All chef's want more control. It's undeniable. It's a point of pride, craft, and ultimately reputation. Breville|Polyscience understands. They've developed a new induction cooking system that acts as an extension of every great chef’s inner control freak. At New Orleans' Square Root, Chef de Cuisine Jason Byl uses the innovation in cooking machinery—aptly named The Control °Freak™ induction cooktop—to help execute Executive Chef Phillip Lopez's dizzying, whimsical tasting menus. When preparing a dish of Steelhead Mi-Cuit, Egg Yolk Confit, Buttermilk “Egg Whites,” and Dashi Vinaigrette, Byl used the freaky-geeky features of the futuristic burner for the first time. “It’s not hard to use. It took me about five minutes to figure out. I was frying earlier, and I fry on Fahrenheit, but now I’m cooking the steelhead on Celsius,” says Byl. “There are also two temperature control settings, one for water and one for oil, because heat moves through water more rapidly.” He used these fresh advances in Breville|Polyscience gadgetry to confit egg yolks and to infuse the base for his dashi vinaigrette.
2016 StarChefs Rising Star Chef Miles Landrem of Johnny Sanchez won a Control °Freak™ at the Rising Stars Gala in New Orleans. "The machine is amazing," says Landrem. "I've not yet fully explored the endless capabilities, but one thing I’m really impressed with is the way it helped me make an amazing batch of carnitas. I brined pork for 48 hours and was then able to slow cook the shoulders for about two hours at 215ºF before having the machine turn up the heat to 325ºF until it was crispy and perfect all the way around." Unlike old school induction burners, Landrem is able pre-set temperature changes on the The Control °Freak™ to achieve the desired result, which frees his mind and hands to pursue other tasks.
Up north in Brooklyn, 2005 Rising Star Pastry Chef Sam Mason of Oddfellows Ice Cream Co. uses The Control °Freak™ to make ice cream, like when he's heating simple syrup for meringue that goes into his lemon meringue ice cream. Because of the precise time and temperature control settings, "The Control °Freak™ allows you to walk away from [the syrup], which you normally wouldn't be able to do," says Mason. He can also use the UBS stick to record the temperature settings for the meringue, so when he re-inserts it into the port (or another Control °Freak™) the settings will be ready for the meringue Mason wants.
Ivan Orkin of Ivan Ramen poaches tuna in oil on his Control °Freak™ and calls the probe which he sets to sound an alarm when the internal temperature of the fish reaches 135°F, "killer." He also makes a yuzu hollandaise for the dish that starts with a pot heated to 250°F to which he adds rice wine. Orkin then re-sets the temperature to 179°F before adding the yolks—exactly one degree below the temperature at which yolks set. "It's one step more of knowing exactly where you're at," says Orkin.
Here are some of the other freaky features and facts on this new Breville|Polyscience product (eh-hem, it knows the internal temperature of whatever you’re cooking, and it’s not magic, it’s science).
- A spring-loaded pan temperature sensor button resides above the machine’s glass base, not below it (which can cause inaccuracy and delays in temperature reading), and can hold a pan at 397 different degrees (from 86°F to 482°F), within plus or minus 1°F of stability with Probe Control™. The sensor communicates when a pan has been lifted or put down and reactivates automatically without needing to be reset. And the temperature setting can move back and forth bewtween celcius and farenheit with ease.
- The Probe Control™ (with pot clip) communicates and controls the precise temperature of both water and fat-based liquids.
- An "intensity" function allows the user to quickly and precisely speed-up or slow down the heat-up speed.
- A custom USB port and stick allows for the sharing of recipe temperature programming instructions between Control°Freak™ machines.
- The dual fan system efficiently and effectively cools all the machines internal components, extending the life of the Control°Freak™ and eliminating overheating (most competitors' models have only one fan).
- There's a convenient lightweight, padded tote bag for easy transport.
- Retail price: $1,799
More information about our favorite new gadget can be found here.