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Ballarini Bellamonte Enameled Cast Iron Cookware? Good, bad, other?


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Ballarini Bellamonte

 

I recently was notified that Ballarini/Zwilling was selling enameled cast iron cookware made in Vietnam.  The webpage makes it resemble Staub but, I wonder.  Is this just Staub molds made and fired in Vietnam?

 

Does anyone have personal experience with this cookware?  How does it rate compared to LC or Staub or is it more like the enameled Lodge and similar celebrity chef options?

 

TIA,

Sid

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I am unfamiliar with the brand but I'm of a mind that, for the most part, cast iron is cast iron.

 

If you're looking for a budget enameled cast iron piece, check out your local HomeGoods or TJ Maxx...

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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My experience with French and Belgian cookware is much better than that with Asian made options.  The store you mentioned are not a good option for me today as the prices I saw where more than buying new online on the random items I looked at.

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I don’t like to be cavalier with other people’s money, and 100 bucks is a fair amount to some folks on the site.   That said given the lifetime nature of good cast iron I wouldn’t fool around with this while Staub is in the middle of it’s annual holiday deep sale.  Unless you are looking for a different size than the ones on sale

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Cast-iron is cast-iron. Enamel is enamel. But where the rubber meets the road is how you bond them together. In my experience the cheaper ones soon chip and flake. Le Creuset will tolerate a fair amount of abuse but will last and last with care. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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On 12/4/2022 at 8:44 PM, Anna N said:

Cast-iron is cast-iron. Enamel is enamel. But where the rubber meets the road is how you bond them together. In my experience the cheaper ones soon chip and flake. Le Creuset will tolerate a fair amount of abuse but will last and last with care. 


Exactly this. We’ve got three enamelled cast iron pans - two le crueset and one cheap knock off. The le crueset one’s I’ve had for twenty plus years and they are perfect, the cheap one chipped within a couple of years so now sits in a cupboard. Just take the hit on a decent brand and never buy again. 

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2 hours ago, &roid said:

Just take the hit on a decent brand and never buy again. 

 

This is the hard thing to get people to understand, but what about those unable to make that investment up front?  In that case, I say to wait until the investment can be made, keeping eyes open like in thrift shops, second hand stores, estate sales, etc.

 

 

 

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Very good points, @weinoo. I’d have no qualms about buying second hand versions - a quick look over and you know that they are fine. On le crueset you can buy new metal handles to replace the (??) Bakelite ones if they’ve become cracked, damaged or have gone missing; otherwise so long as the cooking surface inside looks solid you should be fine forever. 

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18 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

This is the hard thing to get people to understand, but what about those unable to make that investment up front?  In that case, I say to wait until the investment can be made, keeping eyes open like in thrift shops, second hand stores, estate sales, etc.

 

Zwilling has good sales on Staub so, the $100 for a 4-qt Dutch Oven is hard to pass up for me generally.  I wish LC wasn't so premium but, I get they are targeting a different market segment and affluence level.

 

Lodge raw cast iron generally works really well for people of modest means but, with the inflation and supply chain problems, for me at least, everything has easily doubled in cost.  2-qt Dutch Ovens are ~$60 now and the 5-qt ovens are ~$80USD so, the difference between them and Staub isn't nearly as much as it used to be.

 

The thing for me with enameled cast iron and pottery is worry about leached lead in questionable imported stuff.  Then there is flaking to worry about with normal usage and minor handling hiccups.

 

If a brand with a lot of name reputation for premium products makes some enameled cast iron, I at least look at it.  FWIW, I don't consider Lodge or Cuisinart as a name brand with a premium reputation!  😉  Good products but, not premium in the marketplace so, manufacturing shortcuts are more likely and often easy to discern.

Edited by Sid Post (log)
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Serious Eats tested a ton of cast iron (not literally a ton, but...)...

 

https://www.seriouseats.com/best-cast-iron-skillet

 

As well as the enameled...

 

https://www.seriouseats.com/best-cast-iron-dutch-ovens-equipment-review

 

7 minutes ago, Sid Post said:

Zwilling has good sales on Staub so, the $100 for a 4-qt Dutch Oven is hard to pass up for me generally.

 

That deal on the Staub 4 qt. comes around somewhat frequently...I pass it up...now that I have one (or two). Great gift also!

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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