Eiron's Profile

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How and how often do you sharpen your knives?

For me:
Hand sharpening on stones, about once every 4 to 6 mos.

For you:
http://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Choice-Pr...

I have a friend who uses this on both his Japanese & German knives & loves it. I bought one for a relative (to use on the J-style knife I made for him) & he also loves it.

Apr 30, 2015
Eiron in Cookware
1

Bonavita vs. Brazen Plus

I've only seen the two machines side-by-side in pictures, but I tend to agree with your assessment based on my research into both machines. I also agree with your conclusion on the brew results (as did the video reviews linked earlier by Ray).

As long as we know what criteria are important to us individually as consumers, we can make choices that satisfy each of us. The TechniVorm satisfies MY criteria (as does a $10 Melitta pour-over), while the Bonavita doesn't.

But that doesn't mean much for the next buyer in line.

:-)

Apr 30, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Settling on a coffee making device

Hi Kaleo,

The knifemaking is on temporary hold while I relocate. All I can do at the moment is sharpening & minor repairs. I hope to have a workshop re-established by the middle of summer. :-)

AT&T "accidentally" cleared all of the info out of my email last September, so I no longer have your e-ddress. Send me a note when you get the chance so that I can keep you updated.

Apr 30, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Bonavita vs. Brazen Plus

Hi Ray,

Yes, I can agree with your conclusion from the results (which is different from the "tested differences" in the comparisons).

However, for me, there are more criteria than just the two of cost/taste. (Yes, I know I'm in the minority of eqpt buyers.) As a product & manufacturing designer & engineer, I want to know materials, workmanship, design features, durability, and sometimes other, less tangible, aspects of manufacturing (like worker treatment & short-/long-term environmental considerations). A continuous/recurring argument in favor of the Bonavita is its low price relative to the TechniVorm. There are reasons for that lower price, & most of them are not currently acceptable to me as a consumer.

Of course, I ALSO want my eqpt to deliver the desired results. As with any purchase, there are always compromises. We each have to decide which compromises we're willing to live with.

Apr 30, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Settling on a coffee making device

To keep my Chemex-brewed coffee warm, I first tried putting it back on the stove at the lowest setting possible. Eventually I resorted to transferring it to a regular thermos, & then pouring it from that. Not very elegant, but functional. There are also thermal blankets available for the Chemex, & I have a friend who simply wraps a towel around her Chemex.

I like your idea of keeping the Cuisinart & trying a pour-over. I think it will allow you to evaluate the method of a pour-over without the bias of switching over completely & "having to like it."

Apr 29, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Bonavita vs. Brazen Plus

Hi Ray,

Sorry, I'm not following you. From my understanding of the comments in the videos, the main tested difference appears to be "which brewer produces good coffee?" I made no distinction of coffee quality or flavor in my initial response, only brew method differences between the two machines selected by the OP.

What are you trying to tell me with the video links?

Apr 29, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Bonavita vs. Brazen Plus

They're completely different approaches to brewing. The Bonavita is a "regular" auto-drip, while the Brazen mimics a manual pour-over method.

For me, there's too many unknowns in the fabrication/construction of the Bonavita. (I have the TechniVorm, which enabled me to track down all of fabrication/construction/materials questions I had.) And I can't get comfortable with all of the programming in the Brazen. (If I want a pour-over, I'll just do it myself.)

Why have you eliminated the TechniVorm?

Apr 29, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Settling on a coffee making device

Hunting hint:

Sometimes they show up in the "Flower Vases" section.

:-)

Apr 29, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Settling on a coffee making device

Well, here's my take on the Cuisinart --
You don't like it.
Is it worth continuing to use it if it aggravates you? It wouldn't be for me.

I understand the cost thing. But how much is it worth to enjoy your tools? A Chemex is half of what you spent on the Cuisinart, & you're already drawn to it because of its simple elegance of design & wonderful results. The only hurdle to overcome is the dedicated process of 'manually' making coffee. Just don't ignore the other aspects that will now be demanded of you - waiting for the water to boil, repeatedly soaking the grounds, figuring out how you want to keep the coffee warm, hand-washing the carafe ... These things shouldn't stop you, but they may annoy you if you're not prepared for them.

I'm more practically-oriented, so I'd forgo the lure of the Chemex 'style' & buy a Melitta setup & a Zojirushi thermal carafe instead. It would cost about the same price as the Chemex alone, but would add thermal storage & a simplified clean-up.

Of course, you could always start hunting around at your local thrift stores, too ...
:-)

Apr 28, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Settling on a coffee making device

I'll throw in my recent experiences ...

I have an auto-drip machine with only a simple on/off switch (no grinder or timer for pre-set brewing). I love it. Very simple design that's easy to keep clean.

