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What cookbooks have you bought recently, or are you lusting after? October 2013 edition!

Essential Pepin, just waiting on delivery now.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0547232799/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Jacques Pépin New Complete Techniques

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1579...

Sep 30, 2013
Sneef in Home Cooking

e-wok store reliability ?

Why don't you try translating 熟鐵. It is Wrought Iron, aka Iron. It is not Cast Iron (鑄鐵), nor is it Carbon Steel

http://translate.google.com/#zh-CN/en/%E7%86%9F%E9%90%B5

<Well, I have no idea about your definition. Can you tell me what is an Iron wok?>

Wrought Iron. Wrought iron is practically pure iron with only very small amounts of carbon or impurities. It is made by removing the carbon and impurities from pig iron.

--

If the Wok you are claiming is made from Carbon Steel then it would have this Char in it. 鋼.

--

When i spoke with Tane, she agreed with me, saying "You are right, there is a lot of misinformation about what Woks are made from circulating".

We then went on to discuss her IRON woks, the ones she sells that are NOT Cast Iron, that are Iron, made from something that is NOT Carbon Steel or Cast Iron.

Here are the two we discussed
http://www.wokshop.com/store/detail.php?show=12
http://www.wokshop.com/store/detail.p...

Sep 30, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

e-wok store reliability ?

Well i called to wokshop.com and i spoke with them about Woks in general.

I am correct that there are 3 types of Wok

1) Iron
2) Cast Iron
3) Carbon Steel

She did however say that she had never heard of a "wrought iron" Wok. She said "No i have never heard of a Wrought Iron Wok, but there are Iron woks that are different from Cast Iron, they are made from Iron"

I have emailed e-woks again for further clarification.

FYI, the lady i spoke with at WokShop was super friendly, super helpful and her English is flawless with an American accent, i guess she was born and raised in the US. I think she is the owner, though i did not ask her if she was. I have seen her in some YouTube videos from WokShop.

Her attitude and helpful friendly nature means i can heartily recommend checking them (WokShop) out if your in the market for a Wok.

And no i did not mean it in the "100% pure Iron" sense, i meant 100% sure that it is Iron and not Carbon Steel.

You have used a Carbon Steel, you have used a Cast Iron and you can differentiate between the two... but have you ever seen/used an Iron Wok (not Cast Iron)?

Sep 30, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

e-wok store reliability ?

So i set about to learn more about Iron. In the process i learned more about Iron, Wrought Iron, Cast Iron and Steels.

There are at least 3 types of Wok to be considered in this debate about who is making which wok from what. (Who's on First?).

1) Carbon Steel
2) Wrought Iron, aka Iron
3) Cast Iron

Cast Iron works ok, but will hold the heat for too long and will be difficult to make instant heat changes to. Cast Iron is well enough understood as Lodge type cast iron skillets etc.

Cast Iron can not be hammered when it is cooled, it is too brittle. It could be hammered after casting when it is still hot, but this is ludicrous, why would you cast a shape and then hammer it, that's cheating (in the world of WokSmithing), like machine hammering a machine spun Wok and calling it "Hammered".

Wrought Iron, this is the missing link. Wrought Iron in Australia (where i lived for many years) is a very common term and Wrought Iron is well understood in Australia, we would call it simply Iron. "He hit me on the head with an Iron bar" (that bar is most likely Wrought Iron, unlikely to be cast iron). You get a sheet of wrought iron, and a hammer, and an uncomfortable low stool... start banging, before too long you have a Hand Hammered Iron Wok.

I have read time and time again people saying they have a "thin cast iron" wok. I suspect many people who say "my wok is thin cast iron" in-fact have a Wrought Iron wok. If you can bang on it like a cymbal with a wooden spoon; and it makes a nice clanging noise, like a carbon steel one would, then you can assume it's Wrought Iron and not cast, though this is not the definitive test.

If it weights a lot, then it is cast. Though this is not the definitive test.

and then we have Carbon Steel, which i did not really research as i just wanted to get a better handle on what i personally want, which is a Hand Hammered Wrought Iron wok.

Anyway, what drew me into this conversation was the fact that people were saying that Cen (a master Woksmith who worked with Carbon Steel, if you believe what i read on CNN) is/was making Woks for e-woks.com. It would seem impossible that he do so, as Carbon Steel and Iron are not the same...

Someone, Somewhere is wrong. It might well be me in the end, perhaps e-woks are using Mild Steel, which is also known as "Blacksmith Iron". It is also known as machine steel, low-carbon steel & soft steel.

