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Everything posted by EMichels

  1. Thanks for the early review. Do you have any idea how hot of a temperature you can sustain? Over the weekend I tried deep frying on my Avantco induction hob, which didn't work out well. The hob overheated three times before the oil reached cooking temp. Once at temp I put the hob into temperature hold mode hoping that it would quickly recover after adding the food and not go over temp like I sometimes do when manually controlling the stove. Unfortunately, that didn't work either as the unit is very conservative with power adjustments while in hold temp mode. I would be interested in your thoughts on whether this would work with the Polyscience unit or whether anyone else out there has had success deep frying over portable induction.
  2. Note that there is some uncertainty to this deal, despite prices reported by Brickseek. I visited Target today to pick up a unit shown by Brickseek as priced at $64.50 but in-store the unit was marked and rang-up at $90.30. Edit: Edited to add that it Brickseek was merely a day ahead of the store in marking down the unit. I returned a day later and, while it had not yet been re-tagged, it rang up at $64.50. Credit to a fellow egulleter for alerting me to this phenomenon.
  3. The KitchenAid 6qt KL26M1X is available direct from KitchenAid in brand new (not refurbished) condition on EBay right now for $249.99 with free shipping. Using the EBay coupon code PHoliday10 brings the price down another $25.00 to $224.99. This is the best price I've seen on the 6 qt, which I've been watching for this year. Available in Black, Red, and Silver.
  4. EMichels

    Cheese graters

    I have not yet seen it mentioned in the thread so I thought I would add that I've found an old Saladmaster manual rotary cone food processor to be perfect for shredding cheese. I hated using the food processor because of the clean up and found that when I did I would inevitably end up with half of the cheese smeared between the blade and the cover. The Saladmaster is extremely quick and easy to set up, use, and clean up. I can be through a whole chunk of cheese in less time than it would take to dig out the shredding disc and set up the food processor. I put the cone in the dishwasher and do a quick wipe down of the main unit and I'm done. They still sell for pretty good money on EBay but if you watch for awhile you'll find a deal. Even less expensive is the same set up for the accessory port on a KitchenAid mixer, which could work if you have space to keep your KitchenAid out on the counter all the time. The KitchenAid attachment has been designed with much more of a safety mindset, which I think would make it a bit less functional, but should still get the job done for shredding cheese.
  5. EMichels

    Masher for Enameled Cast Iron

    I remember my mother and grandmother always using a prong style Tupperware masher (like this: https://www.fishpond.com.au/Kitchen/Vintage-Tupperware-Potato-Masher-Almond-off-white-Rare/9999131688942) to mash their potatoes - not because they were trying to protect the pot, that's just the only masher they had. It should work perfectly for this situation. I noticed that OXO is selling a very similar model if you don't care to hunt down the Tupperware on EBay or the thrift store.
  6. EMichels

    Keeping bottles stable

    This is a classic problem in off-site storage locations. Many, many people (including many professional offsite storage warehouses) store in cardboard boxes without issue. However, many small wine coolers have an issue with humidity control. I'm not familiar with Climadiff but one of my cabinets of a similar size has a persistent mold problem near the condensation collection area. That could quickly get out of hand with cardboard in the cooler. The best solution that I've heard of (short of sourcing additional shelves for your unit) is to cut to length sections of PVC pipe with a diameter large enough to fit a wine bottle inside the tube and stack them inside your cooler. They will be very stable and inert so won't smell, get moldy, etc. and it makes accessing any particular bottle very easy. It will, however, seriously reduce your total storage capacity (as you've noted with the cardboard dividers). The only other issue that I would point out is that with any similar solution you'll likely want to leave some space at the front or back of the cooler (don't cut the tubes to the exact depth of the cooler) to allow for air circulation. Without proper circulation, temps in the cooler can diverge significantly from top to bottom. Eric
  7. EMichels

