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ShaneH

"Modernist Cuisine" by Myhrvold, Young & Bilet (Part 3)

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There is a list of errors in the books up here. Quite a few recipe changes. I think I'm going to take a few hours some weekend and mark the changes with a pen in my copy.

Will these errors be corrected in the second printing?

From the blog post, it sounds like it.

As much as I understand that they couldn't possibly root out every error in the books, I'm taking this as further proof of my usual philosophy that it never pays to be an early adopter.

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There is a list of errors in the books up here. Quite a few recipe changes. I think I'm going to take a few hours some weekend and mark the changes with a pen in my copy.

Will these errors be corrected in the second printing?

From the blog post, it sounds like it.

As much as I understand that they couldn't possibly root out every error in the books, I'm taking this as further proof of my usual philosophy that it never pays to be an early adopter.

Thanks, mkayahara, I didn't think to read the blog. And respectfully, I am sorry but I think you are wrong about the early adopter thing. Having seen these books firsthand and knowing what is in them, the mistakes (most of them are so inconsequential) don't bother me at all. I would willingly wade through the text if it was written in Pig Latin if I had to. These books make me so HAPPY.

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The first version of the errata and clarifications is up on the MC website: HERE--- The online version is searchable and has a page numbering index so you can scan to see if a page has a correction. We’ll update this list when­ever new goofs are spot­ted. It’s avail­able in PDF for­mat HERE, in case you want to print it out or have a handy search­able ver­sion on your com­puter. The PDF also has hyperlinks to pages. If you spot a mis­take in your copy that isn’t already men­tioned here, please send them to: Email here

Thanks,

MarkC

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. . . .

And respectfully, I am sorry but I think you are wrong about the early adopter thing. Having seen these books firsthand and knowing what is in them, the mistakes (most of them are so inconsequential) don't bother me at all. I would willingly wade through the text if it was written in Pig Latin if I had to. These books make me so HAPPY.

I could not agree more.

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...is anyone else kind of concerned that there's so many errors in the recipes in the kitchen manual? Could we perhaps have some clarification of which mistakes are a bigger deal than the rest and should definitely be noted when attempting said recipe?

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hmm, it's certainly a lot more mistakes than I would have expected in this kind of work, especially in the recipes. I don't care about a misplaced comma or misspelled word, but wrong numbers in a recipe are really not good and I'm a bit dismayed by seeing so many errors here. Maybe it's a good thing I kept the box, maybe I'll buy a 2nd printing and sell the first printing to a collector :laugh:

Actually, it would be neat if we could at least somehow obtain a correct kitchen manual down the road, at this high price and with such involved cooking, a wrong number can cause complete failure of a potentially expensive and time consuming dish....

It is great they are on top of it and post errors online, but the idea to mark up my expensive books with pencil (and who knows what works on the kitchen manual pages) is extremely unappealing to me.

So far it seems that 112 errors are listed for the kitchen manual. I have not looked at all of them to see if they are real errors (g for mg, 3 for 5) or just grammar etc. It would be great if the real fatal to a dish errors could be highlighted somehow.


Edited by OliverB (log)

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Will these errors be corrected in the second printing?

Yes, 99% of the errors or clarifications on the errata page were corrected for the 2nd printing. We also made some very very minor tweaks(tinting, color shifts etc) to a handful of photographs. Many times when a recipe ingredient changes such as reducing salt content, there is a ripple effect that goes on and changes need to be made elsewhere to jive. An example is a table parametric that says one temperature, but a marginal note might say something slightly different. These are best found by readers who are new to the content.

We are systematically going through each volume looking for typos and grammatical errors with a process called read-back. Basically, two people sit opposite one another each with a copy of the volume. Person A reads the section out loud, (not paying attention to the content) while person B follows along. The process although exhaustive is very effective at finding goofs. The kitchen staff has also double checked the scaling and portion sizes for recipes.

We are still looking to weed out goofs so if you find any, please submit them.

