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  1. I am eager to dive into Fuchia Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice. There are two common ingredients that are holding me back. I have not been able to find a kosher certified chinkiang vinegar and shaoxing wine. What are some readily available substitutes for these ingredients? Or, if you know a source for kosher certified versions of these products, even better. Thanks! Dan
  2. 6 books outlining every dish they came up with over this time with essays etc. Appears to be about the size of Modernist Cuisine and has about the same price tag. I can't say I'm really that excited about it but I preordered anyway to add it to the collection as it wil surely be a historical record of what the pinnacle of that movement in cooking was about at the time. Even though it only shuttered 2 years ago, it seems like so much has changed in the culinary landscape. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0714865486/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  3. I don't eat a lot of fried foods, at least, I think I don't. A friend of mine who once worked in the restaurant business told me about Mel-Fry. I understand that it's a "bad" oil to begin with, that it is used to fry for a long time before changing it, and that a truck needs to come round and suck out the Mel-Fry to get rid of it. I am hoping that Willie Nelson's car is running on Mel-Fry. How bad is it and how prevalent is it? I'd never thought about my occasional Indian banana pakoora or Nathan's french fries or doughnuts as having been steeped in grotesque dirty chemicals. I guess another treat has gone out the window . . .
  4. Any online references listing ingredients textures?
  5. I've got one of the 'Savoring' books (South East Asia) and two of the 'Beautiful' ones (China and Asia). Just wondering, for those who have any books from these series, or have had a good flick through, what are your preferences and why? I think I'm leaning towards the Savoring series and I'm not sure if I'm applying the right words, but to me, the 'Beautiful' series seems a bit outdated. The cooking techniques and/or ingredients often seem authentic (which is a good thing) but a bit...unrefined. The 'Savoring' series, on the other hand, still stays true to tradition, but contains seemingly 'enhanced' versions of those recipes. With that said, both series capture some of the most glorious images of scenary of the respective countries. I don't think I'm making too much sense so I'll just leave you to it now... Edit: I am thinking of purchasing Savoring China, Savoring Mexico and Savoring America soon. Any recommendations?
  6. We have really really been enjoying "The Complete Robuchon" by well, Robuchon. The recipes we have tried have been delicious, get prepared within a reasonable amount of work, and have a wonderful delicate and complex flavour. The only real flaw is we probably can't make over 1/2 the recipes due to ingredients issues, though we do sub some. I have the urge for more. A recent CI article complaining about the 11 pages on omelet making in Julia Child's book ("Mastering the Art of French Cooking" I think) gave me a pretty strong urge to buy that book; I could really dig a book which is willing to spend 11 pages on omelets. So, I am looking for a modern-ish book on french cooking that focuses on technique. For reference, one of my favorite books in this style is "Sauces" by Patterson; that is, ideally, the kind of book I'm looking for. I think Child's book *might* be the one, but my primary concern is it's age; modern tastes tend to prefer things with a little less fat (well, ok sometimes). Does it hold up? Is there another book which I should consider? Would one of the english translations of Escoffier be a good idea? I'd like a book without *too* much focus on stuff I can't buy, although I am resigned to have at least 25% (maybe more).. Your suggestions are appreciated!
  7. I am participating in a class about Santa Fe and Taos. I have chosen to research the Cuisine and Indigenous Food of the Northern New Mexico. Can anyone recommend some good sources for my research? Often, Regional Cookbooks have excellent material and so I am looking for that type of reference. We will follow up the class with a week long trip in the area in April. You can bet I will comb this forum for your restaurant suggestions! Thanks for any help you can give me regarding comprehensive cookbooks.
  8. ...is it possible to store all of my cookbooks in one place? As someone who has a huge collection of cookbooks I use for reference on a daily basis, these new e-book readers seem like they'd be incredible for chefs to have all of their resources / recipes / etc in a neat little 10 oz. device. Does anyone know if cookbooks will be made available on these devices, or if we can copy the ones we have onto them?
  9. Books that I'm interested in for 2008: Ma Gastronomie by Fernand Point How to Pick a Peach: The Search for Flavor from Farm to Table by Russ Parsons A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France by Georgeanne Brennan Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen by The Culinary Institute of America Artichoke to Za'atar: Modern Middle Eastern Food by Greg Malouf The Lebanese Cookbook by Hussein Dekmak The Belarusian Cookbook by Alexander Bely Classic German Cookbook: 70 traditional recipes from Germany, Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, shown step-by-step in 300 photographs by Lesley Chamberlain What are you looking forward to?
