Eiron's Profile

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Farmhouse Sinks

We also put in a 2-bowl Rohl Allia fireclay sink, about 10 or 11 yrs ago. It's still the single best improvement we made to the entire kitchen, IMO. We installed the top mount version with all the holes for fixtures (model #6327).
http://www.rohlhome.com/Kitchen/Produ...

Like Duffy describes with her Kraus, the Allia gave us HUGE amounts of extra washing-up area compared to the standard SS sink it replaced, due to all of the space created by the cast walls & small-radius corners!

Feb 28, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Olive oil dispenser for easy cooking

Hi Kaleo,

Yes, I agree on the sizes. The smallest I've found (online) is 2 liter. I'm not sure how much my cousin's fusti holds. Of course, you could always fill it only 1 liter full at a time. We go thru a fair amount of olive oil, so the convenience would be the biggest benefit for me.

I think the tops are all wide for easy filling from a bulk tin of oil? I look at oxidation with an eye towards "air exchange rate". If I had a 2 ltr fusti, then the gradual replacement of oil with a small amount of air is not so much of a concern (to me) because it's trapped inside the fusti. I wouldn't have a constant exchange of new oxygen to break down the oil. But that's just me ....

I did find one online vendor who recommended putting a shot of "Private Preserve" inert gas into the fusti when you use out of it. (Oddly enough, they DIDN'T mention filling your bulk tin with gas after you pour from it into your fusti!) I'm not sure I would care enough to go to that amount of trouble. I don't do it with my opened wine or olive oil now, so ....

:-)

Feb 28, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Olive oil dispenser for easy cooking

My cousin uses a small fusti, & I'm thinking of getting one myself:
http://www.amazon.com/M5-Corporation-Stainless-Sanitation-Foundation/dp/B0088IL28U

In the meantime, I'm using a large beer bottle with an attached stopper. If you're not using steel or ceramic, brown glass seems to be the way to go to protect your liquids from damaging sunlight.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2979/are-brown-bottles-better-for-beer

http://brokensecrets.com/2010/03/23/w...

Feb 28, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Fixing a Jura yourself?

If you're handy, then I say go for it. A locked grinder might be something as simple as a rock mixed in with the beans (yes, I've had it happen several times) that jammed up in the burrs, or (even simpler) someone adjusting the grinder to a finer setting with the grinder off (also jams up the burrs). That might've led to a blown fuse internal to the machine.

BUT .... I know nothing about Jura machines specifically, only the espresso eqpt that I own & have worked on.

Just be careful about getting it apart. Some of these machines are designed for ease of assembly, NOT ease of repair. You don't want to end up stripping screws or breaking interlocking panel tabs trying to fix it yourself.

Don't hesitate to ask questions if you decide to start taking it apart yourself!

Feb 13, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Technivorm or Bonavita?

I think it's a personal preference issue. Technically, glass is less reactive than stainless. The question is, can YOU tell the difference? (I can't.)

Of course, then you also need to follow that same preference all the way thru. It's not just a question of "what is the carafe made of," but also "what is the entire brew path made of" and "what am I drinking out of." For example, I never drink my coffee from a glass cup or mug, but I frequently drink it from a stainless thermal mug or (horrors!) a plastic thermal travel cup!

For me, the benefits of a superior machine made to higher quality standards (Technivorm) outweighs any imperceptible taste difference.

Feb 10, 2014
Eiron in Cookware
2

I need a knife!

Google "lettuce knife".

Jan 20, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Tell me more about the "bagel" setting in your toaster

Our GE toaster's "bagel" setting reduces the heat to the outside of the bagel, only warming that side. If you look into our toaster with that setting selected you can easily see that the heating coils are darker/colder on the outside coils.

Jan 18, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Which whetstones to get for my Global knives?

Well, yes & no. These are definitely "sharpening" devices, but they do sell a model (the yellow one) as a "polishing/honing" device.

You can find the "complete set" here:
https://secure.edgemaker.com/sections...

To grampart's point, yes, they are intended to be sharpeners & yes, they do, in fact, remove metal.
I have a set myself.

To Cynic's point, no, they are not honers that do not sharpen.

Jan 17, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Lefty needs a knife!

Then, there are "typical" knives from other countries that are distinctly 'handed'. I have a Foshan #2 Fruit Knife with an edge that is definitely ground right-handed. The left side of the blade is slightly hollow-ground, while the right side is slightly convex-ground.

http://www.chasesupplies.com/products...

I have no idea if they even make a left-handed version, but a lefty using this knife would be at a distinct dis-advantage. Of course, this is all focused on the blade grind, not the handle. The handle is 'neutral', but the knife is definitely designed to be used right-handed.

Jan 17, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Which whetstones to get for my Global knives?

I would either go for a single 1000 or 1200 grit Japanese waterstone, or the 'medium' grit Spyderco ceramic bench stone.

The waterstone is less expensive ($25 vs $35) & will cut a little faster, but requires some prep (soaking) & maintenance (flattening), & will slowly wear down over the years.

The ceramic is 'splash & go', requires no maintenance, & will last forever.

