randallhank's Profile

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New Calphalon One pan woes

I am feeling the need to amend this 5 1/2 years later. I still stand by the raw cooking properties of Calphalon One, but I have definitely seen some durability issues. Due to a job change and relocation, I was forced into having an electric "radiant ring" stovetop, and some of the limitations of this cookware began to show. Mainly, the pans exposed to higher heat (skillets and saute), had warped just a little bit. This did not make a difference when I was cooking over gas, but contact with the element is essential on electric.

Secondly, the pans over time developed microscopic little scars on the cooking surface (Calphalon replaced them under warranty). I did use a metal spatula to deglaze, but I am really not sure why this happened. The pans also ding up pretty easily, and some oil stains couldn't be completely removed even with bar keepers friend. I still have some of these, and honestly I haven't noticed an affect on either cooking or cleanup, so I guess it is really just a minor annoyance. If still had a gas stove I wouldn't have tried to replace them.

Now, with an electric range, I have completely revamped my cookware lineup. It is a much more eclectic collection. I also should mention that I became completely dissatisfied with All-Clad stainless. The aluminum was too thin to provide good conductivity and on the other hand the overall thickness was not sufficient to provide even heat. They are too expensive not to perform better at something! I do have one All-Clad copper core sauce pan which I am satisfied with. The rest of my cookware is a combination of 3 pieces of Michael Chiarello's Signature stainless set (clad, PLUS a copper clad base). I also have four sitram catering pans which are truly fantastic as everyday cookware (2mm copper base, relatively lightweight, yet indestructible, and no interior rivets), especially for electric. And I have a few smaller le creuset pieces. My overall philosophy of cookware has changed somewhat over the years in that I think you really need to customize your cookware to your cooking style and to your heat source. This last part is often overlooked (I would rather use two 10" skillets to cook a couple of steaks than one 13" skillet).

http://www.centurylife.org/2013/10/23...

Apr 09, 2014
randallhank in Cookware
1

what do you think of calphalon one annodizes for 112.00

I assume this was the larger 12" wok -- yes, a pretty bad wok! But as I mention elsewhere, the 10" stir fry is actually a nifty little piece.

Apr 09, 2014
randallhank in Cookware

what do you think of calphalon one annodizes for 112.00

Not the greatest cookware ever, but pretty darn good in terms of functionality. And frankly at that price, who cares? They are generally well balanced, transmit heat well, have above average responsiveness, GREAT handles, and can put a mean sear on some meat.

But, as some have pointed out, they have durability issues. At $112, it's not an issue though. I would have loved to have paid that little with mine (and I paid < 50% for mine!).

Apr 09, 2014
randallhank in Cookware

Calphalon One Roasting Pan

One version is truly "Non-stick" one is "Infused Anodized" which I would describe as semi-non-sick. When They were still making this line, the Infused Anodized was generally rated as the best roasting pan, above All-Clad and other stainless competitors.

Having owned several pieces of this cookware I can say that the small sauce pots and the roasting pan are the best pieces. The larger pots and skillets tend to warp a bit over time, and the surface layer has long-term durability issues. When the pans are in good condition, however, they do cook beautifully and clean up a bit more easily than comparable stainless products.

As I discussed on another thread, this line was designed to be "the ONE", meaning the most versatile set available that could replicate the results of various other pans while successfully functioning as an everyday set. With a gas range, these skillets provide the closest results to cast iron (but without the weight), while the responsiveness of aluminum would allow for more subtle cooking techniques associated with copper clad cookware. Combine that with relatively easy cleanup and there's your "one" pan.

One should consider though whether they are better off buying a Lodge cast iron skillet, mauviel copper saucier, and some sitram rondeau's and stockpots.

A good dark hard Anodized roaster is tough to beat, and I think that is where the Calphalon One Roaster really shines. Aluminum is a pretty ideal conductor, and because the Infused line doesn't have a teflon coat, you can deglaze it on the stovetop. Also, since this isn't serving as your everyday skillet, it won't take the abuse on the range, though, that would expose the aforementioned durability issues. And even if it did warp a bit, this isn't a big deal in a roasting pan.

