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Polyscience Control Freak induction top and carbon steel cookware performance.


kikochople
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Anyone here using the Control Freak induction cooker with carbon steel pans? How do these perform on the unit? I’d like to know if the burner/heating pattern is nice and even.

I have De Buyer Mineral B Pro pans (24 cm and 28 cm diameter); even if I brought them to temperature slowly, got marked hotspots when tested them on several commercial induction hobs.

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26 minutes ago, kikochople said:

Anyone here using the Control Freak induction cooker with carbon steel pans? How do these perform on the unit? I’d like to know if the burner/heating pattern is nice and even.

I have De Buyer Mineral B Pro pans (24 cm and 28 cm diameter); even if I brought them to temperature slowly, got marked hotspots when tested them on several commercial induction hobs.

Can you say which hobs you've tried previously that you didn't like the results?  I'm in the market for a good induction hob and I don't want to make a bad choice.  I'm looking at the Vollrath HPI4-2600 and would like to know if you've tried it but weren't happy with it.

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8 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Can you say which hobs you've tried previously that you didn't like the results?  I'm in the market for a good induction hob and I don't want to make a bad choice.  I'm looking at the Vollrath HPI4-2600 and would like to know if you've tried it but weren't happy with it.

No, I didn’t tried any of the Vollrath products (don’t know if they’re available in Europe, where I live). I tested a Hendi unit and another one from CASO Design. Both were commercial grade. Others came from local manufacturers.

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Carbon steel is pretty much a worst case scenario for even heating on any source — it doesn't have the thermal transfer of aluminum or copper, nor does it have the mass of cast iron to hold heat.

 

I think you can expect to always get some hot spots unless the coil size is the same size as the pan or larger. Most countertop units have a somewhat small coil by necessity.

 

Based on the teardown photo in this image I would guess the Breville has a coil somewhere between 20-25cm in diameter?

 

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 5/22/2021 at 5:45 AM, kikochople said:

Anyone here using the Control Freak induction cooker with carbon steel pans? How do these perform on the unit? I’d like to know if the burner/heating pattern is nice and even.

I have De Buyer Mineral B Pro pans (24 cm and 28 cm diameter); even if I brought them to temperature slowly, got marked hotspots when tested them on several commercial induction hobs.

 

Did you ever figure out if the Control Freak would play nice with your carbon steel pans? I realize carbon steel is not the best for induction but I too want to know how it will perform on the CF. I can live with a compromise... but if the CF is unsuited to even simple tasks like heating up a quesadilla in a CS pan that's something I need to know before I bite. 

 

Based on the teardown image and the CF dimensions the coil looks to be between 8-9" across, which is MUCH bigger than the coil in my current junky induction cooktop... it makes a vicious 3-4" hot spot in the middle of a carbon steel pan. It's nearly useless. But it is also perhaps the worst induction cooktop money can buy. 

 

 

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  • 7 months later...

As others have said, carbon steel and cast iron are kind of garbage technologies to use with induction. All 1800W induction burners have coils that are too small to use with large cast iron pans. There's an XL Max Burton that has a kind of bigger coil, but it's still not big enough to use with poorly conductive materials like cast iron and carbon steel. Here's a screenshot of the Control Freak flour test from this video:

 

ctrlfreak.thumb.jpg.a2daa4c7c264edcb67f4ac0497a57f96.jpg

 

I have a Vollrath Mirage Pro and still get big hot spots even with more conductive cookware like All Clad Copper Core and D7. It's just the nature of the beast. I like induction cooktops in theory, but most of them suck in practice. 

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8 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

I like induction cooktops in theory, but most of them suck in practice. 

I wish I could trial a good induction cooktop with optimum pans. I could get a lot of use out of one but my only experience has been terrible and it makes me skeptical of even the nice models. 

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My cooktop is made by Thermador and I really like it.  I also have the Control Freak which I use for some things.  I like it too.  The CF has wonderful temperature control whereas the cooktop only has 20 settings but it's fine for t g e cooking I do.

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11 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

Is your Thermador a "Freedom" style model? I find those very attractive. Very expensive, but very attractive.

 

No, when we bought ours the place where I bought it was able to tell us about it but they weren't available yet to buy.  I could have liked one.

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