Doc's Big Fat Technology Rant!

Doc's Big Fat Technology Rant!

Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

May 5th, 2003, 2:47 am #1

The cause of this whole outburst is simple. I got an H2O Smoker this weekend as a gift.

It's an amazing looking thing, space age, futuristic, quite funky looking, looks like a 4 legged 6 foot tall death robot. It's electric, uses water, and "smokes" food.

AAAAAAAAARGH! Technology gone wrong. It does "smoke" food, but, will do nothing to preserve it in any way shape or form. With all of the technological power dumped into this thing, why wont it cure meat as well? On my old property, I had a smoke house. I smoked hams, turkeys, chickens, whole sides of beef, and it would be preserved for years and years, meat made into mummies makes for good eats. So... Some jerk goes and uses all this metal and high tech wonder gear, electrostatic temp controls, computerized pressure monitoring, bells, whistles, warning alarms, pretty much EVERYTHING crammed into the death robot, and all it will do is add smoked flavour to cooked meat. WTF was that fool smoking? Somebody give me a clue cause I am lost. Why would somebody do this? Technology gone wrong I say. Can't fool this ol' Southern boy into thinking that's a real smoked chicken. Don't even smell good, like a regular smoke house. There is something vaguely morgue like in the smell coming from the smoker... I dunno what exactly, but, a sickly sweet smell that made me queasy. I say morgue like because I worked in a morgue and in the prep room, there was no air conditioning, and there was the same sort of smell... dried out hot meat. Blech. Get thee hence foul meat smoker... to the scrap heap with you! (I would if I could. Am far to polite to scrap the gift. Will sit on porch till end of time most likely)

Which brings me to part 2... The Evils of the Breadmaker. I got a breadmaker for xmas. Don't get me wrong... It's nice... All you do is dump all your stuff into it... And press a button. About 3 hours later a loaf of bread pops out of the other end. Now, I dunno about most folks, but, the real fun in making bread for me was getting my hands into the dough, kneeding it out. It was very relaxing. The yeasty smell usually makes me thirsty for a good beer, I get flour everywhere, and probably lower my blood pressure by 20 points. If I try to use the bread machine... My blood pressure sky rockets from the OBNOXIOUS sound it makes... It's like a Buick being force fed into a wood chipper one piece at a time. And it makes shitty bread. Really shitty bread. Dry crumbly bread that barely lasts a day. Turns rock hard in a few hours. Screw technology... I'll make my bread by hand thank you very much. Bread maker sits on counter under plastic cover, taking up space. At least the deep fryer I also got with the bread maker is some what useful, although I do like stove top deep frying for somewhat better temp control. The GranPappy fryer works just fine for cheesesticks and poppers though, so, I wont complain to much.

Don't get me wrong, I love the net, and forums, and dabbling with my hobbies like doppler radar, but, technology sucks. Some things are best left simple.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 16th, 2001, 10:19 am

May 5th, 2003, 6:15 am #2

Nothing more to add.

Roland The Gunslinger
The Diablo Strategy Compendium
http://www.diablosc.com/
The Diablo Strategy Compendium Forums
http://www.diablosc.com/cgi-bin/dcboard/dcforum.cgi
Quote
Like
Share

Nystul
Nystul

May 5th, 2003, 9:11 am #3

The cause of this whole outburst is simple. I got an H2O Smoker this weekend as a gift.

It's an amazing looking thing, space age, futuristic, quite funky looking, looks like a 4 legged 6 foot tall death robot. It's electric, uses water, and "smokes" food.

