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Apr 14, 2011 09:22 PM

Mario Batali Brand Products from Crate and Barrel - Quality?

My darling husband and I received a very generous gift certificate from Crate and Barrel for our wedding earlier this year. I sort of have my eye on Batali's 'Polenta' (yellow) colored 3-quart soup pot and braiser. Has anybody tried his cookware? Should we go for it or should I hold out for Le Creuset's pricier (but beautiful!) Dijon colored items? We currently have a gorgeous LC 5.5 round oven in Caribbean, and I like the idea of mixing yellow and blue. :)

ETA: Here are some links to said products!

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  1. Go for LC. Batali-ware is just a celebrity-branded, Chinese-made knock-off of so-so quality that's really more a piece of kitchen decor.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Kagemusha

      I heartily disagree. The quality is very good and I have used my $100 6-qt. dutch oven for over 5 years and it is in great shape.

      Just curious you own(ed) any of the items in question? If so, what happened to them that makes you give them a thumb's down?

      1. re: ttoommyy

        It's usually a matter of QC and materials on Chinese-made enameled cast-iron and Batali-ware is no different. Things like enamel consistency and coverage and finish on the exposed cast-iron aren't in the LC/Staub range but then neither is the price. Bought a small piece from Costco in Toronto a few years ago that developed fine scoring/cracks in the interior bottom cooking surface after light, careful use. Gave it away. It's about value and I'm not sold on the Chinese-made lines(whatever the price and logo) for long-term durability relative to the pricier stuff. As they say, YMMV.

        1. re: Kagemusha

          II've used and have Le Creuset, Rachel Ray, Cuisinart and Costco Kirkland cast iron enameled pans.

          All in all, I prefer Mario's.

    2. You can pick up a 2.75 LC soup pot in the outlets for around $80-$90. Not sure if they have them in yellow though as I don't remember them being made in that color. I have one Batali 6 qt. pot in Chianti I got for my mom's house for about $50 and it's fine, but I don't use it that much.

      1. Eh, I'll go against the grain and say the Batali stuff is fine, particularly given the price difference between LC and Batali.

        It's made by Copco. I sold it for years when I was working at a housewares store. We had very few returns and didn't get complaints about performance or chipping.

        I have one I bought with my discount and keep at my mom's house for use there. I don't use it nearly as often as my own LC in my house but it's still going on...I think 5 years old now. It gets used by her caregivers as well as me and they can be rough on things. Still holding up with no visible chips or cracks.

        Batali stuff has always been in attractive colors I think.

        Anyway, it is made in China if that's a concern to you as it is many consumers.

        1. Read this:

          As an aside I have Batali's panini pan that someone gave me as a gift and it was clearly designed more to fly off the shelf in the store than it is to be a serious cooking tool.

          I don't have a lot of money to throw around and for that reason and based on 25 years of cooking experience, I pay for quality. One Le Creuset DC that lasts 20 years is much cheaper than going through 4-5 that cost half as much.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LovinSpoonful

            Oh, wow, thanks for the link! Yeah, we'll be using the gift card for other things, and just save up for another LC piece. :)

          2. I have had this 6-qt. dutch oven since it came on the market and it is great. I see no reason to buy a comparable LC at a much higher price.