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Eggs + Induction Fob = Which Frying Pan?

I found a 10" T-fal Elegance on clearance for $19 at my local Walmart (http://www.walmart.com/ip/T-Fal-10-El...).

Compared to my T-fal Professional, which looks "press-fit", and you can see both the SS and the Al on the base, the Elegance has a full SS base with an Al layer in the middle.

I did a quick test to see how evenly the Professional, Elegance and my 12" SS Pro-clad skillet heat. I poured 1/2 cup of room temperature water into each, set my Duxtop is set to 5/10 and watched them as the water boiled (usually starting at 60 seconds). The Professional is the worst, as the water boiled in a 'donut' pattern, with the left side of the donut boiling very vigourously, the right side boiling more moderately, and the rest of the pan not boiling off water at all. The Elegance had a donut as well but it was much larger in diameter and the outside of the pan had large bubbles of steam forming (whereas the Professional did not). The 12" SS Pro-clad was about the same as the Elegance... in the central 8 inches or so only. The outside of the Pro-clad did not get that hot - the Duxtop is just too small to evenly heat it.

For now I will stick with my 10" Elegance pan, and when I move to a new place with either gas or real induction, I'll spend more cash on pans that can actually benefit from that!

Thanks to all for the comments, help, and thoughts. In addition to getting a new pan, I've had a chance to really learn the limits of my fob and adapt how I use it based on those limits.

Sam

Jun 08, 2014
papsology in Cookware

Eggs + Induction Fob = Which Frying Pan?

Sort of. Power settings 1 and 2 are definitely of the "on for a few seconds, off for a few seconds" type. Power settings 3 and 4 might work but seem to take a long time to get warm.

Tomorrow, I will try using the temperature setting to get to 280F, melt the butter, then switch back to a power setting of 5/10 to do the actual cooking. I think that's my best chance of egg happiness!

Jun 04, 2014
papsology in Cookware

Eggs + Induction Fob = Which Frying Pan?

Okay, I have what must be a dumb question, but when you fry three eggs in an 8" pan, I assume the eggs all 'come together' instead of remaining separate from each other. I personally prefer eggs over easy; and with my poor cooking skills I have a hard enough time flipping over just one egg. In an 8" pan, would trying to flip the conjoined three eggs be harder? I'm imagining a lot of tearing of white, breaking of yolks, and cussing!

Jun 04, 2014
papsology in Cookware

Eggs + Induction Fob = Which Frying Pan?

Thanks to all for the appreciated (and very detailed) suggestions! As much as I wanted to use a simpler (i.e. carbon steel or CI pan), I think I will be best off with a nonstick pan, at least 11" so I have room to cook my three eggs. I've narrowed it down to two options, which I'll probably flip a coin between:

- the 12" T-fal Professional, in the hopes that the 'convex' problem is less pronounced than the 10" version I've been using (at $27, I'm willing to test that out).

- the Scanpan CTQ 11" from surlatable (currently $99)

After really thinking about induction and all the comments here, I think my problem is more with my induction fob and how I use it, than with the pan. Prior to today, I would turn the fob on (at a power of 5/10), wait for the pan to get hot, add butter, let it melt, then cook the eggs. Even with the decent heat distribution of the T-fal, this process was too fast for the pan to heat evenly - the butter would brown in the middle of the pan, and eggs on the outside would take longer to cook.

Today, instead of turning the fob on at a power of 5/10, I used a "temperature" setting of 280F (I chose this value because it's below the smoke point of butter). I timed - it took exactly 2 minutes to reach this temperature, then I added some butter, which took a while to melt. I think during this time, the heat also had a chance to spread far more evenly around the pan than my previous method. Moreover, I suppose that it's actually a better use of my time in the AM since I don't have to watch the pan, and can simply listen for the induction to 'kick off' when the pan is at 280F.

The downside is that Duxtop is slow to respond when using the temperature setting. To be clear - if I set the Duxtop to 280F, it heats the pan quickly enough. But then, if I add the eggs, which obviously cools the pan, it can take about half a minute for the induction to kick on again. Worse still, the induction motor kicks on and off throughout the cooking process; the eggs only seem to really cook when the induction is 'on'. I suppose I should not expect much better from a $60 fob, and I will try tomorrow to see if I can find settings that make that perfect egg, quickly!

