m

mikie's Profile

Title Last Reply

Stainless Steel Spatula recommendation

I like well made and made in the USA items and flippers and spatulas are one item you can still find that's USA made. Lamson makes some really good turners, I also have their BBQ tools. Very well made. http://www.lamsonsharp.com/products/t...

Jun 22, 2015
mikie in Cookware

What did Y'all Grill this Weekend?

This was a heck of a Smoking weekend! The short story goes like this: 6 packers, 10 pork butts, 24 chicken halves, and 6 fatties. All this with about 3 inches of rain overnight while the large hunks of meat were smoking. The chicken was superb, the fatties and the pork were excellent and the packers were not my best effort, or at least not my best result. Still very good, but I've smoked better. They smoked almost 16 hours at 225°, they had a fantastic smoke ring, but just not as tender as some I have smoked in the past. This was all done on a smoker I hadn't used before.

Which pan(s) should be copper

In the link you provided I only saw one set of data (electric) where the pan was placed on a ceramic top. This is not induction, but then you knew that. Perhaps there are more pages to the report but they didn't show up when I clicked the link.

My experience in my work has been, that if you want something to be something it's not, you can force it, but it's never going to be all of what it isn't. Example: plastic is a thermal and electrical insulator, now I can make it both electrically and thermally conductive, or pick one or the other, but it will never be as electrically or thermally conductive as most metals. You can make an induction capable pan from a non induction friendly material, but you are going to have to give up something to get there. In this case it may still be the best of the bunch, but it is going to have to give up some of that thermal response to the induction friendly layer.

Jun 10, 2015
mikie in Cookware

grill grates

The raised portion of the grates are about an inch apart so they are not as far apart as it may look. Obviously some foods need to be grilled cross grate, but very small items, such as brussel sprouts need to be grilled on a perforated metal tray, but that's the same as with my regular grates. As far as delicate food, I grill salmon on there all the time, no problems. I guess I don't grill anything more delicate than that.

Jun 10, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Glass cookware?

I'm buying into all of that. Don't forget you can't drink water out of the tap because it has flowed through copper pipes and a brass faucet that has been fitted with solder that has metals like tin in it. But wait, you can't drink bottled water because it comes in a plastic container, and we all know how toxic plastic containers are. Beer, comes in real glass bottles, that's the solution! And if you have new construction, there's no copper, but plastic tubing your water flows through, water is definitely out, beer it is then.

Jun 08, 2015
mikie in Cookware

grill grates

The very best grill grates are "GrillGrates" http://www.grillgrate.com/ I've had SS and enameled cast iron and regular cast iron, and these are superior to any of those. They can sit on top of SS grates or replace the grates on your grill with an exact fit (in some cases). The grill marks are impressive. I've seen these used on charcoal grills as well and they are used by competition grillers, like the great steak cook-off. I've had mine for several years and they work like new. Sticking is greatly reduced, just follow the instructions. At this point I wouldn't use anything else on my grill. Click on the Science of GrillGrates for more information on how they work and they do work.

Jun 08, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Do you use an American butcher knife in your kitchen?

I have one, it was my grandfathers, never used it.

Jun 08, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Griswold cast iron

It's easier to list what you don't want, after that just about any Griswold or Wagner is going to be good.

Avoid pans with heavy rust and pitted surfaces, these will create problems with release.
Avoid pans that are cracked or chipped, the are somewhere between difficult and impossible to repair.
Avoid pans that are warped, obviously these will not sit flat on your stove top and will make cooking difficult as oil will not be evenly distributed.

Just about everything else can be dealt with at home.

I have a relatively large Griswold that was my grandmothers and still has some of her grease splatter dried on the outside and a small one that I bought on ebay at a reasonable price that had been stripped and reseasoned.

Jun 04, 2015
mikie in Cookware
1

Help me build my kitchen

Not necessiarly so. Woods, soft or hard either have an open grain structure, like Oak or Pecan or a closed grain structure like maple and cherry. It's even more complicated than that, but that's the short answer. There are what are technically classified as "hardwood" that is in fact rather soft, poplar for example. Red oak and white oak have different grain structures, that's why white oak is fairly water/rot resistant and red oak isn't. Me, personally, I wouldn't use anyting for a cutting board with a grain structure more open than walnut, I would not use oak or hickory, or any other wood with an open grian. Soft woods, like pine, are just going to splinter too easily to make a good cutting board (with the possible exception of endgrain).

Jun 02, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Looking for everyday tableware

BKF will work, it's a huge job and it doesn't last very long. I couldn't tell you how many hours I spent applying the elbow grease needed to get the black marks off, only to have them reappear. Save yourself a lot of work for nothing and don't do it.

Jun 01, 2015
mikie in Cookware

backyard bbq for 80 people

Teenage boys consume food like a bottomless pit! If there are young kids mixed in then the 1,1,1 approach probably isn't a bad idea. I'd do potato salad by the gallon, may take a couple of those and the same for pasta salad.

Good luck!