AAAAAAAAARGH! Technology gone wrong. It does "smoke" food, but, will do nothing to preserve it in any way shape or form. With all of the technological power dumped into this thing, why wont it cure meat as well? On my old property, I had a smoke house. I smoked hams, turkeys, chickens, whole sides of beef, and it would be preserved for years and years, meat made into mummies makes for good eats. So... Some jerk goes and uses all this metal and high tech wonder gear, electrostatic temp controls, computerized pressure monitoring, bells, whistles, warning alarms, pretty much EVERYTHING crammed into the death robot, and all it will do is add smoked flavour to cooked meat. WTF was that fool smoking? Somebody give me a clue cause I am lost. Why would somebody do this? Technology gone wrong I say. Can't fool this ol' Southern boy into thinking that's a real smoked chicken. Don't even smell good, like a regular smoke house. There is something vaguely morgue like in the smell coming from the smoker... I dunno what exactly, but, a sickly sweet smell that made me queasy. I say morgue like because I worked in a morgue and in the prep room, there was no air conditioning, and there was the same sort of smell... dried out hot meat. Blech. Get thee hence foul meat smoker... to the scrap heap with you! (I would if I could. Am far to polite to scrap the gift. Will sit on porch till end of time most likely)

Which brings me to part 2... The Evils of the Breadmaker. I got a breadmaker for xmas. Don't get me wrong... It's nice... All you do is dump all your stuff into it... And press a button. About 3 hours later a loaf of bread pops out of the other end. Now, I dunno about most folks, but, the real fun in making bread for me was getting my hands into the dough, kneeding it out. It was very relaxing. The yeasty smell usually makes me thirsty for a good beer, I get flour everywhere, and probably lower my blood pressure by 20 points. If I try to use the bread machine... My blood pressure sky rockets from the OBNOXIOUS sound it makes... It's like a Buick being force fed into a wood chipper one piece at a time. And it makes shitty bread. Really shitty bread. Dry crumbly bread that barely lasts a day. Turns rock hard in a few hours. Screw technology... I'll make my bread by hand thank you very much. Bread maker sits on counter under plastic cover, taking up space. At least the deep fryer I also got with the bread maker is some what useful, although I do like stove top deep frying for somewhat better temp control. The GranPappy fryer works just fine for cheesesticks and poppers though, so, I wont complain to much.

Don't get me wrong, I love the net, and forums, and dabbling with my hobbies like doppler radar, but, technology sucks. Some things are best left simple.
Breadmakers have their place. Yes, the bread goes stale rather quickly. But it gives people the ability to make their own bread (possibly with custom recipes) when they might not have the window of time or knowledge to do it the old fashioned way. And while it is fresh, such bread tastes better to me than anything I could get in a plastic bag at the supermarket.

Such is the case with most kitchen technology. Some things get sacrificed in order to gain convenience. Some of my favorite meals come out of the Dutch oven, but I would starve to death if there weren't faster options available
Quote
Share

Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

May 5th, 2003, 11:12 am #4

GAG!!

**Controls gag reflex**

Ok, all kidding aside, but, why? Supermarket bread is just about the nastiest thing around. Really. Flat flavour, kinda mushy, loaded with cancer causing preservitives (Something I am very sensitive to now) and causes severe tooth decay. If one must buy bread from the store at least it fresh from the bakery, unsliced. Like a big old loaf of crusty French bread. Or some good Rye. Sliced white Wonder Bread and it's cousins are just about the worst things you can eat. God never intended for bread to be made in a laboritory. If something has more then 6 or 7 sylables, then it don't belong in bread, no ifs, ands, or buts. Partially hydrodgenated something or others obviously is not something that could possibly be good for you.
Quote
Like
Share

Ozymandous
Ozymandous

May 5th, 2003, 12:33 pm #5

The cause of this whole outburst is simple. I got an H2O Smoker this weekend as a gift.

It's an amazing looking thing, space age, futuristic, quite funky looking, looks like a 4 legged 6 foot tall death robot. It's electric, uses water, and "smokes" food.

