Author Topic: In the kitchen again - pots and pans  (Read 5474 times)

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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3616
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2018, 09:58 PM »
@Cheese, Boomers, what’ll they forget how to do next?!

Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 321
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2018, 10:02 PM »
WOW!  Lots of questions in that one.  And everyone here will have different answers.

So to wade in:  I tend to use mostly two sauce pans and one of 4 skillets / frying pans.  I tend to use stainless steel if I am browning / searing meat and then finishing it off in the oven.

I have plenty of other pots, and pans, of all sorts of materials including cast aluminum roasters with racks and lids, cast iron, clay (Schlemmer-Topf), etc.  Pressure cooker, solve vide circulator, separate single burner portable stove, portable induction burner, and then my 10+ outdoor grills of mostly the charcoal variety but with couple of gas thrown in along with a pellet grill.  All tools that get used in my effort to have fun cooking (I hate to eat.)

Vegetables can be grilled, sautéed with minimal oil, or steamed.  I never use the microwave as the principal cooking method for anything but I will cook ears of corn in the oven and once done zap them for 30 seconds so that the core of the corn absorbs heat and keeps everything hot longer.  Potatoes are usually baked in my household.  Yes, on occasion I will fry my own fries and boil potatoes for potato salad.  Corn on the grill is coated with oil and then coarse salt.

Broiling is placing food in the oven close to the top element so that the cooking is only from the top versus baking which typically has heat from the bottom or top and bottom.

For proteins I tend to either cook them outside on a grill or cook them sous vide and finish them off in a cast iron pan (browning them only) or use a torch.

Pizza - a major food group here - is done in my household from scratch and favorite way is on the outdoor grill.

I personally do not worry about what I eat because I tend to only eat one meal a day.  My weight doesn't normally vary 3 pounds in a 6 month period.

Hop this helps although it only tends to reflect my personal habits.

Peter

Thank you so much Peter.  Apart from anything else, you've demystified your uniquely North American culinary jargon for me.  So much for using a common language:  a couple of centuries of cultural divergence can result in quite a gulf.

Your broil, then is my grill.
Your grill is my fry-up.
Your Fry is my..... Deep Fry??
Baking & Roasting seem superficially synonymous.
All jargon of French provenance remain true to their origin (obviously):  sous-vide, ragout, sautee, bain marie, flambe etc.

It also seems evident from succeeding replies that, as I suspected, steaming is not a common food prep technique in the western hemisphere.  Australasia seems to increasingly take its culinary cues from our Asian neighbors, who have a long tradition of relatively low-intervention simple processes such as steaming & stir frying.  One glaring contrast is the north american concept of slowly reheating pre-cooked foods that are encased in plastic:  a successful means of preserving essential nutrients & widely used as a long-term storage solution for space-poor applications such as submarine crews etc.  In my opinion - yuk!  I like my occasional stews (Irish, steak in beer & mutton fricasee are favourites from my youth) but definitely never cooked in plastic!  I suppose it's more the concept than the reality that i find so revolting.  As a legitimate method of "haute cuisine" however, it seems pretty flawed.

I can recall pressure cooking from my own youth:  immediately prior to christmas (summer time in Oz) my mum would cook the ham for a strict 30 mins. only over heat, then wrap the cooker in every spare blanket from the household (a dozen or more) & leave it sealed for the next few days (3-5??) before opening it all up for christmas lunch.  I've never stopped using them myself, but mainly for cooking corned (salted) meats, soups & for softening dried pulses such as split peas, lentils etc. for soups, dips & dal etc.  The higher water temperatures afforded by their greater-than-atmospheric pressure allow remarkably reduced cooking times & energy consumption.  High temperatures can however destroy essential vitamins unless time is strictly controlled:  bring to the "boil", hold for one minute only, then take off the heat & allow to cool naturally works for all but the largest of ingredients.

I also forgot my favourite cooking implement of all:  a cheap cast aluminium non-stick roaster (baking dish).  Nothing I have ever used or seen before provides the consistently correct level of caramelisation of meat & veg juices that alloy allows.  That beautiful, uniform brown encrustation on the bottom & sides makes the most delightful, natural gravies with the addition of only ground semolina & veg water & without the intervention of any awful chemically enhanced, salt enriched artificial gravy browning agents.

I have all my life cooked on a slow combustion wood stove, supplemented at times with electrical appliances.  Never used gas, with the exception of camping stoves when travelling.  I don't understand the appeal of gas myself;  it's simply too harsh, too powerful for me.  Yes, temp control is rapid (almost instant), esp in contrast to the "laggardly" slow control of a cast iron firebox, but the sheer calorific intensity of LPG makes for a harsh, savage cooking experience that simply doesn't suit me at all.