Apr 09, 2014
randallhank in Cookware

Thoughts about the All-Clad d5 Essential Pan

I found a copper core 4 quart essential pan at Marshall's for $100. It has a couple of scratches on the exterior and a bit of the decorative copper stripe has worn away, but functionally there is nothing wrong with it. I already have a 5/9-ply copper core 3 quart saute by Michael Chiarello that has the same amount of searing space if not a bit more. So, the only advantage of this pan is volume/versatility. I truly do not need it, but at $100, should I keep it anyway?

Feb 25, 2014
randallhank in Cookware

Omelette Pan?

If you truly make the omelette the way Julia suggests, it should not be elastic at all. The key is to only cook it for 20 seconds, so it is barely cooked (à baver, or "drooling,") when removed from the pan. The last bit of cooking is done in the plate via conduction. I guarantee you will not have elasticity this way. Yes, there will be a slightly different texture on the outer part, as compared to the inner, but this is one of the properties of a classic French omelette. If what you were going for was absolute consistency of texture (which is called for in many other French recipes and techniques), you could simply use a sous-vide method. But, the end result would be something very different from a French omelette. Also, two large eggs is all that you can really use with Julia's classic French method because, as Julia points out, if you have higher egg volume, the high heat will cause some of the eggs to become rubbery before the omelette is really ready to be served.

Dec 16, 2013
randallhank in Cookware

Best Ice Cream Shops in the US?

Ohio has so much incredible Ice Cream. And Jeni's is indeed pretty awesome, but not even the best in Ohio. That award, my friends, goes to Handel's, based in Youngstown.

Jun 16, 2013
randallhank in General Topics

Best Ice Cream Shops in the US?

Jeni's is the best in Columbus, and in my top three in Ohio.

Jun 16, 2013
randallhank in General Topics

Kosher Krispy Kreme in Las Vegas

I do, as a matter of fact, keep kosher. In my house I am very strict and only use products that are marked by a reliable authority. As to which Krispy Kremes I would eat outside of my own home, vis a vis the fact that 20 years ago they used lard, well that's another story.

Nov 15, 2012
randallhank in Kosher

What exactly is "deli-style rye"?

I concur on Schwebel's. By far the best bagged rye out there. It still has the old world taste and holds a sandwich perfectly. Eli's on the Upper East Side of Manhattan make a similar style.

Nov 15, 2012
randallhank in General Topics

Kosher Krispy Kreme in Las Vegas

Well, they stopped using lard over 20 years ago. You would think there would be some statute of limitations here. And at some point all the old equipment would have been replaced. I realize that in theory there are never ending cross contamination issues, but at some point you have to ask yourself "what would G-d want?" I think there is good Biblical precedent for 40 years representing a clean slate, the equivalent of being buried in the yard for a year, if you would. So we only have about 12-13 years left I guess.

Apr 21, 2011
randallhank in Kosher

Kosher lunch in Chicago/butchers in Cleveland

Uh, plenty of kosher meat and groceries to be found in Cleveland. Tibor's and Boris' are both outstanding for meat. There are several very good kosher bakeries, a kosher market called Unger's and probably the best kosher Chocolatier you will find, called Chocolate Emporium. Obviously Chicago will have some great choices, but if you don't want to shlep the food from Chicago, you will easily find what you want in Cleveland.

Apr 14, 2011
randallhank in Kosher

Best Kosher Wine or Scotch whiskey

Sorry to say, but your response to this "bubbamaise" (who is this Bubba character?) is the real bubbe-meise. Meshuval wine is indeed stripped of most of the qualities that any serious wine drinker would say differentiates between a very good wine, and a fairly terrible one. I won't brag on my credentials too much here, but suffice to say I speak with authority on this subject. A nice 185 degree "bath" will kill anything. Actually the conservative tempurature used in the restaurant industry is just 140 degrees. Just using common sense though, if the process were "safer" in any significant way, shape, or form and didn't affect flavor, then all wineries would use this method wouldn't they?

