Calphalon Classic vs. Premier

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This article reviews Calphalon Classic and Premier stainless steel and non-stick cookware sets. I recommend the Premier stainless steel and Premier non-stick cookware sets.

When comparing Calphalon Classic vs Premier Stainless-Steel and Non-Stick cooking sets, it is crucial to consider the pros and cons of each for your culinary situation.

As a mother of two kids, I am looking for the best practical cooking products that let me deliver healthy and delicious food to my family in the easiest and quickest way possible. I just need something that is reliable, works, and doesn’t add more stress than necessary.

I have put these cooking sets to the test to quantify my preferences and help other aspiring chefs decide with their cookware that will give them tasty food in the simplest way.

At a Glance

When I compared Calphon Stainless Steel sets, the Premier set beats the Classic set.

Although it is generally more expensive, it is worth the longevity you get out of the triple-ply metal. They are best for someone like me who wants less to worry about when cooking.

Similarly, when I compared Calphalon Classic vs. Premier Non-Stick cooking sets, the Premier set offers more value to me with easier cooking and not having to worry about making mistakes. 

In the Non-Stick Classic sets I tried, the cost wasn’t that much different from the Premium, and the lack of induction compatibility was a definite con

Keep reading to find out more reasons for differentiating Calphalon Classic and Premier cooking sets.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Stainless-Steel Cookware Set

Stainless steel cookware is nigh-indestructible, so it helps eliminate the concerns people might have with worrying about coating coming apart like with Non-Stick cookware and causing health risks

Steel is also quick to absorb heat, making your cooking times faster, which is excellent for someone like me with hungry kids who don’t like to wait.

I would say that the ideal person who should be using a Stainless steel cooking set is looking for a no-hassle solution to quick meals that don’t require a lot of maintenance and doesn’t mind discoloration of the steel or food sticking to the bottom.

Before buying stainless steel, think about:

  • If you are preparing acidic foods, stainless steel is the best option to avoid adding a metallic taste to your dish
  • They are generally less expensive than other cookware materials
  • Some stainless steel can conduct heat poorly unless it has multi-ply conductors to compensate. You get what you pay for with budget stainless steel in heat distribution.
  • Many stainless steel products will stain, contrary to their name, and may not be aesthetically pleasing during use.

Stainless Steel Product Reviews

First, let’s review and compare these Classic and Premier stainless steel sets from Calphalon.

Classic Stainless Cookware Set

The Classic 10 Piece set is a more affordable Stainless Steel set from Calphalon that features interior measuring marks, tempered glass lids, and the ability to be used on most stove-tops.

It has an impact-bonded base that claims to distribute heat evenly, but in my experience and other customers’ reference in the reviews, it struggles to live up to that claim.

It also comes with a lifetime warranty from Calphalon that covers defects from construction.

Premier Stainless Steel

The Premier 11 Piece set is fully-clad tri-ply steel and conducts heat beautifully thanks to the extra steel material. It is suited for induction cooking and is safe to use with metal utensils. The Stainless steel finish makes it easy to clean and is dishwasher safe.

Customers rave about the high quality of the steel and its ability to distribute heat across their dishes evenly.

It also comes with a lifetime warranty from Calphalon.

Comparison

Below, we’ll look at the product’s characteristics and how they compare.

Cost

The Classic steel set is typically significantly more affordable than the Premium Steel set, making it the clear winner if the initial cost is your primary consideration.

It is worth noting that some of the drawbacks of the Classic set mean that you will be more likely to have to replace them, which will add to the cost over time. The warranty for these products doesn’t cover normal wear and tear, only defects in the product’s construction.

Construction

The triple-ply construction of the Premier set makes it superior to the aluminum bonded Classic set. The Premier construction can retain and distribute heat quickly, while the Classic structure has problems with this in my and other reviewers’ experience.

The Classic set is also more prone to damage, with some reviewers reporting problems with warping when setting the heat too high and stains after putting them in the dishwasher

Overall Quality

The quality difference between Calphalon Classic and Premier sets is night and day. The Classic set feels flimsy and lightweight, stains easier, and has a problem with heat distribution and sticking.

The Premier set is the opposite and performs much better in more situations, feels sturdier thanks to its three-ply steel, and is much prettier.

