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citizenconn's Profile

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Demeyere Atlantis stuff looks great

I had several Demeyere Atlantis pieces which I ended up selling and keeping my All Clad MC2 instead. I did like the Demeyere fry pans which do not have the thick disk on the bottom. But, the saute pans and sauce pans were just too heavy in the long run because of the thick discs on the bottom to be very functional for me. I prefer the uniform thickness up the sides of the All Clad MC2 line.

Dec 10, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Is non-stick safe for searing?

As long as you don't heat the pan too hot it should be ok, just doesn't work that well in non-stick.

Apr 27, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

recycled aluminum foil - anyone tried it yet?

My grandmother was Green even before Al Gore invented the internet because she always recycled her aluminum foil - she used it over and over and over again!

Apr 27, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Is Cooks Illustrated partial..

I personally really like All Clad, but not the stainless line. I prefer the Master Chef 2 (MC2) line. Much better cookware than the stainless for a lower price.

I have to wonder if the average home cook would see the difference in cooking responsiveness between copper and tri ply stianless?

Apr 27, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Le Creuset in Blue?

Thanks Blondelle. I'm having a hard time distinguishing between (French) Blue, Provence Blue and Harmonic Blue in my collection. I guess there are worse problems to have.

Apr 27, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Round Bottom Dutch Oven. Good Idea?

These only have 3 layers of enamel and are made in China as opposed to Lodge's better series of enameled cast iron which has 7 layers of French enamel, I believe. The better is more expensive of course and is shaped differently, with a flat bottom and metal handles, but it is very nice. I agree that these seem to have a problem with the enamel adhering well to the metal. When they chip the enamel seems to come off in BIG flakes as opposed to just small chipping.

You might want to watch eBay for some Staub ovens as well. For the same size they seem to sell a little cheaper than Le Creuset and are just as good or better in some folks' opinions. I have both and like them very much.

Apr 27, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Le Creuset Dijon Or Citron Yellow?

I like the look of Citron a lot better - it is very striking. But since mine is a guy's kitchen we don't do yellows.

Apr 27, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Round Bottom Dutch Oven. Good Idea?

I have this dutch oven and it works pretty well. Just a note of caution, these Lodge ovens are made in China and are pretty prone to chipping of the enamel. I'd try to find one in person rather than by mail delivery if possible, Don't know if they have Target stores where you are, but they carry these in Red where I live for about $60 US.

The round bottom works well for me. It is a good compromise between say a Le Creuset braiser and French oven. They also make this in 3 qt and in a 3 qt casserole. If you can find them for a good price I'd pick them up. They also make a very good enameled cast iron skillet in this series. Good luck.

Apr 27, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Le Creuset in Blue?

I did contact them but they were not any help.

Apr 16, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Cutting Boards Plastic or Wood?

The did a test on this recently on Food Detectives and wood won out over plastic. I would recommend burning you plastic cutting boards and smelling up all those lovely fumes!

Apr 16, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Le Creuset in Blue?

Can anyone give me some expert feedback on the difference in Le Creuset enameled cast iron ovens in the color blue (and not Caribbean) in the U.S.. I have a lot of "blue" Le Creuset enamleled cast iron but I have a tough time figuring out the actual names of the colors they've had over the years and how to tell the differences in them. I know the current color is Cobalt Blue. And the Williams-Sonoma exclusive blue color is Azure Blue (gradated blue).

I have some older pieces in a solid dark blue called "Electric Blue". And I've bought several pieces claiming to be French Blue, Provence Blue and older Williams-Sonoma Blue. I also have one piece in a very dark, almost purple blue that is even darker than electric blue.

Does anyone have any actual idea on how to correctly tell the differences or know where I can find this info? Thanks.

Apr 16, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Absolute best burger in Texas?

Let me qualify that a great burger to me is juicy with a tender, soft and lightly toasted bun where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I prefer the 1/4 to 1/3 pound thinnish patties charred on the outside and juicy on the inside. I don't really go for a humk of meat that looks like the ground up a brontosaurus and put in between two buns. If I want more meat I'd rather get two thin patties than the one big fat one.

