# Cookware help

1. Jan 15, 2005

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
I just bought a saucepan on sale (40% off closeout sale) to use for making tea.. but I just boiled water in it and now it smells like melted plastic in here could it be I bought a pan that cannot be used on a gas stove? I'm puzzled :uhh:

2. Jan 15, 2005

### imabug

what kind of saucepan was it? what was it made of? sometimes manufacturers put coatings on them to protect the surfaces during shipment. Or it may have picked up some residue from the shipping box or whatever container it was packed in.

I've never heard of any (decent) cookware that couldn't be used on gas or electric stoves.

3. Jan 15, 2005

### FredGarvin

What is it made out of? Did you clean it thouroughly before using it? Sauce pans are either aluminum (anodized), stainless, copper or sometimes cast iron. If you smell anything I'd venture a guess it was either residue left on the pan from manufacturing or the coating that is on it needs to be "seasoned" a bit.

4. Jan 15, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
What type of pan is it? Does it have a thick bottom? Some pans with too thin of bottoms can't be used on the high heat of a gas stove, and are meant more for electric stoves. Or does it have a coating that either needed to be washed off before use, or that was supposed to be cooked on (for example, cast iron cookware is supposed to be "seasoned" before use, which more or less means burning oil onto it to protect the surface and make it nonstick). Or could it be coincidence that something just happened to be spilled on the burner that you didn't notice when you lit the stove, and that caused the odor?

LOL! Monique, it looks like you got a consensus response here! :rofl:

5. Jan 15, 2005

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
3 responses at the same time :)

I'm not sure what the pan is made of, aluminium or stainless steel.. just another ordinary saucepan.. I washed it before use so there was no residue on it. It was making a ticking noise too :uhh:

I'll just keep my distance next time I use it, in case it explodes :rofl:

6. Jan 15, 2005

### dextercioby

:rofl: That would be the answer to the question:"Why didn't anybody else buy the damn thing ???".After all,you said "closeout sale,40% lower price"...

Daniel...

7. Jan 15, 2005

### Les Sleeth

Some sauce pans require a wire or metal plate to be used on electric stoves.

If it is thin pan, has a plastic handle, and the bottom gets too hot, then it can overheat the base of the handle and make the room smell like plastic.

8. Jan 15, 2005

### tumor

You should be smelling something is not right first when you saw this 40 % off closeout sale.Dead giveaway.
You can not combine quality with cheapness.
Thank You.

9. Jan 15, 2005

### Les Sleeth

Hmmmm. Not always. A gourmet cooking place where I shop was discontinuing their All-Clad pans (too many people buying it online), and were selling odds and ends for 50% off! I got a great grill pan and single serving paella pans. Another time they were selling a discontinued line of Emile Henry dishes and got a whole set for 40% off. Yet another time they had just one Le Creuset risotto pot left, and sold it complete with divet for $30. And recently Wustohoff redesigned their Grand Prix line of knifes, and you can get the older version for great prices if you look around . . . I got their forged deli knife for$40.

10. Jan 15, 2005

### Bystander

Like hot paraffin (extinguished candle)? Or something else --- acrylic, styrene?

Gas companies do have problems with slugging lubricants through lines to customers occasionally --- that'd be a paraffinic smell --- might account for the "ticking." Styrene if you had plastic packing peanuts pinchedj or wedged or hiding in between the handle and the pot itself. Is the pot showing a blackening or burnt bottom?

11. Jan 15, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Where? Who's selling discounted Wustohoff knives? [/drooling]

You're right, closeout doesn't mean poor quality. Usually it's when a store just has a few left of a discontinued style and wants to clear out their inventory to make room for the new style.

12. Jan 15, 2005

### Les Sleeth

I get so many catalogs I can't quite remember, but I think it was cutleryandmore.com Just make sure it says "forged" and not "stamped." By the way, I love that deli knife. :!!)

13. Jan 15, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Oh, never fear, I know to look for forged knives, and to be sure the handle is continuous with the blade. I have some Henckels knives already, and you see the same thing with them; they sell a cheaper line that isn't forged, so you have to watch for that when you see them suspiciously low in price.

14. Jan 15, 2005

### Les Sleeth

Well, since we're totally sidetracked:tongue2:, since you seem to like knives, and since I don't feel like working . . .

I have experimented a bit with some of the brands. Two surprises were Global and Kershaw. The Global knives are just one piece of forged steel, handle and blade all in one, which makes them feel very solid. Great balance too. They are very sharp and hold their edge extremely well. Photo below.