AAAAAAAAARGH! Technology gone wrong. It does "smoke" food, but, will do nothing to preserve it in any way shape or form. With all of the technological power dumped into this thing, why wont it cure meat as well? On my old property, I had a smoke house. I smoked hams, turkeys, chickens, whole sides of beef, and it would be preserved for years and years, meat made into mummies makes for good eats. So... Some jerk goes and uses all this metal and high tech wonder gear, electrostatic temp controls, computerized pressure monitoring, bells, whistles, warning alarms, pretty much EVERYTHING crammed into the death robot, and all it will do is add smoked flavour to cooked meat. WTF was that fool smoking? Somebody give me a clue cause I am lost. Why would somebody do this? Technology gone wrong I say. Can't fool this ol' Southern boy into thinking that's a real smoked chicken. Don't even smell good, like a regular smoke house. There is something vaguely morgue like in the smell coming from the smoker... I dunno what exactly, but, a sickly sweet smell that made me queasy. I say morgue like because I worked in a morgue and in the prep room, there was no air conditioning, and there was the same sort of smell... dried out hot meat. Blech. Get thee hence foul meat smoker... to the scrap heap with you! (I would if I could. Am far to polite to scrap the gift. Will sit on porch till end of time most likely)

Which brings me to part 2... The Evils of the Breadmaker. I got a breadmaker for xmas. Don't get me wrong... It's nice... All you do is dump all your stuff into it... And press a button. About 3 hours later a loaf of bread pops out of the other end. Now, I dunno about most folks, but, the real fun in making bread for me was getting my hands into the dough, kneeding it out. It was very relaxing. The yeasty smell usually makes me thirsty for a good beer, I get flour everywhere, and probably lower my blood pressure by 20 points. If I try to use the bread machine... My blood pressure sky rockets from the OBNOXIOUS sound it makes... It's like a Buick being force fed into a wood chipper one piece at a time. And it makes shitty bread. Really shitty bread. Dry crumbly bread that barely lasts a day. Turns rock hard in a few hours. Screw technology... I'll make my bread by hand thank you very much. Bread maker sits on counter under plastic cover, taking up space. At least the deep fryer I also got with the bread maker is some what useful, although I do like stove top deep frying for somewhat better temp control. The GranPappy fryer works just fine for cheesesticks and poppers though, so, I wont complain to much.

Don't get me wrong, I love the net, and forums, and dabbling with my hobbies like doppler radar, but, technology sucks. Some things are best left simple.
I have a bread machine and I like it. Of course, the bread does get stale if you leave it on the counter overnight, but the "store-bought" bread would too if not for all the preservatives they add to it. I haven't made bread from scratch before, but I know my mom used to make dough to put into Chicken 'n Dumplings and that made quite a mess, so don't know if that counts.

I almost bought an electric smoker the other day, fortunately it had a heating element in it, so it would have cooked the food as well as adding a "smoky flavor". My dad once made a smoker out of an old refridgerator, where he had the fire/coals on the bottom and nothing but racks upon racks of sausage links that he made from left over bit's of the pig we slaughtered mixed in with some venison. Good stuff. I miss that smoked sausage, it went well with any meal, breakfast, lunch, dinner ('supper' as we said it growing up) or just to snack on... sigh

I'd hate to see what would happen to our society if there was ever some sort of global event that rendered all of our electrical devices useless. Seems like a lot of folks have forgotten their roots, and wouldn't know how to smoke and preserve food if their lives depended on it.

Technology isn't a bad thing, it has it's uses, but I agree Doc, in some cases the old fashioned way is best.
Quote
Share

Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

May 5th, 2003, 1:39 pm #6

My bread never goes stale after a day. It will last maybe 2 days, on the third day if there is any left I make bread pudding from the crusty left overs.

Other then being slightly annoyed from the loss of internet (Ok, very annoyed, maybe even peeved) I could live very comfortably with out electricity if something happened.

Oh, I dunno if I ever mentioned, but, I bought the property I am currently living on. My friend's vacation cottage has become my home, he was glad to sell because of the taxes. It's a little lot, about 4 acres, the house is slightly smaller then my last one, which was cozy, but, some might say cramped.

