Cookware Cookware sets

Product Review: Calphalon Classic Cookware Set

Calphalon Classic

Calphalon started in 1963 as Commercial Aluminum Cookware. This company was the first to use hard-anodization, discovered in the late 1960s, to produce kitchenware. Since then, Calphalon has been known as an innovative leader in cookware and cutlery.

The Calphalon Classic Cookware series was released in 2016, with the needs of the everyday home cook in mind. This kitchenware was designed for ease-of-use and exceptional durability. In the article below, we’ll take an in-depth look at Calphalon’s Classic Cookware collections.

 

The Calphalon Classic Collections

Calphalon Classic Cookware is available in three different collections that include stainless steel, nonstick, and ceramic nonstick. Fill lines, pour spouts, and straining lids are some of the features that differentiate this Calphalon collection.

The stainless steel cookware is one of Calphalon’s most durable and versatile sets. If you’re looking for a nonstick alternative, Calphalon offers dual-layer, PFOA-free Nonstick Cookware and Ceramic Nonstick Cookware.

Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware

Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware

The 10-piece set includes:

  • 8-Inch Fry Pan
  • 10-Inch Fry Pan
  • 5-Quart Sauce Pan with Lid
  • 5-Quart Sauce Pan with Lid
  • 3-Quart Sauté Pan with Lid
  • 6-Quart Stock Pot with Lid

Calphalon Classic Nonstick Cookware

Calphalon Classic Nonstick Cookware

A 10-piece set includes:

  • 8-Inch Fry Pan
  • 10-Inch Fry Pan
  • 5-Quart Sauce Pan with Lid
  • 5-Quart Sauce Pan with Lid
  • 3-Quart Sauté Pan with Lid
  • 6-Quart Stock Pot with Lid

Calphalon Classic Ceramic Nonstick Cookware

Calphalon Classic Ceramic Nonstick Cookware

An 11-piece set includes:

  • 8-Inch Fry Pan
  • 10-Inch Fry Pan
  • 12-Inch Round Griddle
  • 5-Quart Sauce Pan with Lid
  • 5-Quart Sauce Pan with Lid
  • 3-Quart Sauté Pan with Lid
  • 5-Quart Dutch Oven with Lid

 

The Review

Not sure which Calphalon Classic Collection is right for you? No worries, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to choose the best kitchenware for you. We’re reviewing the three sets for durability, even heating, ease of use, versatility, cleanup, and value.

Durability

The stainless steel set has a sturdy, impact-bonded aluminum base with a brushed stainless steel surface. All the collections have extra-durable handles that are double-riveted. You can clean these pots and pans in the dishwasher. Oven-safe up to 400°F, and suitable for use on electric, gas, halogen, and induction stovetops, this kitchenware was built to last.

Both nonstick collections have hard-anodized aluminum bases and are oven-safe up to 450°F. All the Classic Cookware comes with tempered glass lids that won’t shatter easily. The Teflon coating of the Nonstick Cookware is, unfortunately, less durable. You have to follow care and handling instructions precisely to avoid damaging the surface of these pots and pans.

The Ceramic Nonstick set has a robust surface that’s resistant to stains and scratches. However, this coating can easily chip if exposed to impact. Metal can damage both of the nonstick finishes, so stick to silicone, nylon, and wooden utensils. Neither nonstick set is suitable for induction, so you should only use this cookware with gas, electric, electric coil, ceramic, or halogen stoves.

One word of precaution, avoid stacking the Ceramic Nonstick Cookware without protective sheets in between the pans. Storing your kitchenware this way can cause the ceramic coating to wear off. The Classic Nonstick set is NOT dishwasher safe, so you should always wash this kitchenware by hand.

Even Heating

The stainless steel pans cook food exceptionally evenly, thanks to the aluminum core. The same is true of the nonstick and ceramic nonstick sets. These pans work best at medium and low temperatures. High temperatures can make food stick and discolor the bottom of the pan. You’ll have to preheat the stainless steel pans before adding butter or oil.

