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Which cookware for cooking for 1, 2, or 3 people?

One of the reasons I have cabinets full of cookware, even though I'm quite the amateur, is that I most often cook for 1, 2, or 3 people. Could be any one of those scenarios on any given day of the week. Less frequently, I'd cook for 4-6 (when family visits).

Anyway, in addition to having different materials of everything (stainless steel, cast iron, stone, etc.), I have different sizes of everything.

Given that I mostly cook for 1, 2, or 3 people (two of whom do not like leftovers), what do you think the ideal collection looks like in terms of types of pans and sizes? We do chicken breasts w/veggies on the side, casseroles, steak, pot roast, tacos, and sometimes pasta. Just basic stuff.

Aug 30, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

No Regrets: Glad I bought it!

I have the 3 qt Viking saute, as well :-). Love it, and it is what I reach for when I want to use stainless steel. I would say I'm glad I bought everything that is not identified in my response to the "mistakes, I've made a few" thread.

Aug 30, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware
1

Mistakes, I've made a few

Good thread & I've definitely made a few mistakes, too.

1) buying lesser quality stuff years ago when setting up my kitchen - it has all been replaced now, but would have been better financially to just buy the good stuff at the beginning. Ditto for the amount of pyrex I originally purchased - have had to replace it due to concerns about it exploding.

2) In my ECI phase, I purchased a 2.5 qt tramontina saucepan online without studying the dimensions. It is awkwardly tall and narrow and not great for rice. No idea what to use it for. :-(

3) I gave my old 12" Lodge CI skillet to a friend b/c I didn't like the brownish color it had taken on and I didn't know how to season. Now, his skillet is beautifully seasoned and smooth, but my newer one still has the rougher texture Lodge is putting out now. :-/

4) The carbon hammered wok I purchased from the wok shop in SF (online) was a huge fail. It arrived warped and when I called and spoke to someone about it, the lady practically bit my head off and told me her woks were perfect. She said she'd take it back but I really didn't want to deal with her.

5) I spent $249 on a beautiful 3.5 qt Le Creuset braiser, but Lodge has a 3 qt braiser that performed equally as well and costs considerably less. Should have gotten the Lodge and used the difference in cost to also get a 1.5 qt Le Crueset braiser considering how often I cook for 1-2.

6) I have bought a lot of cookware with good intentions and big ideas.....cost a small fortune and requires a lot of storage space, but I think the mistake here is in not following through with my intentions. Maybe this weekend, I'll finally use that mini-cupcake/muffin pan I bought a few months ago!

Aug 30, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Enamled cast iron

I'm not sure about KitchenAid, but I have a Lodge enameled CI 6 qt dutch oven and it has been great.

Jun 02, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Everyday dinner ware

no experience with Apilco but check out Mikasa Antique White

Jun 02, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

1qt or 2qt pot for cooking 1/2 c (dry) rice on stovetop?

@law_doc89, where are your experiments posted? Which 1.25 qt do you have?

May 15, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Looking for Demeyere Multifunction Pan or something similar

If you are open to enameled cast iron, that looks like my Le Crueset braiser. Comes in 3.5 qt plus a larger one (can't remember if it is 5 or 6 qts). I have the 3.5 qt and love it, though the sides may not be as high as what is shown in the picture.

May 15, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

1qt or 2qt pot for cooking 1/2 c (dry) rice on stovetop?

OK y'all have convinced me to use the Zojirushi rice cooker that I own but have never used. But I still want 1-1.5 qt enameled cast iron pot or saucepan, so I will find another need for it! :-) Thanks for the input everyone!

May 14, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

1qt or 2qt pot for cooking 1/2 c (dry) rice on stovetop?

I've been looking at the precision pour saucepan but it has vent holes in the lid. That wouldn't work for rice, right?

May 11, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

1qt or 2qt pot for cooking 1/2 c (dry) rice on stovetop?

Try it! It does a fantastic job of cooking rice.

May 09, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

1qt or 2qt pot for cooking 1/2 c (dry) rice on stovetop?

