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portable induction cooktop with 10° gradations and as low as 110°?

We are currently busy building a new house due in July in Santa Barbara Wine Country, and have taken the option to include both a large German 220v two-burner induction cook top along with a 5 burner gas cook top.

The gas " range " as they call it here runs a bit too hot on the lowest of settings. So a cut-out for the range is in the granite, and a cutout for the induction.

Why California USA, versus Europe, or Brasil ? It is a good time to build or buy property in the US, the Santa Barbara County enjoys good warm climate ( at least during the day ) which is easy on the older bones, and we found many with in the region similar interests in life.

We are 4 hours away from our son who works here.

We enjoyed Brasil but no one drinks wine there even at the Southernmost frontier. What we found good in restaurants was always Argentine or Chilean.

You can run but you can't hide: Here there is even a Swiss Club !

May 02, 2015
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Making Homemade Sauerkraut

I did accidentally once, and the taste was not good.

Keep it in the crock or refrigerator.

Mar 25, 2015
SWISSAIRE in Home Cooking

Harsch Crock water seal problems

Bubbling is good.

I would suggest filling the moat higher.

Mar 25, 2015
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

magnetic knife holder. Yay or Nay?

For the reasons mentioned above, ours is over the kitchen sink, and not a cooktop.

Primarily, we do this for hygiene. Many knives are used here, some repeatedly, and as the knives are used they get washed and hung on the magnets to dry.

Safer too as the knives are not laying around in the kitchen, and in the cooking and prep areas.They are clean, dry, and ready to go.

Feb 21, 2015
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Salt pitting in stainless cookware - tell me more

Send the pan back.

Salt in Soy or Tamari sauce is already in solution, and could not develop the pitting you described.

It sounds more like coarse salt, sea salt, or heavy flakes of salt that sat on the bottom of the pan to achieve that effect. That can occur when cooking pasta for example, if the salt is added before the water is brought to a full boil. Or years later as Kaleo mentioned above. The only other possibility is a mixture of sugar and an acid, if left in the pan say overnight.

As you mentioned that was not the case, it must be something else. Let the manufacturer look at it, as it might be a defect.

Feb 14, 2015
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Flamed granite table

Marble in the kitchen as a baking aid is excellent. About the same price.

A small slab of cool marble for mixing, shaping, forming, rolling, and cutting pastry and pasta is a good choice. It keeps the temperature down when working with butter in pastry.

This practical central kitchen island with marble for baking we inherited. We had to modify it with an overhand on one side ( a cutaway using a Dremel tool ) to attach our hand cranked pasta machine and cutter. But it is excellent alone for bread and pastry making.

I would also caution that working sauces on marble is not as good as granite for the same reason mentioned by cstefan, as it stains. I've seen a marble bathroom countertop that stained with little concentric circles everywhere, due to the owner using nothing more than eyedrops.

Granite on the other hand doesn't stain like marble does.

Feb 08, 2015
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Beware of thermometers with probe: unreliable models !

Two reliable thermometers for consideration from Rösle.

Both are well-made stainless steel, include good probes, and both are back lighted. in F or C measurments. Both are sold in North America.

The second roasting unit is magnetic, and can be mounted on an oven or BBQ. It can also be programmed to chime when done to your taste ( rare, medium, well ) for for different meats, fish, and poultry.

Our cost was 15 CHF for the first unit, and 24 CHF for the second.

Feb 05, 2015
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Best Induction Wok Hob Drop In

A 2015 solution from Austria:

Jan 25, 2015
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Has anyone tried a WokMon?

I would use this outside on our gas BBQ grill side burner. We cook a fair amount of Wok recipes there, at least in the Summer.,

Inside it is induction

Dec 16, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

What ONE nonstick should I get

Morning Ray -

Not familiar with Controlinduc, no.

Interesting link, but I would value someone's personal experience opinion of the product from CH, before buying into the "Ultimate of ultimates" PR jive from the manufacturers.

