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Everything posted by boilsover

  1. Maybe. If so, it's remarkably inconsistent that they dumb-down their gear reviews, while emphasizing how advanced their approach is to advancing the art of cooking. It's a little like a wonkish car magazine that only evaluates Ford and GM sedans.
  2. CI rarely does anything like a comprehensive test. This is the first one I've seen in a long while where they actually had a decently-varied selection of entrants. Historically, they can be counted on to run at least one Zwilling-Henckels, a couple All-Clads and at least one Le Creuset, and never any Demeyere, deBuyer, Bourgeat, Fissler, Falk, Paderno, Vollrath, Sitram, etc. So I was surprised to see they even tested the Demeyere Atlantis and Paderno World Cuisine sauciers. They also have a habit of damning pans with faint praise. IMO, the Demeyere stands head and shoulders above all the rest tested here, yet they dissed it for having too-high sides. My take on CI's gear reviews is: "Frequently wrong, never unsure."
  3. Hi, Smithy: Excellent point. Last year a valuable framed print of mine was lost because of my trust in the peel-n-stick CommandTM Hook.
  4. That's a fine idea for staging things for your mise en place. Mind the heat and sun, though. The old-style, heavy wire, milk bottle crates work well too, for larger quantities. And they stack.
  5. Yes. It ends up like a cast iron skillet that's been used for very high searing. There's just a touch of polymer left, enough to keep the plate from rusting later. But no off-taste--it's pretty much all carbonized like the leopard spots on the crust. I too have a 1/2" scrapyard steel. I would not go any thicker than that. 3/8" is a pretty good balance between the crust and topping doneness. Thicker is not always better here.
  6. Now you're being silly. "The point" is not that there are many fine restaurants and chefs using other constructions. Rather, the point is that, after literally being shown 4 or 5 of the top 10 restaurants on the planet using copper, you and others still deprecate it as being wanting, of-the-past, mere decor, etc., ad nauseam. This is a little like insisting that the McLaren F1 isn't much of a car. Thermally, copperware is clearly the best in the wider sense, as it has been for a few thousand years; the few exceptions only prove the rule. The thermal flow physicists I'm presently working with to try to come up with something better (stay tuned) agree with this. You and others may not prefer it, that's your mistake to make. It costs more, needs to be looked after, can't be machine washed. Frankly, IMO those are the only reasons, along with unfamiliarity, it isn't used more by 9/10 top chefs and home cooks.
  7. Oh, what happened to your short-term memory? Eleven Madison Park? El Celler de Can Roca? Osteria Francescana?. Central in Lima? Din*ner? D.O.M.? The 30 other top places I cited? No, of course there's no correlation. They merely display it because it's pretty and passe.
  8. I think Fante's still sells them.
  9. Hi, Anna: Get what you like, but there are some pretty large Mason jars out there.
  10. Why not just start out with the lowly Mason jar, fitted with an airlock top?
  11. Your photo also provides another clue that something's not right--the riveting itself deformed the pan walls. If this is the reason the pan made it to TJMax for liquidation (i.e., arguably a "second"), then it raises the unsettling question of whether (at least some of) Baumalu's first-quality pans have the same lining. This is the kind of thing that gives rise to people like Mark Bittman falsely claiming that all tin-lined copper has unsafe levels of lead.
  12. LOL, the cost for mediocre delivered pizza is far higher than a kilowatt-hour, wherever you live.
  13. I preheat for an hour, too, if my pizza steel or ECI cocotte must be at temperature. I probably wait for 10 minutes for preps where nothing extra needs preheat, e.g., just cookies on a sheet.
  14. I agree, these copper woks are a poor use of money. But they will saute pretty well. All the major clad makers are making a killing off highly similar geometries, simply by calling them "sauciers" and "Chef's pans" and the like. I think that's pretty cynical, too. Mine isn't a knee-jerk reaction. Myrhvold gets a lot right, just not everything. Otherwise the dead would have risen by now...
