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Vollrath Nonstick Griddle vs Consumer Name-Brand Pan?

Moving a conversation here out of a pancake thread.

LOOKING FOR ADVICE on replacing a single-burner square nonstick stovetop griddle pan. I have cast iron, so not looking for suggestions in that regard. Specifically looking to replace a nonstick piece. I'm a fan of quality gear that is well made and will last a while (also recognizing that nonstick will likely not be an heirloom piece inherited by grandchildren <grin>).

Is it worth investing in a Vollrath Tribute 12" square griddle ($65-70 from restaurant supply store), or going with a consumer name-brand pan ($35-45 from BBB)? The Vollrath looks fantastic, but I wonder if it's overkill. Anyone have experience with this piece? I'm a fan of Vollrath products overall. Thoughts?

1 day ago
DocJavaDude in Cookware

What's your favourite or most useful, kitchen item?

Le Creuset Dutch Oven (7 1/4 Qt)
Pizza Stone
Oxo Good Grips Tongs (various lengths)
Mac MTH-80 Chef Knife (hard to choose which knife!)
Cotton Barmop Towels (mine are red) - towel/hot pad/mop/etc.
Wine Glass (ready to be filled for cooking!) <grin>

Sep 28, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware
1

what do you cook your pancakes on?

I'm a huge fan of well-seasoned cast iron for a LOT of tasks, but pancakes just isn't one of them. I want more real estate than my skillets can offer, and my Lodge two-burner double-sided grill/griddle just isn't kind to flapjacks. Cooks Illustrated agrees with my assessment about that particular cast iron piece as well (they give it a "Not Recommended" and note that it's hard to not scorch pancakes -- my experience as well). I've become a big fan of the Anolon non-stick double-burner griddle for pancakes -- that was CI's most recommended stovetop griddle. I still use the Lodge for higher temp indoor grilling and searing, though. Just not pancakes.

However, I'm about to replace our old 11" square non-stick aluminum griddle as the non-stick is wearing off -- always a sign to me to get a new non-stick. The question I'd like to add to the conversation is about these smaller single-burner griddles. It's the preferred pancake platform for my wife and daughter, and it is handy for smaller batches (it fits four mid-sized pancakes).

Would you recommend replacing it with a $30-35 version (e.g. Calphalon or Anolon or similar), or is it worth investing in the Vollrath Tribute 12" square griddle for twice the cost? The Vollrath looks fantastic, but I wonder if it's overkill. Anyone have experience with this piece? I'm a fan of Vollrath products...

Sep 28, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware

Couscous Brands, Bulk, etc.

Local "Earth Fare" market has whole wheat cous cous for $3.99/lb. Whole Foods has same and/or "regular" cous cous for $2.99/lb. Both in bulk. Haven't looked at Trader's yet.

May 15, 2013
DocJavaDude in General Topics

Couscous Brands, Bulk, etc.

Thanks for the heads-up about TJs. I hadn't looked there, but will. And it's just down the street from Whole Foods in case I can't find it at TJs. Thanks!

May 07, 2013
DocJavaDude in General Topics

Couscous Brands, Bulk, etc.

So I'm not interested in purchasing the couscous boxes in the grocery store that contain "flavor packets," and recoil against paying nearly $8 for a container of "Rice Select" brand. In my local grocery store those seem to be my only options.

What brand(s) of couscous have you found to be good? Are you satisfied with the products available in bulk bins (at Whole Foods, for example)? Are there other ways to find this product (Costco, amazon.com, etc.)?

Thanks!

May 06, 2013
DocJavaDude in General Topics