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opinions on Mario Batali's cookware line

o
ognir Sep 8, 2006 11:17 AM

Has anyone used any of Mario Batali's cookware line?

http://www.italiankitchen.com/marioba...

I bought one of the stainless steel spoons and a the extra-wide silicone spatula and I love them. (Imagine loving a spoon, what a nut.

)

Just wondered if anyone had any experience with other stuff from the line. (And if you know of a place in Toronto that carries all of it.)

  1. monkeyrotica Mar 20, 2012 05:06 AM

    UPDATE: A little over 5 years have passed, and my 6qt Batali enamel cast iron pot has begun to flake. Minor small chipping and scraping on the bottom, and this having never used any setting higher than 5 on my gas oven. Metal utensils have never been used, only wooden spatulas and the silicone Batali spatula. Cleaned using soap and water and a plastic brush (no Brillo or metal SOS pads). Bought for $70 on Amazon and still usable, I figure it was worth the $12 per year expense. The spatula was bought around the same time and is still working fine. The Batali dough scraper, however, is starting to split, but it's had a good run. If you're willing to spend more on something you want to hand over to your grandkids on your deathbed, you may want to look elsewhere for enameled cookware. If you expect cooking tools to eventually wear out, I have no problem buying another Batali pot at this price point. I don't think I'd pay full price for it though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: monkeyrotica
      jayt90 Mar 21, 2012 03:00 PM

      My Batali was $60 at Costco, 4 years ago, and is doing fine. The only thing better I have is Staub with the indented lid and black interior.; My Le Creuset is pedestrian by comparison.

    2. g
      GMnStoneRidge Mar 19, 2012 01:51 PM

      I was searching for Mario's cookware when I came across this article and decided to post my opinion.

      I have a six quart pot and four two cup pots with lids which purchased at a local grocery store. These pans are cast iron, enamel coated, andshare the same dimpled top as La Cruset pans. The are excellent for making rues and the six quart is a favorite for gumbo, chili, and delicate mushroom soups. I use the small pot for individual service. Heating them with hot water prior to ladeling in the soup it at a constant temperature thoughout this course of the meal and the chianti color makes for quite an attractive place setting. Same quality as much more expensive pans. Well worth the small investment compared to the quality of the product.

      1. b
        BigE Feb 11, 2010 10:30 AM

        I have the 9 quart oval braiser and I really like it. I've used it for a huge batch of beef stew, beef short ribs and lamb shanks. It makes a pretty good crust on the meat and the finished product has been great in all cases.

        No complaints here.

        1 Reply
        1. re: BigE
          t
          thatcherbhatcher Apr 16, 2011 06:20 PM

          just returned the 6 quart enameled iron pot. It appeared heavy and well made, well suited to braising meats and developing sauces, but after only a few uses the enamel started coming up in large flakes right from the middle of the pot. Have used Le Creuset pots in similar size and for similar cooking for decades without incident.

        2. tanuki soup Feb 10, 2010 05:57 PM

          I have the 10" enameled cast iron saute pan and really like it. It has a smooth cream-colored interior like Le Creuset French ovens. I prefer the smooth, light finish to the rough, black finish of other brands (Staub, Lodge, LC).

          1. f
            Fahzz Feb 9, 2010 04:32 PM

            I have the cast iron pizza pan, which is great. The instructions that came with it suggest a different cooking method, but I just oil the pan, spread the dough and bake it as I normally do, The feature I like is that it has a rim around it so the oil doesn't wind up in the bottom of the oven, like it does with a pizza stone.

            1. jayt90 Aug 28, 2009 09:28 AM

              I bought the 6 qt. Batali dutch oven when it was being closed out at Costco (brown only) for $40. The lid seals well, and the design is classic Italian, no ribs or ridges like some LC's.

              I like it as much as my Staubs, and better than Le Creuset. And much better than the usual Chinese knock offs. This one seems to have good design and quality control. Even the blurb on the box says it is a product to be handed down. We'll see!

