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State(s) with the Lowest Liquor Taxes / Prices?

Total Wine and More in Texas and Arizona are a whole lot cheaper on average than Oklahoma for spirits. On average, Arizona is a little cheaper than Texas on most spirits.

Total Wine and More is significantly cheaper than the competition.

Aug 21, 2015
Sid Post in Spirits

Coors Banquet Beer: Any fans of it out there??

In the 80's & 90's I drank Coors. Today, the Coors I get doesn't taste like the 'old' Coors of my youth.

I've moved on ...

Aug 21, 2015
Sid Post in Beer

Tillamook Medium Cheddar--Anything Changed?

Could be a regional thing. Is it shipped in or produced locally?

Cheese in East Texas is generally unimpressive.

Aug 21, 2015
Sid Post in Cheese

Best rice & Asian grocery in Arlington area?

I live in East Texas and make it into "Dallas" 3 or 4 times a year. Getting good rice out here is impossible; the few descent options are typically pretty old. Forget premium soy sauces.

~20 years ago, a friend introduced me to a great Asian market near the GM plant in Arli gton.

My primary quest is to get great rice like Takamaki Gold and similar brands. Good Asian produce is also desired.

What are the "Best" places to shop, preferably on the East side of Dallas off I-30? Do I need to hit I-20 and go to Arlington for the best Asian options?

TIA,
Sid

Aug 21, 2015
Sid Post in Dallas - Fort Worth

USA Pans aluminized steel pizza pan, pizza stone and steel

I use the Lodge MFG cast iron "pizza pan". It is relatively cheap and works well if you preheat it. It has nice big handles you can grab with the oven mitts still on too. It is dead flat and doesn't warp either.

I considered a heavy steel plate for heat retention but, try picking up a 1/2 inch piece of plate steel by hand big enough to cook a pizza.

Bricks are a pain to deal with unless you leave them in all the time. Stones break and in my experience don't cook as well though, admittedly I never used a "premium" ceramic stone.

Jun 23, 2015
Sid Post in Cookware

Oven substitute needed for pita bread pizzas

Thailand has some good local options for you. I forget what they are called but, the earthen-ware charcoal "grills" are really nice when used outside.

You heat them up with charcoal and can grill meats, vegetables, etc. With a domed lid cooking vessel on top, you can roast things as well. I'm not sure how well they would work for pizza but, they will toast bread very well.

I'm a big fan of the "Zebra" products I have from Thailand too so, I would check them out at a large market to see what your local options are.

For things like small pizza's that need heat on top, a small torch will brown the cheese, sugar, etc. on top while the heat from the bottom does the majority of the cooking.

You can also use an old trick here in the rural USA (out West). Take two ~10" (26cm) heavy cast iron skillets and get them both really hot. Put your meat, sandwich, etc. in the bottom of the first one and put the second one right on top. Think of an Italian Panini press for sandwiches. It works great on a steak or spatach cocked chicken. With some tin foil on top, I sure it would work pretty well with a cheesy piece of bread.

Feb 05, 2015
Sid Post in Cookware

Breville Smart Oven

Mine is at least 5 years old and gets used a lot more than the main oven. ~1 year in a long term stay hotel, ~2 1/2 years in a farm house, 2 years in various apartments, now in a new farm house .....

Oct 18, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

de Buyer pan not flat

My pans "spin/wobble" on my mother's @#$^(@ glass cooktop when hot (both grades of De Buyer). On an electric coil they are dead flat. I can't wait to get a Natural Gas stove ... did I mention I HATE glass top cooktops?

My pans go back to "flat" when cool and only wobble when hot. Do yours wobble when cold? I can also say it is very hard to overheat the Mineral pans on a normal household cooktop. I'm sure it is possible eventually but, the Mineral pans are very durable in my experience.

Mom thought I ruined my two brand new mineral skillets when I got them screaming hot and wiped them down with an oiled paper towel several times. She was shocked/horrified/confused that I would "destroy" my two brand new EXPENSIVE pans. When it was all said and done, no warpage and, one of the best initial seasoning jobs I have done.

I'm sure you could overdue it on a ~23K BTU semi-pro cooktop but, even then you would have to really overdue it because these pans are really that good.

Best Regards,
Sid (from remote Texas, out in the boonies)

Oct 12, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Arlington, TX (or south DFW/mid-cities) Asian market recommendations?