MarkC


Edited by MarkC (log)

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interesting info, never heard of that read back thing, that must take a long time! And a lot of concentration, books on tape never work for me, as I just zone out the talking eventually :laugh:

But it really would be great if eventually a short list of Fatal Errors could be compiled, those that would make a recipe simply not work. Or set the cook on fire.

I don't care about grammar; or speling tat mutsch unless it changes the meaning of a sentence to something else.

Hats off to the work you guys put into this AFTER it's been published! Errors always happen, they don't often get actively searched out, much less posted online and then corrected. I'm not happy they're in there, but I'm happy you take care of them.

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Not exactly a goof, but the pressure cooker instructions for tough meats (eg carnitas) are quite confusing. They seem to imply that you bring up to pressure, vent, then cook. It is written as a sequence, but the 'cook for x minutes' is after the vent ... could be clearer.

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hmm, it's certainly a lot more mistakes than I would have expected in this kind of work, especially in the recipes. I don't care about a misplaced comma or misspelled word, but wrong numbers in a recipe are really not good and I'm a bit dismayed by seeing so many errors here. Maybe it's a good thing I kept the box, maybe I'll buy a 2nd printing and sell the first printing to a collector :laugh:

Actually, it would be neat if we could at least somehow obtain a correct kitchen manual down the road, at this high price and with such involved cooking, a wrong number can cause complete failure of a potentially expensive and time consuming dish....

It is great they are on top of it and post errors online, but the idea to mark up my expensive books with pencil (and who knows what works on the kitchen manual pages) is extremely unappealing to me.

So far it seems that 112 errors are listed for the kitchen manual. I have not looked at all of them to see if they are real errors (g for mg, 3 for 5) or just grammar etc. It would be great if the real fatal to a dish errors could be highlighted somehow.

I agree

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hmm, it's certainly a lot more mistakes than I would have expected in this kind of work, especially in the recipes. I don't care about a misplaced comma or misspelled word, but wrong numbers in a recipe are really not good and I'm a bit dismayed by seeing so many errors here. Maybe it's a good thing I kept the box, maybe I'll buy a 2nd printing and sell the first printing to a collector :laugh:

Actually, it would be neat if we could at least somehow obtain a correct kitchen manual down the road, at this high price and with such involved cooking, a wrong number can cause complete failure of a potentially expensive and time consuming dish....

It is great they are on top of it and post errors online, but the idea to mark up my expensive books with pencil (and who knows what works on the kitchen manual pages) is extremely unappealing to me.

So far it seems that 112 errors are listed for the kitchen manual. I have not looked at all of them to see if they are real errors (g for mg, 3 for 5) or just grammar etc. It would be great if the real fatal to a dish errors could be highlighted somehow.

I agree

I don't really want to mark my copy of MC - it seems like sacrilege to take a pen or pencil to such a beautiful work. I agree that a few typos are not a great concern but anything material like a quantity, ratio or temperature is very important. For me having an accurate Kitchen Manual would probably suffice - preferably a new one with an index as well.

Maybe the MC crew could offer a trade in on our original, but incorrect kitchen manuals. If not a trade in - perhaps the ability to purchase the V2 version after providing proof of purchase of the first printing.

Cheers,

Peter.

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hmm, it's certainly a lot more mistakes than I would have expected in this kind of work, especially in the recipes. I don't care about a misplaced comma or misspelled word, but wrong numbers in a recipe are really not good and I'm a bit dismayed by seeing so many errors here. Maybe it's a good thing I kept the box, maybe I'll buy a 2nd printing and sell the first printing to a collector :laugh:

Just remember: All cookbooks have errors (and a helluva lot of them from what I've observed) and very very few (damn near zero) give errata. Please don't punish them for being honest and helpful. Take the errata for what it is: damn useful information.

