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Copper cookware vs All Clad Copper Core Cookware

Hi Kaleo,

I wonder what's going on. It's been well over a year--maybe even a year and a half--since he stopped taking order, and his statements always make it seem like the pans are just around the corner. This time last year, it was going to be Spring 2014, then Summer. I am really rooting for him, but I don't see this moving along much at all.

I wonder what Mac is trying to accomplish differently than Jim with DH&M ( http://www.dhandm.com/Copper_Cookware... ), because in Mac's absence from the market, Jim has put a handful of pans out there, seemingly without the difficulty in sourcing parts. Admittedly, I haven't asked Jim where the handles are being cast, but he's clearly using iron and brass handles.

I hope Jim can ramp up a full line and Mac can get back into the market soon, then we'll have a couple of good domestic (or at least partly domestic) options.

Nov 19, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Copper cookware vs All Clad Copper Core Cookware

Sorry Mikie, I missed the rounded anvil! In that case, it would work extremely well for these measurements. The one I used had a flat spindle and anvil, so that's simply what I saw when I glanced at your link.

I actually never realized that micrometers were limited to screw-type devices!

Nov 19, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Copper cookware vs All Clad Copper Core Cookware

Mikie,

I grew up using a Starrett, and they are fantastic for most applications but not for the round sides of cookware. Since the Starrett has a thick spindle, it amplifies the problem of curvature of the walls. Amazing micrometer though!

Now, can you please explain to me how this device (which you are calling a dial indicator) is not a micrometer? Or is it just a specialized type of micrometer?

Thanks!

Jeremy

Nov 19, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Copper cookware vs All Clad Copper Core Cookware

And here is an example of a 2.5mm SS-lined pan that is mis-measured and mis-stated, despite using the proper type of calipers:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mafter-Bourge...

Kaleo, are these the calipers you said you don't see used on ebay?

Nov 19, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Copper cookware vs All Clad Copper Core Cookware

"Whoa there, I wasn't accusing you of having any connection to the ebay seller, and if I implied anything of that sort, I apologize. But I don't think I did."

No worries--I didn't read you to be saying that. I was being preemptive! I recognized that my passion on the subject could be mistaken for a financial interest in the pan, and I wanted to avoid anything of the sort. It's all good.

I think that the iron handle is the x factor that will prevent an accurate weight calculation. Why don't you buy the pan, (I'll cover shipping), and we'll have it shipped directly to Kaleo's bandsaw for a final analysis? :)

Nov 18, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Mauviel Copper Sauce Pan

Hi Kaleo,

Would you mind elaborating a bit on your popcorn-making?

I've been using EVOO in a LC 5.5 Qt pot and black popcorn, and I really like the combo, but it seems that the large iron surface area at the bottom is not all heating sufficiently to pop most of the kernels. I've been thinking that a smaller-bottomed pan, like a splayed saute would work better, but I've been afraid to try, because I wasn't sure how hot the pan was getting. The EVOO approaches the smoke point as the kernels start to pop, but I'm not sure how hot the pan gets after the already-popped kernels soak up the oil.

So, what's your method, and what oil are you using?

Thanks,

Jeremy

Nov 18, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Mauviel Copper Sauce Pan

It looks to me like you melted the tin. It's not pretty, but as long as it's all solid and not flaking off at all, and if no copper is showing through, I'd be ok using it. You probably had the heat too high and the corn was't sufficient to absorb the heat, so the temp of the tin rose to about 425--450 degrees, which it too hot for a tin-lined pan. You should not have shape-shifting tin every time you use the pan. If you keep your temps down, the tin will grey nicely and not change, and then when you accidentally overheat and smear the tin, you'll see a streak of silver through the grey. Consider it a lesson in learning to use tin-lined copper and keep cooking.

As an aside, a lot of folks are afraid of pushing tin-lined pans to high temps for searing and other applications. Since you already have a pan with smudged up tin, I'd encourage you to push it hard, and learn how to flirt with tin's melting point without going past it. Once you get the feel for how hard you can push it, you can sear and saute in tin-lined pans exceptionally well without ruining them. It just takes a practiced hand!