The Kershaw interested me because they use the Japanese samari sword technique of layering the blade over and over during forging. You can see the layers in the blade (16 of them!) I bought the parer, and man that is the sharpest knife I've ever had. Cut myself several times before realizing how careful I had to be. :yuck: The down side is that after using it for a few months, the blade got little nicks in the edge (see pic below), almost like it was too thin to endure being used; the good news about that is that the nicks haven't made it all that less sharp (almost like a serrated edge). If I thought the blades would hold up I'd buy more, I really love the Pakkawood handles.

Finally, you know how keeping knives sharp takes some work. I have tried everything (beyond the honing steel) from electric sharpeners to expensive 3-sided sharpening stones that take hours to sharpen all your knives. Anyway, because I have several serrated edge knives, I ordered this \$15 device called a "Edgemaker Pro" that's designed to sharpen serrated/wavy edge knives, but you can use it on regular knives too. It works so well I'm trying to sell off my stone. Takes about 30 seconds at most. The best bargain and tool I've ever found for helping with food prep (pic below).

The only other knife experiment I've done was trying a ceramic knife. They are supposed to hold their edge forever, but it was so lightweight I returned it. I like knives to have some heft.

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15. Jan 15, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
I like weight to my knives too. Glad you shared that about the ceramic knife, because I was thinking of trying one of those myself. I had heard the same things and have seen some of the chefs on those cooking shows using them.

That Kershaw sounds like it just might be a very soft steel if it nicked that easily. Might be easy to sharpen again though (I had one knife that got knicked up somehow, and with a little time and patience, was able to grind past the damage and put a new edge on it, and it's been fine ever since). A soft blade is probably no use to you since their best use is for deboning or filleting fish.

I do well with just the sharpening steel. It's too easy to ruin the edge with a stone if you don't know what you're doing with it or don't get the right angle. Though, I have this cheap sharpener with some sort of ceramic instead of a stone in it that seems to work exceptionally well (just a few draws of the blade through it and it's nicely honed).

When I finally started to invest in good knives, I had the same problem of needing to learn to be more careful than I had been in the past. Nothing like seeing the blood drip before you realize you've cut yourself to know you've got a sharp blade! But now it drives me absolutely batty to have to use a dull knife if I visit someone else and help out in their kitchen. Have you noticed that you don't cry as much when cutting onions when you slice them with a sharp blade? I think dull knives squish them as they cut and spray more of the irritating juice into the air.

16. Jan 15, 2005

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
Actually it was the last one left, and the whole store was on sale :tongue:

17. Jan 15, 2005

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
The whole pan is made out of metal, metal handles, and I bought the thing without packing material.. that's why I was a bit puzzled about the molten plastic smell

I'll just grate extra ginger in my tea, so that if it tastes like plastic I won't notice

18. Jan 15, 2005

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
Do onions that make you cry still exist? Somehow in the last few years I haven't run into any anymore :uhh: I do have developed my own efficient way of cutting onions, which might be it (it entails keeping the whole onion intact until it's ready to be fried).

19. Jan 15, 2005

### Les Sleeth

No, it is tempered steel. I think it's because they sharpen it so fine. It's interesting because I haven't tried to sharpen it yet since it is still sharper than all my other knives, even with nicks.

Conventional wisdom is that a honing steel only works to keep a blade sharp by realigning the edge, it doesn't really "sharpen" (although I have seen a steel with a "course" side to help with sharpening). The ceramic device sounds familiar. I think Global makes one that is used with water.

Yeah, I had to get stitches once when I was trying to push a dull knife through a potato and it sliced open my hand. My wife would have driven me to the hospitial but she fainted after I showed her my exposed ligaments (like she did when we had an earthquake in the middle of the night :tongue:).

Yes I do, but I still cry. My mom told me to run cold water on my wrist when cutting onions, so I still do that every few cuts. It seems to help. The best way I've avoided tears has been the small chopping bowl on my Kitchenaid food processor. But that's cheating!

20. Jan 15, 2005

### tribdog

they say you cut yourself more with dull knives than sharp ones, but I've cut myself with just about every grade of sharpness and can't see a difference. I've cut myself with the Exacto knife way more times than any knife.
want to get that sharp knife just a little bit sharper? roll down the car window and use the edge of the glass for super fine. I suggest stopping car and turning off engine first though.
Monique, after getting your pan home did you take it out of the store's bag, did you place that bag anywhere near the stove? How about car keys? keychain have that Salvador Dali look?