The goats have just enough room to graze a bit, the chickens will be getting a much nicer coop soon, and I am considering other livestock options. I have little baby goats now, kids, and lots of fresh goatsmilk. Planning on making some cheese soon. Chickens been laying a LOT of eggs lately, so many I have to give some away.

I am getting a huge root cellar dug out soon, and, will probably get another smokehouse up and running. I really really want a wood burning brick oven for baking built... I have dreamed of one for a dog's age and a half. There is something heavenly about bread baking in a wood burning brick oven... Or cakes... Or anything for that matter.
Quote
Like
Share

Pete
Pete

May 5th, 2003, 2:18 pm #7

GAG!!

**Controls gag reflex**

Ok, all kidding aside, but, why? Supermarket bread is just about the nastiest thing around. Really. Flat flavour, kinda mushy, loaded with cancer causing preservitives (Something I am very sensitive to now) and causes severe tooth decay. If one must buy bread from the store at least it fresh from the bakery, unsliced. Like a big old loaf of crusty French bread. Or some good Rye. Sliced white Wonder Bread and it's cousins are just about the worst things you can eat. God never intended for bread to be made in a laboritory. If something has more then 6 or 7 sylables, then it don't belong in bread, no ifs, ands, or buts. Partially hydrodgenated something or others obviously is not something that could possibly be good for you.
Hi,

The Supermarkets now have it all, bakery included. The indi bakery is rapidly getting to be a thing of history except for those that sell by the truckload.

The list of ingredients is your friend. With its help you can get a commercial loaf that is free of all that preservative trash and pretty tasty (but not from any brand that advertises on TV). Why anyone wants white loaf bread is beyond me anyway, it sure does not add any flavor or texture.

Bread maker. When I started doing the cooking around here we had one. I used it and didn't like the bread that came out of it. So I tried to use it just as a kneading machine, doing the rest myself. A little better, but still not what I would call "good". Now I knead and beat up that dough by hand. Like you say, makes you feel good. And the results are surprisingly edible (although I can't get a decent sourdough to save my life )

As to that smoker -- yeah. Just like those bottles that they sell at that same supermarket. Pour it on whatever you're eating to give it "genuine smoked taste". Right. Hey, maybe it'll work for curing wood -- cheaper than buying that pressure treated stuff

--Pete
Quote
Share

Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

May 5th, 2003, 2:53 pm #8

Is a slightly warm dark place for it to sit for a long time and spoil slightly, and then the KEY factor is cooking. Either a coal burning oven or wood burning is key. Sourdough needs hot radiant heat, preferably open flame to get it just right. It's a bit like searing meat to hold in the juices, you want to rapididly cook the outside of the sourdough loaf to protect the cultures that make sourdough so good. When the bread steams, it carries the cultures out of the outer crust if it is not hard, firm, and burned ever so slightly. You need a hard outer shell to hold all the good stuff in.
Quote
Like
Share

McFrugal
McFrugal

May 5th, 2003, 4:19 pm #9

The cause of this whole outburst is simple. I got an H2O Smoker this weekend as a gift.

It's an amazing looking thing, space age, futuristic, quite funky looking, looks like a 4 legged 6 foot tall death robot. It's electric, uses water, and "smokes" food.

AAAAAAAAARGH! Technology gone wrong. It does "smoke" food, but, will do nothing to preserve it in any way shape or form. With all of the technological power dumped into this thing, why wont it cure meat as well? On my old property, I had a smoke house. I smoked hams, turkeys, chickens, whole sides of beef, and it would be preserved for years and years, meat made into mummies makes for good eats. So... Some jerk goes and uses all this metal and high tech wonder gear, electrostatic temp controls, computerized pressure monitoring, bells, whistles, warning alarms, pretty much EVERYTHING crammed into the death robot, and all it will do is add smoked flavour to cooked meat. WTF was that fool smoking? Somebody give me a clue cause I am lost. Why would somebody do this? Technology gone wrong I say. Can't fool this ol' Southern boy into thinking that's a real smoked chicken. Don't even smell good, like a regular smoke house. There is something vaguely morgue like in the smell coming from the smoker... I dunno what exactly, but, a sickly sweet smell that made me queasy. I say morgue like because I worked in a morgue and in the prep room, there was no air conditioning, and there was the same sort of smell... dried out hot meat. Blech. Get thee hence foul meat smoker... to the scrap heap with you! (I would if I could. Am far to polite to scrap the gift. Will sit on porch till end of time most likely)