( Not sure if that term is still being used in California )

Dec 16, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

What ONE nonstick should I get

I've tried various Teflon coated pans, small to large, inexpensive to expensive, over a few decade. Sooner or later the pan coatings started flaking, and then coming off completely.

All were tossed in the trash.

When the new ceramic coatings started to appear on induction cookware in France and Germany, I waited a year before trying one. Like any new car, my thinking being not to buy the first year's new model until all the "bugs" are discovered and designed out in the 2nd generation models.

One of the first I purchased was a Rösle ceramic pan: Nice deep shape, stainless, with the "miracle ceramic coating."

Folks, the miracle ran out 1.5 months into cooking, with a stained and sticking pan, despite the best Rösle silicone cooking tools and hand washing. It was returned.

Currently, 2 months into the test, I can report better experience with the Henckels " International " ceramic coated pans. 3 pans, 3 sizes, all in one set.

Some cautions are that ceramic "tiling " coatings on such pans are delicate and somewhat soft. Never add a lid, never scour, never leave a cooking tool inside to scratch the coating from the pan rim, and wash and dry it alone, so it does not scratch from another pot, lid, or tool. If you are an "Iron Chef" in aggressive cooking technique, consider other options.

Storage: I keep a thick, round cork trivet between each pan when storing, to avoid the same type of scratch problem.

If you are willing to be this careful, you will do fine with ceramic. If not, then it's cast iron, steel, stainless, tin/copper, or something else.

Dec 15, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Best Salt and Pepper Grinders

I also like to use coarse sea salt.

And a variety of black and green peppercorns.

Over the years I've tried Peugeot, which is still around, a Greek pair in brass and copper, and a few dozen others. Varying the grind setting of the Peugeot created problems with the gears. I kept a large supply of Flitz and Wenol around to polish the Greek pair, which seemed to be continually. One electric grinder slipped out into a cooking pot right in front of everyone, one memorable dinner.

Currently, for the past 2 years I use a pair of manual stainless steel grinders from Rösle.

1. They are silicone lined, including the bottom where the grinder touches the surface of the countertop, or cooktop.
2. When cooking, they don't slip out of the hand, even if my hands get wet or oily while cooking, which they do.
3. The grinders load easily from the top, and grind very well. We only use one setting, given the experience with the Peugeot.
4. We have a table set of Danish shakers, but the Rösle pair look fine at the supper table.
5. The Rösle set gets used, heavily, when cooking, and they are easy to clean. That is one of the most important considerations.

I hope this is helpful.

Dec 14, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Octopus dishes

Grilled Baby Octopus - Greek style:

Mix with salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.

Grill quickly.

Tastes very much like shrimp.

Dec 14, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Greater Boston Area

Does Saffron taste like plastic to anyone else?

Oye Butterfly-

According to the history books, the species cultivated here was taken from sources of Crocus Sativus in Spain. There is only one cooperative licensed to do this, under very strict regulations.

The origin of the local Crocus Sativus appears to have been smuggled back by those on religious pilgrimages in the Middle Ages.

Dec 12, 2014
SWISSAIRE in General Topics

Christmas Baking 2014

Seville Oranges, Blood Oranges (Citrus Arantium) are great of course, if you find them sold in season, which tends to be quick. Online I've read that over 10 % of the crop in January goes into making of Cointreau and Grand Marnier, which might explain why the fruit does not remain around very long.

You can however make an excellent Sour Citrus marmalade from any variety of Oranges, Lemons, and Lime.

Cooking your marmalade mixture with more of the peel and pith attached will add the bitterness to the final product.

One technique I use with sour citrus is to add a little tonic syrup ( homemade, or commercial-Sodastream ) in place of 100% pure cane sugar to the mixture. It gives the final marmalade a little smoothness and a slight bitter bite.

You can see a number of good tonic syrup recipes here on Chowhound that might be useful.

Dec 08, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Home Cooking

How fragile are granite countertops?

Given the point of thread, many make the investment and then want to protect the investment. Sealers, urethane, etc.