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Perhaps another way to say it is: to err is human; to not say anything about it is what too many other regular books and cookbooks do too often. I appreciate the guidance they have posted and ability to download the errata. Maybe, I will just consider the MC site the 7th volume during my reading and experimenting-I do that anyway and they will undoubtedly keep updating, revising and expanding the knowledge base! MC seems more of a living, evolving book and site than anything I have experienced previously. That is the uniqueness and why I am such an avid supporter.

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I noticed that MC doesn't explicitly address grill pans, although obviously the discussions about pan frying and grilling apply. I recently purchased a cast iron grill pan and have been using it on burgers and steaks (for searing only, after cooking sous vide). I thought it would be nice, aesthetically, to get some wonderful grill-marks onto my meats with this. But I was surprised to find that they tasted better - much better - with the grill pans vs. searing with my cast iron skillets. I think there are two things going on. First, the Maillard reaction might be intensified on the grill ridges since the heat is being transferred conductively into a smaller area and thus concentrated. And the drippings off the meat might also be vaporized, similar to a BBQ grill, to add additional flavor. Obviously, this technique is closer to pan frying, since BBQ grilling operates largely through radiant heat, but I think that using a grill pan over a regular (gas) stove might share some features of both. Am I on the right track here?

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hmm, it's certainly a lot more mistakes than I would have expected in this kind of work, especially in the recipes. I don't care about a misplaced comma or misspelled word, but wrong numbers in a recipe are really not good and I'm a bit dismayed by seeing so many errors here. Maybe it's a good thing I kept the box, maybe I'll buy a 2nd printing and sell the first printing to a collector :laugh:

Actually, it would be neat if we could at least somehow obtain a correct kitchen manual down the road, at this high price and with such involved cooking, a wrong number can cause complete failure of a potentially expensive and time consuming dish....

It is great they are on top of it and post errors online, but the idea to mark up my expensive books with pencil (and who knows what works on the kitchen manual pages) is extremely unappealing to me.

So far it seems that 112 errors are listed for the kitchen manual. I have not looked at all of them to see if they are real errors (g for mg, 3 for 5) or just grammar etc. It would be great if the real fatal to a dish errors could be highlighted somehow.

I agree

I don't really want to mark my copy of MC - it seems like sacrilege to take a pen or pencil to such a beautiful work. I agree that a few typos are not a great concern but anything material like a quantity, ratio or temperature is very important. For me having an accurate Kitchen Manual would probably suffice - preferably a new one with an index as well.

Maybe the MC crew could offer a trade in on our original, but incorrect kitchen manuals. If not a trade in - perhaps the ability to purchase the V2 version after providing proof of purchase of the first printing.

Cheers,

Peter.

That's not a bad idea - being able to return a copy and purchase the corrected kitchen manual at some sort of discount. Although that seems like a bit of a logistical nightmare so I'm not sure that would ever happen.

I do like the idea of possibly adding a second "field" if you will to each correction - such as "Criticality of correction" and then perhaps something like using the typical color coded markings such RED for critical, YELLOW for warning, and GREEN for simple misspellings, etc.

It's absolutely great that the team has been so responsive in providing the corrected information online - another kudos to the team showing the passion for their creation.

Todd in Chicago

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not punishing them at all, I think it's great they offer this but I also think that factual errors should have probably been caught before, we're not talking about a $30 book here...

Yes, being able to trade in a the kitchen manual for a corrected one - or at least be able to buy one w/o having to buy everything again - would be nice. I will never have the books in the kitchen or anywhere close to it, so if there's an error in there but it's correct in the manual I'll know it's a correction and can proceed.

As noted, this is really only important with real errors, where quantities, times, temperatures, things like that are wrong and will lead to failure. Once I spent 3 days on making something I'd be a very unhappy person if a print error somewhere screws things up and I end up with some inedible or ugly mess :cool:

I think the idea of marking errors with different colors - even if only on the online page - would really be helpful. I don't really have the time to work through all the posted errors to find out which are crucial, nor do I think I should unless I get paid for it :wink:

Maybe that dual reading test should have been done on a test print, after all, with this collection of books, it appears to me that they strived for perfection, not the next 30 min meal throw away. I'm sure they're even more unhappy about mistakes than I am, they put a ton of love and work into these books. But I'm also the customer that paid a crazy amount for the output...

