It can be difficult to find high quality cookware that lasts and is easy to use. Handles of even the fanciest pans can feel flimsy or melt from the heat. Lids sometimes slip out of place, and so many models aren’t effective at keeping in the heat.
Calphalon Stainless Steel cookware is one of those high quality products that claims to deal with these issues. So, does it?
Let’s find out!
We’re going to look at the following models in this Calphalon stainless steel cookware review:
- Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 13-Piece Cookware Set
- Calphalon 11 Piece Tri-Ply Cookware Set
- Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 8-Piece Cookware Set
If you just want to jump to the chase: If you are looking for a high quality tri ply stainless steel cookware set that lasts, then you can’t go far wrong with Calphalon. Read on to find out why, and some of the excellent alternatives on offer.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Tri Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Before you invest in tri ply stainless steel cookware, you may want to consider the following factors:
What is Tri Ply?
Tri ply simply means three layers. Tri ply stainless steel normally has an outer stainless steel layer, a middle aluminum or copper layer and an inner stainless steel layer.
I like to think of it as a stainless steel sandwich!
This combines the durability and non reactivity of stainless steel, with heating efficiency of copper or aluminum.
It potentially means getting the best of both worlds. That’s why these products, when done correctly, are considered high quality.
Now you know what tri ply means, you might be asking yourself: “Is tri ply stainless steel safe?”
Let’s take a little detour and look at alternatives first.
Some nonstick cookware sets may contain chemicals such as PTFE (the active ingredient in Teflon) or types of polyfluoroalkyl substances. Generally, these products should be safe if treated correctly, yet if mistreated there can be problems. PTFE is known to harm pet birds if overheated, for example.
These materials may also be bad for the environment.
For that reason many people like to avoid PTFE.
I, myself, do use PTFE non-stick sometimes (like for cooking eggs!) I would say that it doesn’t last as long as other cookware, such as stainless steel, and is quicker to damage. Another reason to consider stainless steel.
Fortunately, tri ply stainless steel pans are free from toxic ingredients. As explained above, tri ply contains three layers of metal (two sheets of stainless steel and one sheet of aluminum or copper in between). Since the copper and aluminum are contained by the stainless steel there’s no chance of them leaching into your food.
What’s more, this type of cookware won’t emit toxic gases when heated.
Even better, Calphalon tri-ply stainless steel cookware is oven safe and resistant to high temperatures.
There will be no hazards when you place them in the dishwasher, either. The handles are firmly attached, so you won’t be at risk when moving the pans around the kitchen—especially when they’re full of boiling water.
No matter how you take care of your kitchenware, there will always be a time when you’re in a rush to cook dinner and accidentally drop your pot. The worst part of this scenario is when you lift your newly-bought cookware off the ground and see it’s twisted, cracked or broken.
The good news is, you’re unlikely to experience this disappointment when investing in high-quality tri-ply stainless steel cookware. With superb yield strength (ability to resist deformation), stainless steel is among the world’s hardest metals.
If a pot fails to disperse the heat, then what’s it good for?
Of course, you can keep stirring the food to avoid burned or uncooked results. But sometimes, this just isn’t possible—maybe you’re busy with other house chores, or perhaps the ingredients will go mushy if you stir too many times.
That’s why you need a pot with good heat conductivity.
When comparing tri ply vs stainless steel cookware this is one of the points that stands out. Stainless steel, on its own, is not one of the greatest materials for cookware. Poor conductivity can easily lead to hotspots and burnt food.
Fortunately, the second layer of tri ply stainless steel is usually aluminum, which distributes heat well.
Calphalon Stainless Steel Cookware Review
Calphalon stainless steel cookware is a great solution that provides a big bundle of pots and pans for every home chef. It features a robust stainless steel body, durable add-ons, and high-performance material.
The cookware comes with stainless steel handles that won’t melt, glass covers for better visibility and a high-sheen finish for a classic appearance.
There is a wide range of Calphalon stainless steel cookware, so here I will to focus on the 13-piece set.
- Easy to use
- Simplistic design
- Needs minimal heat
- Induction Compatible
- Some lines are hard to clean
- Small, narrow handles
- Needs preheating to avoid food sticking
Features and Benefits of Calphalon 13-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware
When I say this set has a lovely appearance, I don’t mean there aren’t more attractive options out there. But what makes these Calphalon pots appealing is their simple and timeless design.
