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Best grinder for French Press

Yes you are the one who started that thread. Thanks so much for following up 2 years later :) I was just looking at amazon reviews and they are pretty good especially for the price. At BB&B with coupon it would be around 75.00.

I'm glad you are relatively happy with it after 2 years. Thanks again

Mar 05, 2010
warneral in Cookware

Best grinder for French Press

Hello all! I am wanting to grind my own beans. I'm looking for a grinder that can give consistently coarse grind. I've been searching CHOW, epinions, coffeegeek and amazon. It doesn't seem like any of the Burr grinders (at least any 200 or under) make everyone happy!

So if you have a grinder that you are happy with - which provides consistent coarse grind (and not too much dust), let me know what you have.

I'd love to spend under 150 but if 200 is the only way to get a good one, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

I did read through a CHOW thread from some time ago about an inexpensive burr grinder for FP but didn't see any conclusive answer!

I'm about ready to buy a cheap blade grinder and do the shake and pulse method and cross my fingers :D

Mar 05, 2010
warneral in Cookware

Where to have knives sharpened?

I do have a henkles sharpener kind of like that. I think I'll just bring that and we can use it on her lower quality knives. Thanks!

Nov 25, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Where to have knives sharpened?

I am going to my sister's for Thanksgiving. Her knives are not very good - they are low quality Wustoff (very thin). But they are SO dull. She got them for her wedding about 14 years ago LOL.

So whenever I am there I tell her to get new knives but she hasn't yet. I'd like to take hers in for sharpening while I"m there so I can cut an onion without cutting my fingers off and just to be nice.

I've tried doing some googling to find a knife sharpener place in elkhart indiana, but so far, no luck. What type of shop name would I look for?

Thanks!

Nov 25, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Tramontina Eco Friendly PTFE-free non-stick cookware

Actually I was suggesting asking the doctor where her iron levels are since cast iron cooking could only possibly be a health issue for someone on the high end. IMO cast iron is highly safe and my personal choice for healthy cooking.

I

Nov 15, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Tramontina Eco Friendly PTFE-free non-stick cookware

When researching choices for healthy cooking pans, most articles will tell you to pick cast iron. The iron is viewed as a health benefit 90% of the time. Very rarely would the iron you get from the pan be a cause concern in your health. Most of us do not get enough iron in our diets.

Why don't you go to the doctor's office and have a blood test and see what your doctor says?

In addition, please don't be worried about deep frying in cast iron. Think of all of the southerners who have deep fried chicken over the generations! Rancidity/oxidation, if it were to occur, will not be a health concern- it would just be an off-taste.

Lastly - if you REALLY want to find articles about dangers from your cooking pans - look up the dangers of cooking with teflon or nonstick (which most nonstick is teflon). That will give you a real good scare.

Nov 12, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Any tips for new cast iron skillet user?

Oh here are the mits I use on my handles. they work great and are cheap! I leave mine on the skillets all the time LOL.

Buy 25 worth of stuff at amazon (books, food, etc) and get free shipping. THey have great prices on lodge products too!

http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-2-Piece-H...

Apr 26, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Any tips for new cast iron skillet user?

I need to come back and read everyone's responses but right now I just have time to tell you what I do.

I seasoned it in the oven at 350 with thin layers of crisco.

I try to cook fatty foods in it wheneer possible even though I don't eat fatty foods as I am on weight watchers. So if I'm cooking the kids hotdogs (which are light), I'll cook them in some oil. I always take the opportunity to fry up bacon for family (which tends to leave stripes on my skillet but the stripes don't hurt anything), etc.

I actually cook eggs and boca burgers on mine and it works pretty well. The key is getting the temp right on the eggs and the boca burgers. Room temp eggs stick less for instance.

After using my skillet I often wash with the following method:
pour a cup of water in the hot skillet and then the stuck on stuff starts to sizzle and fall off the pan. Then I take the pan to my sink (is use those handle hot pads on it all the time). I take my yellow/green or blue/blue sponge with a nylon scrapey side and it usually has some residual soap in it. I scrub away real fast to get anymore stuck-on stuff - off. Then rinse. Then I stick back on the warm burner to dry it well. Often times I'll coat the paper towel with some canola oil and wipe in it and keep the stove on at medium for a while and just let it cook the oil on.

