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Propane Smoker vs budget Kamado Grill?

I can never decide if I want pork flavored beef or beef flavored pork. Since the WSM is two racks, one above the other, the standard 18" isn't big enough to have one not drip on the other and alter the taste. I know, I wasn't very clear on that. The packer takes up a whole rack, so either it's going to drip on the pork butt or the pork butt is going to drip on it as the fat renders. On the other hand, one packer over the other doesn't really seem to be a problem from a flavor stand point. If I want beef and pork, I have issues. From a practical stand point, it's not much more expensive to have two 18" WSMs than most good quality horizontal smokers.

Maybe a drip pan for the top rack would solve the problem.

What's the differences between BBQ sauces...

Amen to that! Meathead is also a contributor to a new to me BBQ magazine that also covers more than jsut smoking. Last weekend was the national steak cook-off in Tulsa, OK Unfortunately it was over 100 °F last Saturday there so you barely needed a grill to get a steak medium-rare.

Personally, I'm a KC BBQ guy and thick and sweet as discribed above is fairly accurate. I've had BBQ in Texas many times and the sauce there is much thinner as stated. My knowledge of other places is based on one or two times visiting those areas and I think you guys have made the necessary corrections to the inital response correctly. Must say I've never had white BBQ sauce.

Why Cook Woodfired?

My son's neighbor has a woodfired oven, it was part of a patio remodel, the whole set up was tens of thousands. It's great pizza every independence day when there is a crowd, but there's no way he fires this thing up for two pizzas. When I've been there the gals make the pies and the guys cook them while imbibing an alcoholic beverage. It's a regular assembly line for 10 or 12 pies but lacks practacality for daily use. It's fun and the food is great, but it's also a lot of work unless one has a lot of pizza to make.

Propane Smoker vs budget Kamado Grill?

"Believe me, when you start getting into smoking, you'll be happy to have the extra room to do multiple meats at the same time."

If there is a down side to the Weber Smokey Mountian it's just that. With the two levels I can do 4 pork butts, or 2 packers, or 8 racks of ribs on edge, but you really can't do a combination very well without cross contamination.

No Regrets: Glad I bought it!

Hi Duffy,
Picked it up about a month ago at an outlet mall. If it hadn't been such a good deal I would have never bought it, I'm with you, there is no way I'm paying $265 for a 2 qt saucier. I had jsut read someone's post about shopping around for good deals and I couldn't help myself, I had to do it. I need to learn to type with toung in cheek.

When it comes right down to it, I'm like my mother, I have to have a deal. I paid list for one Staub (it was an emergency purchase), bought the other 3 we have so cheap that if I average all 4 out they were still "such a deal". They were close outs that were 50% off and then another 40% off. A $300 cocote was less than $100. Same for the Viking and the Demeyere, one at near list, but the others were all heavily discounted. My 2 qt Viking sauce pan was the last piece in the store and out of the box with a slight ding on the edge of the lid (that I knew I could fix), it was discounted way less than half the MSRP. The 2 qt Demeyere saucier was just the outlet price, but still over $100 off list. I picked up a set of Wusthof Classics at a similar close out.

I wouldn't say I'm cheap, I'm just a prudent and patient shopper. Oh, look at what time it is, just checked my $600 bleow list watch, gotta go! ;)

1 day ago
mikie in Cookware
1

No Regrets: Glad I bought it!

Hi Duffy,

I can't believe the wonderful folks at Vollrath paid you $50 to take that saucier off their hands. I say this because I only paid about $150 for my Demeyere Atlantis 2 qt saucier, so to be $200 cheaper, well do the math ;)

Aug 26, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Best pots/pans?

What I know would fill a half teaspoon, so don't feel bad. We do know that alloys of metals change many of the properties, for example if you alloy Aluminum (Al) with 20% Antimony (Sb), you raise the melting point by 190°C, but if you alloy with 20% Copper (Cu) the melting point is lowered 50°C. An alloy with 20% Iron (Fe) raises the melting point by 365°C. I don't have a lot of thermal conductivity data, but it typically goes: silver, copper, gold, aluminum, . . . iron.