  10. As some of you know, having doubtless hung upon my EVERY WORD with breathless excitement since my arrival here (), I am a total novice when it comes to cooking. It has only been within the past 45 days that I have moved past the "can boil water without being a danger to himself or to others" stage and on to actually making full meals. (For those of you who haven't seen my other posts, back in early December, I decided that I was going to try to teach myself to cook homecooked meals, in order to save money, and in order to provide my newborn son with homecooked food when he gets old enough to eat it.) In pursuing my education, I purchased (or received as a gift) the following books: Cooking for Dummies by Bryan Miller and Marie Rama I'm Just Here for the Food by Alton Brown The All New, All Purpose Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker I'm Just Here for More Food by Alton Brown How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman And since I am completely new to this whole cooking thing, and since you more experienced foodies probably get a lot of friends pestering you about which is the best cookbook they should buy if they want to get into cooking, I figured I'd share my thoughts. Cooking for Dummies -- Skip this one. Seriously. Technique-wise and ingredient-wise, there is absolutely nothing in this book that you can't learn from The Joy of Cooking, and there's a lot of info in TJoC that isn't in CFD. And TJoC only costs $15 more, and provides a vatload more info and recipes. (On the other hand, the first meal I made when I started down the path to being a home cook and foodie was the Shepherd's Pie recipe from this book. And it was pretty darned tasty once I doubled the amount of stock called for in the recipe. But, on the gripping hand, the Shepherd's Pie recipe in TJoC isn't significantly different from the one in Cooking for Dummies, so...) I'm Just Here for the Food -- I got this one because I'm a geek, and Alton Brown is a geek, and I figured there'd be interesting tidbits and info contained within its pages. And I was right -- there's a lot of good info in this book. However, it's info of a trivial nature, telling you things about molecules and heat transfer and things of that nature. And while this is useful information to enhance your technique, as a novice cook I was looking more for "Here's how to debone a chicken" or "Here's how to cook vegetables." It's a good book, and I'm glad I bought it, but it would have been mostly useless to me without some other book to give me the broad foundation I needed to really get the best use out of what Alton was telling me. The All New, All Purpose Joy of Cooking -- And, speaking of foundations, here it is. My mom got me this book for Christmas, and I read it cover to cover (only skipping the chapter on Candy, which just wasn't all that interesting to me). As far as "bang for my buck," TJoC has provided more info, both about ingredients and technique, than any other cookbook I've read. It has illustrations for many of the various types of greens, as well as mushrooms, pasta, chiles, fish, and cuts of meat. It explains cooking techniques in detail. It talks about meat and poultry in detail, and discusses how beef, pork, and chicken these days are a lot leaner than they were even 10 years ago, thus requiring changes in cooking technique. Additionally, it also contains interesting bits of food history, such as the likely origin of nachos, how sauces evolved, the competing accounts of how the reuben sandwich was invented, and so forth. It showcases all this information in a wonderful array of recipes, including a bunch of classic recipes from around the world, recipes for food that was considered "fine dining" in days gone by, and recipes for good, solid "blue collar" classics like the Hot Brown sandwich, the Muffaletta, and Brunswick stew. I'm Just Here for More Food -- This is Alton Brown's baking book, and generally provides the same sort of info about baking that I'm Just Here for the Food provides about savory cooking, and the same remarks made for that book can also be made for this one. However, this book has already been useful to me for one tip: If the dough doesn't wanna roll out, let it sit a few minutes so the gluten can relax. The homemade "leftover" pizza I made last night ended up putting this particular bit of knowledge to good use. How to Cook Everything -- I'm about halfway through this book. The blurb on the cover touts it as "a more hip version of The Joy of Cooking." While the tone of the writing is more modern, I would (so far, at least) tend to classify the book as "a lite version of The Joy of Cooking." The book does indeed provide useful info on technique and ingredients, but it seems overall less detailed than TJoC. The breadth of info is almost the same as TJoC, but the depth isn't. Also, as a matter of purely personal preference, I find the recipes in HtCE a bit...uninspiring. HtCE doesn't feature a lot of classic recipes, instead focusing on a more modern style of cooking. So the recipes all have names like "Chicken with thyme and pesto" or "Chicken with rice and mushrooms" or "Chicken with wine sauce and shallots," etc. These are names which just don't send my imagination soaring like, for example, "boeuf borguignonne" does. However, HtCE serves as a fantastic complement to TJoC. My personal preferences on naming conventions aside, the emphasis on modern cuisine serves as a nice counterpoint to TJoC's more traditional approach. HtCE also acknowledges the fact that people these days buy food from supermarkets, and says "That's okay if you gotta." (TJoC's attitude to buying anything less than the best, freshest possible ingredients is a little more rigid.) HtCE also has a spiffy section on kitchen equipment, and what gear you will find most useful, a feature lacking in TJoC. Based on my experiences in learning how to cook from books, if one of my friends asked me "I'd like to start learning how to cook. What books do you recommend?", I would say "Buy The Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything. Read the 'Equipment' section of HtCE first, then read TJoC cover-to-cover, then go back and read the rest of HtCE." That would, IMHO, provide a good start for anyone who wants to head down the road to becoming a foodie.
  11. Many of you probably have a copy of this book, but for those who don't and can't afford $69 for a copy (the lowest price I've found so far), it's being reprinted! Due out March 2004, though the release date according to amazon.ca is May 2004. It will be a much more reasonable $16.78 Canadian . The US Amazon site did not yet have details so I cannot report on the US price. I do have confirmation from University of Chicago Press, though.