Calphalon Classic vs. Premier Stainless Steel: The Winner

Considering all the factors, the Premier line is better overall by a good margin. The amount of value the Premier set adds offsets the much higher cost. 

In the contest of Calphalon Premier vs Classic, Premier wins the Stainless Steel category.

For someone who only looks at price, the Classic set will be a good match for them. However, stainless steel’s benefit is its low maintenance, and the weaker construction means you will be worried about it warping and distributing heat much more.

If you want more peace of mind, go with the Premier set, as it allows you to be laxer and create meals quicker and simpler thanks to its 3-ply construction and fast heat distribution.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Non-Stick Cookware Set

Non-Stick cookware is excellent because, as the name suggests, it helps you prevent your food from sticking to the bottom while cooking, which prevents it from burning and leaving the rest of your meal under-cooked.

People who would enjoy Non-Stick sets don’t like to use oil while cooking and are willing to trade some convenience during cooking for some higher maintenance care for the products to avoid scratches. 

Metal utensils can also ruin the Non-Stick surface, so you should avoid any harder utensils than the set material.

Before buying Non-Stick, consider:

  • They don’t age well because the surface can flake off, so expect them to have a limited lifespan
  • Many are not dishwasher safe, so they will be higher maintenance to clean
  • They don’t do too well at extremely high temperatures and may release fumes if they are too hot. This toxicity can be dangerous to inhale.

Non-Stick Product Reviews

Next, we will review and contrast Calphalon’s Classic and Premier Non-Stick options.

Classic Non-Stick

The Classic Non-Stick set features an excellent no-boil-over insert that aids in the cooking of rice, potatoes, and beans, making the process less stressful and less messy. I loved using this insert during my time testing it.

The product’s design includes measuring marks and pour spouts, which help reduce the number of dishes you have to clean when everything is all over because they can be used as substitutes for measuring cups.

Calphalon advertises them as easy to clean, but customers found them hard to clean because of thin gaps between the glass lids and the metal rim that makes cleaning frustrating.

Premier Hard-Anodized Non-Stick

The more expensive version is the Premier Non-Stick set which adds the ability to use metal utensils and extra durability.

Also within this category is the Premier Space Saving Calphalon Cookware Set. Designers had storage space in mind when designing this and added a stacking feature to make the pots and pans easier to store and save 30% space compared to the other set.

Premier also has the same lid cleaning problem as the Classic line.

Comparison

Let’s compare these two Non-Stick products more closely.

Price

The Classic is much less expensive than the Premier version. They are closer in price than the stainless steel version, but it is still a significant difference.

Still, the edge goes to the Classic set. It is less expensive, and you get a set of 10 instead of a set of 8 like the Premier set.

Overall Quality

The Premier again has the edge in quality compared to the Classic set. 

I found the finish much nicer, and the extra stick layers in the pans gave them a more solid feel than the Classic Set.

Construction

The Premier set is advertised to last 40% longer than the Classic set, and I agree with this assessment. I encountered much more minor flaking and wear and tear with the Premier Set in my time with it.

Calphalon Classic vs. Premier Non-Stick: The Winner

When deciding Calphalon Premier or Classic, the Premier line takes the cake over the Classic set for me.

When I buy a cooking set, I want to buy it and be done with it. Longevity and practicality are huge pluses for me, and I am willing to compromise on the extra cost to ensure my cooking wear is going to be reliable and stand up to challenges.

The Premier option is an excellent choice for anyone who agrees with my sentiment, and a Classic set is an okay option for someone looking to save. Still, given the cleaning issues present, I can’t recommend the Classic set.

Calphalon Premier vs. Classic: My Recommendation

Off the four different products I tested, I can say I recommend the Premier stainless steel set and the Premier Non-Stick set. 

When I was preparing food for my kids, I found that I had the most fun with the Premier sets as part of this review.

The stainless steel set was great for setting and forgetting my dishes, and I didn’t have to do much clean-up afterward.

Using the Non-Stick set with metal utensils was a great deal-maker for me. I prefer the control a solid metal utensil gives me when simplifying vegetables and complicated pieces of meat.

If you are already spending a significant portion on new cookware, it is worth going with the upgraded versions of these products. The value and longevity are unmatched, and I would be sad if my cooking set needed replacing a few months down the line because I went straight for the lower-priced option.