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CanadianHomeChef

New Toy: Breville/Polyscience Control Freak!

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On 6/29/2020 at 4:42 PM, dmg said:

I joined the club! I got mine from Testek in canada for 1.5k+gst (CAD) via amazon. I have only used it 3 times. It feels like magic. I just clarified butter (116C for 25min) without any worry and it came out perfect. I also did Heston style poached eggs (80C for 4 and 5 min) and in both cases they came delicious. I am looking forward to sharing experiences.

 

Welcome to the club!

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7 hours ago, CanadianHomeChef said:


Welcome to the club! Where abouts in Canada are you located? No too many Control Freak owners up here :)

I haven't done poached eggs in a while... I really should take advantage of the CF for that...  Traditionally, I'll create a little whirl pool before inserting the egg... I'm sure I did the same thing the couple times I poached an egg on the CF... don't recall it sticking

 

 

Thank you all for the welcome. I am in  Victoria, BC. I did the eggs because it looked  like the simplest recipe I could try. I tried doing a pancake too (as in the Breville youtube video). The bottom side looked perfect, but I did it without oil (as in the video , I guess it was a demo, not a recipe) and the pancake got 1/2 stuck to the bottom of my stainless steel pan :) I guess I needed to add butter. Oh, my nonstick are aluminium and are not detected, so I ordered 2 days ago the Anolon Copper (the ones you use). I'll do more experiments over the weekend.

 

Happy Canada day,

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Hello,

Have been following this thread for awhile.  I would like to add my observations, nothing scientific.  First I have had my freak for a couple years at least, hard to recall life before! I live in the Middle East and have a 220V model from what I assume is Hong Kong, serial number ends in HK and has a UK plug.  I also use one in Canada which is the lower voltage /wattage model.  

I have learned to only use MAX or Fast(Canadian model) when using a pot/pan full of water or oil.  For anything else I use the lower settings to avoid wild overshoots, burnt milk etc. This also seems to be pan specific, my cast iron or carbon steel appear to be very excitable, Scanpan, All-Clad and Le Crueset less so.  I think I would only use slow or medium with a very thin pan.  Deep frying is a joy now!! Sauces, eggs breads etc a breeze. When deep frying or any high temp smoky cooking,  I always do this outside. I have never had the unit overheat or shutdown, it's 41C/106F out right now and I would not hesitate using it. Maybe the 220V model has better cooling?  Again these just my observations.

CHC, thank you for all your experiments and what you have documented, great resource!!!

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10 hours ago, Slim W said:

 

I have learned to only use MAX or Fast(Canadian model) when using a pot/pan full of water or oil.  For anything else I use the lower settings to avoid wild overshoots, burnt milk etc. This

 

thank you for the info. I have not used Max/Fast because I fear tripping a breaker. but.. it annoys me that it is the default.

 

does anybody know if there is a way to change the default to medium or slow?

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Had anyone else tried using theirs as a precision griddle?

 

My baking steel mini griddle 'fits' almost entirely inside the perimeter of the glass, with only a centimetre or so overhanging but not touching the surface at the corners.

 

It's bliss to use.

MVIMG_20200703_071852.jpg

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1 hour ago, Snowpup said:

Had anyone else tried using theirs as a precision griddle?

 

My baking steel mini griddle 'fits' almost entirely inside the perimeter of the glass, with only a centimetre or so overhanging but not touching the surface at the corners.

 

It's bliss to use.

 

 

is the heat equally distributed across the griddle or just where the coil is?


“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Snowpup said:

Had anyone else tried using theirs as a precision griddle?

 

My baking steel mini griddle 'fits' almost entirely inside the perimeter of the glass, with only a centimetre or so overhanging but not touching the surface at the corners.

 

It's bliss to use.

MVIMG_20200703_071852.jpg


I've thought about it but I was worried about heat conductivity... It works great? Geeze.. now I might need to buy one... 


Edited by CanadianHomeChef (log)

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7 hours ago, adey73 said:

 

is the heat equally distributed across the griddle or just where the coil is?


