kaleokahu's Profile

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Mazzeti silver clad copper pans (and other copper pans)

Hi, alexrander:

These are pretty pans, look to be high quality, and the lifetime retinning/plating deal is nice. The "broken loop" handles are also cool.

$616 for a 3mm x 11" rondeau and cover, shipped, isn't bad, but it's still a lot--only about $30 cheaper than the Mauviel version through W-S. Exclusive of original shipping, reshipping and separate cover shipping, my 4mm x 14" silvered Gaillard rondeau and cover was about $485. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/914769

Aloha,
Kaleo

about 3 hours ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Staub cocotte lid wobble

Hi, Rob:

By all means, do what pleases you. But I would not put too much stock [rimshot] into "too much steam" escaping. IMO, Randy is right that there's no discernible difference in outcome, despite the "studies" (Staub uses to tout its wares).

Think about what you're using the oven for. If you're boiling something, who cares? If we're talking about gentle braising or simmering, the difference in water vapor lost between *any* full cover and Staub's is going to be tiny; between Staub and LC, minuscule. As long as condensation isn't dripping outside the pot, the actual volume of water lost is very, very small. For example, I have an oval braising box with no internal rim whatsover, just an external flange which sits down over the pan's edge by about an inch. Still there is no condensation leaving the pot that is evident--just (if the heat is high enough) a tiny amount of water vapor.

There are three classic ways to cut down water loss in braises: (1) minimize the surface area of the liquid by choosing the smallest, tallest vessel that is suitable; (2) make an internal "lid" of parchment to reduce evaporation; and (3) seal the pot with dough. IME, all of these methods make a far greater difference for moisture loss than differences in cover design, but still not a lot.

Think, too about the positive role of evaporation--your pot liquor becomes more concentrated. What few flavor molecules escape with the water vapor around a cover are, well,... few.

Finally, consider the potential *negative* role of the so-called rainfall in the pot. One quality in excellent braises I value is the mix in textures between sodden and dry-tender, browned and torn apart. Moisture for moisture's sake is not much different from a boiled dinner.

Staub is beautiful stuff, and is either best-in-class or tied for it.

It's just flat-out false when others say these covers "seal" in the sense that they are steamtight, or that they only "release" in an "emergency" overpressure situation. They are specifically designed so that they do not form a suction seal when they cool. If they're keeping condensate in the pot, they're doing their job well enough.

Aloha,
Kaleo

about 3 hours ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Staub cocotte lid wobble

Hi, Rob: "I don't know if I should keep it or exchange it for another."

Why would you exchange it? It's exactly the way it's supposed to be. Why would another unit be different? If the rattle bothers you, just get another brand.

Aloha,
Kaleo

about 7 hours ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Is it okay to use a slightly bigger enamel coated cast iron casserole then a recipe calls for?

You're safe. I doubt the author wrote the recipe for 6Q being the maximum allowable size.

about 8 hours ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Staub cocotte lid wobble

Hey, Randy:

I'd like to see *substantiation* of the Zwilling/Staub "studies" for Staub ovens: (a) "10% more moisture is retained inside the Staub cocotte comparing with the competitors products" and (b) "The Staub self basting system in the lid is 9 times more effective than conventional lids."

They've been making these claims since 2009. What they *haven't* been doing is publishing these studies.

Regarding (a), I would be particularly interested in learning how much moisture BOTH the tested ovens lost--if Le Creuset lost 1 gram of steam and Staub lost 0.9, it's not significant. Nevermind that *some* evaporation lost from the oven can be a *good* thing.

Regarding (b), this is virtually meaningless. Le Creuset simply doesn't believe in the "self-basting" concept, and its pans don't have the spikes. Nine times zero is still zero. Staub has only been around since 1974. Such "self-basting" spikes and rings have been around a lot longer than that, yet have mostly died out.

The whole idea that minute differences in steam evaporation around covers is significant is silly, IMO. The implication is that food will be "moister" in the pan which lets slightly less water vapor escape. This ignores that the fluid level remains virtually identical, and forgets that the relative humidity in the pan is already and constantly 100%. It also presumes that moister is always better. The reductio of this notion is that a sealed sous vide plastic envelope containing *nothing but* food and liquid should always yield "moister", i.e., better food because no moisture at all is lost from the envelope. Truly zany.

Aloha,
Kaleo

about 8 hours ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Loulay best restaurant in Seattle

And with nary an ampersand in sight!

about 20 hours ago
kaleokahu in Greater Seattle
1

Staub cocotte lid wobble

Hi, Randy:

It is interesting that even experienced Staub retailers are unaware of this feature. Before Staub got back to me, I spoke on the phone with a kitchen store owner and Staub dealer, who imperiously informed me that she had many of their cocottes at home, and none had the lugs. When I politely asked her to check her floor models, she came back somewhat contrite and admitted that she'd never noticed them before, but they were there. The W-S reps could not even understand the issue; SLT's had to consult a manager!

