01-13-2015, 05:03 PM
#21
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my latest acquisition a end grain black walnut cutting board. I would eat the damn thing if I could it looks so nice[Image: 98X4rZ7.jpg]

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 01-13-2015, 05:37 PM
#22
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that walnut cutting board is stunning dave!

this is the cutting boards i have been using for years, made of 200 years old japanese cypress [hinoki]. they do not warp, despite being made out of one single board. the wood is surprisingly light, thus being easy to handle and very gentle to the edge of knives.

measures:
large: 42x23x3cm, 1.1 kg
small: 36x18x3cm, 0.8 kg

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the boards are cut from very large trees as to the left to avoid warping
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 01-13-2015, 07:35 PM
#23
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quality always shows through. I learned a lot this time buy studying all over the web first. there are some incredible artisans everywhere. your board looks gorgeous. I live in Oregon and we take lumber very seriously. most of our excellent quality stuff goes right to Japan.

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 01-13-2015, 08:15 PM
#24
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I don't use many kitchen gadgets or appliances any more, but I cook quite a bit. One tool I came to find utterly indispensable is a Chinese cleaver. Mine was a wedding gift about 24 years ago. The thing can easily be sharpened enough to slice tomatoes and the blade is so wide your fingers never get near the cutting edge. The width is also perfect for smashing garlic cloves or fresh ginger, then finely chopping. It also serves as a scraper or way to pick up chopped veg and put it into a pan, etc. This cleaver is literally the first tool I reach for in my knife drawer when I am about to start cooking something. "It slices, it dices, ...." From a frugality point of view, these are not expensive items; brand is not important, and mine will definitely outlast me. I will never go back to regular knives for general prep work. If I had to have one cooking knife on a desert island, this would be it. Cheers, everyone!

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 01-23-2015, 10:52 AM
#25
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(01-10-2015, 11:20 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: For reasonably priced knives the Forschner Victorinox (sp?) line is hard to beat. Moderately priced and uniformly excellent quality steel with handles that work even when wet and bloody...

Hi Brian

On reading this, I have added these, Victorinox 8-Piece Knife Block Set, to our Amazon Wish List, as we really need a new (nice) set of kitchen knives...

Take care, Mike

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 01-23-2015, 10:22 PM
#26
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Mike, The Forschner Victorinox line is very hard to beat for the price. I have other knives, but I pretty much always reach for one of the Victorinox. I have no doubt that you'll be happy with them. Plus you can sharpen them at a shallower angle to somewhat mimic the Japanese knives. Unless you have a way to sharpen knives that you like, google the "Scary Sharp" method. It's not terribly expensive to get into it and it can hone a blade to shaving sharpness (seriously, it's how I get a shaving edge on the Rolls).

My slicer is a Mundial 14" with a granton edge. ATK didn't like it much and frankly I was surprised by that. Maybe Mundial changed the specs on it. But anyway, it's the only non-Forschner knife that I reach for regularly.

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 01-24-2015, 07:58 PM
#27
  • Shanman
  • Reserve Collection Squirrel Hair
  • NE Florida
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What an awesome thread, thanks for sharing.

I got rid of anything teflon coated years ago. The old Cuisinart coffee maker is used once a year at Chrismas so I don't stand in the kitchen making batch after batch of pour overs. Love my Green Egg that I inherited with our new home. I worked on the owner that it needed to stay if I bought the home, and he kept his word.

Old Griswold and Wagner is all I use on the cooktop unless I am sauteeing or simmering/boiling something, then the nod goes to my stainless All Clad. My dutch oven is the newer factory seasoned Lodge, and it is quite respectable- to the point that I've stopped actively looking for a Griswold to replace it.

Panasonic bread maker. Fantastically easy and makes a hell of a loaf.

Hario V60 and a conical burr grinder. Wouldn't live without it. My stainless Cuisinart thermal carafe has been absconded to pour over duty as the V60 nests perfectly on the flat carafe top, pilfered from the above mentioned coffee maker.

Eelco USA stainless utensils. You know what I'm talking about- the obligatory black handle, two rivets in the handle, seen in every grandma's kitchen a couple decades back. Try and find a spatula locally in an antique store. You can't, and it's because you would likely have to pry it out of many a dead hand or estate sale to get it. I'm still trying  complete a set, but refuse eBay out of lust for the hunt. I'm gonna find that damn spatula.

Arcoroc of France beer steins from the Britannia line. The ones with the big concave scallops all over the outside. My freezer is always stocked with a pair at the ready. World Market has some repops but there aren't even close in quality.

Braun MultiMix M880. This was received as a wedding present in 04'. This particular model we own was made in Spain. The best hand mixer and attachments I've ever owned.

Ulu blade and matching concave wood block. Second to none for mincing a bunch of parsley or cilantro. Puts any pizza wheel to shame too.

DMT fine/extra fine diamond stone along with a ceramic sharpening rod. I'm not off the deep end into the world of cutlery, but I can put an awfully wicked edge on my Wüstof Classics with this combo. Drawn through a felt cube, it's time to rock.

Firewires- flexible stainless skewer cables. I'll never use traditional skewers again if I can help it.

Brian- what's your tool of chice for lighting that kimodo? I'm kicking around the Looftlighter idea.

For the Green Egg users- the SmokeWare SS vented chimney cap that replaces the maddening cast iron stock vent cap is a game changer.

I've yet to find a toaster worth a damn.

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 01-25-2015, 01:23 AM
#28
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I use a MAPP torch for lighting the lump, but I fuel it with propane. I also sweat pipe with it, for that use I swap out the propane for MAPP.