I think granite looks beautiful on it's own, but I want to be able to use granite functionally in the kitchen. Especially mixing and rolling dough and pasta, but then I don't mind the clean-up.

Some do.

Dec 06, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Hand cranked pasta machines: Atlas vs Imperia vs VillaWare

We have owned three, and continue to use our Imperia R 220, or "Restaurant" model, which was a suggestion by a friend in Lugano. Being a restaurant owner, his advice remains very sound even today. Not inexpensive, but 20+ years later, reliably functional. I'm very glad to hear that Jaime Oliver and Gennaro Contaldo are featuring this machine in the cooking classes they offer. Thanks Mary TO.

We typically roll pasta in the machine to get a graduated fine, delicate, and thin sheet of pasta, which we then stretch and cut directly on the granite island. Remarkably perhaps, we only use the rollers, and have never used the feed tray for the Imperia.

While we cut the pasta, the Imperia is soaking, and then hand cleaned with a small brush, and dried.

This is a large machine, about the size of a British toaster. It is easy to take apart and clean, which all pasta makers require. I've had a neighbour or two bring Atlas parts by to compare, and those we found were not compatible with the Imperia. Problems with some turned out to be dried bits of pasta inside, hardened like concrete.

When we remodeled years ago with granite countertops, we specified that there be a lip over hang on one side of the kitchen island to accommodate and support our pasta maker, and our old hand "Fleischwolf " meat grinder, and cookie extruder. We didn't include a bullnose edge (glued) on the island for that reason, in this house. Just the slab, polished and rounded off with a few extra inches of overhang. This is why you don't frequently elaborate bullnose edge treatment in Italian kitchens, at least until very recent years.

The extra support came in the form of additional inox screws and adhesive between the wood substrate and the granite countertop.

Does one need a large expensive, or an electric pasta machine ?

No, not really. You can get by with a good small hand crank machine, where I think all good cooks need to start out. But if you do have the time and patience to make fresh pasta, or have the need or desire to use a bigger machine, then the decision is yours as to where to upgrade to.

There is a newer model of this Imperia, titled the SM 220.

Dec 05, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Electric raclette maker--advice needed on purchase

Morgen Gooster-

One of my sons lives in California, and buys a pre-sliced Raclette made in France at Trader Joes.

This is a Holiday-stocked item so he loads up the fridge at this time of the year.

Dec 02, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Am I the only one bothered by stuff like this?

Only the top inch or less of the vine above each fresh tomato.

Dec 01, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Am I the only one bothered by stuff like this?

Morning Hiracer -

We think alike on canned goods.

Our family favours the use of the smaller fresh cherry tomatoes (Kirschtomaten), or fresh Romas which are also common to the local markets. Bright red, sweet, and full of flavour. Here we discard the leaves, but use the stems on top of each tomato when cooking.

Just as we do when using organic mint (both leaves and stems) and organic parsley (leaves and stems again). Try cooking or steaming fresh fish with only the mint stems wrapped inside sometime, as it is a better use of herbs and delicious.

Sauce from Cherry Tomatoes: Sliced in half, with salt, pepper, and perhaps a bit of sugar or vinegar, with herbs. Perhaps an hour cooking time maximum.

My concern is what might be found, and thus added from the commercial or industrial sauce processing, and by the subsequent use of the can, tube, or jar to store it in. I know the canning process has improved since lead soldered were banned, but a comparison study would be informative.

Dec 01, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Am I the only one bothered by stuff like this?

A fine, well researched study.

And agreed with others here that the worst thing for both the sauce and the s.s. cookware is to leave a sugar-rich tomato sauce inside for any period. Worst case scenario: Overnight would lead to pitting of the s.s., especially if left to soak in the sink in soapy water.

One question though:

" Commercial Tomato Sauce (TS). Four different commercially
obtained tomato sauces were analyzed for their effect on
metal leaching when cooked in the presence of NIST123c
stainless steel."

