p

ProfessorBear's Profile

Title Last Reply

Round 3: 2015 Cookware deals!

To be fair, those are their usual exclusions. Well, everyone's. The individual manufacturers decide whether or not to include themselves in discounts.

I've never seen a coupon good on knives or Le Creuset at any retailer, SLT or otherwise.

Jul 31, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware

All Clad Factory Seconds Sale

This June 2015 sale was the first time I went and I'm happy to say I'd go back just for the fun of it, even if I wasn't looking for anything.

My friend Sarah and I went on Friday, arriving around 2:30 p.m. We parked with ease and walked right into the sale building with no wait whatsoever.

I got a shopping cart and promptly found a Copper-Core Windsor pan that was dying to come home with me. Around the corner, the wide 8-rondeau from the TK collection for Sonoma jumped into my cart. And over a few aisles in the "Gourmet Accessories" (a.k.a. Made in China section), I got the splatter screen with the folded back handle.

I was very pleased with how well organized everything was, the ease of access, and the sheer volume of pieces available. Lots of seconds on the Clearance tables to choose from.

For all three pieces, I left at a little over $300. At retail, I'd have been in for over $660.

Definitely worth a trip.

Jun 15, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Bob Kramer - Zwilling Honesuki Knife

Most SLTs lost the Carbon steel line when the "Essential" line came out.

Now, it seems, that "Essential" is going out of most stores. I was just in the local SLT today and the display models are on clearance for 30% off. Seems they're getting a new line in August, I think, which no one knows details about.

Personally, I'd be very, very happy if they revived the old Meiji line that Shun used to do back in their Kramer days. Enough of the chunky Euroline handles! I've got big hands and I don't even find those fat handles comfortable.

Jun 13, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Shun Kanso

I'll reserve final judgment until I feel it, but if it's anything like its predecessors on Shun's low-end, it's not going to be worth much.

POLL: Design/Style of Demeyere Atlantis/John Pawson & ZW Sensation/I5

I own both Atlantis and Industry5 pieces from Demeyere. I adore the Atlantis and, a half-step below, really like my I5.

Mar 31, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Staub and Le Creuset Ceramics

It's called making a suggestion... since, you know, that's what you seemed to be seeking by posting in the first place. That is unless you were posting as a vanity exercise. Not sure. In either case, read on.

Staub and Le Creuset make their ceramics cheaply in Asia. They slap their name on it, a color consumers like that matches the cookware they already own, and sell it at a shocking premium. One can only imagine that the factories aren't great places for the workers making these premium-priced pieces.

Emile Henry and Fiesta make products of higher quality in better production circumstances (and more humane working conditions for those producing it. Both of those lines make colors that will match or at least play off of Staub and/or Le Creuset enameled cast iron cookware.

And since you mentioned French (this is called inference, btw...) with Emile Henry, both Revol and Pillivuyt also make porcelain bakeware and service pieces in France. While expensive, they'll likely last one much longer than the pieces of LC or Staub ceramic pieces.

Et voila. We've arrived at the end. In summation: One can do a whole lot better than LC or Staub ceramics. And the names listed above are among my suggestions. Clear now?

Jan 25, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Staub and Le Creuset Ceramics

The long and the short of it: It's made in China and you can do better for the price.

You like color? Do Emile Henry or Fiestaware.
You want French? Revol or Pillivuyt.

Jan 25, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Demeyere Atlantis

Get the 4.2 Qt. saute.
Get the 9.5" and 11" skillets.
Get the 5.5 Qt. dutch oven.

More? Get saucepans.

You won't regret. I gave up my All-Clad and haven't looked back once.

Jan 21, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Demeyere vs All-Clad

If we're going to talk about nonstick, we'll just leave All-Clad in the closet since it's junk. Their teflon peels if you look at it the wrong way.

As for me, my nonstick comes from Scanpan. It's green, takes a beating, and cooks incredibly well.

Jan 06, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Demeyere vs All-Clad

To be fair, you wanna know how it broke?

