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New Toy: Breville/Polyscience Control Freak!


CanadianHomeChef
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unfortunately, the CF is finicky with cookware detection. i talked about this earlier in the thread.

i have a lot of slightly-to-moderately warped stainless cookware that works fine 100% of the time on my miele induction range but works inconsistently on my CF.

sometimes, it works fine on CF. sometimes, it stops working mid-cook. other times, it won't work at all.

 

it's a shame because it's an issue that could be fixed in software. i emailed polysci and asked them to release a fw update with a debug/calibration menu that could let you adjust the coupling detection threshold, but obviously they don't want to do that. they don't even trust their users to update their own fw anymore lol.

 

it does work fine with modern cookware "designed for induction" that is in good condition (perfectly flat-bottomed).

but if you have "borderline" cookware, don't expect it to work even though it could (and should).

Edited by jaw (log)
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If the bottom of your pan is not totally flat and even why would you even consider using a CF?  Assuming that the pan was slightly warped the sensor would be reading the temp close to the centre while one edge may not be even touching the glass therefore not getting the same induction input of those parts of the pan which were touching.  It's all about precision.  If you have an old warped pan toss it or use it on gas.  If on the other hand you are keen to get an even temperature precisely held, then use a decent pan on your CF and get the benefits that you paid for!

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6 hours ago, blackp said:

If the bottom of your pan is not totally flat and even why would you even consider using a CF?  Assuming that the pan was slightly warped the sensor would be reading the temp close to the centre while one edge may not be even touching the glass therefore not getting the same induction input of those parts of the pan which were touching.  It's all about precision.  If you have an old warped pan toss it or use it on gas.  If on the other hand you are keen to get an even temperature precisely held, then use a decent pan on your CF and get the benefits that you paid for!

 

first, i assert that it's not all about precision. i think they should have had a "classic" mode without temp control (but where temp is displayed!). i.e. you pick power output in watts or percentage or whatever, and there is no closed-loop temp feedback. this would have added no cost to the device and would have made it more versatile.

 

as for my pans, they aren't warped enough to matter in the way you suggest. also, you realize there's a gap in the field in the center of the resonator too (where the contact sensor is), right? the power distribution isn't perfectly even across the cooking surface, and there's always going to be a temp gradient as a consequence of finite thermal conductivity.

 

On 7/5/2020 at 10:27 PM, 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

 

 

even if my pans were ridiculously warped, i think i should still be capable of cooking on them unless there's a technical limitation that physically prevents it from working. why should i not be able to do something just because "computer says no"? especially if i paid a lot of money for it, lol.

 

failure to "detect" usable cookware is an undesirable limitation.

Edited by jaw (log)
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14 hours ago, blackp said:

If the bottom of your pan is not totally flat and even why would you even consider using a CF?  Assuming that the pan was slightly warped the sensor would be reading the temp close to the centre while one edge may not be even touching the glass therefore not getting the same induction input of those parts of the pan which were touching.  It's all about precision.  If you have an old warped pan toss it or use it on gas.  If on the other hand you are keen to get an even temperature precisely held, then use a decent pan on your CF and get the benefits that you paid for!

The pan is a Demeyere which is supposedly made for induction use. When I place a straight edge on the bottom of the pan I can slip a piece of copier paper between it and the pan at the very center but two pieces of paper is too thick. I would think that this would be flat enough but I’m just starting to use the CF so I don’t know. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/29/2020 at 6:51 PM, ErwinR said:

The pan is a Demeyere which is supposedly made for induction use. When I place a straight edge on the bottom of the pan I can slip a piece of copier paper between it and the pan at the very center but two pieces of paper is too thick. I would think that this would be flat enough but I’m just starting to use the CF so I don’t know. 

 

even for the CF, that's more than flat enough.

 

any updates?

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  • 3 months later...
4 minutes ago, Gnulio said:

Anyone has the european version? I send it back because the temperature control was totally inaccurate.

Think mine is European version, at least the plug is. I swallowed my disappointment though and kept the machine, even though the temp control isn't what you'd expect for the price and requires certain types of pans. 

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13 minutes ago, EsaK said:

Think mine is European version, at least the plug is. I swallowed my disappointment though and kept the machine, even though the temp control isn't what you'd expect for the price and requires certain types of pans. 

Is 240v? Temp control was everytime inaccurate also on probe control. Same on you? I tried different pans but nothing worked well. I sent it back to sousvidetools in uk but UPS lost the shipment so I'm waiting for refund. I don't know if I will buy it again this is why I'm asking if anyone has the eu version working properly?

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18 minutes ago, Gnulio said:

Is 240v? Temp control was everytime inaccurate also on probe control. Same on you? I tried different pans but nothing worked well. I sent it back to sousvidetools in uk but UPS lost the shipment so I'm waiting for refund. I don't know if I will buy it again this is why I'm asking if anyone has the eu version working properly?

