Calphalon vs Cuisinart (2021)

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This article will take a look at Calphalon vs. Cuisinart cookware to see which one is the best.

I love the professional look and durability of stainless steel cookware. I feel like a real chef when using my stainless pots and pans.  However, stainless steel is slower to heat and prone to sticking.

That’s why it’s important to settle for nothing but the best in stainless cookware.

At a Glance

Calphalon and Cuisinart are two cookware brands that are known for their high-quality cookware. However, if you want the absolute best? My pick is the Calphalon Premier set. It’s a top performer and can last for decades.

Calphalon vs Cuisinart

If you want a safe, non-stick option, the Cuisinart Classic Non-stick set is a great pick. The hard-anodized aluminum makes it resistant to sticking while also being free of harmful chemicals.

There are some differences between these cookware sets, though. To find out which set is the best for you, keep reading.

Things to consider before buying a Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set

What is Tri Ply?

Tri ply, or triple ply, means three layers. Tri-ply stainless steel cookware usually consists of an inner core of aluminum sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel.

What are the advantages of Tri-ply Stainless Steel Cookware?

Heat conduction

Tri-ply cookware offers several advantages. First, it has superior heat conduction. Stainless steel can withstand high heat, but it’s slower to heat than aluminum. With an aluminum core, you get the heat conductivity of aluminum while getting the durability of stainless steel.

Non-reactive

But that’s not all. Tri-ply construction is also non-reactive.  Bare aluminum is highly reactive with acidic foods like tomato sauce, vinegar, and citrus. This reaction can leave an unpleasant metallic taste in food. Stainless steel does not react with food, making it a great surface material.

Heat distribution

Stainless steel is great for retaining heat, but not great at distributing heat. And you don’t want hotspots in your cookware. The solution? The aluminum core, which evenly distributes heat.

Versatility

Tri-ply stainless steel cookware can be compatible with a range of stovetops, including an induction cooktop. This gives it more versatility than other materials, like cast iron. Most of this cookware is oven-safe, too, making it great for a variety of dishes.

Safety

For those that wish to avoid PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene), tri ply cookware is a great option. The stainless steel cooking surface can withstand high heat and is non-reactive, so you never have to worry about harmful gases or chemicals leaching into the air or your food.

How do I clean Tri-ply Stainless Steel Cookware?

Most tri-ply stainless steel cookware is dishwasher-safe. For stuck-on food, you can soak the pan for a few minutes and then clean with a mild dish soap.

For any stains or discoloration, scrub the pan with lemon juice or vinegar. I’ve also had good results with boiling a little vinegar in the pan. It does stink, but those stains come right off.

Tri-Ply Product Reviews

Calphalon Premier Stainless Steel Pots and Pans, 11-Piece Cookware Set

Calphalon Cookware sets are known for their superior performance and durability. This 11-piece set comes in a brushed stainless steel. Calphalon offers this 8-piece and 13-piece set, as well.

The 11 pieces include the following:

  • 10-inch (25.4 cm) fry pan
  • 12-inch (30.48 cm) covered fry pan
  • 1.5-quart (1.42 liter) covered saucepan
  • 2.5-quart (2.37 liter) covered saucepan
  • 5-quart (4.73 liter) covered sauté pan
  • 8-quart  (7.57 liter) covered multi-pot

The tempered glass lids allow you to monitor food while cooking. And the stainless steel handles say cool to the touch. This cookware is oven-safe up to 450° F (232° C).

Plus, if you have an induction stovetop? No worries. This Calphalon tri-ply set is compatible with all cooktops.

One feature that separates this Calphalon set is that both frying pans come with lids. Many sets on the cookware market only include open skillets.

Customers loved how this Calphalon stainless steel cookware performed in the kitchen. These pots and pans are durable, heavy, and professional-looking.

Users also found it easy to clean their Calphalon cookware. Some had more trouble, but most of those were new to stainless steel cookware. Make sure to preheat your pans before adding oil to avoid sticking.

