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Beef oxtail

So, which did you go with?

Feb 12, 2014
sumrtym in Home Cooking

What size crock pot?

I second this. We have one and it's perfect. Nice having all 3 sizes available in one unit.

Feb 12, 2014
sumrtym in Cookware

Beef oxtail

She suggests serving this over buttered egg noodles or polenta.

The oxtails need to marinate for 1 to 2 days before braising (Step 1).

Braised oxtails taste delicious as soon as they are ready. And they taste even better if you refrigerate them for a day or two in their braising liquid -- either on the bone or off. To serve, heat the oxtails in the braising liquid in a covered baking dish in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

The recipe follows:

About 5 lbs oxtails, cut into 1-1/2" to 2" pieces

THE MARINADE:
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp allspice berries
4 whole cloves
Three 5" leafy fresh rosemary sprigs, broken into 1" pieces
2 bay leaves, broken in half
1 tsp coarse salt
One 750-ml bottle dry red wine, preferably Sangiovese or Chianti

THE AROMATICS & BRAISING LIQUID:
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
3/4 cup warm water
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 lb pancetta in one thick slice, cut into 1/2" dice
1 large yellow onion (about 8 oz), coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 TBSP tomato paste
2 TBSP grappa or brandy
1-1/2 cups beef, veal, or chicken stock, or more as needed

1. Trimming and marinating the oxtails - 1 to 2 days in advance: Trim any excess fat from the oxtails, but don't trim off any of the silver membrane that attaches the meat to the bone.
Lay a 6" square of cheesecloth on a work surface. Put the peppercorns, allspice, cloves, rosemary, and bay leaves in the center of the cheesecloth, bring up the corners, and tie with kitchen string to form a little bundle. Place the oxtails in a bowl (not plastic) or a gallon-size heavy-duty zip-lock bag. Tuck the spice bundle in with the oxtails. Sprinkle over the salt, and pour over the entire bottle of wine. Cover the bowl or close the bag and refrigerate, turning the oxtails every 12 hours or so, for 1 to 2 days.

2. Soaking the porcini mushrooms: Soak the mushrooms in the warm water for 20 to 30 minutes to soften.

3. Browning the oxtails: Heat the broiler on high. Remove the oxtails from the marinade, reserving the wine and spice bundle. Dry the oxtails with paper towels and arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet or broiler tray. Broil the oxtails about 4" from the broiling element, turning with tongs to brown all sides, until they are a beautiful dark brown but not charred, about 25 minutes total. Keep close by while the oxtails are browning, as they can go from perfectly browned to badly charred very quickly if ignored. Set aside, and lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

4. The aromatics: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other braising pot (6 to 7 qt) over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, onion, carrot, and celery and season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the pancetta renders some of its fat and the vegetables brown in spots, 10 to 12 minutes. A deep brown crust will form on the bottom of the pot. Add the garlic, then stir in the tomato paste so that it coats the vegetables and pancetta. Saute for another minute or so. By now the bottom of the pot should be quite dark but not at all burnt.
Lift the porcini mushrooms from the soaking liquid, reserving the liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms and stir them into the pot. Strain the mushroom soaking liquid through a triple layer of cheesecloth or a coffee filter to catch any sand or grit. Set aside.

5. The braising liquid: Pour the grappa or brandy into the pot, and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen the crust as best you can. Bring to a boil. Pour in about half the reserved marinade, bring to a boil, and boil until reduced by about half, about 6 minutes. Pour in the remaining wine, add the spice bundle, and boil again until reduced by about half, another 6 minutes or so. Add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid and the stock and boil until the liquid is reduced by half, about 15 minutes. The bubbles will begin to appear more sluggish as the liquid thickens somewhat. By reducing the liquids in stages like this, you are building a more complex layering of flavors than you would if you added them all at once.

6. The braise: Arrange the oxtails in the pot, tucking them in as close together as possible. Cover with parchment paper, pressing it down so that it nearly touches the oxtails and the edges hang over the sides of the pot by about an inch. Set the lid in place and slide the pot into the lower third of the oven to braise gently until the meat is completely tender and pulling away from the bone, about 4 hours. After the first 10 or 20 minutes, check to see that the liquid is not simmering rapidly. If necessary, lower the oven temperature by 10 or 15 degrees. Turn the oxtails with tongs about halfway through cooking, and check that there is enough liquid in the pot. If it appears to be drying out at any time, add 1/2 cup of water.