Dec 27, 2010
randallhank in Kosher

Help! Commercial Calphalon Hard Anodized finish wearing off?

I make Chili all the time in my Calphalon One pans without a problem.

Jun 29, 2010
randallhank in Cookware

Help! Commercial Calphalon Hard Anodized finish wearing off?

As I have posted here and elsewhere, I own Calphalon One pans (in addition to All-Clad, and several others) and have found them to be my very best for serious cooking. No, they aren't nonstick, but they clean up easier than stainless, and they also transfer heat better.

The color of the pan, anodized or not, has NOTHING to do with browning ability. Come cooks prefer a mirror finished pan (stainless) because they can SEE the browning process better. My Calph One pans sear better than my All-Clad.

After suspecting that Calphalon One was overrated and All-Clad the real deal, my experience has taught me the opposite. The All-Clad pans are getting thinner and thinner, with my Frnech skillet measuring at well under 3 millimeters. Presumably this means I have less than one millimeter of aluminum core. While the stainless, as a poor conductor of heat, does prevent hotspots, I find that the heat transfer is too slow and inefficient to make it a great skillet. I do love my All-Clad saucier though, as even cooking is key in sauce work and other applications I would use this pan for. Ditto for the ceramic double boiler.

The overall advantages of clad stainless aren't purely culinary (which is why most restaurants and chefs don't use them). All-Clad's pans are expertly engineered and the clad metal makes it virtually warp proof and indestructible. They can take quite a beating. Another advantage is that, at least when the pans were of the proper thickness, you get very even cooking ability in a relatively light weight pan. Eventually I will pick up a piece of copper core which should distribute heat more efficiently.

Jun 29, 2010
randallhank in Cookware

New All Clad Stainless d5 line at W-S?

great post. dead on. I don't think most All-Clad owners understand the principles at work regarding the stainless.

Jun 29, 2010
randallhank in Cookware

New Calphalon One pan woes

I can't really disagree with this post. Nonstick pans don't get hot enough, and stainless sticks too much. I will say, though, that the 10" inch Calphalon One stir fry does a pretty nice job. They were clever and made it with a thinner gauge than the other pans in the line, and with as well as anodized aluminum transmits heat you can get it really hot. Use medium heat for five minutes, prep the pan well with oil, then turn it to medium high before adding the ingredients and it's not a bad stir fry pan at all.

Jun 10, 2010
randallhank in Cookware

New Calphalon One pan woes

I am sure these pans will be great for many applications. I think they are slightly lighter, thinner than the one pans. I think Calphalon decided they were most successful making very good non-stick pans that are popular with today's pseudo "gourmets" who ultimately value ease of use and simple clean-up over truly good cooking. No doubt these are the very finest non-stick pans on the market and will produce better results than other non-stick competitors. That said, it's a shame they pulled the plug on their only true premium cookware line. The Calphalon One was truly a unique product for serious cooks. Aside from cooking eggs, they were a superior product for nearly every other application. Unfortunately, they suffered from poor marketing and gobs of consumers who don't know how to cook.

Jun 10, 2010
randallhank in Cookware

New Calphalon One pan woes

The Kahari was a special promotion offered only at William Sonoma. I owned it briefly and I think it could be a serious collector's piece some day. What a beautiful pan! I ended up getting the 6 quart "perfect pan", which was the exact same piece (13") only with handles that flared out instead of up. I wanted to use the pan in the oven, as well as on the stovetop, and the upright handles of the Kahari were prohibitive with my oven racks.

Jun 10, 2010
randallhank in Cookware

Best Knifes Not you whole paycheck?

The Mundial Store or ebay.

Jan 05, 2010
randallhank in Cookware

Best Knifes Not you whole paycheck?

Belated, but I third the Mundial rec. In addition to my Wusthof and Globals, my main workhorse knives are Mundial forged. I have 5100 in black and a few in white. I also have the most beautiful carving set and bread knife from the old 2100 ironwood series. I also have a Olivier Anquier carving set and 10 inch chef knife. I think I have a problem. Anyway, my Mundials hold their blade as good or better than the Wusthof's. Mundial DID, btw, make knives for Henckels once upon a time.