So as a cookware manufacturer do you lower performance by alloying with Fe to get a better bond to the SS and then alloy Al/Cu to get better performance, thus increasing the number of layers as the process continues. Do you layer in some silver, how much would it take to actually change the overall composite of the plyed layers? Questions we will probably never know the answer to.

Aug 26, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Best pots/pans?

Hi Duffy,

I think Kaleo has answered about as well as can be expected, given the amount of information that's available. I'm not a metalurgest, but I do have some formal training in metal technology. Certianly, depending on what the aluminum is alloyed with, there could be better conductivity, it's just that we don't know what alloys they are using. It's also possible that some alloys are less conductive than pure aluminum. These are the challenges and secrets that the manufacturers don't want to share. The best conductive material in the world is worthless if there is no way to bond it to protective layers. What if nothing would stick to copper. You couldn't use it to cook much of anything because it can be toxic. There have to be trade offs between bonding and conductivity and protective layers. We, just don't know what they are.

Aug 25, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Best pots/pans?

"The better bet is they don't want anyone publicizing to consumers how little good stuff they put inside their wares."

Hi Kaleo,

The trouble I have with that theory is that in multi-ply cookware, the "good stuff" is usually the aluminum, and aluminum is typically less expensive than CRES (corrosion resistant steel), aka SS. So few companies attempt to add copper ($$) that it's not hardly worth discussion. (Only talking multiply here not disk bottoms.) I would speculate the secrets are in the bonding and in the case of more than 3 plys, the use of some other conductive material or alloy in an attempt to either improve the cooking ability, ie heat transfer or improve the bonding, or possibly just get around a patent. It wouldn't seem to me, that there would be any advantage from any aspect to add more SS than is needed to protect the aluminum and provide structure and durability to the pot or pan.

Aug 25, 2014
mikie in Cookware

No Regrets: Glad I bought it!

Just like brooktroutchaser, I too bought the 3 qt Viking sauté pan and was extremely impressed. I guess it exceeded expectations because I dodn't really know what to expect, it was the first new pan to enter the house in over 40 years. That lead to three more Viking pieces and a Demeyere saucier, all of which are great.

I also bought on a whim an 8.75 qt Staub cocote mainly because it was on close out at a rediculous low price. I figured if it saw use twice a year it would still be a bargan. It gets used way more often than I initally thought, probably more like twice a month. With two of us working it's great to make oversize amounts and then freeze the leftovers for another meal. Mrs. mikie made a roast in it on Sunday, a big honking roast, we'll get six meals out of that, and it wouldn't have been possible without that oversized french oven.

Aug 25, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Best pots/pans?

Hi Kaleo,

You're probably going to have to go to the secret archives of the manufacturers, as this appears to be top secret. Typically there are two reasons to keep something secret, it's all smoke and mirrors, or you have something that really works and don't have a way to protect it. I've worked at places that patent and places that keep secrets because they don't believe they can enforce a patent. I would think the number of layers would be rather easy to determine, but there may be some magic in the thicknesses and composition that's not obvious. Or it could be all marketing smoke and mirrors.

Aug 24, 2014
mikie in Cookware

All Natural (non-petroleum-based) Way to Protect Cutting Boards?

Well, oiling a board isn't a requirement, it just improves your odds of keeping it alive longer. It's kind of like treating the leather upholstery in your BMW or polishing your shoes, your don't have to, but they hold up better if you do. We have one face grain board that we've never oild and other than it has some stains from something on it, it's fine.

Aug 23, 2014
mikie in Cookware

thoughts on bread knives

I jsut love screaming deals! I shop for everything at something below list, well below if possible.

Aug 23, 2014
mikie in Cookware

All Natural (non-petroleum-based) Way to Protect Cutting Boards?