              2 Replies
              1. re: jayt90
                j
                javelina Feb 8, 2010 03:10 PM

                I just had a crazy thing happen to a Batali 6 qt. dutch oven I was using: I was heating it up on a stove (electric). I had the heat on high, and I heard a huge pop. It was the pot: shards of the enamel had exploded from the side and a crack appeared, which went from the coating through the iron core. It's unusable now (and thank goodness I wasn't standing near the stove when it happened). Do you think it heated up too fast? But shouldn't it be able to handle that?

                1. re: javelina
                  jayt90 Feb 8, 2010 03:23 PM

                  Yes. Q1
                  No Q2
                  If you read the instructions for Le Creuset, they recommend low heat for everything. Put it on low and wait.
                  These ceramics can't handle extremmes of heat, but they are very good if heat is applied slowly.
                  Check with the seller. If it was Costco they'll take it back no q's asked.

              2. redgypsy Nov 27, 2007 03:20 PM

                I don't know if you've purchased or not but I have the 6 qt oven and I don't like it nearly as much as my LC. I may have gotten an off product but the lid doesn't seal as well as I would like so my stovetop braises go dry ridiculously quickly....so for all it's "nipples" on the underside I have a steam bath going in the kitchen as soon as I add the liquid to the pot. I do have the risotto pan and it's servicable. But I greatly prefer my LC and at the point only use my Batali oven to do oven roasts, with the lid off ;)

                2 Replies
                1. re: redgypsy
                  m
                  MysticYoYo Nov 27, 2007 03:43 PM

                  Okay, not a Batali, but a friend of mine has a large Emeril skillet that he just loves. It's very heavy, cooks evenly and can be used in the oven. I've made a made a tomato-cream sauce recipe in it that didn't stick at all. I'm no expert but I was impressed.

                  1. re: redgypsy
                    c
                    Claudette Aug 28, 2009 04:04 PM

                    Hmmm...I don't have that problem with mine, but the reasons I like my LC better is:
                    1. LC's rounded bottom makes it easier to stir up stuff from the bottom of the pot.
                    2. After 35 years, none of my LC's has ever chipped, but there's already a chip in my Batali after only 4 uses.
                    Both seem to cook and clean equally well, but maybe time will tell how they hold up to each other.

                  2. y
                    yugetodd Nov 24, 2007 05:30 AM

                    Does anyone know where this line is made?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: yugetodd
                      z
                      ziggylu Nov 24, 2007 06:16 AM

                      Made in China by Copco

                    2. r
                      rubygirrl Feb 18, 2007 03:56 PM

                      I got the 6 QT Mario Batali Dutch Oven for xmas and was really surprized at the quality. It compares easily to a Le Creuset at less than half the price. I next purchased the risotto maker with similar outstanding results. Next purchase is the panini grill pan. Can't say enough about this line...a great value and it's attractive, too.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: rubygirrl
                        Chocolatechipkt Feb 20, 2007 10:43 AM

                        The February issue of Cook's Illustrated has a review of Dutch ovens, including the LC and Batali ones.

                      2. c
                        caphill2320 Dec 6, 2006 05:23 PM

                        I'm considering getting the 6 quart enameled dutch oven...is there a deal going around right now? It's $80 for the persimmon color, $100 for the others.

                        1. monkeyrotica Nov 27, 2006 03:46 PM

                          I got the 6-quart pot off Amazon for $70 shipped. It turns out some great braised beef in barolo. It's my new all around favorite soup/stew/braising pot. Highly recommended, even at full price.

                          Ikea sells a comparable enameled iron pot, but I've had BAD luck with their utensils and pans so I took a pass. Glad I did.

                          1. r
                            Richard Somers Nov 27, 2006 07:05 AM

                            I bought one of Mario Batali's 8" skillets, the stainless steel type. I was very disappointed in it.
                            I tried to do some egg beaters with butter and first I sprayed it with Pam. It stuck so bad.
                            I sent it back, it took a very long time to get a refund on my credit card and not one word of an apology.
                            Can anyone tell me what I did wrong?
                            I paid $55.00, not a good deal.

                            1. c
                              ctl98 Nov 20, 2006 11:08 PM

                              I just got the microplane on clearance for $10 at Homesense! Haven't tried it though...

                              I like the fact that it has a silicone protective cover. And I love the colors of his entire line.

