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Another player enters the sous vide field: Paragon Induction Cooktop


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@Anna N, are you turning the Bluetooth sensor off after use?  Mine was dead as a doornail when I got it but I've only charged it once, back in October, when I used it to make some ricotta-like cheese and it seems to be holding the charge through some pretty extended periods of non-use. 

I'm very low on the learning curve but certainly not ready to throw it anywhere.  I need to find it a home inside the house as I've been too lazy to go out to the garage and bring it in and I need to figure out the best place to use it so it's not in the way of something else.

 

After reading about your poached egg experiments fairly recently, I tried that last week.  Took longer than 4 min to poach the egg  @ 183°F , rapid precise, but it was OK.  Easier than me trying to maintain a gentle simmer by tweaking a gas burner.

 

This morning, I tried it with the mat for the first time.  I used a small Darto pan, set at 350°F, rapid precise to cook some Trader Joe's frozen latkes for breakfast.  My IR thermometer showed uneven temps across the surface of the pan, some a good bit lower than the set temp. The pan didn't seem to be sitting quite flat on the mat, I could rock it a bit from side to side.  I needed to boost it up to 375°F to get the browning I wanted.  I'll try that again with a larger pan. This time, I put it on a large baking sheet on my gas cooktop.  Not really handy as it's so big, I couldn't use any of the gas burners without risking melting the Paragon and had to wait until it was done to heat water for my coffee. 

 

After reading your post this morning, I poached another egg for a second breakfast that I didn't need. Two quart pan, filled mostly to the top with 70°F degree water took 8 minutes to reach 183°F on rapid precise.  I'm afraid I lost track of the poach time while I was trying to move the Paragon far enough away from the CSO to put a slice of toast inside 🙃.  Definitely longer than 4 min though.  I put a Thermoworks Dot temp probe in the water and it almost always read a 2 degrees higher than the Paragon display, though the Dot temp probe is closer to the center of the pan and the Paragon probe close to the edge.   The egg was however, an excellent poached egg. 

 

After cooking the egg, I dumped the water, refilled the pot with 70°F water and put it back on the Paragon, again set at 183°F but this time on gentle precise.  It's been about 55 min and it's only up to 168°F so I certainly won't be using the gentle precise setting to make a poached egg.

 

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I think I'm glad I didn't buy when these were on sale.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

It's been about 55 min and it's only up to 168°F so I certainly won't be using the gentle precise setting to make a poached egg.

 

Bingo. I don’t feel so bad now. I don’t think it’s a setting I will be using very often. As for it not holding a charge I will admit to not turning off the Bluetooth. I shall try that. It all seems so very complicated compared to, for example, the Joule. 
 

The day I did not report on my actions I could not get it to stay on mat setting.  It kept reverting to direct. I think that may have been due to it not being synced. 
 

I think I need an attitude adjustment. 
 

Thanks very much for your useful input.

 

@Smithy

 

Din’t take my word for things. I’m just miserable sometimes if everything doesn’t go my way. And it’s not going my way with this toy. 

Edited by Anna N
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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2 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

@Anna N, are you turning the Bluetooth sensor off after use?  Mine was dead as a doornail when I got it but I've only charged it once, back in October, when I used it to make some ricotta-like cheese and it seems to be holding the charge through some pretty extended periods of non-use. 

I'm very low on the learning curve but certainly not ready to throw it anywhere.  I need to find it a home inside the house as I've been too lazy to go out to the garage and bring it in and I need to figure out the best place to use it so it's not in the way of something else.

 

After reading about your poached egg experiments fairly recently, I tried that last week.  Took longer than 4 min to poach the egg  @ 183°F , rapid precise, but it was OK.  Easier than me trying to maintain a gentle simmer by tweaking a gas burner.

 

This morning, I tried it with the mat for the first time.  I used a small Darto pan, set at 350°F, rapid precise to cook some Trader Joe's frozen latkes for breakfast.  My IR thermometer showed uneven temps across the surface of the pan, some a good bit lower than the set temp. The pan didn't seem to be sitting quite flat on the mat, I could rock it a bit from side to side.  I needed to boost it up to 375°F to get the browning I wanted.  I'll try that again with a larger pan. This time, I put it on a large baking sheet on my gas cooktop.  Not really handy as it's so big, I couldn't use any of the gas burners without risking melting the Paragon and had to wait until it was done to heat water for my coffee. 

