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New Toy: Breville/Polyscience Control Freak!


CanadianHomeChef

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For boiling water, turn it up past 235. That's the hottest I've even seen it with a pot of water. Got to remember that the temperature is taken from the bottom of the pan so it can get hotter than 212.

 

For simmering, I'll hover around 212, but turn it down to medium or low power depending on how gentle or rough of a simmer I want.

Sizzle and Sear

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https://www.sizzleandsear.com/

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It's hilarious that my first question when I got the Control Freak was, "how do I just boil water?" 

 

Thank you for the links and advice. And for compiling that list of temps, @CanadianHomeChef

 

In my bookmarks I also found this list of temperatures, which perhaps came from earlier in this thread.

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1azCSYUU4I25VbHfaPnhOvF_fHplbhMvy/edit#gid=1369374172

 

(And that list references this cool Breville infographic and some other sources. Thanks, whoever made this!)

 

I have only used my CF a few times now, for boring things like ramen and making quesadillas, but I can already see how thinking in terms of temperature and not power is going to be so cool. 

 

Now I have to scan the thread for cookware recommendations, as the only induction pans I have are mediocre. 

 

Edit to add: I reformatted the official Breville temperature chart to be easily printable on a portrait page, at maximum size. This did require removing the header and branding (forgive me, Breville). It's attached.

 

Breville Control Freak temperature chart official (resized for printing).pdf

Edited by horseflesh (log)
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@horseflesh

The temperature for simmering and for boiling water will depend on your elevation.

For simmering, 90C (194F) to 95C (203F) is usually the right range, depending on what you're trying to simmer (since simmer is not exactly a precise word).

For boiling at sea level, I'd probably use 105C (221F) if you're looking for a roiling boil, and closer to 100C (212F) if you're just wanting a bit of a boil.

The thing that complicates these things is altitude.  For a lot of people, living at higher urban altitudes, water boils closer to 95C (203F).  So that reduces the delta between what a simmer is and what boiling is.

There should be quite a few sites on the Internet that can tell you what temperature water should boil at for your altitude.  Here's the first Google result I found:
https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/boiling-points-water-altitude-d_1344.html

 

As always, for any given temperature setpoint, the Control Freak will basically transition from pushing lots of heat to raise the temperature mode to pushing a little heat to maintain temperature mode.  So if you want to actively boil water, you want the temperature setting to be a little higher than the boiling temperature.  I just wouldn't go too much higher, or you might find yourself dumping a whole lot of extra energy into that water.

Edit: I just saw @Smithy's post, so you're probably already on top of the altitude thing.

Edited by afs (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

After a couple of weeks with the Control Freak, wow, am I happy I got this thing. I am starting to understand why some people on the thread just stopped using their gas cooktop and put Control Freaks up there instead. More than once I found myself saying, "I wish I bought two." Maybe next year if the same deal comes along again! 

 

 

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20 hours ago, horseflesh said:

After a couple of weeks with the Control Freak, wow, am I happy I got this thing. I am starting to understand why some people on the thread just stopped using their gas cooktop and put Control Freaks up there instead. More than once I found myself saying, "I wish I bought two." Maybe next year if the same deal comes along again! 

 

 

Welcome to the club!

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Sizzle and Sear

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just picked up one of these. Has firmware L1C1.0_1.2_A57. Is that the latest? I can't seem to find the updates on the website.

 

Also, how do you guys keep the screen clean? Looks like it's plastic and may scratch easily, I don't want to hit it with a paper towel.

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45 minutes ago, Dex said:

Just picked up one of these. Has firmware L1C1.0_1.2_A57. Is that the latest? I can't seem to find the updates on the website.

 

Also, how do you guys keep the screen clean? Looks like it's plastic and may scratch easily, I don't want to hit it with a paper towel.

 

That is what mine came with. I contacted support to see if there was an update because I also couldn't find more info on the web site. They assured me it was the latest. (They also said it was the last.)

 

I've been cleaning mine with the same kitchen rag and spray cleaner I use on countertops. The display has been OK so far and I haven't been especially careful about it. But if I wanted to guarantee there were no scratches ever I'd use a microfiber cloth or an old t-shirt. 

 

You will love your Control Freak!

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  • 1 month later...

Does anyone own a Moka pot as well as the control freak? I'm wondering if it'll work on it, or if it's too small (the polyscience is really fussy about pot sizes and materials and positioning before deciding there's no pot on the stove).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks like there is a newer bigger display. Hopefully it's glass. I put a small piece of automotive PPF on my display so I could wipe the grease off with paper towels without scuffing it up.

 

What does the weight sensor do?

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23 hours ago, Robenco15 said:

ChefSteps announced a home version coming out in April. Practically exactly the same. $999 for their studio pass members. 


Very cool.  $200 cheaper (plus an extra $300 off, for a limited quantity, for $69/yr. ChefSteps subscribers).  US-only, 1800W-only, for now.