  15. Fine. If you prefer to spend $15,000 on a solid-top stove (and deal with the attendant adjustment issues), you will get very even heat. I cook most of the time on a solid top myself. Even with modern multi-zone $$$$ solid tops, you lose adjustment flexibility, though. And none of Myrhvold's dictat addresses downward responsiveness advantages of copper over other constructions. A comparison to a wok is extraordinarily inapt. Professional wok burners are often 5-7x the BTU output of a high-output commercial gas hob (I have one that puts out 180,000BTU; it sounds like a rocket taking off, and is very unsafe indoors unless you have a mondo fire suppression system ready). And an important aspect of wok cooking is intentionally creating unevenness in saute. There, you actually want a distinct hot spot, so choosing a poor-conductivity metal is an advantage. Witness that some of the finest woks are cast iron. Good luck making egg emulsion sauces in a thin steel or cast iron wok--on any hob. Because even heat is a disadvantage in wok cooking, it is one of the few applications where copper is contraindicated. Falk, Bourgeat and Mauviel all make them, of course, and they will sear just as well (and just as fast) as steel on a 180KBTU wok burner. Just don't expect there to be any cooler spots to pull your food to. In this choice, $20 for better performance vs. $400 for worse (wok) performance? Buy the steel one. Attribution: http://www.culinarycookware.com/mauviel-copper-wok.html
  16. For an eminent emeritus such as yourself, why not? I'll let you know when the roadshow will be coming to NYC.
  17. OK, now we're getting somewhere--you think heavy copper's real-world benefits over other materials and constructions are real, just that some people wildly overstate them. That's fair enough; Stradivari are arguably overrated, too . As is disagreeing that slightly better conductivity in tinned copper is worth the trouble of altering your cooking method to accommodate its limitations. I will be bringing our pan prototypes to New York soon to have some food luminaries and scientists evaluate the performance. Harold McGee and Kenji Lopez-Alt on the other coast have been impressed. If you're interested, perhaps we could get together when I come to NYC.
  18. Well, I timed my cheap electric's oven for you. From a cold (60F) start, empty save for one rack, 5:35 to 350F.
  19. I see a velouté of confirmation bias and crowdspeak here, too, much of it scientifically uninformed. Can't change the Periodic Table and the laws of thermodynamics. Can't change the fact that many of the world's finest restaurants and chefs over many, many years suffer from the same cognitive biases you attribute to me.
  20. Well, you balance the two (responsiveness and retained heat) by selecting the right thickness of copper for the application. The only construction--so far--that comes close to striking a balance acceptable to me is aluminum. It's still off, because it needs to be nearly twice as thick, warps more easily, and has lining problems no fewer than copper's. Frankly, IMO aluminum is no substitute for copper for sauteeing fish or other fragile meats, and especially for white and emulsified egg sauces. Chef James Peterson says every kitchen should have copper for these things, as well as to decrease the chances of burning pan drippings or scalding sauces. Truly thick aluminum is not particularly plentiful, either. I do like these, though: http://www.foodservicedirect.com/product.cfm/p/226106/Eagleware-The-Point-Two-Five-Line-Aluminum-Sauce-Pan.htm
  21. Given enough BTUs, anything heats really fast. An 1800W induction hob is the equivalent to a 35K BTU gas one. Evenness is a different matter; unless you've perfected a solid-top or pixellated induction top that I don't know about, the chief thermal advantage of induction is tight thermal contact between the heat-generating plate and the conductive layers (if any) above it. That's a function of the cookware, not induction itself. You could do the same thing with thermal grease between a non-compatible pan and a ferritic converter plate. With most clad cookware on most induction hobs, you still get some donut-hole delta-Ts--far more than with straightgauge copper on conventional hobs. Aluminum functions very well on gas. Not as well as copper, but close to it at a small fraction of the price. As fearful as you are of tin poisoning you, I would think you'd think aluminum is Kryptonite.
  22. Sigh... Now do it again, comparing: (a) 3.2mm copper + with 0.2mm of tin wiped on (standard hotel-grade copper); with (b) 2.3mm of copper with 0.2mm of SS (Falk). Then see how much heat makes it to their respective rims. Extra credit for including (c) something like Demeyere Atlantis or Sitram Profisserie. Or, if you're a glutton for punishment, compute the thermal diffusivity for both/all of those, and see how it compares to the best clad you can find. It's not the conductivity difference between tin and SS that's salient. It's that there is next to no SS-lined bimetal using >2.3mm of copper. I'm doing some thermal videography next month of my pan prototypes. I was planning to use some tinned copper anyway for comparison. But now I'll also do some clad, so everyone can see...
