z

zhenya00's Profile

Title Last Reply

Garlic gagits and gizmos suggestions

I just roll the individual cloves between the palms of my hands. Strips them clean in a couple of seconds.

Mar 21, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

Cleaning burned LeCreuset

This concern was what led me to purchasing the Le Creuset branded cleaner. While expensive, it's cheap relative to what I have into the cookware itself.

Mar 18, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

Knife sharpening question

Well, you are the first person I have heard say that among many many reports that I've read. I have little doubt that they will last most of my life keeping a half-dozen kitchen knives sharp. The very rough cutting sensation that the plates give when new goes away quite quickly, but that doesn't impede their sharpening ability - it's just part of the break in period. Light pressure is a key part of keeping them in good shape.

I agree you need something finer for finishing.

Mar 17, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

Knife sharpening question

I think the Richard Blaine videos are a good start. They will certainly get you to the point that you can get a knife sharper than you've ever thought possible.

As far as choosing stones, there are three basic types - Oil stones, which are very inexpensive and have fallen out of favor recently. You can get a complete set for $60 or so. These folks have treated me well - http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Oil-Stone-and-SoftHard-Arkansas-Kit-P321C100.aspx

Water Stones are what are popular now - I honestly skipped right over these because they have one big issue, IMO, which is that they are very soft and must be kept flat with a lapping stone which adds work and cost.

I jumped right from oil stones to diamond plates which are expensive, but will last virtually forever and need no flattening (in fact they are used to flatten water stones). Much more expensive though at $140 for a kit - http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/DMT...

I added a ceramic finishing hone, and my knives can now easily shave newspaper. Well worth the effort.

Don't be intimidated. If you can follow a recipe, you can learn to sharpen a knife!

Mar 17, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

Do I need Carbon steel pans ?

I think that alarash was saying that between carbon steel and cast iron, it;s hard to justify stainless - copper is nice bonus for those who can afford it - but stainless does little that other materials don't do better, and often for less money. I have to agree - especially when it comes to fry pans. I like my stainless pots well enough.

Mar 16, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

anyone seen a good sale on all clad cookware

eh, I watched all-clad pieces on ebay for a while until I realized that the vast majority of good pieces were going for the same or more money than they could be had elsewhere. The exception was the occasional piece that was mis-categorized or mis-labeled. Many pieces seem to be being sold by people re-selling what they find at homegoods for more money.

Mar 08, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

anyone seen a good sale on all clad cookware

I have bought from them as well and there was certainly nothing that I could possibly detect as a defect. Remember, this is cookware that is going to get used; presumably not added to a permanent museum collection. You will have to spend considerably more time cleaning and polishing your pieces than cooking with it if you intend to keep it looking like it came out of the box for more than a few weeks. At that point any visible defects will be masked by normal wear and tear.

Mar 08, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware
2

Best method for brewing coffee at home?

One big thing in Baratza's favor - excellent customer service. I have a Starbucks branded Baratza grinder that is at least 15 years old. I contacted Baratza by email asking for help making sure I ordered the correct replacement burrs (wanted to to change them after 15 years of near daily use).

I got a clear, helpful response within the hour, and the representative went out of his way to make sure that I really needed to replace the burrs, not another less expensive part that fails more frequently. That part was fine on mine, but I went ahead and ordered it along with the burrs. Less than $30 shipped.

Before I ordered we had some emails back and forth and the representative responded quickly, even at hours that were most likely outside of work.

Compare that with the reports we've had here recently about Cuisinart...

Feb 22, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

Cuisinart Grind & Brew - is mine dead?

oh, that's great news. thanks for reporting back!

Feb 21, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

Best method for brewing coffee at home?

I agree - the Baratza grinders are excellent. I have one at home that is 15 years old and one at the office that is 10. Could use some new burrs but work flawlessly.

Feb 19, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

New (to me) Omelet Pan--Who Woulda Thunk It?

I have an anodized aluminum omelette pan that, just as described here, is perfectly non-stick if I use it only for eggs, and just wipe it out after use. Never wash it. If someone does me a favor by washing it out, the next few omelettes stick badly.

Feb 19, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

Best method for brewing coffee at home?

Hand grinders are great value as you get excellent quality burrs and infinite grind adjustment for very little money. They do however, have some downsides. Grinding enough coffee for two people takes a reasonable amount of effort. Personally, I don't mind, as I'm very into the 'process' of brewing the coffee, but it does not qualify as 'not-too-labor-intensive.' Changing the grind from one to another is also time consuming and not easily repeatable.

The Aeropress is not similar to a french press at all - it is a method of quickly brewing a cup of coffee under pressure - more similar to espresso than anything else. You tend to use a med-fine grind and brew a small volume of coffee, and then water it down to taste - a-la-americano. This happens to be what I'm drinking right now.

I think you should first decide, or figure out if you don't know, whether you like a 'clean, smooth brew' which is usually defined by being paper filtered, or a cup with a lot of body, (ie. fine grounds in the bottom of the cup) best represented by French Press. The latter is probably the type of coffee I would live with if I had only one method. I think the Chemex is the best of the 'clean' brew methods. The Clever pour-over is also an excellent more modern alternative.

Ultimately though fresh beans, ground right before brewing is the most important step. We actually have a Cuisinart brewer that we use with a gold filter (instead of paper) that brews an excellent cup of coffee for little money and with no drama. I'd say it's nearly as good as the Technivorm I've owned in the past.

Feb 19, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

Cleaning enameled cast iron

LC sells a cleaner that is specifically designed for cleaning their enameled cast iron. In my experience it gets the vast majority of stains out with light rubbing with a paper towel.

http://www.amazon.com/Le-Creuset-12-O...

