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KissesFromParis's Profile

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Berghoff Cookware?

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Mar 14, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Beware of thermometers with probe: unreliable models !

Thank you for your answer, but this is a bit out of my budget. I think I'll stick with an oven thermometer and a standard cooking thermometer. It's far less convenient, but I guess there is not much alternative at the moment.

Mar 07, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Beware of thermometers with probe: unreliable models !

I would go with something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Digital-k-type-...

I tend to trust measurement instruments more than consumer stuff, as they have to pass tighter tolerance. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any K-type needle probe that goes in the oven.

Mar 06, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Beware of thermometers with probe: unreliable models !

Hello Dave,

Unfortunately, it's not (only) a price problem, I believe the electronics are fine. But I believe you were lucky.
I can see on the photos that these two models work with the same kind of unreliable probe, and both of them suffer from the same sort of reliability problems, as is confirmed by amazon user feedbacks.
For the Weber:
http://www.amazon.com/Weber-6438-Prof...

For the Maverick:
http://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Wirele...

Basically, it seems to me that about 1/3rd to 1/2 of the user feedbacks are negative, i.e they fail in the first 6 months. Not counting those that fails after one year and are not reported. There really seems to be a quality issue with the probes, or more probably a design issue, and nobody seems to be doing anything about it.
Now I'm looking for an affordable professional digital thermometer with a K-type probe that goes in the oven, or a cooking thermometer with a different kind of probe. Or if I can't find it, a simple non-digital oven thermometer.

Mar 05, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Beware of thermometers with probe: unreliable models !

Hello Paul,

I did treat my probe with the same care, but it failed nevertheless. I don't know if it's due to the fact I left a little bit of water in the oven, trying to increase humidity by creating vapor. But no liquid water went in the probe itself.

Mar 05, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Why don't more Americans use induction?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE induction. But my point was, if most people use gas for cooking, if they all turn to electricity, even 90% efficient, it would mean new electricity problems.
I know there has been cuts in the north of the US, and today we in France face the same sort of problems: even though France is the world's most nuclearised country (and we used to export our excess of production to neighbouring countries), we now need to import electricity in cold winters, because there was a big campaign for electric heating in the 90's. The idea of the national electricity company was to sell their excess production to households. So most new houses were equipped with electric heating instead of gas heating, and now, when the temperature goes down, the internal demand exceeds our production capacity. That was a particularly stupid move. So I envisioned the same kind of problem if everybody in the US turns from gas to electric stoves.

Mar 05, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Beware of thermometers with probe: unreliable models !

Hello,

After one month of usage, my thermometer with probe started to give random results.

I was very surprised as it did work very well for the month I owned it. So I looked at user feedbacks on amazon.fr, amazon.co.uk and amazon.com for my model (eKitch brand) and I saw that I was not alone in that case.

But more interestingly, I noticed that many makes and models suffered from abnormal rates of random failures that looked similar to mine.

See for instance:

"Taylor 1470 Digital Cooking Thermometer/Timer"
http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-1470-Dig...

"CDN Digital Programmable Probe Thermometer"
http://www.amazon.com/CDN-Digital-Pro...

"ThermoWorks The Original Cooking Thermometer"
http://www.amazon.com/ThermoWorks-Ori...

All these models seem to share the same Achille"'s heel: the probe itself.
So far, I haven't figured out what makes it fail, but until then, if you shop for an oven thermometer with probe (a tool that I otherwise find extremely useful), skip those models with that sort of probe, it's junk.

Mar 05, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Simulating the effect of a steam oven

Thank you for your detailed answer. I'll remember your advice.

Mar 05, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Why don't more Americans use induction?

Thinking about energetical problems, in big cities like NYC, using electricity for cooking is not such a good idea: there is already a problem with electricity overuse for heating in winter and air conditioning in the summer. Stoves, - like everything that heats or makes cold -, are big offenders in this area.

Something that I don't understand is, most makers sell induction stoves that are way too powerful, epecially with good quality pans and pots: I use a 2kW burner and it's already way sufficient for normal usage (2kW very roughly corresponds to 270°C/518°F for oil), but most stoves have burners that are 2.5 up to 3.5 kW. This is insane. Not only is it useless, it's actually a drawback, because you may damage or reduce the lifetime of your pots by heating them with such powers. Cold cast iron will very likely crack if you use such power. And as BoBB said, you have a smaller range of powers for precise cooking. In fact, with my brand new set of pots (Beka), it's so effective that it's a problem for me: when cooking rice, even at the lowest power (300W), it's too hot and the water boils. I need a 100 and a 200W power settings.

Now, if in the summer, when air conditioning is working full time, 1 million of kitchens turn on their 3 kW stoves at the same time, that's the full power of 5 nuclear reactors. So maybe keeping gas is not a bad idea here. Or at least, the induction brands should reduce their power ratings by half.