  12. One more for me (considering where I work, I think I've been showing admirable restraint) -- American Boulangerie by Pascal Rigo, who owns Bay Breads and several other bakeries here in San Francisco. I'm hoping it will inspire me to start baking bread again. [Moderator note: The original Cookbooks – How Many Do You Own? topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: Cookbooks – How Many Do You Own? (Part 1)]
  13. The 2009 James Beard Award nominees for cookbooks are in... Any thoughts or picks? AMERICAN COOKING Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited by Arthur Schwartz (Ten Speed Press) Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans Edited by: Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker (Chronicle Books) Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook by Martha Hall Foose (Clarkson Potter) BAKING Bakewise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking by Shirley O. Corriher (Scribner) Baking for All Occasions: A Treasury of Recipes for Everyday Celebrations by Flo Braker (Chronicle Books) The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet, Sur La Table (Andrews McMeel Publishing) BEVERAGE The Harney and Sons Guide to Tea by Michael Harney (The Penguin Press) The Wines of Burgundy by Clive Coates (University of California Press) WineWise: Your Complete Guide to Understanding, Selecting, and Enjoying Wine by Steven Kolpan, Brian H. Smith, and Michael A. Weiss, The Culinary Institute of America (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) COOKING FROM A PROFESSIONAL POINT OF VIEW Alinea by Grant Achatz (Achatz LLC/Ten Speed Press) The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal (Bloomsbury USA) Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide by Thomas Keller (Artisan) GENERAL COOKING How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition) by Mark Bittman (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook by Martha Stewart with Sarah Carey (Clarkson Potter) The Bon Appétit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) HEALTHY FOCUS Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta: Recipes from the World-Famous Spa by Deborah Szekely and Deborah M. Schneider, with Jesús González (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook by Philip A. Ades, M.D. and the Editors of EatingWell (The Countryman Press) The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger (The Taunton Press, Inc.) INTERNATIONAL Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid (Artisan) Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover’s Treasury of Classics and Improvisations by Jayne Cohen (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) Southeast Asian Flavors: Adventures in Cooking the Foods of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, & Singapore by Robert Danhi (Mortar & Press) PHOTOGRAPHY The Big Fat Duck Cookbook Photographer: Dominic Davies Artist: Dave McKean (Bloomsbury USA) Decadent Desserts Photographer: Thomas Dhellemmes (Flammarion) Haute Chinese Cuisine from the Kitchen of Wakiya Photographer: Masashi Kuma (Kodansha International) REFERENCE AND SCHOLARSHIP Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages by Anne Mendelson (Knopf) The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (Little, Brown and Company) The Science of Good Food by David Joachim and Andrew Schloss, with A. Philip Handel, Ph.D. (Robert Rose Inc.) SINGLE SUBJECT Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes by Jennifer McLagan (Ten Speed Press) Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings by Joyce Goldstein (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.) The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever by Beatrice Ojakangas (Chronicle Books) WRITING AND LITERATURE In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (The Penguin Press) Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China by Fuchsia Dunlop (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.) Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef by Betty Fussell (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  14. I. Introduction This article reviews the 3500W all-metal commercial induction single-hob hotplate by Panasonic, which I believe is the first “all-metal” unit to hit the U.S. market. Where appropriate, it is also compared with another commercial single-hob, the 1800W Vollrath Mirage Pro Model 59500P. Some background is in order. Heretofore, induction appliances would only “work” with cookware which is ferromagnetic. Bare and enameled cast iron, carbon steel, enameled steel and some stainless steels were semi-dependable for choices, and the cookware industry has worked hard to make most of its lines induction compatible. But alas, not all cookware, past and present, has worked; copper and aluminum don’t, at least without a separate interface disk or it’s own ferromagnetic base layer. The reason why non-ferromagnetic cookware hasn’t worked on induction is technical, but it relates to the magnetic field and what’s called the “skin depth” of the pan’s outermost material. With copper or aluminum, the field will not excite the metals’ molecules to the extent that their friction will generate useful heat to cook food. And the way the appliances come equipped, unless the appliance detects something sufficiently large and ferromagnetic, they will not produce any field at all. Therefore, to the consternation of many cooks, pro and amateur, older (and in the opinion of some, better) cookware needs to be retired and replaced if/when they wish to switch to an induction appliance. Some cooks don’t mind, but others who, like me, have invested heavily in copper and are habituated to it and aluminum, would forego induction altogether rather than discard our cookware. But what we’ve really meant—all along--when we say or write that only ferromagnetic cookware will “work” on induction is that the frequency chosen for our appliances (20-24kHz) will not usefully excite other metals. If that frequency is increased to, say, 90-110kHz , then suddenly the impossible happens: aluminum and copper, with absolutely no ferromagnetic content, will heat in a way that is eminently useful in the kitchen. While Panasonic has made dual-frequency induction hotplates available in Japan for several years now, they didn’t make it