Mar 20, 2009
randallhank in Cookware

Opinions on Calphalon Katana knives?

I can see what you mean when it comes to my chef knives, but would this be true for specialized kitchen knives as well? Would you also find this to be true for a narrow blade like a slicer, or a knife used to cut cheese or fish? I've always felt that the hollow ground edge prevented "stickage" . What are your thoughts?

Mar 01, 2009
randallhank in Cookware

Knives?

I also own Wusthofs, which I like. I don't like the Messermeisters as much. They do hold a good blade, but they are bit thick and heavy for my taste. I spent less for my Mundials, which are a bit lighter and better balanced. I also think Globals represent a good value if you want a supersharp Japanese style blade for under $100, although they are a tad too light for some tasks.

Feb 25, 2009
randallhank in Cookware

What size pot do you use to make Jewish chicken soup?

I agree, 8 quarts of soup is a ton. A soup pot is usually a 5 or 6 quart affair. Anything larger than that, I think, is properly called a stock pot. The eight quart size should be perfect for lots of soup, plus the chicken itself. If you are just making soup, then use a soup pot. Mine is a 6.5 quart Calphalon One, for meat. I have a 5.5 quart dutch oven that I use for dairy, but I am replacing it with a 5 quart stainless "stockpot" because I like the dimensions better (taller, narrower, which I want for boiling pasta and fitting into my smallish dairy pantry).

I make my chicken soup from stock. I use a 12 quart stainless from Williams- Sonoma. When I make the soup, though, it goes in the soup pot. 6 quarts of soup can feed up to twenty people.

Another issue is whether you want a multi-clad style or something with a aluminum cored disc on the bottom. These days most people prefer the multi-clad style for most pans. If you are looking at a soup pot, or something smaller, multi-clad or Calphalon One are the way to go. But (and this is where a lot of people get it wrong), for a stockpot (8 quarts or larger), multi-clad IS NOT what you want. Stock needs to be brought from cold to simmer VERY slowly (this is when the essential gelatinous material is released from the bones), and then simmered at a very low temp. So, it is actually better to have less efficient heat transfer. This is why the higher end All-Clad and Calphalon lines offer non multi-clad stock, or multi purpose pots.

Feb 25, 2009
randallhank in Cookware

Has Anyone Been to SOLO for the Top Chef?

foodlover26,

I am sorry you had such a bad experience. Most of your critiques are well-founded and you have a right to be angry about the poor food and poor service (I often lament that Kosher establishments seem to universally feel that good customer service is not important). Nonetheless, I must inform the kosher masses about a few things regarding "proper" dining:

First, in MOST restaurants with a high profile chef it is not uncommon at all for the Executive Chef (or Chef/Owner) not to be present several nights of the week. Sometimes the head chefs is only around during the daytime. The Executive Chef creates the menu and will train his sous chefs on how to prepare it. IF the chef is there at all, he is often merely serving as an expediter or glad-handing the patrons.

Second, regarding bread: I don't know when the tradition of "warm rolls" began as a meal, but it's a pretty provincial American expectation. Bread is properly served along with the salad course, or perhaps along with the soup course, if there is one. What was brought to your table was not an appetizer but an "amuse bouche", sort of a pre-appetizer, often served complimentary. It is absolutely properly brought to the table immediately upon seating (usually after water is poured and a cocktail is offered), often even before menus are presented. Once ordered, the cold appetizer comes first, then hot appetizer/soup, then salad, then entree, then dessert. Generally speaking the meal should progress from lighter fare to heavier (this is a tried and true way of dining). From a culinary perspective, the bread would unnecessarily dull the tastebuds before what should be a very fresh tasting cold appetizer, or subtle hot appetizer. Both the amuse bouche and the appetizer courses are meant to prime the appetite, not satiate it, (hence the word "appetizer") before delving into bread and heavier items. Now some people like to show up starving and demand bread right away, but it's generally considered unsavory to begin the meal this way. Also, those who start with bread usually end up being too full to enjoy their entire meal (this is another reason for holding off on the bread to begin with). So, think of it this way: the appetizer is not really part of the meal, it's just a nosh during cocktails. The meal begins with soup or salad course, by which time most good restaurants should have brought you fresh, house-baked bread, served at room temperature. I think the warm rolls thing is a vestige from the Great Depression, when temperature (specifically warmth) was considered a flavor. No doubt our Jewish ancestors felt the same way! Now, I enjoy a nice slice of Challah with a warm bowl of Cholent more than about anything in the world, but when one goes out for the purpose of a dining "experience," the protocol is different. You are paying big money for each course, so the idea, I think, is to enjoy each one on it's own merits, without any extra items spoiling the flavor palate. The bread is just a side show, grudgingly included as an homage to time when soup and salad along with a slice of bread WAS the meal.

