While we give the Circulon Infinite the vote for best hard anodized cookware set (based on features, value for money, durability and user experience) Circulon Contempo is a good choice for a more budget conscious customer.
- 1-qt. Saucepan with lid
- 2-qt. Saucepan with lid
- 3-qt. Saute’ Pan with lid
- 8-qt. Stockpot with lid
- 8-in. French skillet
- 10-in. French skillet
WHAT IS IT MADE OF
The Circulon Contempo set is made of heavy guage hard anodized aluminium. This means your food will cook quickly and evenly, giving you great cooking results.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE
This cookware has an eye catching and sophisticated particularly due to the padded handles.
The handles not only have a cool look but are also comfortable to hold. They are made of stainless steel which is then padded with silicone to give a good grip as well as stay cool so you don’t need a potholder to pick one up.
The handles are dual riveted to the pans which ensures they are strong and will not fall off! Each handle also has a pull out metal ring giving the option of storing your cookware upright.
The lids are made of shatter resistant tempered glass with stainless steel rims. They have a domed shape and the handles have the same silicone padding as the pans. The lid for the stockpot and the sauté pan fit the 10 inch skillet which in my opinion is a very nice to have feature. There are no steam vents in the lids.
If you are looking for a set with stainless steel lids then you should look at the Circulon Infinite hard anodized set.
WHAT ABOUT THE NONSTICK COATING?
Circulon cookware uses DuPont’s™ advanced 3-layer nonstick coating called Autograph which is applied to the inside as well as outside.
DuPont™ is the same company that makes Teflon. The Autograph coating is one of their most advanced nonstick offerings. According to DuPont, it is designed for maximum performance, extra long life, easy cook and clean and excellent durability. It has been restaurant tested and is targeted towards quality-oriented, avid cooks.
One of the highlights of Circulon Contempo cookware is its patented TOTAL® Food Release system. The nonstick coating is applied in a unique “Hi-Low” ring design that reduces surface abrasion by allowing only a portion of food and utensils to touch.
This gives exceptional food release performance and maximizes the durability of the non-stick. This is true across all the Circulon pans that are non-stick.
Circulon nonstick cookware is metal utensil safe. However, read precautions below.
Unlike ordinary hard-anodized pans, Circulon Contempo also has the nonstick coating applied to the outside of the pan. Not only does this make it easy to clean, but it also means that the pan also won’t stain, scratch or chip (thanks to the hard-anodizing process) and that the Circulon pans will retain their looks.
ANY COOKING PRECAUTIONS YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF?
- Even though the Circulon Contempo cookware is metal utensil safe, I would still recommend to use plastic, wooden or rubber utensils during cooking to maximize the life of any non-stick cookware.
- Use of high heat is not recommended with these Circulon pans as high heat can cause foods to stick. Low to medium heat is recommended as the pans are designed to conduct heat well.
- Don’t use cooking spray as it burns at lower temperatures and can burn into the non-stick coating causing build up of the spray. This will cause sticking and damage to the non-stick coating and sometimes give the cookware a “rusty” appearance.
(Important to note, use of cooking sprays and high heat will void the warranty on these Circulon pans (source: Circulon.com)
- Pans should be washed after every use so food residue is not allowed to build up, which will, after time, cause sticking and damage the non-stick coating.
CAN YOU USE THESE IN THE OVEN?
Circulon Contempo pots are oven safe up to 400 degrees.
WHAT ABOUT THE BROILER?
While the Circulon cookware website doesn’t say anything on this, it is advisable to stay away from the broiler for ANY non-stick pan, even if the manufacturer says it’s ok. Reason for this is that at a high heat, not only do non-stick coatings deteriorate but release toxic fumes.
IS IT DISHWASHER SAFE?
Circulon Contempo hard anodized cookware is NOT to be washed in the dishwasher. If you want a dishwasher safe set, consider Circulon Infinite.
CAN IT BE USED WITH INDUCTION COOKTOPS?
No it’s not induction compatible. For an induction compatible hard anodized cookware set, consider Circulon Infinite.
DOES IT INCLUDE A WARRANTY?
Yes it comes with a lifetime warranty against defects
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
The Circulon Contempo is a very popular set with consumers giving it very high ratings on all websites.
Goodhousekeeping.com gives it an A- with only minor negatives (listed below).
ARE THERE ANY COMPLAINTS?
As with anything else, Circulon Contempo has its share criticism. Here are some of the comments:
- According to Goodhousekeeping, the handles are attached with rivets, creating additional crevices to clean. Not a serious issue.
- Also, they say the cookware can stains from use, though the stains can be removed with an abrasive cleaner.
- Lastly, a few users complain that the handles are hollow, and when you wash them they can fill up with water. Since only a couple of customers mentioned this, it doesn’t seem to be an issue for most users.
Overall, I think the Circulon Contempo 10 piece nonstick set offers excellent quality at a reasonable price. Check latest prices here.