available here until recently (My unit indicates it was manufactured in early 2016!). I speculate the reason for the delay relates to the detection circuitry and the switches that determine the frequency at which the field will operate. The introduction of all-metal induction in USA is especially interesting because it allows a direct comparison of cookware of all (metal) types. For instance, cookware nerds have long debated how copper cookware on a gas compares with disk-based stainless on induction. While the veil has not completely lifted (for that we would need extremely precise gas energy metering), we now have the ability to measure and compare copper, aluminum, clad and disk-based on the same induction hob. II. Dimensions, Weight & Clearances The Panasonic, being a true commercial appliance, is considerably larger than most consumer and crossover hotplates. It stands 6 inches tall overall, and on relatively tall (1.25”) feet, so that there is space for ample air circulation under the unit. It is 20.25 inches deep overall, including a standoff ventilation panel in back, and the angled control panel in front. It is 15” wide, and weighs in at a hefty 30.25 pounds. Suffice it to say, the Panasonic is not practically portable. The KY-MK3500’s Ceran pan surface is 14.25 inches wide by 14.5 inches deep, almost 43% larger in area than the VMP’s glass. Panasonic tells me they have no recommended maximum pan diameter or weight, but the tape tells me that a 15” diameter pan would not overhang the unit’s top (Compare the VMP, which can accept a maximum pan base of 10 7/8”). Common sense tells me that—unless the glass is well-braced underneath in many places, 25-30 pounds of total weight might be pushing it. For those who might consider outfitting their home kitchens with one or more of these units, in addition to having 20 amp 240v (NEMA #6-20R receptacles) electrical circuits for each appliance, 39 1/2 inches of overhead clearance is required to combustible material (31 ½” to incombustibles) and 2 inches to the back and sides (0” to incombustibles). The overhead clearance requirement and the tall 6” unit height call for no (or only very high) cabinetry and careful design of a “well” or lower countertop/table that will lower the Ceran surface to a comfortable cooking height. In other words, a tall pot on this unit on a regular-height counter might be a problem for a lot of cooks. III. Features A. Display The KY-Mk3500 has an angled 8-key spillproof keypad and red LED numerical display. The keys are large, raised and their markings are legible. All but the four Up/Down keys have their own inset indicator lights, which indicate power, mode and memory operation. The numerical display is large and bright. The numerical display area is divided between time (XX:XX) to the user’s left and power/temp to the user’s right. If the timer or program features are activated, the numerical display shows both the set time and the power/temperature. There is also a small “Hot Surface” LED icon on the panel. The Panasonic also actually uses the Ceran surface as a display of sorts. That is, there is a lighted circle just outside the faint positioning circle, which glows red whenever the unit is operating, awaiting a pan, or the Ceran is hot. Panasonic also claims that this display also changes brightness with the set power level, implying that the operator can judge the heat setting by a glance. Thus this display serves three purposes: (a) pan positioning; (b) burn safety; and (c) intensity. B. Safety Features As one would expect, there are a variety of safety features built into this appliance. In most cases, these features are controlled by detection circuits, some fixed, some defeatable/variable. This being a commercial unit, Panasonic has set the unit’s defaults with commercial users’ convenience in mind. If consumers want the full spectrum of safety settings, they need to vary these defaults. For instance, if a home cook wants to make sure the unit powers off if the pan is removed and not replaced within 3 minutes, they have to manually vary a default. Likewise if the operator wants the power to automatically shut off after 2 hours of no changes. But others, like the basic “Is there a pan there?” detection and overheat shutoff, are there no matter what and cannot be defeated. C. Settings & Programming The KY-MK3500 features both power and temperature settings. For “regular” induction, there are 20 power settings, which range from 50 watts to 3500 watts. For non-ferromagnetic pans, there are 18 power settings, which range from 60 watts to 2400 watts. The display shows these settings in numerals 1-20 and 1-18 respectively. When the power is toggled on, the unit defaults to Setting 14 in both frequencies. The temperature settings are the same in both modes, with 22 selectable temperatures from 285F (140C) to 500F (260C). Other than for the very lowest temperature setting, each setting increase results in a 10F temperature increase. Usefully, the display shows the set temperature, not 1-22; and until the set temperature is reached, the display indicates “Preheat”. The unit beeps when it reaches the set temperature. The Panasonic measures pan temperature using an IR sensor beneath the glass; this sensor sits about 1 inch outside the centerpoint of the painted positioning markings, yet inside of the induction coil. The timer operation is fast and intuitive. Once the power or temperature is set and operating, the operator merely keys the timer’s dedicated up/down buttons, and the timer display area activates. Timer settings are in any 30-second interval between 30 seconds and 9 ½ hours, and the display will show remaining time. The beeps at the end of cooking are loud. There are nine available memory programs, which can be set for either power or temperature, along with time. Programming entails pressing and holding the Program mode button, selecting the program (1-9), then picking and setting the power or temperature, then setting the timer, and finally pressing and holding the Program button again. After that, to use any of the entered programs, you simply press the Program button, select which program, and the unit will run that program within 3 seconds. In addition to Heat-Time programmability, the KY-MK3500 also provides the ability to vary 9 of the unit’s default settings: (1) Decreasing