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The Paleo Starter Kit, Part I: A Functional Paleo Kitchen
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June 18, 2011
1:05 pm
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Halifax, UK
Gnoll
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June 5, 2011
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@Paul - "Dripping Bread" is gorgeous! We used to call it a "Mucky Fat Sandwich", which I think is mentioned in the wiki for dripping. You can get good dripping in the UK - Britannia brand, carried by most supermarkets. It's beef dripping.

I keep the fat rendered from bacon and from sausages in a ramekin in the fridge - I fry mushrooms in it, which soaks it up beautifully and seems to bring out a real nutty flavour in chestnut mushrooms.

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

July 29, 2011
12:28 pm
MDFaraone
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For those looking for a good non-stick skillet I HIGHLY suggest the T-fal Signature series, or any of T-Fal's higher end pans, I have had mine for two years,take great care of them and they still look and perform like brand new, Americas Test Kitchen on PBS also tested about a dozen pans under $30 and the T-Fal was by far the winner. They had to stop the test after frying 76 eggs consecutively with no oil and still NONE stuck, the runner up pan stalled at 42. As mentioned by JS though, DO NOT cook on high heat and DO NOT use metal utensils and these pans will last forever and are, in my opinion, 100x less aggravating than cooking with cast iron.

August 1, 2011
1:14 pm
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MDFaraone:

T-Fal seems to make some pretty good pans, certainly for the price.  I like the lifetime guarantee on my Calphalon, but then again, I got it for $50 back when they sold it as a loss leader to get you into their other high-end stuff.  Today I'd probably just get the T-Fal, as I take good care of my non-stick.

Ikea non-stick, on the other hand...

JS

October 9, 2011
2:57 pm
Scotlyn
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Excellent advice - and I love my cast iron skillet!

I have to disagree with you about chopping boards, though. I live in a fishing village, in which the word came down from on high, a few years ago. EU bureaucrats, in their wisdom, had decided that all wooden filleting stations, wooden filleting knives and wooden fish boxes must go, and be replaced by plastic. Unfortunately, this led to fish processing areas that were much more difficult to decontaminate and to de-"smell", as it turns out the traditional wooden tools and filleting boards were naturally antiseptic and antibacterial, certainly far more so than plastic, especially once it has been scored by a knife. (Also, apparently, the unriveted plastic handled knives wouldn't hold their edge as long as the wooden handled ones - anecdotally from fish filleters paid piecework rates).

I never oil my wooden butcher block kitchen counters - yes, my whole kitchen is one big wooden chopping board! I just wipe with a damp cloth, and, if any residues remain, scrape with a dry kitchen "scratchie". I always make sure the surface is bone dry before each new use.

October 10, 2011
2:13 am
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Scotlyn:

I'm jealous of your kitchen.

And that's a very interesting article!  I'll have to spend some more time reading the references, but it's possible that I'll end up revising my recommendations.

JS

October 10, 2011
2:23 am
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Halifax, UK
Gnoll
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I have a couple of large wooden boards and a thick butchers' block. Very occasionally, I oil the two daily use chopping boards.

I tried plastic a number of years ago when they became the new sliced bread and just didn't get on with it. I found my knives slipped and after some use the frayed plastic could get into food. Not good.

I view plastic boards much like margerine! It seemed like a good thing at the time, but as it turns out ... the old wisdom, tried and tested over generations is the best.

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

October 17, 2011
7:07 am
Maggie
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We have become hooked to making bone broths in our slow cooker. I can't imagine our kitchen without one!

October 21, 2011
2:18 pm
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Paul:

Yes, the research Scotlyn linked to looks pretty convincing.  I'll probably revise my recommendations.

Maggie:

Slow cookers are great...and if you replace the plastic knob on the cover with a ceramic one, you can even take out the inner pot and put it in the oven for better temperature control.  I do this a lot.

JS

January 11, 2012
10:57 am
typeogirl
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Just wanted to let everyone know you can buy jars of organic ghee at Whole Foods. There is a delicious brand of grassfed ghee available by this manufacturer at some stores around the US http://www.pureindianfoods.com/index.shtml. I also wanted to say that I have a ceramic knife, it is one of the best things I have ever purchased, I hardly use any other knifes now, it makes slicing anything so easy and saves so much time. But a ceramic knife does have limitations, so I cannot get rid of my other knives altogether.

March 28, 2012
7:24 am
Tracy
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Re: non-stick pans: I just got a Green Pan (mineral-based non-stick coating) and I LOVE it. You can use it on high heat, won't blister or peel. I usually use cast iron for steaks, but tried searing in this pan and it worked great (though, I still prefer cast iron for meat). Wipes clean with a paper towel - just awesome.

I would say another item that is essential for the kitchen is a ramekin (well, ramekins) - great for holding herbs, spices, veggies etc that you've cut up during prep, great for serving small side dishes, great for lots fo things... and you can get 'em at a dollar store.

