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Paragon Mat makes it fun to flip pancakes

The Paragon Mat is the latest addition to the Paragon Induction Cooking System, a countertop appliance that lets you set exact cooking temperatures when you pan fry or sous vide.

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Ashlee Clark Thompson
Ashlee spent time as a newspaper reporter, AmeriCorps VISTA and an employee at a healthcare company before she landed at CNET. She loves to eat, write and watch "Golden Girls" (preferably all three at the same time). The first two hobbies help her out as an appliance reviewer. The last one makes her an asset to trivia teams. Ashlee also created the blog, AshleeEats.com, where she writes about casual dining in Louisville, Kentucky.
Ashlee Clark Thompson
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The Paragon Mat

The Paragon Mat from FirstBuild wants to bring more consistency to the dishes you cook in a pan, from over-easy eggs to a stack of identical pancakes.

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Paragon Cooking System

The red cooktop cover is the latest addition to the $299 Paragon Smart Cooking System. 

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Paragon Mat

The Paragon Mat lets you set the exact temperature for your cookware when you pan fry foods.

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Cooktop, sensor, mat and app

The system includes an induction cooktop, a Bluetooth-connected temperature sensor and app to guide you while you cook

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5 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

How it works

To use the Paragon Mat, you must first have the Paragon Induction Cooktop. You attach the Bluetooth sensor (pictured) to the mat. The mat goes on top of the Paragon Induction Cooktop, and you put place induction-friendly cookware on the mat. 

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How it works, continued

The mat monitors the temperature of your pan and tells the cooktop via Bluetooth to heat up or cool down to keep the temperature stable, which it does automatically.

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Paragon Mat

The mat is pliable, but it could be challenging to store because of its shape.

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Paragon's beginnings

The Paragon's main focus was sous vide cooking when it debuted in 2015 -- you used the temperature probe to set the the temperature for a water bath in which you cook vacuum-sealed foods. 

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On-unit controls

You can control the cooktop manually, but most of its best features are in the FirstBuild app that accompanies works with the Paragon system.

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Paragon pros

The automation makes it easy to cook multiple items like eggs or pancakes that are nearly identical to one another, and the accompanying app is helpful.

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Paragon cons

There's a limited number of food guides in the Paragon app that guide you through temperature-controlled pan cooking, which means it could be hard to figure out at which temperature to cook your dish.

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12 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Should you get the Paragon system?

The Paragon Mat is a good value-add to the Paragon Smart Cooking System. The countertop system is a good investment for enthusiastic beginner cooks who aren't afraid to use technology to give them a hand with common dishes.

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