the power level granularity from 20 to 10; (2) Changing the temperature display to Celsius; (3) Enabling a long cook time shutoff safety feature; (4) Enabling the main power auto shutoff feature; (5) Disabling the glowing circle; (6) Lowering or disabling the auditory beep signals’ volume; (7) Customizing the timer finish beep; (8) Customizing the Preheat notification beep; and (9) Customizing the interval for filter cleanings. D. Maintenance The KY-MK3500 has a plastic air intake filter which can be removed and cleaned. This is not dishwashable. This filter is merely a plastic grate with ¼” square holes, so it is questionable what exactly —besides greasy dust bunnies—will be filtered. Panasonic recommends the filter be cleaned once a week. Besides that, the Ceran surface and stainless housing clean just like other appliances. IV. Acceptable Cookware Panasonic claims the unit will accept cast iron, enameled iron, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum with two provisos. First, very thin aluminum and copper may “move” on the appliance. And second, thin aluminum pans may “deform”. Panasonic does not address carbon steel pans, but I verified that they do indeed work. They also warn of the obvious fact that glass and ceramics will not work. Buyers are also warned against using cookware of specific cookware bottom shapes: round, footed, thin, and domed. Trying to use these, Panasonic warns, may disable safety features and reduce or eliminate pan heating. As far as minimum pan diameter goes, Panasonic claims the KY-MK3500 needs 5” diameter in ferromagnetic pans, and 6” in copper or aluminum ones. My own tests have shown that in fact the unit will function with a cast iron fondue pot, the base of which is only 4 1/8” in diameter, and also works with a copper saucepan, the base of which is almost exactly 5” in diameter. Obviously, the field will be most active at the very edges of such small pans, but they do function. V. Evaluation in Use I can say that not only does the Panasonic KY-MK3500 “work” with copper and aluminum pans, but that it works very well with them. Thermally, thick gauge conductive material pans perform in close emulation of the same pans on gas, even though there are no combustion gasses flowing up and around the pan. I found this startling. Nevertheless, a searching comparison between copper and ferromagnetic pans on this unit isn’t as straightforward as one might expect. The Panasonic is capable of dumping a full 3500 watts into ferromagnetic pans, but is limited to 2400 watts for aluminum and copper. Despite copper’s and aluminum’s superiorities in conductivity, that extra 1100 watts is going to win every speed-boil race. I initially thought I could handicap such a race simply by using the temperature setting and comparing the times required to achieve a “preheat” in a pans of cold water. Alas, no—the Panasonic’s IR function signified the copper pan was preheated to 350F before the water even reached 70F! Obviously, the entire thermal system of cold food in a cold pan needs to come to equilibrium before the Panasonic’s temperature readout becomes meaningful. A. Temperature Settings Unfortunately, with every pan I tried, the temperature settings were wildly inaccurate for measuring the temperature of the food. I heated 2 liters of peanut oil in a variety of pots, disk-base, enameled cast iron enameled steel, and copper. I thought it might be useful to see how close to 350F and 375F the settings were for deep frying. The oil in a Le Creuset 5.5Q Dutch oven set to 350F never made it past 285F, and it took 40:00 to get there. I kept bumping up the setting until I found that the setting for 420F will hold the oil at 346F. A disk-based pot didn’t hit 365F until the temperature setting was boosted to 400F. The only pan which came remotely close to being true to the settings was a 2mm silvered copper oven, which heated its oil to 327F when the Panasonic was set for 350F, and 380F when set for 410F. The temperature function was a lot closer to true when simply preheating an empty pan. With a setting of 350F, all the shiny stainless pans heated to just a few degrees higher (about 353-357F) and held there. This is useful for judging the Leidenfrost Point (which is the heat at which you can oil your SS and have it cook relatively nonstick) and potentially for “seasoning” carbon steel, SS and aluminum, but not much else, since it doesn’t translate to actual food temperature. There’s also the issue of the temperature settings *starting* at 285F, so holding a lower temperature for, e.g., tempering chocolate or a sous vide bath, or even a simmer would be by-guess-by-golly just like any other hob—your only resort is lots of experience with lower *power* settings. With heat-tarnished copper, a 350F setting resulted in a wide swinging between 353F and 365F, which I attribute to the copper shedding heat far faster than the other constructions, once the circuit stops the power at temperature. Then, when the circuit cycles the power back on, the copper is so responsive that it quickly overshoots the setting. Aluminum, on the other hand, *undershot*, the 350F setting, registering a cycle of 332-340F. I conclude that the IR sensor is set for some particular emissivity, probably for that of stainless steel. If true, the Panasonic, even though it automatically switches frequencies, does not compensate for the different emissivities of copper and aluminum. And even if Panasonic added dedicated aluminum and copper IR sensors, there is enough difference between dirty and polished that the added cost would be wasted. Bottom line here: the temperature setting mode is of extremely low utility, and should not be trusted. B. Power Mode – Pan Material Comparisons Given the differences in power setting granularity and maximum power between the two frequencies, it is difficult to assess what X watts into the pot means in, say, a copper-versus-clad or –disk showdown. What is clear, however, is that Setting X under disk and clad seems “hotter” than the same setting under copper and aluminum. I will need to precisely calibrate the Panasonic for wattage anyway for the hyperconductivity project, so I will obtain a higher-powered watt meter to determine the wattage of every power setting for both frequencies. Until then, however, the only way I can fairly handicap a race is to