7. The finish: Transfer the oxtails to a platter or dish and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Remove the spice bundle, squeeze it gently with tongs or press it against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as you can, and discard. The braising liquid and vegetables will have cooked down to a rather thick, jam-like mix. Tilt the pot, and skim off most of the surface fat with a wide spoon. Don't be too fastidious -- a bit of fat adds tremendous flavor. Taste and evaluate the braising liquid. It should be deeply caramelized and concentrated, a sort of savory compote. If you would like it more deeply concentrated, boil over medium-high heat to reduce. If, on the other hand, the braising liquid is too thick for your taste, add 1/4 cup water or stock to loosen it up. Taste for salt and pepper, and keep warm over low heat.

8. Serving: If you're serving the oxtails on the bone, place them on a small bed of the braising vegetables and juices on the plate. If you prefer the meat off the bone, use a small knife to cut and tear the meat from the bones, discarding the bones and leaving the meat in chunks. Return the meat to the pot to heat through. Serve the boned meat with the cooked-down braising juices and vegetables ladled over the top.

Feb 09, 2014
sumrtym in Home Cooking

Beef oxtail

'All About Braising' by Molly Stevens has a wonderful recipe. If you don't own the book, I'll be happy to type the recipe in for you (unless that's against a Chow rule). It does require a few days to marinate.

I know someone on Chowhound after trying this recipe declared it the best oxtail they had ever tasted.

Feb 09, 2014
sumrtym in Home Cooking

Has anyone had any experience with the Pampered Chef Round Covered Baker?

We haven't used it yet, but have the RCB. Ours has a few scratches, but was free. I think the GF wants to try bread baking in it.

Feb 05, 2014
sumrtym in Cookware

Help Choosing New Staub Dutch Oven

I've got a 8.whatever qt (I think a lot of places just call it a 9 qt now) round Staub, the girlfriend bought a 4 qt round Staub, and I just bought a 4 qt braiser from Staub.

If you're just buying one, I'd vote for the 9 qt. You can always place a piece of parchment paper in it to make it smaller for less large meals / filling it.

I personally like the Staub over LC for the handles, lids, colors, and interior.

Jan 29, 2014
sumrtym in Cookware
1

Williams-Sonoma Staub in Emerald sale

IN STORE, not online. As I said, they won't be carrying the Emerald color IN STORE anymore, so it's on clearance THERE.

Jan 11, 2014
sumrtym in Cookware

Williams-Sonoma Staub in Emerald sale

The Emerald color they just started carrying recently at Williams-Sonoma isn't going to be carried in store in the future. As such, all Staub items in Emerald are 50% off on clearance. For this weekend, there's an additional 20% off clearance items.

I just purchased a 4 qt Staub braiser (saute pan), which is a size I've been wanting forever, in the Emerald color (had planned on Basil at some point) for $103.xx + tax.

Jan 11, 2014
sumrtym in Cookware

Additional pieces to Cuisinart French Classic set, feedback needed

Ya, that store causes me some serious heartache about August when Halloween merchandise starts coming in.

I ended up going with a 5.5 qt saute pan.

Jun 05, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

Quoting one brand as another is valid. Wow, just wow. Must be because they aren't green in color. That's where the kool-aide comes in. You're actually defending quoting a totally different product with problems that isn't relative to the other to defend your BGE choice, something I never said was a problem to begin with. All because how dare there be a better product. Better discredit it by talking about asbestos, or how about we'll talk about ANOTHER product, not even this one? Just LOL at you're spinning in a circle.

Actually, Whiz bought another unit. You need to read what he wrote. Regarding the first one he reviewed that was a repaired unit (it was damaged in shipment after all) which yes, he bought a a discount because of this and later sold....

...."Well, that cooker served us well. We cooked a lot of ribs and paella on the cooker, but it wasn't the color we wanted and it had a textured surface, not tile. We finally decided that we wanted a cooker in tile in the color we wanted, a cooker that had not been repaired, and of course, a cooker with all the new and latest improvements (are there are a bunch!). So back in May of this year (2011), we sold the 2006 cooker. At the end of June, we picked out a tile and color and placed our order. It arrived in early August. That's five weeks to build and ship the cooker from Indonesia which is pretty impressive. "

So ya, he actually BOUGHT 2. He sold the first since it wasn't the color he wanted. So you can stick that attitude of yours where it belongs questioning his integrity about the review. He gets lump in all the time for tests and gives glaring reviews when it's bad, ripping it a new one. But again, not everyone shares your ethics.

