DuffyH's Profile

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Patterns for everyday and china dinnerware

I used to own 3 sets of dishes; everyday, fine china and Christmas china. I had multiple sets of flatware, too, but I only was able to afford it all because my Naval Officer dude would buy it for me in Japan and Hong Kong. I think that your thrift store find is perfect and I do hope it's there for you when you return.

Eventually, my tastes did change as I matured, but we all go through different phases and styles in our lives. I've now pared everything down to plain white porcelain. When I want to change it up, I pair it up with colorful inexpensive accents and decor. After almost 10 years with it, using it every day, I'm still happy, and still using it for different themes.

Similarly, if the china pattern you love is simple and timeless, it may work for you the way my porcelain does for me. For example, I scored some inexpensive cobalt glass luncheon/salad plates that look really good with my white porcelain. They'd work just as well with a simple white china plate, perhaps with a rope, basket, swirl or any other decorative border.

And even if one of the patterns you love is so strong that it works best as a solo act, you'll have scored such a deal on the Homer Laughlin that it won't matter. Enjoy!

about 18 hours ago
DuffyH in Cookware

Dutch Ovens: Round vs Oval, Wide vs Regular opening

Well, I wouldn't buy it for that purpose, but why use a summer fruit thing for hot food only? Cold foods deserve some love, too. ;-)

May 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Dutch Ovens: Round vs Oval, Wide vs Regular opening

I could see using the tomato shape to hold a summer salad.

May 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware
1

non-meat foods stick to All Clad

The CC skillet performed nicely on Franz' test, about equal to Sensation and a bit better than AC tri-clad. I think that shows that the copper/aluminum combo works, even when not very thick.

I have no personal experience with this line, so I can only rely on Franz here, but it looks like this pan may be greater than the sum of it's parts.

May 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

non-meat foods stick to All Clad

gooster,

Without hijacking the thread, how's your Spirit holding up? Mine's a 1-year old sauté pan that still looks like new. Anytime I want floor space and nonstick, it's the pan I grab.

May 25, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Dutch Ovens: Round vs Oval, Wide vs Regular opening

I'm so relieved! :-)

May 25, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

non-meat foods stick to All Clad

Hi Zesty,

I thought I posted a reply to this comment late last night, but it must have been a dream. Anyway, I see that others have suggested you look up "seasoning" SS, which is what my recommendation was. Specifically, I wanted to point you to these videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPBWC..., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1376I....

Add oil to a cold pan, heat the pan to just below or just to the smoke point. Wipe ht oil all over the pan, let it cool, pour out the oil, wipe the pan and cook. This lasts until you wash it.

Or, for a slightly less nonstick (but easier to do) surface, after washing and drying the pan, add 2-3 DROPS of oil and wipe with a paper towel. Put the pan away, then cook as usual next time. It won't be super nonstick, but it will be much better than with nothing applied. This also washes off. Think of it as an oil polish.

I hope you develop mad skills and end up loving your pans, because they''re really excellent cookware. I'd be tickled to have a set.

Duffy

May 25, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware
1

Dutch Ovens: Round vs Oval, Wide vs Regular opening

<But the way this conversation went was really surprising and disappointing.>

Disappointing? How so? I've just re-read all the posts, and couldn't find any that were less than supportive, with people relating their own experiences and preferences, but consensus seems to be that it's you'd likely be happy with any of the three pots you were considering.

May 25, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Post your second half 2015 cookware and kitchen deals and finds here.

Emeril Tri-Ply by A-C is also on Woot at a steal it price, $150 for 12 pieces. I think it was discontinued because it didn't fare so well priced at $499 against Calphalon and Cuisinart, it's still solid stuff that IIRC is thicker than Calphalon Tri-Ply.

May 24, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

non-meat foods stick to All Clad

Remember that you only need medium heat to cook most foods. Also, making sure your food is as dry as possible will help, too. Sure, some food is wet, but generally, things being cooked in a stainless skillet do best if they start out dry. Try blotting food with paper towels.

