This is a review of Calphalon’s Classic Stainless Steel cookware set.
It’s tough to beat stainless steel when it comes to getting a perfect steak or tomato-based sauce. It’s non-reactive and retains heat, so stainless steel is ideal for high-heat cooking or simmering sauces.
But when I’m in a hurry, waiting on my stainless pans to heat can be a major pain.
One easy solution? Cooking with an impact-bonded stainless steel pan. It heats up quickly and evenly while still giving me all the benefits of stainless steel.
The Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel set is high-quality and well-suited to people who know how to cook with stainless cookware. This is a more affordable alternative to all-around multi-ply cookware.
But is it the right set for you? Keep reading my Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel review to find out.
What to look for in impact-bonded stainless steel
What is impact-bonded stainless steel?
Impact-bonded stainless steel cookware has a stainless steel exterior and a multi-layer base containing highly conductive material like aluminum or copper. Impact-bonded is different than multi-clad, which has layers throughout the sides, as well.
For this reason, impact-bonded stainless steel heats up more slowly and unevenly than multi-clad cookware. But it’s also significantly more affordable.
What are the advantages of impact-bonded stainless cookware?
Stainless steel is great because it’s durable, attractive, and retains heat well. It’s lower-maintenance than cast iron. And unlike non-stick pots and pans, you don’t have to worry about peeling, flaking, or scratching. It’s a safe and versatile way to cook.
But like all cookware materials, stainless steel has some drawbacks. It is not the best heat conductor, and it doesn’t distribute heat as evenly as other materials.
And if you’ve ever had a frying pan with hotspots? You know how uneven cooking can take dishes from masterpiece to mistake.
Manufacturers reduce these drawbacks by bonding an aluminum base with stainless steel. Impact-bonded aluminum bases heat quickly and evenly. As with other stainless cookware, impact-bonded stainless is dishwasher-safe and safe for metal cooking tools.
Tips for cooking with impact-bonded stainless
Cooking with stainless steel is not the same as cooking with cast iron or non-stick pans. You need to use the appropriate techniques to avoid sticking.
If you’re new to stainless pans, I recommend reading up on how to use them before diving in. This will save you frustration and a lot of scrubbing. The following three tips can help you get started:
- While stainless can handle high heat, it’s best to use low or medium temperatures. Cooking food at too high a temperature will cause it to stick to the pan.
- Preheating the pan is essential. You can test to see if the pan is preheated by sprinkling a few water droplets on the pan. If the water beads and rolls around the pan, you know it’s sufficiently heated and ready to use.
- Be sure to add the oil or butter after preheating the pan. Upon adding the oil, give it a good swirl to let it coat the surface. Then you’re ready to add your food.
Features to look for
Stay-cool handles are vital, as stainless cookware can stay hot for a while. Cool-touch handles allow you to lift the pots and pans without having to use an oven mitt.
Look for double-riveted handles, as these tend to be sturdier and give you a more secure grip.
Tempered glass lids help monitor food while cooking. Glass lids are typically oven-safe, allowing them to go from stovetop to oven.
Some lids even have straining holes and pour spouts, which are great for draining liquids without having to use a separate colander.
Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Review
The Calphalon Classic stainless steel cookware set features stainless steel construction with an impact-bonded aluminum base. This 10-piece set includes:
- 8-inch (20.32 cms) fry pan
- 10-inch (25.4 cms) fry pan
- 1.5-quart saucepan (1.42 liters) with cover
- 2.5-quart saucepan (2.37 liters) with cover
- 3-quart (2.84 liters) covered sauté pan
- 7-quart (6.62 liters) covered stockpot
Calphalon Classic stainless steel cookware is designed to save you time in the kitchen while efficiently and effectively cooking a variety of dishes. This Calphalon stainless steel 10-piece cookware set has what you need to cook delicious, healthy meals.
Let’s take a look at some of the features.