Maybe a great first step would be the color coding, maybe there crucial errors that lead to failure are few and far between (my guess) and can be fixed at home. I'd never write in them, but a post it note can easily be applied or a printed page inserted. (on acid free paper of course).

Anyway, just my take on it. Of course there will be errors, nothing is perfect. I'm still surprised at the high number or errors I counted for the manual (as I'm sure the team is) and if there's a way to remedy this in the future, that would be great.

Or maybe I'll just sell my "first edition" to a collector and get me a 2nd print down the road, if I should find that the errors would really throw me off.

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I've started correcting the more critical mistakes in the errata list using a label maker, trimming the text with scissors and then sticking them over the mistake in the book. Fixes the problem and relatively neat and not as time consuming as you might think. Just print out a big long label with 10 or so fixes and trim

rg

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Regarding the recipe errors,on the rare occasion over the years i actually use a recipe from a cook book while cooking at home ,i have often found the end result ,no matter how vigorously i stay true to the original recipe never seems to turn quite as i expected or always look like the picture in the book.So im not too worried about some of the errors,because in general i always adapt the recipe to suit my own tastes,which for me is one of the best parts about being a chef.It then becomes my dish.

As far as i am aware,every cookbook i've ever owned contains many recipe errors i wasn't even aware of.I think recipes should only ever be seen as a guide,and one's creative juices should do all the rest.

I personally love the book and it was worth the wait,the extra knowledge i have gained from it already is worth the outlay.

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We've tried to make the book as good as we could. The fact is that all cookbooks have errors, but I am not aware of any cookbook that has taken the full transparency stance that we have - telling everybody about the errors, providing an errata PDF, and correcting the errors in the second printing.

In fact, I will tell you a secret - many of our errors came because of proofing! It is very easy for a proofreader to find an "error" that isn't actually wrong. One classic example is the difference between converting an absolute temperature between Fahrenheit and Celsius (1C = 33.8F), versus converting a temperature difference ("increase the temperature by 1C = 1.8F). At some point in the process it is hard to add more review without having the review contribute some errors.

It is very easy to say that we should have found all the errors. Of course we "should" have, in some sense, but realistically speaking if you produce a brand new 2400 page, 1500 recipe cookbook, there will be a few errors. It is also easy to say that "for the price" we should have done better, except that prolonged futher review would only make the book even more expensive to produce. You can say that we "should have" looked even harder at the proofs - but I assure you we did look at the proofs very intensively.

Of course you wouldn't even know the number if we hadn't published the list. So I agree with a previous post that by being open we are exposing ourselves to criticism. That's why most book authors don't publicize their errors. It's a classic case of "no good deed ever goes unpunished". The more this occurs, the less incentive an author has to be open and transparent.

But so be it, we remain committeed to being open about this. We have fixed a lot of errors which will be in the first printing, but they will not appear in the the second printing. I am sure that we will find additional errors over time and as we do we will update the web site and the errata PDF, and update future printings.

By printing out the errata PDF, or using pasted in labels (as one post suggests) you can get access to our best knowledge at any point in time.

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We've tried to make the book as good as we could. The fact is that all cookbooks have errors, but I am not aware of any cookbook that has taken the full transparency stance that we have - telling everybody about the errors, providing an errata PDF, and correcting the errors in the second printing.

In fact, I will tell you a secret - many of our errors came because of proofing! It is very easy for a proofreader to find an "error" that isn't actually wrong. One classic example is the difference between converting an absolute temperature between Fahrenheit and Celsius (1C = 33.8F), versus converting a temperature difference ("increase the temperature by 1C = 1.8F). At some point in the process it is hard to add more review without having the review contribute some errors.

