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Tabletop wok burner?

I don't even know why; this output is higher than what Rinnai (and any other Japanese gas range manufacturers) sells in Japan and Taiwan-- the maximum there is 5.24kW/h, or just under 18,000 btu; the standard is 4.2kW/h, just under 15,000btu.

May 30, 2011
SamCurt in Cookware

Tabletop wok burner?

A little perspective from a former Hong Konger: an average home-style gas cooker would have the maximum output of 21,600 btu for each of the 2 burners. When we stir-fry, we turn to the max.

Yes: In the US, nothing short of a professional-grade cooktop can get this much power.

(For reference, I was talking about this Rinnai-manufactured cooktop, costing the equivalant of $269.99 in HK: http://www.towngasappliance.com/Eng/P... )

May 30, 2011
SamCurt in Cookware

Mini-prep or single-serve blender?

I live in a rented apartment with my wife, and we share our cooking together. We're thinking of buying an appliance to deal with some blending needs associated with our cooking. However:

1. As we move into SE Asian cooking, the "dry" component of the spice pastes would need something powerful to grind, say, cumin or peppercorn. This rules out most food choppers.

2. There isn't much space in the apartment kitchen, so regular blender/food processors are also out.

So that left us with two options:

a. A Mini-prep, by brand--only Cuisinart's can grind seeds. Not even Kitchenaid.
b. A single-serve blender with a blending blade-- if I pursue this option, I would choose Cuisinart or Tribest which have better reputations.

Should we be using that for cooking, I'd certainly go for the Mini-prep. However, my wife have said she wanted to make smoothies herself for years, and it sounds a bit awkward to make smoothies in a mini-prep. So I wonder if anyone can answer any these questions:

i. Have anyone tried making smoothies with a Miniprep, suppose we don't chop ice?
ii. Can single-serve blenders actually do an acceptable job in blending, pureeing and grinding?

Thanks to all in advance!

May 29, 2011
SamCurt in Cookware

Spice grinders

Even after reading on Chowhound on grinding spices, I still couldn't make a decision on my needs, especially what I'm trying to make are Thai-style wet pastes.

I and my wife have little problem about using mortar and pestle with dry spices, but could hardly break the (relatively) tough fiber from chile and shallots, and decided to get something electric. After surveying the market, it is clear a coffee grinder is too small for our use. I see three choices here:

1. A Cuisinart Mini-prep, by brand--it's the only chopper that can grind seeds.
2. A regular blender with an appropriate attachment, such as Oster's mini-jar, or
3. A single-serve blending system (i.e. Magic Bullet-style, but I probably would get a better brand).

Anybody have an idea on which is a better choice?

May 27, 2011
SamCurt in Cookware

Canned coconut milk vs Reconstituted Creamed Coconut

For your reference:

ISO standard coconut milk has 18% fat, while coconut cream has 25%. Even this small differential in fat content has important ramifications in making Malay food, so it seemed.

Sep 16, 2010
SamCurt in Home Cooking

Canned coconut milk vs Reconstituted Creamed Coconut

It seemed that we're referring to different things; what I mean by "creamed coconut" is basically desiccated coconut pressed into a bar with its natural fats.

Sep 15, 2010
SamCurt in Home Cooking

Canned coconut milk vs Reconstituted Creamed Coconut

An ISO-standard can of Thai coconut <b>milk</b> is 400mL with 18% fat content, ie 72g of fat. This is exactly the amount of in half a block of <b>creamed coconut</b>, and I have read a bit about people reconstituting creamed coconut and used that as if it is coconut milk.

However, I found no discussion about how would canned coconut milk and reconstituted creamed coconut taste differently. Anyone have ideas?

Sep 14, 2010
SamCurt in Home Cooking

Stewing hen or Free-range chicken for chicken broth?

Hi,

I'm going to make for the first time chicken broth that I'd use for my cooking. I have the recipe ready, but my problem is that of chicken.

Specifically, I can get both stewing hen and organic free-range chicken in where I live (For the record the stewing hen is frozen) . Which one would be a better choice for making a chicken broth? Thanks!

Aug 15, 2010
SamCurt in Home Cooking

Pressure Cookers; cooking pressures, difference between Fagors, and two out of curiosity

As I'm choosing pressure cookers right now, and my budget will only support a Fagor, I have two questions here:

1. For those who use a Duo or Futuro: when do you use low pressure setting?

2. Fagor has 3 single-pressure lines: Rapida, Splendid, and Elite. While Rapida's difference to the other two is clear, how is Splendid and Elite different?

And two questions out of curiosity:

3. Although I'm sure all Presto pressure cookers are weight-valved, how do they succeed to use a dial-type mechanism in their Professional 8-qt (01370)?

4. Probably this is more on cooking than cookware: I have checked through the website of Hawkins, India's largest pressure cooker maker, and found something interesting. While natural and "forced" decompression are the norm for pressure cooking elsewhere, Hawkins mentioned a third more dangerous decompression method that seemed to be the norm in Indian cooking: lifting (not removing) the valve. (http://www.hawkinscookers.com/1.4.4.p... ) Their iconic Futura is such designed to remove the valve safely-- which begs they question: if the food are so delicate that it needs decompression as immediate as this, why use pressure cookers anyway?

May 09, 2010
SamCurt in Cookware

Slow Cooker or Roaster Oven?

I did consider induction cooktops, because it's easier to store and is compatible with my cookware-- but I don't know. The cheapest induction cooktop is $70 (+S&H), which is kind-of-sort-of still within my range-- the two things I mentioned in my OP were at the $50 range; just I don't know I need the 1kw+ power.

Aug 23, 2009
SamCurt in Cookware

Slow Cooker or Roaster Oven?

Size is really not an issue, as a 6-Qt Nesco is no bigger than a slow cooker that capacity.

Aug 22, 2009
SamCurt in Cookware

Slow Cooker or Roaster Oven?

Hi Chowhounds,

I need an electric cooker for slow cooking as my cooktop is so small that I can't even put two pieces of cookware on it.

Now the question is: I see on here or elsewhere that a roaster oven like Nesco can act like a slow cooker, and in the market a 6 qt. Nesco is on par with a 6 qt. slow cooker. So, are there any major difference in their cooking performance? Either way, I would mainly use them for braising and stews but not much on roasting.

Thanks for the answer!

Aug 22, 2009
SamCurt in Cookware