Tom34's Profile

Title Last Reply

US Govenment dropping dietary cholesterol warnings

I think its reasonable to conclude that somewhere in the middle lies the avg for the avg person. I do agree that heavily processed products favor the producer and not the consumer and should be avoided when possible. I think we have come full circle since the 1980's and a balanced diet of protein, fruit, veg & whole grain is the way to go.

about 1 hour ago
Tom34 in Special Diets

Is Five Guys Really the Best Fast-Food Chain?

Hey Lindy,

I am in Southern NJ which I am afraid might as well be on a different continent as San Diego. $10 - $12 gets a real good burger here, however, just north in NYC the same would be $20.00 (+).

CAB stands for Certified Angus Beef. Its very high quality and usually good for about 3 weeks from the pack date before it has to be frozen. Its a VERY high quality pre-made burger. M/R is med rare which is how my family likes burgers.

Like all the rest, IMHO, 5 guys meets the needs of fast food which has a very real purpose in our fast moving world but it is what it is, fast food. Like many others, I think in this category it is pretty pricey.

about 1 hour ago
Tom34 in Features

Why aren't we eating more geese?

When I used to hunt them (Mid Atlantic) they were migratory. Now they are residents and extremely problematic. If it were legal I could bring a pickup truck bed full of them to market daily. I honestly never new there was such a demand for them, but on the same token, I never new there was a huge demand for $4 lb chickens either ......would raise them if there were :-)

about 2 hours ago
Tom34 in General Topics

Is Five Guys Really the Best Fast-Food Chain?

I'm will have to say I am spoiled Droid because for $10 - $12 I can get an 8oz house ground burger with fries at a diner or an 8oz CAB burger & fries at a local tavern and both have the confidence to serve M/R.

To me 5 guys well done thin little burgers are fast food, period! As a teenager I probably would have loved them, being a father of teenagers, they just don't excite me.

about 3 hours ago
Tom34 in Features

Why aren't we eating more geese?

If I could get $10 lb & it was legal my gun barrel would be roasting hot. I wonder if farmers are exempt with geese like they are deer?

about 5 hours ago
Tom34 in General Topics

Why aren't we eating more geese?

Thats a lot of $ for something that is largely regarded as a royal PITA. In the mid Atlantic area they have polluted many lakes are its becoming quite profitable to operate a business chasing them off property with dogs.

about 5 hours ago
Tom34 in General Topics

Is Five Guys Really the Best Fast-Food Chain?

As per their web site, 5 Guy's uses commodity 80/20 chuck (Steer & heifer) from the major packers, not locally sourced meat.

They also cook all their burgers well done.

I believe their burgers are needled which allows them to soak up liquid fat from the flat top while cooking.

about 8 hours ago
Tom34 in Features

Dry-aging beef at home - ISO of specifics please for 28 days

I agree A/C but:

If this thing maintained extremely precise temps, humidity levels, air velocity & was built to last a lifetime it would make a nice addition to a custom kitchen provided space and funds were not an issue. Would probably generate some good conversation with company to boot. I am just not sold that it does any of them let alone all of them.

Feb 27, 2015
Tom34 in Home Cooking

Steaklocker?

We talked a little about this item in another thread about dry aging at home. I too was very intrigued and somewhat excited when I first saw this product but the closer I looked into it the more unanswered questions I had. There seems to be a lot of talking points on their site but not much in the way of detailed specifics. For $1000 I would liked to have seen detailed information on the following:

1. Looks like humidity monitoring but not much in the way of specifics in terms of how the humidity is controlled, if it is controlled at all.

2. Not much discussion about holding temp deviation from setting. Will the compressor always kick on at say 38 degrees to stay out of the danger zone but also shut off promptly at say 34 degrees to stay out of the freeze zone? Many small dormer style fridges have problems in this area and swing too far in "both" directions.

3. What is the velocity of the fan? There is a spec for air speed for dry aging rooms. Is this unit within those parameters? Is the fan commercial rated? Is the motor properly sealed from the compartment containing salt?

4. What is the duty rating of the compressor, IE Residential, light commercial, heavy commercial?

5. Would like to have read much more about the Black Light technology, bulb replacement availability & cost.

6. Corrosion resistance of all components, especially how well electronics are insulated from effects of the salt block.

* For 1/4 the price a used commercial counter top beverage cooler with commercial compressor, commercial fan & insulated glass door can be purchased. I am sure a black light could be reasonably added as well as a digital temp & humidity display with memory storing high/low & average.

Hopefully somebody from the Steaklocker Co. can address 1 -6 above.

Your technical take on this unit, especially the black light end of it would be interesting Chem!

