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New Toy: Breville/Polyscience Control Freak!


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On 6/16/2020 at 10:45 AM, adey73 said:

forgive me if someone has already posted this....

 

but those of us who were wondering where the competition is to hopefully lower the price of precision induction, Vollrath released a range of induction/probe based units in January.

 

https://www.vollrathfoodservice.com/products/countertop-equipment/cooking-equipment/induction-ranges/4-series-induction-range

 

@btbyrd put me onto the Mirage Pro and I love mine. This new iteration have larger coils plus the probe and are more powerful.

However only found one review,  that spoke of noisy fans and crashing of software and you can only save 4 files on their usb which is Java based.

 

Maybe in a couple of years there might be a few on the secondary market, as of now they are very expensive. 

 

Just saw this.  Interesting but not sure why anyone would pay those prices for the Vollrath over the Control Freak which to me seems to be a much more capable (and certainly better looking) product.  I'm sure the Vollrath is rugged and all but the CF has it all, including an actual physical probe for the pan (very important for accurate temps) vs the under glass probe of the Vollrath.

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On 7/3/2020 at 11:02 AM, 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/

 

Cast iron would be a bad choice since cast iron has very poor heat conductivity.  Heat would be focused at the coil and not spread evenly compared to steel.

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On 7/2/2020 at 4:53 AM, Slim W said:

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?

 

I think that might play a part.

 

 

IMG_3528.jpg

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On 7/17/2020 at 10:06 PM, jandreas said:

 

I think that might play a part.

 

 

IMG_3528.jpg

 

 

I have never seen that!  I was outside the other day frying at 39deg C with it set to MAX..  My unit in Canada is in Newfoundland, high ambient temperatures are not a problem there :) 

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On 12/30/2019 at 5:21 PM, Max Q said:

 

IMG_20191230_122648.thumb.jpg.0ac207f875149023d9236c57d24637d7.jpg

 

Since I've checked the probe and I know it's accurate, the only answer that I can come up with is that the pan sensor is significantly under-reading the pan temperature, and by an amount which depends on the pan construction.

 

I'd be interested to know if anyone else has seen this as right now it's hard to see a reason not to return it.

 

 

 

I'm not sure if @Max Q is actively on eGullet, but I got the same UK model this week and experienced exact same thing. For example heating water to 60C on whichever speed setting on pan temp control. Pan temp reads 60C, while probe (which I checked with Thermapen) said 68-69C. Software version is 5 27 in mine, same as someone else had in this thread. I wonder if anyone else had to return theirs and what was the end result of that?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/17/2020 at 10:31 AM, SantiagoDraco said:

Cast iron would be a bad choice since cast iron has very poor heat conductivity.  Heat would be focused at the coil and not spread evenly compared to steel.

 

Based on this thread discussion, I bought a mini griddle. My observations supports Santiago's comment: the cast iron griddle seems to have much more temperature variability than the mini griddle and it was clearly above the target temperature in some areas several times. I am so happy with the griddle that I gave away my round cast iron griddle. There are two issues to consider using the mini griddle: weight, and the time it gets to temperature (and it takes to cool).

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/17/2020 at 1:26 PM, SantiagoDraco said:

 

Just saw this.  Interesting but not sure why anyone would pay those prices for the Vollrath over the Control Freak which to me seems to be a much more capable (and certainly better looking) product.  I'm sure the Vollrath is rugged and all but the CF has it all, including an actual physical probe for the pan (very important for accurate temps) vs the under glass probe of the Vollrath.

 

The list prices on the Vollrath website seem to bear no relation to reality. Street price on the MPI4-1800S (wattage equivalent to the Control Freak) is ~$825.

 

The much more interesting Vollrath (to me) is the 3800W 240v model, which retails for about $1550.

Edited by dtremit
Removed redundant post and replaced with relevant one (log)
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, MarciaS said:
Has anyone seen this?

image.jpeg.68b8db4b18b40c0deaf9c06b708893f4.jpeg

 

Instead of 12:36 AM ?

I really would have no idea as I  easily interpret that as 12:36am. It appears there are two settings for clock settings. One is 24 hours and the other one is 12. The AM indicator only shows up on the 12 hour clock, but it would show 12:36am as 12:36am. On the 24 hour clock, it'll appear as 00:36 but no am/pm indicator.