Jan 17, 2014
Eiron in Cookware
1

Which whetstones to get for my Global knives?

Actually, these things ARE sharpeners (I have a set). The rods are grooved & hardened - on softer steels like most of the popular brands are made of, they can remove quite a bit of metal! I don't care for the results, but they do a pretty quick job & are better than never sharpening.

Jan 17, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Are Victorinox Knives Best Bang For Buck?

I love my Forschner Rosewood knives! I agree that they're the best-looking/best-performing knives at that price point!

I have the 3-1/4" parer, the 7" santoku, & the 8" bread knife. Sharpening is a breeze on the straight-edged knives (parer & santoku). I use a Spyderco medium-grit ceramic bench stone. The santoku gets used the most, so it's the one that gets sharpened most frequently. Even so, it only "needs" it about twice a year, along with a dab of mineral oil on the handle.

Go Rosewood! :-)

Jan 16, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

knife to cut fresh/soft bagel

My gyuto cuts bagels better than my serrated bread knife. My cousins both use non-serrated knives to cut their bagels (one uses a gyuto, the other uses a santoku).

So, my vote goes for a thin, sharp, non-serrated knife.

:-)

Jan 15, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Which whetstones to get for my Global knives?

I agree that you'll only need either a 1000 or 1200 grit stone to get your Global sharper than it was from the factory. If you want a finer grit for polishing the edge, I'd recommend a 4000 grit. It's a big jump from 1000 to 6000 & just makes things more difficult for someone just starting out with sharpening. I also recommend starting out with single stones rather than combo stones. You'll get 'more for your money' that way.

Jan 11, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Did I ruin my All-Clad LTD pan?

Hey Chem,

They were there when I bought the pan. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I still haven't done anything with this pan! It still sits on my workbench with a bottle of CLR....

Dec 29, 2013
Eiron in Cookware

Six inch vs 8 inch cook's knives?

Having spent some time in Europe (and England in particular), I do recall that counter space is at much more of a premium than here in the U.S.. With that in mind, I can see where you'd be forced to use smaller cutting boards & shorter knives. In this situation, I'd agree that 6" knives are potentially more useful than 8" knives.

I agree with the other comments about avoiding a block set. For limited space counter work, I'd highly suggest considering a santoku. The straighter blade profile provides you with more "cutting length" than a typical curved cook's knife or chef's knife. It also has a good "working point" to the tip of the knife.

Have you looked at this style of knife yet?

Dec 29, 2013
Eiron in Cookware
1

Did I ruin my All-Clad LTD pan?

I found this older LTD pan at a thrift store: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8990...

Not only has the exterior of the pan become so oxidized from being washed in the dishwasher that it now looks chalky, but the exterior also has fine, hairline cracks running around it. (Since I bought it used, I can't be 100% sure that it was the dishwasher that caused the cracks.)

Dec 27, 2013
Eiron in Cookware

Inexpensive (cheap) Chef's knife

I've been describing them to people as "a Japanese-style cook's knife."

That seems to register with folks as "smaller than a chef's, but bigger than a utility knife."

Dec 27, 2013
Eiron in Cookware
1

Knife for ME!

Between your two choices, I'd go for the Kaizan. The flatter blade profile of the Miyabi will give their 8" gyuto as much cutting length as the 10" Shun, but will be more 'nimble' on the cutting board. (And it will feel WAY longer than your 6" Ikon!)

Realistically, you won't want to rock chop with the Shun anyway. It's too hard & thin, so rock chopping will only promote chipping of the blade's edge. And if you're not rock chopping, then I don't see a huge reason to get the curved profile of the Shun chef's knife.

I have several Shuns but I've not held the Kaizan line, so I can't give you a comparison.

Dec 19, 2013
Eiron in Cookware

I what to buy a cappuccino machine

At that budget level, probably the first Super-Auto I'd consider would be the Quick Mill Monza:
http://www.chriscoffee.com/Quickmill-...

Dec 19, 2013
Eiron in Cookware

Does anybody LIKE their ceramic cooktop?

Sure, my wife loves ours.

But then, she's not really doing much cooking on it. She loves the way it looks, though. ;-)

We've had ours for about 2 yrs now. I'm usually the one doing any kind of cooking beyond boing water (for pasta or veggies) or frying an egg in a Teflon pan. And I'm usually the one struggling with cleaning it. (The scratch-free "smooth cooktop scrub pads" & a razor blade (for the larger gobs) are my primary cleaning tools.)

Control? LOL! There ain't no control! Continually shuffling pans from hot spots to cold spots is the only way.

Lids? Like Duffy, I always either place them on the raised lip around the edge of the stove, angled onto a spoon rest, or off the stove completely (onto a trivet).

Dec 17, 2013
Eiron in Cookware
2

Espresso Machine

Be sure to let us know what you end up with & how you & your husband like it!

:-)

Dec 16, 2013
Eiron in Cookware

Why is it that all I want is another 10" chef's/gyuto knife?