In Houston:
Smashburger - my current favorite. 1/3 pound with cheese and egg bun had just the right amount of meat to chesse to bun to grease ratio. Reminds me of the best burgers I had as a kid growing up in Odessa which were at the snack bar inside Medical Center Hospital. Yes, I used to go to the hospital just for the food! I know its a chain, but they are doin it right at the one in Houston. I get it to go and let it sit in the box for a bit so it steams the bun a little more.

Annie's on Post Oak had a pretty good burger if you are in the area as well. Could be a little jucier on some occasions but good overall.

Christian's on I-10 - I can't recommend these burgers. I read the hype and the wife and I tried them and were very disappointed. Maybe we just went on a bad day, but we won't be going back.

Lankford Grocery - great atmosphere but marginal burger in my opinion. Better than fast food burgers but that's not saying a lot. Could have been a LOT better.

In Texas: The absolute best burger I ever had in my life was in the mid 70's at a place named Benoit's in McCamey, TX. They had a burger that was literally the size of a big dinner plate, both the meat and bun. It had to be at least a pound of meat. Back then they catered to mostly oilfield hands like my dad who needed a substantial meal. I haven't been back in years, but I googled them and they still list a Benoit's in McCamey. I'd be interested in know if they are still serving that huge hanburger and if it is still as good as I remember it.

Apr 02, 2009
citizenconn in Texas

Country ham help, please!!

How did things go with your ham? Was it a success?

Feb 17, 2009
citizenconn in Home Cooking

Enamled Cast Iron VS Regular Cast Iron

<LC skillets are useless>

Then you are doing it wrong. I use mine every day and love them. They are much easier to clean and maintain than my regular cast iron for indoor use. And the ones with the black enamel interior give a very nice sear.

Sanangel, if you are really interested in the enameled skillets, I would recommend trying out one of the Lodge Color enameled cast iron skillets. They are shaped more like a traditional cast iron skillet. And if you get the matching 6 qt enameled dutch oven the lid even fits both pieces making it more versatile.

You can pick one up at Target for under $40, so trying one out won't break the bank. I find them to be a great alternative to regular cast iron and with preheating and just a little bit of fat they can be as non-stick as teflon. Best of all you can soak off any stuck on stuff and not have to worry about the reseasoning.

Feb 03, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

what le creuset items do I really need?

I diagree with some of the comments and like the new Le Creuset enameled fry pans and use them daily. As long as you pre-heat the pan it only requires a small amount of fat to cook eggs or other items without sticking.

But I would recommend the new Lodge enameled cast iron skillets even more. They have more volume and higher sides than the Le Creuset ones and are even more "non-stick" with just a little fat. I much prefer them to their preseasoned cast iron counterparts. You can even get a lid for them. And Target has then for less than $40. That's the way we roll at my house.

I have been wondering about the Green Pans they have at Target. They might fit the bill of what you are looking for if you don't want the weight of cast iron.

Jan 30, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

le creuset soup pot?

I agree that the 2 3/4 qt soup pot is kind of a one trick pony. Wish they still hade the 4 1/4 qt soup pot, but I think they discontinued it. A good alternative is the Staub 4 7/8 qt country casserole or bouillabaise. I'm also a big fan of the Le Creuset 7 1/4 qt bouillabasse pot. Basically its a monster sized version of the small soup pot. I use mine a lot because I like having lots of leftovers.

If you don't want something as big as the 5.5 qt French oven they make a 4.5 qt which is a good size. I also really like the 3.5 qt wide round French oven. It is the same diameter as the 4.5 qt if I remember correctly from mine, but is a little shallower. It's a very versatile size for me for risottos, braising, soups, etc....

Jan 30, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Le Creuset for pots?

For stainless I really like my All Clad MC2. They are generally cheaper than stainless All Clad. The aluminum core on them is thicker than on regular stainless, but I've read that professional chefs actually prefer the regular stainless with the thinner aluminum core because it is more responsive to temperature changes. I get tired of polishing my stainless though, so that's a plus of the MC2.

I also have a few Viking saucepans and really like them - the exterior is brushed stainless and the shape of the handle and all is very classy. I don't know if they are functionally better than All Cald, but they are very cool. Sometimes that counts, right?