It looks like it's not a "washdown-style" unit like the regular commercial units, but most homes aren't looking for that high of a level of water resistance.  Breville slimmed down the machine a bit to make it more manageable in homes, without reducing the coil size or residential cooling capacity.  Commercial kitchens and residences in very hot climates may still want the commercial version though, as it's designed for higher ambient temperatures.

The touchscreen interface, the custom program creation, etc. are all nifty.  I see that Breville removed the 6 screen-edge buttons and the time knob.  I'm not sure that the time knob got used much, but I sure hope there's an easy way to use the knob to adjust heat intensity (i.e. not rely on the screen).  That middle-right button is virtually the only button I ever use other than the power button.

Here's the comparison chart:
https://d3awvtnmmsvyot.cloudfront.net/api/file/jFOrapLTBOLzkuxAf65w

I'm really tempted to pick one of these up.  Even with a couple regular Control Freaks and one Control Freak home, it's usually easy to move a pan from one unit to another without losing the pan temperature or the current temperature setting--so it wouldn't be hard to integrate this into a daily cooking workflow at home.
 

Edited by afs
Edit: I am not sure if the USB port is still a feature. There's a port/hole of some sort there. (log)
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On 3/19/2024 at 5:53 PM, afs said:

 Even with a couple regular Control Freaks and one Control Freak home...
 

You have quite a collection.  Why don't you also pick up a Panasonic Met-All unit that works with aluminum and copper?

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On 3/19/2024 at 8:53 PM, afs said:


Very cool.  $200 cheaper (plus an extra $300 off, for a limited quantity, for $69/yr. ChefSteps subscribers).  US-only, 1800W-only, for now.

It looks like it's not a "washdown-style" unit like the regular commercial units, but most homes aren't looking for that high of a level of water resistance.  Breville slimmed down the machine a bit to make it more manageable in homes, without reducing the coil size or residential cooling capacity.  Commercial kitchens and residences in very hot climates may still want the commercial version though, as it's designed for higher ambient temperatures.
 

 

It seems like they made a pretty good set of compromises compared to the original — the smaller size and weight are definitely a plus for the home, and I can't imagine e.g. the metal vs plastic subframe is something a lot of home cooks would ever notice. Same element, sensor, probe, and max temperature goes a long way.

 

On 3/19/2024 at 8:53 PM, afs said:

The touchscreen interface, the custom program creation, etc. are all nifty.  I see that Breville removed the 6 screen-edge buttons and the time knob.  I'm not sure that the time knob got used much, but I sure hope there's an easy way to use the knob to adjust heat intensity (i.e. not rely on the screen).  That middle-right button is virtually the only button I ever use other than the power button.

 

The Youtube video embedded in the project page shows the knob being used to adjust temperature (link is to the timestamp showing that feature), and they mention being able to use it without the touchscreen.

 

Sort of surprising that there's no mention of compatibility with their app.

 

Glad I picked up a half price Studio Pass after Christmas! 

 

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1 hour ago, horseflesh said:

I love the dedicated time knob on the CF. I hope the timer isn't buried on the home version. There might be enough room on the touchscreen for a dedicated timer. 🤞

 

There's definitely both on the screen — this is from the video:

 

image.thumb.png.57ba5a8313f237586f2d17ed3981f182.png

 

Guessing you can tap to switch between them and the dial controls whatever is active? 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi from Melbourne Australia...I read with interest that another model, the 'Home' is released for sale in the US but in Australia (Brevilles home base) it will not be available here (at present anyway). I have the comercial version & am happy with everything it offers, it's quite an increadable machine actually. I stand to be corrected but I read the units available in the States & Canada are limited in there output to a max 1800w & even lower if a power adapter is needed. Is that correct ? If it is I assume that's because of the 110 - 120v input available. Here we operate on 240 - 250v & the output for these are rated at 100w - 2400w.

Anyway look forward to the discussion on here regarding the CF. Another Breville appliance I have been extremley pleased with is the Pizzaiolo oven...happy to answer any questions on that one. In the meantime...Happy cooking.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.834b91644079d6b28ecd89d72df7a50c.jpeg

IMG_4992.jpeg

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On 4/21/2024 at 1:21 AM, MJS301 said:

I stand to be corrected but I read the units available in the States & Canada are limited in there output to a max 1800w & even lower if a power adapter is needed. Is that correct ? If it is I assume that's because of the 110 - 120v input available. Here we operate on 240 - 250v & the output for these are rated at 100w - 2400w.

 

 

1800W = 15A * ~120V. Sadly many many electric appliances in the US get a bad reputation because there just isn't enough power available at a standard socket. Even though all residences have 240V service. 😑

 

Now whether the US version can actually take 240V and 2400W that's a good question. My unit is labeled only for 120V, but need to do some surgery to see what's actually inside. Almost everything else I own supports 120/240 as the result of incredibly common switching power supplies, or least a dip switch for the input transformer.