It matters only to the extent that without all the facts, one is forced to make assumptions, valid or not about what the poster is trying to discern. Since many of the replys were "... mineral oil is safe ..." more than just I thought you were concerned about the health effects, and as has been pointed out by many, that is really not an issue.

Full disclosure is only required if you want the best possible answers to your real question. In spite of the wast of time of the people who were honestly trying to abait your precieved fears of mineral oil, it's been a fun discussion.

Aug 22, 2014
mikie in Cookware

All Natural (non-petroleum-based) Way to Protect Cutting Boards?

"Are you trying scare the original poster?"

No, the thought never crossed my mind, but you make a good point, just because something is "natural" (whatever that really means these days) doesn't necessiarly mean it's safe. Rattlesnake venom is natural, right, but I'm not putting that on my cutting board ;)

BTW, your board is so thick as I recall, that nothing is going to saturate it. As long as one doesn't put too much drying oil on a board as to build up a surface finish you can get away with it. Honestly, other than the cutting on it, just about any wood finish is food safe once it drys.

Aug 22, 2014
mikie in Cookware

All Natural (non-petroleum-based) Way to Protect Cutting Boards?

If one wants to tell the truth, then one might start out by doing so. It is presumptive on my part, based on the limited amount of detail outlaid in your OP. Although it was done in part in jest as are some of the phobias I've listed below, frankly, you wouldn't be the first person to have fear of using mineral oil on a cutting board that's asked such a question on this forum, and I doubt it will be the last question of this sort.

Just what comes to mind I have seen copperphobia (the fear of cleaning copper), alumaphobia (the fear of contracting Alzheimer's desease from cooking in aluminum), plastaphobia (the fear of anything plastic that contacts food), tefaphobia (the fear of teflon coated cookware), and petrophobia ( the fear of using mineral oil on cutting boards) and the list goes on. Granted, many of these fears have some legitmate basis, at least to some extent. People worry about BPA in plastic fore example, but what they don't understand is that it is only in one kind of plastic and is only extractable when that one type of plastic is heated beyond a certian point. It does not make all plastic dangerous or toxic.

As cowboy states, you don't have to do anything to a cutting board, and he's absolutely correct with his statements. For most people a heavy endgrain wood cutting board is a sizable expendature, about the same as a high quality pot or pan, and therefore would like to increase their odds of it lasting as long as possible. If that's the case, the time honored and perhaps easiest way is to treat the board with either mineral oil or a mineral oil / beeswax combination.

Aug 22, 2014
mikie in Cookware

All Natural (non-petroleum-based) Way to Protect Cutting Boards?

There's Tung Oil and then there's Tung Oil Finish, they are not the same thing, but both are drying oils. As a drying oil you end up with a hard finish, as such once you have applied tung oil and it has penetrated and dried, any other treatment, including additional coats of tung oil, are a build up and eventually become a surface finish only. The same wold apply to walnut oil as it too is a drying oil. Tung oil finish, has more chemicals added to it to promote drying and surface build up. IMO neither is appropriate for a cutting board that gets a lot of use as you don't really want a surface finish where you are cutting. This would be suitable for a wooden salad bowl. BTW the chief condtituent of Tung oil is eleostearic acid (80%).

Aug 22, 2014
mikie in Cookware

All Natural (non-petroleum-based) Way to Protect Cutting Boards?

I didn't realize there were so many phobias until I started on CH. Mineral oil has been used as a laxative for decades, you get it in the drug store and take it by the spoons full. It's FDA grade. You couldn't get enough out of a end grain cutting board to ever know. It soaks in and is more in the wood than on it.

Cooking oil will go rancid, mostly in the board not on it, but I'd rather take my chances with the mineral oil, personally. Your board, your health, your choice.

Straight Beeswax is going to be mostly on the board and not in it. This will provide some protection, but not as much as mineral oil and then a mineral oil / beeswax mixture. Even if you heat the beeswax to melt it, it will have too high of a viscosity to actually penetrate the wood and that's what you want. You also run some risk of having it too hot and damaging the glue in the cutting board.