At the end of the day, this wouldn't both me as I'm use to  24 hour clocks. I also never set the clock on appliances like this  😂  I plug them in and out too much. 

Not sure why the discrepancy... I updated my firmware while they were still providing updates, so maybe that's why. Do you have a USA model?

Edited by CanadianHomeChef (log)

Sizzle and Sear

Owner/Editor

https://www.sizzleandsear.com/

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15 hours ago, dtremit said:

 

The list prices on the Vollrath website seem to bear no relation to reality. Street price on the MPI4-1800S (wattage equivalent to the Control Freak) is ~$825.

 

The much more interesting Vollrath (to me) is the 3800W 240v model, which retails for about $1550.

 

I'm looking at the same one - the 240V version... once our renovations are done, I'm going to pull the trigger.

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5 hours ago, KennethT said:

I'm looking at the same one - the 240V version... once our renovations are done, I'm going to pull the trigger.

 

that's the largest sized one isn't it?

 

would love to see it in action.

“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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6 minutes ago, adey73 said:

 

that's the largest sized one isn't it?

 

would love to see it in action.

Yes, the 240V 3800W is the largest one.  Although I don't know if I will go that high - I've been debating the 2600 or 3000W... the 3800W is about double the price of the 2600W and I don't know how often I would use that much power.

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On 8/29/2020 at 9:57 AM, KennethT said:

I'm looking at the same one - the 240V version... once our renovations are done, I'm going to pull the trigger.

 

I look very much forward to your report on it!

 

We are looking at moving into a bigger place eventually and I am debating in my head what I want to do for cook surfaces in the kitchen. For years I assumed I would just want an enormous pro-style gas range, but I'm starting to think that having a combination of a smaller gas rangetop and an adjacent induction setup would be the most versatile. But at the same time, I'm not sure we're going to be in our next place forever, and I hesitate to be the guy trying to sell a kitchen with two stoves.

 

Being able to have both a Control Freak and a monster Vollrath for less than the price of a built in induction cooktop — and with nothing permanently installed but an extra 240v outlet — would probably make me a very happy camper.

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On 8/28/2020 at 2:47 PM, MarciaS said:
Has anyone seen this?

image.jpeg.68b8db4b18b40c0deaf9c06b708893f4.jpeg

 

Instead of 12:36 AM ?

 

On 8/28/2020 at 9:44 PM, CanadianHomeChef said:

I really would have no idea as I  easily interpret that as 12:36am. It appears there are two settings for clock settings. One is 24 hours and the other one is 12. The AM indicator only shows up on the 12 hour clock, but it would show 12:36am as 12:36am. On the 24 hour clock, it'll appear as 00:36 but no am/pm indicator.

At the end of the day, this wouldn't both me as I'm use to  24 hour clocks. I also never set the clock on appliances like this  😂  I plug them in and out too much. 

Not sure why the discrepancy... I updated my firmware while they were still providing updates, so maybe that's why. Do you have a USA model?

 

 

My model number of my cooker is: CMC850BSSUSA and the Software Version is: 1104.  The email messages that I have going with Breville, indicate that they have no idea how to fix it.  Or, if I send in for repair they can't guarantee that it will fix the issue! 🤢  Go figure... :huh:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I joined the party and picked up a Control Freak. I thought I'd share this spreadsheet I made, and I have a request for help as well.

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1azCSYUU4I25VbHfaPnhOvF_fHplbhMvy/view

 

Given the wide spread of data in inconvenient (my opinion) formats, I compiled (almost) all of the data from these sources into one spreadsheet that can be searched and filtered based on cooking style and food. It's interesting to note the differences between the sources, and between the older and newer charts from within the same companies.

Sources:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0561/0929/files/CMC850_Temperature_Chart_original-rev-1.pdf

https://www.sizzleandsear.com/precisioncooking/

https://thecontrolfreak.breville.com/

https://www.hestancue.com/blogs/blog-recipes/cooking-off-the-charts

https://www.hestancue.com/blogs/blog-recipes/precision-cooking-temp-chart

 

Requests for help:

1. Any other sources (on- or off- line) for precision cooking temperatures, even if it is just one recipe, that you can share so I can add them to the spreadsheet?