apply a reduction figure to the ferromagnetic setting (2400W being 69% of 3500W). Given that we know the wattage at the maximum settings, we can infer that Setting 14 (actually 13.8) on the 20-step ferromagnetic range iis approximately the same heat output as the maximum setting (18) for copper/aluminum. The boil times for 4 liters of 50F water in 10” diameter pots shocked me. The 10” x 3mm tinned copper pot’s water reached 211F in 36:41. Not an especially fast time at 2400 watts. The 10” disk-based pressure cooker bottom? Well, it didn’t make it—it took an hour to get to 208F and then hung there. So that left me wondering if the Panasonic engineers simply decided that 2400 watts was enough for copper and aluminum. I have a theory why the copper pot boiled and the SS one didn’t under the same power, but getting into that’s for another time. C. Evenness Comparisons The wires which generate the induction field are wound in a circular pattern; when energized, they create a torus-shaped magnetic field. The wound coil is constructed with an empty hole at its center. As matters of physics, the magnetic field’s intensity drops off extremely fast as a function of the distance from the coil; a few millimeters above the Ceran, the field is so weak no meaningful heat will be generated. This means that most induction cooktops heat *only* the very bottom of pans, and in a distinct 2-dimensional “doughnut” shape. All of the above can result in a pan having a cooler central spot, a hotter ring directly over the coil, and a cooler periphery outside the coil. It is left to the cookware to try to even out these thermal discontinuities when cooking. Some materials and pan constructions are better at this than others: the successful constructions utilize more highly-conductive metals such as aluminum and copper, but unless the material is very thick, there can be a ring-shaped hotspot that can scorch food. Until the Panasonic arrived to market, hotspot comparisons between ferromagnetic and aluminum/copper pans depended largely on comparing induction’s flat, more discrete heat ring with gas’s more diffuse, 3-dimensional one. Dodgeball-style debate ensued, with few clear conclusions. But now, for the first time, equally-powered flat heat rings in two different frequencies allow us to directly compare evenness in ferromagnetic and aluminum/copper cookware. The simplest and easiest way to assess cookware evenness is the “scorchprint”, which does not require infrared or other advanced thermal imaging equipment. I’ve posted on how to conduct scorchprinting elsewhere, but basically a pan is evenly dusted with flour; heat is applied to the pan bottom. As the flour is toasted, any hotspots visually emerge, giving the viewer a useful general idea of evenness. I will later post the photos of scorchprints I made of 4 different pans run using the Panasonic KY-MK3500: (1) a Demeyere 28cm Proline 5* clad frypan; (2) a Fissler Original Profi disk-base 28cm frypan; a 6mm aluminum omelet pan; and (4) a 32cm x 3.2mm Dehillerin sauté. To make it a fair race, I heated all the pans at 2400W until they reached 450F, and then backed off the power setting to maintain 450F. I did this in order not to compromise my saute’s tin lining. As you will see, both the clad Demeyere and the disk-based Fissler did print the typical brown doughnut, with a cooler center and periphery. By far the most even was the thick, all-aluminum pan, which actually was even over its entirety—even including the walls. The copper sauté was also quite even, although its larger size and mass really dissipated heat; once 450F was dialed in, no more browning happened, even after 30 minutes. I conclude that the straightgauge pans were far more effective at shunting heat to their peripheries and walls (and also to some extent into the air) than the clad and disk-based pans. The latter accumulated their heat with most of it staying in the center of the pans. Eventually, even the “doughnut hole” blended into the scorch ring because the walls were not bleeding sufficient heat away from the floor. This was especially pronounced in the Fissler, the high wall and rim areas of which never exceeded 125F. The aluminum pan, in contrast varied less than 30F everywhere on the pan. D. Other Considerations The Panasonic’s fan noise at the cook’s position was noticeable at 63 dBA, higher than with the VMP’s 57 dBA. These levels are characterized as “normal conversation” and “quiet street”, respectively. Interestingly, I found two other, potentially more important differences. First, the Panasonic’s fan stays on, even after the unit is powered off, whereas the VMP’s fan shuts off immediately when the hob is turned off. Second, the Panasonic’s fan steps down from the louder speed to a much quieter (47 dBA, characterized as “quiet home”) level until the Ceran is cool to sustained touch, at which point it shuts off completely. I think the Panasonic’s ability to continue to vent and cool itself is a great feature, especially since a cook could leave a large, full, hot pan on the glass. The glowing circle is useless for gauging heat setting or intensity. And while it works to indicate a hot surface, it remains lit long after you can hold your hand in place dead center. VI. Summary and Lessons The Panasonic KY-MK3500 is a solid unit, well-conceived and rugged. It is extremely easy to use. It works well with both the common 24kHz frequency used with ferromagnetic cookware, and the 90kHz frequency chosen here for copper and aluminum. It effectively and automatically switches between the two. In my opinion, it points the way to expanding the worldwide induction appliance market to include dual frequencies. It also obviates the need to: (a) junk otherwise excellent cookware merely to have induction; and (b) retrofit designs to bond on ferromagnetic outer layers. In fact, in my opinion, my tests indicate that, in a dual-frequency world, adding ferromagnetic bottoms may well be a drag on pans’ performance. I also consider the Panasonic Met-All to be ground-breaking in what it can tell us about *pans*, because all metallic pans are now commensurable on induction. Clearly (to me anyway), watt-for-watt, the copper and aluminum pans performed better than did the clad and disk-based pans on this unit. Boil times were faster, there was less propensity to scorch, and the