enameled cast iron: Staub/LC vs Mario/Kitchen Select
Does anyone own both the "big brands" and the "off brands" and have experience to comment? I have a few questions about why I should pay up to 4x the price for similar pans.
1. Is there a safety issue with the color process? What is the difference in "enamel" processes?
2. Will one chip or wear more easily, say the first couple years, and do you know this from experience? (I understand some come with different warranty years but frankly 25 yrs versus "lifetime" becomes moot as a cook moves on in years and has little time to sweat the small stuff. Will I really dog the company at 75 if I chip a favorite pot I picked up for a song at TJMaxx?)
3. I can see Staub, for example, has the raised dots on the lid, LC & the lesser priced do not. Any other design differences? Is it just a matter of pot shape?
I have a couple Mario Batali and a couple Kitchen Select. The newest, a 5qt KS which runs $35-40, I've probably used 20x. The others more than I can count. I find them all easy to use & clean, and easy on the eyes. The KS is about 1/4 the price of the LC. What exactly are we buying, outside of marketing? The special shapes I understand. But what about 2 similar round pots?
Others have noted a bit more cast iron on the edges but I don't find this to be a problem. I hand dry & would do the same with any brand. I put no pan in the DW, so that's not a consideration.
If there was a health issue I'd switch in a heartbeat but I can't see a performance issue. Than again, I don't own the higher priced versions!!!
Anyone with both out there?
Any "pot engineers?"