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CanadianHomeChef

New Toy: Breville/Polyscience Control Freak!

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As I mentioned in the Breville Smart Oven Air thread, I'm currently living in a basement suite without much of a kitchen, and it looks like I will be here for another year. This was getting me down, so when I spotted a Breville/Polyscience Control Freak on eBay that was soliciting "offers", I made a ridiculously low ball offer. To my surprise the seller came back with a counter offer of just $175 more... I pushed my luck and made another counter offer for $75 less... and what do you know, it was accepted! I've been eyeing this for a long time, but the $1800 price tag as always been a deterrent... until now :) Winning this item is what inspired me to cash in my Airmiles for the Breville Smart Oven Air. I figured that while I don't have a "real kitchen", the oven + the control freak would be the best kitchenette ever :)

 

Just got the unit in the mail so I haven't had a lot of time to test it out. But so far I'm happy. It was a "demo unit" for a butcher/kitchen supply shop, but was you can see, the cardboard is still around one of the knobs, so I don't think it was ever plugged in. 

 

I put it next to the Tasty One Top for size comparison. I bought that last year thinking it would a good cheap man's Control Freak.... it looks so sad and pathetic next to the Control Freak :P. The Control Freak is seriously a beast! It takes up more counter space than any induction unit I've seen, but it seems to be built solid. And the carrying case is also very solid! Not a caterer, so I'm not sure how much I will be travelling with it. But might come in use for small trips.

I haven't tested the probe yet. But I did pan control to 135F. The cooktop reading hovers between 134 and 135. I left my infared temperature probe at home, so can't measure pan temperature... but as you can see the water in the pan matches the pan read out! I also notice that it's not clicking on and off like the One Top... it's more subtle in its power changes. Also there are very fine bubbles at the bottom of the pot, and they encircle the entire diameter of the pot... doesn't look like a huge hotspot like on the One Top! 

I'm going to be playing with this over the next couple days, so if anyone has any questions feel free to ask them. I know there aren't a lot of these around, and it's hard to find answers on them.
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That's quite the toy!

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Posted (edited)

Probe control seems to work within a degree. The display is always within degree of the set temperature. Never seems to reach it exactly. As you can see it’s pretty close to my thermapen. 

 

Given my initial test with just pan control, I think I’d only plug in the probe for things that require absolute preciseness. Candy making and maybe deep frying. For everything else, I think pan control will be good enough. 

 

The probe one holder was hard to get onto the pan, but once it was on, it was super secure. I also like that you can easily angle the thermometer from the pan, so you can enter meat at an angle. 

 


Edited by CanadianHomeChef (log)

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Posted (edited)

A nice boil pattern in a 4 quart sauce pan. I want to test out a 12 inch fry pan but unfortunately left my one with good conduction in Calgary. Will have it later this week though. 

 

This sauce pan was initially making a high pitch screeching sound that it didn’t make on other induction units. Seems to have settled down. 

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Edited by CanadianHomeChef (log)
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Some 300 degree fried potatoes that I can walk away from without worrying about burning down the house. No idea if 300 is the ideal temperature though. 

 

Can’t wait to test out a bigger frying pan. 

 

I’m gonna get fat. 

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Decided I liked them so much that I programmed them. 300f for 5 minutes. Then it switches to 140f indefinitely to keep warm :)

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Thanks for the early review. Do you have any idea how hot of a temperature you can sustain? Over the weekend I tried deep frying on my Avantco induction hob, which didn't work out well. The hob overheated three times before the oil reached cooking temp. Once at temp I put the hob into temperature hold mode hoping that it would quickly recover after adding the food and not go over temp like I sometimes do when manually controlling the stove. Unfortunately, that didn't work either as the unit is very conservative with power adjustments while in hold temp mode. I would be interested in your thoughts on whether this would work with the Polyscience unit or whether anyone else out there has had success deep frying over portable induction.

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Posted (edited)

Just made some caramel sauce for ice cream tonight. Water, sugar, cream, and salt. Could walk away from the cooktop for most of it. 

 

Temps are in Celsius.

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Edited by CanadianHomeChef (log)
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6 minutes ago, EMichels said:

Thanks for the early review. Do you have any idea how hot of a temperature you can sustain? Over the weekend I tried deep frying on my Avantco induction hob, which didn't work out well. The hob overheated three times before the oil reached cooking temp. Once at temp I put the hob into temperature hold mode hoping that it would quickly recover after adding the food and not go over temp like I sometimes do when manually controlling the stove. Unfortunately, that didn't work either as the unit is very conservative with power adjustments while in hold temp mode. I would be interested in your thoughts on whether this would work with the Polyscience unit or whether anyone else out there has had success deep frying over portable induction.