These brushed stainless steel pots and pans look great, even professional, in any kitchen. The stainless steel handles and tempered glass covers have a clean, sleek appearance.
The versatility is one of the best qualities of this Calphalon classic set. This set has convenient measuring marks, and it’s also oven-safe and broiler-safe up to 450°F (232°C). That makes these pans great for going from stovetop to oven.
The stainless steel pans can work with a variety of stovetops, including induction cooktops. The impact-bonded aluminum bases make for exceptional browning, searing, and sautéing.
And while this surface may not be as suited for cooking eggs as a non-stick coating, it consistently gets the job done. From simmering sauces to searing steaks, these pots and pans can handle a wide variety of dishes.
As with all stainless steel, the cooking surface of this set is prone to food sticking. You can avoid this by using the proper cooking techniques, though (see above.)
A nice perk of this Calphalon pans set? It’s dishwasher-safe, which is great for easy cleanup.
Pro tip? Avoid cooking food at high heat. If the pan is too hot, food is more likely to stick. Stainless steel holds in heat, so it’s better to preheat at a low to medium heat and then begin cooking.
Some customers complained that their pans stained after only a few uses. Many recommended Bar Keepers Friend or a similar product to keep the brushed stainless steel looking nice and shiny.
Many customers mentioned how they used their sets for many years. Calphalon has historically had a good reputation for making durable cookware.
The Calphalon classic stainless steel set is heavy and won’t scratch. While it is dishwasher-safe, some prefer to hand wash to extend the lifetime of their cookware. Plus? Calphalon has a lifetime warranty (though some customers complain they are responsible for return costs.)
The aluminum core means this cookware distributes heat evenly. In fact, many reviewers mentioned the superb heat distribution. Users had success with scrambled eggs, steaks, grilled sandwiches, pan-seared scallops, and pasta.
The fill lines on the interior of the pans make for easy measuring. The saucepans have straining covers and pour spouts so you can painlessly drain liquids. And the stainless steel long handles stay cool, meaning you can safely get a secure grip on these handles.
One negative? The sauté pan does not have a helper handle. This is especially inconvenient if you have to lift and drain food.
This set is reasonably priced. It’s more affordable than the average tri-ply stainless set. So if you’ve had your eye on multi-clad cookware but can’t get past the sticker shock, this set is a budget-friendly option.
Are there alternatives to Calphalon Stainless Steel?
Calphalon Premier Tri-Ply Stainless Steel
For those that want a multi-clad construction, this tri-ply stainless set features an all-over aluminum core and stainless exterior. This set comes in an 8-piece, 11-piece, or 13-piece option.
The Calphalon Premier offers more even heat distribution than the Calphalon Classic. The flat lids are easier for stacking and putting in the dishwasher. And the ergonomic handles are pretty comfortable.
The sauté pan has a helper handle, and the 12-inch (30 cm) fry pan comes with a lid. Neither fry pan of the Calphalon Classic set has a cover.
But be prepared. These perks will cost you. You will spend significantly more on the Calphalon Premier set than the Calphalon Classic.
I review the Calphalon Premier set in my Calphalon Stainless Steel Reviews.
Duxtop Professional Brushed Stainless Steel Cookware Set
This Duxtop Professional set includes a whopping 17 pieces and features an impact-bonded base. The aluminum disc is surrounded by magnetic stainless, making it safe for induction stovetops.
This Duxtop set has a boiler basket and steamer basket to use in the stockpot. It also comes with metal utensils. The cookware is oven and broiler-safe.
It usually costs more than the Calphalon Premier set, but it includes more pieces. Customers rate it favorably.
Calphalon Stainless Steel: Final Thoughts
You can’t really lose with any of these sets, but the Calphalon Classic cookware set is a decent, high-performing, and versatile budget cookware set. This 10-piece set gives you all the basic pieces at a reasonable price.
If you want to splurge on a larger and higher quality set, the Calphalon Premier set is a premium choice.