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Seattle Food Geek

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  1. I haven't had the experience of needing less for long bath times. In fact, I use Steak Aging Sauce for my 72-hour brisket! I think the culprit is likely the combination of the Sansaire Steak Aging Sauce and the McCormick's Montreal Steak Rub. McCormick's blends are really salty (usually, they're they only seasoning on the food), and in combination with Steak Aging Sauce, it could be too aggressive. If you like the flavor of both together, I'd recommend scaling them both back a bit. Thanks again!
  2. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Mark! Glad it was a hit :-)
  3. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Mark! If you ever have questions, problems, or come up with novel uses, we'd love to hear from you! -Scott
  4. More great questions! We have not been able to produce "torch taste" with the Sansaire Searing Kit torch, despite trying really hard. There are two prevalining hypotheses for what causes torch taste. Modernist Cuisine attributes it to the flavor of uncombusted fuel reaching the food surface. Dave Arnold and the Searzall team attribute it to chemical reactions that occur when food is exposed to too high a temperature, as you might experience with a direct flame. I can't state with 100% certainty why the Sansaire Searing Kit torch doesn't produce torch taste, but we've empirically shown that it doesn't. I've even served seared steak to people who complain about being sensitivie to torch taste and they were delighted that it was absent from our setup. My best guess is that the temperature of our flame is actually a little lower than that of the TS4000 or TS4000. We've measured the blue main flame as 2200F in air. With a TS8000, the flame is designed to be considerably more concentrated and more intense. I don't have a temperature measurement, but it could be the case that there's a threshold north of 2200F at which "torch taste" begins to appear. We also advise folks to light our torch pointed away from their food, then bring the lit flame to the food surface, so that they avoid getting uncombusted propane on the food.
  5. Cast iron can definitely deliver a great sear, but the torch has a few advantages: Cast iron only sears flat things. It's great for strip steaks, but because cast iron relies on conduction as its only mode of heat transfer, it's pretty cumbersome to sear non-slab objects like a prime rib or rack of lamb. Even a chicken breast is a little too dome-shaped for reliable contact with the pan. The flame can sear round and uneven surfaces, and sneak into those nooks and crannies that conduction can't reach. Temperature. On a powerful stove, you might be able to get your cast iron pan up to 600F. But, the temperature of the torch flame is 2200F. Temperature doesn't tell the whole story of heat transfer, but if your goal is to apply a dark outer crust fast without overcooking the interior, it matters a lot. Smoke. When searing over a wire rack and drip tray - like the kind we built for the Sansaire Searing Kit - juices and liquid fat drip down off the food, away from the heat, and into the drip pan (ready to turn into a pan sauce). In a cast iron skillet, they have nowhere to go but airborne in the form of smoke. If you've got a kick-ass vent hood, then this isn't a big deal. But if your smoke alarm is like mine (even saying the word "smoke" out loud seems to set it off) then producing less smoke is an advantage. Cleanup. The searing rack and tray from our searing kit are dishwasher safe, so I don't have to worry about rinsing out my cast iron right after searing. Drama. I've yet to host a dinner party where the blowtorch searing step didn't make it to instagram. Pro tip: don't tell anyone what you're doing, just start searing in clear view of the dining room. Half way through, invite your 85-year-old grandmother to take over for you.
  6. Scott from Sansaire here. The Sansaire Searing Kit torch and the Searzall attachment are very different, and each good for their own use. Because the Searzall takes a flame from the TS8000 or TS4000 (show in the middle of the photo below) and spreads the heat out over a 3" diameter baffle, the heat energy per square inch is quite low. A lot of energy is also lost out the sides and top of the baffle. The result is that it can take close to 3 mintues per side to sear a steak with the Searzall. By comparison, the Sansaire Searing Kit torch produces the flame on the right - the largest of any torch in its class. The flame size is in a goldilocks zone between being larger than a normal hardware store torch (1" diameter) but not too large as to diffuse the heat too much. And, because the flame is concentrated, all of the heat energy is directed towards your food. The result is that you can put the same or better sear on a steak in 1 minute per side or less. Not only is this faster, but the heat has less time to encroach the interior of the food. However, the Searing Kit Torch is too intense for some uses where the Searzall shines, like melting cheese, making toast, or even browning creme brulee (unless you take a step back and have a very steady hand). To see the difference in action, check YouTube videos for the Searzall (ex. ) and the Sansaire Searing Kit ( ) Also note that the Sansaire Searing Kit includes the torch head+ fuel cylinder+ searing rack and drip tray = $159. If you were to add up the equivalent components for the Searzall world, you'd get: $75 for Searzall + $48 for torch head+ $12 for fuel cylinder+ $85 for Searzall Steak Decorator (searing rack) = $220 Again, both tools have uses at which they excel, but if your primary interest is in searing meats, the Sansaire Searing Kit Torch delivers much better results in my opinion.