    Chamber Vacuum Sealers, 2014–

    I have a VP112 and my machine will display a problem like you describe if I don't press down on the lid to make a good seal during the first few seconds of a cycle. Fortunately, mine has the pressure gauge so I can tell when a vacuum has been achieved and let go. You should still be able to tell by the machine sounding slightly different once the vacuum has been achieved.
  8. That's an amazing find. That book is highly sought after in the cocktail world. It sells for a minimum of $50 on EBay. A copy in good condition with dust jacket will sell for over $75. I just recently picked up a copy myself but haven't had a chance to make much from it yet.
  9. EMichels

    Shipping Charges

    I purchase almost everything on-line and am a satisfied customer of Webstaurant Store (despite the shipping charges). I think what you are seeing with Webstaurant Store is merely a difference in customer segmentation. They are quite clearly focused on a restaurant/institutional base who is likely to be ordering in bulk and for whom unit cost really makes a difference. Therefore, they charge something much more closely approximating actual shipping and handling fees on their orders. A consumer focused site, on the other hand, has found that consumers react negatively to that additional cost and will instead price the item to include much or all of the shipping cost so as to offer "free shipping". That would explain why Webstaurant Store typically has better unit prices on similar items than someone like Amazon. Where that model doesn't work, as you've noted, is if you want to order only one item. However, if you were in the market for 10 saucier pans (as a restaurant might be), it really works well that each unit is priced $5 lower and they charge you a consolidated shipping fee of $18. I still order from Webstaurant Store but I stock up when I do.
  10. EMichels

    Unfiltered wine

    I have a bit of a different view on both how common unfiltered wine is and on the ability of Beaujolais to improve with age. While I agree that only a rather small proportion of French wines are unfiltered, I wouldn't consider it a rarity. I have had a number of them - many of which were quite good. I find this more common from younger producers and growing areas outside the most typical, highest value vineyards - the Loire Valley comes to mind as having a number of producers applying a number of styles. While I don't think that the unfiltered nature of the wine had any bearing on your bad bottle, it could be indicative of a winemaker working with other less traditional methods - such as low or no sulfer - that could have caused what you describe. Perhaps more importantly, I would urge people not to be afraid to cellar well made Cru Beaujolais. I have been a part of tasting dinners including semi-aged bottles and verticals up to 8-10 years old and, in the case of the vertical, the oldest two examples were best. Beaujolais is a wonderful fresh wine to drink young but it can really add interest and character with age. For what it's worth, the producer of the vertical that we assembled was Marcel Lapierre. Lapierre produces a few different cuvee - all of which are good. Other producers to look for are Foillard, Thevenet, and Breton. Fortunately, even the best Beaujolais are still reasonably inexpensive so you can try many. I would, however, recommend staying away from virtually all of the Beaujolais Nouveau, which is more of a marketing exercise than an effort to make good wine. Here's to hoping that your next bottle is better.
  11. My best addition to my kit has been a Viski Professional Lewis Ice Bag and Mallet (available on Amazon though I don't know how to add the EGullet Amazon link). I've found using cracked ice makes a big difference in shaken cocktails and the ice bag and mallet are a night and day improvement in my prior method, which was to wrap the ice in a side towel and crack it with a meat tenderizer. I find it well worth the small investment.
  12. I saw that you tried Manolin. I hope that you enjoyed it. In fact, it looked like you ordered a number of the same things that we had our on our last visit. Regardless of what you thought of Manolin, keep How to Cook a Wolf in mind. Ethan Stowell is a local favorite for Seattleites and I think this is his best restaurant. In fact, we liked it so much that I proposed to my wife there. Another thought that occurred to me for a more 'of the place' feel is Matt's in the Market just above Pike's Place Market. The food is good and it is a nice space with large windows that look right out at the neon market sign.
  13. Our favorites in Seattle are How to Cook a Wolf (which is just blocks from where you are staying on Lynn St) and Manolin, which is less than 10 min away by Uber. The photos on Yelp will give you a better sense of the food than my description would.
  14. EMichels