Jun 04, 2014
papsology in Cookware

Eggs + Induction Fob = Which Frying Pan?

sueatmo - that is a great idea, the 'donut of heat' is about 6-7" in diameter which would cover the whole surface. Sadly, I think three over easy eggs on an 8" pan would be tough to cook in one go.

Jun 04, 2014
papsology in Cookware

Eggs + Induction Fob = Which Frying Pan?

drrayeye - you hit the nail squarely on the head - the Duxtop can be powerful but has very poor gradations/adjustment. When I make any sort of sauce/stew, it's impossible to find the right setting to get a decent simmer - it's either too hot or too cold.

It has temperature adjustments in 30-40 degree steps, but even then it seems to be less than accurate once it reaches the selected temperature (i.e. it'll reach 320F, then won't kick on the induction even after I've added the food the pan). I know that it's reading the temperature at the interface between the pan and the cooktop, and that it takes time for that to adjust to the added food, but it's still frustrating.

Jun 04, 2014
papsology in Cookware

Eggs + Induction Fob = Which Frying Pan?

Thanks all for recommendations again! I'm trying to keep it under $60 or so, so while that Scanpan looks like the right shape for what I want, it's a bit pricey!

Duffy - Could I ask if you happen to know if there is a substantial difference between Infinite Circulon and Circulon Symmetry? Both appear to be induction-friendly anodized, but the Symmetry (http://www.amazon.com/Circulon-Symmet...) is $15 cheaper than the Infinite.

Also, on the topic of those pans, I can see 'rings' on photos of the pan surface: does that mean my omelettes will have rings on them too? Not a deal breaker, just wondering!

CK: I suppose my mythical clad carbon steel would have had an 18/0 exterior, Al middle, and carbon steel interior, but now that you mention it, even in that case the induction field might still cause hot-spotting if the carbon steel layer was close enough and the induction was strong enough. Also, I'd probably be the only person in the world who wanted one :)

Jun 03, 2014
papsology in Cookware

Eggs + Induction Fob = Which Frying Pan?

Thanks very much for the recommendations, and particularly the detailed explanations from Kaleo, CK, and DuffyH! You've steered me away from a carbon steel pan that I probably would have been disappointed with given my current induction hob.

I have learned, and must agree with you, that the $60 induction hob is a poor substitute for a proper cooktop, or better yet a gas range. Sadly I rent my apartment so my choices are limited :-(

The various Thermolon options look quite nice but I do agree they are pricey once you get beyond 10". I think my best options are either the Vollrath or an induction disk and a carbon steel pan - too bad there's no clad carbon steel pan out there!

Jun 03, 2014
papsology in Cookware

Eggs + Induction Fob = Which Frying Pan?

As part of my diet, I eat three eggs every morning, over easy or scrambled, cooked in butter or oil depending on my mood. My T-Fal Professional frying pan is showing it's age and I want to replace it with something that distributes heat more evenly and has a truly flat cooking surface (the T-fal is slightly convex). I use a DUXTOP induction fob (the $60 one from amazon).

I've read much on Chowhound and across the web, extolling cast iron, carbon steel, and various non-stick pans. On my own, I have tried my cast iron Lodge pan and found that it is far worse at heating evenly (not surprising, considering what I have read here). My SS pro-clad pan tends to stick unless I use a boatload of oil, so that's out too. At this point I'm either looking for a (better) non-stick pan, or am willing (eager even) to try the carbon steel pans that many have spoke well of.

My concern is that I do not know if the carbon steel will distribute the heat evenly, or will suffer the same donut of intense scorching that my cast iron has. I think my ideal pan would be carbon steel clad copper, if such a thing affordably exists.

Also, I'm not tied to the idea of a frying pan - if there was a griddle that could fry three eggs as quickly with little cleanup, that'd be fine too. I do want something with the speed of induction - I loathe waiting for the electric burner to heat up in the morning, when I am usually late to get out the door. I'd be grateful for any experiences/suggestions!

Sam

Jun 02, 2014
papsology in Cookware

Price of dry aged beef

So how was the striploin? Do I have another butcher I have to add to my list? :-)

Price of dry aged beef

A second update - today's trip to Marché Jean-Talon added two more butchers to my list:

Fermes St-Vincent (Jean-Talon Market)
What caught my eye: The beef was VERY well marbled (see the first attached image). Speaking with the manager, he mentioned the beef was dry aged by hanging the cuts (I believe he said 40 days but I can't recall for sure).
Prices: $68/kg for striploin.
Where's the beef from: Quebec.
How was it: I followed JerkPork's advice and gave it a try ( striploin, since both my better half and I agree on that cut). The steak was well trimmed, with only a tiny fat cap (they had others in the display case with more fat). Taste and tenderness were both top notch - an excellent beefy flavour to the steak, and only one bite had some sinewy chew to it. My only comment would be that the steaks in the display case are generally thin (ours was less than 3/4 of an inch thick). Next time I would ask 1 1/4" steak cut to order.

Prince Noir (Jean-Talon Market)
What caught my eye: Regular and 'biological' individually vacuum packed steaks, labeled with the origin of the beef. Striploin steaks are cut in half, allowing for thick steaks but reasonable portions (see the attached image of the 'square' looking steak)
Prices: $40/kg for striploin.
Where's the beef from: The steak I bought was from 'Piemontais Naturel', Quebec
How was it: Tender, and flavourful, but not as beefy as the above FSV steak (we ate both during the same meal). A bit of sinew/grisle - comparable to most striploins I've had before. Prince Noir does most of their cutting and packing ahead of time, and I couldn't find a butcher who knew about the aging or what the cows ate. I will mention that, for each different cut of steak, they had about 5-8 vac packs sitting in the fridge, so you do have some choice.

Price of dry aged beef

An update (and a minor edit):
In my post above I mentioned an onglet from "Boucherie de Paris" - that's a typo, as I should have written Boucherie de Tours (which IS at Atwater Market). I have not yet been to BdP (it is on my list of places to try).

The onglet was amazing. Very flavourful, and not tough (slicing thinly was the key). Also, no waste or grisle whatsoever. At this price and with such good taste, I'm certainly getting one again!

Nextguy: I did see your post about Les Epicurieux and it's on my list to try. I have a feeling the 120-day aged from MdB is probably a bit too strong for me, but the 50-day you describe sounds just right.

Price of dry aged beef

Thanks EaterBob, L'Entrepot de Viande just got added to my list of places to try!

Big thanks to JerkPork for catching that mistake about the Charolais cattle, and for providing all those details! Looks like I'll have to give them a second look when I'm at Atwater next.

Price of dry aged beef

TL;DR Most butchers I saw were unsure where the beef was from, or if/how it had been aged. Marchand du bourg is an exception - that fellow knows his beef. If he doesn't have what you want, the sheer number of butchers at Atwater market should make that your second place to visit.

Since this is becoming the de facto Montreal steak thread, I'd like share my recent shopping experiences here.

Brief background:
I moved to Montreal in 2011 from the GTA, where I had access to three great shops (Angus, Cumbraes, and Whole Foods). I got used to having access to dry-aged striploin, cuts to order, knowing where the beef was from, and only rarely having the feeling that I was being lied to just to make a sale.

In Montreal, sadly, this is not the case. Clerks don't seem to know where the beef is from, how it was aged, and seem to make up an answer and pass it along as fact (see below about my experience at Claude et Henri).

How we cook steak:
Blue. In brief, let it rest for 1-2 hours at room temp, pat dry, cook 1-2 minute a side on cast iron, sear the edges for a few seconds, let it rest for 1-2 minutes in a 325F oven, then eat. No seasonings/oil.

BUTCHERS:
These butchers all have a wide variety of cuts, but I only write about the steaks I really looked at or bought at that particular store.

Boucherie de Paris (Atwater Market)
What caught my eye: Onglet, and their pre-cut steaks looked dry (not dry aged per se, but that dryish look that steaks patted with paper towel get)
Prices: $20/kg for Onglet
How was it: Although we bought one, it's still in the fridge...

