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ThreeGigs's Profile

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How do I "de-bump" a cast iron grill pan?

Get it down to bare metal. Then add some salt and water and let it sit to rust. Yes, I said let it rust. The bumps will rust faster than the base, and with an occasional brillo-ing, you'll have it smooth.

Jul 01, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

What's The Oldest Thing You Cook In/With?

I have a cast-iron double griddle from circa 1890, and a "Mrs. Smith's" tinned steel pie tin. And an old Henckels "hard chromed steel" sharpening steel that has to be from around WW2. I also have a Heinrich's 'pure nickel' saute pan that's from the 1910's-20's.

Jun 30, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Is My Grill Pan Seasoned or Carcinogenic?

Yes, there might be a few free radicals left in the coating on the pan. The simple solution is:

Don't eat the pan.

Jun 26, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

What is this utensil?

That kinda sorta looks like a knife I'd use to cut long sheets of things. Like carpet, linoleum or vinyl. Doesn't look strong enough to be a metal cutter, like a tin opener.

Jun 06, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Additional Uses for a Tortilla Press?

I used mine to make pie shells for mini pies, about 4 inch diameter, like a pot pie size. Made them a tad thin though, but I was thinking I could make them thinner and double them up.

Jun 05, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Mystery cookware

Not a comal, as far as I know. Comals are flat, like a pancake or crepe skillet, usually cast iron, and are used for making tortillas, not something you'd find at an Oriental store.

These guys list it as a fish fry disk:
http://tigercook.com/product_info.php?products_id=213

Turn it upside down and you get:
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sho...

May 26, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Best Cookware for Stir-Fried Rice

If you don't want to buy single-use cookware, buy a wok and use it for other things. Look for a chef's pan, almost the same as a wok. Use your wok like a chef's pan, or buy a chef's pan and use it like a wok.

May 03, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Really cleaning stainless baking sheets

Brillo, scouring powder and elbow grease.

Apr 08, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

220V Food Processors

Your KitchenAid also runs 16% slower than it would in the States. Normally not a big deal.

However, I'd like to ask what brand of hand mixer you bought? The Zelmer 481 I bought was a piece of junk. It lasted exactly 3 minutes before suffering a meltdown and only working intermittently. Total garbage, so I'm looking around again.

Apr 03, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

best rolling pin

I liked using a rolling pin that had 'bent' handles that turned 90 degrees. It allowed better freedom of movement, especially when rolling sideways across the far side of a sheet of dough near the wall.

Apr 03, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

220V Food Processors

Voltage isn't your only concern. The frequency will also affect performance. Most 220v power systems run at 50Hz, not 60Hz, and this will affect motor speed if your appliance isn't made for 50Hz. For example, a 3600 RPM 60Hz motor will only run at 3000 RPM on 50Hz power. Most of Europe is 230v/50Hz, so check out any EU distributors (Saturn, RTV/AGD, etc.).

Apr 03, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Hey YOU, Stove Manufacturers

Wheels. I don't want to drag my stove across the floor when pulling it out to clean under and around it. And not plastic wheels either, metal ones that stay round.

I want an oven door that closes airtight, not something with a crumb catcher for a gasket.

Why only eight or ten levels for the racks in the oven? Make the slots half an inch (1 cm) apart and fit as many as possible. I'll thank you when I don't have to set a rack on top of a casserole because the next notch up doesn't leave me enough room for the one above.

Don't give me a dial with all 16 combinations of heating elements. Just give me 4 on/off switches for bottom, top, broiler and fan elements.

How about decent lighting, too?

And better insulation. I want the heat to stay inside the oven, not make my kitchen uncomfortably warm.

Mar 19, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Embarrassing gadget you love?

Tupperware also had hamburger patty maker/storage thingamabobs. The base of one was the lid for the next. Mom bought a bunch at a yard sale ages back, and I used them regularly back in my bachelor days. Yeah, I could have just formed patties and frozen them, but the Tupperware forms were too convenient, and made a well sized burger to boot.

Mar 01, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Embarrassing gadget you love?

I turn my copper saute pan upside down and use that as my 'miracle defroster'. All you need is something that'll conduct heat from the air into your food, kind of like a radiator in reverse.

Mar 01, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Non stick cookware a cause of thyroid damage/disease?

PFOA is used during the making of PTFE (Teflon), however it's not one of the chemicals *in* PTFE. That said, some manufacturers are a bit sloppy and some PFOAs do make their way into finished products.

Now, if you're at all worried about PFOAs, non-stick cookware is the least of your worries. You should be worrying about stain resistant carpets, waterproof or water-resistant clothing (Gore-Tex ski jackets, anyone?), and microwave popcorn bags.