Nov 18, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Copper cookware vs All Clad Copper Core Cookware

CenturyLife,

I think you missed my point. I know that it is an SS-lined pan, and it is thicker than 2.5mm. I understand perfectly how curvature works, and how thickness should be measured, and I can see that the seller did not photograph a perfectly measured pan, but straightening up that micrometer and measuring accurately, even taking curvature into account will result in a thickness not less that 2.95--3.00mm. The point is that there are thick SS-lined pans out there. As I said before, I've owned two (3.2mm and 4mm). Both were measured with extremely narrow-lipped calipers, so as to eliminate a curvature issue, and both were measure in the correct orientation. The pan in the auction is thicker than 2.5mm by a long shot. If your presupposition is that all SS-line copper pans are 2.5mm or less, then I can't help you see differently, but arguing that the slight angle of the micrometer in the photo renders the reading off by 20% doesn't comport with reality.

In any case, even if you think the methodology is wrong, I'm not sure how you would explain this same methodology producing a measurement of 2.5--2.55mm on Falk and Mauviel SS-lined pans and 3.2mm on the Gaillard and 4mm on the Matfer I discussed above.

For what it is worth, in addition to owning a pair of thick SS-lined pans, I've seen a few others, and all but two were old Matfer pans with the Chef's Toque like this one. One was a Gaillard, and one was branded SLT (Sur la Table).

Lastly, I have no connection to this auction or item whatsoever. It simply appears to me to be a 3mm SS-lined pan relevant to our conversation.

Nov 18, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Copper cookware vs All Clad Copper Core Cookware

Hey Kaleo,

I just spotted this for anyone who might be interested:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3MM-RARE-MATF...

Nov 18, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Cast iron - large spot won't season properly

The anecdote of a well-seasoned/burnt/polymerized/plasticized/panita'd pan that generated bad flavors in food runs counter to your hypothesis.

Nov 17, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Help me choose a kettle

I have a Simplex kettle, that sadly is not holding up. I bought it maybe 4 or 5 years ago (literally about a week before the old Simplex went belly up), but it has not held up. The chrome on the underside and lower edges is flaking and there is substantial corrosion underneath. The wood handle is flaking it's paint, and the neck of the lid has developed a crack from the force of being lifted off and pushed on again. It's frustrating.

Anyway, I'm looking for a kettle that has the following features: (1) at least 1.5 quarts and up to 3 quarts, (2) whistles, (3) I don't want to have to remove a whistler insert to pour, (4) has an iconic or significant historic design, (5) is of a lifetime quality when used multiple times per day, and (optional) a slight preference for a kettle that fills through the top but not the spout.

I know that is a demanding list, and I have been looking for a while without finding what I want. So, please offer suggestions!

Nov 16, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Should I continue to make soft boiled eggs, or should I buy a poacher?

"I'm not sure that I want to even get into poaching"

Ray,

I think you are over-thinking this. Tomorrow morning, put a couple of inches of water into a pan--basically any pot or pan you own--and bring it almost to a simmer (180 degrees or so should do). If you feel so inclined, add some salt and or vinegar to the water. The salt will improve the flavor of the egg, and the vinegar will have a slight performance impact. Crack an egg into a small bowl or cup or a large spoon, and gently lower the bowl, cup, or spoon into the water, gently pouring the egg out onto the bottom of the pan. Keep the water below a simmer. Wait four minutes, and scoop the egg out with a slotted spoon. Then decide if you want to get into this whole poaching thing!

Thinking about buying a specialized tool for a technique that doesn't require a specialized tool when you've never even tried the technique doesn't seem like a good idea. And we are talking about 10--15 minutes of time--start to finish--for you to find out. It's not meat curing, or beer making; it's a zero cost, 15 minute, investment.

Give it a shot, then think about the tools that will work best for you.

Nov 13, 2014
jljohn in Cookware
1

Cast iron - large spot won't season properly

Can you please explain, precisely, what makes it so disgusting? If you cook with oil, and nothing is stuck on, then wiping it out with a paper towel and putting it up is the same as scrubbing it with soap and water and oiling it. Respectfully, I think you are pursuing an illusion of cleanliness.

Nov 12, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

All this talk about quality cookware . . .

"If more home cooks tried it, it would be bad news for the cladsters and at Fresnoy-le-Grand."