Electric cooktops seem a useful compromise.  I have a few "dominoes" installed:  one dbl. induction ceramic,  one dual cast iron rings, an electric BBQ "grill" & a concave ceramic wok burner;  all Miele.  Maybe half of my implements are "induction ready" so I generally prefer the slower responding & heat retentive characteristics of the "old school" cast iron rings.  A gas afficionado would I'm sure prefer the speed, intensity & fine control of induction.  With cast elements I can shutoff half way through & allow residual heat to complete the process.  The induction wok burner is an overpriced but effective alternative to a cast alloy wok on a conventional ring.  I still prefer the latter.

What seems obvious to me is that wildly contrasting regional & national cuisines still seem very much alive & well, thankfully resistive to the seductive power of commercially-induced homogeniety.  Thank you one & all for taking the time & trouble to reply.

FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 223
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2018, 10:04 PM »

Obviously, a V8 engine gives you more burners than an I6.  [blink]

The I6 gives a much more even cook with smoother flavors.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 223
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2018, 10:24 PM »

It also seems evident from succeeding replies that, as I suspected, steaming is not a common food prep technique in the western hemisphere.  Australasia seems to increasingly take its culinary cues from our Asian neighbors, who have a long tradition of relatively low-intervention simple processes such as steaming & stir frying.  One glaring contrast is the north american concept of slowly reheating pre-cooked foods that are encased in plastic:  a successful means of preserving essential nutrients & widely used as a long-term storage solution for space-poor applications such as submarine crews etc.  In my opinion - yuk! 


I have all my life cooked on a slow combustion wood stove, supplemented at times with electrical appliances.  Never used gas, with the exception of camping stoves when travelling.  I don't understand the appeal of gas myself;  it's simply too harsh, too powerful for me.  Yes, temp control is rapid (almost instant), esp in contrast to the "laggardly" slow control of a cast iron firebox, but the sheer calorific intensity of LPG makes for a harsh, savage cooking experience that simply doesn't suit me at all.

Electric cooktops seem a useful compromise.  I have a few "dominoes" installed:  one dbl. induction ceramic,  one dual cast iron rings, an electric BBQ "grill" & a concave ceramic wok burner;  all Miele.  Maybe half of my implements are "induction ready" so I generally prefer the slower responding & heat retentive characteristics of the "old school" cast iron rings.  A gas afficionado would I'm sure prefer the speed, intensity & fine control of induction.  With cast elements I can shutoff half way through & allow residual heat to complete the process.  The induction wok burner is an overpriced but effective alternative to a cast alloy wok on a conventional ring.  I still prefer the latter.


I think you are referring to "TV dinners", they are the future circa 1965.   They still exist and are popular among some group apparently (since they do still exist, often pitched as some healthy meal in adverts), they certainly are not that popular.  I've managed to go my life and never eat one.

Gas v Electric is a debate here the same as it probably is everywhere in the world.  I personally do not like gas at all. Both I think it is a pain to cook on, and of course you are bringing in gas into your home, and then creating combustion with no emissions system in the house.  Others love it.  Of course again like many things, it's where you live.  Maybe half the US has access to natural gas.  Rural areas tend to have propane tanks if they use any form of gas, but still many rural houses are electric, maybe some wood heat.  Gas had a strange boom in the 80s as "commercial style" ranges that were legal for home usage came to the market and people wanted "the look".  Also mixed in with various claims about gas being superior, which for the most part aren't true, like "more power" even though any electric stove has way more power than a gas (probably no house has a gas pipe big enough (especially if you back out gas needed by the furnace) to give you the power of an electric on a 60A/240V circuit).  There was also the "more control" claim which doesn't mean a thing, if anything electric has more control.  The only real thing is the ability to kill the heat instantly, which is where Induction comes in now.

Induction is slowly becoming popular in the US, thus more people buying induction ready cookware.  In time same as everyplace induction will take over as it has benefits over resistive electric, and people will start to not want gas in their house (safety, emissions, cost, etc). Tighter home construction also makes gas cook tops harder to pull off as the vent hood, make up air system get more complex.  You can't really do a full direct vent cooktop like we do now with furnaces (intake and exhaust both come from outside)  Some people don't like change, they fear having to re-learn how to cook if switching from one to the other. There is truth to that. I had a place with gas, couldn't cook worth a ....  with it.  Others who never had electric before will throw out the same claim.   I think most countries are in a similar boat, but all having gradual transition to induction.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5178
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2018, 11:13 PM »
The I6 gives a much more even cook with smoother flavors.