Hi danlind3,

A couple of things jump out right away:
1) you want a knife with a curve conducive to rock chopping
2) you (maybe) want to try an 8" knife
3) you REALLY like the looks of the Shun Premier line

All three of these primary criteria point directly to your purchasing a Shun. The only thing I think of that doesn't mesh with your criteria is the inherent chippy-ness of ANY thin-edged VG-10 knife & your desire to rock chop.

You already have thin/light/curved in your 8" Victorinox, AND it's going to be chip-proof.

I understand your desire to acquire more. (I already have a couple of smaller Shun Classic knives, but I'd really like to get a 9" Miyabi Birchwood gyuto from SLT.)

I guess I'm just a bit confused by the slight conflict in your criteria. Can you narrow things down just a bit more?

Dec 13, 2013
Eiron in Cookware

Espresso Machine

Hi Allison,

The Silvia has both the better AND the worse reputation.

Better:
Makes a better shot.

Worse:
Harder to "get it right."

The more important question is, "What are you going to do for a grinder?"

In my opinion, You'd be MUCH better off spending $400 on a refurbished Baratza Vario grinder & the balance on the nicest Gaggia you can afford (Baby Twin instead of the Classic?).

https://www.baratza.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?listcategories

http://www.wholelattelove.com/compare...

I like the features of the Twin because the steam is heated separately from the (small) brew boiler, so you don't have to wait for the boiler to get hot enough to make steam, & you'll never run out of steam.

But that's really just my opinion. I don't own a Gaggia (I own a Quick Mill), but I do plan on upgrading my grinder to the Vario as soon as I can justify buying another grinder ....

Dec 13, 2013
Eiron in Cookware

~$100 to spend on chefs knife

Or, as an alternative to Scrofula's suggestion, you could do something like this to your existing knife:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8945...

Dec 13, 2013
Eiron in Cookware

~$100 to spend on chefs knife

"The reason I ask is because, well, going from a terrible knife to a $30 8" Victorinox is going to get you back about $35, and will perform so many leagues beyond what you're used to. If you're inexperienced with knives, I don't know that you'll necessarily appreciate an expensive, high quality knife... it's like a new amateur astronomer looking through the Hubble Telescope. It's going to be too much, to soon."

I respectfully disagree. I did it exactly the way you say not to, jumping from an uncomfortable, dull, 25 yr old made-in-China Farberware knife to a sleek J-knife:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/687113

Was it the best way? Well, it was for me. ;-)
__________________________________

"Learning to use a sharpening stone in the right way takes a lot of practice, and time. It's a skill worth learning,. certainly, but it's exacting. You have to hold the blade at the precise angle to get the edge right (although I believe they do now sell wedge angle spaces for sharpening newbies now) to sharpen the edge in just the right manner."

I also made the jump from pull-thru sharpeners to waterstones at the same time. While it DOES take practice to get it right (what doesn't?), I learned that you really DON'T need to keep the angles all that precise in order to get a better-than-factory edge.

Obviously, my feeling is that if vonshu wants to jump into the middle of the pool rather than wade in from the shallow end, then that's what s/he should do.

Dec 07, 2013
Eiron in Cookware
1

~$100 to spend on chefs knife

"Will a $150 knife be noticeably better than a $50 knife? Yes, it will be. Will a $300 knife be noticeably better than a $150 knife? Maybe."

Like everything else, it depends on your criteria. I can think of several $150 knives I'd like much less than several $50 knives. And my $200 knife is far superior to my $100 knife. But then, I probably have different criteria than you do. :-)

Dec 06, 2013
Eiron in Cookware

~$100 to spend on chefs knife

"Ultimately, the things that matter most in a chef's knife are versatility (it should be the most useful knife in your kitchen) and results in actual use-- not how beautiful the knife is."

Humans are funny animals...

"Ultimately," perhaps, but the appearance of any tool can both directly & indirectly influence the user. I know this from a couple of decades of designing hand tools for both manufacturing & lab testing environments. I can definitely say that "beauty" has a very real affect on the user of the tool.

Now, that doesn't mean that function should take a back seat to appearance - quite the opposite! Form should definitely follow after function. But, once the function is there, non-functional embellishments (like Damascus cladding on a chef's knife) can certainly influence whether or not the user even WANTS to use the tool.

There are also the tactile cues we get from our tools. For example, I wouldn't buy a Victorinox Fibrox knife simply because I prefer holding a wood handle. For me, the Forschner/Victorinox Rosewood knives are far preferrable to the Fibrox versions of the same knives!

As long as appearances aren't the primary purchasing criteria, there's nothing wrong with wanting a beautiful knife.

But that's just my opinion. :-)

Dec 06, 2013
Eiron in Cookware

~$100 to spend on chefs knife

Good points! (As long as the OP is willing keep looking if there's nothing worthwhile at first!)

It's been a few years, but I found a Henckels Four Star 8" chef's knife for only $30. Hard to beat that kind of a deal!

Dec 06, 2013
Eiron in Cookware

Help me pick a $50 paring knife

"In many ways, I see the length being a much bigger issue for a paring knife than for a Chef's knife."

I agree!

How have you been liking & using your 150mm? Haven't you had it close to a year now?

Dec 05, 2013
Eiron in Cookware