Thursday, September 29, 2011

Martha Stewart Enameled Cast Iron Recalled. That Sucks!

Okay, here's a post I never thought I would write. First, I am no Martha Stewart fan. Incredible personal history and entrepeneur, but still, not one of may favorite people. She's certainly no Julia Child. Second, Macy's. Love hate there. Any glimmer of a decent retail experience took a nose dive when Macy's bought out Marshall Field's and rebranded the Sioux Falls store. Again! Actually, I miss Dayton's. But occasionally, one can get a decent deal on merchandise at Macy's with the proper combination of sales prices, coupons, and a Macy's charge card.

So, I was out trolling for bargains in the old cookware department a couple of weeks ago. I was hoping to add to my collection of enameled cast iron.

If you haven't used enameled cast iron, you are seriously missing out. Some of the more famous brands are LeCrueset and Staub. A 5 to 7 quart covered enameled cast iron pan is, in my opinion, perhaps the single most valuable piece of equipment when it comes to cranking out authentic French food. The pot itself is called a "casserole" in more authentic French cookbooks, such as Mastering the Art of French Cooking. So, if you tried to make ratatouille in the short dish you used to take that Tater Tot Hot Dish to the First Lutheran Pot Luck last month, now you know why it didn't seem quite right.

LeCruset and Staub casseroles are spendy. If you can find a decent size for under $200, grab it! Macy's had a great alternative though. I mean, look, it's a heavy cast iron pot covered with enamel. How crazy can that be? Well, apparently simple enough that Martha got some factory in China to kick out ones that could be sold for less than a hundred bucks retail, on sale. Unfortunately, they got recalled. Here's the bulletin from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

I think there is something to this recall because my own casserole has a few spots where chips of enamel are missing. The Secret Salad Fork was relieved to hear about the recall, because until that time, grossly negligent dish washing technique had been identified as the cause of the chips.

So, take that sucker back to Macy's and get some semblance of a refund. I understand Macy's will roll out an improved version later. Chances are I am going to undergo a chronic case of Boeuf Bourguignon withdrawal that I expect will coincide with the fist snowfall of the season. I hope my Macy's refund will at least get me a down payment on a LeCrueset.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I own a French made Coussances casserole that I bought at a grocery store in France for about $30 back in the 90's. I love that pot and cooking in porcelain coated cast iron is the bomb, so when I saw a similar casserole made by Staub being sold on QVC for about $50 a few years back, I jumped on it and bought four as Christmas gifts.

When they arrived two had to be returned because they were already badly chipped despite what appeared to be fairly protective packaging. The bottom of the Staub pots said "Made in France" but to me, the product and the packaging sure looked like "Made in China".

Over the years with a lot of use for both, the Coussance pot is still in very decent condition. Not so for the Staub product, which regularly sheds chips from both inside and out.

When I saw the recall notice for the Martha Stewart product, I noted that it looked exactly like my Staub pot. I'm determined to look into this further to discover if this pot was made by the same manufacturer as the MS product because it certainly appears to have the same defect.