Calphalon is renowned for the quality of its cookware. They have many options, so I will be comparing the Calphalon Signature vs Premier cookware sets, both their stainless steel and non-stick options.
I’ve had my fair share of blunders on my cooking journey. When I was a teen, I would choose any pan that I thought looked nice or was the right size for cooking my grilled cheese sandwich. I usually ended up with a burnt thing that maybe tasted like cheese and a scratched-up pan because I didn’t use the right spatula.
Now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve learned (the hard way) that the best methods to cook my favorite foods often come down to the tools I have on hand. You could be attempting to make the best-seared steak of your life only to realize the pan you’re using isn’t oven safe. It’s situations like these that have allowed me to learn and choose the right cookware.
At a Glance
My choice is the Calaphon Signature Cookware set for Stainless Steel and Calphalon Premier for Non-Stick.
Although the Signature line is more expensive, it’s worth it for what you gain in terms of stainless steel. It is the most versatile when it comes to daily use.
In terms of non-stick, the extra quality of the Signature line doesn’t really help it last longer, which is why i prefer the Premier line.
The Signature line is best for those who have access to a heat source that can be fine-tuned.
The Premier line is for those who are looking to sacrifice a little on quality to maintain their budget.
When deciding the difference between Calphalon Signature and Premier it can come down to personal preferences.
Things to consider before buying a Stainless Steel Cookware Set
As Stainless Steel is PTFE-free, it’s the obvious choice for those who are concerned about the effects their cookware has on their health.
Stainless Steel isn’t necessarily an entry-level cookware set as it requires seasoning and preparation to be used properly.
Stainless Steel is also not for those who are looking to display their pots and pans. Some have even said, “Don’t buy if you want pretty.” There are ways to maintain that look, but it will require more time and effort.
Cooking with Stainless Steel can be very rewarding once you’ve learned to use it correctly. It is easy to clean, low maintenance, and performs very well. It is also very durable making it a sustainable option both for the environment and your wallet.
Stainless Steel Product Reviews
Calphalon Signature Stainless Steel Cookware Set
The Signature Stainless Steel set boasts a triple-layer aluminum core between an inner and outer layer of stainless steel. Due to the 5-layer construction, it distributes and maintains heat evenly, making it great for browning, searing, and sauteeing. It’s oven-safe up to 500 degrees F. Its long handles, also made of stainless steel, stay cool while cooking. You can also use any utensil you’d like as it is metal utensil safe.
This set is made of 10 pieces including an 8″ omelet pan, a 10″ omelet pan, a 2-quart and 3-quart saucepan with covers, as well as a 3-quart saute pan with cover and an 8-quart stockpot with cover.
Calphalon Premier Stainless Steel Cookware Set
The Premier Stainless Steel set is made of a durable 3-ply metal construction crafted with an aluminum gauge core that is oven safe up to 450 degrees F. This allows it to distribute heat evenly which makes it ideal for browning, searing, and sauteing.
You have the option of an 8, 11, or 13 piece set. It includes a 10” fry pan, a 12” fry pan with cover, 1.5 and 2.5-quart saucepans with covers, a 3-quart saucepan with cover, and an 8-quart stockpot with cover. The 13 piece set includes a multi-pot with a steamer and pasta insert.
They are both dishwasher safe and are compatible with all stovetops, including induction.
Side by Side Comparison
Multiple Layer Construction
Multi-layer construction allows your pan to distribute and maintain heat evenly as the inner layers (usually aluminum) conduct heat better than stainless steel. This is a significant factor in cooking that can make your cooking experience much smoother.
The Signature series has 5 layers. A stainless steel outer and inner layer and a three-layer aluminum center. The aluminum core continues into the sides of the pan as well.
The Premier series has 3 layers. Its aluminum center is only one layer.
The Signature Series is the better option when it comes to its ability to maintain heat. I like that the aluminum center also goes into the sides of the pan. This makes cooking more thorough, taking less time to cook your food evenly.
Versatility is important to keep in mind when purchasing a cookware set.
The Signature Series is a 10 piece set. It comes with an 8” and 10” fry pan, 2 and 3-quart saucepans, a 3-quart saute pan and an 8-quart stockpot. It is oven safe up to 500 degrees F. I appreciate that I won’t have to think about oven temperature when cooking.
The Premier Series has 8, 10, or 13 piece set options. The 10 piece comes with a 10” and 12” fry pan, 1.5 and 2.5-quart saucepan, a 3-quart saute pan and an 8-quart stockpot. Choosing the 13 piece set gives you a multi-use pot that comes with a steamer and pasta insert. It’s oven safe to 450 degrees F, lower than the Signature series.
I like that you get the extra .5 quart in the saucepans as well as the option to purchase the multi-pot. This means you can use your set for a variety of things and with more convenience. The fry pans are on the larger end, 10” and 12” which some may prefer as they can be used for more than just eggs.
Both are compatible on all stovetops, including induction.
The versatility award goes to the Premier series. Although the oven safety temperature is lower, you may not need that function. Sacrificing the temperature, you get larger sizes and more options for cookware set size.
Ultimately, these are going to be your ride-or-die products in the kitchen. Using them daily has to be comfortable and easy.
The Signature Series is heavier than the Premier from the extra layers and is something to consider based on your arm strength. Long steel handles that stay cool mean you can quickly move and adjust your pans on the stovetop as needed.