Lots of loving kindness later (but only 4 months later) and I'm loving these pans. i don't miss the nonstick junk I threw out 5 months ago.

Apr 26, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Cast Iron Seasoning Woes

Too funny that this post has surfaced again (from 4 months ago) because I was just thinking, not 15 minutes ago, about how much I LOVE my cast iron these days. especially the 2 pieces I use most often.

I cook boca burgers almost every day at lunch time and use spray oil on the skillet. I preheat my pan at medium and then microwave the boca burger for 40 seconds. Then I turn back the heat to just a little less than medium (I was getting some burning at the higher temp) and plop my burger on it.

I keep my skillet on the stove almost all the time. After I'm done cooking the burger, I poor 1/2 cup water in the pan and scrub away at any resideu either with a spatula or a kitchen sponge, rinse it out and then dry with a towel. Then I put back on the burner and let it dry some more. Often, I will coat the inside with oil and let it cook on the stovetop, wiping away with the papertowel when it starts getting hot.

The patina on my cast iron is glossy and smooth (not sticky) and I can cook eggs and boca burgers with very minimal oil! Yes-siree I can! LOL I was washing off my skillet (my little 8 incher is what I use for boca burgers) just 15 minutes ago and thinking "and so many people said I couldn't do it! well I CAN!". LOL

Oh and I do also try to cook with oil for my family (since I'm on weightwatchers and tend not to eat fried foods) whenever I get the chance (like maybe every other week?) and that helps too.

So the slow patient, use it and season it - really was good advice. But so was threegigs initial seasoning advice. AND, I know I read somewhere that in-between stovetop re-seasoning (like where I spray some oil on and wipe with paper towel and cook on stovetop for a while), was also advice I read. All these things worked and I love my cast iron. I will never go back to nonstick again and I'll probably never need to replace these bad boys either!!

Apr 16, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Help!! Everything is sticking to my pan!!

let your eggs warm up for 35 minutes at room temp and get your pan nice and hot. Put the non-cold eggs in the pan and then turn it back. That should help!! A lot of folks say to use nonstick for eggs but I have been using my le crueset and cast iron without a problem - when I get the temperature right on the eggs.

Mar 21, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Cast Iron Seasoning Woes

Just a little update since I see this post popping up again! I did follow threegigs procedure adn it worked much better than my high heat methods (ie it isn't wiping away when I wash the pan LOL).

I've been very happy with my pans in the last few weeks. I followed your suggestions in patience, cooking with oil/bacon. The pans are working very nicely for me. I do cook par-cooked boca burgers on them with rarely a problem. They seem to be getting more and more nonstick with time. I don't cook with oil or bacon often, but I try to every once in a while to build a good seasoning layer. I am really loving my lodge cast iron pans and appreciate all of the feedback I was given.

Mar 12, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Seasoning Cast Iron WITHOUT Crisco?? [Moved from Home Cooking board]

great news! I've heard the secret to cooking eggs sans teflon is to let them warm up to room temperature. I have successfully made scrambled eggs in lecreuset doing that. I've been too afraid to try my cast iron though!

Mar 09, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Seasoning Cast Iron WITHOUT Crisco?? [Moved from Home Cooking board]

Sounds good! Sounds pretty similar to what I did. At first it wasn't super non-stick but every time I use it it seems to get more and more slick.

The color was kind of like that at first (I think I did 3 layers). The more I use it, the more it is getting more shiny, less bumpy (the spaces between the bumps are filling in with seasoning), and more dark. The center seems a bit more dark than the edges which makes sense b/c more cooking is happening in the center.

Another thing I did was cook bacon in them a few times (I don't really eat it so I cooked it for family and friends - everyone loves bacon unless they are dieting or don't eat it for religious or ethical reasons in teh case of vegans).

Another thing I think I already mentioned but after I clean it out (which I just wash with a sponge that has residual soap on it), I dry it out, put it on the burner and turn it back on, heat it up to evaporate the moisture, and then take a paper towl and wipe some more oil on it and let it cook til it gets hot and turn it off and leave it on the burner.

