Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

beans

Cocktail Books: The Topic

Recommended Posts

Yeah, Luca is unbelievable

  • Like 1

DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very much enjoying the new Dead Rabbit cocktail book. DR is still ahead of the game in a lot of ways—their use of tinctures, their incorporation of seasonal and savory herbs outside the California "salad in a glass" context, the rich flavorsome balance of their drinks. That said, if you think the tone of the Death & Co book skewed self-congratulatory (and I do)... ooh boy. Sean Muldoon didn't name his company The Best Bar In The World LLC for nothing.

  • Like 1

DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished The Dead Rabbit's book last night. It's good. You won't find any of the sections on tecnique, ingredients, running a bar, principles of crafting cocktails, &c that you'll find in more general interest cocktail tomes like the Death & Co or PDT books. What you'll get instead is recipes, and lots of them, all of them original, all of them elaborate and stylistically distinct from much else of what's going on in US bars. Jack McGarry's rococo style is right up my alley, and if you don't mind searching out specialized ingredients (eaux de vie, maidenfern) or making your own (so many tinctures) there's a lot of great drinks to make here. The only other substantial content in the book is an extensive self-mythologizing biography of the principals, which is... probably less interesting, to the general reader.

  • Like 2

DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't heard of this book but I understand why : it just came out yesterday !
Thank you for the feedback, I'll look into it shortly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just received Bitterman's Field Guide to Bitters and Amari.

It contains reviews (scores for aromatic level/bitterness/sweetness, descriptions, and recommended usages) for 500 bitters, plus 50 amari, a handful of recipes for homemade bitters and recipes for bitter/amari-based cocktails, savory dishes, and desserts, bitters history, and ingredients. I've only just skimmed through it but so far it's been both an enjoyable read and informative. He definitely doesn't hold back when he doesn't like something! Kudos for such an encompassing snapshot of the world of bitterness as it is today.

  • Like 3

@AZBittersLab

AZBittersLab.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been reading Cienfuegos' book, the inaptly named but otherwise appealing Cuban Cocktails. Not, as the name implies, a historical overview or summary of Cuban drinks, it actually reminds me quite a bit of the Death & Co book--an informative, lively selection of house recipes spiced up with history, bar lore, and great photographs, with sections on technique and ingredients aimed at novices and old hands alike. If you're worried that you're just in for a book of Daiquiri variations, worry not: there are lengthy chapters on stirred drinks, hot drinks, and complex punches along with the Daq variations and other sours.

 

I do have some nits to pick: for a drinks manual with "Cuban" in the title, the book does tend to default to St. Lucian and Guyanese rums for most of the recipes, with Spanish-style rum nearly excluded; some of the fine points of their history are either questionable or flat wrong; most egregiously, in what I can only assume is a typo, their recipe for the standard Daiquiri No. 1 specifies Maraschino liqueur rather than simple syrup or sugar, with no explanation accounting for the change (in a section venerating the "holy trinity" of rum, lime, and citrus, no less).

 

Still, the drinks themselves are delicious and intriguing, the presentation presentable, the called-for ingredients accessible, as opposed to the obscurities you'll find in books by Death & Co, PDT, or Dead Rabbit. Recommended.


Edited by Rafa (log)
  • Like 5

DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished the Experimental Cocktail Club book.

It weaves the back story of the various ECC establishments with a selection of drinks (gorgeously photographed) that have graced their menus. I particularly liked that they included a section towards the end highlighting drinks from friends and former staff who have gone off on their own paths; I thought it was a nice touch. Also of note is the Classics section, which presents established drinks alongside their in-house variations, explaining the tweaks and substitutions and providing some insight into their process.

 

I think this book slots in quite well as high-intermediate material.

One page near the back covers some quick pointers on technique.

Just under half of the drinks include some sort of homemade syrup (beyond simple, honey, orgeat or falernum), infusion, or tincture.

Homemade ingredients are described either as they are introduced in a drink, or in the longer recipe section at the end. 

Most of the homemade ingredients show up in more than one drink, and the longest has a lead time of 72 hours, keeping the investment of effort reasonable.

 

As learning material, I'd recommend it to someone who's solid on Morgenthaler's Bar Book, but might be overwhelmed if they jumped right into The Dead Rabbit or Death&Co.

I think its stands up well as a cocktail bar book in it's own way, since it's a multi-venue story rather than the history of a single space.