I'm not familiar with the South DFW and Arlington area, mainly passing through on the Interstate. However, I used to live in the North part of the metroplex and remember a pretty vibrant Vietnamese area in South Arlington (near a GM plant) a "work" friend took me to once.

I would like to find a good "Asian" Supermarket I can stock up at when I pass through. I'm living in East Texas right now and haven't found anything around Sulphur Springs or Mount Pleasant so I plan on stocking up on "good" rice, Korean noodles, and various vegetables and frozen goods when I go to the "big city" for things I can't get locally.

TIA,
Sid

FWIW, I live about 90 minutes East of Mesquite so, I'd love to hear about any Asian markets that are recommended in that general direction - I can only take so much BBQ and Tex-Mex ;-)

Sep 14, 2014
Sid Post in Texas

Costco Kirkland hard anodized cookware

Wow, the flashbacks ...

Aug 02, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Costco Kirkland hard anodized cookware

Buzzword marketing.

If you have ever really cooked in SnowPeak Ti cookware at a campsite, you know what I'm talking about. I love my Ti SnowPeak stuff but, there is no way I would use in my home kitchen.

Aug 02, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

21-22" countertops?

kitchengardengal is giving you great advice.

Since this is your "starter home", I'm assuming you are coming out of the typical apartment with NO counter space. Shallow counters are something you will hate as much as short drawers/cabinets.

Builder grade cabinets will make YOU much happier and will be appreciated by future renters. They will be the correct height and depth with the cabinet fronts you want at a comparable cost to prepackaged RTA cabinets that weren't built for YOUR kitchen.

Aug 02, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware
1

Looking for pots and pans advice please (copper and LeCruset)!

Have you considered HIGH QUALITY stainless cookware? I personally dislike All-Clad but love my Demeyere Atlantis pieces. To me the multiple layers of high conduction materials with stainless cladding offer a lot of the advantages of good copper cookware without the outrageous price of new "thick" copper. Avoid the thin cosmetic copper pans, they don't work much better than the cheap stuff a lot of us had in college.

Regarding Le Creuset, I own a few pieces that I really like however, I find Staub to be a little better. The outer glazes to me are prettier and better, I like the lids better however, some people do not like the dark interiors. For non-acidic cooking I prefer my De Buyer Mineral pans.

For a wedding registry, I would seriously consider a De Buyer Mineral crepe pan first (eggs, french toast, pancakes and of course crepes). I also have used mine for steaks seared on the stove top and finished in the oven though a fry pan works better. The "Country Pan" is basically an extra deep skillet which I have used to fry battered chicken to a tasty golden brown in addition to about every imaginable "meal in box", potato based side dish, vegetables, ..... Lodge cast iron is pretty good too and very wallet friendly.

Now add a few pieces of stainless for pasta and acidic dishes. Finally, add a small oval dutch oven and a larger round one for slow braises, stews, chilli's, large meals, etc. and you have a pretty well rounded kitchen to tackle almost any mainstream home cook kitchen need.

The De Buyer Mineral pans are in the $60~$80 range, Demeyere Atlantis is $<200 on sale for common pieces, and Staub can be sourced in the $150~$250 range for most common pieces. This will be a lot easier on your wedding guests and will provide a great platform to grow and perfect your cooking skills.

Aug 01, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

De-Electrifying the Kitchen

I'm with you Kaleo. I just bought an all electric house that is already pre-plumbed with Natural Gas from the street. The previous owner had a panic attack over "the dangers of natural gas". Considering it is in a rural area, I'm even more perplexed why they did that considering the electrical outages that frequently occur.

I see a wood fired outdoor oven (thinking pizza oven, probably Vesuvius though I like the Napleno better). Add a good smoker or smoke house and I'm pretty well set.

Really, other than the refrigerator, all the other electrical things are pretty easily replaced by something our ancestors used or something at the local camping store.

Looking overseas, things like a Kelly Kettle are easily within reach and much more efficient than the big box store stuff we take for granted. I've got a Tao Charcoal Burner in my future. ;-)

Jul 10, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Would you buy this older KA Stand Mixer for $100?

K5SS is the model I have. I bought my first one in the late 80's or early 90's. It still works as well today as it did back then.

Jul 09, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Fissler OP, De Buyer Affinity or Sitram for a gas range?

Sitram is good stuff. On a tight budget, I'd go there again.