There are not made in the same plant and saying so shows how little you know. You just throw around crap with no knowledge of the history of EITHER company. If you'd done your research you'd know that Dennis (and everyone calls him Dennis) did hire Kamado employees when RJ skipped his bills, smashed the molds, and left his employees high and dry. Dennis owns a Teak furniture / flooring business, and simply expanded his operations at HIS PLANT to include the cookers after a complete re-design with quality in mind. I think he removed some of the bad workers who had some RJ ethics, much like you've been showing, during the next year. They now have as much in common as a Big Steel Keg does to a BGE, other than being hand tiled. Also, he since moved his entire operations sometime in the last few years. The Kamdo was and is made of portland cement....and crumbles...and loses tiles. If you ever actually receive it. Do you see ANYONE talking about fraud or disappointed in a KK? Find it for me (I'll hold my breath given you can't even keep 2 companies straight, although you do seem good at finding what isn't there., aka falsehoods).

BTW, Kingsford also had special KK's made for a giveaway as well as rewards to some of their employees in blue / white tile. I don't know why they didn't just contact BGE to paint some blue / white ones. Unless of course they wanted something better.

"Just sayin. :)" , TradeJoe? More like just lying.

BTW, if you want links, I'll be happy to give them to you for anything I posted. There's a few from different bbq focused forums / sites, some from the KK forum, Naked Whiz, and the ones about the egg bands slipping etc actually come from the egghead forum. BTW, the egghead forum is also where I can see tons of posts about people breaking their rain caps by forgetting to remove them from the BGE, and people telling them you're not a real egghead till you break it and JB Weld it back together.. You can find many more if you'd like to search yourself too.

Oh, and yes, I have spoken with Dennis time to time. Imagine actually talking to the head of the company. He even called me once when I was questioning him about tile choices (the actual types of tile used, not colors) when he was in the country, and I've been curious about the availability of a portable unit. He's such a perfectionist and of such integrity he won't rush one to market if things aren't meeting his expectations.

You do know the name for these types of cookers is a Kamado, right? So somehow calling it Komodo Kamado is intentionally to confuse you? Better get on the horn to Kamado Joe, California Kamado, Imperial Kamado, etc then. lol

Jun 05, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

Standard for you. The complaints are about the Kamado...not the Kamado Komodo. Maybe I should point to complaints about Primo and say there, that proves BGE sucks. LOL

Again, I'm not the one confusing one product with another. Or making false asbestos claims. Or talking about something that's not a problem if someone wanted one, i.e. tiles coming off. You seem to be the major one "ranting" to me.

Jun 05, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

No problem Tom. I can't see buying a Lexus over a Nissan Altima myself. :-)

However, you were going off on a guy about his opinion that a BGE is only marginally better than a weber kettle, then doing the same saying a KK to a BGE. I think the example of 16.5 lbs of coals keeping the cooker at 225 for over 80 hours says that's probably more than a marginal improvement when it comes to efficiency and air flow.

I know so much about them since I research my purchases. Hell, I research computer parts that cost a 30th of much with as much detail! lol

There will be a Dark Autumn Nebula KK in my future. Maybe a soon future if Dennis ever gets the portable version done. I think I could get away with a portable here since we can use charcoal grills (second story so weight is the main problem for moving, plus stairs).

I just have a problem with guys attacking a product because they can't admit there are actual improvements to it, or try to tear down one with excellent customer service by attacking it there. You ever seen how a KK is packed? Heck, I think he still mails a crowbar to help break the crate apart with it. Those things are packed better than any other grill, BGE included. Damage because a customs official left it unlatched after looking in one once seems like a silly thing to go on and on about like it's a common problem. It's not some magic formula you know. BGE isn't exactly light and I'd argue even more fragile, but they get shipped all over the country too, or do you think they just appear at dealers / in stores by magic? How many BGE's get damaged? If the company makes it right, do I really care about a 1% problem or less? If it's just too rich for your blood, nutt said, but don't go on and on about how there's nothing better about it. I've posted enough people who say otherwise, and own BOTH a BGE or KK (or used to have BGE before moving on). Again, you even have the rotisserie ability if you want it for cooking. You can't do that on a BGE. Costs aren't exactly 1:1 either as the Large BGE comes with one grill that's 255 sq inches (smaller, plus you have to buy a lot of accessories included KK price). The cost of the KK includes three high-end 3/8" stainless grills measuring 274 sq inches (upper / sear grill), main grill of 375 sq inches, and a lower / sear grill of 329 square inches. That's 978 sq inches of grill space included with the KK. By default, it's already almost 23% bigger than a large BGE if you only just look at the main grill area since it's a main grill you get with a large BGE at purchase.