Only use the nonstick and ceramic nonstick cookware with medium and low heat. High heat can cause the nonstick pans to warp and bend, while ceramic nonstick pans get burn marks on their light-colored surfaces. Never use aerosol cooking sprays with nonstick pans since these cause damage to the nonstick coating. We recommend using an oil mister instead.

All the sets have stay-cool handles that help protect your hands from extreme heat. With short cooking times and low to medium heat, these handles remain cool to the touch. However, if you leave your pan on high heat for a prolonged time, the handles can get scorching hot. We recommend getting out potholders before you turn up the heat.

Regardless of which set you choose, all three collections have precise, even heating properties. You’ll get perfectly golden pancakes every single time. However, we don’t recommend cooking eggs in the stainless steel pans since they almost always stick.

Ease of Use

What we love most about this collection is that it was made for ease of use in the home kitchen. The straining lids eliminate the need for a colander. You can even leave some of the holes open to keep your liquids from boiling over.

Calphalon Classic Ease of Use

The fill lines on the inside of the pot line up with the spouts so you can quickly measure your liquid ingredients. Pour spouts on each side of the saucepans enable simple draining and serving. The edges of this kitchenware are curved, which allows for drip-free pouring, even when using the pots without spouts.

You can use all utensils with your stainless steel cookware, even metal. With the nonstick and ceramic sets, you’ll have to use nylon, silicone, or wooden utensils. All the Classic cookware has a smooth base that’s ideal for cooking on glass-ceramic ranges.

The stainless steel pots and pans, while more durable than the nonstick and ceramic collections are heavier. The 10-inch fry pan weighs 2.2 pounds, and the 10-piece set altogether weighs nearly 23lbs. The nonstick kitchenware is the lightest of the Classic collection. A 10-inch fry pan weighs only 1.8 pounds, and the entire set weighs just over 20lbs.

Versatility

The Calphalon Stainless Steel and Nonstick Cookware sets have identically-sized pots and pans. The thoughtful assortment of sizes suits itself well to preparing a variety of different dishes. The two small fry pans are suitable for individual meals and cooking garnishes. For curries, stir-fries, risottos and other saucy meals, you’ll probably use the sauté pan most often.

We wish the deep saucepans were wider since food can easily stick to the bottom before the surface is hot. Also, the straining lids don’t fit well onto the fry pans because the holes allow steam to escape. We found that the deep drain lid on the Dutch oven often dips into dishes when the pan is mostly full.

The Ceramic Nonstick Cookware is similar to the first two sets but includes a 12-inch round griddle pan. Instead of a 6-Quart stockpot, you get a 5-Quart Dutch oven, which is also ideal for making mashed potatoes, soups, and pasta for two. The griddle has short edges, which makes it slightly less versatile.

You can do without your measuring cup and colander. The convenient measurement marks on the side, and the straining lids make mean less washing up when dinner is over. We like that the short handles make storage easier. You can also stack this cookware to save more space since the small pots fit comfortably on top of the larger ones. Just remember to use a towel or protective sheet between nonstick and ceramic cookware.

Cleanup

It’s easy to burn food on the bottom of the stainless steel pans when cooking with high heat. You’ll get the best results and less stuck on food when using lower heat settings. For simpler cleanup, we recommend letting the pan soak in hot water and dish soap.

Calphalon Classic Clean Up

You can use abrasive sponges, cleaning scrubbers, and the dishwasher to get your stainless steel kitchenware sparkling clean. However, these pots and pans tend to lose their shine. Bar Keeper’s liquid can help restore their finish.

You’ll have to be more gentle with the nonstick and ceramic sets. The nonstick surface breaks down in the dishwasher, which can then wipe off on towels. The ceramic coatings are susceptible to chipping, so you should only use soft sponges. On the plus side, the nonstick coatings are effortless to clean. Just don’t stack your nonstick pots and pans in the sink. The fragile surfaces can scratch and chip.