What's in your waxed paper? Up to 1100 times as much as in your non-stick cookware. How about the sealant for your tile floor? Up to 700 times as much as in your cookware. Plus since you heat your cookware, any residual PFOAs are driven off and out the hood vent the first time you use your cookware.

If you're concerned enough to not use non-stick, you also need to be 1000 times as concerned about many other common products around the house.

Feb 28, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Should I return it?

Rust will spread under the enamel around the hole and weaken it, causing further degradation over time. Think of a scratch in the paint of your car.

Feb 06, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Kitchens with Butcher Block Counters -- What's Around Your Sink?

Polyester resins *are* epoxy. And think about boats for a minute... fiberglass and epoxy hulls which are exposed to conditions much worse than a kitchen. In the two years since I put the countertop in, the epoxied area hasn't degraded one bit. The 'swirl' streaks from the plastic scraper I used to push the epoxy around are still slightly visible. And the problem with really hard things is that they're usually brittle, too. That's the best part: the epoxy won't chip. I worked in restaurants for years, and I'm familiar with the poured epoxy coatings on the tables that are available. I didn't want a thick coating like that, more like the thickness of a coat of paint. And now I'm kicking myself for not having done the whole counter in epoxy. When I did it, it was sort of an experiment. I knew it would be durable against abrasion, but I didn't know about heat, moisture wicking in from adjacent unepoxied areas, and whether or not the wood expanding/contracting would affect the finish. I was thinking the same things you were, which is why I only epoxied the area around the sink. Now that it's been in place for awhile, I can see just how good of a finish it is.

Jan 24, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Kitchens with Butcher Block Counters -- What's Around Your Sink?

"However it is not all that durable"
- Thousands of fiberglass and carbon fiber bodied car owners would probably tend to disagree with you, since epoxy is what holds the fibers of these things together.
"easily scratched"
- So is wood and formica, and epoxy is less easily scratched...much less.
"if water gets under it, it can delaminate and chip"
- But water doesn't get under it, as it's both pressed into the wood a bit and there's a good half-millimeter-ish cover on top of the wood too. And no cracks or crevices for water to seep through to get to the wood either. Even at the edge of my area where epoxy meets oiled wood there has been no water penetration.
"it's a major job to patch"
- If it needed patching or repairing, it would be as simple as squeezing some more epoxy onto whatever area you wanted. Squeeze some twin epoxy onto foil, mix and spread.
"and that's not going to look good on a counter top"
- It looks *EXACTLY* like the oiled countertop, except cleaner, so the counter around my sink still looks like new, whereas the unepoxied remainder has scratches, abrasions and general embedded dirt.

Mikie I think you're thinking of the commercially applied finishes which are very, very thick (and glassy smooth, too). I put mine on about as thick as a coat of paint, and used a plastic card to press it into the wood for better penetration and durability.

Jan 24, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Kitchens with Butcher Block Counters -- What's Around Your Sink?

No, I cut on a cutting board, not the counter top. Why would anyone cut directly on a countertop?

Jan 24, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Kitchens with Butcher Block Counters -- What's Around Your Sink?

I put butcher block counters in, and I knew the sink area would be a problem, so I experimented with something. I used epoxy to cover the top in an area from front to back and about 6 inches on either side of the porcelain sink, and also the edges where the cutout for the sink was.

The epoxy is completely, totally, absolutely wonderful! It was just standard two-part two-hour epoxy that I 'squeegeed' into the wood with a credit card (or plastic store card... something disposable). The surface is robust, waterproof, and has almost the same appearance as the remainder of the countertop, which I've simply kept oiled with mineral oil. After two years, it's still in the same condition as the day I put the sink in. And yes there has been lots of water on it, even overnight.

My only regret is that I didn't do the entire countertop in epoxy. Seriously, it's durable and needs zero maintenance. You can buy large bottles of two-part epoxy for furniture refinishing, but you could also easily get away with just one twin-tube epoxy package per two feet of counter. Just be sure to NOT get the 5 minute stuff, the 2 hour stuff is more durable and will 'settle' better into a smooth finish.

Jan 23, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Seeking advice on *making* a knife block

I was going to add a suggestion to think outside the box. No reason for all knives to be oriented in the same direction. You could have one or two layers for the longer knives where they're inserted in the traditional top-down orientation. But then you could add another layer with slots on the *side* of the block too, such that other knives slide in sideways. That arrangement would work well with the horizontal slots you're proposing for the longer knives, and in theory would let you keep more knives in the block with less "face" area, although you might lose counter space from the knife handles sticking out the side (or not).

