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SauteĀ“Pan, Skillet, or Rondeau?

The two links will answer your question in detail, but, just to be clear, the shorter and flared side walls of the skillet will allow more moisture to escape than the taller perpendicular walls of the saute or rondeau. It's not primarily about heat; it's about moisture.

Aug 17, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

Why is Boston food so bland?

Carty, you need to look at a map. Both Cambridge and Somerville "literally" abut or border the City of Boston.

Yes, Cambridge's several miles of abutment is in the middle of the Charles River, but Somerville abuts Charlestown, which is a neighborhood of Boston, just like Jamaica Plain, Back Bay, and the other 20 neighborhoods in this city.

EDITED TO ADD: I see that you recanted, but you are still missing the fact that Cambridge abuts Boston all along the Allston, Fenway/Kenmore, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and West End neighborhoods (in addition to Charlestown). If the river is your objection, you might as well try to argue that Pennsylvania and New Jersey do not "abut" either.

Aug 12, 2015
jljohn in Greater Boston Area

recommendations for mortar and pestle, which material?

Light and Morter and Pestle don't really go together really well. I'd recommend that if weight is an issue, buy their smallest and work in batches if necessary.

Aug 12, 2015
jljohn in Cookware
1

Why is Boston food so bland?

"I like lobster, and I like crabs, but if I had to choose I would pick Maryland crabs with old bay almost every time."

This illustrates my point almost perfectly.

Why is Boston food so bland?

Virtually nothing of what you have sampled is traditionally New England food, and the area of the city you are sampling is populated largely by transplants to New England. I think you have started with a poor assumption and are merely seeking to prove it true.

I do think that you are somewhat correct that food in this region tends less salty than in other regions and that it tends less spicy (i.e. hot). If you want something spicy, you have to really emphasize that you want it SPICY. But, in my opinion, that does not make it bland. Let's take a New England staple--clam chowder--as an example. Sure, you could thicken cream, add potatoes and clam juice (with a few bits of clam), plenty of salt and hot sauce, and you'd have a crappy, "not bland" (by your definition) chowder. On the other end of the spectrum, you can have a genuinely interesting and flavorful chowder with cream, whole belly clams, cured meat, potato, a mix of herbs, and maybe even a nice done crouton. Bland? Not in my book, but it won't be spicy or salty. It sounds to me like maybe you need to back off the hot sauce and salt and start tasting the food underneath.

A final issue that I will mention but not delve fully into is the distinction between "real" and fresh food vs. other food sources. There is a huge flavor difference between fresh, whole belly clams and canned or frozed clam strips, between grass fed, pastured, beef and feed lot beef, between vegetable picked ripe from a farm one day served on your plate the next vs veggies picked 3000 miles away and weeks too early that aren't prepared to eat for days or weeks. The former in each of these has a robust natural flavor that can showcase on its own and doesn't require covering. Sadly, many of us have developed palates on the latter and struggle to find the tastes of the former appealing, but it is well worth the effort!

recommendations for mortar and pestle, which material?

That's cool. I didn't realize that they sold through Amazon.

Aug 11, 2015
jljohn in Cookware
1

recommendations for mortar and pestle, which material?

Don't buy from Amazon; buy this one: http://importfood.com/mortarpestle.html

Seriously! I have no affiliation other than being a very satisfied user (and I have gifted one as well.) It is heavy granite, and it grinds very well, I've almost completely stopped stocking ground spices--I buy whole spices and pulverize then in this when I want to use them.

Also, read this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/307997

Aug 11, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

Copper Pot has stains that won't go away

Those look like water stains. Once you have polished it up again, you can avoid this in the future by towel-drying it.

I think my last polishing cream was Wrights Copper Cream--inexpensive at the hardware store and worked every bit as well as the Copperbrill I tried previously. I have not used Flitz, but I have the impression that Kaleo has tried just about everything on the market, so I'd trust his recommendation.

Jul 12, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

Dinnerware safety--brand suggestions?

Let me get this straight: you read conflicting reports by various entities on the internet that Corelle might contain plastics that might have BPA, and you do two things. First you decide not to use Corelle. That's fine, I understand taking the safest of all possible routes approach. Second, you write in an internet forum the unqualified assertion: "Corelle contains plastic/resins which often contain BPA." Hmm.

It sounds like you have the potential to bring bring helpful information to this forum, but it's only helpful if it's presented truthfully.

Jun 17, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

Which pan(s) should be copper

Hiracer, there are knives aplenty out there that have carbon steel sandwiched between stainless, such that the cutting edge is carbon and the center of the spine is exposed CS, but most of the sides of the blade is SS. These knives are not known to be prone to delamination due to rusting.

Jun 12, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

Which pan(s) should be copper

Except for the Wok, of course.

Jun 11, 2015
jljohn in Cookware
1

Pitting in stainless lined Dehillerin copper pans

The first and second look like salt pitting to me. In the first photo you can almost imagine someone sprinkling coarse into cold water and the pits represent where the salt landed and sat. You'd be surprised how quickly SS can pit when in contact with salt! Hard to say with the third.