Looking for everyday tableware

We bought Apilco (French Porcelain) a few years ago and the only piece that has broken so far is one I slid off the BBQ in the dark onto the concrete patio. It's very robust and very attractive with food on it. The plates are not oversized, it's French, and their portions are typically smaller than American portions anyway. It's expensive, but I think it's worth it. And I know exactly what you mean about the silverware markings, makes a clean white plate look awful. No issues with this on the Apilco.

New refrigerator

Tired of getting on my hands and knees to get stuff from the back of the bottom shelf! The old fridge went into the laundry room which is just a couple of steps away from the kitchen. The new fridge is ALL fridge and the bottom shelf is a bit higher and not as deep. This has saved so much money in food that we couldn't find until clean-up day when it got pitched. When the old fridge dies, bottom freezer will replace the old top freezer.

Jun 01, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Help me build my kitchen

At the BBQ class I took, with professional instruction and experienced chefs, when the chickens came out so did new plastic cutting boards and as soon as the chickens were butchered and seasoned, those cutting boards disappeared just as quickly. We don't butcher chickens at our house, so I don't have cutting board issues in that regard, but we are very careful to wash everything that had raw chicken contact. From what I have read, plastic cutting boards need to be replaced when they become worn as bacteria will live in the deep cut marks. I agree with your concerns about plastic cutting boards produced in China. I'm in an international business and China manufactured items are not always what they are supposed to be, just ask the folks at Lumber Liquidators.

Jun 01, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Help me build my kitchen

Hi Duffy, what a good point. Talk about something that got out of hand, wow. Anyway, I don't care what you cut on chicken on, if you don't want to get sick, you darn well better wash it very well if you plan to chop your salad on it next! Forget the knife edge, glass, stone, wood, plastic, ceramic, unobtainium, they are all going to hold bacteria long enough that you can't go from raw chicken to raw vegetables with any level of confidence of not getting very sick.

My point about the cutting boards, is simply, many people (law_doc89's post proves my point) believe that plastic cutting boards are sanitary, yet they don't dare use plastic items for other purposes. Well, if it's safe to cut your food on (which from a bacteria stand point is still up for debate IMO, then it should be safe to stick a plastic fork in it (drrayeye). If something isn't safe then it isn't safe, how can it be safe to cut on but not safe to drink a cold beverage from? If using plastic bothers you, then how can you justify putting your raw food on a plastic cutting board, it doesn't meet the logic test for me.

Jun 01, 2015
mikie in Cookware
1

Help me build my kitchen

I too would stay away from heating plastics in the microwave, if there is something there, this is when it will come out. On the other hand, a plastic cereal storage container doesn't bother me a bit.

I'm old enough to remember getting into a hot automobile and grabbing the steering wheel and finding it to appear to have been greased. These were the plasticizers coming to the surface because of the heat.

Jun 01, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Help me build my kitchen

I'll retract ". . . occur naturally in the food you eat . . .", they are absorbed in these fatty foods, but at first read it appeared they were "in" these foods. Still not all plastics contain phthalates.

Jun 01, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Skillet overkill

The large Demeyere sauté is a beast, I can easily see why your wife would prefer a lighter pan. I have a large surface 6 qt. sauté and a nice sized 3 qt. sauté as well as the 9.5" skillet. We had a smaller sauté but it was shot and had to go. Honestly the 6 is too large except when we have the kids back at the house or guests for dinner.

With your current set up you can use the combination of large sauté / 9.5" skillet or small sauté / 11" skillet depending on what you happen to be cooking. I don't think it's a bad combination.

May 28, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Help me build my kitchen

Hi Kaleo, since I've worked with plastics for over 40 years and deal with friends and relatives all the time that hear something on tv or read something on the internet, and then jump to conclusions about all plastics, I just feel compelled to chime in on these issues. One of my daughters heard about BPA and was ready to toss all the plastic containers and such out of the kitchen, but still wanted to cook on nonstick pans. The point I try to make is that not all plastics have additives that are harmful and even plastics that may have a "plastic" odor are not necessarily harmful. Those plastic cutting boards that everyone uses because they are afraid of wood, are HDPE (high density polyethylene).

May 28, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Dutch Ovens: Round vs Oval, Wide vs Regular opening

Great point. Never really considered that, but that could be valuable if oven space is at a premium.

May 27, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Help me build my kitchen

Phthalates are common in a number of items, not just plastics (read your link), they are common in PVC which makes it possible to have vinyl upholstery and other flexible vinyl products. Plastic squeeze bottles are typically PE. The flexibility of which is greatly controlled my molecular weight.

There are certainly chemicals you want to avoid, but it's impossible to avoid all chemicals. There are certain types of phthalates that occur naturally in the food you eat.

The only reason I make these comments is that there are many people who don't know the facts and misinformation is readily available or facts easily misinterpreted.

May 27, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Help me build my kitchen

Hi Kaleo,

That's a great list, honestly, but I looked at that and started laughing. That's detail, it looks more like an inventory. I couldn't come up with that many items off the top of my head if I had to. A lot of good suggestions on that list too, most of which can be found in my house if you look long enough ;).