                              1. l
                                laonion Nov 18, 2006 04:54 AM

                                I have the 6 qt pot that I got as a gift. I love it. It have excellent heat distribution and cleans up like magic!

                                1. k
                                  kammanns Nov 16, 2006 06:11 PM

                                  Has anyone experienced issues with the Batali panini press/grill where food sticks ie. chicken or fish? If so, any tips on how to prevent this from occurring?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: kammanns
                                    cutecook Sep 12, 2008 04:44 AM

                                    I have experienced the same thing. My fiance and I love LC but got this as a wedding present and decided to give it a try. I found out however that even tho the instructions say it doesn't need to be cured before using that you should. Apparently food will stop sticking over time, it just needs some oil to soak into it. I went home and cured it so we'll see. Golda's kitchen (where it was purchased) said that food will stop sticking in time.

                                  2. j
                                    JudiAU Oct 12, 2006 11:46 PM

                                    I have the large and deep lasgana pan. I've been very pleased with. It was excellent value for what so far appears to be a well made pan. (But of course, I bought it for the cool color)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: JudiAU
                                      HaagenDazs Nov 20, 2006 11:27 PM

                                      Agreed. I got the lasagna pan from my girlfriend for my birthday. It's wonderful!

                                    2. e
                                      EclecticEater Oct 4, 2006 01:38 AM

                                      So should I get a Batali pannini maker and amake wonderful sandwiches and also use it to make Tuscan brick chicken? What's the consensus here?

                                      1. kitchensalli Oct 2, 2006 03:53 AM

                                        I just purchased the Mario Batali ‘6 Quart Italian Essentials Pot’ which is a cast iron, enamel glazed dutch oven. I’m participating in October's ‘Cookbook of the Month’ and this month its All About Braising and I needed a good braising pan. For any hounds in Canada – I got it at Zellers for 50% off on sale. The quality is very good and it’s a beautiful green. It weighs a ton but – that’s what you want. Can’t wait to break it in.

                                        1. AmblerGirl Sep 27, 2006 12:59 AM

                                          I just purchased Mario's panini pan and used it for the first time tonight. Not only is it beautiful (I have a gorgeous persimmon color) I was very impressed with the quality - good weight. It did not need any seasoning, heated up evenly, and the panini came out beautifully. I was torn between ordering this piece and a Le Creuset grill pan. I ordered this because they were running a special on Amazon (Le Creuset is often excluded from the Amazon special offers) and it came in a larger size than Le Creuset.. I am really happy I did. I have quite a few Le Creuset pieces and I actualy like the quality of this better.

                                          1. f
                                            faijay Sep 26, 2006 06:11 PM

                                            I bought a white 8 quart casserole at Winners Home Sense a few months ago for around $50 ( I have to look it up, it could be less) I have used it for bolognese sauce and osso buco and soup and it is great. Just as good as my large oval L.C., which is entering its 30th year, a little scratched but still working very well.

                                            Actually, the lid of Mario's pot has the little spikes like a straub, which have become really expensive. The spikes help rotating the moisture back into the braise.

                                            At the time I bought the M.B. they had more of the line, but I don't think they have any more. Some left overs may show up at a Winners store.

                                            I want a straub and am keeping my eyes peeled at yard sales etc.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: faijay
                                              c
                                              chilehound Oct 2, 2006 03:34 PM

                                              I don't mean to ask a dumb question, but what's a "straub"? I even looked it up in the dictionary and couldn't find it.

                                              1. re: chilehound
                                                Dommy Oct 2, 2006 08:05 PM

                                                Staub... Fancy french cast iron, costs even more than Le Creuset, they use it as 'decor' at one of Joel Roubuchon's place in Vegas... it's pretty funny... Anyway, and you can get it at Sur La Table.

                                                http://www.staubusa.com/

                                                --Dommy!

                                                1. re: Dommy
                                                  c
                                                  chilehound Oct 12, 2006 03:07 PM

                                                  Thanks. I might have to add one of these to my "must have" list.

                                                2. re: chilehound
                                                  s
                                                  sushiman Oct 3, 2006 03:10 AM

                                                  Staubs have a very special cover. There are numerous nipples spaced evenly across the inside surface. Condensation drips from them evenly across the entire inside, making them self basting.