Now, the salt issue. I must say, I agree with you on this one. In recent years there has been an increasing trend toward not putting salt and pepper on the table. Now the S&P are also somewhat of an homage to a time when food was often not well seasoned. As a matter of fact, the likelihood is that prior to WWII (when most American dining traditions were established), the food was downright bland and devoid of all flavors. Salt, in years past WAS the flavor (not just the seasoning). So it stands to reason that people could "flavor" their own food with more salt or pepper if they so desired. I also have a theory that the prevalence of cigarette smoking had something to do with this tradition -- back in the first half of the 20th century, when more people smoked, there was a greater disparity between people's level of salt preference. These days, some "haute" chefs feel, apparently, that their food is seasoned perfectly, and, therefore, no S&P on the table. I have two problems with this. First, smoking aside, there still is quite a disparity between people's salt tolerance, and their ability to taste flavors to begin with. Salt is a flavor enhancer, so it stands to reason that salt is the easiest way to equalize the dining experience. Second, greens or salad are properly eaten seasoned. Now, if I can quote Emeril, "I don't know about you, but where I come from the greens don't come seasoned." And, neither do salads at most restaurants (including "fine dining")!!!! The S&P, in my humble opinion, should be on the table, or brought with the soup course and then removed before dessert.

Better luck next time, and happy eating!

Feb 25, 2009
randallhank in Kosher

best carving knife?

yeah, some people feel serrated "tears" the meat, but if there is a tough roasted exterior, or anything that needs to be hacked through the serrated comes in handy. As for the tearing issue, if the knife is a good forged, reasonably narrow blade it shouldn't be much of an issue. Mundial used to have a serrated carver with their discontinued wood-handled 2100 series (which I love). I see them all the time on ebay for VERY reasonable prices. I think at least one of their other "premium" forged lines has a serrated carver available as well. I wouldn't hesitate to use one, especially since, as you said, it could double as a bread knife or a large utility knife (think pineapple). The anti serrated crowd has finally started to fade. I certainly use a straight blade for most tasks, but their is a place for the serrated knives. One of my favorites, in fact is the Calphalon Katana serrated utility. Amazing. I use that one for small breads as well. I also have a Mundial 6 inch serrated utility which is not quite as scary as the Katana, but bigger and more useful than most "sausage" knives in the Wusthof, Henckels crowd.

I think the tearing issue is more pertinent to steak knives, where there are some purists who insist that the serrated ends of a steak knife will ruin a good filet mignon. I haven't tested it myself, but I suppose its plausible. Nonetheless, this shouldn't have much carry over into carving knives because one rarely would use a carving knife for tenderloin cuts. If I had to break down an entire tenderloin, I (and most chef's) would simply use my chef knife. What we are talking about here is birds and roasts, right?

Feb 24, 2009
randallhank in Cookware

Opinions on Calphalon Katana knives?

Just to correct myself, the original Calphalon Commercial was NOT nonstick, but rather just hard anodized, which was actually not all that easy to clean, but cooked well. They did come out with a nonstick line which I used extensively and with success. No comparison to All-Clad and Calphalon One, but as nonstick pans went, they were the best of their generation by a long shot.

Feb 23, 2009
randallhank in Cookware

best carving knife?