Plastic squeeze bottles (BPA-free) - if you can squeeze it, it's BPA-free or it's very very thin. PBA is only found in Polycarbonate (rigid) and epoxy (also rigid). I just had to get that pitch in. Take care,

May 26, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Help me build my kitchen

I love tools, all kinds of tools, if the word "tool" can either precede or follow something, I'm in. But I was taught a long time ago to always use the right tool for the job at hand. If I'm going to slice something where uniformity isn't important and not very many of them, I grab a knife. Slicing onions for example, even if there are several, a knife seems to be the right tool for the job. Quartering potatoes is still the job for a knife, but thin slicing them for skillet frying, then I pull out the mandolin and the cut resistant glove. I also prefer the mandolin for slicing zucchini for sautéing, where I prefer the uniform thickness so they cook evenly. I'm just not that good with a knife and the mandolin is faster and more accurate, and ours is easy to clean. For really large quantities, I'll drag out the food processor. This is particularly useful when slicing stalk after stalk of celery for stuffing the turkey.

For me it's a matter of choosing the right tool for the job. My advice: don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

May 26, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Help me build my kitchen

Since you are close to Chicago, I strongly suggest you check out the Premium Outlet Mall on the Southwest side, Aurora, IL. They have a Zwilling outlet that carries all the Zwilling brands including Demeyere, Staub, Miyabi, and Zwilling naturally. There is also a Le Creuset outlet there as well.

If I were just starting out and someone gave me 2 grand, I'd buy a mutual fund. It's not what I did when I started out, but that's my advice now. You have a lot of the basics and you don't need everything at once, so buy as you go and sock away that 2 grand.

May 26, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Bamboo cutting board carfe and questions

Bamboo is different from wood in both structure and requirements. So here's my shot at your questions:
1. Wash it and dry it after use, this is the same as wood, bamboo boards are a composite that is glued together so no dishwashers, no soaks, and no excessive heat. It shouldn't require oil like a wood board, the structure is different.
2. Raw meat on any cutting board poses a potential health risk, but just like any other cutting board, you need to wash it well after use.
3. I'm not sure one cutting board surface is any better than another in and of itself, the issues are sanitation and knife friendliness. Plastic is good for sanitation, but eventually the cuts get deep enough that even plastic boards need to be disposed of. I doubt there is much of a sanitation difference between wood and bamboo.
4. An end grain wood board is probably the gentlest on your knife edge. The bamboo structure and its hardness make it harder on your knife, but yes, this just means more opportunity to hone your sharpening skills. ;)

May 26, 2015
mikie in Cookware

Difficulty lighting my gas grill

I might add that the instructions with my gas grill stated the valve on the LP tank needs to be opened slowly. This is related to a safety feature in the regulator. If you just crank it open, there is little gas flow. I'm used to just opening it up but that doesn't work with the new regulators and tanks. At times there isn't enough gas flow to light the grill, at other times there just isn't enough flow to get the grill up to temperature. Hope this helps.

What did Y'all Grill this Weekend?

It wasn't the best of weather, but that didn't stop the grilling. Chicken breasts (pounded into cutlets, grilled, and covered in Buffalo wing sauce), burgers, bacon (yes really) on the grill and smoked two pork butts on the WSM, that came out absolutely fantastic.

i am not planning to replace the dishwasher when it dies.

"We don't intend to replace it until we sell the house."

This behavior has always puzzeled me. Why not replace it now and get some use out of it rather than providing a brand new one for your buyer? I've seen people do this with so many things, carpet, appliances, just about anything that can break or wear out around the house.

Chuck Eye Steaks

According to the Steak Issue of "Barbecue America" best results would be to marinate.

Calphalon Non-stick cookware pans are NOT dishwasher safe - WHY?

I'm going to blame the appliance manufactures for adding a pot and pan cycle to the "Dishwasher" for this dilemma.

As with most things in life, an automatic dishwasher is a series of tradeoffs. In other words, the dishwasher "system" washer box, racks, water distribution system, and detergent are designed to clean the most possible combinations of foodstuffs. Some, and I'll guess you may be one, place very dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and that's fine, that's what it's for, right. But, it takes a powerful detergent to dissolve dried on food, such as egg yokes and catsup. The reason SOME cookware can't be put in the Dishwasher is because of its construction and how certain components react with the powerful detergent needed to clean the dishes. You can still put that cookware in the dishwasher and if you don't care what it looks like or how it affects the longevity of your cookware, then there are no issues. It's as simple as that. Or you can get cookware that is dishwasher detergent resistant or "dishwasher safe".

The automatic dishwasher is very much like the electric starter on your automobile. You don't have to go to the river and beat your cloths between two rocks anymore, but you still have to put them in the washing machine, and not all cloths are machine washable, just like not all cookware is dishwasher detergent safe.

May 15, 2015
mikie in Cookware
1