Stainless steel never gets old-fashioned. This cookware has sleek lines with shiny exteriors that fit into any decor.
When I was researching tri ply stainless steel cookware reviews, I could see Calphalon stood out as classically stylish—just the way the manufacturer puts it. But then I thought, “What about the performance?”
It seems the majority of customers share the view that the Calphalon stainless steel cookware magnifies your cooking experience.
For one thing, you should have fewer problems with food sticking while using this set because the satin-finished interior is stick-resistant. Let me be clear – stainless steel isn’t non-stick and never will be. Yet, as long as you keep your cookware clean and preheat the pots before you apply the oil, you shouldn’t have much trouble.
The second factor that adds to its optimum performance is retaining steam, food nutrients and flavors. These utensils have tempered glass lids that fit the pans very firmly. So, they can trap food aromas, heat and moisture in.
Besides, the glass lids mean you don’t need to lift the cover to see how your food is coming along. This way, you can preserve more heat and moisture inside the pot.
While aluminum works well in distributing the heat, it falls short on thermal retention. On the other hand, stainless steel can retain heat but fails to spread it evenly.
Spreading heat is important to help prevent hotspots and burnt food. You want the whole pan the same temperature.
Heat retention also helps with this as it stops the pan from cooling quickly on contact with food.
Luckily, this Calphalon cookware set integrates the best of both worlds.
It comes with two stainless steel layers wrapped around a core layer of hard-coated aluminum. This layer spreads all along the bottom and side surfaces of the utensils. So, it delivers consistent heating for your cooking ingredients.
You’ll appreciate this heat conductivity because you can cook your meals with almost half the heat you typically use. If you’re cautious about living expenses, you might notice a small saving here.
What’s more, the heating rate near the edges will always be the same as the middle part. The pots will never brown the center and leave the outer part uncooked—an upsetting scenario that plays out too often in the kitchen.
The most exciting part is that the heat expands everywhere except the handles. You won’t need a glove or towel to grab these pots, no matter the heat.
As I mentioned above, the Calphalon tri ply stainless steel cookware consists of three sturdy layers, of which the inner and outer ones are stainless steel.
Generally, stainless steel is resistant against scratches and damage—as well as being safe to cook with. So, whether you accidentally drop them on the ground or scratch your silverware on their surface, they won’t lose their shiny appearance.
The interior surface is also coated with a non-porous finish, making it more durable against abrasive ingredients. I would still be careful not to scratch it and ruin the satin finish. No metal utensils and careful nothing touches the interior when in the dishwasher – or you may find it becoming more sticky over time.
The other parts are also far from fragile. The long handles are tightly joined to the pan so that they shouldn’t come loose. The tempered glass lids can resist up to 232°C (450°F). And the outer rims of the lids are made of stainless steel.
Once you register your purchase, you’ll also get a lifetime warranty for each of the 13 pieces. According to the “Use and Care” warranty policy, unless the damage results from misuse, the manufacturer promises to replace or refund your purchase.
The entire set weighs around 25 pounds (11kg), which is also indicative of its high-quality material, though might be a little heavy for some. Being safe for the dishwasher, oven and broiler are other factors that prove the versatility and quality.
Ease of Maintenance
Calphalon stainless steel reviews by customers suggest this cookware requires minimal maintenance.
Stainless steel cookware is typically easy to clean. All you usually need is to soak them in warm water, then use a mild detergent with a soft brush to wipe the dirt off.
To remove any discoloration, you can also wash your pots with a little vinegar or lemon juice. So there’s no need to buy any special or expensive cleaners.
Since the pots and pans are dishwasher-safe, the easier option is to put them in the dishwasher. But if you want them to last longer, I recommend you hand-wash.
If you do use the dishwasher, make sure that nothing can touch the inside of the pan. This could ruin the satin finish.
The 13-piece cookware collection includes a variety of pot sizes, which means you can address all your cooking requirements with a single set.
The omelet pans, for example, come in three different dimensions. You’ll also get two different sizes of saucepans, which is handy.
If your kids can’t agree on breakfast, for example, having three pans allows you to cook several “orders” simultaneously. One batch of pancakes and two sunny-side-up fried eggs coming up!
