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CaliforniaJoseph's Profile

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Mistakes, I've made a few

Those both make sense. I've used a hot plate for similar before, but I could see the appeal of a one piece unit. My aunt used her Farberware wok to fry fish in her garage just off the kitchen on my uncles work bench - all the fish fried goodness, none of the lingering fish fried smell.

I've read folks with off grid cabins have used them for baking as they are - I understand - pretty miserly with energy usage. I see the appeal of that. Co-worker with propane uses hers all the time too.

about 4 hours ago
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Mistakes, I've made a few

Gotcha! My Magnalite wok (impulse novelty purchase I found second hand CHEAP) gets put to good use for haluski - cabbage, bacon & noodle dish. A whole shredded head of cabbage cooks nicely tossed with the bacon and egg noodles in one of those bad boys. Plus it looks cool hanging from pot rack.

about 9 hours ago
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Mistakes, I've made a few

Those old Farberware electric woks work well for a number of tasks excluding stir fry. I recall an aunt using one to fry french fries outside instead of a deep fryer.

All in all I never much understood the appeal of e-skillets and woks (my mother had several over the years and as a kid I'd see her using one not 12 inches from the stovetop and I just did not get it)... but I've recently found out friends who are either off-grid or use propane love them for being miserly with energy usage/fairly accurate temp control...

about 9 hours ago
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Mistakes, I've made a few

Curious about your wok regrets... What kind of wok and why the regret?

1 day ago
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

All-Clad 12 Inch skillet alternatives?

I can relate to that. Most recently I've noticed my local Marshall's and TJM had a shelving reset and the wares now offered are so uniform in display...(as opposed to the previous "thrft-store-esque" hodge podge assortment that demanded some mining/digging/sorting) well to have so much it can be displayed in such a fashion suggested to me they may have gone to a merchandising strategy of purchasing set items to stock versus being an outlet for buyouts and factory seconds.

I did, however, see two of these pans this week at "Ross" - a west coast chain.

The hunter will be rewarded.

Aug 20, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Waterless cookware

From time to time (all the time) you see these pieces on eBay - and many for a fraction of the original price. If you REALLY want to take one for a spin....

FTR - I am the proud owner of one such piece: a "Lady Pryce Waterless Cookware" dutch oven that I bought for all of $8 with free shipping. It is made of aluminum.

Today's modern shill touts waterless cooking in conjunction with magical "surgical steel" - but in days of yore the selling point was the lid type and covers that made such cookware stackable. (In theory, with this first gen aluminum cookware you could stack it all over one burner and cook Thanksgiving.)

I've never attempted to cook in any special waterless fashion with this piece. The size of it makes it perfect for streaming a large batch of veg with a stainless steel steamer. That's what I use it for.

I bought it because (1) it was $8 (2) I was drinking (3) it looked cool (4) it really was $8 free shipping (5) it's kind of a fun quirky piece of Americana.

The sticker was a joke I played on Better Half. ("Wait till you see the factory second LC I picked up today!") went to work, left THAT on kitchen counter.

I'm a stinker.

Aug 20, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

All-Clad 12 Inch skillet alternatives?

I picked mine up a year ago at a factory second shop for $25. It had a 2" scratch on the bottom - right where I had planned on putting one anyway. They are pretty much a stock item at Marshall's & TJM where I usually see them for $35.

Aug 06, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

commercial dishwashers in the home--long idosyncratic post

I think you are my new hero.

Aug 05, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Pizza Steel!

Dang you! Now I need a pizza steel! :)

Aug 05, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

SS Pressure cooker or CI Bean Pot?

I'd go with the PC first.

Aug 05, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Pantry storage: flour, sugar, etc.

I have duplicates. In the case of rice, flor and sugar I have LOTS of duplicates... I don't have space for big barrels, but I have lots of inconvienat shelving higher up.

Aug 05, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

I Wish I'd Kept…

Set of rose/pink Corning Visions cookware given to me as a token of friendship in a less-than-amicable break up. They were plain awful for anything but looking cool... If I had them today they'd occupy shelf space I can't spare and probably only get used for presentation.

But I was being a real SOB at the time and didn't deserve the kindness - AT ALL - but there it was... A small gift to see me off as I left with little. Some gifts are worth keeping for sentimental reasons.

Aug 05, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Remoska Cooker

Looks cool/handy in a small space. No experience with them. I have done baking on a $9 hot plate with a $7 cast aluminum caldero. I've read of folks who go off-grid doing similar with stainless steel electric fry pans. (In that case electrical usage was easier on their solar set up apparently. I'm no sciency wizard!)

Aug 05, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

TJ Maxx Calphalon?

My mother likes hers... I believe she has picked up pieces of the "Unison" line which has a second generation non-stick coating... I prefer the uncoated "commercial" line.

You find both at TJM - so I'd determine which yours has and then read reviews to see if it fits into your cooking style. I personally enjoy cooking with uncoated anodized aluminum and have picked up odd pieces from Calphalon (Toledo, OH) Hawkins (India) and Pyrolux (Denmark). I have two 7 inch pans I ONLY cook eggs in. They are plain uncoated pieces and eggs slide right out after three minutes with the least amount of butter before I wipe them out with paper towel and return them to their designated hook. I have one wok that I think is from the Unison line that I picked up second-hand unused. I use it as a saucier.

Aug 05, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Pizza Steel!

Had you ever tried a cast iron griddle or large skillet?