Diminishing returns enters the picture when you are talking about premium cookware. Yes it is better but, not dollar for dollar better. ;-)

Jul 09, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Would you buy this older KA Stand Mixer for $100?

I would rather rebuild an old Hobart/KA than being given a new one.

They just work better and last longer though a 10qt Hobart would be nice.

Jul 08, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Would you buy this older KA Stand Mixer for $100?

I should in all fairness note that I don't really need a third one but, hey if it needs a good home ...... ;-)

Jul 08, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware
1

Would you buy this older KA Stand Mixer for $100?

JerseyGirl,

I'd gladly give $200 for it if I was anywhere near you. The older Hobart/KA's with the steel cut gears and bowl lift beat the heck out of anything less than $1K today.

Seriously, RUN, don't walk with the $100 bill in your hand to grab this one.

Best Regards,
Sid

Jul 08, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware
1

Best propane range for new homeowning (and thus poor) foodies

NG vs. LP I suspect.

Jul 07, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Finex cast iron pan

Exceeded my expectations, nice finish, great handle .....

Jul 05, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Ice Chests...Yeti versus Pelican versus Brute Box

I own a Pelican Ice Chest. It has the Hardigg Stormcase latches which are a big plus for me. As you know, the ice chest walls are thick so, interior volume is less than a cheapie "5 day" ice chest at the local "big box" place. Yes, it is heavy for size but, if you want something you can air drop into a field, it isn't going to weigh 5 pounds like a imported cheapie.

Engel Engineering is another top maker that is more oriented to off shore boaters, anglers, etc.

Igloo Rotomold cases as found at Sam's Club and similar places are relatively cheap (~$230~$250) in their ~65qt size and are very similar to the Pelican's except for the latch which is a traditional rubber handle that latches into a catch.

Advertising claims aside, Yeti and Engel are super nice but Pelican (personal experience) and Igloo are just as nice performance-wise without the extra fluff and expense.

There are other names which come just as highly regarded though shipping and availability out in the Pacific are questionable. One to consider is http://www.grizzlycoolers.com/

Jul 05, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Fissler OP, De Buyer Affinity or Sitram for a gas range?

Tanuki Soup should be along to extol the virtues Fissler which is very good.

Demeyere Atlantis is going to be a lot easier to source in the USA and is comparable to De Buyer Affinity. The Affinity has a more "French" flair and riveted handles, versus the Atlantis which is Belgian with welded handles.

Sitram while good serviceable cookware is not in the same league as the other premium options.

Jun 25, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Raised centers in cookware

I don't like the cheap pans that SPIN when they are heated so, having a "moat" at room temperature is a benefit to me as longs it flattens when heated.

Glass cooktops seem to make this an issue in today's marketplace even though it has been present for a long time with electric coils too.

Jun 25, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Side Towels: Linen, Cotton, or Cotton/Linen Blend

European fabric products are built to last and it shows in both the quality/durability and the price. I hope H&M and Wal-Mart don't change that.

Jun 25, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Brand New Lodge 12'' skillet caught fire on first use

Try peanut oil if you can. It will take a lot of heat before it smokes.

Jun 25, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Dexter-Russell or Forschner/Victorinox Chef's Knife?

I actually prefer the 9" model over the 8". The blade shape is subtlety different and works really well for me, it's not just the extra inch that makes me prefer it.

Jun 25, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Brand New Lodge 12'' skillet caught fire on first use

What oil did you use? Some oils have a lower smoke point than others.

If the handle was cool enough to grab bare handed but, the oil flamed up you didn't preheat the pan enough and had the heat too high which put a hot spot over the burner while the rest of the skillet was relatively cool.

Jun 23, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Private Staub & Miyabe knife sale on Zwilling site...

Duffy,

I have a reputable knifemaker in the SouthEast that is interested in your possible project. He referred to it as "CAKE" :-)

He did want to see a picture of your knife to make sure it was what he thought it was. Check your email ;-)

Best Regards,
Sid

Jun 23, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware

Good Moderately Priced Knives with Lifetime Warranty and Sharpening

Tojiro knives are where I would start. The Shun's I have held were more of a German pattern and I really like the thinner Japanese style and especially the Gyuto with the French style low tip.

The Zhen knives are another alternative worth consideration.

Jun 22, 2014
Sid Post in Cookware