Another tip? Keep the heat as low as you can. Stainless steel retains heat wonderfully, so once you preheat your pan, you should be good to go.

Interested in how Calphalon pans are made? Check out this video:

If you buy Calphalon cookware, you’ll get some of the highest quality in the cookware industry. But you’ll pay a premium price for it, too. This brand is significantly more expensive than others, but the quality means it will last much longer. 

Pros

  • Heats quickly and evenly
  • Easy to clean
  • Handles are comfortable
  • Comprehensive set

Cons

  • Not designed to nest
  • Significantly more expensive

Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

This Cuisinart tri-ply stainless steel collection features a full multi-clad construction, with an aluminum core with a brushed stainless steel exterior. The 12 pieces include the following:

  • 8-inch (20.32 cm) open skillet
  • 10-inch (25.4 cm) open skillet
  • 1.5-quart (1.42 liter) covered saucepan
  • 3-quart (2.84 liter) covered saucepan
  • 3.5-quart (3.31 liter) covered sauté pan
  • 8-quart (7.57 liter) covered stockpot
  • Steamer insert with lid

This set is oven-safe up to 550°F (288°C), so you can easily take these pots and pans from stovetop to oven. Also? You can use them on all cooktops, including induction.

The stainless steel lids are tapered for drip-free pouring, and all pieces are dishwasher-safe.

The Cuisinart Multiclad Pro set is a high performer. Customers had success with searing meats, simmering sauces, and frying eggs. Of course, preheating on a low to medium temperature before adding oil is key.

There were several reports of discoloration and staining. Discoloration won’t affect the performance, but it can be an eyesore. Many people recommend using Bar Keeper’s Friend to keep the finish shiny.

Check out what the manufacturer has to say in this video:

Pros

  • Straining lids
  • Oven-safe up to 550°F (288° C)
  • Less expensive than Calphalon

Cons

  • Cannot see through lids
  • More prone to discoloration

Calphalon vs. Cuisinart Cookware: Side-by-Side Comparison

Performance

Both the Calphalon and Cuisinart perform consistently well. Both cookware brands have high standards in this area. Rest assured that you’ll get high-quality cookware with either of these cookware sets.

Lids

The Calphalon tri ply has tempered glass lids for monitoring food, whereas the Cuisinart cookware has stainless steel lids. However, the Cuisinart lids are straining lids, whereas the Calphalon ones are not.

Personally? I like being able to see through the lid to check food while cooking. If drip-free pouring is more important to you, though, you might like the Cuisinart lids better.

Cleaning

Both Calphalon and Cuisinart cookware are fairly easy to clean. These sets are dishwasher-safe, as well. Be sure to let the pans cool to avoid thermal shock. Calphalon does tend to hold on to its beautiful brushed stainless steel finish a little better.

Durability

While the Calphalon and Cuisinart sets are both durable, I give Calphalon the edge in this category. Calphalon has great reviews from customers who’ve owned them for decades. Chances are, you’ll get a lot more mileage out of your Calphalon.

Price

When it comes to Calphalon vs. Cuisinart, there is a big difference in price. Expect to pay quite a bit more for Calphalon. If you want Calphalon quality but can’t afford it, Cuisinart brand cookware is a good alternative.

What about the Alternative? Let’s look at Hard-Anodized Non-stick Cookware

Stainless steel is a great material, but it’s not for everyone. For those that prefer having a non-stick surface, hard-anodized aluminum provides a great alternative.

Why Hard-Anodized Non-stick?

Simply put, hard-anodized aluminum is tougher and more durable than ordinary aluminum.

This means that your cookware can take more of a beating and is less prone to scratching.

Aluminum is almost always coated with a non-stick coating, so the aluminum isn’t exposed to food.

However, if this coating gets damaged, hard-anodized aluminum is much less reactive to food than standard aluminum.

If you’re curious about how hard-anodized aluminum is made, manufacturers take plain aluminum and oxidize it in a chemical, electrically charged bath. What do they get? A thick layer of that is highly durable and scratch-resistant.