Edited by J_Ozzy (log)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to the year ahead, I see a few interesting titles coming down the pipe:

Two Italian-focused narratives:

Spritz: Italy's Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes

Aperitivo: The Cocktail Culture of Italy


And 3 bartender-backed tomes:

Lift Your Spirits A Celebratory History of Cocktail Culture in New Orleans (Chris McMillian)

Smuggler's Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki (Martin Cate)

The Canon Cocktail Book: Recipes from the Award-Winning Bar (Jamie Boudreau)


I'm particularly looking forward to the Canon book , since I haven't been able to find a copy of The Pacific Northwest Gentlemen's Companion
 


Edited by J_Ozzy (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just noticed that Regarding Cocktails (Sasha Petraske) is getting a late October release.

Definitely going on my required reading list.


 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 9:46 AM, J_Ozzy said:

Just noticed that Regarding Cocktails (Sasha Petraske) is getting a late October release.

Definitely going on my required reading list.

 

That one is on my list, and I just ordered Robert Simonson's ir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=160774754A Proper Drink about the cocktail renaissance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and I already finished it! It is a quick & easy read. I was familiar with most of the material already, but I learned a few fun facts. eGullet is mentioned a few times, including its possible role in the spread of the Last Word's popularity across the US.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My local bookstore had a copy of it, so I was able to resist for about a second and a half... It is a collection of recipes for the most part, but there are some interesting stories interspersed. 

 

Amaro

 

Amaro

 


Edited by FrogPrincesse Typo (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, FrogPrincesse said:

My local bookstore had a copy of it, so I was able to resist for about a second and a half... It is a collection of recipes for the most part, but there are some interesting stories interspersed. 

 

Recipes as in 'how to make amari'?  Much depends on your answer!


Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, lesliec said:

 

Recipes as in 'how to make amari'?  Much depends on your answer!

 

Page 87 - 220 are cocktail recipes (with plenty of full-page pictures). Pages 223 - 233 have a small section on making your own amaro, with four recipes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, at the rate old amaro's are being revived and new ones seem to get produced that is going to be out of date sometime yesterday!

 

Does look interesting though.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎3‎/‎2016 at 9:00 PM, FrogPrincesse said:

...and I already finished it! It is a quick & easy read. I was familiar with most of the material already, but I learned a few fun facts. eGullet is mentioned a few times, including its possible role in the spread of the Last Word's popularity across the US.

 

I brought home a copy tonight.  Looking forward to perusing it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prime reading season for me right now (Canon, Regarding Cocktails, and Tippling Bros all arrived in my mailbox in the same week). Canon arrived first, so that's what I've managed to tackle so far.


 

The Canon Cocktail Book: Recipes from the Award-Winning Bar (Jamie Boudreau & James O. Fraioli)

I very much enjoyed this book. It reminds me, in spirit, of a modern Harry Johnson's Bartenders' Manual, but weighted to more heavily to the drinks (to be fair, that original was a treatise for bars, restaurants and hotels, fully half its length an operator's manual).

It covers a lot of ground: tips on planning, opening and running a cocktail bar; core cocktail theory; high-end equipment and substitutes; carbonated, aged, and bottled cocktails; shrubs, infusions and tinctures; flavored foams, Fernet cookies and Chartreuse ice cream.

The drinks are nicely photographed, often alongside their vintage spirit or liqueur bottles. Drink descriptions helpfully explain less common ingredients, and (in the case of riffs) provide insight into the creative process behind them. The drinks are organized in broad categories, and stylistically run the gamut from elegant tweaks (Chrysanthemum #2) to playfully themed (The Elvis Ziggurat) to full mad scientist (Movie Night Float).

Refreshingly, outside of the "Over the Top" section, there are very few recipes that require much more preparation than an infused syrup. There is a mix of standard, advanced and exotic (brain rum!) prepared ingredients, including the always-appreciated house Picon substitute, Amer Boudreau. Some of the exotic preparations call for specialized equipment, but conventional workarounds are provided for the truly adventurous.

Outside of the drink recipes, the book provides a quality, high-level introduction on many craft cocktail topics. It doesn't delve nearly as deeply as some of the more specialized books (i.e. fundamental technique in Morgenthaler's Bar Book, or advanced wizardry as presented in Liquid Intelligence or The Cocktail Lab). It is instead an accessible, competent generalist, and an engaging read.
 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding Cocktails (Sasha Petraske with Georgette Moger-Petraske)

I never met Sasha Petraske, but knew of him by reputation and, much later, visits to his establishments.

(I hope he would forgive me the false familiarity of referring to him by his first name, but “Sasha” in cocktail circles is indelibly his).