I do doubt they are using Mild Steel, that would make for a crappy Wok i think, and e-woks are known for making top grade Woks.

I am not a metallurgist , and i am prepared to be corrected if i am wrong. My info primarily came from here

http://wroughtworks.com/types-of-iron...

Sep 30, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

e-wok store reliability ?

Please bear in mind as clarified by me just now, the WS Wok is Carbon steel and good. The e-woks wok is Iron, not Carbon Steel. Iron has different heat properties and also the benefits of Iron in your diet.

I know from their rep that the e-woks woks are second to none unless you go to China, even then you might not come back with a better Wok.

The WS wok is probably Cen's last stock (though this could be a TOTAL rumor with no substance), and Cen is/was a master Wok maker, but please be aware Cen was using Carbon Steel and e-woks are Iron, both are good. Both are going to outperform a Stainless or Aluminum wok, this is for certain.

I am not going to say that "Iron is better", because there is nothing wrong with a Carbon Steel wok. I have never used an Iron wok as far as i am aware, but i have used a few Carbon Steel ones. I am a big fan of Cast Iron, which is not the same as Hammered Iron, but i know Iron will hold heat very very well and so for ME, "iron is better". I also want Iron in my diet.

Me, i am ordering my e-woks Iron wok now.

The lady was very nice and cheerful, they are not joking about "we speak English".

Can't wait to get my Wok and my tools, i am closer to China than many people here and so it will not take long to arrive.

Sep 30, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

e-wok store reliability ?

Sorry to break everyone's bubble here.

e-woks woks are IRON, 100% IRON.
They are most certainly not in any way Carbon Steel.

My email yielded a cut and paste 1 line response that did not address my question at all. So i called them, as we are on roughly the same time-zone.

The lady i spoke with had remarkably clear English language skills, she confirmed with me 100% Iron, not Carbon Steel at all. I mentioned that people were comparing it to a Carbon Steel wok (i didn't bother to bore who with the forum name or the source of the Carbon Steel wok), she understood me well and said "no, it is not carbon steel, it is Iron, 100% hand hammered Iron".

As you can see from the passage on their website about "iron anemia disease" and the benefits of cooking in Iron giving you Iron in your diet, there should never have been any doubt in peoples minds that it was made from Iron.

Sep 30, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

Stainless still bowls scrach quickly

I will say however, that it seems these bowls you have are completely garbage (from reviews), and i will say that while scratching is not any sign of a bad stainless product, yours looks really amazingly scratched in short order, fear you have the worst bowls on earth and they will not last (it is confusing to me how they could make something so simple so badly)...

I would advise going to your local restaurant supplier and buying something from there to replace. You won't spend a lot of money and they will outlast you, me and probably this planet.

I have seen stainless mixing bowls abused in so many ways... left out in the rain filled with stuff including other metals that are far from "stainless", stainless bowls that live on boats at sea... the worst you can do is get some rust stains on it and you can get an "eraser" that basically scratches that off...

Meaning you essentially can not ruin a good stainless bowl unless you run it over with a Ford F series.

Also worth noting, is that stainless tends to come in two types. Mirror finish and brushed. It's going to get scratched to hell if you really use it (and you should), so i will always pass on the mirror finish stuff because past day 1 it'll never look that way on the inside, but the outside will be less scratched, not unscratched by any means, but less.

To quote a film i like (points for anyone who can name it!).

"Heavy is good, a sign of reliability. If it does not work, you can always hit him with it" (talking about a gun).

Well i have one bowl in particular, no idea where it arrived from... but i mean you could take to this thing with a hammer and you would be checking the hammer for dents. It's heavy and it's good. It does not shift around on the bench and you can play basketball with it without worrying about "ohh my precious bowl, will it be ok?".

I buy 99% of everything from the internet. 85% of that from Amazon. I am not in the US so i export everything from the US to here. I recently bought a new set of stainless bowls here locally, as i had to fondle them to know they were right. Sending things back for a refund is impractical when there is so much Ocean to cover.

Sep 29, 2013
Sneef in Cookware
1

ONE is NOT enough... IMO

I am also a single male, but i am 2 burners shorter in the action than you... I also have quite a lot of skillets and pans, though some of my stainless is going to be donated to anyone who wants it (i am not in the US before people start asking me to send them my stainless).

Sep 29, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

any malay or thai catering companies in Vancouver?

For what sort of event/numbers?

Sep 29, 2013
Sneef in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Stainless still bowls scrach quickly

I have seen everything from cheap to commercial catering quality stainless bowls. The more scratches the better, it makes food taste better.