Jun 05, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

Since you're being selective in your quotes, how about you quote the full thing.

....""They are sure pretty, but I hear the tiles all fall off" is a typical comment. Well, early Komodo Kamado cookers did have a few tiles come off, but nothing like the massive tile loss seen on the other brand. But almost four years ago Komodo Kamado made tile loss a distant memory when they introduced a tile adhesive and grout made from an acrylic elastomeric compound that can expand and contract along with the cooker when it is heated and cooled"

Distant memory, 'nuff said. And if any did on the early versions, Dennis made it right with the owners. Find me an example where he didn't if you think otherwise. I guess I could dig back to the first BGE and post what all was wrong there too. But BGE hasn't improved their product in how many decades? Hell, they won't even go to stainless, something that a lot of other Kamado style cookers are / have done.

Make darn sure you buy freight insurance...interesting, considering if one was damaged in freight the customer got an entire new KK shipped to him.

No asbestos, the data sheets on the materials are available directly from the manufacturer. You know they use refractory materials in pizza ovens, etc, too, right? In fact, I think it was RJ of Kamado started that rumor...you know, the guy who has a fraud forum devoted to him. In fact, I think he continued right into lunacy saying they actually explode. I'm surprised you didn't go there too. But hey, why don't I just say something like "Mexico made BGE green paints / glazes all contain lead, no matter what anyone tells you." Except that would be a lie, and worse, unethical. I'm not that guy.

Two months is about the longest wait, and you're getting your choice of tile. On top of that, new containers hit the states about every month usually with what, a dozen or so that weren't pre-purchased already so you can get one a bit faster if you don't care color or they happen to have yours already made.

I'd rather read cut and paste quotes than made up BS. Remember, you're the one brought Naked Whiz into this. He owns BGE's...and he has bought 2 KK's since then. I just quoted his reviews on how they're better. You got a problem go scream at him for violating some unwritten BGE cult rule about admitting there's a better grill out there.

Enjoy the kool-aid.

Jun 05, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

You mean when you say the Whiz had, you mean the one Naked Whiz had don't you? The one Dennis arranged the Naked Whiz to take when it was damaged being delivered to another customer, Dennis helped with repairs of, all so Naked Whiz could review it? Sounds almost confident he let a guy known for his BGE love and lump charcoal tests review a damaged one. How about the full history of that anyway....

...."When customs opened the cooker for inspection, they didn't latch the lid correctly, and as a result the cooker was damaged during the truck ride across the country from Los Angeles to Raleigh. Komodo Kamado shipped an entirely new replacement to that customer."

I'd call that customer service. And after that I believe Whiz purchased another KK. As I said, he's a big BGE man, but he must have seen some value / something he liked as it's now his second KK he has bought.

How about I quote from his review further....

...."So while the dome of the Egg was scorching hot to the touch, you could leave your hand anywhere on the Komodo Kamado's dome for at least a couple of seconds. Clearly the Komodo Kamado is keeping far more heat inside the cooker and of course, the exterior of the Komodo Kamado stays at a lower temperature should one come into contact with it.

What does this mean in practical terms? As we noted in our first review, two things. A more efficient cooker uses less fuel, so less charcoal expense than a less efficient cooker of the same size. But also, a more efficient cooker means that you need a smaller fire to maintain a particular temperature. And as we should all know by now, a smaller fire means the cooker is ingesting and expelling less air. Lower airflow means less moisture from the food is carried away by the air and thus you should experience better results in your cooking."

If you want full details about the materials, packing, pictures, quality, etc., you can read his full review. His conclusion.....

...."What a wonderful cooker! We can honestly say we were more excited about purchasing this cooker than we were when we bought our first Big Green Egg. The heat retention is phenomenal so the Komodo Kamado requires a smaller fire to maintain any given temperature. You are going to find this cooker's efficiency means less fuel consumption and more moist meats than less expensive cookers of a similar size. The grids are monstrous. The lid is easy to open and close and it seals airtight. It has enormous cooking capacity. The 978 square inches of cooking space is tops in the ceramic cooker industry. There's the two-piece fire box which will never crack. And on and on and on. Basically, everything has been designed with the goal of improving on every other cooker on the market. The materials used are top notch, many of them innovative. The looks are gorgeous. It’s a dream to cook on. All in all, there is virtually nothing we would want to improve on this cooker. We say virtually because there were two minor items we noted in the review which we would like to see improved (and have been told by the manufacturer are now in the works): the chamfering of the end of the hinge pin and the positioning of the handles on the main and lower grids.