Jun 09, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

What size saute pan works best for you?

I know that this thread is old, but the question is ongoing.

There are various sizing schemes. Modern cookware (Calphalon, All-Clad, etc) usually uses a 10" / 12" / 14" scheme, I think. Classical French sizes are 9.5", 11", and 14".

I use an 11" pan for all purposes, and I usually cook for between 2 and 5. If what I am preparing is so small that the 11" is too big, I'll use a small fry pan. But for true sauteeing, I make do with an 11" copper pan.

However, I would say that if you cook for 2, 9.5" is sufficient for most purposes, but the extra room in an 11" is an asset. If you cook for 4--5 or more all the time, the 14" would be fantastic. However, and this is a huge however, it needs to be aluminum or copper for conductivity and you need a range that can drive it. There is no sense having a 14" SS saute pan on your range, when your range can only really heat up an 11" circle in the middle of the 14" pan.

So, my specific recommendation is get an 11" if you can only get one pan. Get the 9.5" and the 11" pans if you can get two, and use both when you need all that space. Finally, if you can afford a 14" thick copper saute pan and you have the range to handle it, get that too, but only as a third pan.

Jun 04, 2015
jljohn in Cookware
1

Whether to buy a silver-lined copper wok NOT for stir fry

HI Vicki,

Yes, I think it could be a very useful pan, if all you major bases are covered. I have copper saucepans, a splayed saute, a saute, a casserole / french oven, and a stockpot. All are tin-lined. I happened to find the large Falk stainless-lined copper wok with its lid dirt cheap at the local second hand shop last fall, so I bought it. When I bought it, I wasn't entirely sure what I'd use it for. Nine months later, it is my 2d or 3d most used pan.

I don't stir fry with it--copper is terrible for that, as you know. But it is my yogurt-making pot, my popcorn-making pot, sauce-making pan when I want to whisk with a real (i.e. metal) whisk, my steamer, and my second general purpose mid-sized (3--5 qt range) pan.

Now, if it got stolen/damaged/destroyed I wouldn't go drop the $500 required to replace it, but I would sorely miss it. It is a very useful pan, especially with the stainless lining in a batterie otherwise entirely made of tin.

I don't know if this helps at all but that's my experience with a copper wok.

Best,

Jeremy

Jun 01, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

Silver sauce pan.

Soy Turkiye makes solid silver pans. Poke around the website or the etsy site a bit, and you'll see them. The prices are duck press high!

May 24, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

What cookware should I get?

If someone were gifting me a $1,000 set, I would get either this:

http://www.buycoppercookware.com/mauv...

or this:

http://www.falkusa.com/falk-copper-co...

This is a perfect opportunity to get into some great copper cookware!

May 07, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

Best material for mortar and pestle?

This one: http://importfood.com/mortarpestle.html

Seriously! I have no affiliation other than being a very satisfied user (and I have gifted one as well.) It is heavy granite, and it grinds very well, I've almost completely stopped stocking ground spices--I buy whole spices and pulverize then in this when I want to use them.

May 06, 2015
jljohn in Cookware
2

Pepper (and salt) mill buying guide for newbie

Hi,

I will largely stay out of the salt fray, except to say that I like having a variety of salts, and none of them are traditional table salt. I keep a basic medium grain sea salt in its original container for fermenting purposes, Kosher salt in a salt pig on the stovetop for salting pasta water and food while I'm cooking it, medium grain pink himalayan in an OXO salt grinder for salting food at the table, fleur de sel and Maldon each in its own small mason jar for finishing while plating, and lastly a smattering of small envelopes of various red and black volcanic salts for special applications. You will be amazed at the variety of tastes and textures coming from different salts and how those tastes can be used to compliment different foods!

For pepper grinders I will make an emphatic suggestion. Unless you want a truly coarse grind, just go buy an Atlas pepper mill. (I have this one: http://www.amazon.com/Pepper-Mill-Imp... ) Google it and read reviews. Here's mine: I've been through a bunch of other mills, including several brands that others here have recommended, and none of them compare to the Atlas in terms of quality of manufacture, durability, evenness of grind, output, or looks (ok, that last one is an opinion!) If, however, you need a coarse grind, go buy an Atlas and a mill specifically for grinding coarsely.

Best of luck

May 04, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

is 2mm thick adequate for a vintage copper tin lined sauteuse evasee?

Yep, that's basically the stuff there, except that I scrounged them battered and had them tinned myself, keeping the total cost to about 1/2 to 2/3 of what she's asking.

Apr 07, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

is 2mm thick adequate for a vintage copper tin lined sauteuse evasee?

No, this wasn't new stuff. These were well- (or ill-) used, and needed tinning, except for the lids, which both had nice tin. My guess is that they are 70's or 80's vintage--the standard professional-grade 1/8" hammered copper that they carried for a long time.

Apr 07, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

is 2mm thick adequate for a vintage copper tin lined sauteuse evasee?