The rebated covers seem 98% stylistic to me. Live coals seem out of the question, both because of the rim height and the ECI (compare with American "camp ovens", French daubieres and tortieres, which were made for hearth cookery).

I've fooled some with vintage "doufeu" ovens using ice, too, both in ovens and on stovetops. Some makers claim the cold top increases condensation and the so-called self-basting effect. But I've noticed no difference in any preps, other than stovetop preps in an icy copper doufeu take a VERY long time. You may *look* cool--until you have to turkey-baste out the meltwater and run to the store for more ice. If there's a legitimate use for these covers, I haven't found it.

Aloha,
Kaleo

about 20 hours ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Bumping up old threads

Me, either. I'd prefer to see ONE "Staub v. Le Creuset?" with 500 posts than 10 with 50. For anyone who regularly signs in and *looks* at threads, it's very easy to wade through the long ones.

about 22 hours ago
kaleokahu in Site Talk
1

Proper Pub Food

Anyone seen Tom Kerridge's show on the Cooking Channel?

I caught one episode Saturday, and am hooked.

IMO, this typifies what food programming should be all about.

Aloha,
Kaleo

PS: Anyone have his cookbook by the same title?

about 24 hours ago
kaleokahu in Food Media & News

favorite fish dish

Hi, diva:

Oooh, this is tough.

Black Ulua/Buta Gucci, broiled.
Opakapaka, panfried.
Ono, deep-fried.
Salmon or black cod, smoked.

Aloha,
Kaleo

about 24 hours ago
kaleokahu in General Topics

Will I find a better deal on Staub?

Hi, PST:

20% off $150 is a very good price--I'd get it.

However, if you have a W-S outlet store anywhere nearby, you should check with them. Few years back, these outlets had Staub marked down 60%.

Good Luck,
Aloha,
Kaleo

1 day ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Staub cocotte lid wobble

This just in from Staub:

"Thank you for your recent email concerning Zwilling J.A. Henckels/Staub USA products. Our La Cocotte lids have three very slight raised bumps to allow venting. Regards, Consumer Affairs
Zwilling J.A. Henckels/Staub USA"

1 day ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Anolon Nouvelle Copper--Anyone Know What's Inside?

Hey, good work! LOTS of aluminum, and not much copper, but this design looks great from the perspective of evenness.

2 days ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

What's your best yard sale or thrift store cookware find?

Hi, John:

I inherited one of these Farberware rotisseries (never remembered my folks using it), and I just found a second unit at a church sale for $20.

I've used it quite a lot, and enjoy it. If you spit everything up perfectly balanced and centered, it'll do a small turkey. The best prep I've found so far, though, is roast duck--an hour in the smoker then on this rotisserie--heaven.

That pan catches all the good drippings, too. The only bad part is that some drips hit the electric element. I may try to modify this 2nd unit so it heats from the side instead of from underneath.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Oct 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

Tony knocks one out of the park

This is especially good news coming from you. No royal bashing or leftist proselytizing?

I'll be sure to catch the show.

What's your best yard sale or thrift store cookware find?

Hi, Q: "table broiler for porch suppers"

Something like this?

Aloha,
Kaleo

Oct 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

OMG, Williams Sonoma

Hi, Shrinkrap:

It can be if you want... Would you like to start?

Aloha,
Kaleo

Oct 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

Would Someone Please Explain Why Cream Costs SO Much More than Half-N-Half And Butter?

Hi, ac:

Sorry, I tend not to accept incomplete explanations. Folks keep repeating that the fat content is *the* or a *major* factor, when neither appears to be the case.

If, in fact, most milk is separated and then reconstituted into various %s of fat, butter is made from some of what would otherwise go back into whole, half, light and heavy creams or be diverted to cheese or industrial uses. None of these end products is "identical", but we do know that making butter requires further processing of the cream. It therefore stands to reason that cream requires *fewer* processing steps than butter.

Dairy is more like wheat, i.e., fungible, than it is to chocolate.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Oct 20, 2014
kaleokahu in General Topics

In Praise of Dives, or... Another One Bites the Dust

Hi, venice:

Pacific Inn would probably be my Alamo.

Let's not forget The Sloop, The Waterwheel, or The Boxcar, either.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Oct 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Greater Seattle

Cleaning Copper Pots

Hi, phylpot:

Unless something is totally baked (carbonized) onto the metal, I wouldn't soak it at all. As someone upthread stated, if you don't care about a mirror finish, use a slurry of BKF--just don't scour aggressively, let the acid do the work. If you *do* want a bright or mirror surface, I like Flitz the best--again, it's not abrasive, you let the chemicals do it, and things end up so microfine that the metal resists tarnish better.

I you have a heavily-carbonized pan bottom, I use Easy-Off Professional on those areas. There, you might have to leave it on for 20 minutes at a time, and it might take a few applications.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Oct 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

Impartial All Clad lines faceoff

Hi, Chazz:

I think it would also be very useful to fill each pan's floor with bacon, cook on the same very low heat, one side only, and then turn out the bacon in the same position to visually assess evenness in the results. Not many frypans can pull this off on gas or induction.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Oct 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

In Praise of Dives, or... Another One Bites the Dust

Over the weekend I was saddened to learn that the Streamline Tavern will be tossed out of its longtime location in December to make way for yet another cookie-cutter, mixed-use development.

