I purchased the DE BUYER 5321.53 BAKING TRAY (carbon steel) from Food Equipment Direct. The shipping was $28! The pan was described as:
"remaining perfectly flat" during use in baking pastries as well as roasting in the oven. "Baking tray with oblique edges in blued iron, ideal for baking sponge cakes, tarts, puff or shortbread pastry, pizzas, Viennese pastries, roasting...Perfect for high temperatures. Extremely robust tray: remains perfectly flat."
However, upon first use (roasting at 375 F), the pan warped so much that the corner was more than 1.25" above the oven rack. Consequently, the oil on the pan ran off the opposite corner/sides, and spilled onto my oven, causing a huge mess. Additionally, that oil was quality oil and now wasted, and the vegetables could not evenly roast. When baking pastries (350 F) the pan warped the same amount. Although oil did not spill onto my oven while making pastries, you're not going to get a level pastry!
This is a play-by-play of my correspondence with them:
1. I emailed Food Equipment Direct (Culinary Cookware).
2. they responded with "We have forwarded your issues/concern to the manufacturers agent for review." they asked me to take pictures of the problem. As I don't have a camera, I had to arrange for a friend to come over to take the pictures. I explained this to them.
3. I sent pictures of the pans warping in the oven - I've attached them to this review as well.
4. Food Equipment Direct / Culinary Cookware told me that i was using the pan for improper purposes: "you are using this pan for a purpose for which is was not designed."
5. I explained that roasting is indeed stated is the intended use in their product description for this pan. I also stated that the pans warp when i cooked pastry at 350 F.
6. They responded with the following: "Yes, it is normal, all the plates will deformed, more or less, under the effect of the heating, new, they find their initial form. In the long run, they will end up distorted. The explanation of this phenomenon is technical, depends on the constraints due to the rolling, the quality of the annealing which follows and then the mechanical stresses put to the perforation of the holes if the plate is perforated and stamping the edges.”
They refused to acknowledge that the pans I received deformed not upon prolonged use, but upon first and second and third and fourth use, while new. If they "end up distorted in the long run," i'm scared to imagine how much more they will warp in the future. Their product description says that these pans "Remain perfectly flat." This is not true.
Food Equipment Direct / Culinary Cookware won't stand behind their own products, engage in false advertising, and will not return the items for refund, nor will they reimburse me for the shipping charges.
This is one of the worst shopping experiences I've ever had. I consider this as a stealing money. I read a product description, paid for merchandise described, and although it does not fit the description nor performs anything like it is described, the company will not return or refund. Theft!
Stay away from Food Equipment Direct / Culinary Cookware!
Reason of review: Not as described.
Monetary Loss: $97.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I didn't like:
False advertising, Will not stand behind products or product descriptions, Wasted my time asking for pictures of problem, Customer service refused to acknowledge false advertising, Will not refund for misrepresented product.