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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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Paragon Cooking System

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Paragon Mat

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Cooktop, sensor, mat and app

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

Published:Caption:Photo: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. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Paragon Mat

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

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

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. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

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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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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET
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