                                                  The Batatli dutch ovens copy this feature.

                                                  1. re: sushiman
                                                    m
                                                    Miss Priss Oct 14, 2006 02:33 PM

                                                    I don't think this cover design originated with Staub, though Staub promotes it heavily. (Staub also makes lines of enameled cast iron that don't have the nipples.) Other cast-iron cookware manufacturers, including Lodge, have been making covers of this type for many years. I even used to have a heavy glass one (American-made) in the same style, but I could never determine whether it actually did what it claimed to do! Seems to me that msot of the condensed vapor just ran down the underside of the lid between the nipples.

                                              2. b
                                                bdumes Sep 25, 2006 11:02 PM

                                                I got my 6 quart dutch oven last week and it's just as heavy as they say (or more!) but for my money, very high quality. I've used it three times, and I'm extremely pleased with it.

                                                1. s
                                                  sushiman Sep 16, 2006 06:52 AM

                                                  I bought my g/f an enameledcast iron dutch oven and she loves it. It cooks great.

                                                  1. v
                                                    vanillagrrl Sep 9, 2006 05:11 AM

                                                    There was a review of lasagna pans including Mario's Extra Deep in a recent issue of Cooks Illustrated. They said the pan itself (without the lasagna) weighed 11 pounds!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: vanillagrrl
                                                      Chocolatechipkt Sep 15, 2006 01:14 PM

                                                      Aside from the weight, did they like the pan?

                                                    2. oaklandfoodie Sep 8, 2006 11:18 PM

                                                      I just purchased the 6-Quart Italian Essentials Enamel-on-Cast-Iron Pot from Amazon few weeks ago for 59 dollars. Since I haven't been able to purchase the same size LC - I thought it was worth a shot (based on good reviews from the board). It's just been shipped and I can't wait!

                                                      1. x
                                                        xanderbear Sep 8, 2006 06:54 PM

                                                        I bought the cast iron lasagna pan, just amazing! Made short ribs this past weekend and those turned out perfect as well. Very even heat distribution as well as aesthetically pleasing. Also purchased the wide wooden spoon, perfect for stir frying! Loved it so much bought another plus the measuring cups. The measuring cups aren't all they, very clumsy and crack very easily. Would avoid those even though the color is just great!

                                                        1. c
                                                          cheryl_h Sep 8, 2006 06:45 PM

                                                          I believe Batali's kitchenware is designed and manufactured by Copco who have lots of experience in making enamelled cast iron. I have some of their pots which are around 25+ years old and still going strong.

                                                          1. o
                                                            ognir Sep 8, 2006 06:23 PM

                                                            Yes, the colours are great, aren't they?

                                                            1. rumgum Sep 8, 2006 04:48 PM

                                                              I've been looking into Batali's line as well. I thought the prices were fine compared to Le Creuset's. But if the quality is poor, then you wouldn't be saving much. It's sounding like the line is better than mediocre.

                                                              Oh, I love the colors...persimmon, espresso..

                                                              1. b
                                                                btnfood Sep 8, 2006 04:00 PM

                                                                I have been very impressed with the enameled cookware in Batali's line. The shapes and finishes are outstanding and the prices are considerably lower than Le Creuset's.

                                                                1. themis Sep 8, 2006 02:42 PM

                                                                  I have his panini press, and I wouldn't characterize it as mediocre quality. I'll grab it before my Le Creuset, because it distributes heat more evenly. It weighs about a metric ton. I even put the whole thing on the grill and got it about as hot as I could, to make bricked chicken. You think that would have left some marks, but it didn't. You want to season it really, really well before you try that maneuver, though.

                                                                  Shallow of me, but I love the persimmon color, too.

                                                                  1. Kagemusha Sep 8, 2006 12:17 PM

                                                                    There seems to be a pandemic of celebrity chef gear, most of it mediocre quality and overpriced--just another form of celebrity worship, I guess. Try Bianco on Ave. Rd. This stuff should be in wide circulation soon if it isn't already(e.g., Home Outfitters, etc.).

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