It's never going to be "equal" but I am left wondering if it's usable? Technically a 10-inch pan is larger than the coil but if it's made out of good materials, the drop off can be minimal. 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, CanadianHomeChef said:


I've thought about it but I was worried about heat conductivity... It works great? Geeze.. now I might need to buy one... is it the mini from baking steel?

It does look like a baking steel, but those are really expensive (like the CF isn't? ha!) - what about a small cast iron griddle? https://www.lodgemfg.com/product/chef-collection-square-griddle?sku=LC11SGR - $40 rather than $175....

Edit: or $93 from McMaster Carr... https://www.mcmaster.com/6544K32/


Edited by KennethT (log)

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9 hours ago, Snowpup said:

Had anyone else tried using theirs as a precision griddle?

 

My baking steel mini griddle 'fits' almost entirely inside the perimeter of the glass, with only a centimetre or so overhanging but not touching the surface at the corners.

 

It's bliss to use.

MVIMG_20200703_071852.jpg

 

I wish you’d posted this 2 days ago.  It was burger day here, but I never thought about this.  Smash burgers will be so much easier

now.


How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?

Charles De Gaulle, in "Les Mots du General", 1962

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, dmg said:

 

thank you for the info. I have not used Max/Fast because I fear tripping a breaker. but.. it annoys me that it is the default.

 

does anybody know if there is a way to change the default to medium or slow?


No way to change the default (as far I  know). 

I'm assuming you are using an adapter on the Canadian model? If I was in your situation, I'd give it a try on fast.... for certain applications (like searing). The unit, from my understanding, is still 1800watts. Yes, there's a little bit of an extra draw from the adapter, but I've plugged mine (USA model - also 1800 watts but with a standard 15-amp plugin instead of the 20-amp that comes with the Canadian model) into a 15amp circuit that had a couple other things plugged in drawing a little bit of power. Never had a problem. I'd avoid things like boiling a large pot of water or heating up a large pot of oil (I think they draw the most power) but searing/panfrying/sauteeing/simmering should be okay..... Luckily I live in a kitchen with 20 amp circuits throughout the kitchen... so I never worry and it gives me a little of extra wattage to plug in other things. I only plug it into a 15 amp circuit when I'm cooking outside (if I run the extension cord inside, I have to leave the screen door open a crack and a bunch of bugs get inside)

The only time I've ever had the CF blow a breaker on me was when I brought it to a friends house. I found out they had aluminum wiring and it as just a bit too much for it to handle. I solved the problem by plugging the control freak into the plugin on the stove... 

Does your stove have an additional plugin? Maybe give that a try... 


Edited by CanadianHomeChef (log)

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4 minutes ago, KennethT said:

It does look like a baking steel, but those are really expensive (like the CF isn't? ha!) - what about a small cast iron griddle? https://www.lodgemfg.com/product/chef-collection-square-griddle?sku=LC11SGR - $40 rather than $175....

Edit: or $93 from McMaster Carr... https://www.mcmaster.com/6544K32/

 


Thanks. I'll have to take a look at them... I've already spent a small fortune on kitchen equipment since schools have been dismissed for the summer 😂 I just saw the baking steel is out of stock on Amazon.ca. I'll have to see if I can source any of your suggestions from Canadian suppliers

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On 7/3/2020 at 9:34 AM, adey73 said:

 

is the heat equally distributed across the griddle or just where the coil is?

 

It's okay.  Not much worse than a large cast iron skillet.

 

The CF will read the temperature from the button of the steel, so will be a little low, but consistent enough to compensate.

flir_20200703T105004.jpg

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14 hours ago, Snowpup said:

 

It's okay.  Not much worse than a large cast iron skillet.

 

The CF will read the temperature from the button of the steel, so will be a little low, but consistent enough to compensate.

flir_20200703T105004.jpg

That’s not bad. Does it maintain this gradient at higher searing temperatures? I’ve added the mini griddle to my Amazon wish list. 

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Posted (edited)

I made creme brule.

 

it was extremely easy. I used chefstep's recipe. You heat the cream to 70 degrees, mix with the egg yolks/sugar mixture, fill mason jars and cook at 80 degrees.