It fell eight feet from a shelf onto a concrete floor after being rattled loose from its vignette display by a street fair concert, the stage for which was positioned right outside the windows of our store.

I just wanted to clarify so you didn't think it came off in the sink. :-p

Jan 06, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware
1

Demeyere vs All-Clad

All-Clad's "lifetime" warranty is good on paper, but they'll fight you to the last breath to keep from owning up. That is what happened to me.

A few years ago, when D5 was first introduced, I bought a pan and the lid pitted after one use. It should be noted that this was after All-Clad's purchase by Groupe SEB...

The customer service line gave me a song and dance about how I must have let salt sit on the lid, etc. Thankfully, Williams-Sonoma kindly exchanged out the pan for a replacement.

These warranties are tough to get worked out in the real world. Just ask anyone who's ever had Le Creuset turn down a claim on a damaged piece of enameled cast iron. It's very easy to say that the user didn't follow the letter of the warranty and turn them down than to admit flaws in their product.

I've recently seen three All-Clad tri-ply pans returned that completely de-laminated. The layers of metals had bubbled apart. (These three pans came from different people... it wasn't one person who mistreated their cookware.)

That being said, I've also seen a Demeyere Proline skillet (from an Atlantis set) break the welds of the handle.

Unfortunately, that's what happens sometimes.

Jan 06, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Using a steel screw driver as a honing rod?

I don't think a screwdriver is going to do you much good when, for about $20, you can buy an actual honing steel.

Most honing steels A.) have ridging that helps to align the knife edge back into a straight line and B.) are made of steels that are harder than your knife.

I've never seen a screwdriver that has ridging on its shaft and can't speak to the Rockwell hardness of tool steel.

You spent the money on knives. A little more for a proper steel is a good investment that can keep any knife, so-so to excellent, in good working order.

Jan 06, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Using a steel screw driver as a honing rod?

A honing steel is designed to keep a sharp knife sharp.

Every knife has microscopic serrations. When we think of a serrated knife, of course, we think bread or tomato knives. But when we use standard knives with straight edges, we're knocking the edge around and so-to-speak, pushing the teeth out of whack.

When you hone - and properly... not flailing about midair like we see people do on food TV... you're lining up the edge again.

Best practice: put a dish towel on the counter or a cutting board. Grip the honing steel with your non-dominant hand as if you planned to stab down into the board. With your dominant hand, grip your knife, find the appropriate degree of angle: 15-18 for Asian knives, 20-22 for Western.

Begin with the heel of your knife at the top of the hone. Pull the knife towards you, moving the knife edge down the steel. Once you've done the "right" side of the knife (holding the knife on the left of the steel), do the same to the "left" side of the knife (holding the edge to the right of the steel).

At first, it might feel like driving on rumble strips, depending on how used your knife has been between honings. Going back and forth between sides, you'll feel things smooth out.

In short, a honing steel isn't designed to sharpen a knife. It's regular maintenance that you can do every time you use the knife, whereas true sharpening should only be done a couple times per year.

Hope that helped explain things a little!

Jan 06, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Demeyere vs All-Clad

For the most part, you're right.

The Grande Grille and Griddle, the colander, etc. do come in the charcoal grey box with the red band. Those, indeed, are made in China.

The roasters, however, are where things get tricky. They come in the white boxes with grey text on them. They look like the boxes filled with American-made contents, but they're anything but.

I have no qualms with them making products abroad. That's their prerogative. However, I've had customers mistakenly think that ALL All-Clad is draped in red, white, and blue.

I've retired my All-Clad and purchased Demeyere Atlantis. Overall, I've found it to be superior cookware. Even the slightly cheaper Industry5 feels better in hand, cleans better, and - in my perhaps amateur perception - cooks more evenly.

Jan 05, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware
1

Demeyere vs All-Clad

Anything All-Clad sells that has a disc bottom has been made in China. That's 90% of the stockpots labeled All-Clad that you see in any store. They're the ones that cost only an arm and not a leg to go with.