2. Any feedback on the spreadsheet is most welcome, as is kind criticisms.

3. I discovered I'm in need of new pans/pots. I ordered the Anolon Nouvelle non-stick pans (8.5 and 10 inch frying pans) I saw mentioned on here a bunch. Assume that to be the only two pans I have (en route) as while I do have a couple other that should work (cast iron/enameled cast iron), almost all of them are not induction friendly or just time to replace (non-stick coating seen their end of life). I'm looking for your recommended must have pans and pots, including brand/model/size. One thing I know I'm looking to try doing is making ghee on the Control Freak, so a saucepan recommendation for that specifically would be appreciated as well, in addition to any other recommendations you might have. If they don't make your favorite pan any more, please do still share as I can either look second hand or use it to gauge similar items on the market today.

 

Thank you all for welcoming me to the forum (this is my first post here :) )

p.s. I'll be adding oil smoke points, so check back for that soon. It will be on a second tab.

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1 hour ago, JasonsCookingAdventures said:

Well, I joined the party and picked up a Control Freak. I thought I'd share this spreadsheet I made, and I have a request for help as well.

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1azCSYUU4I25VbHfaPnhOvF_fHplbhMvy/view

 

Given the wide spread of data in inconvenient (my opinion) formats, I compiled (almost) all of the data from these sources into one spreadsheet that can be searched and filtered based on cooking style and food. It's interesting to note the differences between the sources, and between the older and newer charts from within the same companies.

Sources:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0561/0929/files/CMC850_Temperature_Chart_original-rev-1.pdf

https://www.sizzleandsear.com/precisioncooking/

https://thecontrolfreak.breville.com/

https://www.hestancue.com/blogs/blog-recipes/cooking-off-the-charts

https://www.hestancue.com/blogs/blog-recipes/precision-cooking-temp-chart

 

Requests for help:

1. Any other sources (on- or off- line) for precision cooking temperatures, even if it is just one recipe, that you can share so I can add them to the spreadsheet?

2. Any feedback on the spreadsheet is most welcome, as is kind criticisms.

3. I discovered I'm in need of new pans/pots. I ordered the Anolon Nouvelle non-stick pans (8.5 and 10 inch frying pans) I saw mentioned on here a bunch. Assume that to be the only two pans I have (en route) as while I do have a couple other that should work (cast iron/enameled cast iron), almost all of them are not induction friendly or just time to replace (non-stick coating seen their end of life). I'm looking for your recommended must have pans and pots, including brand/model/size. One thing I know I'm looking to try doing is making ghee on the Control Freak, so a saucepan recommendation for that specifically would be appreciated as well, in addition to any other recommendations you might have. If they don't make your favorite pan any more, please do still share as I can either look second hand or use it to gauge similar items on the market today.

 

Thank you all for welcoming me to the forum (this is my first post here :) )

p.s. I'll be adding oil smoke points, so check back for that soon. It will be on a second tab.

 

What a fabulous chart.  A lot of work must have gone into it and I for one, appreciate your effort.  

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EDITED COMMENT:

Having used it for a couple weeks now and upgrading my pans, the Control Freak really does work well. It was quite interesting to see it go from boiling to simmering to nothing by changing the degree just a couple degrees. I've used it almost daily since (though admittedly not for any hyper intensive temperature control requirements) and have enjoyed it thoroughly. Still haven't tested the probe control function yet as deep frying or sugar/chocolate work isn't really something we do.

 

ORIGINAL POST:

Well I guess there is a learning curve to induction burners I will have to adapt to. Day 1, attempted using a stainless steel (non-clad) pan. Pan got ~150 degrees hotter than set and smoked avacado oil very quickly. Day 2, attempted with a non-enameled cast iron skillet (a lightweight/thin pan), and it got to 740+ degrees set at 392 before tripping the outlet. Hot enough it burned off the seasoning and made a clear ring on the pan before I had a chance to get it off. Trying at a lower temperature setpoint, it also far exceeded the temperature.

