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SNAP POLL—WOULD YOU USE A COOKWARE “LENDING LIBRARY”?

If it's $50 deposit, yes, that's on me, my responsibility. I think unless you are talking CI or a 6 qt sauté you can probably ship for less. If you're talking about a $75 pot, then you're right it's too expensive, however maybe $30 shipping on a $250 pan isn't so bad, it's not like you're going to test out that many pieces, what maybe a couple a year.

about 8 hours ago
mikie in Cookware

SNAP POLL—WOULD YOU USE A COOKWARE “LENDING LIBRARY”?

Hi Kaleo,

It's very kind of Duffy to volunteer.

Yes, it would be nice to check out a pot or pan
Maybe, not sure I have anything to loan out that someone would want
Yes, no problem

about 8 hours ago
mikie in Cookware

GRILLING - CLOSED OR OPEN LID?

If you want to roll the dice and eat rare beef, pork, or poltry, then by all means leave the lid open or off and you can scorch the outside in a couple of minutes and have a red, jucy, bacteria laden meal.

Call me a wuss or alive, but I prefer my grilled or BBQed products to be cooked to the USDA suggested safe temperatures. And this is more easily accomplished in most cases with the lid closed, especially on a gas grill. The higher heat possible with charcoal, may make it possible to do the same with the lid open. I've seen grilling "instructions" that have the lid off for coals and closed for gas.

about 11 hours ago
mikie in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

What's you ICE choice for your cooler

We took a long vacation to the Rocky Mountains a few years ago and Mrs. mikie pre-cooked many of the meals and froze them. She was concerned they would thaw on the way to the house we rented, so I bought some dry ice. 2 day trip and frozen solid as a rock when we arrived. For less demanding times, a qt. bottle of well frozen water lasts a long time and you can drink it as it thaws and you don't need it to keep contents cool any longer.

about 12 hours ago
mikie in Cookware

Cast Iron - a Cautionary tale.

My wife has a very large cast iron caldron if you will. It was cracked and said brother in law made several attempts to repair it. Although it doesn't fall appart, it doesn't hold water either. That's why I say it's darn near impossible to weld.

Perhaps the sharp inside corners made it more suseptable to cracking?

about 12 hours ago
mikie in Cookware

Help me build a great cookware set!

"When we were married I wanted to include checking account deposit slips in our wedding invitations . . . "

And she married you anyway? Wow!

about 12 hours ago
mikie in Cookware
1

Help me build a great cookware set!

Duffy, I couldn't agree with you more on every count.

Had a relative ask for cash, didn't happen, hand made end grian cutting board (my hands) and a beautiful Japanese knife. The gift was a bit late (my fault) but when they got it, they really appreciated it. Everyone has to eat and not everyone can afford to eat out every night, so they wanted a good knife by the time they received their gift.

As far as clad cookware is concerned, I'm sure a $15 pan will work just fine, saw some heavy duty aluminum last night in the restaurant supply, I'm sure it works great. Just isn't what I would want. Cookware, knives, tableware, they're all a bit personal to some extent. If you don't mind the handles of All Clad, it's great cookware and not that expensive as long as you don't compare it to made in China brands. I have socio/political issues and don't purchase made in China where possible.

Enameled Cast Iron, same deal, they all work just fine until they chip. Staub and LC, although they can chip are less prone to do so. I'm sure some people can cook just fine with a chip, I'm not one of those people.

I'm a believer in buy quality and buy once.

As for Williams Sonoma, they have sales like everyone else, got a great deal on that Japanese knife there. The internet keeps them honest and if we had to rely on Amazon for everything, where would you go to actually handle the pots and pans you want to purchase, so I cut them a little slack.

about 12 hours ago
mikie in Cookware
1

Cast Iron - a Cautionary tale.

I'm no expert, but cast iron isn't easy to weld. I have a BIL that's been a professional welder for decades and he has difficulty with cast iron. It would be odd to make this in two pieces since CI is so difficult to weld. I would guess it was cracked and the weld was an attempted repair.

1 day ago
mikie in Cookware

Help me build a great cookware set!

Let me tell you, what you need for cooking depends soooooo mcuh on what you cook. I have an ECI braiser from Staub, there was a time when I cooked half of what I made in it. Great cooking vessel, but I haven't used it in months, mainly because I'm cooking different things right now. I don't like to cook the same things over and over, so the pans I use change with the season. My point is that if there are certian types of foods you don't cook, then you don't need certian types of cooking vessels.