I just bought a piece of Mauviel M'Cook stainless and am looking forward to receiving it to see how it handles. Anyone have feedback on these?

Jan 30, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Le Creuset for pots?

I believe Williams Sonoma carries an anodized exterior All Cald set called LTD2 that you can wash in the dishwasher. Does anyone have any that can give feedback?

Jan 30, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

All-Clad: 3-ply vs. 5-ply?

I don't think the MC2 require more care. On the inside it is the same as all the others. Actually for me they require less care because I don't have to worry about polishing water spots off the exterior like I do with the stainless or copper core. But, the exteriors do show wear more than the stainless. That's a benefit of the brushed stainless because they seem to show wear the least. But I love my MC2 and my copper core. I'll get stainless if its a really good price or if the piece is only available in stainless. But its my last choice of all their collections. Hope that helps. Stainless is still good stuff, though if you like the look.

Jan 28, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

All-Clad: 3-ply vs. 5-ply?

I have a couple of them. They work fine, though I couldn't tell that they worked any better than regular stainless. Here's another thread that discusses the differerences at length.

http://www.americastestkitchen.com/ib...

IMO, I prefer the MC2 line over them because I suspect the aluminum core is thicker on the MC2. Plus the outer layer is aluminum alloy versus brushed stainless steel an aluminum is a better conductor of heat. MC2 is cheaper too.

That being said, they look very nice and the outsides look a lot like my Viking cookware does with their brushed rather than shiny stainless exterior. Also, if you need the magnetic properties offered by SS on your cooktop they will still work whereas the MC2 won't. I think they are probably marketed as a classier looking alternative than regular SS.

For me MC2 is the workhorse of my kitchen. If you want to wash them in the dishwasher you might want to go with the brushed stainless or regular stainless though. If you can afford it, I do find the Copper Core to work better than MC2 in temperature control especially using skillets. Hope that helps.

Also, I've seen a lot of 2nds of the brushed stainless on eBay the last few months selling pretty cheaply. I don't think most people realize that they are different and actually pricier than regular SS.

Jan 23, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Le Creuset Knobs

A note about the LC metal knobs, you can also get then at Chef's Resource. But don't toss your old black one. The metal lid is good for the oven, but it gets pretty hot for stovetop use. So for LC items I'm using strictly on the stovetop I'm keeping the black knobs.

And yes they do fit the Lodge enameled ovens. So do the Staub metal knobs, which I think look a little better on my Lodge ovens (plus they aren't stamped with a name.)

Jan 23, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Cast Iron seasoning peals everytime I make stroganoff (sp?)

While I respect those in the traditional cast iron camp, I'd recommend you visit Target or Amazon and buy a Lodge enameled 3 or 6 quart dutch oven or 3 quart casserole (whichever size works best for your needs). Or even the 11" enameled skillet. The lid from the 6 quart dutch oven fits it and both pieces together are very versatile for about $100. Target has them in stock in their stores and Amazon frequently runs them on sale, especially on Fridays.

The enameled cast iron will do everything you would want that traditional cast iron will do and clean up is much easier. Something sticks. just soak it for a few minutes. And soap and water is its friend. Even a little barkeepers friend lightly to take off any pesky stuck on stuff.

Jan 23, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

Fry pans: what's the diff? stainless steel vs. nonstick vs. blue steel

I would recommend a Le Creuset 11 3/4" enameled cast iron skillet as the best all around fry pan. It has a large enough bottom for crepes, pancakes and bacon. Definitely roomier than the 10 1/4" one. It is heavy though, and no problem for me as a guy. The wife finds it a bit heavy, though. But it is a truly versatile fry pan. If you don't like cooking with butter or other fat, I'd recommend staying with nonstick.

Jan 23, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

help me troubleshoot my cast iron experience

I used Lodge & Griswold cast iron for a number of years, but over the past couple of years I've replaced all of my traditional casti iron skillets and ovens with enameled ones and I would not go back for indoor use. Le Creuset ovens can be gotten for much cheaper than retail with patience on eBay. Lodge also makes a nice 11" enameled cast iron skillet that I like very much. And cleanup and care is much easier than with a traiditonal cast iron pan. I think it sears just as well as my traditional pans did and with a little cold butter or oil in a hot pan my pancakes don't stick. I bought my Lodge enameled skillet at Target for $34.