The company's tri-ply, D5, Copper-Core, and Copper chef lines are made in Canonsburg, PA, about 30 minutes from Pittsburgh. Most everything else is not.

As for your final question, I work for a national kitchen-goods retailer. I won't disclose which one. I know what I'm talking about because it's my job and livelihood to know and to answer my customers' questions. I sell the product and can tell you without fear of successful contradiction that All-Clad makes plenty of their products in China.

Jan 05, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Demeyere vs All-Clad

It's not a "Deal" so much as they place product very well and flood the airwaves with it about as much as you see Le Creuset all over television and movies.

Just because it's all over the TV doesn't make it a great product. Otherwise, we'd all own Flowbee hair cutters and Ron Popeil's "SET IT AND... FORGET IT!" crap.

Jan 05, 2015
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Demeyere vs All-Clad

Actually, they're not mistaken. I work in the industry and can tell you the following incontrovertible fact: All-Clad makes plenty of products overseas.

Most of All-Clad's roasters are made in China.

Their cast aluminum pieces (nonstick finishes) are, too.

Until recently, a lot of their lids had been shipped off to China.

The "Gourmet Accessories" - tools, collander, tea kettle, lasagna pan, etc. are all made in China.

Before calling out someone else, at least do your research.

Staub Lovers - Question about black interior

No issues here. Just pay attention to what's going on. Watch your time. Don't go off to check your email or gap your sparkplugs and you'll have little issue.

I've got a ton of LC, but have been switching over to Staub because I think it's harder-wearing, has a nicer finish, and feels more substantial.

Dec 28, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Can you help this knife newbie?

Brooktroutchaser mentioned below to hand-wash knives with beechwood handles.

I'd like to go further and remind people to hand-wash ALL knives. The constant knocking-around in a dishwasher is terrible thing for a knife and the heat isn't the best for wood or plastic handles.

Take the time, wash your knives after using them (i.e. - don't let crap sit on them), don't leave them sitting in the sink (another great way to end up with an accidental cut or the chipping of your blade), hand-dry them, and then put them back in the block or another storage solution (magnetic bar, hard sheath, in-drawer flat block).

No reason to spend good money on good knives if you don't intend to care for them.

Dec 08, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Can you help this knife newbie?

Short answer: Go to a Sur La Table or other kitchen store where they'll let you try out the knives. You can buy the prettiest, the most expensive, the shiniest... but if you don't like how they feel in hand, you won't use them.

Try everything, chop up a couple potatoes if they'll let you, and make your decision from there. I've never been pressured at SLT. It's just part of what they do (accepting the fact that you hopefully live near one).

Personally, I have a real mix of knives... and quite a few of them.

Wusthof Ikon (Chef, Santoku, Bread, Boning, Utility, Short Serrated, Paring, Peeling, Asian Paring, Steak knives.)

Kramer (Zwilling) Damascus 10" Chef

Shun Classic (Santoku, Nakiri, Carving set, and two parings.)

Miyabi Birchwood (10" and 8" chefs, Santoku, Slicer, utility, and two parings.)

Miyabi Artisan (9.5" and 8" Chefs, Santoku, Utility.)

Miyabi Kaizen (6" rocking chef)

Dec 07, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

demeyere on sale

I own pieces from the Atlantis, Proline, and Industry5 lines. It's a great alternative (a far better one, in my opinion) to All-Clad.

I love the shot-blasted handle. It comfortably fits my hand. The forking where the handle meets the pan helps keep it cool and the lack of rivets helps keep things gunk-free.

The five-layer construction really conducts heat well. I don't see the oil pooling off to the sides like I used to with All-Clad and clean up is stupidly easy. The Silvinox finish (which, I believe removes more impurities from the steel) just seems to make things clean up very nicely to me.

The 4-quart saute with loop handles on both sides is calling my name, even though I need it like a hole in the head.