Actually.... no i am joking about the taste.

I have never seen a stainless bowl that was not covered in scratches from one rim to the other, if i ever did see one i would know that person does not cook.

This is exactly WHY we buy stainless. Use it, abuse it, scratch it, leave it overnight in a sink of dishes and water with little/no consequence, leave it caked in whatever was being mixed, come back tomorrow or the next day.... scrub the living heck out of it with a stainless scourer.... good as new.

The more you abuse your stainless bowls the longer you will live... it's proven science.

Sep 29, 2013
Sneef in Cookware
4

ONE is NOT enough... IMO

What you need Amy is a commercial dishwasher.

You slide in a large plastic tray that is maybe 2' x 2' (been 20 years since i stood in-front of one). You lower the doors and about 60-120 seconds later (again, it's been a while, but i assure you it's FAST!!), your entire load is done and so hot you should be careful about how fast you handle things.

Buy 1 of them and 2-3 trays, maybe 4-5 for your setup... and you can destroy a full kitchen of dishes, and i mean FULL kitchen, all done all clean in very short order.

Sep 29, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

ONE is NOT enough... IMO

I don't even know what a duck press is... i must have been living in a culinary free cave.

I'll google it... and knowing me probably want to buy one ;(

----

Edit: well there you go... duck press... i am sure I'll be using that one on a regular weekly basis! Ducks grow on trees around here (not literally), but i fear that a duck press will have to wait until i build my mansion.

Sep 29, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

ONE is NOT enough... IMO

Yes i must admit i also probably have too many cast iron skillets... but i scored a huge set of Le Creuset on eBay for $135, so how could i say no?

Sep 29, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

ONE is NOT enough... IMO

8 kitchen towels is hardly a lot, i have probably 30-40, though that is because i was forced to live without access to decent ones for a while and then said i needed to stock up on good quality ones, enough to last decades.

I will go through 2 a day, they are not really dirty at the end of the day, but i throw them in the wash anyway and start with fresh ones the next day.

Sep 29, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

Best salt grinder?

There is a mechanism called CrushGrind, which is ceramic and well respected (this is the internal part that does the grinding).

There are some artisans on Etsy using them to make custom grinders, you might find something you like, else have one hand made for you (I did).

I just used WoodCastle to do some custom stuff including a S&P grinder set. He was very friendly and easy to work with.

http://www.etsy.com/search?q=crushgri...

Sep 28, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

e-wok store reliability ?

"Iron wok is one of the oldest cooking utensils in China for over centuries, famous for its sturdy, long endurance, even heating and most importantly good for health. Because of even thermal conductivity, iron can combine with acids in the food which make the iron in the food 10 times higher to accelerate blood creation. To use iron wok has been taken into medical treatment recommendation of lack of iron anemia disease.

In addition, the woks are unusual in that they are made from high quality iron in the traditional way, hand beaten with hammers (as opposed to modern ones which are just pressed in a machine with cheap steel) as most craftsman’s fingers are covered in bandages. A web of indentations in the pan show every hammer strike as the craftsman transformed the flat piece of iron into the woks you buy."

---------

Last time i checked Steel would not give you Iron in your diet...

Just putting out there what i am seeing.

====

Also as far as i am aware, and i am no expert... Iron does not need to be cast to be used... you have Iron and Cast Iron, both from Iron but not the same... i think... (not an expert).

*****

I emailed them asking "Do you sell any carbon steel woks?" we'll soon see if they do/don't/did/will

:)

Sep 28, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

e-wok store reliability ?

There seems to be some confusion here... people are comparing Red Apples with Green Apples...

Yes both e-woks and WS woks are both woks... but the ones from e-woks are Iron and the WS one is Carbon Steel.

Sep 28, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

i know you're not supposed to ________, but i do it any way.

*drools onto keyboard*

Sep 28, 2013
Sneef in General Topics

10" and 12" Knives

I purchased the drop forged Global, so that i could get some more weight.

Are you saying that lots of other knives are heavier than mine? Or did you miss that mine is a drop forged one?

Sep 28, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

Is it possible to have the handles on a pot changed?

There are people on www.etsy.com that would be able to make your new handles, and as Kaleo has said you can send your pans to Peter at Rocky Mountain Retinning.

Sep 28, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

10" and 12" Knives

I bought the 10.5" specifically for cutting a Beef or Buffalo top round into more manageable pieces.

I bought it thinking it would not get a great deal of action, as i am not exactly working with a top round every day.

Now the 10.5" has proven to be my perfect go-to knife for most everything (time to sell my 8" Chefs and my 7" Asian Chefs).