I think the list Kaleo had would cover most bases, start there and build as your cooking needs require. Good luck.

1 day ago
mikie in Cookware
2

Induction burner warning.

Hi Kaleo,

It's all about statistics isn't it. If you have one unit and it works you have 100% success rate, if you have one unit and it fails, you have 100% failure rate. But, if you have a thousand units and one fails you only have 0.1% failure rate, but who owns that many units? You have to play the odds and if you have enough data points, you usually get what you pay for, not that you can't have a good Cheap unit or a bad Expensive unit, but the odds are better if you spend more.

Jul 22, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Replace Upright Freezer that Lives on Back Porch?

I love people with socio/politcal reasons. Wish we had a Home Depot. Unfortunately, Lowes is just down the road and the convenience trumps many options. However, we have had a number of poor experiences with them and will gladly pay a premium to purchase from other vendors. Odly, I can usually find a better price on the same item, so I don't buy much there.

Jul 21, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Replace Upright Freezer that Lives on Back Porch?

My parents had a frost free in an unattached garage, but this was years ago. The down side to frost free is the constant cycle of thawing and freezing. It doesn't do as well long term with your food as the old style freezer does. We have a 30 year old freezer in our garage, it used to be in our basement and then in the utility room but has been in the garage about 3 years. However our garage is attached and it never freezes in the garage, so that's not an issue. I have herd that new freezers and or refrigerators can be had that work in this environment, but they are not the standard freezers.

I'm with you, the local Low's doesn't have anyone I would ask about a nail, much less a technical specification or requirement on a several hundred dollar item.

Jul 21, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Do you grill with aluminum foil (and no, it's not what you're thinking of)

Aluminum foil may make clean-up easier, but without heat coming up through the grates, I'm not sure I'd call it grilling.

Jul 21, 2014
mikie in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Bringing My Own Knife to Restaurants from now on. -_-

I must say, I went for years without steak knives. Most of the steaks I cook at home I can slice with a regular dinner knife. However, I recently bought some very nice straight edge steak knives and even on a very nice steak, it makes cutting so much easier, it really is a pleasure to use them. If I get a steak at a restaurant, I expect a steak knife that's at least sharp enough to cut the meat, if not, then the meat is just too tough to chew. There's a place in town that when you order a steak you don't know if it will be like slicing jello, or shoe leather was the next stop if it hadn't been cooked that night.

Jul 21, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Has anybody installed a charcoal grill in their kitchen?

Are you talking about Hastybake?

Jul 20, 2014
mikie in Cookware

cutting board made of Corian

We have a corian cheese server that's cut out like a Buffalo. It's great for cheese and since cheese knives are not sharpened like a chefs knife, and it's a different action you use to slice, chip, or scoop cheese, you don't have to worry about an edge being ruined.

Jul 20, 2014
mikie in Cookware

cutting board made of Corian

I would expect you have aquired a real skill for sharpening. It's all about differences in hardness, the greater the difference between the knife blade and the cutting board the easier it is on the knife.

Jul 19, 2014
mikie in Cookware

kitchen hood recommendations

Thank you, the range is Electrolux Icon. 6 hobs, two duel ring. It's 36" wide, that's why we have the 42" hood.

Jul 19, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Stainless steel vs cast iron temp science

Another engineer here. The reading in the oven was likely the oven temperature, maybe even the oven walls depending on how far away you were when you took the reading and the zone/range ratio of your unit. If you want to know the surface temperature of your pan, use a surface probe thermocouple with a Fluke pyrometer.

Jul 17, 2014
mikie in Cookware

kitchen hood recommendations

Vent-a-Hood is made in TX but is widely distributed. The unit I bought is all stainless with two blowers. It was close to $3,000 purchased from Metro Appliance. You can see what it looks like in the picture attached. The unit has 3 halogen lights with two levels of brightness, it also has an automatic sensor to turn on the second blower. It runs very quiet, and that was a requirement.

Jul 17, 2014
mikie in Cookware

kitchen hood recommendations

Yes, this is a two-blower unit. The second blower can either be turned on manually or if the heat exceeds a certian level (say you have multiple hobs on) it kicks in automatically. It's 42 inch unit over a 36 inch 6 hob gas range top.

Jul 17, 2014
mikie in Cookware

kitchen hood recommendations

With 25K burners you will need to move serious air. When we remolded the most expensive appliance in our kitchen was our hood. Ours is a SS Vent-a-Hood, it was about 10x what you are talking about spending. My guess is you get what you pay for. The Vent-a-Hood is expensive but it runs quiet and pulls out gasses, steam, grease, oders, and small children (no just kidding).

