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Syzygies

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Syzygies last won the day on June 28 2016

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About Syzygies

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/29/1955

core_pfieldgroups_99

  • Location
    New York, NY and Concord, CA
  • Occupation
    Mathematician

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  1. Paella pans (lined with foil) make awesome drip pans. They're the right shape, one can tune the diameter. Toss the foil lining rather than a standalone foil pan, less waste.
  2. Pete Wells, the New York Times restaurant critic, reviews Franklin Barbecue: A MacGyver of Slow-Cooked Meats at Franklin Barbecue Spoiler, he likes the brisket. This would be his second bong reference in a review; he can't be unaware of how widely quoted the first reference was: At Thomas Keller’s Per Se, Slips and Stumbles Per Se is his most recent but not most famous take-down; that would be Guy Fieri. As Not Seen on TV
  3. A true race involves a pit stop. Ever try getting a Tesla back from the shop? I hear it can take months.
  4. I'm 11/12 amused and 1/12 concerned.
  5. If you're making up for lost time not being Richard Feynman as a kid, I can see trying for the amusement value. I wouldn't. I grew up on that exact model, camping with my family each summer. I now have the propane version, and it's very handy as an outdoor pair of burners. [1] Griddle for fresh masa tortillas to go with pulled port from the KK. [2] How does that old joke go? "Is seasoning a cast iron pan / griddle / paella pan / wok dirty? It is if you're doing it right!" Or was it "Do you smoke after seasoning?" Either way, better done outdoors.
  6. Yes, I have a firm rule to not use my smoke pot above 275 F (210 F to 240 F is ideal). To further confuse the thread title, a cast iron smoke pot may be the "Firefly 2" of the barbecue world: Half the people who've tried it love it, the other half can't manage to get smoke out of it. I light my low & slow fires with a weed burner, taking special care to heat the underside of the smoke pot itself, and I've never had a problem.
  7. I sometimes go a month, with starters on both coasts. I often bring bread from CA to NY, and my NY starter gets neglected. After a summer in CA, I always bring some of the CA starter to NY, in a very stiff, dry paste in a sealed chamber vacuum pouch. I agree with the above comments. The two issues are acid balance, and rising power. On the second feeding after a hiatus, I leave only a small amount as carry-over, to reduce acid. This is also mostly controlled by the timing of the last feeding before actual use; shorter is less acid, at the possible expense of going under the sweet spot for rising power. As for rising power, I always augment my bread with a tiny bit of yeast, which provides a boost and security. I don't view anything as an authenticity contest; sourdough provides flavor and better shelf life. One can quickly restore rising power by feeding twice a day and observing. I've read something about a float test, but it's pretty obvious if you just eyeball it. There's a view that an authentic starter (I was once offered one "from the California gold rush") is the same idea as the aliens that looked after early life, terraforming our planet. After a month with whatever flours one actually uses for feeding, any sign of the founder aliens are long gone. This extends to yeast; if you've used commercial yeast in your kitchen, it's going to get into the starter no matter what. I've embraced this on occasion, adding a pinch of yeast to my starter itself. In fact, for anyone who's had trouble with starter, recognize that there's a continuum of methods from reusing a bit of yesterday's dough (saves on yeast, back in the day), to biga preferments and such, to actual sourdough starters. A continuum is a math term meaning you can jump in anywhere you like. Follow the procedure for a sourdough starter, but instead of whispering in socks while adding pineapple (or whatever voodoo you've heard for this), just add a half teaspoon of yeast to the flour, water the first day. Now keep feeding this as if starter, while telling yourself it really is starter. It's certainly something that works, and if there are other organisms in your flour feed that stand a chance of joining the chorus, they will. Over time this faux starter will become indistinguishable from anyone else's starter, and it works right from the beginning. Easy to do again.
  8. A magnum is such a difficult size! Too much for one, not enough for two.
  9. Oh wait! That regulator is for my argon tank, for saving part bottles of wine.
  10. Insert for 22" grills I already have various baking steels. I use a round Baking Steel in my KK for various purposes like shown in the video. The advantage of inverting the geometry is not having to reach over flames to work. I'm not sure a patent would hold up, if they are attempting to protect this idea. First, the idea is obvious. What they're doing is committing to this idea and bringing it to practice, always the hard part. Second, I've seen variations on this idea in the Asian cooking world, going back centuries. "Obvious" doesn't seem to matter to patent inspectors, but "Prior Art" does. Dennis could make something like this for us, if it's a good idea. Not having to reach over the flames, grate in center...
  11. Yes. What I don't know is the micron range for espresso, and whether they've actually bracketed it. My Pharos manual talks about 1/2 - 3/4 turn as the adjustment range for espresso, with the most powerful machines best able to handle the finer grinds. I don't know what this is in microns.
  12. Kruve Sifter I grind espresso fairly fine, for a La Pavoni Europiccola with 18g aftermarket baskets. It would be good to know what "Sifter Twelve: 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1100" actually means in my context.
  13. Yes, I keep exploring the idea of getting some kind of USB microscope, or similar. I would use it to monitor and understand the grind from my Pharos hand coffee mill. To understand sharpening using my Shapton Glass waterstones. If sufficiently powerful, to understand what's going on in my sourdough starter and my various (e.g. hot sauce) fermentation experiments. My rough take is "junk or $4,000". Sound familiar? Not as generally useful as a KK, so I haven't.
  14. That's an empirical question. In fact, both the friction feeling and the sound are similar feedback loops to playing a musical instrument, and even other species get pretty good at making music. I had other, softer old-school (presoak) water stones, e.g. Japanese from Hida Tools, and the Norton combo stones. It was less fun, more hassle to get started so I wouldn't, and what I'm getting now is twice as sharp. Not sure where the idea of checking a knife with one's finger came from (or cutting paper), seems a parlor trick like manipulating the smoke ring for judges with blown-out taste buds. I notice these are much sharper on actual kitchen tasks, like thinly slicing across the grain of less-than-ideal ginger, or slicing salumi as thin as the vacuum packs of already prepared slices. I can believe a machine could do a good job, though I'm suspicious after the machines I've actually used. Again an empirical question. People who use angle assistance on stones like these view them as clumsy training wheels, that they ditch as soon as possible.
  15. This is about $550 per kitchen, and I did it twice. I'm easily amused, but my knives are about twice as sharp as I thought humanly possible. This thrills me every single night, worth the price of admission. (One needs some holder, there are inexpensive alternatives. One needs some flattener, I don't trust other choices with the finer grade stones. If one skimps, the starter set is $264 + some way to hold stones + some way to flatten stones.) Shapton Glass 4pc Set 500x, 1k, 4k, 8k Shapton GlassStone 2000 Grit Shapton Sharpening Stone Holder Atoma 1200x