I did all with the Control Freak (small pot for the cream, large pot for the jar cooking) and it was, well, almost trivial. The results were delicious.

 

The recipe asks for a circulator for the jar cooking, but I the CF worked great.


Edited by dmg (log)

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25 minutes ago, dmg said:

I made creme brule.

 

it was extremely easy. I use chefsteps recipe. You heat the cream to 70 degrees, mix with the egg yolks/sugar mixture, fill mason jars and cook at 80 degrees.

I did all with the Control Freak (small pot for the cream, large pot for the jar cooking) and it was, well, almost trivial. The results were delicious.

 

The recipe asks for a circulator for the jar cooking, but I the CF worked great.

 

For the SV part did you use the probe or the pot setting?

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On 7/10/2020 at 1:16 PM, dmg said:

I made creme brule.

 

it was extremely easy. I used chefstep's recipe. You heat the cream to 70 degrees, mix with the egg yolks/sugar mixture, fill mason jars and cook at 80 degrees.

I did all with the Control Freak (small pot for the cream, large pot for the jar cooking) and it was, well, almost trivial. The results were delicious.

 

The recipe asks for a circulator for the jar cooking, but I the CF worked great.

 

Funny you should mention that. I made creme brulee the other day too. Used regular ramekins and just wrapped them in plastic. Filled the pot with enough water os it was just below the rims of the ramekins.

I used probe control but I'd imagine for something like this, pan control wold work just as well. 

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23 minutes ago, CanadianHomeChef said:

Nope - I was aware the price had come down since she bought it - she likely isn't.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/11/2020 at 1:20 PM, CanadianHomeChef said:

 

The one I bought, via amazon, came from them. Yes, it is new. It looks like they are trickling the CFs in amazon. They only offer one at a time. I bought it via amazon because 1) I did not have to pay PST, and 2) no shipping.


Edited by dmg (log)

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On 7/6/2020 at 10:58 AM, CanadianHomeChef said:

That’s not bad. Does it maintain this gradient at higher searing temperatures? I’ve added the mini griddle to my Amazon wish list. 

 

This weekend I cooked okonomiyaki in a cast iron circular griddle. I was a bit surprised by the variability of temperature in the surface (and some areas overheating while reaching temperature), even if I let it warm for 30 min or so. And frequently it would go over the desired temperature. I suspect any steel-only griddle would have similar problems (great heat capacity but not as good head conductivity).

 

But it all makes sense. I guess the aluminium sheet in the stainless steel pans helps dissipate the heat (difference between heat capacity and heat transfer).

 

Are there any clad griddles in the market?

 

The mini griddle is available in Amazon.ca as of today, but the full cost makes it exorbitant (shipping ~40). By the way, the price from the US, including shipping (~US$50) is cheaper than the Amazon CAD price. 

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On 7/10/2020 at 12:38 PM, ElsieD said:

 

For the SV part did you use the probe or the pot setting?

 

I used the probe.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/3/2020 at 9:06 AM, CanadianHomeChef said:


No way to change the default (as far I  know). 

I'm assuming you are using an adapter on the Canadian model?

 

yes, with the adapter.

 

Quote

If I was in your situation, I'd give it a try on fast.... for certain applications (like searing). The unit, from my understanding, is still 1800watts. Yes, there's a little bit of an extra draw from the adapter, but I've plugged mine (USA model - also 1800 watts but with a standard 15-amp plugin instead of the 20-amp that comes with the Canadian model) into a 15amp circuit that had a couple other things plugged in drawing a little bit of power.

 

 

I did an experiment today. I boiled around 3 L of water in a small pot. I used a kill-a-watt to monitor the power consumption. From 20 to 75, the maximum draw was 14.7 A (steady), but at it reached 80, it went up as high as 15.7A (steady). It did not tripped my breaker (I think it is 15 A) but the Kill-a-watt started beeping above 15A.

 

So this is reassuring. I will keep using medium, though. I don't need the speed of fast ;)

 

 


Edited by dmg (log)

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