There are 3+mm small saucepans out there aplenty. You will have to sleuth a little to find them, and sometimes you have to read between the lines to figure out what you are looking at. A lot of sellers on ebay and CL will only say "small pan" or "5" pan," etc, so you might need to calculate volumes, get weights on the pans, ask for rough comparisons of wall thickness to coins, etc.

A couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to get a set--not matched or anything--of saucepans and lids in thick tin-lined copper. It took a couple of weeks, but I was able to find tin-lined hammered copper 3.2mm (1/8") pans in 3qt (Williams Sonoma), 2qt (Williams Sonoma), and 3/4qt (Dehillerin) sizes. I rarely use anything between 3 cups and 2 quarts, so I didn't need the 1 1/4--1 1/2 size that is commonly seen. I separately located appropriately sized, and perfectly flat, lollipop lids for the larger two. If I ever find a lollipop for the small one, I'll pick it up, but I wouldn't use it too often. If memory serves, each piece was in the $30--$50 range.

Peter's pans are very good, but without the lids, I'd probably go looking for singles elsewhere. My set of Peter's is a little thinner than Kaleo's, but it is still a very nice set. If you call RMR, you'll probably be talking with Erik, not Peter, but Erik is great to work with. Even if you don't get their pans, I highly recommend their retinning services. They've always done great work for me with a quick turnaround time. My last acquisition was a 3.2mm, 11", 10qt casserole with lid that was battered. The pot was practically oval, the bottom was severely bowed, and the lid was bent and very wobbly. I normally wouldn't pursue a pan like that, but it literally cost me $5. So I sent it off to Erik, and he put it right. It still has some scars, but it's round, the bottom is flatter than I ever thought it would be, and the lid fits right!

Anyway, there's a lot of great copper out there, and like your 4mm pans, there are amazing pieces to be found. Good luck with your search!

Apr 07, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

is 2mm thick adequate for a vintage copper tin lined sauteuse evasee?

But don't measure the interior height from the center bottom. Measure from near the wall, as many pans bow up in the center and have the tendency to flatten out only when hot, as I understand it.

Apr 05, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

Handles and Rivets for Copper Cookware

Yeah, that looks like a stainless-lined pan with copper rivets to me too. Odd.

Mary's a great source of information!

Mar 28, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

Handles and Rivets for Copper Cookware

Unless I'm mistaken, I've seen tinned copper rivets before. That's what the photo above looks like to me. The more I look at copper cookware, the less any aberration surprises me. I get the sense that any possible combination has happened at some point, and that most manufacturers were not locked down to a particular specification. They probably used whatever was on hand to get the job done. That's my guess!

Mar 28, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

Harsch Crock water seal problems

Actually, it works the other way around. The more headspace (i.e. the more air) is inside the crock, the worse the the impact of pressure change is. If there is liquid inside, right up to the moat, external barometric pressure changes will have little to no effect on the interior. And an empty crock will exhibit the most extreme impact on the water in the moat.

Mar 27, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

Harsch Crock water seal problems

You missed one--barometric pressure changes. The pressure inside will equalize with the pressure outside the pot, which is why the water seal works to allow CO2 out. But the downside to the Harsch system is that if the barometric pressure rises, air needs to get into the pot. This happens by the atmosphere forcing the water in the seal (moat) back into the pot. The greater the headspace you've left inside the pot, the worse the effect is.

This same effect cause me the ruin of 3 gallons of kraut, and I've since transitioned entirely to 1/2 gallon mason jars with airlocks inserted into drilled-out lids. Works like a charm!

Mar 27, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

Best way to spend $300 at C&B

I don't have a comment on the pans you are considering, but you could consider selling the credit for a slightly reduced price via Craigslist, and buying whatever you want, wherever you want, for say $275.

Mar 24, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

is 2mm thick adequate for a vintage copper tin lined sauteuse evasee?

I know you asked Kaleo, but I'll chime on on the utensil piece. I use olive wood and maple spoons, ladles, and scrapers. For plactics, I like the Vollrath spatulas ( http://www.webstaurantstore.com/vollr... ) I keep a silicone whisk around for when I must whisk on tin, but it honestly does a poor job. In my opinion the solution to the whisk issue is to keep one stainless-lined pan around for sauces that require whisking, and have at it with a proper whisk.

May I ask how much they charged for shipping? I am looking at another pan they have on offer.

Mar 21, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

is 2mm thick adequate for a vintage copper tin lined sauteuse evasee?

So what did they sell for. I went to check them out, and they are sold!

Mar 20, 2015
jljohn in Cookware

is 2mm thick adequate for a vintage copper tin lined sauteuse evasee?

Hi Kaleo,

I'm guessing you are being fast and loose with your percentages here, but out of curiosity, 2% is 1 in 50, so what 1 pan out of any given 50 pans (or even 1 in 50 11" Sauteuse Evasee) out there are equal to or better than a 3mm copper variant? I would have thought you'd put 2.5mm at 98%--99% and 3mm at 99.5% or better!

Jeremy

Mar 19, 2015
jljohn in Cookware