And like BG said, some things just do better in nonstick. I can cook hash browns in my clad steel pans, but I don't normally do it, because some of them will almost always stick.

May 24, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

kitchen essentials for extremely small studio (>150 sq. ft.)

I won't argue with the environmental impact of cage fish farming in natural lakes, but the NYT article misleads us when comparing the Omega-3 FA content of tilapia to salmon. Salmon are some of best fish in that regard, while tilapia belongs with a host of other common food fish, including cod, haddock, yellowfin tuna and catfish (along with a few others), all with <200mg of Omega-3 FAs, compared to the best salmon (farmed Atlantic and wild king) with >1500mg.

But here's the thing, most commercial food fish fall in to the <500mg category. So while there are an awful lot of fish that are better for us, IMO tilapia isn't the nutritional wasteland the NYT article wants us to believe it is. Just saying.

May 24, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

kitchen essentials for extremely small studio (>150 sq. ft.)

<Decent kitchen gear just makes the task easier and more enjoyable.>

Yes. 100 times yes.

May 24, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Dutch Ovens: Round vs Oval, Wide vs Regular opening

<I do braises, stews, bread, soup, and most anything else I can think of in a Dutch oven.>

I'd go with an ordinary round one, but you're the one cooking in it. I think you'll know your pan when you see it. :-)

May 24, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Dutch Ovens: Round vs Oval, Wide vs Regular opening

Adding to what alexrander wrote, in stovetop tests of SS v. CI DOs, some of the SS pans performed better at deep frying, because while losing more heat initially, their faster recovery time made for less time spent at a lower temperature. Of course the stovetop isn't the same as an oven, what with conduction currents and all, but still I imagine the same might be somewhat true where the oven's heat is being fed to the vessel even as the dough is draining heat. Ceramics are also very effective at heat retention.

I do know that in my practical test, we were unable to tell or taste the difference in NK bread baked in a 6QT ECI DO v. the same recipe baked in a 4.5QT Calphalon Tri-Ply saucepan. Both had the crumb and crust the recipe is known for.

I think one of the reasons for the common use of ECI is the need for a tight-fitting lid to keep the atmosphere moist. The heavy lid does a bang-up job there. And that's what Lahey used, so it's become the standard.

May 24, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Dutch Ovens: Round vs Oval, Wide vs Regular opening

My mistake. Thanks, autumn.

But, but...why would anyone want to control portion size on mac n cheese? That's just wrong. :-)

May 24, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware
1

kitchen essentials for extremely small studio (>150 sq. ft.)

Hi PST,

I use my 14" heavy round bottom wok on my GE induction range with no problem. In order to get it close enough to induce current, I flip the wok ring upside down, so it fits under the wok like a basket. The wok is resting on the glass, with the ring providing stability.

Using this method, I get enough field contact to heat about 4-5" of the wok smoking hot in about 10 seconds on a 2500W burner 2 steps below it's hottest setting. Note that my wok ring is NOT magnetic steel. If it were, I'd be able to heat a lot more of the wok. For this reason, my search for the perfect wok ring continues, and I'm considering picking up a cast iron wok ring.

Also, using my method with a standard non-magnetic wok ring, a thinner carbon steel wok would get hot pretty damn fast on an 1800W PIC and the heat would spread farther up the sides.

But absolutely, round bottom woks work on induction hobs, just flip that wok ring over or find a magnetic ring.

D

May 24, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Post your 2015 cookware finds and deals here

Cam, that pancake is absolutely gorgeous.

May 23, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

kitchen essentials for extremely small studio (>150 sq. ft.)

We may not be pros but we are rabid cooks who have very strong opinions and we all want the very best. Let's face it, with this crowd, the only limiters are storage space and money.

<...disagree about nearly everything.> ?? Hardly. There is broad consensus about what constitutes the best in any given type of cookware, with most of the debate being over the merits of cast iron.

May 23, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

kitchen essentials for extremely small studio (>150 sq. ft.)