Feb 27, 2015
Tom34 in Cookware

Dry-aging beef at home - ISO of specifics please for 28 days

I too was very intrigued by this product and did a lot of internet searching to get as much information as possible. There seems to be a lot of talking points but no detailed specifics. For $1000 I would liked to have seen detailed information on the following:

1. Looks like humidity monitoring but not much in the way of specifics in terms of how the humidity is controlled, if it is controlled at all.

2. Not much discussion about holding temp deviation from setting. Will the compressor always kick on at say 38 degrees to stay out of the danger zone but also shut off promptly at say 34 degrees to stay out of the freeze zone? Many small dormer style fridges have problems in this area and swing too far in both directions.

3. What is the velocity of the fan and how is it controlled? Is it commercial rated. Is the motor properly sealed from the compartment containing salt?

4. What is the duty rating of the compressor, IE Residential, light commercial, heavy commercial?

5. Would like to have read much more about the Black Light technology, bulb replacement availability & cost.

6. Corrosion resistance of all components, especially how well electronics are insulated from effects of the salt block.

* For 1/4 the price a used commercial counter top beverage cooler with commercial compressor, commercial fan & insulated glass door can be purchased. I am sure a black light could be added as well as a digital temp & humidity display *

Feb 26, 2015
Tom34 in Home Cooking

Where to get the cheapest red meat?

Thats probably about as good a deal as one could find.

Feb 26, 2015
Tom34 in General Topics

Where to get the cheapest red meat?

Old spent dairy cow ungraded meat is pretty cheap. Asian butchers should have a source for it.

Feb 26, 2015
Tom34 in General Topics

Best knife sharpener??

I can't speak to the Work Sharps machine but I do know that belt sanding technology is a whole lot older than most of us. They come as big as a refrigerator & small and precise enough for a Jeweler working with $1000 oz material. About the only thing I can safely say has changed is the cost of producing the units themselves (Import units or Import parts).

You listed some pretty nice knives. I would consult Chem, Knifesavers and some other experts before committing. Time is on your side :-).

Feb 23, 2015
Tom34 in Cookware
1

Best knife sharpener??

I read about them recently but can't speak to it.

Maybe when I am retired and am looking for something to do my Dad's spirit will come to me & I will try the stones again but for now the precision angle holding capability of the E/P system is the *#^@!

Feb 23, 2015
Tom34 in Cookware

Best knife sharpener??

I know what you mean Chem but for "general" kitchen work I think there is such a thing as too sharp, both from an edge longevity standpoint & an oops standpoint.

Now that Nakiri I bought I will have to admit I brought that up to razor sharpness on the Edge Pro but the bride and kids know to leave it in the block :-)

Feb 23, 2015
Tom34 in Cookware

Where can I get frozen raccoons?

Not cute when cornered!

Feb 23, 2015
Tom34 in Los Angeles Area

Best knife sharpener??

Hey Jerry,

I couldn't perfect the stones and tried many pull through sharpeners (carbide & stone) over the years. Some do a decent job but never had one do a great job. Some were very aggressive and quickly cut a belly in front of the bolster. OK for a commercial setting with cheap Dexter knives & the Accu Sharp does a great job on lawn mower blades but tears the hell out of fine cutlery.

I then tried the Chef's Choice 3 stage electric (approx $125.) It did a decent job without being too aggressive (slot 2 & 3 that is) but it never did a great job. Eventually gave it away.

Did a ton of research, spoke to Ben Dale personally & settled on his Edge Pro @ $250. FACTORS (1) Versatility to sharpen any manufacture at virtually any angle or add multiple angles (2) Degree of sharpness down right frighting (3) Extremely easy learning curve & SAFE on the blade (4) Life time plus product. Absolutely no regrets, last sharpener I will ever buy.

Before I made the decision on the Edge Pro I looked at the electric belt sanders in the same price range as the E/P. Common consensus is serious heat build up very quickly. Too much pressure or a second too long in one spot and the blade temper is gone and the knife is trash. IMHO, best left to the Pro's. If I was inclined, it would have to be water cooled to help protect the temper and I would buy a big box of yard sale knives and do a lot of practice before putting an expensive blade on it.

Feb 23, 2015
Tom34 in Cookware

High-end steaks in Reading Terminal

That looks great. $30 seems reasonable, especially boneless & trimmed. Truth is 6 - 8 oz of something that rich is enough with some good vegetables & starch.

Feb 21, 2015
Tom34 in Philadelphia

Ground Beef: Are my taste buds getting too old, or does Ground Beef have little taste compared to apprx 20 years ago?

Thats funny about the $1/lb spent cow meat going in the white boxes with red pictures. Amazing what tenderizers can do.

There is a small operation in S. Jersey (Bringhurst Meat) that sources locally raised animals but I never tried it. Would be more inclined toward their homemade sausage and such.

Feb 20, 2015
Tom34 in General Topics

Ground Beef: Are my taste buds getting too old, or does Ground Beef have little taste compared to apprx 20 years ago?