 

@CanadianHomeChef I took your recommendation and got the Anolon Nouvelle pans which came in today. Using the 10 inch frying pan, it was consistently 20-30 degrees hotter than set on the Control Freak, regardless of heating speed and set temperature, when it reached steady state. Is this what you experience and I should expect? If not, any advice?

 

As a note, I'm measuring the temperature using a no-name (cheap) IR thermometer. Perhaps that could be off calibration by 20 degrees (or issues with emissivity)? I know the first two days were real issues from other signs, regardless of whether or not the IR thermometer is working right.

 

Ran a better test. Heated olive oil in a pan set at 260 degrees. It was +2/-8 across the pan measured with a Thermoworks Thermapen. Does this sound more like expectations? I suspect the non-contact IR thermometer is really just not a great instrument for measuring the pan temperature and a contact thermometer or an IR one adjusted for the pan's emissivity would be better. It was odd set at 260, the pan temp per the Control Freak stayed 259 steady. It would not stop at 260 exactly.

Edited by JasonsCookingAdventures (log)
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  • 4 weeks later...

Just got a control freak. So far primary use has been deep frying :) I'm curious if anyone has experience using induction plates. I have a fair bit of lovely copper cookware that would be nice to use with it, even with probe control. I tried a cheap SS induction plate and it basically didn't work at all, even with probe control. The plate got hot, but the burner refused to put enough energy into the plate/pan combo to really heat up. Maybe if I had waited an hour I might have got a small pan of water to 80 C. It *seems* that the induction plate gets too hot too quick and the burner backs down, even though the probe is showing low temps. I tried pans in a variety of sizes to see if an interaction with the burner matter. No change really.

 

Falk (my pan brand) sells a quite thick cast iron plate for induction. Its quite pricey (it is Falk...), so before I put down the money in an experiment, I was hoping someone had tried it, and the burner didn't object so much.

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I appreciate your despair of using your copper, but unfortunately the process of using an induction plate somewhat defeats the induction cooker's purpose. You have to heat the plate which in turn heats the pot which finally heats your food. If other than appearance your copper has other advantages, then it might be worthwhile.

 

p

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An induction plate isn't a lot different then the thick plates attached to the bottom of some pots. Of course the thermal transfer isn't quite as good, but it isn't radically different. I don't use copper for appearance.

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On 10/3/2020 at 10:13 AM, Paul Kierstead said:

An induction plate isn't a lot different then the thick plates attached to the bottom of some pots. Of course the thermal transfer isn't quite as good, but it isn't radically different. I don't use copper for appearance.

 

You are probably aware Falk offers induction bottom pans.  I'm using one at the moment.

 

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45 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

You are probably aware Falk offers induction bottom pans.  I'm using one at the moment.

 

 

Yah, but I don't have them :) I'm certainly not desperate or anything, but it would be nice to be able to use the ones I do have (quite a few), even if only in probe mode (I do expect a thick interference layer to make havoc with pan control, though I'd bet with a specific pan you would work up an offset..). I used it to re-therm something yesterday  ... damn it brings a small pot of water to 60 C quickly and accurately (pan control). It will be my goto retherm now.

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Did crepes today @ 335 F on a dubuyer crepe pan (mineral B IIRC). Did a quick pre-heat to 400 with some oil in there, wok style. It worked very well, browned but not overly so, quickly cooked. The dubuyer pans seem to overshoot quite a bit on the initial heating, so letting it go back down a bit to stay out of butter burn zone is good idea (I use butter to cook them, with that very thin film of oil from the initial heating left in there). This is much better the trying to move the gas knob a hair or two back and forth. I think breaking out the big crepe pan and hitting up some galettes might be in order.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I got enabled by these 25 pages to get one of these as well. Off eBay for $850 after taxes and shipping. 
(There was one issue with lines on the display but ah well, I guess I can live with that)

The firmware on this one ( I know no new changes have been made for the longest time) is L1C1.0_1.0.A55, which seems very different from all the other ones on the board so far.

 

I haven't tried anything on this yet except to boil water and test that the reported pan temperature was actually correct.

 

I guess I now need to re-read CanadianHomeChef and JasonsCookingAdventure posts a bit more thoroughly.

 

I am used to a induction cooktop already so this is not such a big jump but I love the idea of holding precise temperature for a specific time to ensure that say, my rice doesn't burn.
 

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