This raises yet again the neighborhood-rending scourge of venerable, iconic, successful "dives" falling to the Great Leveler of local real estate development.

The Viking? Gone.
Alki Tavern? Gone.
Doghouse/Hurricane? Gone.
Streamliner? Going.

Who's next:

The 5 Point?
Mecca?
Beths?
Two Bells?
Jules Maes?
Fiddler's Inn?
Roanoake Roadhouse?
The Cabin?

Am I the only one who laments the demise of the iconic Seattle dive and despairs loss of neighborhood institutioins? Development is quickly killing Seattle's character.

Kaumaha Au,
Kaleo

Oct 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Greater Seattle

Impartial All Clad lines faceoff

...and a Special Prestidigitator...

Oct 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

Staub cocotte lid wobble

Hi, alexrander: "Just a note: The lid when placed on a surface is not resting where the edge of the pot meets it."

This is a good point. It's resting on the vertical flange which sits inside the pot. This is what, IMO, makes it no big deal that the lugs/bumps are there on the horizontal surface--the condensation still stays in the pan, even if a tiny amount of vapor escapes.

I'm going to pre-empt with another non-issue here about another Staub feature. Do we really need "Chistera" self-basting nubbins? See, http://www.staub.fr/en/chistera.html Ray should buy one before Nike sues. ;

)

Aloha,
Kaleo

Oct 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

De Buyer, Future Shop Sale & Induction

Hi, Sigurd:

Let me suggest a different way of looking at this. CI and carbon steel are homogenous surfaces which generally are efficiently induced. SS pans are usually clad, not homogenous, and only the bottom layer is induced; some bottom layers are more efficient than others.

Generally, and based on what's now on the market, if you want extreme *responsiveness* on induction, I would pick the thinnest carbon steel pan you can find. A 1mm carbon steel pan will be more responsive than a 3mm but mostly in the downward direction.

I think you should also consider *evenness*. There, the situation is somewhat reversed--the 3mm pan will generally be more even. If your induction hob is very even and you stick to a smallish size pan, it won't matter much. Most people hate unevenness and aren't used to extreme response anyway, so they strike a balance toward thicker.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Oct 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware
1

Staub cocotte lid wobble

Hi, Jeremy: "Staub places bumps on the rim of the lid to keep one of its ends elevated slightly, so that it allows steam to escape without the lid rattling."

Yes. I checked with Sur la Table and another indie store this morning, and they verified that the Staub ovens they retail have such standoffs cast into the surface of the covers which mate with the pots' rims. I've also queried Staub USA as to whether this feature is common to all models, but it makes sense that it is, because otherwise a cook could be scalded trying to remove a cover held by slight vacuum.

These bumps are very short and subtle, and therefore easy to miss. There are usually 3 of them to keep the cover from noticeably wobbling.

FWIW, my Staub mussel pot has a similar feature, except it's two cutouts in the cover's inner (vertical) rim, rather than bumps on the horizontal surface.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Oct 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

Good article about reactive/non-reative cookware

Hi, zackly:

Yes, it makes sense. High acid + high salt + high heat + very thin non-passivated aluminum (shiny foil) + ground to steel + several hours' time = discernible reaction.

I have never cooked anything in bare or anodized aluminum which I thought tasted off from reaction, including tomato-based preps. But I would not simmer wine and tomatoes for hours in it, either. And I certainly wouldn't be marinading my Q in it.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Oct 19, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

Magnalite roasters

Hi, EWSflash:

I think you can still buy them new from American Culinary, the successor to Wagner and Griswold. Try: http://www.wagnerware.com/CatMainDeta... The main page contains a really good history of Magnalite, too.

These are very cool, like showing up with an Airstream trailer. Note they also offer a low roasting pan for not much money.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Oct 19, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

Quick question about hammered copper

Hi, Silas:

Nope, the conductivity's the same. The planished pans are just harder.

The thicker the material starts out, the harder it is to turn on the lathe. So the maker wants to start with as soft an anneal as his tools will turn. The tools themselves work-harden the material, so the pan may need to be re-annealed and reworked several steps/times (if it's worked past a certain point of hardness, the copper can also crack). Planishing after the blank is fully formed imparts consistent work-hardening as one of the last steps. A skilled metalworker can tell by the way a pan rings when struck if it's hard enough.

You can try this yourself if you have a short bar of copper. As found, the bar will be fairly tough, and won't bend easily. Heat it to glowing and bury it in sand or vermiculite until it cools. You'll be amazed by how easy it bends. Hammer it all over on an anvil and it goes hard again.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Oct 19, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

Impartial All Clad lines faceoff

Oh, you're probably going to need an IR gun that has adjustable emissivity. A contact thermocouple would be even better.

Oct 19, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware