yummy fried egg and bacon slices in the steel calphalon pan

Calphalon Pan Reviews - Are They The Best Frying Pans On THe Market?


Choosing the right pan for your kitchen seems like an easy task on the surface but do not take this decision lightly. Pans are among the most used cooking utensils. Picking up a good one will make your life so much easier while buying a low quality pan can result in a lot of scrubbing - and eventually wasting money.

Calphalon offers a wide variety of different pans, including a great selection of fry pans, saucepans, a sauté pan, and more so you can easily prepare your favorite food like eggs, sear chicken, prepare sauces, whip up pancakes so on.

Read more to find out why this brand is one of the most popular one on the market, and how did their pans performed in the kitchen.

About Calphalon

Calphalon has been providing kitchens with quality cookware and appliances for over half a century. The company's founder, Ronald M. Kasperzak, is credited with the development and implementation of hard-anodized aluminum cookware. (1)

Since the conception of this brainchild, the business—based in Perrysburg, Ohio—has gained many dedicated followers.

Calphalon products are prized for their durability, quality, and innovative design. While they're consistently sought out by professional chefs, their unique attributes can be appreciated by amateur home cooks as well.

Calphalon Frying Pans In This Review

To give a good overview of the pan selection from Calphalon, we have included 5 different models in the article. Starting with the healthiest options - the Classic ceramic and the Signature stainless steel - followed by a Classic nonstick set, the Contemporary flat griddle and the popular Classic nonstick pan with a lid.

Calphalon Classic Ceramic Nonstick Pan

Design:

This 10-inch omelette pan is equipped with gently sloping sides that are tall enough to hold in the eggs until they've set. The pan is sturdy, yet relatively lightweight for its size.

While the outside retains the natural steel-gray of the metal, the nonstick interior is painted white, giving it a classic elegance. A glass lid with built-in handle is also included.

Materials:

The Classic Ceramic Pan is constructed of hard-anodized aluminum for durability, while the PFOA-free ceramic interior is designed to release ingredients quickly and easily. A cast stainless steel handle will stay cool when the pan is used on the stovetop.

We especially appreciate the tempered glass lid, as it allows us to keep a closer eye on the cooking process. This pan can be safely used on gas and electric stovetops—even on ranges with glass surfaces.

Usability:

The flared edges on this pan make it the perfect tool for creating picture-perfect omelets. We've found that the nonstick coating is also ideal when it comes to browning potatoes for home fries. For recipes that call for the pan to be moved from the stovetop to the oven, the pan is oven-safe to temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

As we've mentioned, the pan itself can be used on a variety of surfaces. However, note that only non-abrasive utensils, such as wood or nylon, should be used on the nonstick interior to prevent scratches.

Another product to avoid when using this pan? Cooking spray. Since the coating is already designed to keep food from sticking, this step is unnecessary anyway. If a recipe calls for cooking spray, a small amount of butter or oil should be added instead.

Although we enjoy using this pan for sautéing veggies and pan-searing fish as well, it's particularly well-suited for omelets. Not only do the eggs release easily from the sides of the pan, we don't have to worry about the cheese burning and sticking to the bottom.

Cleaning:

The bad news? Because of the delicate ceramic nonstick interior, we wouldn't recommend putting this pan in the dishwasher. Fortunately, this same quality makes it an exceptionally good candidate for washing by hand.

Just remember that the same rules about non-abrasive materials apply to the cleaning process. Avoid steel wool or other supplies that might damage the finish.


Pros

  • Nonstick finish is ideal for egg dishes or melting cheese for fondue
  • Easy to clean
  • Tempered glass lid
  • Heavy, durable construction
  • Oven-safe to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

Cons

  • Extra care is required to prevent ceramic finish from scratches
  • Relatively high price point
  • Metal may warp if pan is used frequently at very high temperatures

Calphalon Signature Stainless Steel Pan

Design:

This 12-inch stainless steel pan has a generous cooking surface and high, sloping sides and a flat bottom, making it a great fit for sautéed dishes. It's outfitted with a long, traditional handle on one side and a grip-style handle on the other for added stability.

While the pan is exceptionally sturdy and heavier than it looks, these dual handles make it easier to manage.

Materials:

Calphalon constructs this product using five layers of metal—a triple layer of aluminum sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. This contributes to the pan's durability and overall efficiency. Both the long and short handles are composed of brushed stainless steel, designed to stay cool on the stovetop.

Speaking of which, it can be used on any type of surface, including induction cooktops. The pan is also completely dishwasher safe, making cleanup chores a snap.

Usability:

The five-layer construction allows this pan to heat evenly and to retain that heat throughout the cooking process, while the flat bottom gives it stability. It can be transferred from the stovetop to the oven with ease, thanks to the dual handles. We especially appreciate the fact that it's broiler safe, which boosts its overall versatility.

Because of its generous size and high sides, we think this pan is ideal for making classic fried chicken. The oil stays hot enough to crisp up the breading and thoroughly cook the meat, with none of the unpleasant charring that can occur with an inferior frying pan.

In fact, we would feel comfortable recommending its use for any type of fried food, from fish-and-chips to vegetable tempura.

