I've been lurking for two and a half years but I finally joined tonight. I first found your site when I was beginning to replace my Calphalon anodized aluminum cookware with cast iron. –My grandmother would have been proud . . .
Anyway, you guys seem to always have the answers to simply everything!
I have mostly liked my cast iron since making the switch–except for one piece that I've had to strip and reseason several times. It's too bad really, because it's my favorite piece otherwise. But then I found carbon steel . . . A friend gifted me with a de Beyer carbon steel crepe pan for my birthday a couple of years ago AND made me crepes for breakfast! I've been in love with the pan since. I couldn't believe that after using it 2-3 times it's been slick as glass ever since. I much prefer it to my CI pieces so I decided to buy a de Beyer Country Pan, the one with the high sides. Since I always feel I need more skillet real estate–especially when making my favorite sweet potato & spinach fritatta–I had been eyeing this pan for a long time so I bought it on sale at WS a couple of weeks ago, or I ordered it.
Meanwhile, while perusing the shiny goodies in the store, I ran across the Staub Universal Deluxe pan (Grenadine), which I'd also read a lot of reviews of. They were willing to price match a $99 price at an online reseller, so I bought this pan too! And I love it! I've filled it with potatoes, cooked potato latkes in it, eggs, pancakes, etc. I've read where people advise against cooking eggs in it because of the cook surface but I disagree–the surface is far smoother than that of any piece of bare CI that I own. Eggs easily slide around, maybe not like with the de Beyer crepe pan, but far better than on the rough and bumpy surface of my Lodge skillets. Even the pancakes easily slid around and were super easy to turn and remove from the pan. Being single and vegetarian, I can't imagine any other skillet than these two.
My only issues with it were when browning some potatoes as it seemed to accumulate a layer of soft potato residue if that makes any sense. I was really worried about how it would clean up but I was amazed that it took me less than five minutes. So then my eye began wandering and looking at more Staub pieces online. Uh oh, I instantly recognized this compulsive behavior. I'm a bit of a fountain pen "collector" and my fellow pen peeps and I would call this falling hard and fast down the rabbit hole . . .
The de Beyer arrived and, even though I knew it would be a big pan, I was surprised at how big it actually is, and that's mainly becauwse of the length of the handle and it's angle, which makes it really high. I opted to keep the Staub and return this one. Since then I've added two Staub Petite French Ovens–one in Grenadine and one in the WS LE white with copper knob, and a 4 qt basil cocotte. And eventually I'll buy this 2.25 qt one because it's just so lovely:
I know that many Le Creuset users tend to buy pieces in multipe colors but in reviews of Staub pieces, many people tend to buy only one color.
So my first question is–do you mix and match or buy only one color, and why?
And my second question is about the warranty. I've read very positive things about LC's fabulous warranty and customer service. Staub products seem like similar exellent quality but I've read reviews by people who noticed chips scratches, etc., and were told by Staub that it was user error and, as such, would not be covered. I do realize that there could be some truth to this, i.e. people who aren't familiar with cooking with cast iron and don't know about heat limits, slow warm-up, etc., but this is still a concern to me. I'd appreciate anybody's feedback about this and what your experiences have been.
The photos show the size and scale of the de Beyer compared to the crepe pan, to my favorite coffee cup and to the Universal pan.
So sorry for writing a novella here!