I've been very pleased with the crust I have achieved on a very cheap black steel comal - the kind sold at any market catering to Latino cooking for $5 - as well as an ancient Griswold 15" CI griddle I picked up rusty in a box marked "as is" at a thrift shop. It set me back >$3... It has some pitting but works well as a pizza stone and lives on my grill which doubles as my oven during the summer months when we are 100°+ for weeks at a stretch.

I love making pizza at home - prefer it to what's locally available... But for $79 I'm wondering if it really does any better than old cast iron which is readily found in flea markets,thrift shops and retailers for MUCH cheaper.

Aug 05, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Pantry storage: flour, sugar, etc.

We were gifted a set of the OXO canisters. For rice and sugar - which I buy in 25 & 50 pound bags - I use 2 quart plastic bottles that juice comes in. I attempted to use those for flour using a 2-liter bottle with the bottom cut out as a funnel. Major PITA - don't think I'd use them again for flour.

Aug 05, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Help! Commercial Calphalon Hard Anodized finish wearing off?

I have to agree. Lost two grandparents in their 90s to Alzheimer's. They cooked everything in glass and enamel on steel convinced that aluminum cookware was toxic.

Paternal grandmother made it to 93, ornery and clever as ever (I never once beat the woman in checkers!). She cooked EVERYTHING in uncoated Wearever aluminum pots and pans & an ancient aluminum roaster because "it's the best and it was made in America!"

Aug 05, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Why all the hate still for Dupont Teflon?

No, I live in Central Valley California. Just 101° here today.

I get it, we could go round for round for round for round. I don't need it, you really dig it. Is that that then?

Aug 04, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

SS Pressure cooker or CI Bean Pot?

I'm not made of money either, but I am powered by thrift. My PCsare old, my ECI DOs were factory second and super clearance. One PC was a gift, the others were Thrift Shop Gold.

eBay for a stainless PC, factory second shop for ECI.

Aug 04, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware
1

SS Pressure cooker or CI Bean Pot?

I have both. I use both. I love both.

If space constraints were an issue and I had to choose, I would hold on to my 6 qt stainless PC. Why? Just because it can be a PC, mini-stockpot & jumbo sauce pan & is non-reactive. (Of course enameled CI is also non-reactive...)

But is it an "either/or" proposition for you?

Aug 04, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware
1

Tips/advice for buying used le creuset?

Have you looked at places like TJ Maxx & Marshall's? My LC came from TJM at a substantial discount - $99 + tax. No, that's not the $5 yard sale find I brag about & $100 still isn't chump change... But honestly for enamelware like that, I kinda prefer to be the first owner.

I figure in the long run all the stainless & cast iron and corningware I've picked up for pennies on the dollar so significantly lowers my "cost per piece" that I can "splurge" on a factory second or floor model piece that is new to me.

Aug 04, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Non-stick muffin tins

I understand the nonstick coating of bakeware is a different animal altogether than the NS coating on frypans... So yes, this sounds right!

Aug 04, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Why all the hate still for Dupont Teflon?

I don't hate those things, or use them much, either.

Aug 04, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Avoiding oil residue from wok stir-frying?

I'd suggest the oil type and amount do factor in. When I use lard to fry I notice that it wipes off with a paper towel. Not so other veg oils.

When I stir fry anymore I tend to use the smallest amount of oil that I pre-coat my veg in before adding them to the red hot bottomed wok I've left on the electric hob on high for at least ten minutes. This yields the crispy vegetables and nuts with singe marks I crave.

This may not suit your cooking style or taste preferences, but I've noticed little to no oil residue to clean when I cook in this manner with the lightest coating on the veg of lard or clarified butter.

Aug 04, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Why all the hate still for Dupont Teflon?

"Hate" is a strong word... I don't hate it and have even considered buying a piece or two for house guests' use... Plus some of them look super cool...

But I really and truly do NOT need it for anything I cook. With an odd assortment of stainless, copper, anodized aluminum, cast iron, enameled iron, carbon steel, enameled steel, Pyrex, and pyroceramic pieces, I can find a way to prepare everything I love without a single nonstick pan. Just like my grandmother and the BILLIONS of people who lived and died and ate amazing things for thousands of years before nonstick coatings.

I just don't need it.

Jul 31, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware
1

Why all the hate still for Dupont Teflon?

BINGO!

Jul 31, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Summer 2014 Yard/Estate/Tag Sale Scores

Presto pressure canner that seems to have never been used... $8.

Jul 31, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Why all the hate still for Dupont Teflon?

I cook eggs daily without non-stick coating. I have two anodized pans for our eggs, the lightest swirling of butter that I toss before adding two eggs. They slide out every morning.

Jul 31, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Why all the hate still for Dupont Teflon?

It wasn't at all ubiquitous in any of the restaurants I worked in. That distinction went to uncoated aluminum.

I'm certain it is the most sold, it's super cheap at BoxMart and needs to be replaced often...

Jul 31, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware

Le Creuset always scorches tomato sauce

I've taken to using an old Calphalon Commercial (anodized uncoated) 3q saute pan on lowest heat for braising and longer stewing of tomato sauce and I won't go back to ECI! Cleanup is a breeze! I've kept an eye out for larger!

An $8 thrift shop Romertopf unglazed roaster has become a favorite for slow sauces in the oven at low temps too.

Jul 28, 2014
CaliforniaJoseph in Cookware