One of the difficulties of cleaning the nonstick pans is that the capped rivets are not nonstick. These can be challenging to clean without damaging the surrounding nonstick surface. Another problem is the narrow gap between the glass of the pan lids and the metal rims. You’ll need a knife or other thin tool to scrape out the buildup that can accumulate in this area.

Value

The Classic Stainless Steel Cookware is excellent quality for a lower price than other Calphalon collections. When properly cared for, these stainless steel pots and pans could last you a lifetime.

The Classic Nonstick Cookware is less durable but costs about the same as the stainless steel set. You can’t put this kitchenware in the dishwasher, use metal utensils, or abrasive cleaners. It’s unlikely that this cookware will last you decades. As a result, we find the stainless steel collection a better value.

The Classic Ceramic Nonstick Cookware is a better value nonstick collection. If you’re careful not to overheat this kitchenware or chip the surface, it can last significantly longer. The ceramic cookware tends to cost slightly more, but you’ll get a better nonstick surface.

Overall, all three collections offer exceptional value. You get a practical variety of pots and pans with thoughtful touches that simplify cleanup. The sets are also more affordable than many other cookware collections you’ll find in stores.

You’ll get a lifetime warranty with the Classic Stainless Steel and Nonstick Cookware. The Classic Ceramic Cookware comes with a full 10-year warranty.

 

Other Calphalon Classic Pots and Pans

You can purchase the Calphalon Classic Cookware in sets or as individual pieces. In addition to the items in the collections, you can also find other pots and pans to fit your everyday needs.

Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless Steel 8-Quart Multi-Pot

Stainless Steel 8-Quart Multi-Pot

The Multi-Pot is a four-piece set that includes a steamer and pasta insert as well as a tempered glass lid.

Stainless Steel 12-Inch Stir-Fry Pan

Stainless Steel 12-Inch Stir-Fry Pan

This wok has a small base suitable for searing and sautéing.

Stainless Steel Steamer Insert

Stainless Steel Steamer Insert

The steamer insert fits 6-Quart and 8-Quart stockpots.

Nonstick Cookware

Nonstick Roaster with Nonstick Rack

Nonstick Roaster with Nonstick Rack

The nonstick roaster is perfect for cooking a ham, chicken, or small turkey. Underneath, there’s plenty of space for your vegetables or stuffing.

Nonstick Double Griddle Pan

Nonstick Double Griddle Pan

This extra-large griddle fits over two burners, giving you plenty of space to prepare your breakfast pancakes, eggs, toast, and hash browns.

Nonstick Panini Pan and Press

Nonstick Panini Pan and Press

The nonstick panini pan will leave authentic grill marks on your sandwiches, vegetables, and meats while draining away excess fats.

Ceramic Nonstick Cookware

Ceramic Nonstick 12-Inch Round Grill Pan

Ceramic Nonstick 12-Inch Round Grill Pan

The ceramic set only has one additional piece that’s not included in the collection. This round grill pan is perfect for searing hamburgers, meats, and sandwiches.

 

Is Calphalon Classic Cookware Right for Me?

If you’re looking for high-quality Calphalon Cookware at a home chef price, the Classic Cookware collections provide an ideal solution. All three sets offer excellent heat distribution. We recommend the Classic Stainless Steel Cookware for the best value. This collection has the most robust pots and pans. However, you’ll need to cook with more oil to reduce sticking.

Those who plan to prepare eggs and other sticky foods will probably prefer nonstick coatings. The Classic Nonstick Cookware is much easier to clean and has all the same sizes as the stainless steel set. If you clean this kitchenware carefully and stick to soft nylon and silicone utensils, this set could be a better option for you. All Calphalon Nonstick Cookware is made without PFOA.

The Classic Ceramic Nonstick Cookware offers a better nonstick surface. This nonstick coating is also free of both PFOA and PTFE, for a healthier cooking experience. The price may be slightly higher, and you’ll have to take care not to chip the coatings. However, the ceramic kitchenware should last longer than the traditional nonstick.

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