- todao Sep 30, 2012 01:36 PM
Been reading some reviews that include claims that the Chantal Enamel-on-Steel cookware is superior to Le Creuset, apparently because it doesn't scratch when using metal utensils.
Anyone have experience with this?
I have studied it from afar, talked with dealers, and *attempted* to learn more from the maker.
If you are talking about Chantal Copper Fusion, it is well-designed and heavy clad, coated inside and out with their "special" enamel. The people here who have it seem to like it very much.
In my discussions with dealers, I learned that the enamel starts out being quite nonstick, but that they experienced a high return rate after a brief honeymoon period ended and food started sticking more. One dealer in my state stopped carrying entirely for this reason, and another will not stock it (special order only). No dealer I talked to knows the thickness of the copper core; Chantal isn't telling even its own dealers.
Superior to LC? Probably so in terms of performance, but that says more about LC than it does about Chantal. It has never caught on in the market I think because of the cognitive dissonance of enamel-coated clad. That and the two colors that only a German could love.
As for a A-B comparison of the enamels' resistance to abrasion by metal utensils, I can't help. Except to recommend that a metal utensil should never be used in an enameled pan *to start with*. Make sense?
I'm still waiting for someone to saw one of these pans in half so we can see what's so secret about the inside.
About 20 + years ago my wife and I visited a Chantal facility in Austria.
We were taken on a tour to see the roughware ( before it is dipped and coated in the enamel ) which on some product lines, was obviously copper in a dull and blackish state. From there the items were dipped in an assembly line ( similar to an electroplate automated line ) cleaned, inspected, and packaged.
Very clean and professional, start to finish. We were also told that the magical mix was proprietary and a secret, which is as it should be in favour of Chantal. Obviously hypnotized by this mantra, I bought an oval oven roasting pan in blue, with an " unbreakable " glass dome lid, that years later forgot it was unbreakable one afternoon coming out of the oven.
I never replaced the lid, but somewhere in our kitchen cabinets that pan sits, clean, ready, and intact waiting to be used again. No doubt the crash of glass broke my hypnotic spell, and thus awakened, I then converted to using stainless steel cookware.
That enamel pan has never chipped, and one major reason for this fact is we never used stainless steel utensils with this pan ( Only wood or silicone ). Your wise caution to avoid using steel or metal utensils with enamel pots and pans, is again well-founded sage advice, as always..
Not to digress to much, but as we are discussing copperware and kitchens, I suggest you see, purchase, or legally download the 2012 film " Le Chef " with Jean Reno, and Michaël Youn.
My wife and I saw this last week and it is actually a very funny film. It might be titled " The Chef " in North America, or so other title. One of the few Jean Reno films where he is not a assasin or a flic. Some remarkable Copperware, too.
I am a Chantal user and buy the Copper Fusion line. The pan is a sandwich of carbon steel and copper, enameled inside and out. It is NOT non-stick. It is stick resistant if you don't over heat the pan. These pans are amazingly fast on induction burners and other cooking surfaces. I occasionally need to use some Bar Keepers Friend on them. They are my favorite pans.