Hi Kaleo,

I have to think that most of that stuff is bought for aesthetic purposes over performance, otherwise A-C's MC and MC2 lines would have been their best-selling. If someone walks into WS, SLT, or any dedicated kitchen shop, and wants high quality cookware (or just want American made with a good warranty), and they don't want to cook on an aluminum surface (which seems to describe many, if not most Americans these days), then the only reason to choose SS Clad is aesthetics or the dishwasher, yet, most people seem to choose clad.

Jeremy

Nov 12, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Metallic twang from carbon steel blades

Kaleo,

I suppose that the irony here is that a word must be misused for a sufficient time and by a sufficient number of people for "common use" to apply. Only then is the word's misuse "authorized."

Nov 12, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Cooking Beans in Whey

I assume it's an acid whey. I think all yogurt whey's are acid wheys, but I'm not certain. I think sweet whey comes from hard cheese making.

I was not aware of these discussion about beans not softening in the presence of acid, but I'll read up on it. Thanks!

Nov 10, 2014
jljohn in Home Cooking

Cooking Beans in Whey

I've read, in a number of places, about soaking beans with whey, but they typically call for a tablespoon or two of whey per pound of bean in the soaking water. I have a bunch of whey from making greek yogurt, and I was thinking of actually cooking the beans in straight-up whey (or mixed 1:1 with water). I know of a lot of uses for whey, so I'm not looking for that at the moment. I'm just wondering if anyone has tried to turn their whey into bean broth? Thanks!

Nov 10, 2014
jljohn in Home Cooking

$1500-2000 to spend on a set of copper pots what would you buy?

garyf,

Sound advice.

I just wanted to point out that 2.5mm is not 1/8" I've seen this erroneous "fact" tossed around far too much lately! 1/8" is 3.2mm (ok, ok, technically, it's 3.175mm thick), but the reality actually presents an even greater differential. 2.5mm thick SS-lined copper is typically 90% copper and 10% SS, which means that the copper is only 2.25mm thick. 1/8" tin-lined copper is usually 3.2mm plus the tin lining, so the copper itself, without the lining, is actually .95mm or 42% thicker in a 1/8" pan than in a 2.5mm pan.

Nov 05, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Mauviel - Cast Iron Handle (Worth It?)

Thanks for the replies guys. I appreciate the education!

Kaleo, I went back through several of my personal standard reference books, thinking I'd locate where I read it, but I can't find it. So, for the time being, I don't recall where I read or learned that. It may have been from a side comment by Pepin or Child in one of their old videos. Who knows!

Randy, it's interesting that you learned the same thing. Any idea where you picked it up?

Thanks again,

Jeremy

Nov 05, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Best pots/pans?

"frankly it's kind of depressing."

That's ok--if you buy used, what matters is what happened in the cookware industry yesterday (or last century)!

Count me as interested as well.

Nov 05, 2014
jljohn in Cookware
1

5 quart soup pot?

If it's the standard LC, it's a 5.5qt, and it a fine size for almost all standard batches of soup.

Nov 02, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Which mini-cocotte Staub or LC?

Where did you see them for $30 each?

Nevermind, I see that they were purchased for $30 each several years ago, not that they are $30 now.

Oct 30, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Mauviel - Cast Iron Handle (Worth It?)

Kaleo and Randy,

I may be demonstrating ignorance here, but I wanted to address this notion of "jumping" a saute pan. It seems that many think that sauteing is a technique that requires the chef to "jump" the pan. I understand that there is a connection between the word "saute" and the word "jump," but I always understood that to mean that when a dry ingredient is placed into very hot oil, the food itself jumps. Imagine a slice of mushroom in the bottom of a saute pan jumping on its own while sauteing (I'm assuming we've all seen this). Sure, you can toss food to flip it, but jumping is something the food does because of the correct conditions, not something that the chef does, right? If I am wrong about this, how is it that there are so many vintage saute pans out there that were used in French restaurants and hotels that are 14" or greater in diameter, 3mm-4mm thick, and must weight 20 lbs or more. No one ever jumped those things!

I'm just curious if either of you know something of the history of this notion of jumping?

Thanks,

Jeremy

Oct 29, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Which mini-cocotte Staub or LC?