Toasters... I don't have counter space enough for one, so we made sure to get a toaster/broiler that would make decent toast. I let ATK guide me on that one. We must have a T/B, so it was either the Breville Smart Oven (ATK top pick) or the Hamilton Beach 6 slice digital (ATK 2nd best). The HB is the one we went with and it works fine for us, we saved a lot of $ as compared to the Breville. It also is big enough for a 14" pizza and a pan of homemade yeast rolls. I have no idea if it's still made. It gets used almost every day for something if not toast and I think we've had it for 2 years now. I have no complaints and if there was a failing I'd have found it by now. I'm not shy about voicing concerns; life is too short to tolerate junk.

Frugality doesn't mean cheap. Buy it once, buy it right, have it forever.

I watched Martha Stewart yesterday (TV) and she made holiday Stollen,  a yeast bread. She mentioned that she kneads it by hand because her mom did , yada yada, all BS. Either she has room temperature IQ or she's deliberately lying. She hand kneads it because her mixer can't handle that amount of dough, it would puke if she tried it; it's that simple, but she didn't say that on the air about a sponsor. Next holiday season I intend to make that recipe in the Ankarsrum, and I won't be kneading it by hand. That's what the machine is for. I might give the loaves out as Christmas presents. It might take 10 minutes of kneading to get the dough right, but who cares? It's not my sweat. The Ankarsrum makes me look good.

BTW, the Bosch was in the running when I was looking at new mixers after the KA died. I almost dropped the hammer on one. Nice mixer IMO.

There has been talk on the Primo forum about French made steel pans. Half the weight of CI, just as non stick, and much the same or better heat distribution. I'm considering dropping the hammer on a set from 8" to 14". Not inexpensive, but they'll last through generations. Lodge also makes them, I'd love to have specs to compare the French vs Lodge. That's what's holding me back. I need more info'.

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 01-25-2015, 07:12 AM
#29
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i have recently purchased a french made steel pan, as light and no nonsense as they come, and the handle won't become a hotrod. it's pure steel, riveted handle, and will gradually become black/naturally nonstick. you never use soap on these pans. when new they are completely coated with beewax. by now, i'm extremely happy with my purchase, and will acquire several more in other sizes. it was reasonably priced as well, the brand being mauviel, making professional coockware since 1830.

i have old norwegian made cast iron pans too - they weigh a ton and the iron is more brittle, although they are nonstick/nonsoap as well.

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 01-25-2015, 07:54 AM
#30
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Kitchen items that work (and are worth the investment): 


The Technivorm Mocha Master and the Keurig:  They each fulfill a different role and the both do an exceptional job. For the work week; the Keurig takes care of me and the lovely bride, as she is at work by the time the time I am out-of-bed.  The Technivorm handles the load on weekends or any other time there are more than two people having coffee. 

The Breville toaster oven is unusual, as it actually does a great job of making toast.  We picked it up after the DeLonghi convection oven gave up the ghost and I would recommend it to anyone.  

My latest acquisition is a gem; the InstaPot DUO60, multifunction cooker.  My old slow cooker is unable to maintain High heat and is now a chafing dish. The InstaPot replaces that and added in the pressure cooker capability.  I have used this at least once a week since acquisition and it has not disappointed me in the least.  

Standard cookware is a mix of All Clad and Le Creuset, the cutlery is a hodgepodge of Wusthof, Henckels and Shun.  The Cuisinart food processor, Ninja mixer and Kitchen Aid stand mixer round out the electrics in the food prep division. 

Two storage things that I will say exceeded expectations:  The FoodSaver vacuum system and “green bags” for prolonging fruit / vegetables.  They are goofy things that were gifts, but I would not be without either going forward. 

I am just about set on everything I need (although a 2.5 / 3 qt saucier is still “needed”), so new purchases have to be niche functions or otherwise compelling.  I continue to toy with the idea of a sous vise or a pasta machine attachment for the stand mixer…..I know it can’t be justified, they are just wants

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 12-06-2018, 08:53 PM
#31
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Time to resurrect this thread.

The items I listed as being worth their weight in gold have withstood the test of time, are still in use and haven't gotten any cuss words thrown at them since I last wrote.

In that time I have gotten some Matfer Bourgeout (sp?) black steel pans and they are excellent. Most of our cast iron has been either retired or given away. Matfer will NOT drive you into the poor house and are excellent quality. I have a 9" crepe pan, a 11 5/8" pan, and a much larger pan. The 2 smaller pans see 99% of the use with the 11 5/8" pan seeing most of that. It never gets put away. I can't say enough about these pans. Will they do everything? No. They don't like watery dishes (it removes the seasoning), that's what SS is for, so one needs to think ahead.

The Cuisinart FP still hasn't seen any use and sits derelict, and the Ankarsrum Assistent is used frequently. With my new diet I haven't bought bread in months. The Assistent makes it easy; from grinding the wheat to mixing and kneading the loaf. Just tonight I made yeast rolls and the day before I ground some extra, extra, lean beef with it. It grinds faster than I can feed it.

I used a Chefs Choice "XV Trizor Edge" sharpener to convert our knives to the Japanese 15° edge and haven't looked back. That edge simply works better. It's not as durable but I don't abuse my knioves and I'm always commenting when I see a chef on TV scraping their knife on the cutting board, "____________ (fill in the blank) will never use MY knives!". That's what the back of the knife is for, not the cutting edge. FWIW, don't be upset if it appears to be removing alot of the metal from the blade when converting over. It's removing the corners and not the actual edge. Conversion only needs to be done once.

So how are your choices working out? Has anything changed? What has continued to work for you? Time for an update gents.

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