Dec 04, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Copper cookware vs All Clad Copper Core Cookware

Compared to awful All-Clad tri-ply, I'd put up Mauviel's thinnest copper or any of their stainless any day. The workmanship, the design, and the performance are simply not there for All-Clad. It's a mirage of marketing, providing entire batteries de cuisine to Food Network stars, and making it cheaper (by farming out lots of their line to China) that have turned it into the "aspirational" brand for American cooks... just like the KitchenAid mixer that most couples register for and use once per year.

MC2 is simply tri-ply with a brushed finish. A second layer of aluminum - one that will oxidize - isn't going to make it that much better. A gimmick for cosmetic purposes. The end.

Demeyere's Industry5 and Atlantis make All-Clad look like flimsy trash you'd buy at a dollar store. Try them and you'll know that for yourself.

While you're talking about All-Clad standing by their warranty, please explain to me why they wouldn't honor mine when I had a lid from the initial release of D5 from Williams-Sonoma pit all over the place? They wouldn't do anything. W-S did.

I work in the cookware industry and can tell you without fear of successful contradiction that All-Clad presents lots of smoke and mirrors that make it look much, much better than it is. They once led the industry for clad cookware, but have been far surpassed by most of their competitors.

Oct 24, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Anyone know how approx. old this Le Creuset is?

Ten years old - tops. The saucepans were made with wooden handles a long while back, but the black handle is much more recent. It should have a lid, too.

Copper cookware vs All Clad Copper Core Cookware

The only people who believe All-Clad to be good - period - are the ones who've never cooked on anything better. Mauviel and Demeyere are infinitely better than anything being put out by All-Clad.

Oct 24, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Big Sur La Table Savings! Was $19.95

Heaven help us all!!! Multiple exclamation points!!!

Were you lied to? The green one is 40% off. I don't see the issue here. It's probably an out-of-make color and they're getting rid of it.

Aug 24, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

J.A Henckels Forged Knife Set at Costco, Good Value?

Zwilling means "twins" in German. Any time you see the logo with both guys or the name "Zwilling" by itself, you're getting the company's premium knives.

In general, when things are listed with both names - Zwilling J.A. Henckels - it's the "better" on the "Good-Better-Best" continuum.

Items that are just named J.A. Henckels will usually have the one-man logo (cut one dude off of the logo), will generally not be made in Germany, and are their "Good" on the line.

Aug 19, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

J.A Henckels Forged Knife Set at Costco, Good Value?

Anything that is just marked Henckels and has only one of the men from the twin/two man logo is the low-grade stuff.

Things marked Zwilling Henckels that have both guys are the mid-range.

Anything that is Zwilling with both guys is the good stuff.

Aug 18, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Vitamix Creations Turbo vs. Vitamix 5200 Super Package

For the money you're proposing the poster spends, they could buy the Breville Hemisphere and still have a hell of a lot more money left over to buy their ingredients.

That blender rings in at $200 and isn't a knock-off of a BlendTec like the supposedly superior Waring.

Aug 10, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Vitamix Creations Turbo vs. Vitamix 5200 Super Package

The Waring Pro Professional Food and Beverage Blender (Model PBB201)

"Given its four short blades, a cramped jar with a flat bottom, and a weak motor, it was no surprise that this 360-watt blender failed at most tasks. Furthermore, it began emitting a noxious odor and making an awful rattling noise almost immediately," says CI in its September-October 2012 issue.

The Waring was the lowest-rated blender of the lot, earning no more than 1.5 stars in any given category (that one was for margaritas).

I don't care how you spin it, junk is junk.

I've owned a VitaMix for 6 years now and wouldn't trade it for the world.

Aug 10, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware

Vitamix Creations Turbo vs. Vitamix 5200 Super Package

If Waring blenders are so great, how was Cooks Illustrated able to repeatedly kill them in their testing? I call horsefeathers... The damned things can't even demolish ice without clogging up and burning out the motor.

Aug 10, 2014
ProfessorBear in Cookware