<Carbon steel woks - especially under this circumstance - should be from the local Asian grocery, not Demeyer, Lecreuset or anything name brand.>

I have to disagree. The Artisan wok from W-S is a really high quality hand made piece, noticeably thicker than the common spun steel woks found at local markets. Having owned a spun steel flat bottom wok and the Artisan wok, I feel there's no comparison. Once the hand made one arrived, I never used the old one again.

May 23, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Dutch Ovens: Round vs Oval, Wide vs Regular opening

Makes sense, as those are mini ECI DOs. I was making the point that it doesn't need to be CI. Can't recall which blog it was, but someone had some really good alternatives, using common items in other materials.

That's what led me to use a big clad saucepan. Worked like a charm, giving the same result as ECI. All it takes is an oven-safe thing to hold the loaf and another oven-safe thing to form a tight cover.

May 23, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Dutch Ovens: Round vs Oval, Wide vs Regular opening

<But what about shallow with wide openings vs the regular depth and opening?>

Think about your purposes. What is it you want to make in it? If it's big pots of soup, stew, tomato sauce or Bolognese, and you're fine cooking that in your oval, then go for the wide round. I suggest this because the wide round can double as a braiser or deep skillet.

OTOH, you've already got a pot with a good amount of floor space, so perhaps one with a smaller base, like a 4-5qt round would suit you. Decisions, decisions. ;-)

May 23, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

kitchen essentials for extremely small studio (>150 sq. ft.)

Hi alexrander,

Ah, I wasn't thinking of CI skillets, mostly because I'd never use one for a cooktop-to-oven task. I only own one, a 10" Staub, and it's rarely used. But yes, CI/ECI skillets with short handles will fit. I'm not sure how you're fitting the 11.25" Griswold in there, unless the door is partially open? It seems like a tight fit, since the oven only measures a little over 13" side to side and just barely 13" deep, in the middle. I'd think you'd have to have it 'just so' to work?

There are a lot of DO's and rondeau that will fit.

I do agree with you that thick foods and delicate sauces belong in pans with conductive sidewalls. I use either my sauciers or Analon Nouvelle Copper aluminum saucepan.

In fact, for our OP's GF, I'd recommend a 3-qt saucier over a saucepan. It can be used to cook anything that would go into a saucepan. In fact, it's my preferred pan for cooking ravioli, because the wide rim allows for easier retrieval of the delicate pasta pillows using a slotted spoon or spider.

Living in a small studio and cooking in quantity as she does, I'd want a 11-12" Clad skillet, a 3-qt saucier, a 4 qt chef's pan/braiser and the 12" Anolon Nouvelle skillet: http://smile.amazon.com/Anolon-Nouvel...

I'd also add a Paderno Grand Gourmet lid(s) for the skillets. IIRC, the 12.5" is under $40.

Given my choice, I'd choose this deBuyer Prima Matera pan for the 4qt Chef's pan: http://www.debuyer.com/en/products/pr...

Duffy

May 23, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Dutch Ovens: Round vs Oval, Wide vs Regular opening

Hi HL,

CI debunked the "round is better" theory, but note that food may need to be moved from time to time when browning to ensure all pieces are evenly browned. Of course the oval will accommodate larger cuts of meat, but so will a wide round. So get whichever pot pleases you most, thinking of gaps it can fill in your batterie.

As for your bread, I used to use a 4.5 qt round saucepan (clad stainless) and cut a slice in half to make a sandwich. Don't feel you need to limit yourself to your ECI. If you want smaller slices, consider using less dough for a flatter loaf, or use a smaller saucepan for taller slices with less diameter, again cutting them in half. If you read up on the science, there's nothing magical about using a CI pot. Any heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid will work. If your lid isn't tight, use foil, crimped for a tight seal.

I swear I saw a blog where a NK loaf was baked in a loaf pan on a baking stone, under an inverted DO or other heavy pot. All 3 pieces were preheated, then the dough carefully placed in the loaf pan. You'd want a heavy loaf pan for this, perhaps even a cast iron one. For NK bread, think outside the dutch oven! And enjoy your new pot.

D

May 22, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

kitchen essentials for extremely small studio (>150 sq. ft.)