Another consideration when selecting a cooker is the customer service. Since we received our first cooker in 2006, we have seen nothing but the very best in customer service. You can buy a Komodo Kamado cooker knowing that if something is wrong, Komodo Kamado will make it right, no if’s, no and’s, no but’s.

And of course a question that often comes up about Komodo Kamado cookers is if they are worth the money. Everyone has to determine value for themselves, but we look at it as a Ford vs. Ferrari sort of decision. Sure, the Ford will get you there, but wow! how the Ferrari will get you there. Sure, less expensive ceramic cookers produce good food, but wow! how the Komodo Kamado produces good food. Just like the Ferrari will give you a superior driving experience, the Komodo Kamado will give you a superior ceramic cooking experience.

So if you like having the best, if you like knowing your cooker has been designed to be the best and built with the finest components and materials, if you want a cooker in your back yard that is also a beautiful work of art, if you want a cooker that performs at the highest level, then you will want to give the Komodo Kamado serious consideration. It is simply a stunning cooker. Stunning in its beauty, stunning in its design and stunning in its operation. We are pleased as punch to have our new cooker smoking away on our deck and give it our highest recommendation."

3 heavy duty 3/8" stainless steel grills, a heat deflector w/ stainless steel shield, stainless steel drip pan, and a full kit for a rotisserie to be added easily,all included in the price. The ability to add a rotisserie makes the KK the only ceramic cooker to have that option. The super heavy spring removing the weight of the lid from being a consideration.. The fact it's shape adds to more even cooking (although doesn't eliminate all hot spots, simply improves it). Every cooker before it ships is heated for 12+ hours and smoke tested, shipped to you fully assembled. Heck, if you want it, as an option you can even have a propane ignition system added to light your lump and get it burning well before turning off to cook on the charcoal.

You may think Naked Whiz is blowing smoke about efficiency, I mean, how big a difference can there be? How about a Gen 2.2 Komodo Kamado with a single bowl of charcoal lasting 85 hours at a steady 225º? That's a bit more than "might perform marginally better that a BGE egg". Before you ask, that was on about 16-1/2 lbs of charcoal.

Naked Whiz on his first review of a much earlier version of the KK said this:

..."The temperature of the dome on the Egg varied from 180 degrees at the lower edge of the dome to 245 degrees at the top of the dome near the upper vent. The Komodo Kamado varied from 110 degrees at the base of the dome to 160 degrees at the top near the upper vent. "

Translation...much more fuel efficient, more even temperature, lower airflow, higher humidity environment resulting in more moist food, all while leaving more charcoal for the next cook. Given it seals better too, it's a quicker shutdown / extinguish of flames preserving yet again, even more charcoal.

Jun 04, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

You're comparing a Dutch oven to a grill? Why not a TV to a car? I think I compared Dutch Oven to Dutch Oven, and yes, they're 3x as much if not more.

Jun 04, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

Actually, no ceramic tile failures on a KK. Kamado, yes, KK no. Different companies different people different construction.

Kamado of CA (entirely different company) with their cement Kamados had a problem because the body would slowly shrink as they dried tearing away from the static thin-set and grout. They also have problems because when the body inevitably expanded and contracted from heat the tiles and thin-set and grout would not move at the same pace.

Komodo Kamado's refractory materials are designed to release vapor thru micro polypropylene fibers in the refractory material which give the moisture/vapor a way to easily get out. The tiles are then attached with a high tech NASA spinoff industrial insulation which is elastomeric, meaning it moves and flexes with the body when heated. It also has nano ceramic spheres that additionally reflect heat back into the body.

I believe I said he broke the one in the picture due to negligence in how he moved it. I also quoted one broke from wind and another from kids, besides the ones earlier where the band slipped off the lid. Those were only a few quick examples.

I welcome your picture of a toppled and broken KK as I don't know any that have....

Jun 04, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

Just as a note, the stainless on the KK is a high quality 304 grade. Don't mistake it for cheap steel.

Regarding band issues on ceramics, quite a few people have had the problem with the bands loosening during high heat cooking (say pizza making for instance). This is true even if the bands were tightened per instructions / bend of bolts showing, etc.

Jun 04, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

Ask anybody that owns a French-made dutch oven over the Tramontina, Martha Stewart, etc. There's no shortage of those people here.