  7. Chris, that was me in the CHOW video, and I have to admit, I made a mistake when demoing the technique. Rather than removing the wings from the marinade and tossing them into the potato starch and Wondra (as I did on video), the MCAH recipe actually calls for mixing the marinade with the potato starch and Wondra until it forms a thin batter on the wings. This is a totally embarassing mistake and we're trying to find a good way to update the video to reflect the recipe as-printed in MCAH. So, I believe I owe you a batch of Korean wings. Please let me know how you'd like to collect
  8. @ElsieD, I'm very sorry to hear that. We're investigating as to why your book was shipped without any protective packaging. We'll reply on this thread when we have answers from Amazon, but we'll fight to ensure that you receive a new, undamaged copy.
  9. I think the cleanliness of a kitchen is correlated to the quality of the food produced within it. I don't mean keeping your kitchen immaculate as you're making a meal... I mean cleaning up once you're finished. Years of hardened grease on a stovetop, dust bunnies in front of the fridge, a week's dishes piled in the sink - those are all signs to me that the kitchen's owner is a bad cook. Why? Because if you don't respect the environment in which you're cooking, you probably don't respect the ingredients you're using either. Would you trust your child in the custody of someone who kept their house in disarray? I didn't think so. That's why I wouldn't trust an onion or a ribeye in the custody of someone who doesn't clean their counters.
  10. I don't know that I'd call it incredible, but I really like the granulated sugar that comes in the milk carton-style packaging. It's easy to pour, and it stores well. Why does flour still have to come in leaky, tear-prone paper sacks? Hop on the carton train, flour makers!
  11. Nope, not a science project exactly, though most of what I attempt in the kitchen resembles one. I've heard of the sashimi technique, but I wasn't quite sure what forces were at play. Thanks for the info! I'm thinking of starting by using a TENS nerve stimulator (http://www.amazon.com/Prosepra-PL009-Electronic-Pulse-Massager/dp/B000XHNBLU/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_cart_1) connected to needles poked into nerve bundles. However, I don't know it it only works on living muscle or if it would do anything for dead tissue. Cooked/uncooked is the next level of the issue.
  12. This may sound like a creepy question, but I'm looking for resources related to nerve stimulation. My holy grail is to stimulate the nerve bundles that control the muscles in octopus skin that allow it to appear to change color. I think it would be fascinating to serve a cooked octopus tentacle that could change color in front of the diner, if it were connected to a battery and microcontroller. But, I'm OK starting with getting dead chickens to twitch. Can anyone point me to a good starting place? -Scott
  13. If it were me, I'd use laboratory glassware for measuring and mixing. After all, that's what they're meant for :-) You just need to be OK with looking like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew while you're mixing drinks. You can find cheap vessels at http://www.sciplus.com/category.cfm/subsection/4/category/42
  14. I just bought a centrifuge - a Beckman TJ-6 with refrigeration, the same one that Jethro has. I spun peas and corn (separately) last night and I got a 5-mm layer of pea butter after 3 hours. Corn also separated into three distinct layers, the most interesting of which was a thick, syrupy corn water. I used a BlendTec blender to get a very smooth puree before centrifuging, which I imagine helped quite a bit. I'm planning to keep on experimenting with everything that I can blend and separate... mushrooms, asparagus, leeks, onion, cucumber, coffee, water, wine... If there are any substances you'd like to see tested, please let me know.
  15. Thank you guys for the tips - those both sound like great ideas. So, how can I tell when the meat is "done" brining? (I don't have a salinity meter.)
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