That all depends upon the amount of aluminum foil and the brand olive oil you use.  [big grin]

So factor in how the recent proliferation of variable displacement engines upends this cooking experience. I’m motoring down the hiway with a porter house strapped to the exhaust manifold and I notice on the Heuer chronometer that it’s time to “pull” the steak. Do I stop and let it rest? Or do I just take my foot out of the throttle and let this oven regulate itself by going from running on 8 cylinders to 4 cylinders?

Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 321
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2018, 11:42 PM »
Good point DT.  It'd slipped my mind entirely that each & every gas cooktop is simultaneously a deadly carbon monoxide generator.  That's probably as big a red flag as it's possible to have in one's household.  I occasionally hear of entire families (usually poor) being found dead in their homes from using a gas cooking appliance for heating purposes in winter.

I'm familiar with the concept of TV dinners, usually heated in a microwave.  However, this isn't to what I refer.  I'm talking about the "du jour" concept of sous-vide slow poaching &/or cooking (up to 48 hours) in plastic.  It's being presented as a new (despite being a 200 year old technology) trendful and beneficial form of restaurant cuisine.  To me it's wasteful & extravagant.  It nevertheless has appropriate applications, principally in defense & space exploration.

It probably also allows lazy restauranteurs to cut corners by having frozen or chilled single portions preprepared & packaged for immediate retrieval & quick & easy preparation on demand.  To my estimation, the very antithesis of haute cuisine!

Which brings me to ingredients.  Is it just an Antipodean concept that supermarket vegetables seem to be plumbing new depths in terms of freshness & flavour?  Oz-grown vegs were traditionally of superb quality.  Yet all I see these days is some barstard hybridisation (a veritable unholy trinity in fact) between a bland, tasteless uniformity, a distinct lack of freshness & alarmingly high prices for out of season long-travelled (even imported), supposedly "fresh" produce.

Those of you lucky enough to have tasted freshly picked home-grown produce straight from the backyard will appreciate the extraordinary contrast between grown & purchased foodstuffs.  Home slaughtered hens, rabbits, lamb (or preferably hoggett) & less than an hour old ears of corn, toms, freshly dug carrots or new Bismarks (spuds).

An almost orgasmic olfactory & gustatory orchestration.  For the meats, a light sear & the vegs an extremely light steam, a knob of butter & a spritz of preferred condiments will more than suffice to reveal those wonderful subtle yet intense contrasting counterpoints of aroma, flavour, juice & crispness just as nature intended.  Simple, minimal ingredients, minimal intervention in the "paddock to plate" process & the simplest & quickest prep.  Or no cooking at all.  Many (but obviously not all) home grown vegs in particular are both forgiving & conducive to consumption in their raw state.  Something that can almost never be said for their store-bought counterparts.
FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 223
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2018, 01:14 AM »

I'm familiar with the concept of TV dinners, usually heated in a microwave.  However, this isn't to what I refer.  I'm talking about the "du jour" concept of sous-vide slow poaching &/or cooking (up to 48 hours) in plastic.  It's being presented as a new (despite being a 200 year old technology) trendful and beneficial form of restaurant cuisine.  To me it's wasteful & extravagant.  It nevertheless has appropriate applications, principally in defense & space exploration.

Which brings me to ingredients.  Is it just an Antipodean concept that supermarket vegetables seem to be plumbing new depths in terms of freshness & flavour?  Oz-grown vegs were traditionally of superb quality.  Yet all I see these days is some barstard hybridisation (a veritable unholy trinity in fact) between a bland, tasteless uniformity, a distinct lack of freshness & alarmingly high prices for out of season long-travelled (even imported), supposedly "fresh" produce.

Those of you lucky enough to have tasted freshly picked home-grown produce straight from the backyard will appreciate the extraordinary contrast between grown & purchased foodstuffs.  Home slaughtered hens, rabbits, lamb (or preferably hoggett) & less than an hour old ears of corn, toms, freshly dug carrots or new Bismarks (spuds).


Ah, yes, I understand now, the "I saw this on Masterchef, so this is what I'm going to do" with the plastic bag stuff.  Yeah, I don't get that.  I'm sure all-clad will come up with a 5 layer plastic bag for it soon enough.

Far as veggies in stores, there was a long trend to make them "perfect",  all produce must look like the Norman Rockwell idealized version of it.  And of course "bigger is better".   The good news is the organic trend has shown that not many people were ever looking for perfect, blemish free, put this thing on a plinth apples/tomatos/potatos/etc.   Leave stuff off growing it, go back to earlier version (heirlooms) and people are fine with imperfections. 