Rice and quinoa have become staples, so it would get frequent use. I do have a 1 1/2 qt stainless steel All-Clad sauce pan but I have to put a soup can on top of the lid when making rice - and it still turns out better in cast iron. I have a 2qt Lodge dutch oven (raw cast iron), which makes great rice. However, it is hard to keep that seasoned b/c the rice seems to absorb the seasoning. Also, 2qt seemed like overkill for 1/2 c of rice.

May 09, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

1qt or 2qt pot for cooking 1/2 c (dry) rice on stovetop?

I'm considering either a 1qt or 2qt Le Creuset enameled cast iron round dutch oven/pot for cooking rice (mostly basmati and jasmine) and quinoa. I usually cook about a 1/2 cup of rice at a time (1/2 c is the measure of the dry rice, pre-cooked). Which size pot would be most appropriate or does it not matter?

May 09, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Thermapen users: how do YOU clean the probe after inserting it in meat that's not done

I bought a box of wipes from the Thermapen web site...they were not expensive at all.

Apr 25, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware
1

Pots and pans HELP!!!!

Cuisinart Multiclad Pro is solid, high performing, and reasonably priced stainless steel cookware. I believe Calphalon Tri-Ply is equivalent, though with glass lids. (I have one piece of the Calphalon and two pieces of the Cuisinart.)

I recommend a combination of materials on your cookware list - stainless steel (such as a stock pot, saucepan, and saute pan); Lodge raw cast iron 10" skillet; Lodge or Le Creuset or Staub enameled cast iron 5,6,or 7 qt Dutch oven; and a non-stick egg pan - TFal is highly rated. The 3.5 qt Le Creuset enameled cast iron braiser is also extremely versatile - you can use it for braises, roasting a chicken, casseroles in the ove, or as a skillet on the stovetop. In terms of bakeware - a jelly roll/bar pan is a must. I have one metal and one stoneware bar pan, and use them both. I think you will like that stoneware is generally non-stick and becomes more non-stick as you use it. I really like the Pampered Chef stoneware - I am not a consultant nor do I know a consultant, so not trying to advertise here. But I *love* the stoneware bar pan, and the Deep Covered Baker. Google it!

Apr 21, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware
1

thoughts on the pampered chef

I recently got the round covered baker, and am loving it for quick microwave meals. Also got the medium bar pan and small mix n scraper, which I've been loving, too! I think there are several overpriced PC gadgets but they design it that way, so we are motivated to become a host or consultant (I've done neither). I have no interest in the cookware sets b/c I already have a good collection of Demeyere, Viking, Cuisinart, LeCreuset, and Lodge. I think there is definitely better quality and better priced cookware out there. But the Pampered Chef stoneware is awesome and I have my eyes on the deep covered baker!

Apr 10, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

OXO Good Grips Classic Tea Kettle

Now you all have me wanting an induction burner. I timed my electric kettle this morning (boil/black tea setting for 1.0L of water) and it took nearly 4 min to boil. I do like that the water stays hot enough for a second cup of tea, but "lightening speed" on the induction is most impressive :-). I don't think you can go wrong with the OXO.

Mar 31, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

OXO Good Grips Classic Tea Kettle

I have it and loved it for years until I decided to switch to the Cuisinart electric kettle. I am really enjoying how much more quickly the electric kettle boils water (I drink about 5 cups of tea a day). I think the oxo is the best stainless steel stovetop kettle, but I highly recommend an electric kettle instead.

Mar 30, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Everyday dinnerware

Look up Mikasa Antique White and read the reviews. I have this set and love it. Got it on sale for $159 for set of 8 of everything plus serving pieces. Coordinates nicely with other dishes, cleans perfectly, doesn't scratch, is lightweight but very sturdy.

Mar 28, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Lodge 5qt "Dutch Oven" Choices: I'm Torn

I have both the 5qt dutch oven and 5qt chicken fryer. I like having both b/c the lid of the dutch oven fits on my 10" skillet and the lid of the fryer fits on my 12" skillet. I like the fryer for cooking food that needs to be turned, whereas the dutch oven is good for soups and things that need to be stirred. I use my dutch oven for pot roast, but think the fryer could work. I think liquid would evaporate faster in the fryer. I also like using the fryer for cooking bacon or sausage or anything that splatters. The higher sides are better than a regular skillet for avoiding grease all over my stovetop.