    So my Anova One 'died'

    Weedy, I share your frustration but, unfortunately, I don't think that shelling out for Polyscience is your answer. I am on my third circulator in four years (normal home use). The first was a Polyscience Creative Series that I bought as a refurbished unit. That one I kept only a month because there was something wrong with the rotor that caused the unit to be so loud as to be unbearable. I took it apart in an attempt to look for a balancing adjustment or a replaceable part but neither existed. I ended up selling that one with a disclosure for condition and bought a brand new Polyscience Creative Series. That one lasted a little more than two years before it developed the exact same problem. I replaced it with an Anova, which is my current unit. I make every effort to only purchase things that I am confident will last indefinitely, even if it will cost a bit more initially. My thought process being that, in the long run, I'll spend just as much on replacements and be frustrated about sub-par quality and waste while doing it. Unfortunately, the only circulator that gives me any confidence is the Polyscience Professional Classic series. I could justify that if it were two or three times the cost of an Anova but not when it is ten times the cost. For now, I am resigned to having to purchase a replacement every few years. Eric
  15. EMichels

    Best new product

    Thanks blue_dolphin. Many of America's Test Kitchen product reviews are available on YouTube. I wasn't able to find that March 2015 review (perhaps it was not filmed but merely included in the magazine) but I did find a 2015 Top 10 Holiday Gift Ideas clip from the Test Kitchen that included the GIR jar spatula (linked below). It appears that the reasons that they recommended it were the same reasons that I like my Core Kitchen spatulas better than some others. I can see how specific sizes and shapes could be preferable for certain tasks and the fact that GIR offers four sizes could help in finding the preferred size, though it would still have to be able to twist in some pretty incredible ways before I could get from $4 to $22! That said, ATK does note that they paid $12.95, which is not so far off of typical retail prices for such things in a full retail markup environment and, at that price, this does appear superior to many other offerings available in a similar environment.
  16. EMichels