 

After reading your post this morning, I poached another egg for a second breakfast that I didn't need. Two quart pan, filled mostly to the top with 70°F degree water took 8 minutes to reach 183°F on rapid precise.  I'm afraid I lost track of the poach time while I was trying to move the Paragon far enough away from the CSO to put a slice of toast inside 🙃.  Definitely longer than 4 min though.  I put a Thermoworks Dot temp probe in the water and it almost always read a 2 degrees higher than the Paragon display, though the Dot temp probe is closer to the center of the pan and the Paragon probe close to the edge.   The egg was however, an excellent poached egg. 

 

After cooking the egg, I dumped the water, refilled the pot with 70°F water and put it back on the Paragon, again set at 183°F but this time on gentle precise.  It's been about 55 min and it's only up to 168°F so I certainly won't be using the gentle precise setting to make a poached egg.

 

 

Heat the water to temperature then switch to gentle precise.  But seriously I do not understand why many people are having problems.  It could be variable quality of the units?

 

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1 minute ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

It could be variable quality of the units?

Speaking only for myself could it be variable quality of the operator?

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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5 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

But seriously I do not understand why many people are having problems.  It could be variable quality of the units?

 

I'm learning and I may be a slow learner but I'm not complaining of problems.   Well, except that the manual really should have indicated that the sensor might need to be charged prior to use.  That's a complaint 🙃

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39 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

I'm learning and I may be a slow learner but I'm not complaining of problems.   Well, except that the manual really should have indicated that the sensor might need to be charged prior to use.  That's a complaint 🙃

Well I managed to get the mat working. But I suspect my physics knowledge is sorely lacking. I had in my head that if I could get a pan to 100° then that heat ought to transfer to some water in that pan so that it would boil. Apparently that’s not the way it works. So somebody please instruct me on why I care what precise temperature the pan is. I have no wish to cook and eat a stainless steel pan. 
 

Further I thought that I could use the temperature probe to keep water at a low enough temperature to safely defrost things as I do with my Joule. But the lowest temperature I am allowed to set is 27°C. The Joule at least goes down to 20°C. 
 

I think I’ll have a scotch or three. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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7 hours ago, Anna N said:

Well I managed to get the mat working. But I suspect my physics knowledge is sorely lacking. I had in my head that if I could get a pan to 100° then that heat ought to transfer to some water in that pan so that it would boil. Apparently that’s not the way it works. So somebody please instruct me on why I care what precise temperature the pan is. I have no wish to cook and eat a stainless steel pan. 
 

Further I thought that I could use the temperature probe to keep water at a low enough temperature to safely defrost things as I do with my Joule. But the lowest temperature I am allowed to set is 27°C. The Joule at least goes down to 20°C. 
 

I think I’ll have a scotch or three. 

 

If you were cooking pancakes you might want to know the precise temperature of the pan.  I've only used the mat a couple times, I forget for what.  But it may be somewhere in this thread.  Can't say I recall any problems with the mat.

 

I find the probe more useful.  It makes deep frying a possibility.  However most of my work with the Paragon has been as a plain old induction cooker.  I made two sauces with it yesterday.

 

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9 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

However most of my work with the Paragon has been as a plain old induction cooker.  I made two sauces with it yesterday.

And perhaps that is why you are much more enamoured of it than I am! I have had induction cookers for years and now have a full induction range so that part of it does not impress me one little bit. It was the other things that I thought might be a lot of fun. I think everything about it is now working as it should if not as I wish it would! Your input Has been helpful. Thank you. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Yeah, I wanted it as an induction cooker, something I have no experience with.  The probe and mat are fun added things to play with.  The mat lets me use a regular pan like an electric skillet, the probe should let it work as a little fryer, one that I can even use outdoors if I want.  I can do both those things on my gas cooktop but it requires endless tweaking of the flame.  I can see why it doesn't add much to a kitchen already equipped with an induction cooktop.