What are the downsides to hard-anodized non-stick?

First, hard-anodized cookware can be expensive, especially compared to traditional non-stick. You’ll get more durability and scratch-resistance, but it will come at a cost.

It also is not safe for induction cooktops on its own. Several sets add a magnetic plate to the bottom of the cookware to make it induction-compatible, but this is not always the case.

Lastly, you cannot use cooking spray with hard-anodized non-stick cookware sets. The spray will leave a sticky residue, which defeats the purpose of non-stick. Instead, you should stick to oil or butter.

Non-Stick Product Reviews: Cuisinart vs. Calphalon Hard-Anodized

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 14 Piece Non-Stick Hard Anodized Cookware Set

One of the most popular Cuisinart collections, the Cuisinart Chef’s classic comes in a sleek gray exterior and includes 14 pieces. There are also 7-piece, 11-piece, and 17-piece Cuisinart cookware sets. The 14 piece includes the following:

  • 1-quart (.94 liter) saucepan
  • 2-quart (1.89 liter) saucepan
  • 3-quart (2.84 liter) saucepan
  • 3-quart (2.84 liter) sauté pan with helper
  • 8-quart  (7.57 liter) stockpot
  • 8-inch (20.32 cm) open skillet
  • 10-inch (25.4 cm) covered skillet
  • Multi-steamer insert

This Cuisinart hard-anodized set performs well in the kitchen, but it is higher-maintenance. These pans are more susceptible to discoloration and scratches.

Several customers made the mistake of washing these pans in the dishwasher. Needless to say, that didn’t turn out so well. Hand-washing is a must for this Cuisinart non-stick cookware.

Another helpful tip is to avoid high heat on the stovetop. Low and slow is best. This Cuisinart model is oven-safe up to 500°F (260°C), and the glass lids are safe up to 350°F (177°C).

Several complained that the handles get hot to the touch. I would recommend pot holders to be on the safe side.

Check out this set in action here:

Pros

  • Non-stick surface
  • Glass lids

Cons

  • Handles get hot
  • Not suitable for induction
  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Teflon-based non-stick

Calphalon Classic Oil-Infused Ceramic Cookware, 11-Piece Pots and Pans Set, Dark Gray

This Calphalon classic model comes in a dark gray and includes the following 11 pieces:

  • 8-inch (20.32 cm) fry pan
  • 10-inch (25.4 cm) fry pan
  • 1.5-quart  (1.42 liter) covered saucepan
  • 2.5-quart (2.37 liter) covered saucepan
  • 3-quart (2.84 liter) Sauté Pan with Cover
  • 5-quart (4.73 liter) Dutch Oven with Cover
  • 12-inch (30.48 cm) round griddle pan

The manufacturer claims the Calphalon classic set releases food three times better than other Calphalon non-stick sets. The hard-anodized aluminum has an additional ceramic non-stick coating, giving it an extra layer.

These Calphalon pans are oven-safe up to 450°F (232°C). The tempered glass lid is durable, and the stainless steel handles stay cool to the touch.

Several customers had problems with food sticking to these Calphalon classic pots and pans. Others complained that they were not as durable. While some of that could be attributed to misuse, these pots and pans are definitely more sensitive than other Calphalon cookware sets.

This cookware set is ideal for people who want the convenience of non-stick, but want to avoid Teflon.

Pros

  • PTFE and Teflon-free
  • Oven-safe up to 450°F (232°C)
  • Tempered glass lids

Cons

  • Not suitable for induction
  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • More expensive vs Cuisinart

Calphalon Cookware vs. Cuisinart Cookware: The Winner Is…

If you want the best of the best? I’d go with the Calphalon tri-ply stainless steel set. You can’t beat the durability and quality of Calphalon products. If that price point is just too high, you can still get a solid set with the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro.

For those who want the best hard-anodized aluminum set? The Cuisinart Chef’s Classic set will give you solid cooking performance and quality.