I haven't deep fried yet, but I plan on making some Korean Chicken Wings soon. I'll film it and post a YouTube link. The machine has "Probe oil control" built into it. Not sure how it acts any differently than just normal probe control, but I'll experiment and find out. 

 

The machine tops out at probe control at around ~390 (can't recall the exact number) in order to prevent going over the smoke point. So it should be able to sustain up to there. 

 

This machine has two heavy duty fans in it to keep it cool. 

 

Keep an eye out for my video.

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This doesn't plug in to your standard 110V outlet from what I could determine on the Testek site? 

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This one I got is American, so it plugs it into a 15amp outlet. You are correct that the Canadian version plugs into 20amps. It actually only uses 15amps max (1800 watts), so in theory you should be able to just use an adapter if you got the Canadian version. Someone else told me they were advised to just not use "fast mode". Apparently they are clearing these out as they are going to be releasing a Canadian version that has a 15amp plug.

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Tested out some pancakes. 332F. 2 minutes per side. Topped with some Summerland Sweets Peach Syrup. Using the rest of the batter now. 

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One last post for tonight. This was my testing for hot spots using pancake batter. 12 inch skillet. This is a cheap pan, as I left my good one in Calgary. That being said, it’s not a bad job. I think a 10 inch pan of the same quality would do a great job, and hot spots wouldn’t be a concern. 

 

I got some Anolon Nouvelle Copper nonstick ordered that’s suppose to be really good for conductivity (getting the heat to the edges of a pan). I also have my all clad triply in Calgary that I will bring back with me later in the summer. 

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That certainly does look like a nice cooking unit. I agree with you about the price being prohibitive, but you got yours at what sounds like a great rate. Please keep us informed as you continue to test and work with it.

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So I went to go register my product today. I couldn't find The Control Freak in their drop down menu (nor any of their other commercial items), but I stumbled across the "The One Precision Cooker". I immediately thought this might be "The One Precision Poacher" which is a new product I've seen in their catalog. It's funny because I always thought the poacher could easily be turned into a mini "control freak" if they made a few alterations.

 

But a quick Google search showed that the poacher had a different product number. Also from quick research, the poacher isn't advertised as being run by induction (although I could be wrong). I did a Google search for BMC800BSS and came up with nothing.

 

Curiously I found this website: http://brevilleprecision.com/ which advertises their latest food processor, steam zone, and the poacher. The steam zone has a very similar product number as the induction system I stumbled across. 

I'm wondering if this might be a soon-to-be-released home version of the control freak? Or maybe it's just a mistake and was meant to be the poacher? (I couldn't find the poacher in the product registration page).

 

I'm hoping that if it is a home version, that I didn't just spend a wad of cash on the commercial version for no reason! Mind you I got it for $700... and Breville appliances, home or commercial, tend to be on the pricey end... so we'll see.

 

Updating my firmware now.

 

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You got it for the right price! I'd love to see something like this, but 1) much cheaper, and 2) with a lab-style magnetic stirring rod.

 

It may not be possible to do both induction and a magnetic stirring rod ... anyone know about this? But for many things I'd rather have the stirrer and a hot burner than induction without.

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Someone from Breville posted on Chefsteps a few years ago that they were working on a home version. I had assumed it ended up becoming the poacher.

 

Speaking of new Breville appliances, I haven't seen this mentioned around here yet. http://smartovenpizzaiolo.breville.com/us/

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Click

 Control freak appears to still be a poly science product?

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Yikes !

 

nice w a reasonable price

 

and precise enough for a dial-In-suggesting accurate.

 

that being said

 

Id be interested in 

 

Why Brevvile  is so allergic to water , i.e. in an oven  

 

ie a Steam Oven ?

 

they do make fairly decent things  

 

but no Steam Oven

 

:S

 

is Steel the S.S. variety 

 

a problem , or a what ever Down Under ?

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1 hour ago, paulraphael said:

You got it for the right price! I'd love to see something like this, but 1) much cheaper, and 2) with a lab-style magnetic stirring rod.

 

It may not be possible to do both induction and a magnetic stirring rod ... anyone know about this? But for many things I'd rather have the stirrer and a hot burner than induction without.

 

Pardon my ignorance, but if you don't ask, you don't know. What's the advantage of a magnetic stirring rod?

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, kayb said:

 

Pardon my ignorance, but if you don't ask, you don't know. What's the advantage of a magnetic stirring rod?

 

It would let you cook thicker fluids, or larger quantities of fluids while covered. Like for custards, or pasteurizing ice cream, or maybe even tempering chocolate. You need more precise temperature control (and for longer times) with these kinds of things than with most things that cook in a skillet. 

 

I've always wanted a lab hot plate with magnetic stirrer, but they're likewise overpriced, and usually are poorly designed for cooking.


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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