Fermes St-Vincent (Atwater Market)
What caught my eye: High prices, and (believable) claims of local biological 'Charlevoix' beef, I got the sense this is a boutique butcher dealing in local meat.
Prices: Over $60/kg for filet and rib.
How was it: I'm not rich enough to buy any. Would love to know someone else's impressions.

Boucherie 2 Freres (Atwater Market)
What caught my eye: Dry-aged loin and rib, with a nice dark exterior. The steaks are cut on request.
Prices: $45/kg for filet. Forgot the price of the loin/rib.
Where's the beef from: They claim the beef comes from Quebec
How was it: The filet we had was extremely tender, decently marbled, perfectly trimmed, and tasty. A bit light on flavour (even for filet).

Claude et Henri (Atwater Market)
What caught my eye: The marbling on a few of their steaks (most were marbled like Canada AA/AAA, but a few more like Canada Prime to me).
Prices: $45/kg for filet, $26/kg for T-bone
Where's the beef from: They claim the beef comes from Alberta, although that took some doing to figure out.
How was it: The filet mignon was very good, and checked off all the major boxes: tender, flavourful, well trimmed. The T-bone was a mixed bag. I actually trimmed it and separated the bone before cooking - what started as 590 gr was trimmed to 410 gr. The strip loin side was sinewy in places, and amazing in others. The tenderloin side was outstanding throughout, even more flavourful than the filet mignon I have bought separately. It was thin, which made it tougher to cook blue.

More details:
The first clerk I talked to told me that his beef came from Quebec, and was all dry aged. Certainly, some of the T-bones and rib steaks in the display case appeared dry aged (darker meat on the edges) but not all of the meat had that 'look'. Since I have been looking for dry-aged sirloin for some time, I asked him for one steak. Not having any in the display case, he went to the back and brought out a cryovac'd sirloin… full of purge. He told me that they dry-age the steak and then put it in the cryovac bags - something that I don't quite believe given the degree of purge in the bag.

Later on, I spoke with a clerk who was much older (50s or so) and if not one of the owners, certainly a manager who would know a bit more. He told me their beef certainly comes from Alberta. I bought a filet mignon and a T-bone from the display case (about 3/4 inch thick). The T-bone looked aged and was well marbled. Judging from the size of the tenderloin side (and the sinew in the strip loin side) it was most likely one of the first cut steaks (i.e. closer to a porterhouse).

Belanger (Atwater Market)
What caught my eye: How incredibly red their steaks looked, like they were dyed!
Prices: around average ($45/kg for filet, I think)
Where's the beef from: The clerk didn't know.
How was it: No idea, because I bought nothing. Between the way their steaks looked and the lack of knowledge by the clerk I didn't give this store a second thought.

Boucherie AGA (St-Leonard)
What caught my eye: They have 4 whole rib subprimals sitting in the fridge, with varying degrees of marbling (one looked like Canada Prime to me), which they cut to order.
Prices: $45/kg for filet, $33/kg for strip, $30/kg for rib
Where's the beef from: The clerk was not entirely sure where the beef was from, and it was busy enough that I didn't press the issue.
How was it: We bought a 20 oz boneless rib steak (sadly, not the uber-marbled steak). Cooked very well, was tender, and easy to cut. However it was rather bland. We both found it blander than a tenderloin, even the 'outside' of the rib steak. Disappointing, but I will go back to try once more.

Boucherie le Marchand du bourg (Beaubien/Papineau)
What caught my eye: Where to start. The store itself, the walk-in cooler, the aged steak.
Prices: $31/kg for unaged strip, $45/kg for 40-day dry aged bone-in strip, $60/kg for 40-day dry aged bone-in rib, $24/kg for bavette.
Where's the beef from: Alberta
How was it: I bought a strip loin, but since he had been closed for three weeks prior, it was aged 21 days or so. Normally they don't have dry-aged strip. I did trim it a bit more (there were a couple of spots of mouldy fat on the edge, and I'm paranoid). It cooked beautifully, with good browning on the outside. The texture was very good, not chewy at all. There was a slightly nutty taste to the meat, moreso in the outside edges. I've never tasted that before in a steak - I'm still not sure whether I liked it or not (but I'm glad I tried it!).

In closing, I've still not found the dry-aged striploin that started me on this beef-hunt. If anyone knows of a good place, please let me know!