I recently had to change living arrangements that forced me to store my auto-drip machine for several months. In its place I used a Chemex brewer, since I could store it in a cupboard. (I grew up using a Melitta pour-over, which is the "practical" pour-over compared to the Chemex.) I picked up the 8-cup Chemex at a thrift store for $3, & bought a box of 100 filters for $8.

Man, was I missing my auto-drip machine! Yes, the coffee is good from the Chemex. But you have to be in the right mind-set for using it. If you're NOT in a hurry, it's a fine brewing method. But I found myself dreading making coffee to take to work. The carafe can't be put in the dishwasher, & the wood & leather shouldn't be submerged in the sink to wash it up. (Along with its price, this is where the Melitta's practicality comes comes into play.)

If your partner relies on the convenience of pre-set brew timing, then ANY pour-over is going to be the biggest aggravation in the house! (Unless, of course, you can get his agreement to give that convenience up.)

I enjoy pour-over brewing, so I'm keeping the Chemex since I already have it. But right now I don't even use it on the weekends. Of course, I don't use my French Press at home, either. :-) (I did buy a personal press to use at work because I refuse to drink the free Folgers they provide.)

Since you have a separate grinder, is there a reason why you don't want to replace the Cuisinart with something easier to keep clean?

Apr 25, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Looking for advice on possibly upgrading my knives.

Although not nearly as much fun as buying a new knife, I agree with having your current knives sharpened first. (Free factory sharpening, yes?) At the very least, this will "buy you some time" to figure out what you want in your next expensive knife.

I don't live in a big town, but our local thrift stores see a fair amount of used kitchen knives. I'd say buy you husband a waterstone (1000 grit should be good) & start searching the thrift stores for the *styles* (not brands) of knives you're interested in trying. Buy chef's knives, cook's knives, santokus - heck, you may even find something similar in shape to a gyuto. (I've found German Henckles & Wusthof, Swiss Forschner/Victorinox, Japanese Mac, & American Chicago Cutlery.) They'll likely need sharpening, which will give your husband plenty of practice before your expensive knife purchase.

This will give you a much better idea of what you like & (more importantly) don't like in a knife.

Or, if you'd rather not go thru all of this (& I can completely understand that feeling), just buy something you think you might like for around $50-$80 & live with it for a while. :-)

Oh, & I should say, I love using my Shuns! You *do* pay a little extra for the name & the appearance, & only you can decide if it's worth it. It was definitely worth it to me.

Apr 16, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

The Wonders of Science and Early Induction on Wood Surface

LOL -

"You can sit on your stove, read your paper, and fry your egg in your lap."

How about a "Got Huevos?" ad line? :-D

Thanks for the link!

Apr 10, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Sharp table knives

"It provoked a weird debate over whether a polite meal should ever include anything that is not already fork-tender and bite-sized!"

On Chowhound??

Of course it did!!

LOL!

Apr 08, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

To all Copper Lovers !

These are wonderful!

They remind me of the old 1930's, '40s, & '50s ads for high-end constructeur bicycles that I find equally enchanting. The enthusiastic prose and hand-drawn artwork display unbridled pride in their product.

Thank you for these!

Apr 08, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Why is it so difficult to find a bread knife?

Unless you're cutting hard, crusty breads, you don't need a serrated edge. The serrations help break thru the crust, but that's about it.

I get a much nicer cut thru my bread (& bagels) using my 8.3" gyuto than I do using my serrated bread knife.

Mar 29, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Shun Fuji vs. Miyagi Birchwood SG2 7" Santoku

Well, I didn't see either CBAD or Chem address this comment (& I've been purposefully staying out of the conversation), so I'll throw it out on the table:

"It is true that all Asian knives get more brittle as they get sharper, leading to chipping. That certainly includes all VG/10 core knives, including Classic knives made by Shun."

Actually, all of the experience (of mine & all others I've read) is the exact opposite of your statement. First off, there is no steel that will "get more brittle" as you sharpen it. The steel will be as brittle as it is when it's manufactured, after the tempering stage, sharpened or not. But perhaps you meant that thinning an edge (during sharpening) will allow a brittle steel to more easily chip?

Secondly, I believe the consensus on Shun VG-10 knives is that they become LESS chippy after several sharpening sessions, especially if they are hand-sharpened. Other manufacturers of VG-10 knives seem to have different tempering methods from Shun, and so don't experience the same degree of chippiness right out of the box.

Of course, as CBAD mentioned, I'm sharing this info not only for you, but also for those gaining knowledge from this discussion.

Mar 14, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

The search for a decent stovetop espresso maker (moka pot)

I bought one from my local kitchen shop, made by Alfa Inox. It makes moka coffee at least as good as the Bialetti aluminum pots. I used several Bialetti aluminum pots for more than 20 yrs before buying this stainless one. I used the Alfa for maybe eight years before getting my Quick Mill espresso machine.

(I noticed there's one for sale on Etsy right now.)