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On 4/21/2024 at 1:21 AM, MJS301 said:

Hi from Melbourne Australia...I read with interest that another model, the 'Home' is released for sale in the US but in Australia (Brevilles home base) it will not be available here (at present anyway). I have the comercial version & am happy with everything it offers, it's quite an increadable machine actually. I stand to be corrected but I read the units available in the States & Canada are limited in there output to a max 1800w & even lower if a power adapter is needed. Is that correct ? If it is I assume that's because of the 110 - 120v input available. Here we operate on 240 - 250v & the output for these are rated at 100w - 2400w.

Anyway look forward to the discussion on here regarding the CF. Another Breville appliance I have been extremley pleased with is the Pizzaiolo oven...happy to answer any questions on that one. In the meantime...Happy cooking.


I would love to see Breville make a 2400W (240V 10A) version for non-US/CA markets.  However I'm guessing that they'll only be selling them in the US for a while for a few reasons (such as the U.S. probably being their biggest market by far for it, potential issues for residential support networks outside the U.S., etc.).  Additionally, I'm not sure if the new slimmer model is designed to dissipate the kind of heat necessary for 2400W induction cooking.  It might be.  I really don't know.  But I would not be surprised if they designed and optimized this model for the US/CA market with the idea of creating an "international" version later if the U.S. version sells well enough--and that may mean that the circuitry is not sized for 2400W.

I'm planning to get one of the new Control Freak Home units.  Right now though I'm mostly looking forward to seeing the reviews.  The automated programs in particular are the part that's most interesting to me--especially if it's possible to input multi-step custom programs.

I'm also hoping that they post a manual sometime soon.  I looked on Chefsteps.com, but I couldn't find one.

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7 hours ago, Dex said:

 

1800W = 15A * ~120V. Sadly many many electric appliances in the US get a bad reputation because there just isn't enough power available at a standard socket. Even though all residences have 240V service. 😑

 

Now whether the US version can actually take 240V and 2400W that's a good question. My unit is labeled only for 120V, but need to do some surgery to see what's actually inside. Almost everything else I own supports 120/240 as the result of incredibly common switching power supplies, or least a dip switch for the input transformer.

 

That's interesting. I wasn't aware 240V was available to all households...as the majority of your appliances would be 120V, how does it work ? Are the outlets switchable or are there dedicated 240V outlets scattered throughout the house. When thinking about it, a cooker (oven/hotplates) would need more than 120V, aircon would be the same. I upgraded my house electrical system to 3phase about 15 years back when I installed a central aircon unit (415V 26kW reverse cycle) but of course I still have the normal 240V outlets throughout the house apart from a dedicated 415V outlet I had put in the garage. (handy for welders & heavy equipment etc)

 

I would be doubtfull Brevelle uses a switching transformer, my box the unit came in specifically indicates 240V for the Aust / NZ market, but a look inside could be worth the trouble. For what its worth here is the compliance info on the bottom of the unit...I left the letters preceeding the serial # in the pic incase it's of interest.

 

Another interesting point is, Breville don't sell this unit directly to the public on their website here or NZ. They are available but through a hotel / hospitality equipment suppier. It was no problem I ordered on a Monday & received on the Wednesday. Delivery included the unit was A$2049 which at the moment equates to US$1322 so pricing is similar.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.1028a9d7122c98f90ce96a016c48407b.jpeg

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7 hours ago, afs said:


I would love to see Breville make a 2400W (240V 10A) version for non-US/CA markets.  However I'm guessing that they'll only be selling them in the US for a while for a few reasons (such as the U.S. probably being their biggest market by far for it, potential issues for residential support networks outside the U.S., etc.).  Additionally, I'm not sure if the new slimmer model is designed to dissipate the kind of heat necessary for 2400W induction cooking.  It might be.  I really don't know.  But I would not be surprised if they designed and optimized this model for the US/CA market with the idea of creating an "international" version later if the U.S. version sells well enough--and that may mean that the circuitry is not sized for 2400W.

I'm planning to get one of the new Control Freak Home units.  Right now though I'm mostly looking forward to seeing the reviews.  The automated programs in particular are the part that's most interesting to me--especially if it's possible to input multi-step custom programs.

I'm also hoping that they post a manual sometime soon.  I looked on Chefsteps.com, but I couldn't find one.

 

Well I'll keep my eyes open for the 'Home' arriving as a 240V unit. Breville are very limited to what information they will give to the public. I have a number of Breville appliances now (all good...have no problems with them apart from price...being a little high), good design usually & seem to go the distance.

 

Personally, I think if the price difference was only US$300 & the benefit was basically automated programs I would have to think hard if I needed to purchase another unit going forward. The unit is smaller, they use a 'polymer' inside frame as opposed to metal, from the little I've seen the interface appears 'fussy' (as opposed to the clear pan / set temp screen of the commercial) but this is all summation because we don't know all the facts as yet. I'm lucky I have plenty of bench space to accomodate the larger foot print commercial unit, I don't find it particularly noisy (maybe when it is ramping up to deep fry it's noticable) & I have managed to save many programs for recall in the 'create' storage area. Anyway early days for me & nice to chat.

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