The Premier series is lighter but well-balanced, making it more friendly for those higher in age or with chronic illnesses. Some have mentioned that the stainless steel handles are a little short for the palm, even for the average woman, because of how they taper at the end.
Although both series are dishwasher safe a lot of users prefer to handwash them. The Signature Series is heavier than the Premier which can make it more difficult to wash by hand if that is your preference.
Both are tied for daily use: It is very dependent on your style of cooking and your physical abilities.
Calphalon Signature vs Premier Stainless Steel: The Winner
The Signature Series is the best overall choice. It maintains heat longer, and the aluminum core continues into the sides of the pans. The oven safety temperature is higher, and the handles are more ergonomic.
The Signature series is a good choice for experienced cooks.
The Premier series is the best choice for those who prefer or need a lighter-weight pan.
In both cases, Stainless Steel cookware is for those who are willing to put in the time and energy into preparing and maintaining their pans.
Things to consider before buying a Non-Stick Cookware Set
Non-stick pans are great if you’re on a budget. They are quick to heat up and quick to clean and require no seasoning time.
Many non-stick pans are coated with Teflon which contains PTFE. PTFE isn’t dangerous if used correctly, i.e. don’t overheat, never heat an empty pan, be careful not to scratch it.
Yet some people, understandably, prefer to avoid Teflon and PTFE.
Non-Stick Product Reviews
Calphalon’s Signature Non-Stick Cookware set
Calphalon’s Signature Non-Stick Cookware set includes 10 pieces. It is made of hard-anodized aluminum and delivers a 1.5x more durable nonstick interior in comparison to the Calphalon Classic. It has three non-stick layers that increase its durability and longevity. Because of the extra layers, you’re able to use metal utensils on it.
It states that it’s PFOA free but doesn’t specifically say that it’s PFTE free, which means it likely contains the active ingredient of Teflon. It’s oven-safe up to 500 degrees F. The lids are flat and are made of tempered glass.
In this set, you will get a 10” omelet pan, 12” omelet pan, 2-quart, and 3-quart saucepans with lids, a 3 quart saute pan with cover, and an 8-quart stockpot with cover. They all have long handles that stay cool while cooking. All are compatible with gas, electric, glass, and halogen stovetops.
Calphalon Premier Non-Stick Cookware Set
The Premier Non-Stick Cookware set includes 8 pieces. It is also made of their thickest gauge of hard-anodized aluminum making it 40% more durable than the Calphalon Classic. This also means that it’s less likely to warp and experience corrosion. It is oven safe up to 450 degrees F and metal-utensil-safe.
In this set, you will receive an 8” fry pan, 10” fry pan, 2.5-quart saucepan with lid, a 6-quart stockpot with lid, and a 13” deep skillet with lid. All have long handles that stay cool and are compatible with gas, electric, glass, and halogen.
The Premier series also has a nesting modified version of this set called the Premier Space Saving Cookware set.
This is specially designed non-stick cookware that is stackable, making it great for small spaces.
Both the Signature and Premier are made with three layers of non-stick coating. While they are said to be PFOA free, it doesn’t specifically say they are PFTE free.
Many have said that the non-stick coating is not as strong as it’s made out to be for both the Signature and the Premier sets. After one or two years they lose their non-stick layers and are susceptible to flaking. The outer layers wear off on the bottom as well as the rim. There are also reports that it scratches to easily.
This is a tie between the two. They are both non-stick but won’t last forever.
The Signature Series offers a 10 piece set that does almost everything you may need including a 10” and 12” omelet pan, 2 and 3-quart saucepans, a 3-quart saute pan and an 8-quart stockpot. It is oven safe up to 500 degrees F.
The Premier series offers an 8 piece set that includes, an 8” and 10” fry pan, 2.5-quart saucepan, a 6-quart stockpot, and a 13” deep skillet. It is oven safe up to 450 degrees F. You also have the option to purchase this set as a Space-Saving set that nests.
The Signature series wins the versatility round. All the pieces are larger which allows you to cook a larger amount of food.
Using your cookware set every day needs to be seamless and enjoyable.
The Signature series works well with gas stoves and heats evenly. Some have reported that it’s a little heavy. The lids are susceptible to moisture building up between the glass panels. The handles are ergonomic and comfortable to use. It is very easy to clean and is dishwasher safe.
The Premier set has tempered glass flat lids. Many have reported that the lids heat up quickly, making them difficult to handle and possibly causing burns. The gaskets in the lids often fail and allow dirty water to get between the tempered glass. Other than the lids, the rest is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
Unfortunately, neither are compatible with induction cooktops. Since both are easy to clean and use, daily use is a tie.
Calphalon Signature vs Premier Non-Stick: The Winner
The Premier Non-Stick Cookware is the best overall choice.
The Signature Non-Stick set does have more flexibility and slightly better quality.
The Premier Non-Stick is a good choice for small families or single people. The space-saving set is great for those with small kitchens. This means it’s a great set for college students or someone just starting to build their cookware collection.
However as neither set will last forever I’m going to recommend the more affordable Premier set.
Calphalon Signature vs Premier: My Recommendation
Out of all the cookware sets we discussed today, the Calphalon Signature Stainless Steel Cookware set is my favorite.
I try to only use non-toxic materials in my home. Even though it’s at the highest price point, sometimes purchasing the sustainable and higher quality option means more upfront costs but it lasts longer. Besides, you can’t put a price tag on safety.