Perhaps the 12" will be good for "larger" things.

Sep 27, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

10" and 12" Knives

"You need a good sized board to drive a big knife"

I have a 24" x 18" on order from Bob Kramer, and currently using a 22"x16" from Core Bamboo... but it's got holes in it for stainless prep bowls at one end and in the end i just want one huge huge board, hence the 24"x18" is on the way.

For those who like G Rated Wood Porn
https://store.kramerknives.com/produc...

I wish i was somewhere where i could handle a 12" knife, of any brand. I am not in the US and in my country a $1 knife is the weapon of preference... :(

In about 2 weeks time i will have my kitchen renovation finished including a knife rack with all my Globals. I'll snap a pic and post it here then.

Most of my friends could not care less about kitchens/knives/cast iron skillets... at least the crowd here will appreciate my efforts.

Sep 27, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

Round Bottom or Flat Bottom Wok?

I am considering buying a hand hammered wok from http://e-woks.com/

I have heard around 14" is good, i will only be cooking for 1 or 2 people, maybe rarely 4 people.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Flat Bottom vs. Round Bottom woks?

Sep 27, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

CHOW Reviews: Magic Bullet Express 17-Piece High-Speed Blender Mixing System

The idea of banging it on the counter to me just seems like it's going to break far sooner than if you didn't.

The idea of shaking it all around, again, i feel will lead to it not functioning anymore within short time-frame. Also i buy machines so i don't have to do any of the work, shaking it is far more participation than i want...

I nearly bought 1, a while ago... got suckered into some marketing. They would not sell me one... i could only buy 2... then i figured i am just cluttering my kitchen with junk 17 pieces of chinese plastic junk x 2...

Glad i saved my money, sounds not very good to me.

Sep 27, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

10" and 12" Knives

I recently bought a 10.5" Chefs knife from Global (drop forged).

When it arrived it felt too long... a little unwieldy.

24 hours later i picked up my 8" chefs and said "what is this? a paring knife?" i can hardly use my 8" and 7" knives now, they feel oddly short.... and i am loving the 10.5.

My question?

From your experiences, if i purchase a 12" knife, will i have the same transition do you think? Or is it just that 10" is a very very good length for a knife?

I know this is fairly subjective, so i am just looking for anecdotal tales from anyone who also went from 8 to 10 to bigger.

I am an at home cook, but my kitchen and knives get used all day long.

I use an enormous cutting board.

Sep 27, 2013
Sneef in Cookware
1

My next knife will be ....

From what i know the steel is about the only thing you can get from him off the shelf... even his cutting boards are out of stock (check them out if you have a spare $300-400).

Well if you ever get to making some knives for sale, PM me and i will buy one. I like hand crafted goods and i like knives and i am all about supporting the US economy (i am not from or in the US).

For now i just got a Global 10.5" drop forged chefs, and i am really enjoying the weight. At first i thought i was just a little unwieldy for daily home use, and i never bought it for daily use anyway... but then i was just in the kitchen and i picked up my 8" chefs and for a moment i was confused... why is this knife so SMALL... it did it's job well enough, i mean it was only a carrot i was working with... i think i will use the 10.5" chefs for a lot of cutting... and to think they make a 12" one... a sword i say!

Sep 15, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

IWACHU Nanbu Cast Iron, seasoned from the factory or no?

I purchased it on eBay and had it shipped to me directly (i am not in the US).

In total it cost me $127.

When you start talking about top level goods last will last lifetimes, price is not something i fuss over. At least not until we hit $1000+ range.

Sep 12, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

My next knife will be ....

Bob Kramer sells steel at what looks to be fairly reasonable prices.

http://store.kramerknives.com/categor...

Enjoy.

You can PM me if/when you start taking orders. If you use Bob's steel I'd love a knife. Not sure what yet, maybe 9" wide chefs. Shipping would be to FL, but from there it is destined for Asia, so you can brag about your knives being a globally exported product.

Sep 12, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

IWACHU Nanbu Cast Iron, seasoned from the factory or no?

Thanks

Sep 12, 2013
Sneef in Cookware

IWACHU Nanbu Cast Iron, seasoned from the factory or no?

I purchased a IWACHU Nanbu 8" Omelette Pan directly from Japan.

The problem is that it came with 2 bits of paper all in Japanese, so i am completely in the dark as to their recommendations for care and if it has been seasoned at the factory.

Anyone know about this specific brand, has it been seasoned at the factory?

Sep 10, 2013
Sneef in Cookware