I'm hoping seasonal produce will make a comeback, that is to say, we don't go to great lengths storing food in nitrogen filled buildings to pull it out 8 months later, or ship it from the other side of the world so someone can have something in wintertime in North America.  Food is good when you can get it when it is in season where you live. Makes you appreciate it more and going 8 months without it makes it taste that much better.  So much great farmland sits un-used in the US because it snows there, thus can't make a tomato in January.  Instead we grow it in other countries, or pump tons of water into desert to grow stuff. It's a huge waste.  Many of these farms in the Northeast US have got new life in the local grown/organic movement.

People definitely value good veggies.  And there is always going to be those who start a pot of water boiling before heading to the corn field to minimize stalk to pot time.

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 679
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #37 on: July 09, 2018, 09:51 AM »
I just saw this 13 piece set of Calphalon at Costco for only $129.99: https://www.costco.com/Calphalon-13-piece-Commercial-Cookware-Set.product.100080835.html.  The shape and design of the pans is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for in terms of a replacement for my current 10 year old Kirkland set.  You can't really beat the price either.

I take back my recommendation for the 13 piece set of Calphalon from Costco.  I ended up ordering the set and it arrived on Friday.  The stock pot and the chicken fryer are smaller than I expected.  The skillet sizes are good, but the real problem is the handles are very rough.  I'm thinking of trying to sand them down a little or maybe just return the whole set to Costco.  Though I do hate returning things, especially to Costco.  I probably should have thought about the purchase a little bit more before I pulled the trigger.  Oh well.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

TS55, CT26, RO150, CXS, ETS 150/3, ETS EC 150/5, MFT/3, TS75, DF500, DTS400, OF1400, CT SYS

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 223
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #38 on: July 09, 2018, 10:35 PM »
The stock pot and the chicken fryer are smaller than I expected. 

Just move closer to the stove.   [tongue]

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3678
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #39 on: July 10, 2018, 09:53 AM »

Obviously, a V8 engine gives you more burners than an I6.  [blink]

The I6 gives a much more even cook with smoother flavors.

The boxer 6 provides a more evenly balanced roast, even with carrots and potatoes...   [big grin]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Don T

  • Posts: 1826
  • Phoenix, Az
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #40 on: July 10, 2018, 01:05 PM »
We have had Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers and cookware for about 20 years. Absolutely love it. It is like Festool on price, very expensive it well worth the cost.
RO150, C12, DF 500 Q, CT33, TS75, MFT3, Kapex 120, MFT3/Kapex, MFK 700, RO 90, ETS150/3, CT22, Centrotec Installers Kit, Parallel Guides & Ext, Carvex, OF1400, LR32 Set, MFS400 w/700 rails, KA UG Set, First Aid Kit, RTS 400 EQ, Vecturo OS400 Set, CT Wings, CT Drill Guide, Pro 5, CXS, C18, HL850, Vac Sys set

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 223
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #41 on: July 10, 2018, 09:41 PM »

Obviously, a V8 engine gives you more burners than an I6.  [blink]

The I6 gives a much more even cook with smoother flavors.

The boxer 6 provides a more evenly balanced roast, even with carrots and potatoes...   [big grin]

So we are going to digress into the eating habits of Subaru owners  [wink]

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5178
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2018, 02:31 AM »

Obviously, a V8 engine gives you more burners than an I6.  [blink]

The I6 gives a much more even cook with smoother flavors.

The boxer 6 provides a more evenly balanced roast, even with carrots and potatoes...   [big grin]

So we are going to digress into the eating habits of Subaru owners  [wink]

I assumed Sparky was just reminiscing about being a former Corvair owner...

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3678
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2018, 08:36 AM »

Obviously, a V8 engine gives you more burners than an I6.  [blink]

The I6 gives a much more even cook with smoother flavors.

The boxer 6 provides a more evenly balanced roast, even with carrots and potatoes...   [big grin]

So we are going to digress into the eating habits of Subaru owners  [wink]

I assumed Sparky was just reminiscing about being a former Corvair owner...

I may be crazy, but I'm not a danged fool!!!   [big grin]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 223
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2018, 09:30 PM »
Corvair cooking: un-healthy diet at any speed?

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5178
Re: In the kitchen again - pots and pans
« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2018, 10:13 PM »
Corvair cooking: un-healthy diet at any speed?

Especially if the pushrod tube o’rings aren’t in the best shape. On a cold winter’s day with the manifold heater turned on, there will be a nice thin fog of oil on the inside of your windows and on your pot roast.  [sad]