Jan 22, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Suggested Solution: PROBLEMS with Pop up vents, Retractable Down Draft Vents.

Why go to all that trouble of making a pop up, etc? Why not just put a vent in the wall behind the stove at whatever height you want?

Also, a vent behind the stove would need a quadzillion CFM to create enough draft to pull smoke and steam from the front burners (vacuum isn't directional), which would then pull heat from the front burners.

Jan 17, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

The ultimate way to season cast iron, per Cook's Illustrated

I read that article, and the author hasn't really done her research.
She says seasoning is the polymerization of fats... wrong, seasoning BEGINS with polymerization, then proceeds to carbonization. She says "The process is initiated with the release of free radicals, which then become crosslinked, creating a hard surface." - err, wrong. The glyceride chains link (not crosslink), and the free radicals produced are driven off and combine with nitrogen or oxygen in the air to form smog.

She says: "The more drying the oil, the harder the polymer" - also wrong... all oils share the same essential structure, and it's the glycerides in the oil that polymerize and then carbonize. It's just that a drying oil will form a hard surface FASTER, and in today's impatient society where people want their skillet to look like grandma's that's been slowly carbonizing for 20 years and think they can do it overnight... well, some things just ain't gonna happen. Yeah, a drying oil might yield a fairly decent surface sooner and I'm sure that makes up for some of the impatience.

One thing she does have right is something I've always said: THIN COAT of oil.. wipe it on and wipe as much off as you can. Too many people use too much oil, and a drying oil might also help to mitigate that mistake.

Jan 02, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Is this a tinned copper pan? Opinion requested

If the rivets are copper, then it's definitely tinned. However I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it wasn't tinned "traditionally", but rather by electrolysis of the tin. Traditional melting/wiping of the tin lining fills in the gaps around the edges of the rivets (at least if a decent flux is used), and yours doesn't show that. Plus, now that I look closely at your center picture, I can see a bit of coppery color showing through the tops of the rivets. That speaks for a thin tin lining, which you'd only generally get with electroplated tin (like what they used to do with cans for food way back in the day).

Jan 02, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

The ultimate way to season cast iron, per Cook's Illustrated

Flaxseed oil, aka Linseed oil, is a "drying" oil, meaning it polymerizes at room temperature *much* faster than other oils.

And yet it all boils down to turning that coat of oil into pyrolytic carbon, and NOT getting it too thick.

If the article says to turn the piece upside down in order to let any excess oil drip out, I'll call it full of.... err... horse puckey.

Jan 02, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Is this a tinned copper pan? Opinion requested

Stainless steel lined. You wouldn't see the edges of the rivets so well if it were tinned, plus all Mauviel that I'm aware of that is tin-lined also has copper rivets.

Jan 02, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Which pots/pans should I buy in cast iron, which in stainless steel, and which in copper?

If you're going piece by piece, tell us which piece you'll be buying next, or which piece you use most and what kinds of things you cook in it. For a saucier, I'd say copper, but if you don't cook many sauces it's not something terribly useful. My most used piece is a copper saute pan, followed by an 8 qt All-Clad stockpot. Your usage will be different than mine, so it's hard to give advice.

Jan 02, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Dutch Oven vs. Stockpot?

I use an 8 qt All-Clad copper core stockpot as my dutch oven. Lid fits tightly, I can braise at high heat, and heat distribution is better than a cast iron piece. Only downside is that it can't really be put on the table for serving... well, it could, but it just isn't as pretty as an enameled dutch oven. The size is good, not too tall, and wide enough that I can fit plenty in it. Even heating isn't an issue for anything in an oven, and as for braising on the stovetop it's just as good as a frying pan. As for holding heat, I don't know why people always expound on the virtues of cast iron for holding heat. The food holds a lot more heat than the cast iron ever will, so unless you've got a dutch oven that weighs in at 20 lbs, it's not a factor. Water, for example, holds 9 times as much heat per pound as iron. So 2 lbs of food is about the same as 18 lbs of iron. Or 9 lbs of aluminum.

Jan 02, 2011
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Rolling Pin Material

There are olive wood rolling pins around, but they're semi-expensive and it's tough to find one in stock. Plus, the pictures you see of the beautiful grain are probably not what you're going to get. Check around online and you'll see them listed for sale, but at probably 3x to 4x the cost of a decent maple pin.

Dec 31, 2010
ThreeGigs in Cookware

Rolling Pin Material

You don't want walnut or oak, too rough a surface. Maple is good, and olive wouldn't be bad. And IMHO wood is not the best material, silicone is.

Dec 30, 2010
ThreeGigs in Cookware