conductive-sidewall pans definitely added more heat to the pans’ contents. We may ultimately find that 90kHz fields save energy compared to 24kHz fields, much as copper and aluminum require less heat on gas and electric coil. In terms of heat transfer, the copper and aluminum pans came close to emulating the same pans on gas. And at 2400W/3500W it has the power of a full size appliance in a relatively small tabletop package. The Panasonic is far from perfect, however. It can’t really be considered portable. There are far too few temperature settings, and what few it has are not accurate or consistent in terms of judging pan contents and attaining the same temperature in different pans (and even the same pan unless clean). The luminous ring could easily have been made a useful indicator of intensity, but wasn’t. And it lacks things that should be obvious, including a through-the-glass “button” contact thermocouple, more power granularity, an analog-style control knob, and capacity to accept an external thermocouple probe for PID control. Most importantly for me, the Panasonic KY-MK3500 portends more good things to come. Retail price remains $1,700-$2,400, but I jumped on it at $611, and I’ve seen it elsewhere for as low as $1,200. The manual can be found here: ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/commercialfoo... Photo Credit: Panasonic Corporation
  15. I was reading the book and came across a reference for "electronic ancillary materials" and was wondering if anyone has ever seen these? or if they are CIA only? Id looooove to have the spreadsheets and what not. - Chef Johnny
  16. (I thought of reviving James MacGuire's thread (which I was delighted to see) but 2004? Seems a bit far back.) While I'm not enough of a baker (barely a baker at all) to judge the technical aspects of Calvel's monumental book, I have every reason to believe that from a technical point of view it is invaluable (this is, after all, the person who taught Julia Child to make French bread). I was also delighted to see that it was one of the rare works to show photographs of the basic French breads (which, verbally, are almost undefinable, so that pictures are all the more necessary). I keep hoping someone in Paris will shoot a baguette next to a flute, a ficelle and a batard and put the result on Wikipedia, but for now Calvel is one of the few to offer these images. My own interest however is in food (largely baking) history. I probably have to trust Calvel's accounts from when he was a working baker (the 30's?) and after (even then I'd love to be able to ask him a few pointed questions). Anything earlier and he makes some really shocking errors. Which probably won't matter to most hands-on bakers, but if the actual history of some of this matters to you, read on. As near as I can make out, Calvel simply accepted the legends of his trade. A natural enough thing to do, but once he became a professor it would be nice if he'd applied the principle of returning to prime sources, which he clearly did not. He says for instance that until the Viennese (that is, August Zang) arrived (around 1839), the French had only used yeast as an aid to sourdough (p 45). But eighteenth century sources (notably the monumental Dr. Malouin) state quite clearly that some breads were to be made only with yeast. On the same page, he repeats (and may have originated) the common assertion that "poolish" is a "Polish" sponge. This goes along with an idea frequently cited by others elsewhere that the poolish was a Polish technique which came to France via Austria. Which would be very strange, given that "poolish" does not mean Polish in any of those countries (it is an old ENGLISH word for "polish" - the English didn't use the method themselves, since they long had a sponge of their own.) In fact, references before 1900 to the technique (including two by an Austrian, Emil Braun) spell the word "pouliche", that is, the French word for "foal" (and a homonym for "poolish".) One can more readily imagine French bakers referring to a "young" mix of yeast allowed to grow strong before being used as a young horse than imagine that Polish, Austrian or French bakers used an archaic English word for a Polish technique. But speculation applies in either case. Later (116) he says that "Baron Zang" (Zang was a commoner) made Vienna bread without milk (numerous contemporary sources say it was made WITH milk) and using a poolish (no contemporary source mentions Zang using a poolish, which at any rate is not mentioned until the late 19th century, years after Zang left in 1848.) The Austrians certainly used yeast, but a German language text from 1841 describing Austrian techniques says nothing of any technique resembling a poolish (that is, no pre-fermentation). And the one big Austrian contribution to yeast - the invention of the more purified "pressed yeast" - came after Zang had left France. He treats the appearance of the baguette as contemporaneous with other "pains de fantaisie" (fancy breads) (103) and focuses on the fact that these had to be eaten soon after they were made. Which tended to be true. But it was not a defining characteristic of the classification, which existed since at least the 18th century (well before the baguette). A pain de fantaisie was originally so-called for the simple reason that it was out of the ordinary (made to the baker or client's "fantasy" or whim) and with time was sometimes defined as a bread not subject to a regulated price. When made with yeast (which was not always the case), it did indeed need to be eaten within the day, but that was incidental to the meaning of the term. The baguette, at any rate, was a very late entrant to the category. All this might seem to be nit-picking in the extreme, but beyond the fact that, hey, some people care about this stuff, several of Calvel's assertions seem to have made their way into the general literature (Calvel was after all a bone fide expert) and so one finds, for instance, frequent mentions of "Baron Zang". I don't know if Calvel is responsible for the myths around the poolish (which is referred to as a "Polisch" in one early 20th century text), but those are pretty widespread too. None of this is meant to question the book's fundamental importance. I've recommended it more than once. But if it has an Achilles' heel, it is on the history side.