The 8-piece collection includes two omelet pans (one 8-inch and one 10-inch), two 5-quart saucepans with lids, and a 6-quart stockpot with a separate lid.
The 11-piece set, on the other hand, contains two omelet pans with (one with cover), two saucepans with covers (1.5-qt and 2.5-qt), one sauté pan with a cover, and a 8-qt. Dutch oven that also comes with a lid.
Calphalon’s attention to detail is excellent. I particularly like how they’ve used the three layers:
- The outer stainless steel layer is magnetic stainless steel. This makes the set induction compatible (not all stainless steel is!)
- The middle layer is aluminum. In a sign of a quality set of pans, the aluminum extends around the sides as well as the base.
- The inner layer is a satin finish stainless steel. Stainless steel isn’t non-stick and never will be, but the satin finish really helps stop food sticking. This makes clean up easier.
Whether you want to cook pan-fried salmon for lunch or some clam chowder for supper, this cookware collection is everything you need. Also, since they’re resistant to distortion and abrasion, you’re likely to have them for years to come, which is great when you consider the price.
All Clad D3 Tri-Ply Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set
Just like Calphalon tri ply, this collection of pots and pans offers the beauty of stainless steel along with the heat conductivity of aluminum.
All Clad is renowned for its high quality products – with high prices to go with the quality. Expect the All Clad set ot last even longer than the Calphalon if you treat it right.
This set consists of two frying pans in two sizes (8-inch and 10-inch), plus two saucepans with separate tops for each. It also has a 3-quart sauté pan and an 8-quart stockpot, each of which comes with a separate cover.
Here’s a short comparison between the two sets:
- Both have three layers of durable metals
- Both are oven-safe and dishwasher-safe
- Both have securely fixed handles, but Calphalon handles stay cooler
- All Clad has better thermal resistance than Calphalon
- Both are suitable for all hob types
- Both have a lifetime warranty
- All Clad is pricier but higher quality
In case I’ve piqued your interest here: I’ve written a more in depth comparison of All Clad and Calphalon.
Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
This 12-piece stainless steel cookware set includes two saucepans with 1.5 and 3-quart capacities. It also has two cap-free skillets in different sizes with two saute pans, one covered stockpot, and a steamer insert.
There are also 10-piece sets available.
Here’s a comparison between the Calphalon 13-piece and this alternative:
- Both are compatible with induction cooktops
- Cuisinart handles get hotter than Calphalon handles
- Both have tightfitting lids
- Cuisinart has a drip-free pouring feature, but Calphalon doesn’t
- Cuisinart has better thermal resistance
- Cuisinart 12-piece comes with a steamer insert with lid
- Calphalon has glass lids while Cuisinart comes with steel lids
Tramontina Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Clad 12-Piece Cookware Set
With this cooking set, you’ll get three covered saucepans, two frying pans, one stockpot with a lid, and a deep sauté pan with a capacity of 5 quarts. Like the Calphalon, there are also 8-piece and 10-piece sets available.
Here’s a comparison between the Calphalon 13-piece and this alternative:
- Both have tri ply construction and distribute even heat
- Both are dishwasher and oven-safe
- Cool-to-touch, easy-to-grip, riveted handles on both sets
- Tramontina has a mirror-polished exterior, Calphalon has a brushed exterior
- You can use both on induction cooktops
- Tramontina has stainless steel lids while Calphalon has glass lids
If you like Tramontina, I review more Tramontina cookware here.
Calphalon Tri Ply Review – The Verdict
Calphalon offers a great tri ply cookware set that combines the advantages of stainless steel and aluminum.
Yet their competitors also offer great cookware so do consider if one ticks more boxes than Calphalon.
All the cookware here is tri ply. This has the advantages of heat efficiency, heat retention and a mostly non reactive surface (unless you have a nickel sensitivity).
The downside is that stainless steel just isn’t non-stick. Calphalon do a good job of alleviating some of the clean up pain with their satin interior finish. If you preheat the pans and add oil, you will probably be OK. It’s a question of convenience vs durability (and possible health). That’s up to you.
If you are still looking for a high quality tri ply stainless steel cookware set that lasts, then you can’t go far wrong with Calphalon.