220-240V yep. I haven't done more precise testing in a long time after purchasing it, but I think a large part of my issue was that the pan temp control doesn't work accurately unless your pan is precisely like the sensor would want it to be (anything other than a completely smooth flat bottom for example). Can't remember if I have had issues with the probe control being unreliable. 

 

I don't know what kind of issues did you have, what kind of inaccuracy? 

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4 hours ago, EsaK said:

220-240V yep. I haven't done more precise testing in a long time after purchasing it, but I think a large part of my issue was that the pan temp control doesn't work accurately unless your pan is precisely like the sensor would want it to be (anything other than a completely smooth flat bottom for example). Can't remember if I have had issues with the probe control being unreliable. 

 

I don't know what kind of issues did you have, what kind of inaccuracy? 

The problem was that when I set a temperature with an external thermometer I read another temperature. I also tried with sugar that caramelized with the pan set at 110 degrees. With the probe control it took very long time to reach the desired temperature, for example to fry and when I putthe food it never recovered the set temperature.

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9 minutes ago, Gnulio said:

The problem was that when I set a temperature with an external thermometer I read another temperature. I also tried with sugar that caramelized with the pan set at 110 degrees. With the probe control it took very long time to reach the desired temperature, for example to fry and when I putthe food it never recovered the set temperature.

Alright. Could be a faulty one? Honestly pretty hard to say from here I'm afraid. I think, though I haven't checked this in a long time, mine at least gives the same temp with the probe and a Thermapen. I haven't deep fried with mine, but based on other stuff I've done, I would expect it to recover to the set temp pretty quickly (and overshoot some if using the speedier settings). All in all I think mine behaves more or less as expected, assuming the pans I use don't have grooves on the bottom or anything like that. 

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1 minute ago, EsaK said:

Alright. Could be a faulty one? Honestly pretty hard to say from here I'm afraid. I think, though I haven't checked this in a long time, mine at least gives the same temp with the probe and a Thermapen. I haven't deep fried with mine, but based on other stuff I've done, I would expect it to recover to the set temp pretty quickly (and overshoot some if using the speedier settings). All in all I think mine behaves more or less as expected, assuming the pans I use don't have grooves on the bottom or anything like that. 

I don't know. I saw here on an old post another european user with the same problems. So I tought was a Eu issue. For sure mine doesn't work like the ones on youtube videos. In a lot of videos I saw the pan control be very accurate. Can you check if yours is good? Where did you buy it?

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33 minutes ago, Gnulio said:

I don't know. I saw here on an old post another european user with the same problems. So I tought was a Eu issue. For sure mine doesn't work like the ones on youtube videos. In a lot of videos I saw the pan control be very accurate. Can you check if yours is good? Where did you buy it?

Just did a quick test with a small pot and +5cm or so water in there. Heated to 50C. Pan control said 50C in a minute or something. Thermapen climbed very slowly to about 40C, at which point I started stirring. A few moments after and Thermapen read 50-51C. 

 

Bought mine from the same place as you did. I argued with them for quite some time after realizing that it works very inaccurately with many of my pots and pans. Can't really recommend the place if you're looking for great customer service. 

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12 minutes ago, EsaK said:

Just did a quick test with a small pot and +5cm or so water in there. Heated to 50C. Pan control said 50C in a minute or something. Thermapen climbed very slowly to about 40C, at which point I started stirring. A few moments after and Thermapen read 50-51C. 

 

Bought mine from the same place as you did. I argued with them for quite some time after realizing that it works very inaccurately with many of my pots and pans. Can't really recommend the place if you're looking for great customer service. 

Got the same problem with them. I tried a lot of different pans and pots, lot of them from ikea. Mine has a very opposite behavior than yours, the external thermometer indicate a much higher temp than the pan control, so I burnt a lot of food. Which pan you use?

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18 minutes ago, EsaK said:

Just did a quick test with a small pot and +5cm or so water in there. Heated to 50C. Pan control said 50C in a minute or something. Thermapen climbed very slowly to about 40C, at which point I started stirring. A few moments after and Thermapen read 50-51C.

 

I'm not sure I follow the problem here. It hit your temperate quite accurately. The pan was, in fact, at 50 and eventually the contents followed suit.

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Just now, Paul Kierstead said:

I'm not sure I follow the problem here. It hit your temperate quite accurately. The pan was, in fact, at 50 and eventually the contents followed suit.

And there wasn't a problem. Apologies if my post came out as if there was! The issues I had were with different pots and pans, not the one I did this quick test with. 

