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Syzygies

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Syzygies last won the day on January 8

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About Syzygies

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/29/1955

core_pfieldgroups_99

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    New York, NY and Concord, CA
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    Mathematician

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  1. Here's another cauliflower recipe that works great on the grill, from Ranjit Raj's Tandoor cookbook (highly recommended).
  2. Smoke pot plume in a (not recommended) off-brand K7, before I came to my senses and bought a 23" Ultimate KK. One only sees such a plume in too-hot conditions for reasonable smoking, but the experience is nevertheless amusing.
  3. I'm all there on this argument. I'm thrilled with my 23" Ultimate. As I said on another thread, I wouldn't swap up if I inherited another comma. Nevertheless, one can practice charcoal conservation with any KK. A tight seal is critical; if your fire doesn't go out right away on an older KK, then a seal replacement is mandatory. I start by lighting (propane burner then leaf blower) the old charcoal again for my next cook, then add fresh charcoal as needed. The official KK basket splitter pays for itself quickly if one has a taste for good charcoal. 23 Ultimate Charcoal Basket Splitter The idea of the basket splitter is to channel the entire airflow through half as much charcoal. This matters if one cares about efficiency reaching an oven temperature. I tend to grill fish, or sous vide meat then sear briefly, where only the radiant heat of the fire matters. For that, I love using this charcoal basket: Broil King KA5565 Keg Caddie Charcoal Basket It holds less charcoal than my 23" Ultimate basket splitter, closer to my lower grate. In summary, one can conserve charcoal while using a larger KK. I conserve charcoal while using a smaller KK, and I'm very happy.
  4. We have a 23" Ultimate KK, and a small Weber I sometimes use for preheating my smoke pot. Our neighbor has our previous K7 ceramic cooker, and a wide selection of other cookers including a pellet smoker, one of those South American grates that goes up and down, and a wood fired pizza oven. I'll go out on a limb and say one can only achieve pizza greatness in a wood fired pizza oven. One can also lose a pizza in a blink of an eye; constant attention is needed. I also have experience with various roadside wood fired pizza ovens; a stand between Salem, OR and Monmouth, OR comes to mind. In general, a smaller wood fired pizza oven than a restaurant in Italy would choose saves fuel, time, space, and money, at the expense of the pizza. While I'm completely happy with my 23" KK and wouldn't change it out if I inherited another comma; my neighbors are already plotting a size up for their wood fired pizza oven. It's very simple: In a too-small oven, the fire is uneven, and the pizza needs frequent fiddling and turning. A larger oven is more stable. If one knows one's KK and one's pizza recipe, and has a good sense of one's fire, one can pour wine at the table like there's no tomorrow, armed with only a timer for retrieving a credible finished pizza. The main issue with the KK (once one learns to get a hot enough but not excessive fire) is that the heat comes from below. I like using the KK double-walled drip pan as a heat deflector, to protect the KK pizza stone (as good as a Fibrament stone, and it fits) from radiant heat from the fire. For a wood fired pizza oven, go big or go home.
  5. How to Drill Into Cast Iron The main point is to be patient, let the bit do its work. I use cutting oil or any handy lubricant e.g. soap. Drilling the first smoke pot (still in use), my thinking was the fewest, smallest holes that would keep the lid from blowing off. The smoke pot was inspired by how one makes charcoal: Seal a container with holes underneath, start a fire underneath, and soon gases will flow from the container and burn, sustaining the fire needed to complete the conversion to charcoal. One doesn't get any nasty byproducts from the wood burning completely. This is selecting the best components of more wood than one would ever use loose in a fire. Think armagnac versus moonshine. The easiest way to be a good cook that doesn't require talent is to practice selective yields. I've never liked the results over 300 F; at higher temperatures considerable pressure can build. I remember various experiments that made flames the size of the smoke pot itself, shooting out the bottom holes. Were this to instead blow off the lid, causing two quarts of chips to catch fire, dinner would be ruined. I chose 1/8" thinking that going much smaller would create undo pressure; I'm sure 3/32" is also fine. I could picture an unlucky chunk blocking a single hole, again causing the lid to blow; three holes is insurance. Too many holes risks a fire inside the pot, defeating the idea. I usually get the smoke pot hot enough while lighting the fire, by using a propane weed burner aimed under the pot. However, sometimes for a winter low & slow I'll start the KK well in advance of adding the meat. In this case I'll heat up the smoke pot over a small side fire, to add with the meat. This is obviously working far too hard, but if 80 people are expecting pork butt I want to get it right. One could probably / most days get away without the flour paste to seal the lid. However, fires shift, charcoal collapses as it burns. Again, if the lid bounces free and two quarts of smoking chips catch fire, the cook is ruined. I don't mind the flour paste bit. I mix up flour and water in a little baggie, nick the corner to make a dispenser, and apply to the lid like squeezing toothpaste, with paper towels handy for cleanup. There's a romance here: In Morocco, where pots rarely fit well together in days of lore, one would use flour paste and towels to secure a good fit for making couscous. At some point in the past, I decided that "fearing complexity" was holding back my cooking. If one could measure manual dexterity output, most of us do less in a day than a concert pianist in ten minutes of practice. I find that downright embarrassing, an outcome I refuse to accept, so I go out of my way to find opportunities to keep my hands moving. The flour paste bit isn't that bad.
  6. Actually it looks like someone followed my instructions for resurfacing an RJ K that had all the tiles fall off. Black concrete dye, in some mixture that I've long since forgot. But it looks exactly like mine, now in a neighbor's yard.
  7. Nearly the same here: Our freshly milled flour is 1:1 red wheat to rye.
  8. I'm ordering 20 boxes to my house (again no loading dock) in Concord (40 minutes north). If your share doesn't get local traction, perhaps you want to add to my order?
  9. (This is the attached image in the original post.)
  10. I love that pan! I have the 13" and 15". My favorite recipe is a seafood Catalan fideuà (shrimp and squid with shrimp, crab stock). It is inevitable that paella pans will buckle under heat duress. One of mine buckled up, the other down. It hardly matters. Just don't expect the pan to stay ruler flat.
  11. Wow, that brings back memories. Dualit, "the Queen's toaster". We bought this one for California: Dualit 26555 2-Slice Design Series Toaster In "bagel mode" the outside elements get hotter than the inside elements. This is reversed from most other toasters. The Dualit allows one to lift and inspect in mid-toast without ending the toast cycle, and it's easier to see what's going on with this wiring. One does have to remember to cross one's hands after slicing a bagel, to insert properly into the toaster. The manual never got the memo, and describes the reversed, usual convention. I didn't want an incorrectly wired toaster, so I returned THREE toasters before keeping the fourth, finally getting a satisfactory explanation. Amazon briefly took these toasters off the market while investigating. The manual is still wrong, as far as I know. We're actually less than impressed with the heating elements, haphazard and uneven. The replaceable elements in your link look much better, though I'd prefer actual quartz heating. Perhaps you've linked to better Dualit toasters.
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