I have one of those square lodge logic grill skillets and cleanup was a PITB. I really don't ever use it.

Mar 07, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Le Creuset vs. Staub

Everyone seems to love the Staub interior finish and I am tempted to get my next piece in staub but the prices are nearly twice what I could get in the outlet during a sale. I want a 5qt dutch oven or cocquette (sp?).

Mar 07, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Reconditioning old cast iron pans?

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Inform... - this link is useful. to clean it up you can put it in your self cleaning oven cycle - I've done this with great results.
http://www.richsoil.com/cast-iron.jsp
http://www.melindalee.com/Cast-Iron.html
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/433869

Mar 06, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Seasoning Cast Iron WITHOUT Crisco?? [Moved from Home Cooking board]

IIRC Lye is caustic. I'm not concerned about the safety of cooking on the pan, just with dealing with a caustic liquid with 2 little kids running around. The self cleaning oven method is so much easier :)

Mar 02, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Seasoning Cast Iron WITHOUT Crisco?? [Moved from Home Cooking board]

I definitely want to hear about your results on this method! I am really starting to love my cast iron more and more over the last couple of weeks. I can tell the finish is starting to become more nonstick. (I am still cooking microwaved boca burgers on the skillet almost daily to give it a seared finish and they have been coming out nicer and nicer). Yeah that thread was a bit of a downer but I did get some good advice in it so I'm guess I'm glad I posted it LOL.

Good luck. Hopefully soon you will be happy with your pans and won't have to spend the weekend smoking your house up ;) I think I spent 6 weeks smoking my house up! Bleck.

Mar 01, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Seasoning Cast Iron WITHOUT Crisco?? [Moved from Home Cooking board]

Yeah the lye concept concerned me too. Plus we're in wisconsin so it really would be difficult to do it outdoors.

I left the oven racks in. We have a 3yo higher end maytag model but I didn't care as I don't care for the stupid stove LOL. It hasn't hurt the racks at all. They are a little bit duller and perhaps they don't slide as well, but I honestly haven't noticed a change.

My oven doesn't have exposed heating elements so I can't tell you if the ash would cause a problem on the heating elements. I really doubt it though b/c the self cleaning oven creates ash on a dirty oven anyways.

Good luck to you! I think the best advice I received is to just do a simple pre-seasoning, and then do the real seasoning by cooking. When you cook with the muffin cups, make sure you grease them up real good for instance.

Feb 28, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Seasoning Cast Iron WITHOUT Crisco?? [Moved from Home Cooking board]

Oh man what a bummer! I was hoping it had worked for you b/c I know what a PITB it was to do (and what a stink it made in my house for weeks of trying different methods!).

That is exactly what happened when I cooked with it. I literally wiped away all of that work when I washed it after cooking.

I would suggest putting it/them in the self cleaning cycle and it will cook all off. That way you don't re-season over a bad coating which could keep flaking off.

Here is the thread I had started after my problems occurred. In the end I followed the lard/350 suggestion and did 2 or 3 coats. Now I just try to cook as much bacon and oil dishes as possible. I am on a diet (I've lost 28 pounds - 2 to go!) so I don't eat much fattening foods, so when I cook for the kids, I make the low fat sausages cooked in oil LOL. They could use a little fattening. Anyways, the last thing I've been doing which helps is after it is cleaned up I put it on the hot burner to dry off. Then I apply a thin coating of oil (safflower usually b/c I have expellar pressed safflower I've been cooking with) and cook it for a while right on the stove top. I'm REALLY loving my lodge cast iron pans :)

FYI I also have a few griswold/wagners that I bought on ebay in my search for a nonstick replacement. They have nice seasoning layers but they still stick too. I'm actually happier with my lodge which is not the usual review from cast iron users.

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/476802

Feb 28, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Le Creuset--is dulling inevitable?

I'm thinking this concerns you b/c you've read past posts from people who have switched to Staub b/c the finish doesn't dull and becomes more nonstick over time?

I read those posts and think that it's great they've found something they like better. But on the other hand, Le Crueset is the brand leader (IMO) and still has a great quality. I made a major investment at Christmas time (buying 2 buffet casseroles and 2 dutch ovens in various sizes). They are all the kiwi lime color and I hope to get a few more pieces in this color before they ever discontinue it. They are gorgeous pots, and more importantly my cooking has never been better! While not nonstick, I have been very happy with the inside surface and its cleanability.