I knew he was important to the cocktail bartending revival, but I never fully understood the degree of impact he had on the scene (both directly and through the people he fostered) in those critical early years. As recounted by those who knew and worked with him, Regarding Cocktails collects a series of guides, recipes and essays which serve as testament to his character and influence.

The sections authored by Sasha include instructions for setting up a home bar and successfully running a cocktail party; theory on garnishes; the Milk & Honey comp policy; a tantalizing intro to 'Cocktails For Your Cat'; and bookended, fittingly, by Milk & Honey's closing menu.

The recipes section, for me, really drove it home. 70+ elegant, dialed-in, formative classics and modern classics incubated through his beverage programs. Many of my favourite modern drinks (a number of whose origin I hadn't realized) saw first light under his tutelage. Each recipe is accompanied by graphical representation of the drink makeup, and accompanied by the story of its genesis (or perfection, in the case of classics) as told by people involved.

The guides section includes contributions from Wonderich and Alperin, among others, and covers a wide range of topics, providing a personal perspective on the man and (mostly) genuinely useful information.

Throughout the book, Moger-Petraske provides essays, anecdotes and quotes that bind the narrative together. I can't imagine the challenges tackling such a project, but I'm thankful that she did.

I am left with a deeper sense of appreciation for the man, his establishments and his extended bartending family. And a little (selfish) sadness that I'll never get to meet him.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've skimmed this thread (there is a lot of it) and it seems like a lot of books have been coming out so I figured I'd be best just asking - what is a good recipe book for a geek type new to cocktails? My friend is a bit of a foodie and now getting into cocktails also and I want to get him some supplies as a Christmas gift. I have Morganthaler's book on my list to look at in a store because it seems his style of geekery in the subject, but I thought some kind of reasonable reference recipe book would be helpful to have too. (I swear I had one bookmarked that I'd seen recommended, but now I can't find it.)

 

Bonus points if the book has enough recipes for syrups and things that can be used to experiment with making my friend's son (11 and also a bit of a foodie) fun non-alcoholic drinks too.

 

(I thought about the Canon book but that seems far too involved and I'd really just be giving it to him so I could borrow it. :D )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By md8232
      Hello Everyone.  I’ve decided to create a separate thread for this as not to muddy up the 
      CSO thread.  It arrived this afternoon from California and is resting comfortably next to 
      the CSO.  I will add more photos and some dimensions as time permits.
      If you have questions, let me know and I’ll try to get some answers for you.
      This will be slow going.  I’m overwhelmed with things that need doing right now.
       


       
      My countertop is 49” L X 24” W X 18” H.  I haven’t fired it up yet but understand that it doesn’t vent out the back or upwards.
      Everything is bigger, just like in Texas!!  We’ll see if it is better.
       

    • By Darienne
      This is not encouraging for American consumers.  On the other hand, it's not surprising either.  From my current Consumer Reports e-download.   https://www.consumerreports.org/food-labels/seals-and-claims?EXTKEY=EE993PMAC&utm_source=acxiom&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190926_cromc_engagewkly
       
      I'd like to know what the current labeling standards are in Canada.  Next research project.  After dealing with the bumper crop of apples...
       
    • By boilsover
      It's bad enough correcting common zombie cookware misconceptions.  But when a legitimate food expert like Mark Bittman spouts complete nonsense about all tinned cookware containing lead, it's downright dismaying.  Likewise when salespeople and companies tell that eternal doozer:  "Cast iron heats evenly."
       
      The winner for 2019--so far--however, has to be Florence Fabricant, New York Times columnist and author of 12 cookbooks.  In her January 22, 2019 issue of her column "Front Burner", Ms. Fabricant gushes over the carbon steel skillet made by Made In.  Among other reasons to recommend it:
       
      "It’s a good conductor (it can be used on an induction cooktop) and has heft..."
       
      What?  Surely Fabricant knows carbon steel, like any steel, is not only *not* a good conductor, it's a *terrible* one.   In fact it's the worst metal pans are made of.  If she doesn't, she needs to take a remedial physics course.
       
      And perhaps she was under a deadline to push this out, but what gives with the non sequitur explanatory parenthetical?  Does she really believe that good conductivity and induction compatibility are the same or even closely related?
       
      Doubtless, someone, somewhere has already taken this nonsense for Gospel and spread it around.  "Oh, boy!  I can't wait for my new conductive steel skillet to be delivered!" 
      Do you see, Larry?  Do you see what happens when you make stuff up?
       
      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/22/dining/made-in-carbon-steel-skillet.html
       
    • By boilsover
      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

    • 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.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...