Jun 04, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

P.S. Just because you can't imagine the egg being knocked over, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Sometimes just by the wind if in a nest (the metal stand).

-"Alas - a strong wind knocked over my large egg and it broke into pieces. Now - my year old grill looks like Humpty Dumpty. I want to replace it but am wondering if there is a place to get discounted prices."

-"My kids knocked over my other one i got a couple of years ago and put a major crack in it (no minor feat)"

Picture below is someone who was moving it by the handle (big no-no) and hit that crack. Clearly his fault though, but shows you what happens if the egg tips over in a nest for another reason that isn't of your doing.

Jun 04, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

a) KK I've yet to hear of a problem with needing replacements of the firebox. The design incorporates expansion joints, which I believe BGE started to do recently. Also, the charcoal more sets in a stainless steel basket that hangs unlike other designs. Cracking a firebox would take a lot given the design.

b) KK gaskets are offset with the lid design. For one, it's a tighter, better seal. For another, it's a lot harder to burn the gasket. About the only way you'd do that is with a flashback. Less time needing to replace, if ever.

c) No bands to adjust, ever, on a KK. It's built into the shell. I'm glad you haven't needed to on yours. The quotes from the guys who's dropped on the concrete probably didn't think they needed to either though.

d) See c. Breaking isn't so much the problem. Slipping is.

e) Why aren't the parts stainless on a $800 grill? Man, even the vision ceramic grill sold cheaper than a BGE at Costco made in China comes with a full stainless stand. Again, on the KK, 82 lbs of high grade stainless, and no paint to fleck off / chip / repaint / etc. Heck, on the KK, even the airflow draft door is CNC laser cut from brushed stainless sheet.

f) I know of one personally knocked over by lawn care people and broken. They admitted it though.

g) Never said a BGE was bad, and certainly never said a "super expensive stainless" was better, which was probably even propane.

h) Personal choice.

i) Last I looked, there was no "fancy electronic controls" to fail on a ceramic cooker (unless you use a Stoker, BBQ Guru, etc). That's not where the price comes from. However, I do see lots of design improvements from the cap that works in a full-on rain storm without needing to make your own cover, to the lack of external bands with problems they can cause, to the spring assist opening that helps negate the weight of the lid / keeps it from coming crashing down if you dropped it. So, I'd say for that, it's the exact opposite of your example where you have more failure pts on the lower model than the higher.

j) Personal choice again. BTW, there are some uses for copper pans / bowls that make them better choices than any other. For example, making meringue. The copper molecules actually cause a chemical reaction resulting in a better product.

I wasn't putting down the BGE, but I believe I also gave examples of people who bought a KK whom owned a BGE and were very impressed / happier with the KK. I've yet to hear anyone buy a KK and after using it say it wasn't worth the money either, unlike your football player friend when it came to his stainless cooker after the BGE. There's no examples I know of regret when it comes to those who've purchased a KK, even among former "eggheads".

Considering we're on a cooking site, in a cookware section, I'm assuming some people might just be *gasp* into cookware as much as you were into fishing and shooting.

Jun 04, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

I found a few more, still not the one I was looking for. These words from a BGE owner:

"Our BGE is now in the side yard being seriously outclassed by the KK.

I had been using the BGE for nearly ten years in three different states cooking hundreds of meals, including some during mid-winter in deep snow cooking turkey early in the morning. With that experience, I appreciate my new KK cooker even more.

The KK cooker looks great and works great. People notice it. Rotisserie cooking is a fantastic capability. The KK design and build quality rate 10 out of 10. I keep on discovering features that have been thoughtfully designed into the KK. Customer service is fantastic."

Jun 04, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

Here's a picture, wasn't the one I was looking for...

Jun 04, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

Again, that's like saying though what all you could do to your kitchen if you didn't buy All-Clad, Staub, Le Creuset, Miele, Bosch, Pillivuyt, Apilco, etc. There's plenty of users on Chowhound rather than a select group who already made those decisions. Also, $3k isn't "unlimited funds". It may be beyond your comfort level for a grill. Buying a new car every 3-4 years is beyond my comfort level. Everybody has their own.

Given the construction on the KK, there's not much warranty need, but Dennis has been great with anyone who needed something. There's 82 lbs of high-grade stainless steel in a KK grill. You don't have to worry about your non-stainless BGE band loosening over time and because you forgot to check it, open the cooker and your top falls off and breaks. I've seen other ceramics knocked over before and broken...takes a bit more to knock over a 588 lb grill.