Which brings me to part 2... The Evils of the Breadmaker. I got a breadmaker for xmas. Don't get me wrong... It's nice... All you do is dump all your stuff into it... And press a button. About 3 hours later a loaf of bread pops out of the other end. Now, I dunno about most folks, but, the real fun in making bread for me was getting my hands into the dough, kneeding it out. It was very relaxing. The yeasty smell usually makes me thirsty for a good beer, I get flour everywhere, and probably lower my blood pressure by 20 points. If I try to use the bread machine... My blood pressure sky rockets from the OBNOXIOUS sound it makes... It's like a Buick being force fed into a wood chipper one piece at a time. And it makes shitty bread. Really shitty bread. Dry crumbly bread that barely lasts a day. Turns rock hard in a few hours. Screw technology... I'll make my bread by hand thank you very much. Bread maker sits on counter under plastic cover, taking up space. At least the deep fryer I also got with the bread maker is some what useful, although I do like stove top deep frying for somewhat better temp control. The GranPappy fryer works just fine for cheesesticks and poppers though, so, I wont complain to much.

Don't get me wrong, I love the net, and forums, and dabbling with my hobbies like doppler radar, but, technology sucks. Some things are best left simple.
Things always tend to be better when made from scratch, don't they? I suppose it could be that automation is cheaper and therefore used by people that already cheapened their ingredients... but that's not what you're talking about.

The journey can be as good as the end result, sometimes, yes? Technology itself does not have to eliminate this. It just depends on how it's used.


McFrugal
Quote
Share

Joined: March 5th, 2001, 7:01 pm

May 5th, 2003, 6:00 pm #10

Is a slightly warm dark place for it to sit for a long time and spoil slightly, and then the KEY factor is cooking. Either a coal burning oven or wood burning is key. Sourdough needs hot radiant heat, preferably open flame to get it just right. It's a bit like searing meat to hold in the juices, you want to rapididly cook the outside of the sourdough loaf to protect the cultures that make sourdough so good. When the bread steams, it carries the cultures out of the outer crust if it is not hard, firm, and burned ever so slightly. You need a hard outer shell to hold all the good stuff in.
Hi,

You got half the answer there. Although a good baking stone will substitute fairly well for a wood or coal stove. And the only thing that's ever happened when I've let dough sit for a while in a warm place is that the dough fell back on itself. The result was more akin to hard tack than to bread.

A good way to get a fast thick hard crust is to have a pan in the bottom of the oven. Just as you put the loaf in, dump a cup of water into that pan (stand back and wear a glove, you get instant steam). Then quickly close the oven door. Gives a nice "French" crust to the bread.

But, all that aside, the real secret to making sourdough is living in the right place. Basically, sourdough is made with wild yeast. And each area has its own. So, if the area you are in is San Francisco, you'll get good sourdough. If it's Seattle, you'll get an insipid bread that isn't much different from the basic Italian bread. And it does no good to import the starter, since within a week or two the imported yeast will have died out and the native yeast will have taken over.

The above is both my experience and that of a number of authors on bread making, such as Bernard Clayton (The Complete Book of Breads). BTW, he has a nice section on making your own adobe oven. Too bad that in Seattle that would soon turn into a mud pie

--Pete
Last edited by --Pete on May 5th, 2003, 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share