About

Strong cast iron construction

Durable porcelain enamel finish on the exterior

Gloss enamel interior

Safe for gas, electric and ceramic-top ranges

Cleans easily, hand washing recommended

  • Color: Chianti (dark red)
  • Weight: 5 lb 13 oz
  • Made In: China
  • Warranty: Lifetime against defects
  • Dimensions: 17-3/4" x 11-1/4" x 2-3/8"
  • Composition: Enameled cast iron
  • Manufacturer: Copco/Wilton Industries
  • Other versions: Other Batali cast iron cookware

Ambitions

Apparent goal: kids gift/registry home kitchens restaurants everywhere
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Diet/nutrition: does not apply scary empty promises helpful essential
Green?: not especially neutral mixed blessing earth friendly green!
Innovative: step back standing still progress trendy genius
Problem solving: no better baby steps solid steps giant steps a revelation
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ

Utility/Quality

Ease of use: impossible frustrating OK simple child's play
Intuitive: Ph.D. required barely logical effortless brilliant
Instructions: missing incomprehensible adequate unnecessary excellent
Quality: cheesy questionable good years of service impressive
Parts to lose: inevitable some/many one-piece self-storing not a problem
Power source: none hands batteries outlet stovetop/oven
Clean-up: nightmare wipe clean soap & water scouring pad dishwasher
Does it work?: not at all adequately well very well perfectly
Availability: airfare required online kitchen store department store supermarket

Packaging

Easy to open?: impossible maddening tolerable good opens itself
Green?: fills a landfill huge waste passable minimal waste impressive

Economy

Time saving: time wasting not really modest substantial huge
Labor saving: less efficient marginal a bit noticeable remarkable
Money saving: money wasted none $ $$ $$$

Summary

Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfies exceeds home run
How often used: once/twice ≥daily ≥weekly ≥monthly ≥yearly/holidays
Worth the space?: no does not apply w/unlimited space w/limited space absolutely
Need it?: a luxury discretionary basic equipment for serious cooks get it
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it fair good very good excellent

Comments: We do not want to nit-pick – although it seems we do more than our share – but we would really call this a skillet or fry pan, rather than a sauté pan. A sauté pan traditionally has a flat bottom and relatively high, straight sides. With such an arrangement, the cook (showing courage and skill) jerks the handle of the pan back toward his or her midsection, causing the ingredients in the pan to hit the edge of the pan on the opposite side and jump (or sauter in French), so that they turn themselves over, are stirred as they jump around, and cook evenly. The courageous cook performs this move multiple times.

The sides of this pan are flared, like a more traditional skillet or fry pan. If you jerk the pan toward you, it is quite likely that some of the ingredients will jump and fall back in the pan (the desired outcome) while some may tumble beyond the edge of the pan and all over the stove (a disappointment). Furthermore, the instructions are explicit in asking you to pick up the pan rather than slide it on the surface of your stove (to protect the enameled surface), so sautéing opportunities are quite limited.

As a skillet, though, it’s lovely. This pan has heavy cast iron construction, with a porcelain enamel finish on the exterior, and a gloss enamel finish on the interior. It is not exactly a non-stick finish in the strictest sense of the word, but we couldn’t get much to stick to it, and when we did, it cleaned up well. It can be used on a gas, electric, or ceramic stovetop (low to medium heat only) or in the oven up to 500°F (260°C). The handle gets hot no matter where it is, so keep a towel or oven mitt handy. There is a pouring spout on either side. The pan is dishwasher-safe, but over time, the harsh environment of the dishwasher will dull the finish. Hand washing is recommended.

It is a lovely thing that Chef Mario Batali includes a few recipes from his many cookbooks. Apparently the same booklet accompanies each piece of cookware in the Italian Kitchen line, though, and most of the recipes actually utilize the Dutch Oven, rather than this pan.

We are fans of cast iron cookware, and think everyone should have at least one skillet. This is a great choice, with the added benefit that it costs half or less of some others on the market. It is not a pan not to be sneezed at – no matter what you call it.