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DocJavaDude's Profile

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What ONE nonstick should I get

I have a couple of nonsticks in the arsenal. In addition to the 10" fry pan, I have two small (7" I think) rivetless pans by Vollrath. For just a couple of eggs on weekday mornings they are fantastic. The rivetless design makes for both a great cooking surface all the way around the pan, but also easier cleaning.

I'm interested in the T-Fal. I've never used them and have always depended on the restaurant supply store for my nonstick. I think I'll try the T-Fal for my next replacement of the larger size pan.

Dec 15, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware

COMMERCIAL COOKWARE -- Which is best for home use?

I'm a fan of mixing it up based on purposes and cooking style. I've got many Viking brand pieces (sauce pans, saucier, saute and fry pans, larger stock pots), cast iron (fry pans, grill, wok, dutch oven), Vollrath (non-stick griddle, small non-stick fry pans), Enameled Cast Iron Dutch ovens, stainless with disc bottom stock pots, a couple of blue steel pans, and two prized copper sauce pans. Each with own purposes and uses. For me it's a both-and, not either-or. :-)

Nov 17, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware
1

reliable drip coffee maker

Wow! That's a really nice looking coffee maker! I'm hoping someone will be able to comment from their experience with it.

Nov 01, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware

Toaster recommendation

Oh, and couldn't agree more with the frustrations of "disposable" appliances. I suppose on one level the manufacturing economies rely on our accumulation of new items, but for so many other reasons it is a travesty that products are not designed and built to last. Further, when the items do give up the ghost, it is nearly impossible to recycle or repurpose them -- they end up in landfills. Ugh.

Informed consumers, like those of us who participate in these discussion forums, really do need to let our voices be heard and advocate beyond these boards for things to change. Off the soapbox now. :-)

Nov 01, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware
1

Toaster recommendation

Our Dualit is 12+ years old and still going strong. Still made the "old fashioned" way with spring timer, manual lift, etc. Expensive as all get out, but a solidly built, reliable toaster.

Nov 01, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware

reliable drip coffee maker

+1 on this comment. Have the Technovorm and love it. When recommending coffee makers to friends, there are three:

-Techonovorm
-Bonavita (for water temp and value)
-French Press

:-)

Nov 01, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware

Zojirushi Rice Cooker Recommendations

I thought I'd report back on this thread. After all the research, reviews, and recommendations, I ended up purchased the Zujirushi NP-HBC18. This is the Induction Heat Micom version, but not the pressure model. I am very happy with it so far, but I've only cooked three batches of rice (one each of medium-grain white, brown, and sushi rice). I'm very glad I stepped up to the 10-cup model. Four cups of uncooked rice in my previous cooker would have overwhelmed it (very little room for fluffing). On this one, there is room to spare.

I like having leftover rice -- perfect for fried rice, soup, or just a snack!

I don't know if it is a result of the induction heating, but unlike my manual Zoji this new cooker leaves no browned/overcooked parts on the bottom of the pot.

Best of all, the rice from this cooker tastes so good -- much better, more evenly cooked, and more tender than the manual cooker or than stovetop methods. So far I really like the machine. If the results change significantly I will post an update, but I am guessing this rice cooker will keep me happy for years to come. Well, in the rice cooking department anyway. <grin>

Oct 31, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware

Any Peeler Experts?

While I haven't used the Swiss version you found (might have to look for it though!), I use both straight and "Y" peelers. Messermeister for the straight peeler and Kuhn Rikon for the "Y" style. But...

What I wanted to mention is that I have both smooth blade and serrated. For most applications I use the smooth blade, but there is nothing like a serrated blade for peeling soft-fleshed fruit like peaches, plums, nectarines, kiwi (when not using a spoon). Highly recommend serrated for those times when peeling fruit is necessary.

Oct 25, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware

Zojirushi Rice Cooker Recommendations

I was hoping we'd get some feedback from someone who has used the Zojirushi pressure rice cooker. Going to make a purchase soon and would love all the input possible. Thanks for the info so far!

Oct 25, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware

Best grease cutter for overhead exhaust?

Hi Cindy,

I've used that exact cleaner on our hood. Gets the job done far better than any of the household cleaners I tried. I've used a few others as well, but the pro/commercial products all seem to work about the same for me. Which is to say they actually work! :-)

Oct 23, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware
1

Zojirushi Rice Cooker Recommendations

These are great comments and very helpful. Donna, like you, I will be interested to know if someone can highlight the benefits of the pressure models over the induction (or other fuzzy logic) models. Thanks for the helpful replies so far!

Oct 22, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware

Zojirushi Rice Cooker Recommendations

I know that rice cooker recommendations is an often-discussed topic on the forum, but I am about to make a purchase and would love specific recommendations from experienced users. My current Zoji is a simple NHS-10 (6-cup "manual" cook-warm model) and I'm wanting to take the plunge to both a larger (10-cup) and more advanced model.

I'd love to hear from owners/users about their specific models and what you recommend (or not!) about them. I'm assuming I will look at the induction heat models, but could be talked out of that perhaps. I could also likely be talked INTO the pressure models, but have never used a pressure rice cooker so have no personal experience. So the invitation is extended. Want to help someone pick out their next rice cooker? Thanks for the help! :-)

Oct 21, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware

Vollrath Nonstick Griddle vs Consumer Name-Brand Pan?

I have had the Vollrath Tribute 12" Square Griddle for a couple of weeks now and thought I would post a follow-up to this conversation. OUTSTANDING product and customer support.

First, the griddle is very, very good. The pan is thicker than other griddles I have owned and my initial uses show a much better heat distribution. It heats quickly and evenly. Pancakes are evenly cooked whether at the center of the pan or near the edges. The nonstick is slick, at least on my first several uses. I expect it to hold up over time given the overall build quality of the pan. It is a "substantial" piece of cookware with quality build. The handle is comfortable and very well attached. I give it the highest marks so far!

Second, a quick word about Vollrath customer service. The pan I received from the kitchen supply company was new in package, but was actually a bit warped. There was a bow in the pan with the center elevated so that pancake batter actually ran toward the edges of the pan. Not acceptable. I sent an email to Vollrath before contacting the sellar just to make sure this was not by design (e.g. for fat to run off toward the edge of the pan). I received an email back the same day with a request for my address so they could send a replacement pan. I did so, and within two days had a new (perfect, un-bowed) pan from the manufacturer. I was not required to send photos, nor even send the original pan back. That was OUTSTANDING customer service!

So I am VERY pleased with my purchase. Yes, it cost more than the griddles at BB&B, but I think I have a higher quality, professional pan that will last for years to come. It joins several other Vollrath products in my kitchen stable -- products that I have even higher regard for now since the great customer service experience. I highly recommend this particular griddle and would not hesitate to purchase Vollrath products in the future.

Oct 16, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware

Vollrath Nonstick Griddle vs Consumer Name-Brand Pan?

I got a good deal on the Vollrath 12" griddle, so I've ordered it as a replacement for the current square pan. In descriptions and reviews I was impressed with the thickness of the pan, its evenness in heat distribution, and its apparent resistance to warping. I will definitely post a report here after I've used it. Scheduled for delivery today.

Oct 02, 2014
DocJavaDude in Cookware

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?

Sep 29, 2014
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