Lodge also makes an enalmeled 6 qt dutch oven (in 4 colors to match the skillets) and the lid from it fits the skillet.

If you feel you want to stick with traditional cast iron I'd recommend trying to find an older Griswold pan on eBay rather than using Lodge. My Griswold pans have much smoother inside bottoms than the newer Lodge pans do and I've had less problems with things sticking in them. Hope this helps.

Jan 23, 2009
citizenconn in Cookware

My Emeril cookware

Congrats on your first "decent" cookware. I had the stainless Emeril cookware for a couple of years and did like it overall. What moved me away from the stainless Emerilware was buying a few pieces of regular All Clad stainless. I was dubious as to if they would be that much better given the price difference. I have to say, for me, they have been.

The most noticeable difference has been how much more quickly water heats in the saucepans and how much more evently the heat is distributed in the pans. Plus the regular All Clad skillets do not seem to have hotspots or stick as much as my Emerilware pans did.

Other (read cheaper) triply stainless cookware may have the same advantages over the Emerilware as well, I'm not sure. I have a few Viking pieces and I like them greatly as well. I tend to prefer the All Clad MC2 line over the others in general. But the Emerilware were, for me, a great intermediate step between cheapo cookware and the All Clad/Viking/Demeyere stainless I now have. Hope you continue to enjoy them.

Oct 23, 2008
citizenconn in Cookware

Cast Iron Seasoning w/ Bacon: Yes or No?

Very good and succinct answer. Here's your winner.

Sep 05, 2008
citizenconn in Cookware

All Clad Copper Core Fry Pan Bottom Not Flat?

Sorry for the duplication.

Aug 09, 2008
citizenconn in Cookware

All Clad Copper Core Fry Pan Bottom Not Flat?

I recently bought two All Clad Copper Core 10" fry pans through the internet from two different vendors and the bottoms do not seem to be very flat. In fact the pan seems to be pretty "tilty" because the handle doesn't seem to be very balanced.

I don't see this problem as much with my 10" MC2 fry pan. My 11" Demeyere fry pan is very flat and much better balanced. Did I just get bad CC pans, or are these pans just made this way? If so, why would they be shaped this way? We just moved into a house with a ceramic cook top and my worry is that they will not make enough surface area contact to be very usable.

Aug 09, 2008
citizenconn in Cookware

Recommendations on the best ceramic pepper grinder.

I have tried a number of brands & kinds and the absolute best S&P mills I've found are made by Iittala.

http://www.amazon.com/iittalas-Collec...

They are pricey, but they are a great investment. Their output is unsurpassed by any other brands I've ever used.

Aug 08, 2008
citizenconn in Cookware

Le Creuset vs. Staub

I just read through all of the posts to this topic, and I'd have never thought it to be such a controversial topic. I've used LC & Staub both for a number of years. I've also have a few Lodge enameled pots (few because they only make a limited number of sizes at this point). For the money, I find it hard to beat Lodge. I find Lodge enameled to be every bit as good as LC, with the same light colored interior coating for those with that preference.

For those who prefer the black enamel interior coating, I've got both LC & Staub in satin black and find them to be very comparable. I give Staub the edge because of the metal knobs and self basting lids, though my LC satin black was avaiable in more sizes. It can be harder to find LC in satin black, but they are out there.

I find the new Lodge signature series to be a good alternative, too. And they are very stylish looking. Haven't heard anyone comment on these. Lodge is defintely starting to come out with some interesting new products.
http://www.lodgemfg.com/signature-series.asp

While my LC & Staub ovens are pretty. My Lodge pro-logic ovens are the best I've ever used, and the ones I go to most often. Not enameled, just seasoned cast iron, but what do I need enamel for? I think a good seasoned patina beats enameled hands down every time.
https://secure.lodgemfg.com/storefron...

If you're a big Staub fan but are more price conscious, the new Rachel Ray line of enameled cast iron are pretty much Asian-made knock-offs of Staub. Copco makes the Mario Batali enameled cast iron pieces, and I think they're Asian-made as well.

Jul 31, 2008
citizenconn in Cookware