Mar 05, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Simulating the effect of a steam oven

LOL

Mar 04, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Simulating the effect of a steam oven

Do you remember what she said ?

@Chemicalkinetics Indeed. We seem to be very good at creating problems, not so much at solving them. ;-)

Mar 04, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Simulating the effect of a steam oven

Thanks, I'll try it.

Mar 04, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

First apartment - best cookware to purchase

Yes, I use it all the time. :)
BTW, I pointed at amazon.co.uk, but thinking about it, it would be a bad idea to buy over there if you live in the US as it's 230V.

Mar 04, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Good Quality Hand Blender

The Kenwood/Delonghi HB723/HB724 is a good model I recommend (I own it). But I agree with mikie about the power numbers, they seem untrustable: the Kenwood and Delonghi seem to be the exact same product, but the power rating is 700W for Kenwood and 380W only for Delonghi.

Mar 04, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Simulating the effect of a steam oven

Yes, I thought about that too.
Actually, I believe using a cast iron oven is one of the methods in use for baking bread at home.

> Best Regards the other side of the Atlantic!

Thanks !

Mar 04, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

First apartment - best cookware to purchase

As for kitchen appliances, I would advise against a robot/mixer if space is limited. Instead you should buy a hand blender with a few accessories (like a food processor attachment). It's imho far more convenient and it doesn't sit permanently in your kitchen. And you can blend, mix, whisk, chop and grind with it, which is pretty much all you want.

Make sure it has at least 350W of power, 500W being very good. I own a Kenwood HB724 hand blender. It's very good and it does everything I need, but Kenwood seems to be absent from the US. You can buy it in amazon.co.uk. It seems to be the exact same product as the DeLonghi HB723 blender, but strangely, the claimed power is different (380W for DeLonghi, 700W for Kenwood). The Miallegro 9090 seems to be okay and it's quite cheap

Other very useful tools (imho) include is a simple mandoline with guard (the $18 Norpro is good) and a cheap digital oven thermometer.

Mar 04, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Fontignac: The enameled cast iron debate continues

No, I don't think anyone but a few pros know Sabatier makes cast iron. Sabatier is associated with kitchen knives. Basically, to most people and most shops, like everywhere else, cast iron means Le Creuset or Staub in France.

Mar 04, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Celebrity Cookware Lines: Rate 'Em!

The Jamie Oliver Clipso pressure cooker is the regular SEB/Tefal Clipso pressure cooker, which is a well-know, proven piece of kitcheware in France. SEB started grew out of making pressure cookers. The Tefal Jamie Oliver cookware looks good quality, but the funny thing is, we don't get them in France.
The reason is, the SEB group is an international group which owns a lot of brands, among which Tefal, All Clad, Lagostina, Krups, Rowenta, Moulinex... but all these brands aren't distributed everywhere.
http://www.tefal.com/About/Groupe-SEB...

For instance, we get Lagostina, but we unfortunately don't get All Clad in France (but some french brands like de Buyer make up for this), probably because the two brands would fight in the same group. In the same fashion, we never get the good quality stainless steel items that Tefal sells in the US.
In France, Tefal only sells aluminum+PTFE crap (Tefal is a contraction of Teflon and Aluminum).
OTOH, SEB/Tefal sells very few pressure cookers in the US, although they have some inovative products in this domain.
I suspect the Tefal Jamie Oliver cookware is built by Lagostina or another brand in the SEB group. Lagostina is high quality stuff.

Mar 04, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Simulating the effect of a steam oven

Hello sunshine,

I thought about that too, and in fact, I often do that. But I wonder if this works as well as a highly expensive steam oven. I mean what is the advantage of such ovens if you can do the same with a simple cake pan ?
As for damage, I don't know, but I've read that some ovens with electronics may be a bit sensitive to a lot of steam (fmine doesn't have complex electronics). Also, if the water is added after the oven is hot, one must be careful not to drop any cold water on the hot glass door else it may break spontaneously. I've seen a video where they advise to cover the glass door with a cloth to protect it. in this event.

Mar 04, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Simulating the effect of a steam oven

Hello,

I've seen that steam ovens allow to keep meat moist while cooking. I would like to know if it is possible to simulate this effect by simply putting some water at the bottom of the oven or in a small pyrex container.

Has anyone tried a similar technique ? Can it reduce the lifetime of the oven ?

Thank you.

Mar 04, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Pressure cookers- which brand and model should I buy?

