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FirstBuild Paragon Mat review: The Paragon Mat makes it easy to perfect pan cooking

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The Good The Paragon Mat is the latest addition to the $299 Paragon Smart Cooking System. The mat lets you set specific temperatures when you're using a pan to cook, and it will automatically maintain a steady temperature. 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.

The Bad 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.

The Bottom Line 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.

8.3 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Usability 9
  • Performance 9

The FirstBuild Paragon Mat wants to bring more consistency to the dishes you cook in a pan, from over-easy eggs to a stack of identical pancakes. The cooktop cover is the latest addition to the $299 Paragon Smart Cooking System. The system includes an induction cooktop, a Bluetooth-connected temperature sensor and app to guide you while you cook (check out my review of the Paragon Induction Cooktop here). 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. The addition of the Paragon Mat means that you can set the exact temperature for your cookware, which brings precision cooking out of the water bath and into a pan.

The Paragon Mat is a good addition to the Paragon Smart Cooking System. The added functionality of precision pan cooking makes the system's $299 price easier to swallow (you can get the system for $100 cheaper if you order directly from FirstBuild's website). The Paragon Cooking System is a helpful tool for novice cooks who are eager to try new methods of cooking and need a little coaching. Plus, the mat is a fun tool to use.

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