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22 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 I can see why it doesn't add much to a kitchen already equipped with an induction cooktop.

I still have some hopes. While we were up north in Manitoulin Kerry used the Control Freak. I know they are not in the same league but the idea is the same.  What impressed me then was the simple way in which Kerry was able to make a grilled cheese sandwich without standing over it. Even though I am not a huge fan of grilled cheese sandwiches the idea that you could do this without risk of cremating the bread impressed me greatly. When I tried this with the Paragon I couldn’t even get the mat to work at all. I think I have finally solved that problem so I might try the grilled cheese once again. I can make it edible as long as there are enough caramelized onions involved and no ketchup within 14 miles😋  but also in my research I came across some information for making creamy scrambled eggs using the Control Freak. I will see if I can find the link and post it as an edit later. 
 

Click.
 

Edited to to add the promised link. 

Edited by Anna N
To add link.and typos fixed (log)
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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7 minutes ago, Anna N said:

What impressed me then was the simple way in which Kerry was able to make a grilled cheese sandwich without standing over it. Even though I am not a huge fan of grilled cheese sandwiches the idea that you could do this without risk of cremating the bread impressed me greatly. When I tried this with the Paragon I couldn’t even get the mat to work at all. I think I have finally solved that problem so I might try the grilled cheese once again. I can make it edible as long as there are enough caramelized onions involved and no ketchup within 14 miles😋 

 

Coincidentally, yesterday afternoon, I used the Paragon + mat to make some little grilled cheese sandwiches and it worked very well.  I used a bigger Darto pan, which sat securely on the mat, unlike the little one that was a bit tippy.  I used the recommended setting of 350°F on rapid precise.  Their cook time of 3 min/side was quite satisfactory.  I don't normally cover the pan when I make grilled cheese but I did as told and used a silicone lid and it was still nice and crisp.

The first 2 that I made with Manchego and balsamic roasted onions with sage on whole grain baguette slices were good enough that I made 2 more with fig butter and Rogue River Blue. 

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42 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

The first 2 that I made with Manchego and balsamic roasted onions with sage on whole grain baguette slices were good enough that I made 2 more with fig butter and Rogue River Blue. 

Thank you. I have no fig butter but I have fig marmalade and suddenly my mind is weighing the odds. I have at least two blue cheeses. Guess I’m going to have to make some caramelized onions very soon.
 

I just checked back and learned that @Kerry Beal used a temperature of 130°C for her grilled cheese sandwiches up north. I knew it had to be different from what you are using because it took much longer and gave her a lot of freedom to do other things while she waited for the sandwich.  It translates to about 265°F so much cooler than you are using.  

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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3 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

 I used the recommended setting of 350°F on rapid precise.  Their cook time of 3 min/side was quite satisfactory.  I don't normally cover the pan when I make grilled cheese but I did as told and used a silicone lid and it was still nice and crisp.

May I ask where you were able to access this information? 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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1 hour ago, Anna N said:

May I ask where you were able to access this information? 

 

On this little card that was included in the box

IMG_1756.thumb.jpeg.a82394c7525c005fad7dfae44cb93295.jpeg

 

There are probe temps on the other side that are recommended sous vide temps:

IMG_1757.thumb.jpeg.c0f2c2df62b733edd06b4ed5f6567deb.jpeg

Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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17 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

n this little card that was included in the box

Hmmm. Don’t remember seeing anything like that!  I must go through the literature again. There wasn’t very much of it so it’s hard to understand that I could miss this. Anything is possible. Thank you. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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@Anna N It's very possible that the time and temperature reference card was not included in your box with the rest of the stuff.  The first one that I purchased appeared to be factory sealed, but there was no documentation of any sort and it was missing the mat.  I returned it and the second one that I got was (as far as I know) complete.  

Edited by fledflew (log)
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59 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

On this little card that was included in the box

IMG_1756.thumb.jpeg.a82394c7525c005fad7dfae44cb93295.jpeg

 

There are probe temps on the other side

 

Can you post the other side?  I'm thinking I could use this with the Control Freak.

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7 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

 

Can you post the other side?  I'm thinking I could use this with the Control Freak.