Again, everyone has their priorities but having a custom tiled cooking masterpiece that will look good far longer than a BGE or other grill with less maintenance needs is not out of line for the price, especially considering the quality of a lot of the grills being sold at $500-$800 or more. I wish I could find that picture I had of a BGE sitting next to a KK posted by an owner. Size, quality, etc, really become apparent side by side especially looking at the rust that developed on his nest, bands, etc. over use, and he had been a big BGE fan before ordering a KK. If you want to pick on an outrageous grill price, I suggest you look at the Viking C4 grill for over $3,000 (I think it used to be even higher).

http://www.frontgate.com/x/313819?Sou...

That thing is simply a Primo round grill (supplied by Primo I know for a fact) slid in a thin stainless jacket. That's it, no other difference. I'm willing to bet there's more stainless of a higher grade in a single KK than that entire cart / cooker of the Viking. There's a big difference between the features / quality of a KK and that and other ceramic grills, and a hand-tiled, better insulated, better designed with better materials grill is of course going to cost more.

EDIT: Before you say I'm making up the band issue on a BGE, which to me is a failure of design corrected in the KK, here's just a couple posts (I can find 100's more). Are there tons of people as well never broke a BGE...sure. Is it a constant problem for everyone? Maybe not, but it's one to take into account and compromises your expensive purchase if happens to you, especially while cooking and dealing with a heavy, hot piece of ceramic....

...."I was cooking steaks the other night at 500 and slightly leaned on the handle (large BGE) and the band slipped down off the dome....worked like heck to get it tightened up enough to pull the steaks...some of the best jerky I ever had..LOL "

....."Was set up for pizza. Had dome temp at 650 degrees for one hour. Did not think to check or tighten the bands. You can probably guess what happened next.

Opened it up to put the first pizza on. Put the pizza on the stone, went to close the lid. The handle came, but the dome stayed, as the bands had expanded too much due to the extended heat. Then the dome fell backward onto the (fortunately) empty portion of the deck. Very loud crash and shatter. So loud the neighbor called to ask what happened. It broke into about 8 very hot pieces."

..."I lifted the top to check on the meat and the ceramic lid came loose, fell to the ground and broke into 4 pieces."

BTW, BGE says not to tighten a hot grills bands because they shrink of course as they cool. I'm not quite sure how you deal with that then if they expand at high heat cooks like pizza. Again, not a worry you ever need to have with a KK, or accidentally dropping a lid back on the body causing damage (KK has an adjustable spring that takes the weight off so you actually latch the lid down when you close it.

Jun 04, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

Perhaps, but that's also like saying the versatility of 3 Tramontina Dutch Ovens is a better deal than one Le Creuset or Staub. The Komodo Kamado also comes with a lot of the "accessories" of a BGE (stand since built in, upper / lower / sear grill racks, indirect heat diffuser, etc).

Different strokes for different folks.

Jun 04, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

As stated, the Kamado.com is the fraud company. Dennis at KomodoKamado.com is a standup guy.

Jun 03, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Big Green Egg alternatives?

I'll give you my opinions, for what it's worth. I've followed ceramic grills for quite some time, drooling I might add, but am in an apartment so it's a no go for me at the moment.

BGE - Makes a good grill, a lot of people will tell you that and they have nice accessories. Somewhat expensive however, but a great community around them as well. I don't like that a few things seem to not be stainless and rust (nests, bolts), especially for the price.

Primo - You mentioned the oval. I stopped following them a few years back. I liked the idea of being able to do direct and indirect cooking at the same time with their setup, but I tend to think the oval shape makes it a bit more prone to hot spots, IMHO. The REAL reason I stopped following them though was a few too many posts about the main body cracking on them, including one guy who had two do so. I don't know if it's still a problem, but it through me off them given that it was an issue during regular use at regular temps and seemed to be occurring.

Kamado Joe - Not sure I saw anyone mention this one. Getting a good reputation. A bit thicker than a BGE, well made, come in at 23" w/ side tables and nest for about $899 so I think a better value than the BGE. From those that own them, I haven't heard a complaint. I've seen BGE, Primo, and Kamado Joe all in person. I have no fears recommending the Kamado Joe over the BGE. Available in Red or Black.