If you really can't bring yourself to use mineral oil or a beeswax that's been cut with mineral oil, you are probably looking at just beeswax and hope for the best, I would leave it untreated before I would use cooking oil. There are 2 reasons to oil a board, 1) is to fill the wood fibers to stabalize them, 2) is to keep crud that you don't want in your board out, this would include stains from cutting certain fruits and vegetables and oils that might turn rancid. I can just about make a 100% prediction that someone will come up with some oil from something that they have used and claim it doesn't go rancid, probably not really the case.

Aug 20, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Recommendations on mid-range SS cookware?

If I couldn't spring for the really good, allbut expensive stuff, I would go after the Cuisinart French Classic cookware. A bit thicker than the really inexpensive stuff but not as thick as the relly expensive stuff. Right now there are some really good deals on this cookware.

Aug 19, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Best pots/pans?

We don't really depart there as I agree thicker is definately better. Compared to "standard" Cuisinart that was mentioned in the OP, I think the French Classic is a better deal than most, and if one is looking for bang for the buck, this is a fairly good bang for a very small buck.

I think my Demeyere saucier and Viking saute, frying pan, and sauce pan are thicker than either All Clad or Mauviel M Cook. But, since I don't have the other two and measurements on this type of surface is difficult to do accurately I'm only speculating based on my visual determination. Personally I would buy the thickest cookware I could afford and/or lift comfortably. These options are not always within the budget restraints or available. If one is copper phobic (afraid of copper maintaince) heavy ply like Demeyere is probably the next best alternative.

Aug 18, 2014
mikie in Cookware
1

Best pots/pans?

I'm not sure there is a "best bang for the buck" when it comes to cookware. The really great cookware comes with a really great price (assuming you are buying new). A more appropriate question might by what's the best $500 9 piece set of cookware, or $1500 9 piece set. I think you can find a thread on the best $200 set of cookware, the point is these are totally different answers.

As long as you are not on an induction range, thick (2.5 - 3 mm) copper is the best for sauté pans and skillets, because of the even heating. But new copper of that thickness is very expensive. Next would likely be thick multiply, typically SS/Al/SS combinations with 3 to 7 layers. These conduct heat very well and are usually induction compatable. But here's where bang for the buck gets really tricky, does a $250 Demeyere Proline cook better than an All-Clad or an even much less expensive Cuisinart French Collection, or and even less expensive made in China pan of similar construction? With this type of cookware, thicker is almost always better.

Then there are disk bottom cookware, and these too run the price gamet from over $350 for a Demeyere sauté to $59 for a Calphlon. This technilogy is also used in many sauce pans as well. The emphisis is on even heat on the bottom of the pan.

Clear lids, is another issue. Most of the higher end cookware does not utilize a glass lid. The obvious advantage is that you can see in without lifting the lid. Since you don't see these on "high end" cookware such as Mauviel, Demeyere, All-Clad, etc. I think one can determine the disadvantages outwheigh the advantage.

If I had to pick a best bang for the buck right now I would say the Cuisinart French Classic collection: http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-FCT-1... This is a really great deal right now. I've seen and held the pots and pans and the quality looks to be there. They aren't the thickest available but thicker than most low cost cookware. And they are made in France.

Edge-Pro Apex pointers

Thanks PSRaT, it was the paring knife I took the belly out of, not the 10" Wusthof Classic, thank god.
I do have a 10x loop, so I'll keep that in mind. I can't wait to get my hands on it. I think I'll start with that paring knife ;)

Aug 14, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Registering for dinnerware that will last

Hi DuffyH,
You are so right, we have Apilco plates bowls, etc. and Pillivuyt serving platters, and a couple of Revol pieces such as a small cocote and they all are the same color. I wanted bowls for Julia's French onion soup and just couldn't justify the cost of the very nice porcelain ones, so opted for a whiter white than "normal" stoneware, they are close but don't match. All the procelain pieces look like they came from the same company as far as color is concerned. I also get a little up tight when the stoneware goes under the broiler to brown the cheese on top.

