Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel:
COOK WELL, CLEAN EASY AND LOOK GREAT DOING IT!
If you’ve been on the lookout for an affordable Calphalon set, the Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware set might be the right one for you.
The Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set comes in a 10-piece and a 14- piece collection. Here’s what you get with each set:
|Calphalon Classic 10 Piece SS Set||Calphalon Classic 14 Piece SS Set|
|- 8-inch fry pan||- 8-inch fry pan|
|- 10-inch fry pan||- 10-inch fry pan|
|- 12-inch fry pan with cover|
|- 1.5-quart sauce pan with cover||- 1.5-quart sauce pan with cover|
|- 2.5-quart sauce pan with cover||- 2.5-quart sauce pan with cover|
|- 3.5-quart sauce pan with cover|
|- 3-quart sauté pan with cover||- 3-quart sauté pan with cover|
|- 6-quart stock pot with cover||- 8-quart stock pot with cover|
Personally I feel that the 10-piece set is a perfect starter set with all the basics you would need. My question for a cookware set is always:
Is there a lid for each pan? Here’s the scoop: the 3 qt sauté pan lid will fit the 10 inch fry pan. Unfortunately, there is no lid for the smaller 8-inch fry pan. Deal breaker? Hardly.
WHAT IS IT MADE OF?
Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware is made of stainless steel with a medium gauge ‘impact-bonded’ aluminum base. Generally speaking, gauge refers to the thickness of the metal. The heavier the gauge, the thicker the metal and therefore the pricier the cookware.
Note: the aluminum is only at the base and does not come in contact with the food. The cooking surface is stainless steel.
Clearly, with a medium gauge thickness to the aluminum base, this set is a more affordable option offered by Calphalon in their stainless steel lineup. If you are looking for heavier gauge cookware, you can consider Calphalon Tri-ply or even Calphalon Signature which is a 5 ply, heavy gauge construction. These sets have the middle layer clad all the way up the sides so expect to pay significantly more for them.
Now, if you’re wondering what is impact-bonded stainless steel, so was I, so I had to do some digging to understand better. I think this is another of those mind-boggling cookware descriptions that ends up being more confusing than helpful. So let’s break it down.
We all know that stainless steel is not a good conductor of heat. So it needs a layer of a metal like aluminum at the core so that the pan can heat up quickly and evenly.
Impact bonding is one of the methods by which the aluminum disc is attached to the stainless steel base. The layer of aluminum is not stuck with some adhesive to the base, but rather uses friction and very high pressure to form the bond between the two metals. This extreme friction and pressure results in an aluminum base that is completely and securely attached to the stainless steel base.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware is made of brushed stainless steel.
If you’re wondering about the difference between brushed and polished stainless steel, it’s a difference of finishing.
Brushed stainless steel goes through a finishing process where it is sanded with a fine bristle brush so that it has a dull finish.
Polished stainless steel goes through a mechanical polishing process with very fine abrasives that leaves a bright, mirror like finish.
If you’re wondering whether there’s a difference in performance of these types of stainless steel, there isn’t. By some accounts, polished stainless steel cookware needs a bit more maintenance to keep it bright and shiny since it shows every nick and dent. Brushed stainless steel cookware, on the other hand, tends to be more forgiving. It hides small scratches and maintains its look more easily.
Other than that, there’s no difference in performance or quality. So in the end, when it comes to brushed stainless steel or polished stainless steel, it’s really a matter of what look you prefer.
WHAT ABOUT THE HANDLES?
The Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel set has long stainless steel handles. The handles measure approximately 5 inches long and are solid, not hollow as some might expect. They are also double riveted for extra strength. Calphalon claims that these are stay cool handles and according to most users, the pan handles DO stay cool, even when the pan is hot, which is an excellent advantage.
The handles are ergonomically designed, which means they are easy to hold and provide a secure grip.
WHAT ARE THE LIDS LIKE?
The lids of this set are tempered glass which is a very useful feature since you can see the food while it is cooking without having to open and let all the steam out.
The handles of the lids are stainless steel and, according to most users, do get hot when cooking so keep a pot holder handy.
