Anyone who's tried to poach the perfect egg will know the average induction cooker isn't a precision instrument. You need the water to be around 185° F (85° C), but does that mean turning the knob to low, medium or high? Is it somewhere in between? It's enough to drive any Heston Blumenthal wannabe insane. The solution may have come, in the form of the Control Freak induction cooking system, which lets you dial in an exact temperature and maintain it for perfect poaching, blanching, boiling and broiling every time.
The result of a collaboration between Breville and PolyScience, the clever cooker measures temperature in two ways. There's a through-the-glass pan temperature sensor, which sits above the glass base for accurate, timely information, but this in-cooker sensor is backed up by a Probe Control module. Having clipped it to your pot, the Probe Control unit will measure the temperature of water- or fat-based liquids and relay this information to the base, which then adjusts its output so your food doesn't get too hot or cold.
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Using either method of measurement, the Control Freak is able to accurately maintain a temperature between 86° and 482° F (30° and 250°C), allowing chefs to maintain the right amount of heat without having to manually adjust their hob based on a thermometer reading.
If you realize the temperature is wrong or you need change the heat over a period of time, the cooker has an intensity function allowing you control how fast or slowly your food heats up. Once things have reached the desired temperature, the unit can be set to maintain it for up to 72 hours, as well as offering to keep cooked food warm at 140° F (60° C).
Favorite temperature profiles can be stored and recalled with the press of a button, while programming instructions for specific recipes can also be shared between different Control Freaks through the inbuilt USB port.
The Control Freak is priced at US$1,799.View gallery - 2 images