Feb 26, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Seasoning Cast Iron WITHOUT Crisco?? [Moved from Home Cooking board]

I found this post a few months ago and followed it on my lodge pans and my seasoning totally flaked off during cooking and washing the first time. I stripped the pans and tried again following it to the T. I'm sure it works for some people, but for whatever reason, my seasoning just all flaked off again. I think that I overheated it to the point where it was coming close to ashes?

I went back to a 350 1 hour seasoning (about 3 coats) and it is working alright for me. I'm trying to cook with them with oil as much as possible now to build up the seasoning.

As far as the outside of the skillet, i wouldn't worry about that. As long as there is no iron showing (which would soon turn to rust) - that's all the seasoning you need.

Feb 26, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Are slow cookers safe?

My one bad experience was that I had it going overnight on my solid surface countertop (manmade - like corian but the brand is gibraltar) and it cracked my counter top! Turns out the bottom of the crockpot emits a large amount of concentrated heat. Now I leave it on my glasstop stove.

Feb 22, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Is anyone else NOT thrilled with their Kitchen Aid ?

I've had my artisan for 8 years or so and love it. It's not even the heavy duty one. I've never had problems with it. As far as the mess factor, I just turn the speed down when powder goes flying or liquid is splattering.

Feb 19, 2008
warneral in Cookware

nonstick surfaces: ceramic or anodized aluminum?

I recently elminated teflon from the kitchen ('cept the waffle maker) and I chose cast iron. Lodge brand can be found at walmart and amazon and I really like it. No it is not nonstick, but I have been able to work with it nicely.

Feb 19, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Stainless Steel or Cast Iron dutch oven?

I love my le creuset

Feb 19, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Stoneware Bar Pan

I like how bread cooks in these. Pizza and dinner rolls are my suggestion.

Feb 18, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Another cast iron cleaning question - bacon

OK I know the suggestions on how to clean your cast iron - but I have a specific quesiton about bacon. Whenever I make it, I struggle between cleaning it and leaving the seasoning. Even when I scrub it really hard, I get a light colored residue left after washing and drying the pan. Should I just keep scrubbing til this is totally gone, or just make sure anything that can easily come off comes off?

Thanks!

Feb 12, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Cast Iron Grill

Do you really think you need somethign that large? If you really think you'd use it, then go for it. But if not, it will take a lot of storage space and be relatively heavy to use.

Jan 23, 2008
warneral in Cookware

What is "The Pampered Chef"?

of course some people aren't going to be happy, but I really like pampered chef. I'm not a seller btw.

I like their stoneware as it cooks much nicer than aluminum IMO. I also like that it is a nice alternative to teflon (which I wouldn't dare want to debate here because apparently you can slam pampered chef but not teflon)

I also like my spatulas I've gotten from them and my scoopers (which I could also find at bed bath and beyond) but I don't mind supporting a work at home mom over a big box seller any day!

You do understand that retailers usually double their wholesale cost - it's all part of the retail industry. Manufacturer's also at least double the price vs cost in order to stay in business and make a profit. So of course there is a mark-up in MLM items over the cost to make the item - that is just basic economics at work.

Jan 23, 2008
warneral in Cookware

Best enameled cast iron cookware?

I think the enamel gives it a fairly non=stick surface. Not as nonstick as teflon, but definitely more nonstick than a lightly seasoned cast iron pan. The other nice thing about enamel is that you don't have to season it and cleanup is super easy. I just soak my le creuset and it wipes right out.

Yes the outlet sells seconds for a 20% discount off of - say williams and sonoma prices. And if you join their mailing list you will learn of sales where you can get an additional 20 to 30% off on top of that. They had a sale between thanksgiving and Christmas and I ended up getting 4 pieces at about 50% off of w&s prices! Plus sometimes they also give mailing list people a free shipping offer as well so you can call around to any outlet.

Call an outlet and ask to get on their mailing list and they should put you on - that's what I did. You could also ask for their brochure which has all the store locations and phone#'s on it

Jan 23, 2008
warneral in Cookware