Jul 17, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Revere Ware? Different?

Exposed copper would have some advantage initally over ply copper like the All Clad copper core, but I can't imagine that would hold true for very long on a hob. A simplystic way to look at this is that in a ply pan, the copper recieves it's heat from the outer ply and then distributes it evenly to the liner. In a copper pan with a SS liner the copper is heated by the hob and then distributes the heat to the liner more evenly than the hob would. You eliminate a step, but because the copper on a Revere pan is so thin this advantage isn't going to dominate the thermodynamics that are taking place as you cook.

The whole pan is thin, that's for sure, but this is a double edeged blade so to speak, it's easy to heat, but should also be easy to hot spot because there is no thermal mass to even things out.

Copper is great because of it's thermodynamics, it has good thermal conductivity compared to other metals used in cookware and better thermal mass, note how heavy a good copper pot really is. In the old Revere Ware, the copper is still much thinner than the SS part of the pan, so although it may hlep some, you aren't going to get much of the advantage of copper.

Jul 17, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Revere Ware? Different?

The old stuff has more copper on the bottom, you can actually see and feel the transition into the copper. The older stuff has a two piece molded plastic handle that is screwed together to make the handle. The midrange Revere Ware has a one piece molded handle with a metal insert that attaches to the pan. The newest is different yet. The old two piece handled Revere Ware has the thickest coper layer and should have the best thermal conductivity.

Jul 16, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Decent looking steak platters...Please.

You might consider something like this Denby piece:
http://www.denbyusa.com/praline/prali...

Rustic and refined.

Jul 16, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Help with a la cart cookware set

I can follow the logic of your list with the exception of the 3 qt. enameled cast iron saucier. I'd been looking for a saucier for quite some time and people had mentioned ECI for that item, however, if one is actually using a saucier for it's intended purpose, ECI is the wrong material of construction. The typical reasoning behind a saucier or reduction sauce pan or Windsor, is to be able to reduce a sauce without burning it, it must have good even heat distribution so that sauces don't burn while being reduced. Even heat distribution on a stove top is not a strong point for enameled cast iron. You would be much better off with copper and better off with a multi-ply SS aluminum like your sauce pans. Save the ECI for the cocotte, where it's properties and cooking methods are a better match.

Jul 16, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Help with a la cart cookware set

Geez, I wish I'd written that! The only slight disagreement I can come up with is the ECI, I'm a fan of buy it once, buy it right the first time. The French (Le Creuset and Staub) cocottes/French ovnes/Dutch ovens have a status because of the quality of construction, not the quality of food they produce versus the low cost made in the Pacific Rim products.

I really like the idea of adding or subbing a large sauté, mine gets used a great deal and I appreciate the extra realestate on the bottom that you sacrifice with a frying pan. The enameled cast iron (mine are Staub) have become a staple in our kitchen, we may or may not own a crockpot, I really don't know.

It's a rare day when Kaleo stears you down the wrong path, so I'd give those suggestions serious thought.

Jul 16, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Has anybody installed a charcoal grill in their kitchen?

Good one!

Jul 15, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Kenwood or KitchenAid food processor?

At this point in the game, I'd say it's a crap shoot. Just about all of these appliances are now made off-shore (China) and it really just depends on how much supervision the "Brand" has over the manufacturing location. Some companies just outsource and get what they get, while others actually supervise production. Unfortunately, I don't know how one can tell which of these practices is being followed for any given item.

I will say KA has become natorious for "loaning" their brand name to manufacturers who do not manufacture FOR Kitchen Aid, but brand the products Kitchen Aid.

Jul 15, 2014
mikie in Cookware

Has anybody installed a charcoal grill in their kitchen?

Along similar lines, an acquaintance of ours had their kitchen remolded and used a professional Kitchen Designer. The kitchen is gigantic and has a granite island that's about two full slabs. Range top on one end and seating on the other. They didn't want a hood hanging down over the range top to obstruct the view, so the designer told them he would just mount a vent in the cieling above the range top. The amount of cfms required to pull grease and steam from the range top was really high, don't recall what she said it was. Anyway, it sucked all the hot air out of the house in the winter and all the cold air out of the house in the summer. This was because of the high output necessary given the location of about 5 or 6 feet above the range top. They were going to install some sort of hood, I'm not sure what they ended up with. Poor design, even by a professional, can cost you a bundle in the long run.

Jul 15, 2014
mikie in Cookware