  17. [Moderator note: The original "Modernist Cuisine" by Myhrvold, Young & Bilet topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: "Modernist Cuisine" by Myhrvold, Young & Bilet (Part 2)] Since I've received mine I've had little time until this weekend to actually read through it in depth. I've been starting with the history in volume 1, which I find fascinating as I love history. I even looked up some of the original recipe books it references and downloaded them to my kindle through gutenberg as it is a wonderful addition to the whole and its history. Second to that I started sifting tbrough the equipment. Then yesterday I drove three hours north to share the volumes with my family. I don't think their mouths ever closed after seeing them for the first time. We each grabbed a volume, from my 16 year olde nephew to my 70 year olde father and for five straight hours we were consumed and shared with eachother ideas and "finds". In my family cooking and meals are a big part of us "coming together"...this truly added to a family moment for us. Now I've got to find a weekend to bring my 16 year olde nephew down to Massachusetts to cook with me. He wants to get into spherification and I want to experiment with the fish paper. I have a crazy idea to use the paper for and can't wait to start experimenting. ...after that I think the mac and cheese, since everyone has been talking about that on here I can't wait to try it as it brings back fond childhood memories for me.
  18. There has been a wide variety of cookbook and food references published during the first decade of this century. Excluding Food Literature, what are your top 10 cookbooks and references during the first decade?
  19. Getting into making pasta, but don't have a good reference. Any suggestions for good recipe/reference books for making pasta from scratch?
  20. He's often quoted and was such a character but I can't seem to find any translations or anthologies of his Almanach. Amazon, Alibris, Addall, the Seattle Public Library reference librarians all come up empty, any suggestions?
  21. I may have missed this topic elsewhere in the forum - but what recommendations do y'all have? In addition, links or other references to prepare!
  22. Recently took a big casserole cookbook out of our local library. Taste of Home Casseroles. Lots of lovely photos and over 400 recipes. Alas, many of the recipes call for cans of cream of this soup and that soup, packages of instant rice and potato mixes, refrigerated rolls and so on. And almost all the recipes were very North American. Not that I am damning these ingredients to the nether realms...I just want to know: where are the good casserole cookbooks? Are there any? Who has a title for me? Thanks.
  23. There doesn't seem to be anything in the threads about spice cookbooks. I just bought The Book of Spices by Frederic Rosengarten, Jr. Copyright 1969. (He has a nut book, too, different thread.) Fabulous illustrations. I also have McCormick's Spices of the World Cookbook and The Spice Cookbook by Avanelle Day and Lillie Stuckey. Anyone have opinions or recommendations?
  24. The 2017 iteration of the International Home & Housewares Show is being held March 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago. This is the world's 2nd-largest tradeshow for the cookware and housewares industry, close behind Ambiente in Frankfurt. It is a cornucopia of what's new and what's coming down the pike in the world of cookware, and if you've ever wondered about why makers do the things they do, this is your opportunity to talk with execs and their product development people (e.g., you can discuss ceramics with the 6th-gen owner of Emile Henry). It takes an able cookware geek a full two days to cover all the booths. Are any eGulls or eGuys besides me attending?
  25. I've had an idea flowing across my brain waves over the last few months. It's on every channel and I'm getting ready to pull the trigger. I'd like to try to braise a dish in my smoker. I am thinking of braising a rabbit, but the I'm not looking for guidance on the protein/ingredients, rather the technique. I turn to you, o internet, in hope you will tell me your secrets. Has anyone ever braised in their smoker before? I've done some research, but I haven't seen much on the "how to" for the technique. Here's my plan: - Brown the rabbits on skillet (stovetop) - Get the aromatics/other stuffz sweated browned, etc. - (MEANWHILE) Smoker heats up to 300-325 degrees. - Add stock to rabbit, bring to a simmer on the stove top. - Transfer to smoker, braise uncovered for 1-2 hours, then cover with foil to finish for as long as necessary. I've seen folks smoke and then braise, but I haven't seen much on the idea of braising something IN the smoker. I saw something on CookingwithMe.at about doing something similar with pork belly, but that's about it. All I know is that after using stock+drippings from a smoked turkey created this CRAZY MIND-BLOWING flavor, so I'm basing this a lot off that idea. -Franz
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