    Best new product

    While I agree with the original poster's conclusions about the overall design (unibody construction, silicone based), I would be interested to know what makes these different from the many similar offerings on the market. These look remarkable similar to some Core Kitchen branded spatulas that are regularly available at TJ Maxx/Homegoods/Marshalls and Tuesday Morning for under $4. I have been very happy with both the spatula and spoon/spatula styles that I've purchased and can't imagine what the above spatulas could do to justify the price premium. That said, I grant that not all silicone based spatulas are equal. I have a handful from different manufacturers and find some stiffer than others. While good for some things, in general I prefer the more flexible style with a rigid internal structure.
  17. I've purchased some serving pieces from http://www.vitrifiedstudioshop.com/ in Portland and would highland recommend them. I believe that she is able to do in some quantity, if that's important, as she had a limited line in West Elm for awhile, if I recall correctly. The shop was an Etsy find for me several years ago.
  18. Beet greens are one of my favorites. My typical preparation is a simple stir fry with a bit of salt. Delicious. If you have a juicer, the root makes an excellent addition to raw juices of almost any kind. I almost don't want to make a juice without it.
  19. I also wanted to thank you for posting this (I think). I just spent the last 90 minutes scouring the site and ended up buying more than I should have. Some great deals to be had, though. I found a Volrath Redco dicer plus some accessory blades, some stainless steel cooling racks, and some nice ice buckets all at great prices. The stock appears to be getting thin so I'd recommend that anyone interested check it out soon.
  20. As PastryGirl noted above, there is another H-Mart in the Tacoma/Lakewood area. That's too far for me to have visited but about as close to Spanaway as one can get.
  21. I think that I've visited almost every Asian market within 30 miles of Seattle since I moved here last year (though I don't ever get as far south as Spanaway). Unfortunately, none measure up to what I was accustomed to shopping in Chinatown in New York but one can make do. I've briefly summarized my impressions below: H-Mart (Federal Way and Lynnwood) I find the H-Marts to be the best overall. They are Korean markets but carry most of the Chinese necessities. I find their meat and fish selection to be the best, and the produce section to be among the best. The only drawback for me is the distance to Seattle, which is quite a hike to repeat on a regular basis. However, the Federal Way location might be good for your friend. There is a brand new location that just opened in Bellevue but I find it too small to be really useful. Uwijimaya (Seattle, Renton, and Bellevue) The Uwijimaya markets are much more conveniently located to much of the population and are quite nice stores. They do have a distinct Japanese focus. I find the produce quality to be the best of the Asian markets, meat to be average, and fish to be above average. However, I find the prices relatively high as Asian markets go. Asian Food Center (Bellevue - North Seattle Coming Soon) There is small market in Bellevue called Asian Food Center that I really like for certain items. Their fish counter is quite good (they almost always have one or two really fresh nice looking options) and the produce section is also pretty strong (it is the only place I can ever find snow pea leaves). However, the small size limits the selection somewhat. There is a brand new, much larger location opening soon on Aurora in north Seattle, which I am really looking forward to. Ranch 99 (Renton and North Seattle) Solid if unexciting Chinese markets. Probably a fair place to shop to check everything off the list but I don't find the quality of the meat, fish, or produce to be very compelling. International District (Seattle) There are several smaller Chinese and Vietnamese markets located in the international district (the Seattle Uwijimaya also located here). Unfortunately, I can't recommend any of them. In fact, it might make your friend cry to think that these were her only options (it almost had me in tears). It is very unfortunate, as they are conveniently located and one would have hoped that the Asian district of the city would support some better markets. Others There are two other reasonably sized markets in the closer-in areas that I've not yet managed to try. One is Jing Jing in Bellevue and the other is Oaktree Market in North Seattle. Both are Chinese markets and may be ok, though I haven't heard especially strong reviews of either. I would be happy to pass along any other tips from my time here. Feel free to send me a PM. Eric
  22. I have one of the stainless chainmail cleaners and have stopped using it. I had been looking for a longer lasting solution than the green scrubber pads that I use but found that when scrubbing anything that was really attached to the pot I was scratching the seasoning on my skillets. It seemed like a great idea to get off the heavier debris that clogs the pads but just didn't work out for me.
  23. I had an excellent dinner at Herbsaint a couple of months ago. The chef, Donald Link, seems to be very of the moment and has several restaurants in town. It was only the second time that I have left a restaurant and immediately searched to find out whether he had a cookbook available with recipes for any of the dishes I had tried. I visited another of his spots, Cochon Butcher, the next day for lunch. While good, I wouldn't recommend it based on the length of the line to get in. I also had dinner at GW Fins, which receives relatively strong reviews as one of the old guard in the city. While the biscuits served in place of bread were tasty, the rest of the dinner was a real miss. It felt and tasted more like a hotel dining room. Nothing really objectionable but equally nothing interesting or taking any chances.
  24. EMichels

    Chamber Vacuum Sealers, 2014–

    The purpose of the volume plates is just to fill some of the space in the chamber so that the unit does not need to pump all that extra air unnecessarily. Relatively dry just means that there is not enough liquid to spill out of the bag opening if laid atop the plates. Basically, remove plates until the liquid remains below the seal bar. If you are unable to find the plates, it will still vacuum just fine - it will just take a little longer to evacuate the chamber. I've never seen the liquid tray but I would assume that it serves a similar purpose in positioning the bag so that liquid does not flow toward the opening when placed in the chamber. The "clamp" is simply the seal bar and the strip attached to the cover that presses against is when the cover is closed and a vacuum pulled.
  25. I don't know about the Victorinox but I have a 270mm Glestain gyoto with a scalloped blade and highly recommend it, especially for chopping vegetables. When chopping things like potatoes or zucchini with my other primary knife I get a lot of sticking to the blade, which I find to be a real pain. With the Glestain, I get virtually no sticking. I don't find any impact to sharpening as the indentations are well above the blade edge.