It is very easy to say that we should have found all the errors. Of course we "should" have, in some sense, but realistically speaking if you produce a brand new 2400 page, 1500 recipe cookbook, there will be a few errors. It is also easy to say that "for the price" we should have done better, except that prolonged futher review would only make the book even more expensive to produce. You can say that we "should have" looked even harder at the proofs - but I assure you we did look at the proofs very intensively.

Of course you wouldn't even know the number if we hadn't published the list. So I agree with a previous post that by being open we are exposing ourselves to criticism. That's why most book authors don't publicize their errors. It's a classic case of "no good deed ever goes unpunished". The more this occurs, the less incentive an author has to be open and transparent.

But so be it, we remain committeed to being open about this. We have fixed a lot of errors which will be in the first printing, but they will not appear in the the second printing. I am sure that we will find additional errors over time and as we do we will update the web site and the errata PDF, and update future printings.

By printing out the errata PDF, or using pasted in labels (as one post suggests) you can get access to our best knowledge at any point in time.

Nathan,

Any chance that second printing kitchen manuals will be available for purchase without the rest of the book?

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The fact that a collection of books like those has a small percentage of errors in the 1500 recipes is unavoidable and completely understandable. Nathan and his team's complete transparency and diligence in tackling errata is very much appreciated. I have no problem updating my kitchen manual as I go along. The label maker idea is great for that.

On the other hand, its a bit frustrating to me that the Kitchen Manual does not list the recipes alphabetically. Unless I am missing anything (I am still in the browsing stage, even though I did make the brown beef stock yesterday), we have to browse through all recipes in a specific section in order to find the one we are looking for. For example, to find the Mac and Cheese you need to dig through the Plant section in the KM to find it. Why not list them alphabetically instead of "in order of appearance"? I am not sure anyone mentioned this before, so maybe I am alone with my quibble, but I am seriously considering making my own KM alphabetized list. If I do, I'll make it available here.

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Any chance that second printing kitchen manuals will be available for purchase without the rest of the book?

No plans for that at the moment.

I think that selling the KM without the rest of the book would encourage people to just buy the KM which is not something that I support - I think that the knowledge in the main book is very useful. One could try to have a KM exchange program but that requires lots of logistic hassle which we are not staffed to do.

An additional reason why not is that we are creating a detailed index for the kitchen manual, which we will put online as a printable PDF. We will also include the index with the KM in a future printing, but not the second printing since that is already in press, and we couldn't get the index done in time. So even if I did want to sell an improved KM then I would wait for the one with the index.

Since we are putting PDFs of errata and the index online so you can print them, I think that will at least allow anybody with a current KM to get most of the benefits of the corrections and upgraded index.

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Time magazine named Modernist Cuisine to their list of the 100 most influential things in the world. The relevant portion of the list shows that MC is only two below "boobs" and above Groupon or Kate Middleton's dress.

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Since we are putting PDFs of errata and the index online so you can print them, I think that will at least allow anybody with a current KM to get most of the benefits of the corrections and upgraded index.

Well, Nathan it looks like you guys have thought of everything. I am referring to the KM index of course. That would be fantastic and will save me hours of work trying to alphabetize the list of recipes myself :smile:.

only 2 below "boobs" huh? Very much an achievement. :laugh:

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only 2 below "boobs" huh? Very much an achievement. :laugh:

Wow, MC was the 3rd most influential thing in the world! Way to go!

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      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

    • By artiesel
      THE BOOKS ARE SOLD
       
       
      I have Volumes 1 ,2 and 4 of Jean-Pierre Wybauw's Great Chocolate books are for sale.
       
      The books are in great shape!  There is some tape on the corner of the front of volume 1 that I used to keep it together after a drop.  Volume 1 is also autographed by the author (See pics below).
       
      I'm asking $150 for the lot OBO.
       
      Let me know if interested or if you have questions
       
       
       



    • By umami5
      Has anyone come across a digital version of Practical Professional Cookery (revised 3rd edition) H.L. Cracknell & R.J. Kaufmann.
      I am using this as the textbook for my culinary arts students and a digital version would come in very handy for creating notes and handouts.
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