Feb 18, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

What's the best gas range/oven I can get for $2500 or less?

I have a 30" Bertazzoni Professional if you have any questions. I agree that it meets most of the above criteria.

Feb 16, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

How important are quality of pots and pans in cooking. Which brands are best?

Should be a perfect application. They sell similar pans at restaurant supply stores for crêpes, so the non-stick is the real-deal.

Feb 16, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

How important are quality of pots and pans in cooking. Which brands are best?

It is actually marked just 'commercial cookware Toledo Ohio' which I think is the old commercial calphalon stuff. But it looks exactly the same.

I also have a couple of small, like 2-3qt flat bottomed wok like pans that I'm not really sure what they are intended for.

Feb 16, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

How important are quality of pots and pans in cooking. Which brands are best?

Looks very similar to what I have!

Feb 15, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

How important are quality of pots and pans in cooking. Which brands are best?

I agree. I have a hard anodized omelet pan I've had forever. So long as I cook only eggs in it, it remains perfectly non-stick. I have not seen any of the new stuff without Teflon unfortunately.

Feb 15, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

Do I need Carbon steel pans ?

I would personally use the carbon steel pans in place of both the stainless and non-stick, as they combine the best properties of both of those. I would keep one stainless pan for when I needed something non-reactive.

But since you already have the other pans, no you don't really need these too unless you want something for very high-heat searing, in which case cast iron might be a better choice.

Feb 15, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

Wedding registry -- are these pieces sufficient?

Hmm, I've honestly never heard that before. I have received and given many knives over the years. (In the US)

Feb 14, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

How important are quality of pots and pans in cooking. Which brands are best?

Well seasoned carbon steel, as with seasoned cast iron, is effectively non-stick. If you really want absolute non-stick, say for omelettes or crepes, I would suggest dedicating one pan to that duty and never washing it with soap, merely wiping it out with a paper towel after use.

Feb 14, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

How important are quality of pots and pans in cooking. Which brands are best?

Yes, a common complaint. They are intended to be handled with your palm on the bottom, so if you aren't comfortable with that grip, go with something else. You'd probably find the Cuisinart handles comfortable.

Feb 13, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

How important are quality of pots and pans in cooking. Which brands are best?

Carbon steel is, as mentioned, nearly indestructible, but somewhat counterintuitively, it does require some care to keep it at its best. It must be seasoned properly before use, and then washed carefully without soap or serious scrubbing after that, and then dried and not put away wet. Part of the seasoning process is that the pan will become permanently black from use - this is what makes them work so well, but if you like spotless cookware, go with stainless.

Lastly, carbon steel is reactive, so it is not recommended to cook acidic foods in them, like tomato sauce. This is probably ok in a well seasoned one, but still good practice to have another pan for that type of cooking.

Feb 13, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

Wedding registry -- are these pieces sufficient?

Oh I agree (my wife and I were married in front of 10 people on a beach and dinner was prepared by friends). Of course we had no registry.

On the other hand, theoretically spending other people's money is fun!

Feb 13, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

Wedding registry -- are these pieces sufficient?

I would maybe add a 4qt saucepan in lieu of the 3 quart which is, imo, a more useful size and allows you to get the double boiler as well. You might add a 2 or 2.5qt saucepan if you frequently need two smaller pans (I do).

Knives? Nobody seems to register for these and they are one of the most important parts of a kitchen.

Feb 13, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

Confused by All clad price difference for the same pan!

I think it looks like a pretty great list.

The 3.25 LC soup pot seems redundant given the other LC pieces and the Calphalon saucepans.

I prefer omelette pans that are other than non-stick - carbon steel or aluminum are popular choices. They will also become non-stick with proper use - and will get better and better with time rather than wearing out. Ultimately this is a personal choice though.

I'm not sure that the Everyday Pan brings much to the table considering the Wide Round Oven, the 12" fry pan, and the 4qt Saute Pan.

I would return the Dutch Oven given that you are registering for a nicer LC piece.

Congrats!

Feb 13, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

How important are quality of pots and pans in cooking. Which brands are best?

d5 is the higher end line.

There has been lots of the regular All-Clad stuff in my local TJMaxx lately. Unfortunately the d5 stuff has been largely non-stick or very odd pieces without much discount.

Feb 12, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

How important are quality of pots and pans in cooking. Which brands are best?

I would encourage you to consider something other than non-stick for your next omelette pan. A seasoned carbon-steel pan will be permanently non-stick and it will last forever. They are slightly heavier than stainless, but nowhere near as heavy as cast iron.

This is a popular model, and they are cheap to buy. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004...

Your local restaurant supply may have similar pans for $20 or so.

Feb 11, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

How important are quality of pots and pans in cooking. Which brands are best?

I think you've gotten some excellent advice here. One thing that I've not seen mentioned however, is that unless you specifically desire a matching set, forget about replacing everything en masse. Like you did with your cast iron skillet, replace things one at a time, starting with your most problematic pieces and/or most used ones.

As mentioned here, places like TJ Maxx/Homegoods/Marshalls all have a rotating supply of excellent quality pieces. The trick is you have to take what they have when they have it - you can't reliably expect to go home with a 12" All-Clad skillet on any given day. If you buy smart, you should be able to get excellent quality pieces for between $25-100 each for all common sizes. All-Clad is obviously excellent but also look for the Cuisinart pieces branded 'France' on the handles. These are good quality and less than half the price of All-Clad even when discounted.

Feb 11, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware

I keep looking at pressure cookers....and I don't know why...

I have a pressure cooker that I use for just a couple of things, but it mostly sits in my pantry. Can anyone recommend some good starting places for recipes tailored to pressure cooking?

Feb 06, 2013
zhenya00 in Cookware