Would you actually want condensation dripping down on a mini pot pie? Seems like that would render your crust pretty mushy.

A couple of years ago, my daughter was enamored of these little cocottes, and she commented on them every time she saw them. I figured I'd pick up a pair for her to use for little servings of mac and cheese, stew, etc, but after three shipments of Staub cocottes I gave up. All six cocottes that I received had substantial chips in the enamel. I have both a large Staub oval and an LC round cocotte, and I have noticed that the Staub seems to chip a bit easier, but the mini cocottes seemed to me to be particularly prone to chipping. That said, I still think the Staub mini cocottes look nicer.

Oct 29, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Why are kitchen tools so expensive?

The odd thing is that you can often get 150% of the function for 1/3 the price.

Two examples of many that I could give: (1) I bought a vintage thick copper 11" saute pan for $75. All-Clad tri-ply pan of the same size is roughly $245. Unless putting in the dishwasher is an absolute necessity, there is simply no performance comparison between the two. (2) The $15 restaurant supply store thick aluminum non-stick fry pan I use will out perform virtually any designer brand non-stick skillet that cost three times its price.

This is what is particularly interesting about this thread. If cookware prices and their performance lined up so that "costs more" = "better performance," there would be little to discuss, even if the curve were parabolic instead of linear. With the parabolic progression, you'd get this notion that I can get 95% of the performance with 1/3 the cost of the very best. But with cookware, the middle of the performance curve is represented much higher than the mid-point on the cost curve.

Oct 29, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Why are kitchen tools so expensive?

(1) Less than it costs to ship it across the Atlantic.
(2) Yes.
(3) Know what works--it isn't always the name brand. Know what you need. Buy used, so someone else takes the hit.

Oct 28, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Help! Is this Staub teapot worth keeping?

In this situation, I'd contact the seller and describe the problem, letting him know that this pot was not as described. See if you can negotiate something reasonable. The options are not limited to (1) returning it at your expense or (2) keeping it at the price you paid. The three times I had something like this happen via ebay, twice we negotiated a partial refund, thereby arriving at a price that was more than fair for the pot in the condition received, and the third time the seller jut wanted to get the pot back, so I shipped it back and he agreed to pay for shipping.

Most people can be reasonable if you are clear and reasonable yourself. See what you can work out.

If it were me, I'd ask for a substantial refund--$71 is pretty high for a kettle in this shape. Heck, if you were going to have to clean it, you could get this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/La-Theiere-St...

Oct 28, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Copper Measuring Cups

Current:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-HAMMERED...

Completed (they can be expensive):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/STURDY-4PC-SE...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/STURDY-UNIQUE...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-HAMMERED...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/STURDY-4PC-SE...

And oddly, I just realized that all of these came from the same seller (with whom I have no connection). He, or she, might be a good resource!

Oct 27, 2014
jljohn in Cookware

Copper cookware vs All Clad Copper Core Cookware

I finally got the video to work--wow!

Oct 25, 2014
jljohn in Cookware
1

Copper cookware vs All Clad Copper Core Cookware

Hi Randy,

Your points are all fair (the video link didn't work for me though), and I will not quibble with your experience. I also agree that it is reasonable to use different metrics for comparing pans, such that one could compare A-C and Demeyere disc bottom pas. I just wouldn't do it.

Keep in mind that my original objection had to do with the gross generalization and overstatement that A-C is basically junk and Mauviel and Demeyere are "infinitely better." My entire point has been that there is tremendous subtlety involved, and while some Mauviel and Demeyere may in fact be better, this type of dismissive attitude toward a major market player is not helpful on a forum like this. And it's especially problematic when it's backed up by wrong facts (like ProfessorBear's comments about the construction of the MC2 line.)

What is interesting to me about this whole conversation is that every professional kitchen I've looked into was devoid of All-Clad, Demeyere, Mauviel, and other top brands. Most had heaps of aluminum pots and pans, some had carbon steel, and a few had some copper--mostly older copper in the few restaurants where I've seen them. So, in my limited experience, the actual staple of professionally trained chefs seems to be pans that none of the top manufacturers or kitchen retailers, like WS, SLT, BB&B, etc, even sell.

Oct 25, 2014
jljohn in Cookware