  23. That's what you do when you preheat a pan. It's the whole point. Push a pan with food in it to 450° you have a different kind of trouble: burned food. The point of the preheat is so the pan drops to the right temperature when the food hits it. There's a reason that even in old kitchens equipped with copper pans, cooks seared food on spun steel. Different courses for different horses. I'm perfectly happy and safe (as have chefs been for hundreds of years) searing meats anywhere from 400F to a bit above 550F in tinned copper. That includes preheating the pan, just not completely empty. Attaining wok hei, or blackening without any fat at all, not so much. Even on a 12k BTU hob, a thick (3mm or greater) pan preheated to 400F and then goosed higher after being oiled is not going to drop all that much with a single steak. And what heat it does drop will be recovered far faster than with any other construction (except solid silver). Sam Kinsey used the metaphor of pipes into and out of a reservoir. Copper is the biggest pipe of all, and 3mm of copper is a prodigious reservoir. Chef Wise has it right when he says: "We [at Craft] use all-copper cookware for the meat because it heats up fast and offers even heat distribution,” Wise explained. “You get a better sear on the meat and it cooks faster.” http://www.craftrestaurantsinc.com/craft-new-york/gallery/ I have experimented with pizza "stones" made of steel, aluminum and copper. A 1/2" steel sheet works wondrously, because the toppings can fully cook in 3 minutes or less in a home oven before the crust is scorched. A copper 1/2" sheet will burn the shit out of the crust before the toppings are even close to cooked. Aluminum at 1/2" is not an immediate fail, but requires a close and full broil to balance out the toppings finishing at the same the crust leopard-spots. Of course clad is lesser cookware; that's not superstition. For instance, All-Clad's lining and outer cladding layers are each 0.41mm thick--this is typical. The latest infatuation, adding interior steel layers, only adds more. So you can easily have >1.2mm of heat-blunting SS in a clad pan. Then, to make the whole thing light enough for consumers, the conductive layers are shaved down to the point of being inconsequential. For example there is <1mm of copper in All-Clad's Copper Core (and not much aluminum, either--A-C's original SS-Al--SS performs better). It's not only less responsive, it holds less heat than the same overall thickness of copper. Even the copper bimetal pans (Falk, Mauviel, Bougeat, deBuyer, etc.) have 0.2mm linings, which are about the thinnest that will remain bonded to the substrate. I don't know of any maker that offers clad with 0.1mm (<.004") linings. Look at the best clad skillet out there, the Demeyere Proline 5*. It has 4.8mm of aluminum, swaddled in SS. It comes close to holding as much heat as a 3mm copper pan of the same geometry, but it has dramatically poorer responsiveness. It is a near match for evenness. Part of the issue is that there is no full clad out there with more than 2mm of copper inside. deBuyer Prima Matera has only 1.8, as do some lines of "2mm" Mauviel. Falk and Mauviel's best bimetal lines have only 2.3mm of copper. To use Kinsey's term, the "pipes" aren't big enough to move much heat laterally--this is one reason why thin copper pans will puddle tin faster and at lower sustained temperatures in the center. They're so thin, they hot-spot without being able to push the heat up to the rims. Grab a contact thermocouple and compare, I have. At one point in the 1960s and -70s, there were a few truly thick bimetal pans made (e.., 3.2mm copper + 0.2mm SS). They come up for resale a couple times a year on eBay. They would be ideal for dry, high sears where an integral sauce is planned. Frankly, if the cook is simply griddling meat dry, a bare copper pan would do fine, because there are no acids to which the pan could react. I'm working right now with a group of thermal scientists to apply a new technology that may eclipse thick copperware as the performance standard in cookware. Prototypes have been built which offer 5x the effective conductivity of copper. But until this comes to market, there is nothing better-performing available than what was around in 1900 or 1700.
  24. Wow, I suppose if you gnawed the pan itself you might get 200 milligrams of tin before your teeth wore down to the gum line. Regarding the 351F "melting" temperature, Where are you getting 11nm tin powder? Is anyone using it for lining cookware? You can always fill a dredger with it to sprinkle on your food if you're trying to get your tummyache dose! OK, back to the real world: Don't eat canned tomatoes preserved in unlacquered tin cans that have been on the shelf for two years. Or in stainless, BPA, Mylar, PTFE, aluminum or anything else. Cooking in tinned copper is perfectly safe.
  25. LOL, my roasting pans and thermocouples beg to differ. Push empty tinned pans past 450F and you can expect trouble. Put a reasonable amount of food or fat in the pan any time before that, not any real problem. Poor retinning jobs can sometimes result in smeared tin and bubbles that would not occur with workmanlike jobs. With a really good tinning job on a properly pickled extra fort pan, the tin usually will bubble first at the top of the rim because the copper is moving the heat so well. It's analogous to the way convection currents can be seen emanating from this grade's sides ahead of the bottoms. I hope you realize that, for around 300 years, the world's finest chefs and kitchens have done just fine using tinned copper. The advent of clad is nothing more than the (mostly successful) effort to approximate and emulate copper's performance. Everything else is convenience- and cost-driven.
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