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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
  • Occupation
    Mathematician

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Hi my name is Dave and I'm an addict. From top left, Miso-shiru Nabe Soup & Stew Donabe Iga-Yu Classic-style All-purpose Donabe Kamado-san Double-Lid Donabe Rice Cooker Ibushi Gin Donabe Smoker I too love the rice cooker. On the other coast from my Komodo Kamado, the smoker is surprising fun, if infrequently used. I prefer the soup and stew donabe to the all-purpose donabe for general use; it is rated for more heat abuse. The only donabe that can't be heated "empty" is the all-purpose donabe, but a bit of oil and garlic or whatever counts as "not empty". I also own a donabe tagine (not shown) but I find it impractical. Just use a soup and stew donabe. Next shelf down is a set of La Chamba pots (great value, use all the time for beans), a Wolfgang Mock grain mill for making pasta, bread from home-ground flour, a pasta pot, and an aging single-slot European toaster for which I can't find a replacement. The shelves are stair treads. The hanging baskets are great when citrus is in season, for fresh-squeezed juice. This year the selection has been poor.
  4. Good point. That got me thinking. At first I wondered if the long time scale involved would lessen the advantages of aluminum. No: Each point along a metal spear would reach an equilibrium temperature, averaging the nearby spear and the nearby meat. The more conductive the spear, the greater the relative influence of nearby metal. A less conductive spear is less spear. Still, 80:20 rule. The stainless flat skewers are a $12 purchase. Do they close most of the temperature gap? If not, Home Depot or Lowes sells aluminum flats I could sharpen into spears.
  5. I realize "pictures or it didn't happen".
  6. Hi All. Cooked a "Red Wattle" heritage pork butt yesterday for a dinner party. The stall took forever, a 21 hour cook starting at 215 F but ramped up to 315 F. I understand to avoid the tyranny of numbers. The "jiggle" was perfect as we took the butt off the cooker. Most meat read 200 F with a Thermapen; the readings near the center bone were 185 F. It was well received. Truth be told, I've never had commercial butt that I enjoyed in the Carolinas, and I think the "disintegrating rope" standard is a steam table scam. Our butt just barely came apart enough to make tacos. In California one finds tortilla factories in larger Mexican restaurants and supermarkets, pressing corn tortillas better than I could each day from fresh masa. The bags of 36 are steamed up and warm when you buy them. My Mexican neighbor heats tortillas in pairs, flipping so each taco has a crisped side and a soft, steamy side. This is not mere expediency. While it does increase throughput, one wants a soft side to face the filling, and one wants to heat the tortillas without drying them out. At this point these tacos are twice-cooked, like the best french fries. Had I pressed my own tortillas from easily found fresh masa, they'd be too thick and once-cooked. As I don't mind (I rather enjoy) the scorn of traditionalists, I wonder if one could even out the pork butt internal temperatures better with something like "potato nails" ? Here is a flat skewer we've seen versions of in every falafel place: Charcoal Companion Stainless Flat Skewers. Unlike many of their brethren, they're a mere 12" long. One could push in a skewer each way, gliding along the bone, to conduct more heat into the center of the butt. Has anyone tried a technique like this?
  7. In 1995, dawn of the internet, I heard that individuals authored web pages themselves, and gave it a try with something I knew. For a time this page was one of few in this niche. Coffee: Resources for home espresso Looking the page over now, I am most struck that I knew then about the idea of getting a home argon tank for preserving wine. I've also understood "scale" for a long time: There is a huge difference between producing steam for bread by pouring 350g of water onto 30 lbs of hot steel, and "oh my I'm cooking now!" spritzing 10g of water into the oven. People actually buy $300 argon wine systems that depend on cartridges the same size as mountain bikers use to fill one tire tube. As in manufacturers really think we're that clueless about scale. 350g of water turns into enough steam to replace the volume of a home oven or 23" KK several times over. 30 seconds of argon trickling from a tank that comes up to my knee will replace the volume of a 750ml wine bottle several times over. Doing less is kidding oneself. In both cases I can taste the difference. So why did I wait two decades to get home argon tanks for saving wine? It works. Any local Airgas can set one up easily. I'll never get those two decades back again. "Did you argon the wine?" has become a verb for us.
  8. Lemons? Did someone say lemons? To speak up for the 23" Ultimate, I've fed 80 multiple times from my 23" Ultimate (six pork butts). The 32" to me looks bigger than I need. The 23" Ultimate will look huge, coming from what broke. I'm also a programmer, like a few others of us here. Programming languages is the extreme case for asking for comparisons. Unless the person weighing in has extensive experience with both options, and the creative-destructive temperament to annihilate both prejudices and habits, curious to see what their Ouija board unconscious then chooses, their preference only reveals their state of mental health. One should be happy with one's choices. People often are. I'm happy with my 23" Ultimate. I can't make a comparison with a 32". I also have a small Weber, which I'll use on occasion to finish sous-vide steak, as a way to conserve use of the best lump charcoal I can find. That has largely ceased after buying a basket splitter for my 23" KK, which serves the same conservation purpose. Others here also own Japanese robata grills, and sometimes use those at table. So, those of you who own both the 23" and the 32", how do you decide which KK to fire up when? Which one do you fire up more when you're not thinking about it?
  9. Syzygies

    Charcoal

    I generally light charcoal with a propane weed burner. I learned this watching Jiarby light up at a competition long ago, with a rig that crossed Ghostbusters with Commando. If propane isn't doing it for people, try MAPP gas. It burns hotter. For sweating copper pipes, it's like landing a jet rather than a prop plane. I don't get enough practice (I'm a dilettante at every handyman skill) so I stick to propane, which works well enough on every Fogo charcoal I've tried. As I learned from Dennis, fires need air more than heat, once they're lit. There's the trusty hair dryer. I prefer a leaf blower. You could need goggles; what's that barbecue saying? "If you ain't glowing, you ain't blowing!" M18 FUEL Blower Kit
  10. Syzygies

    Charcoal

    Not my experience, shipping to California. Shipping five reams of laser printer paper to New York City? Good luck with that. It often takes three or four tries. I consider this an AI probe, does Amazon or Staples have any self-awareness? As far as I can tell, neither can fog the proverbial mirror.
  11. Heavy winds and rain expected, sun showers as I worked. Brisket tonight rain or shine, so I finally set up a tarp for my KK. I should have done this long ago.
  12. Syzygies

    Charcoal

    Friends don't let friends equate Fogo with their house brand bags, then believe reviews that Rockwood is better. Fogo carries many charcoals, all with a cleaner flavor than Rockwood or Lazzari. In ascending order: Lazzari Hardwood Lump - meh, and half the bag is useless crumbs Rockwood - better, inferior to any Fogo charcoal, "dirtier" taste Fogo Cuban Marabu - hint of swimming pool but cleaner taste than Rockwood Fogo Super Premium - a favorite, large lumps don't bother me Fogo Argentinian Quebracho - my favorite Fogo Komodo Kamado Coffee Lump - best lump ever, not available The KK coffee convinced me that charcoal could be transcendent, worth any price, life is too short to compromise. Then I couldn't get more. Fogo is the only supplier that can approximate the same thrill for me. Get a basket splitter, to conserve on fuel, the splitter will pay for itself. Grilled fish with Moroccan red charmoula is spectacular over good charcoal. I order Fogo charcoal directly from Fogo. Free shipping, and it comes quickly.
  13. MacKenzie, you're killing me here. We're surviving on fried rice to use up leftover ribs.
  14. My double bottom "trumpet mute" came. What was I waiting for!?
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