:-)

Mar 13, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Shun Fuji vs. Miyagi Birchwood SG2 7" Santoku

"<CBD is dead right>

I thought only Eiron calls him that. Guess not. :)"

You're close ...

I use CBAD

:-)

Mar 11, 2015
Eiron in Cookware
1

Good strong coffee at home

I would also recommend adding a moka pot alongside your drip brewer. That'll provide more satisfying results than trying to find one machine that'll "do it all".

Mar 08, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Good strong coffee at home

Actually, there IS a reason why you don't want to use espresso grind in your drip brewer:
over-extraction

Any coffee-making process is a balance between the beans & the water. Finer grinds require shorter water contact times, while coarser grinds require longer contact times. That's why espresso ("fast" in Italian) uses such a fine grind - it's extracted quickly - & why French press uses an extra-coarse grind for its long soak.

Putting extra-fine espresso grind in your drip brewer will provide a wonderfully astringent, bitter brew.

Mar 08, 2015
Eiron in Cookware
2

Shun Fuji vs. Miyagi Birchwood SG2 7" Santoku

I prefer Pakkawood over POM/acetal (Delrin), but the Birchwood is simply beautiful! :-)

Mar 03, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Shun Fuji vs. Miyagi Birchwood SG2 7" Santoku

Well, it's got the "traditional D-shaped style handle," & I don't see a lefty version offered at C&M (or SLT).

If you have a Bed, Bath & Beyond nearby (or SLT, or WS), they might carry either the Shun or Miyabi knives with this handle style. Not all BBBs carry all of the knives, so call first.

Mar 03, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Shun Fuji vs. Miyagi Birchwood SG2 7" Santoku

The (original?) Shun Kramers -
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/756181

I haven't tried the Zwilling Kramers yet, & I probably won't go out of my way to find them. As soon as I can get my shop relocated & set up, I'll be working on the revisions to my Provision Knives.
:-)

Mar 02, 2015
Eiron in Cookware
1

Shun Fuji vs. Miyagi Birchwood SG2 7" Santoku

Personally, I'd buy the Miyabi Birchwood.
I used the 8" gyuto in the Sur la Table store & preferred its balance, ergonomics & appearance over all of the Shuns & Kramers they had.

Mar 02, 2015
Eiron in Cookware
1

Best pot/pan (or cleaning technique) for low & slow scrambled eggs?

It's the constantly decreasing burner temp that allows the eggs to release from the pan. Your (Gordon's) method of removing/replacing the eggs over a hotter burner is what's causing your sticking problem.

If you don't want to (slightly) change the finish on your cooking method, I'm okay with that. I just didn't realize that was a fixed parameter.

Jan 17, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Best pot/pan (or cleaning technique) for low & slow scrambled eggs?

Sorry I didn't see this sooner.

The method I've arrived at is done on an electric ceramic cooktop stove, meaning it's VERY unresponsive to changes in burner temperature.

What I do for my own l-n-s scrambled eggs is cook them until they're close to being done, then turn OFF the burner & continuously stir the eggs as they finish on the cooling burner.

This method has always worked for me in either my AC Copper Core SS or Calphalon SS omelette pans. The pans finish almost completely clean of egg residue.
:-)

Jan 14, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Sharpening Stones

From my own experience, I use a Spyderco ceramic "medium" bench stone on all of my softer Forschner/Henckels/Wusthof knives. It's a little more expensive ($45), but it doesn't wear out or need any maintenance or prep other than an occasional cleaning with a green Scotchbright pad. I always splash it with water while I sharpen to help keep it from clogging up.

http://www.redsgear.com/spyderco-benc...

I can also tell you that a $25 "medium" grit Japanese waterstone is much faster cutting on these softer knives. But, as CBAD said, it'll take soaking prep & occasional flattening maintenance as it wears. I'd buy either a 1000 or 1200 grit to keep Forschners sharper than new.

http://www.mikestools.com/Sharpening-...

I like the faster cutting of the waterstones, but always use the ceramic on these softer knives because of its easy care & eternal life.

Jan 02, 2015
Eiron in Cookware

Can you help me identify this (Japanese?) knife?

I bought a very similar "Three Rams" #2 knife from a local thrift store. This website refers to it as a fruit knife:
http://www.chasesupplies.com/brands/T...

Sep 16, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

CBAD, I've finaly got the new handle design worked out. I've pushed the 'fall-off' point back a bit & kicked the underside 'hook' out. This should help a lot with balance, but allow me to maintain ergonomics with final wood shaping.

Yes, I think you're right (at this stage) regarding time spent on finishing. Thanks for the Murray Carter suggestion! I've been thinking of going with two lines (each of different finish), but I might just offer one with an 'option' for polish.

Sep 06, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

Thanks Chem! :-)

Sep 06, 2014
Eiron in Cookware