Aug 14, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Is Thremapen the only option?

I bought one for a friend and it looks to work almost as well as the 3-4 times more expensive thermapen. Don't get me wrong, I really like my thermapen, but the thermapop has to be the next best thing for checking food temperatures. They will be in Christmas stockings this year for my son and 3 son-in-laws.

Okay... I gotta ask, if anyones attempted this.

In the industry we use MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) to alert users of potential hazzards. Here is just a small quote from an MSDS for a product that contains PTFE:
"Special Fire Fighting Procedures: PTFE thermal decomposition products begin at 200° C and up
to 325° C are mainly monomer and waxy sublimate. Above 325° C gases such as hydrogen
fluoride and perfluoroisobutylene, which can be fatal at low concentrations, are evolved."
For those not familiar with °C this is about 615 °F, this is where you need to start to be concerned, very concerned. Under normal cooking conditions you would be well below, about 100°C (175°F) below the danger zone. Amatures and DIYers really need to get all the facts before they go off and do something stuppid that could potentially risk their life and the lives of others.

If we don't see another post, we know what happened.

Aug 14, 2014
mikie in Cookware
1

best baking dishes?

Porcelain is definately the way to go here. The LC made in Tiwan isn't the same quality as the LC ECI made in France. Even the French made EH, which is very nice, will chip much more easily than porcelain such as Pillivuyt, Apilco, or Revol (all made in France). I was very disappointed when our small EH baking dish chiped, but the porcelain pieces just seem to keep humming along. The EH pie plates are hard to beat for making a good pie curst though.

Aug 14, 2014
mikie in Cookware
1

Okay... I gotta ask, if anyones attempted this.

Since this was posted 11 hours ago, this is probably too late. STOP! Do not put PTFE coated cookware in the oven and run the cleaning cycle. There are at least two reasons why, 1) this is what would generate the very off-gasses you are concerned about in the first place; 2) the pan itself was never meant to be used in those conditions and you could actually damage the pan by loosening rivets or stressing components.

PTFE has great heat and chemical resistance, that's why it's used as a coating. You may be able to damage the surface, but it's not going to degrade to the point that it just brushes off. I've worked in the plastics industry for over 40 years and PTFE is the most chemicly inert plastic you can find, meaning it's not going to desolve with any chemical that you would want in your home.

This is just not a good idea!

Aug 14, 2014
mikie in Cookware
1

Knife sets

A few years ago I was able to find 7 piece sets of Zwilling Henckels Four Star knives on close out for less than $200. This included a knife block, steel, an 8" Chefs knife, a paring knife, a short serrated bread knife, a birds beak paring knife and one more piece I can't recall. We bought a set for each of our adult daughters. They kept a few of their old knives and have added to the set as there was extra room in the block. If you can find a good sale on a set it is deffinately worth it. Just the Chefs knife would have been about $100.

Otherwise I think you are better off spending most of your budget on a very good Chefs knife and filling in as your budget allows. You can probably get a very good quality German or Japanese Chef or Santuku for around $150. I recently picked up an 8" Wusthof Ikon Blackwood chefs knife at an outlet store for about $150 for a gift. Deals are out there, you just have to look for them.

Aug 14, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Edge-Pro Apex pointers

My grandpa's old knives are Dexters odly enough. They have been sharpened so many times, I don't know what they looked like when new, but look like filet knives now. They were probably boning knives, I would guess. I didn't screw them up with the waterstone when I tried to sharpen them, but I took all the belly out of that paring knife. Tried a different technique, too many vids I guess. I don't want to screw up the 10" Wushof Clasic chef's knife.

Aug 13, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Edge-Pro Apex pointers

Yea, sounds like good advice. I've got some old carbon steel knives that my grandfather used in the butcher shop, I know they can take a good edge, so maybe I'll start with one of those.

Aug 13, 2014
mikie in Cookware