Another - a silicone muffin pan. Why? For freezing 'pucks' of bone broth. Pour 1/4 - 1/2 cup of broth in each muffin cup, stick in freezer, then pop out the pucks when frozen and store in a big ziploc in the freezer (they'll peel right out of the cup). Super easy to grab a puck or two when you need them and chuck them in a pot. They are also great for freezing single servings of, say, chicken liver mousse.

March 28, 2012
6:04 pm
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typeogirl:

You're right about the limitations.  Ceramic knives are great for cutting…but you can't use them for boning, or for anything where the blade might hit something hard.  And yes, real ghee is delicious!

Tracy:

The "green" non-stick pans I've seen get terrible reviews because the non-stick doesn't like to stay on the pan…do you mean the Ozeri version?  Because it seems to be the best of the lot — and even there, a meaningful number of the reviews say that the coating either stopped working or flaked off relatively quickly.

Ozeri seems to be replacing the unhappy customers' pans, but I'm still skeptical.  Plus Calphalon just replaced my 12" skillet, and it has a lifetime warranty.  Now that I have a cast iron skillet I use that to cook bacon and sear hamburgers (I also use it with a rack for prime rib).  Anything with eggs goes in the Calphalon.

I've seen the muffin tin trick done with spaghetti sauce and chili, too.  I eat way too much, though, (these days I'd go through an entire 12-pack of frozen chili "muffins", so I use the Takealongs.

JS

June 24, 2012
8:49 am
Formidable
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J,

Quick question: Any thoughts on Chris Kresser's cookware post?

I love my anodized aluminum pan (per your recommendation!) and am loathe to toss it. Any thoughts on the absolute risk of my pan? Any thoughts on alternatives?

(FYI: I have cast iron and treat it well, but it doesn't compared to my anodized skillet in non-stick-iness and low-maintenance-iness. Also, I have family members (who I hope aren't reading this post!) who aren't diligent about pan care when it comes to my cast iron.)

Thanks!
@

June 25, 2012
1:15 pm
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Formidable:

PFOA is indeed a suspicious chemical (and we will hopefully learn a lot more about it this year), but Teflon pans are a trivial source of it in our environment -- and probably aren't an important source in our bodies AFAIK.  See this table of typical PFOA content, which shows that butcher paper (and food contact paper of all kinds, including microwave popcorn bags) can contain thousands of times more PFOA than Teflon.  

Also note that the main sources in our environment are "stain repellent" carpet and upholstery treatments, sealants for stone, tile, and wood, food contact paper...and there's a lot more PFOA in dental floss than there is in Teflon cookware!

In support of this, wastewater treatment plants emit more PFOA than they take in, because it's a breakdown product of all these carpet and fabric treatments.  (There's no PFOA in Teflon: it's a chemical used in manufacturing.)

My opinion: be very careful not to burn your Teflon pans, and don't use any that are losing their "shine" or flaking, whether from overheating or long use.  However, as of now, I'm much more concerned about the carpeting and furniture in my house and workplace, and about the use of "wax paper" and dental floss.

That being said, I use cast iron for bacon and for searing meat, because a 12" Lodge skillet costs only $20 and can withstand high temperatures without risk of damage.  The Calphalon comes out when I need to fry eggs or veggies.  And I see no need for Teflon saucepans, deep-fryers, or anything else.

JS

January 28, 2013
7:42 pm
Mitch
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I get the convenience of non-stick pans but can't trust the chemical processes used for any of the surfaces; I do not want to be a chemistry experiment. I prefer the traditional cast iron, and I am so used to them that I find the seasoning on balance no more time consuming than the effort to avoid using the wrong utensil with the non-sticks.

Another benefit (or so I have heard) of cast iron is that thye provide an extra source of iron in the diet. Not so important in the grass fed red meat paleo world but still a plus, especially for menstrating women.

January 28, 2013
10:28 pm
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Mitch:

I love my cast iron too -- but no matter what its partisans claim, eggs simply won't slide off the way they do with a good non-stick pan.  Personally, I'm a lot more concerned about what's cooking in the pan...though I'm open to being proven wrong.

JS

December 21, 2013
2:10 pm
Lala
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Hey...just wanted to put in my 2 cents on the nonstick/cast iron/steel thing in the comments here.

There are other options for those who don't like either...Real Pyrex CorningWare and Pyrex Visions are ceramic and glass that is safe for oven, microwave, and stovetop...in fact the Pyrex Visions glass that I have is resistant enough to heat shock that it can go from freezer to oven (or at least was advertised as such back in the day!)

Digging this site, by the way!

December 22, 2013
3:05 am
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Lala:

I haven't used any of those since I was little...what advantages do they offer over, say, stainless steel?

Thank you for the support!  I can see the web statistics, but it's always good to hear directly from my readers.

JS

January 22, 2014
2:09 am
Ana
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What about grilling? Doesn't the smaller direct contact between the meat and the hot metal have its advantages too? 🙂

October 11, 2018
10:09 am
Jasan Mundur
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For good grass fed beef tallow ..https://fannieandflo.net
25 lbs to 1 lb.

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