Kitchen 811

    Published on January 8th, 2010 | by Greg


    Styling Up the Kitchen — Lodge Apple Pot and Soehnle Retro Scale

    We’re looking at two very stylish products today. The first is the Lodge Enamel Cast-Iron Apple Pot, capable of holding 3 quarts and shaped in an adorable red or green apple shape. The other product, the Soehnle Retro Digital Kitchen Scale, is a digital and analog scale for fulfilling your day-to-day kitchen measuring needs.

    When we saw this new apple pot from Lodge, it was so cute we just had to try it out. Cast iron has been on the rise again recently because of the solid quality it holds over the years. Cast iron provides a very even cook as it is a heavy metal that evenly distributes heat. It performs very well as a sort of “non-stick” pan without the non-stick coating that eventually wears away.

    Cast iron also has several disadvantages in that it requires more attention. Many people don’t want to have to go through the effort of “seasoning” their pan. General guidelines for cast iron also specify that it shouldn’t be washed with soap or left with food in it for too long, like putting the food inside the pot inside the fridge. It’s also very heavy and is a reactive metal, meaning certain acidic food items should not be used in it.

    This pot, however, is an attempted compromise, as it is cast iron with an enamel coating. This advertises a slightly easier clean, and though indeed it still advises that hand washing it is preferably (and we agree — not the least of which is that it barely fits in our dishwasher and is an odd shape for the jets), when we tried it on the dishwasher it came out without any wear and tear. It has a great, slippery surface and food washes easily away with a sponge and some soap.

    The shape is more ideal for slow-cooking beans, lentils, stews or other large projects that need time, and it seems to be designed for the oven, of which it can be safely used up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The leaf, while cute, provides a slightly awkward potential snag, but luckily the handles make it fairly easy to grab onto and maneuver. The pot can also be used on the stove top, though low or medium heat is advised.

    Generally we were big fans of this pot for slow-cooking projects. We cooked one meat dish in a gravy sauce and one pot of beans. With both of them we stirred almost never, but our food didn’t burn. One thing we noticed is that it takes a while for the heat to get started — our projects ran over the estimated cooking time in both cases. But once the pot was sufficiently warmed up, it just did a super job of just cooking and not blackening.

    This pot retails for $169, can be found on their site for $99.95 plus shipping and can be found on Amazon for a little over $115.

    The other majorly stylin’ kitchen product is a retro digital scale from Soehnle. It can measure up to 11 pounds or 5 kilograms, and can even measure ounces under digital options in increments of .04.

    This scale provides measurements in the visually appealing analog style, but also more detailed digital readings just below the analog display. I rather liked the duality, because sometimes just a rough visual is needed and sometimes something more accurate is called for.

    The scale comes with the almighty tare option, which is useful for measuring out the weight of a bowl or wax paper. It also comes with its own large, non-slip bowl in stainless steel that is removable. Typically such scales are used in cooking, though I personally ended up also using it for measuring the mail for postage.

    The scale does take up a little space on the counter, especially with the large steel bowl added on, so it’s not ideal for small apartments short on counter space (for those, Soehnle manufactures slightly smaller scales). But for people that have the space to display it (or just know it’s a priority), it adds a very cute touch to the kitchen decor, especially those kitchens already sporting old-fashioned glass blenders or stainless steel toasters.

    Retailed at $119.95 and available at Amazon.

    About the Author

    Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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