They also have built in strainers which line up with the pour spouts in the pots so you can drain liquids without the use of a colander. As one very happy user said, it means ‘one less dish to wash’! Amen to that!
ADDED TIME SAVING FEATURES
I’m all for convenience and I find this set offers a few unique features that really make it stand out for me:
- The pots all have measuring marks etched inside which makes it very convenient to measure liquids while cooking.
- The pots also come with easy pour spouts
- The lids have the built in strainers which line up with the spouts, making it really effortless to drain excess liquid.
POUR SPOUTS? WON’T THEY LET ALL THE STEAM OUT?
No. The pour spouts have to be lined up with the lid strainer to let steam or liquid out. When they are not lined up, they function like any other pot with a lid and you can steam anything you want.
CAN YOU USE THESE IN THE OVEN?
Yes, Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel is oven safe. The pots can be used with the lids up to a temperature of 450°F.
Word of caution: The stainless steel handles will become very hot in the oven so make sure you use a potholder or oven mitt.
WHAT ABOUT THE BROILER?
As with most stainless steel cookware, these pots are broiler safe.
IS IT DISHWASHER SAFE?
Yes, these pots are dishwasher safe. Calphalon does recommend, however, to handwash them so that you can preserve the luster of the stainless steel. As The Cookware Advisor, I highly endorse that recommendation.
CAN I USE METAL UTENSILS WITH THESE PANS?
Yes, you are safe to use pretty much any kind of utensil, including metal, wood, nylon and silicone.
CAN THIS COOKWARE BE USED WITH INDUCTION COOKTOPS?
Yes, this cookware is induction compatible. In fact it is safe to use on Gas, Electric, Halogen, and Glass Top cook tops
WHERE IS CALPHALON CLASSIC STAINLESS STEEL COOKWARE MADE?
While Calphalon is a Toledo, Ohio based company, the actual manufacturing plant is in China.
DOES IT INCLUDE A WARRANTY?
Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel set comes with a full lifetime lifetime warranty for defects in material or workmanship. Make sure you register your products on their website when you buy.
WHICH ONE IS BETTER, CALPHALON CLASSIC OR CALPHALON TRI-PLY?
This is a tough choice and really comes down to budget and what you can afford.
Both sets have good quality pans that will give you even heat and will last you for years.
But Calphalon Tri-ply is more expensive than Calphalon Classic and there’s a reason for it. It is made of heavy gauge material (vs medium gauge) and the aluminum core runs all the way up the sides instead of just at the bottom. This means it is stronger and will give even better heat conduction. So in a nutshell, Calphalon Tri-ply is heavier and better quality.
The other main difference is an aesthetic one: tri-ply has a polished stainless steel finish while classic has a brushed finish.
As mentioned in my Buyers Guide, your goal should be to buy the best cookware set you can afford. So if you can afford it, buy Calphalon Tri-ply. And if you’re on a bit of a budget, buy Calphalon Classic. Really, you won’t go wrong with either.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel has a lot of happy users. On Calphalon’s website, one user summed it up as: nice looking and good cooking!
Others complimented the ‘heft’ of the pans, which is a sign of quality.
Users also love the convenience of the measuring lines, the pour spouts and built in strainers on the lids.
General consensus is that you can’t go wrong purchasing this set. It has all the basics that a home chef would need.
ARE THERE ANY COMPLAINTS?
Yes, of course. My review would not be complete if I didn’t share any negatives about these pans. The great thing is that none of these complaints are deal breakers
- One complaint was that the pans stained quite easily after only a few uses. Honestly, that’s something I would expect of stainless steel and is nothing that a bit of Bar Keepers Friend and elbow grease won’t solve.
- Others complained of food sticking. Well, of course, it sticks, its stainless steel, not Teflon! There is a learning curve to using stainless steel cookware and if you’re using it for the first time, this article will be really helpful. Once you get the hang of it, I really think there is nothing like stainless steel when it comes to cookware material.
- No lid for the smallest 8-inch fry pan. Given that all the other pans have a lid or an interchangeable lid, this is really not a big deal or a deal breaker.
WHERE CAN I BUY THIS?
The best price I can find so far is on Amazon.