The unknown and unnamed Sauce A, Sauce B, Sauce C:

1. From cans ?
2. From alu spread tubes ?
3. From glass jars ?

I'd like to see a comparison of tomato sauce using fresh vegetables, which we do throughout most of the year except in Winter, versus a commercially obtained tomato sauce.

Dec 01, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

Electric raclette maker--advice needed on purchase

Good Evening Plazhaven (just Midnight here)-

It is entirely your preference.

Some like the granite option, others the non-stick coating over metal.

Both sides of the Swissmar granite can be used, one smooth, the other with a drip line around the edge. The "lip" or edge treatment is a simple bullnose rounding off of the granite.

We haven't noticed any granite discolouring over the years.

The granite will hold the heat longer than the non-stick metal, which for some in cold weather is a plus.

I find that we use the granite first, groove side up, the small individual "broiling trays " second, and the non-stick metal plates only once, when we bought it years ago.

If you entertain, then it is nice to have all options.

I hope this is helpful

Dec 01, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

GE Profile Slide-In Induction Range

Thank you Ray.

I appreciate the compliment.

Yes, in hindsight I think I even received one set of questions in the form of an affidavit.

I do hope you see some rain soon in SOCAL.



Nov 29, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

GE Profile Slide-In Induction Range

Evening Drrayeye -

I hadn't seen that video clip in quite sometime. Thank you for posting it, although one needs a Lungo Nespresso to get through it all.

One point it does make ( about half-way through ) is that induction kitchens, home or commercial, tend to be clean kitchens.

Nothing burned onto the gas hobs, or the cookware surrounds. If there is a spillover, the use of paper towels between the cookware and the induction glass can remedy that. None I know wants drips or spots of food visible on an induction cooktop, or the countertop supporting it.

Addressing Duffy's comment, the current view here in Middle Europe is that the innovation with induction is happening in Asia, specifically China and Japan. There are some very exciting cooktops, features, and induction cookware and tools coming into the market there.



Nov 29, 2014
SWISSAIRE in Cookware

What's in the fluorescent red cooked smoked salmon?

Hi Puffin-

The "lesser quality salmon " being dyed sounds more accurate.

Not needed at all with good quality hot or cold smoked salmon.

( Getting hungry now, with nothing smoked in the kitchen. Time to make a quick trip to the local Migros for a package or 2 )

Nov 28, 2014
SWISSAIRE in General Topics

What's in the fluorescent red cooked smoked salmon?

Hi chefj-

When stationed there I fished Steelhead and Large Salmon, in Canada and Washington State, but I never recall seeing any that were fluorescent red.

Same to same in the Kola peninsula in NW Russia, no bright red even when smoking with brown sugar or honey.

Piano Boy: Any chance of a photo ? It sound more like colouring.

Nov 27, 2014
SWISSAIRE in General Topics

What's in the fluorescent red cooked smoked salmon?

Perhaps those are salmon from Fukushima ?

All kidding aside, there is colouring that comes out in the process of seasoning, sugaring, and smoking salmon. I've seen it in Scotland, and it was more of a golden brown, to dark brown, than red.

Unnaturally bright red does not sound as appetizing as it might in appearance. If it is a farmed-raised salmon, it is usually pale compared to wild salmon, with a price differential to match.

Good or excellent quality smoked salmon does not need to be dyed red.

Nov 27, 2014
SWISSAIRE in General Topics

Thanksgiving dinner in Rome

Ah yes, but the memories . . . . . !

Nov 26, 2014

Most useless/useful kitchen thing you've ever been given?

Advice in the kitchen from one who eats out all her life, and never cooks at home.

Thanksgiving dinner in Rome

Hi sunshine !

Sounds like the farm would be a good 4 Wheel Drive experience, if not expedition.

Your Volaillere ( Fine purveyor of fowl/game meat en France ) sounds like a wise choice, considering how close they are to you, and how careful they are with the meat they sell.

Beet fields and other farm country driving in the wet Fall and snowy Winter is no picnic experience in Europe, even if the SUV is equipped with a winch.

Nov 26, 2014