Mar 27, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Which pan to use for perfect roasted chicken?

Thanks! I had forgotten about my oval gratin dish - I think that would work well. :-)

Mar 06, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Which pan to use for perfect roasted chicken?

@sueatmo is your enamel roaster like this one?
http://www.amazon.com/Granite-Ware-61...

Mar 06, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Which pan to use for perfect roasted chicken?

To make a perfectly cooked, juicy, roasted whole chicken with crispy skin, should it be in the oven covered or uncovered...and what pan should I use? (I've been buying the pre-cooked rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, but would like to start roasting at home.)

- Cast iron skillet
- 13x9ish casserole dish with 1.5-2" sides (Pyrex, steel, or stoneware)
- Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker (rectangular stoneware casserole dish with cover)
- Something else?

Thanks!

Mar 06, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

microplane, i need a good one. please advise.

I recently ordered two (fine and coarse) from Pampered Chef and the blade surfaces are by Microplane. (I'm not a PC consultant nor do I know anyone who is.) I really like it for these reasons: 1) it is very sharp ; 2) the surface area is wider than the 1 inch wide microplane zester I already had; 3) The surface is also completely flat on both sides, so the zests/grated bits don't get stuck; 4) it comes with a cover and food holder for safety; 5) it can be folded or extended in three positions: flat to zest over a bowl, in an upside-down V to zest with the microplane sitting on the counter, or completely folded to store in a drawer.

Mar 05, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

What pot to use for braising for 1 or 2 people?

Thanks everyone for the responses. I'd be mostly cooking main courses (meat, stews) and occasionally a side dish (braised vegetables). The 1 qt per 1 person guideline seems very helpful.

Feb 25, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

What pot to use for braising for 1 or 2 people?

I have the Le Creuset 3.5qt braiser but it seems quite big for just me or one other person and me. I'm considering the 1.5qt version....what would you use for small braising tasks?

Feb 24, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Recommendation for accurate meat thermometer?

Thanks everyone - you convinced me to get a thermapen.....which I would have known to do if I had done a board search and read earlier discussions on the same topic! Thanks again!

Feb 24, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Recommendation for accurate meat thermometer?

I am paranoid about chicken and fish being fully cooked when I take it out of the oven. I have the kind of thermometer that changes color but I prefer something that shows a temperature reading, and preferably something that doesn't require batteries (or, if it does, it has long-lasting batteries). I saw the ChefAlarm on Amazon but it looks really complicated. But I'll deal with that if it is accurate. Interested in any recommendations you have.

Feb 24, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Dutch oven

I have both the Lodge bare/uncoated cast iron dutch oven and the enameled one. Both do an amazing job for pot roasts. I don't have any experience with the Wolfgang Puck but a cast iron dutch oven is a great addition to your kitchen and you got a really practical size.

Feb 24, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Has anyone had any experience with the Pampered Chef Round Covered Baker?

I've been reading a lot of great things about the Deep Covered Baker (DCB), but think that is too big for cooking for 1-2 people, so I'm looking at the Round Covered Baker (RCB). Do you know anything about that product and would you recommend it? For DCB recipes that are halved to go in the RCB, would cooking times be any different? Thanks for any info....

http://www.pamperedchef.com/ordering/...

Feb 04, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware

Benefits of stoneware?

I am tempted by the Pampered Chef chicken/broccoli/cheese braid that they do on a stoneware pan/cookie sheet. It uses those refrigerated, canned crescent rolls that you unroll on the sheet and top with a mixture, then wrap it up and bake. I've seen a lot of reviews saying the stoneware breaks. Can I use a cast iron pizza pan or regular cookie sheet instead? Any adjustments to temperature needed?

What are the benefits of stoneware that I can't get from my cast iron? Thanks.

Feb 04, 2014
kimbers324 in Cookware