Hi bloodboy,

I can't think of any frying pans that will fit in the Breville or any other toaster oven, maybe a really small one. It's the handles that pose the problem. Now it is possible to use the broiler with an 11" frying pan, with the handle sticking out the side of the door. Not ideal, but possible. Otherwise, she'd transfer the contents of the skillet to a baking sheet or casserole to finish in the oven. This aluminized steel baking sheet is a nice fit in the Breville, It will take pans up to 11x13, but a little smaller is better, allowing for better air circulation. http://smile.amazon.com/USA-Pans-Alum...

For a wok, she should be able to use the 4 qt Chef's pan that alexrander recommended, or something similar. It's the kind of pan that can act as a stir fry pan, skillet, braiser or large saucepan, depending on her current needs.

If you'd like to buy her a high quality wok, I recommend the Artisan Wok from Williams-Sonoma. I'm able to use it on my induction range with the wok ring upside down, so the wok makes contact with the hob. It works surprisingly well. If you can find a magnetic steel wok ring, that would be even better, with more contact. A cast iron wok ring would probably work fine. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

Or course, the thing with a wok is that it takes a lot of space to store, unless she hangs it on the wall. FWIW, this wok is gorgeous (see photo).

Let me also take a moment to give you props for being such a thoughtful BF.

Duffy

May 22, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Post your 2015 cookware finds and deals here

Good buy, inkblue!

May 22, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware
1

GE cafe induction cooktop: semi emergency decision

<When I was researching, I found that the main consideration is hob configuration and the little bells and whistles available - like individual timers.>

True that. If your most-used hobs aren't where you want them, you'll adapt, but you won't be happy.

May 21, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Any small kitchen applicances NOT made in China?

I can't speak for others, but my first concern isn't where an item is made, I'm concerned with three things; quality, customer service and price. When U.S. makers meet my criteria, I'm happy to do business with them. If not, I look elsewhere.

Often, it means I buy things that are made or have parts made offshore, with customer service, sales, etc... stateside.

For example, my range hood was partially made elsewhere and cost me about half what a comparable 100% US-made model would cost, but it was designed, engineered, assembled, inspected and shipped from California. The parts for it were made offshore, but everything else was done here.

May 20, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

GE cafe induction cooktop: semi emergency decision

I'm not familiar with the cooktop, but I do know that several Chowhounds have GE induction ranges and like them very much. Mine is the slide in model. I've owned it for ~18 months and have no complaints. My cooktop cracked last summer, under warranty, but I've had no other problems. I'm not sure what caused the crack. I initially suspected it came from moving a hot pan to a cold spot, but now think it was more likely a flaw in the glass.

These cooktops are leagues beyond radiant electric cooktops. Pan temperature is so much easier to control that it's hard for me to describe. Suffice to say that when I turn the heat down, the pan responds, sauces stop boiling, simmering bubbles disappear, it's just like cooking on gas. Only cooler.

Although the hob arrangement on the cooktop you're considering is slightly different, the wattage of the 4 hobs is the same as on mine. Cooking for 2, I find that my most-used hob is the left front @ 2500W. It's got plenty of power to make my wok smoke in 10 seconds on setting 8 or boil a couple quarts of water in about 3 minutes on the high setting. I'm able to use it on it's lower settings to melt chocolate, with no need to move to the small 1800W burner.

One thing to watch for - even though a magnet sticks to a pan, that doesn't mean it will work well. This is pretty common with aluminum pans, which are notorious for having barely functional induction plates slapped onto the base in order to be labelled "induction ready". Read reviews on Amazon first, searching reviews for the word "induction".

OTOH, my thin steel mixing bowls work fine. And carbon steel pans heat up FAST!

May 20, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Post your 2015 cookware finds and deals here

Sweet deals all around. I had to go look up vacuum tumblers, having no idea what they were.

May 20, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Should I downsize my bakeware? Things I should add?

I hope you like them as much as I like my USA Pans loaf pans. I never have to do a single thing to them, no oils, no flour, nada. Loaves fall right out. All I do to clean them is a quick wipe with soapy water, rinse and let dry.

May 20, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware