Articles from phatch

  1. Kitchen Technology: Internet of Things is Not Ready for Prime Time

    If you follow the Consumer Electronics Show, or home automation or kitchen appliances at all, you'll have seen a number of connected kitchen appliances from coffee makers to refrigerators come on the market. Unless you have a very specific and comparatively short term need, these are probably not the best devices for you to get. 

    There are a number of different issues involved in the Internet of Things, specifically as it applies to homes and kitchens.  In broad terms there are a few main...
  2. The Strain Gauge: The Heart of the Digital Scale

    If you've ever used an IBM Thinkpad pointing stick, you've used a strain gauge, the same technology that drives your electronic digital kitchen scale. 
    (photo from wikipedia)

    The pointing stick didn't move perceptibly. But it flexed a tiny amount. When something flexes, one side is compressed and the other side is stretched. So think of a diving board. When you stand on the unsupported end of the diving board, the board deflects, or sags. The top side you're standing on stretches around a...
  3. Dry Brining

    Dry Brining is about salting for flavor and moisture retention ahead of cooking instead of wet brining and the sort of diluted flavor some perceive from that technique.

    This technique is best used on cuts of meat that have not been presalted, either with a salt solution, or koshering. You need to be in complete control of the amount of salt. You'll need to seek out minimally processed meat, poultry especially, for this technique. Generally speaking, poultry and lamb work best with this...
  4. Going Electronic in the Kitchen

    Bringing Technology to the Kitchen
    A computer is handy for a cook FOR the kitchen in streaming cooking shows or tutorials off of youtube. It's a great resource for new recipes or for your old family recipes as well.

    But a computer hasn't been handy to have IN the kitchen. A keyboard to fill with debris and spills, same for the mouse. And where do you put the monitor? Not to mention all the cables.

    Now with smartphones and tablets, you have some options to help you out smoothly and...
  5. Quest for Zippy Mac Salad Recipe via kaneohegirlinaz

    By Kaneohegirlinaz

    So some of you may have been reading, I have been trying to get the correct proportions of a recipe from a restaurant in Hawaii. Zippy's is an institution on Oahu to be specific, they have many menu item at their fast food take-out locations as well as casual diners. One side dish that has been long coveted is their Macaroni Salad. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, yeah, so what? Why don't you Google Zippy's Mac Salad and see how many hits you'll get from us forlorn...
  6. Groups Guidelines

    About Social Groups
    Social groups allow forum members to create "clubs" to discuss topics of shared interest.  It gives members with similar interests a place to gather and share information in smaller groups.

    Each group has its own dedicated group page.  The page includes a list of members in the group, a description, a dedicated forum, and a gallery.  All content in all Social Groups is publicly visible, but only group members may contribute content and participate.
    Social Groups Rules...
  7. Featured

    Cast Iron Dutch Oven Basics

    This is something I wrote a few years back for a now defunct forum with Camp Chef.

    Why the name Dutch Oven?

    There are different versions of why the name Dutch Oven. One is that it derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch who cooked in them. Another is that a Dutchman invented the casting method by which such ovens then became best known. A third is that the better ovens were imported from Holland and so you'd prefer a Dutch Oven over other similar ovens.

    There is no definitive answer.
    How do...
  8. Chinese Stirfrying

    Chinese Stirfry

    Stirfry is a melding of equipment, technique, and food cut relatively small. While the term is often applied in the west to sauteing, in China stirfry covers two terms:

    Chow (chǎo) a quicker, higher heat and more vigorous technique with similarities to a western saute with the food stirred and turned with a special spatula sometimes called a shovel.

    Bao a tossed technique in a superheated wok also sometimes seen as pow or even pao

    As with all the great cuisines of the...
  9. Wok Basics

    Selecting a wok
    There are lots of discussions about this out there so this will be a quick summary with some links to deeper discussions.


    Carbon steel or cast iron. These are the two authentic materials. As you season and use these pans, they become more and more non-stick. And this type of surface protects the wok from rust and functions well at the high temps of wok cooking.

    For carbon steel woks, consider the thickness of the material. Ideally I've been told, an average person...