Beef certainly has been pricey and the wholesale price has not dropped by the usual % this winter which makes one wonder where the peak season price will be.

One nice thing about beef though is if you buy good stuff it doesn't require a lot of high level culinary skill to put together a "Fine Dining" meal at home at a fraction of the cost of going out.

Just make sure the beef is not from old dairy cows.

Feb 19, 2015
Tom34 in General Topics

Retire where?

I could most certainly do Portland during lobster season.

Feb 19, 2015
Tom34 in Not About Food

Ground Beef: Are my taste buds getting too old, or does Ground Beef have little taste compared to apprx 20 years ago?

Maybe a little electric grinder would help.

Feb 19, 2015
Tom34 in General Topics

Ground Beef: Are my taste buds getting too old, or does Ground Beef have little taste compared to apprx 20 years ago?

Does make you feel older.

Sad thing is so many people today never had flavorful ground beef and are used to the bland factory chub stuff.

ShopRite was $4.19 for 80/20 chub GB this week.

$4.19 lb for crap really makes one appreciate the fresh CAB quality Plymouth Beef burgers @ $3.99 lb @ RD. Seems wrong but I might start breaking them up for other GB uses.

Feb 18, 2015
Tom34 in General Topics

Retire where?

I can only imagine this winter would really have a Bostonian's compass pointing south :-(

US Govenment dropping dietary cholesterol warnings

Fattening up animals is not as simple as you make it out.

The obvious answer is just leave them on the feedlot longer which will increase the marbling score and hence the carcasses value. Unfortunately, the feedlot is a double edged sword. To understand this, one must understand how carcass value is determined.

Quality Grade / Yield Grade / Carcass Weight.

In a nut shell, more time on the feedlot increases Quality Grade (Intramuscular cell marbling). It also increases carcass weight via external fat covering, higher % of Kidney pelvic fat & heart fat. This results in a lower % of the total carcass weight being valuable meat. These carcasses are given a poor yield grade and are "discounted".

Ranchers new for years that there was a happy medium (Some cellular fat but not too much undesirable fat). "Today's" Choice grade, (65% of the animals produced) fall in that happy medium bracket. Prior to the low fat movement, this quality was considered too lean & less desirable.

It is for this reason that the beef industry endorsed the lean movement pushed by Federal Agencies & the Medical community and lobbied for changes in the grading system which placed more value on lean meat.

Feb 18, 2015
Tom34 in Special Diets

Ground Beef: Are my taste buds getting too old, or does Ground Beef have little taste compared to apprx 20 years ago?

I remember as a kid Bob our local supermarket (Penn Fruit) had a large butcher shop in the back and it had big clear sliding glass windows with a long refrigerated meat case in the front.

Through the glass doors you could see a large area filled with entire sides of beef hanging on hooks suspended on an overhead track. These sides spent time hanging in the slaughter house, then transportation by rail to a regional facility, then transportation by truck to the supermarket & then they hung locally waiting to be broken down. Probable 2 to 3 weeks total hang time from slaughter to retail case.

As these sides were broken down locally, the trimmings were ground up locally and sold as fresh burger.

In the late 1970's the Penn Fruit was bought out by Shop N Bag and I think it was around 1980 that they switched to boxed beef. Compared to hanging beef, boxed beef yields very little in the way of trimmings and pack house ground beef largely replaced locally ground beef.

Feb 17, 2015
Tom34 in General Topics

Ground Beef: Are my taste buds getting too old, or does Ground Beef have little taste compared to apprx 20 years ago?

Big operation or small, steer spend the bulk of their lives on the range & only get put on the feedlot for the last 120 - 200 days of their lives. Pretty much been that way since feedlots came about in the 1950's.

Factors that many would argue have changed flavor are:

1. Breeding bigger leaner animals which was pushed by the beef industry, FED agencies & medical associations.

2. Switch from dry aged hanging beef to wet aged boxed beef.

3. Switch from burger ground locally from aged hanging beef trimmings to burger ground at pack houses with virtually no age on the meat prior to grinding.

4. Production methods that have added flavorless proteins to the grind.

Feb 17, 2015
Tom34 in General Topics

Charred Steak question

Just be careful of flashback when working with seriously high temps. Lots of info on the net about it, Naked Wiz has a good video of it.

I always use long mitts, burp the lid several times and lean back.

US Govenment dropping dietary cholesterol warnings

Quite a few articles point the finger at the beef/pork industry as it is more profitable to produce bigger leaner animals.

Feb 15, 2015
Tom34 in Special Diets

What to do with ribeye trimmings?

With uncooked scraps I freeze & eventually everything goes in the grinder for burger.

Feb 15, 2015
Tom34 in Home Cooking
1