 

Sure.  I went back and added it.  They are recommended sous vide temps, which I think are more informatively obtained elsewhere like Baldwin's site for safety or Kenji's articles on Serious Eats that show the results from a range of temps/times.

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Duh!  I went back through all the stuff that came with the Paragon and lo and behold there was the card with probe temperatures on one side and mat temperatures on the other. My bad. Thanks, @blue_dolphin

 Now I have another question. Has anyone found any value in the app for this product?

 

I have it downloaded but I cannot get it to connect with Bluetooth on my phone. I will only continue to try to solve this problem if it sounds worthwhile. 

Edited by Anna N
Typo (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I have been using the paragon for a few weeks now and while I don't think I would use it for anything requiring real temperature precision like caramel, it has become my go-to for things like grilled sandwiches (rapid precise, 350 F, up to 5 minutes per side) and scrambled eggs (220 F), both of which turn out pretty close to my platonic ideal. I have also caramelized large batches of onions a couple of times - 275 F for as long as it takes to cook them down - maybe a couple hours?, stirring every now and then. It seems to hold a relatively consistent temperature over a long period of time - something that I did not trust my old Burton induction hob to do. I also use it for making things that need to simmer a while - I really appreciate being able to dial in a temperature and know that it will bubble away in a relatively narrow temperature range rather than the burner cycling on and off like my smoothtop range does. It was so much less expensive than the hob I bought years ago, and cooks so much more evenly, that I am perfectly OK with not depending on it for things where precision makes or breaks a recipe.

 

EDITED TO ADD: I do not find the app particularly useful. I can set a timer to remind me to flip my grilled cheese sandwich - I don't need my phone to tell me when to do it. If the app had a larger library of recommended temperatures I might find it more useful, but it is not a resource to which I turn at this point.

Edited by patris (log)

Patty

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Thank you, @patris.  Your observations are very helpful. 

I did caramelize some onions this morning and eventually found that a temperature of 115°C/240°F worked for me using a Darto pan. It was slow enough to allow me to walk away for extended periods of time and,  yes,  I’m guessing it took around two hours total. 

 

CB2768F2-9565-47DA-A502-44835B4569B9.thumb.jpeg.2152f1cc24def2e421bc66882bf0a896.jpeg

 

I then used these onions to build a sandwich of caramelized onions, Trader Joe’s cave-aged blue cheese and a smear of fig marmalade. I then grilled this in the same pan. Initially I started out at the same temperature, that is 115°C, but it was fairly obvious this was just going to dry the bread out rather than toast it so I upped the temperature to 175°C/350°F.

 

80F3C9AA-9345-4D29-8A34-2C6F3F5A09E4.thumb.jpeg.69f0aeb7c494531e288c790af01e37f9.jpeg

That is very dark deli rye bread not burned white bread!  
 

i’m just not sure the both of these things could not have been done just as easily on my induction range. 
 

The one thing I am seeing that I cannot do otherwise is deep frying with precision. But then I don’t do very much deep frying. But I was thinking of some deep-fried shrimp that I think are the best in the world and that I haven’t had in years. I might be persuaded to try these. 
 

The other thing that I thought about was that the probe can probably be used to maintain the proper temperature to make cheese. That was the one thing that the Sous Vide Supreme could do that none of the independent circulators can do unless you want to figure out how to get cheese out of them!  But again I don’t make cheese any more. 

 

 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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3 minutes ago, Anna N said:

 

80F3C9AA-9345-4D29-8A34-2C6F3F5A09E4.thumb.jpeg.69f0aeb7c494531e288c790af01e37f9.jpeg


 

 


I am going out to dinner with friends in about an hour and a half and I am very sad that nothing like this is on the menu at our chosen restaurant. It looks DELICIOUS.

Edited by patris (log)
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Patty

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@Anna N

 

"  Trader Joe’s cave-aged blue cheese"

 

any more info on this ?

 

just asking :  do cartelized onions re-heat well enough ?

 

why not do a large pan-full in the oven at the proper no-watch temp ?

 

I did French Onion Soup this way , way way back a la JuliaChild 

 

worked well I recall.

 

remember when FOS was all the rage ?

 

back then.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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