 

4 minutes ago, Gnulio said:

Got the same problem with them. I tried a lot of different pans and pots, lot of them from ikea. Mine has a very opposite behavior than yours, the external thermometer indicate a much higher temp than the pan control, so I burnt a lot of food. Which pan you use?

Hmm, can't remember having the issue that way around, at least not with a medium like water. If you just put a pan in there, turn the dial to 120-150C or whatever, intensity on the highest, and a piece of some protein for example, you'll likely get quite a pretty hard sear on it, might even burn. But if you wait until the pan control shows 120C or whatever, then put your protein in, I doubt you'll burn anything. I'm not an expert, but my amateur guess is that the temperature ramp up is so intensive that it overshoots quite a bit in that phase, and if you have something in the pan during that time, it's very possible it burns? My pots and pans are from various places and various kinds (some IKEA, carbon steel De Buyer, miscellaneous stainless steel pots). 

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1 hour ago, EsaK said:

And there wasn't a problem. Apologies if my post came out as if there was! The issues I had were with different pots and pans, not the one I did this quick test with. 

 

Hmm, can't remember having the issue that way around, at least not with a medium like water. If you just put a pan in there, turn the dial to 120-150C or whatever, intensity on the highest, and a piece of some protein for example, you'll likely get quite a pretty hard sear on it, might even burn. But if you wait until the pan control shows 120C or whatever, then put your protein in, I doubt you'll burn anything. I'm not an expert, but my amateur guess is that the temperature ramp up is so intensive that it overshoots quite a bit in that phase, and if you have something in the pan during that time, it's very possible it burns? My pots and pans are from various places and various kinds (some IKEA, carbon steel De Buyer, miscellaneous stainless steel pots). 

I made a lot of test talking with the sage customer service, I made an experiment with sugar and the pan set 110 celsius slow mode. After few minutes the sugar start to caramelize. In your case how work the pan control with ikea pans?

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10 hours ago, Gnulio said:

I made a lot of test talking with the sage customer service, I made an experiment with sugar and the pan set 110 celsius slow mode. After few minutes the sugar start to caramelize. In your case how work the pan control with ikea pans?

IKEA stainless steel pot with sugar to cover the bottom, 110C, slow mode. Sugar stays granulated after heating to 110C and staying there for 5 minutes or so. 

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3 hours ago, EsaK said:

IKEA stainless steel pot with sugar to cover the bottom, 110C, slow mode. Sugar stays granulated after heating to 110C and staying there for 5 minutes or so. 

So yours it work well. Good to know. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is the email that I sent today to polyscience.

I'll tell you about my experience with the retailer sousvidetools. In December 2020 I decide to buy your Control freak product and the only retailer I find in Europe is the sousvidetools store. I make the purchase for 899 euros + ss. After a week the item arrives and after a few I experience several problems, the temperature control does not work in any way, I contact you and the shop and after several emails you tell me that they will be the ones to take care of the change of the machinery. Sousvidetool asks me to send the item back at my expense, which I do, telling me that there will be no problems as soon as the package arrives they will send me the new product. Unfortunately, from January 2021 with the brexit there are several problems with the English customs for those who ship from Europe, UPS (the shipper recommended to me) loses a lot of time until 20 days ago it informs me that the package has been lost. Sousvidetools in these 4 months has never helped me with this problem by saying that obviously it was not their problem, UPS instead informs me several times that they have tried to contact the store to carry out customs clearance. In any case, UPS would have to give me a refund for 800 euros so from the purchase I would have already lost more than 130 euros. I communicate the situation to sousvidetool by saying that I would be interested in getting a working control freak, however, they tell me that the price is now 1399 euros and that at the limit they could give me 10% discount then 1259 therefore a loss for me of 459 euros. Does it seem correct to you that a reseller manages the assistance on your product in this way? Unfortunately, I will keep the money and will not buy another machine. Of course I will advise my clients to do the same. I'm sorry because I believed in the product.

Of course I can send several emails proving the situation.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/26/2021 at 6:07 AM, Gnulio said:

the pot is a stainless steel from ikea. 

Anyone experienced something like that?

 

 

The first thing I would do is use more oil.  Have you tried thicker pots & pans?  The only thing thinner than an ikea kitchen pot is the sheet metal on a Chery car.      

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1 hour ago, horseflesh said:

Here's a Kickstarter for a product like the Control Freak, the Njori Tempo. Looks like it will be about $500. Looking forward to seeing a comparison review. 

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/njori/njori-tempo-the-smart-cooker-for-adventurous-chefs

 

 

At 1800W (at 240V) it would be fine for sous vide, but I don't think it would replace a high powered, accurate induction burner.

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I’m always amused that the marketing is to the adventurous cook and then guarantees the same result every time. Where is the adventures in that?

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