I have worked in the restaurant business for 16 years. I also own, buy and sell knives. I am a big believer, with all cookware, of not getting too fixated on any one brand or style. I own both Japanese and German knives. For my chef's knives, I mostly use my Globals for any serious work. I have a Wusthof prep set which I like for small everyday tasks. For the money, I think Mundial represents the best value in German/European style knives.

As for the carving knife: I think the European knives do a better job overall. I recommend the Mundial Olivier Anquier wood handled carving set. This is by far the best and best looking carving set out there, and it costs under $100 for the set. (By coolest, I mean, most appropriate looking for the task at hand). If you want a granton edge, which is nice, you will need to order the pieces separately.

For a chef's knife, I usually don't recommend granton, for the reasons mentioned elsewhere in this thread. For carving/slicing knives though, it's a different story. I have one granton edge slicer which I use just for blocks of cheese and fish. And for roasts and turkey the granton edge is also a nice benefit. Assuming you are not using this carving knife for restaurant use, sharpening all the way down to the "scalloped section" is not an issue, especially with a carving knife, which is usually reserved for special occasions. Remember, a knife is not sharpened (only honed) after each use, but rather after several dozen uses. So even if you use this knife twelve or more times per year, most home cooks would have to live 10 lifetimes to sharpen their carver down to the granton edge! Also, I think 8 inches is fine for most home cooks, but you could look into a 10" slicer (they usually go by this name over 8 inches) if you cook VERY large roasts on a regular basis. Some even use (gasp) a serrated edge on a large slicer (the assumption is that carving a large roast will involved some tougher parts, exterior, etc.) But remember, you must store the knife, which is often an issue at home.

http://www.mundialstore.com/

Feb 23, 2009
randallhank in Cookware

New Calphalon One pan woes

I have a small set of four All-Clad stainless pans and a Lodge cast-iron skillet -- all of which I use often and with great joy. That said, I also own six Calphalon One Infused pans which I love and consider overall my very best for cooking food, specifically meats, soup and sauces. When the pan is heated properly, food releases fairly easily compared to stainless (which takes even longer to heat or "prime" properly). The Infused Anodized aluminum also distributes heat far more evenly and more quickly than either stainless or the cast iron. Fish is tricky no matter what type of pan you use, which is why most professional chefs have turned to (gasp) nonstick pans for white flaky fishes (a good fish spatula also helps greatly). The Calphalon One creates a phenomenal fond, deglazes perfectly, and cleans up easier than anything except true nonstick coated pans. That said, I have tried the lesser Calphalon products -- including their stainless lines which are made in China -- and they don't cook anything like my All-Clad (duh!). Personally, I think Calphalon has cheapened their brand by offering too many lines of lesser quality. I was skeptical of the One line, but found that they cook great after all. So, my advice is, if you are looking for stainless with great overall design and quality, splurge on a few pieces and buy All-Clad. If you want the best heat distribution, go for Calphalon One (made in Toledo, OH). I also like cast iron for steaks, which HOLDS heat incredibly well, but can be a bit heavy for everyday use. Ultimately, different materials work well for different things and different occasions. I was pleased to find that the products I have the most success with are made in the USA. They may cost a bit more, but they cook better and provide people with real jobs. Good luck.

Nov 09, 2008
randallhank in Cookware

All Clad French Skillet vs. Fry Pan

Also bought the 11" skillet. I have the 10" nonstick for eggs. The flared rims of the fry pan are great for serving an omelet or pouring off grease, but for everything else, the French Skillet is superior. The higher sides are better for searing meat, fish etc., not to mention the 11" gives more surface area without quite going all the way to the 12" inch fry pan (which gets a little big for most household cabinets and stovetops). Which brings me to the handle. I assume the angled handle has more to do with the international, or "French" style than anything else. However, I find that the steeper rake of the handle makes it fit in my cupboard more neatly. I also find that the pan balances better this way. All-Clad is great for the overall engineering of their cookware, including the length and rake of the handles relative to the pan -- and if there is anything that justifies the price its this.

Nov 09, 2008
randallhank in Cookware