it in the sink or put it in the dishwasher (yes, I know you can with some of the other machines, but not all). All the brains and electronics takes place in the base unit. The blades look fairly similar to the other machines (i.e. crazy sharp) and chopping etc worked in the same way.
The lid clips on, rather than the twist on action of the other machines. It can be opened from the left or right, and the jug sits in the base with the handle to the left or right.
Like the other machines. there’s a measuring cup in the centre of the lid which can be locked in if you are blending on high speeds, or can be taken out to allow evaporation of liquids (same as cooking with the lid off the saucepan).
The base unit and control panel
Unlike the other machines, the jug is completely encased in the base unit when cooking. I’m guessing this is because the HMP can reach very high temperatures so it’s important that the outside of the unit doesn’t reach the same temperatures. This model, the HMP Gastro, can cook up to 190C.
The control panel uses push buttons to set cooking time, temperature and speed. The picture below shows the display when cooking. The first line shows the current speed (more about PULSE below), the second is the time remaining, and the third line shows the current temperature of the food. Press the temp button again if you want to see the temperature that you inputted.
There are twelve speeds plus the option of Speed 0 (blade does not turn). You can also choose to add ‘Pulse’ to each speed – the machine pauses every few seconds then resumes the chosen speed. I used this when frying pancetta pieces on Speed 1 – I wanted the machine to pause so the pancetta had a chance to rest and sizzle in the fat before it was stirred again.
Temperature can be set in 1 degree increments. You can set a temperature and a time (e.g. cook a bechamel sauce at 90 deg for 7 minutes). Or use the ‘Wait Temperature’ and the machine will turn itself off when it reaches the correct temperature (useful for making fudge and caramel).
The time can be set from 5 seconds to four hours. Finally, you can use the ‘Menu’ button on the control panel to access pre-programmed recipes for the machine (or write and add your own recipes).
In the last two days I’ve made a great risotto and two batches of fudge (yes, two. What?) in the HotMixPRO. The risotto was a particularly exciting find, as I was able to use one of the functions of the machine to create a gorgeous oozy, creamy risotto, without a hint of stodge. Recipes coming soon.