T-Fal/Tefal alias SEB has been in the business of pressure cookers since 1954 or so. SEB is synonymous with pressure cookers in France the same way Le Creuset is synonymous with cast iron.
SEB pressure cookers are very safe. They have 3 steam release securities, and it's impossible to open the PC with the pressure inside. They've been in use in tens of millions of french homes. Now, SEB sells a new generation of PC (Nutricook and Acticook) which allows to choose 2 (Acticook) or 4 pressure points between 30 kPa (109°C) and 85 kPa (118°C), allowing to preserve more nutrients. SEB also claims they cook twice as fast as a conventional PC by doing some sort of vacuum. I haven't tried any of those myself but most user feesbacks are very positive in shopping websites. These models are very expensive (one reason I didn't buy this model, the other reason being: too much pastic !) and only sold in Europe I believe.

Mar 04, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Ikea cookware - "Favorit"

This is the case with ALL cast iron, not just Ikea. NEVER EVER turn your induction to very high power with cast iron unless the pan/pot is already very hot, else it WILL crack, the same way porcelain will crack if you put it straight from hot oven into cold water. You have to heat cast iron gently, i.e low power at the beginning, and slowly ramping up the power.

Mar 03, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

HAs anyone tried Revol Revolution ceramic oven ?

Hi, thank you for your answer.
Yes it's important for me that it's induction compatible, good in the oven and durable. Basically, I would like to know if it can replace a cast iron french oven.
But I just saw the other discussion about this product.

Mar 01, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Traveling to Paris with a child egg/dairy allergy - any tips?

It may be problematic indeed at the restaurant. You want to buy your own fresh food for your child just like you would do in the US.
If you read the product descriptions, check for these words:
"milk" == "lait"
"milk products" == "produits laitiers"
"egg" == "oeuf"

Mar 01, 2012
KissesFromParis in France

Favorite Pressure Cooker recipes

I usually divide the cooking time by 2.5 or 3: 2h30 becomes 45 minutes after the beginning of hissing. I open it at about 30 mn and have a look to make sure everything is okay and add the ingredients that need less cooking time. The pressure builds up again very rapidly. The smell is a good indicator of what's going on, but if it smells burnt, stop it right away as it's generally too late already.

Mar 01, 2012
KissesFromParis in Home Cooking

HAs anyone tried Revol Revolution ceramic oven ?

Hello,

I'd like to know if someone knows the Revolution dutch oven. It's made out of a high tech ceramic by the french maker Revol.
The product description on amazon is almost too good to be true:

"Delicious meals start with incredible cookware. Revolution is a line of cookware and bake-ware that is unlike anything on the market today. Revolution can be used in the oven, the microwave or on gas or induction cook-tops it will be the only line of cookware and bake-ware you will ever need. The gorgeous 10-inch round cocotte is perfect for roasting and braising, simmering soups or baking casseroles, quiche, or desserts. the possibilities are endless. These cocottes are oven and broiler-safe to 572-degree fahrenheit. They are freezer and dishwasher safe. Revolution cookware contains no metal so it perfect for healthy-cooking. Each piece is made of 100-percent non-porous culinary ceramic which is environmentally safe and 100-percent recyclable. The entire revolution line is thermal-shock resistant allowing them to go from oven to freezer without fear of damage and is ultra-durable ensuring that the cocotte won't crack, chip or peel. The interior's glaze makes for effortless non-stick cooking, reducing the need for fats and oils. The non-porous surface makes for easy cleaning, and ensures that oils, fats and bacteria are not absorbed. The tight-fitting lid helps seal in flavors and juices. with a wide range of cheerful colors, revolution makes a handsome addition to any kitchen's decor. What would you call a line of cookware that goes from oven to freezer, cook-top to microwave, and is dishwasher safe? Revolutionary. "

If it's as long lasting as it sounds, it could be an interesting alternative to cast iron (although it's just as expensive as Le Creuset).

Any feedback on it ?

Mar 01, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Why don't more Americans use induction?

There is no technical reasons for induction to be that expensive. It's only a marketing problem. In Europe, prices have dropped dramatically and you can get a range with 4 burners for less than 300 euros. On many other things, like stainless steel pans, we pay twice as much as you do.

Mar 01, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Why don't more Americans use induction?

Induction doesn't have to be expensive. Here in Europe, it isn't. Prices have dropped with selling numbers.

Mar 01, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Why don't more Americans use induction?

I concur. In fact, I timed boiling half a liter of water on my induction and my gas cooktop in a de Buyer carbon steel pan. Carbon steel are extremely fast on induction. Induction came out winner, boiling water 50% faster than my gas stove.

BTW, cast iron does work on induction, but one must be very careful to heat it slowly, by gradually increasing power, else your cast iron may crack.

Mar 01, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware

Why don't more Americans use induction?

But it's much much more efficient than any other electric alternative. Plus it allows for much more precise cooking and it's much safer.

Mar 01, 2012
KissesFromParis in Cookware