Bubba Keg, Big Steel Keg, Broil King Keg - Another guy covered the history on this one. Here's what I like about it, which is the portability with the trailer hitch attachment (an option, not included) with the current higher end model only. That is what really sets it apart for me. I've also seen this one in person...what I don't like. I don't care for the plastic side tables, but that's a very personal thing. The gasket / rim area has rivets spaced around the rim under the gasket material. It causes MAJOR wear on the gasket everywhere those rivets are, more so than I'd have thought. The upper tray that rotates out of the way, while a neat idea, is very lightweight material with, again my opinion, poor supporting welds. I've seen this tray broken quite easily before. Overall, my impression of the whole thing was cheaply made and overpriced, and not likely to last like a ceramic. Not really stainless either, so rust will become an issue over time, especially if the cast iron grate scratches that inside paint job. HOWEVER, if you wanted to transport it for tailgating, picnicking, etc, it is your best option of this type of cooker.

Misc - I've seen some strange take-offs of the Keg idea looking more like traditional eggs but with steel bodies recently, cheaply priced ($300 or so), such as at Lowe's, etc. Let's just say if I was going this metal body route I'd get a Keg over any of them.

And finally, my personal favorite and the absolute best on the market with a price to match:

Komodo Kamado - Operates out of Indonesia and run by the grandson of the late Art Linkletter of "Kids Say the Damdest Things" fame, among others. Available in 23" and 19.5" size, ability to run a rotisserie (only one of this kind of cooker that can), special plugs / areas to run temperature plugs or fan controllers (bbq guru) without shutting your lines in the actual hinged door, offset for protecting the gasket / making a better seal to keep it from burning up gaskets easily like those of other designs, all stainless steel hardware, adjustable spring that takes the weight off lifting / holding the lid open, attractively available in many tiling / color options, lots of accessories available, stays cooler on the outside (child safety), holds temps easily, bands built into the body so no tightening of bands / lid coming loose to worry about, seals even better / runs longer on charcoal than a BGE, and great customer service. Downsides: Customer service is of course tied to the one man rather than so much the company being a small operation, price, weight of cooker.

Here's one in use by Chris Lilly of BBQ fame. In fact, I think he's the master of the pork butt as many competitions for it as he's won. Here he's making pizza on a Komodo Kamado.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsyK3m...

Jun 02, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

La Salamandra dulce de leche, where to buy Kansas City?

I found it already, but thank you! Williams Sonoma carries it for $10.95, Sur La Table for $9.95 (where I bought), and I discovered later Better Cheddar has it for $8.99 (got a jar from there waiting to be made now). These are the only three places I could find it. Might help someone else though.

May 01, 2012
sumrtym in Great Plains

La Salamandra dulce de leche, where to buy Kansas City?

I'm in the Lenexa area and can't seem to find anywhere that carries it. I tried Whole Foods and a couple small Latin markets, whom invariably try to hand me some caramel candy from small baskets near the checkout when asking for dulce de leche.

Anybody know of anywhere that has this? I just got a new kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment and want to make the recipe below:
http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/2000s/...

I was hoping to actually find that brand since it's supposed to be the standard / best brand of dulche de leche. Any help would be appreciated.

Apr 08, 2012
sumrtym in Great Plains

Additional pieces to Cuisinart French Classic set, feedback needed

It looks like the base is 10" although it says diameter is 11-1/4", so no bigger than a 12" fry pan. In fact, I think the lid of it fits their 12" fry pan.

Specifications from http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/2...

Do you feel then that I should just forego the 12" fry pan and add only the 5.5 qt saute pan? That I should be able to just use the saute for anything I want to use the 12" fry pan for?

Mar 06, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware

Additional pieces to Cuisinart French Classic set, feedback needed

So I returned some items to BB&B I wasn't happy with and had a credit. I ended up getting the 11 piece Cuisinart French Classic set there. I'd have preferred metal lids, but BB&B only carries the glass ones.

I'm going to add a 12" pan for sure from the line (8" and 10" just are too small for most things when I need a big skillet) and was considering adding the 5.5 quart saute as well. I'd love to add another 2 qt or a 3 qt saucepan, but unfortunately they don't seem to sell any separately.

So, opinions on adding a 5.5 qt saute? How useful do you think it would be?

For info, I also have a Lodge combo cooker, an 8 qt Staub dutch oven, the De Buyer carbon steel crepe pan and 9.5" fry pan they carried at World Market a little over a year ago, apparently receiving the French Classic crepe pan by mail-in-rebate, a Tramontina SS stockpot with strainer (8 qt???) I won from Sam's, and a 12" older than the hills non-stick pan with the coating still in decent shape. I'd like to add a 12" Lodge fry pan at some point as well and a Staub Braiser (still trying to decide size / find a sale).

Opinions?

Mar 06, 2012
sumrtym in Cookware