Also worthy of mention is the uniform construction, which should keep the pan from showing its age even after years of frequent use. Although it's built to last, we would recommend using only silicone or wooden utensils with this pan, as they'll keep the surface from becoming scratched and worn-looking.

Cleaning:

Thanks to the stainless steel exterior, this unit is entirely dishwasher safe. Simply scrape off any stubborn bits and place it in the dishwasher alongside the rest of the cookware. When we do opt to wash it by hand, we use gentle dishwashing liquid and a green scrubbing pad—never steel wool, as it could mar the exterior.


Pros

  • Dual handles for stability
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Heavy and durable
  • Can be used on any stovetop

Cons

  • Cleaning might require extra elbow grease, depending on the ingredients
  • No lid included with purchase

Calphalon Classic Nonstick 2-Piece Frying Pan Set

Design:

This two-pan set consists of an 8-inch and 10-inch model, identical in every respect except for size. The pans are heavy but well-balanced, with broad handles for easy gripping.

A charcoal finish on the exterior helps to hide the effects of long exposure to high heat, and the black nonstick interior provides a near-perfect match. The edges are slightly rounded, making them a good fit for frittatas or other fancy egg dishes.

Materials:

A hard-anodized aluminum construction allows for even heating, while the cast stainless steel handles are designed to remain cool during stovetop use.

The dual-layer nonstick interior allows ingredients to be easily released from the pans, along with aiding in the eventual cleanup. The coating is free of PFOA but it does contain PTFE so you might wanna choose a ceramic or stainless steel option if you are worried about that. They can be used on any type of stovetop, even glass.

Usability:

Although both pans in this set are advertised as being oven-proof at temperatures up to 450 degrees, we think they work best at low to medium temperatures. The 10-inch model in particular is ideal for melted cheese dishes, such as queso fundido. The nonstick coating allows the cheese to be scooped up easily with chips or warm tortillas, with no crispy burnt bits left behind.

Omelettes and frittatas, too, can be easily perfected with the proper technique. On the rare occasions when we do use the pans for high heat techniques, such as searing meat and fish, we usually finish the job in the oven.

Fortunately, the balance and construction of the pans allows us to perform the switch with no difficulty.

The handles on these pans are on the shorter side, but they're also broad and easy to grip. Be advised that they can get uncomfortably hot at the base, where it meets the business end of the pan. Use an oven mitt during high-heat cooking applications, and always when removing the pans from the oven.

Finally, the nonstick coating means that metal utensils are off-limits. Stick to wooden spoons and silicone spatulas for these units.

Cleaning:

It's better to wash the pans by hand, as this will help to protect the finish. We would also recommend washing them as soon as possible after cooking. Any grease or residue will release more quickly when the pans are warm.


The set contains:

  • One 8-inch fry pan
  • One 10-inch fry pan

Pros

  • Sturdy, well-balanced pans
  • Set of two for versatility in the kitchen
  • Nonstick coating for easy cleanup
  • Oven safe

Cons

  • Handles can get uncomfortably hot near the base
  • Not suitable for dishwasher
  • Food can stick to the rivet areas at high temperatures

Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Griddle

Design:

This is a flat griddle offering 11 square inches of cooking space on a black nonstick surface. It's also equipped with a brushed stainless steel handle, which is attached to the griddle by a pair of rivets. Because of the low-profile surface, this unit packs easily for travel.

Materials:

The heavy-gauge aluminum griddle is finished with a triple layer of nonstick coating to allow for easy cleanup. The stainless steel handle is long enough to stay cool during cooking.

Usability:

Hard-anodized aluminum is a sturdy material that heats quickly and evenly, making this griddle an excellent choice for breakfast foods. We think the lip could be slightly higher, especially when we're preparing foods that release a lot of fat, such as bacon and pork sausage.

Fortunately, the nonstick surface makes it easy to pour off any accumulated grease in between batches. It's also large enough to accommodate both eggs and bacon at once, and it's ideal for pancakes and French toast.

The riveted handle gives this griddle a stability that's lacking in some similar models. Because of its length and clever design, there's no need to use a heatproof glove throughout the cooking process.

The slender lip makes this griddle a better fit for flat cooking surfaces—old-fashioned electric ranges might be too uneven, which could lead to dangerous spills. Also, remember to use silicone or rubber tools to avoid scratching the nonstick surface.

Cleaning:

Wash the griddle in plenty of hot, soapy water, using a non-abrasive sponge or brush. We wouldn't recommend putting it in the dishwasher, but the surface cleans up easily, especially when it's still warm.


Pros

  • Sturdy and long-lasting construction
  • Even heating
  • Large enough to accommodate several ingredients at once
  • Suitable for travel
  • Handle is effective and cleverly designed

Cons

  • Slender lip
  • Can be difficult to find through online retailers

Calphalon Classic Omelette Fry Pan with Lid

Design:

This well-balanced, rounded 12-inch pan is outfitted with two stainless steel loop handles and a glass lid. Gray in color, it's finished with a dual-layer nonstick coating and is fairly lightweight for a pan this size.

Materials:

Like many of Calphalon's offerings, this pan features a hard-anodized aluminum construction with a nonstick finish. The stainless steel loop handles are affixed to the pan by two sets of rivets. The glass lid also features a steel handle, along with a steel loop around the edge to give it a tighter fit.

Usability:

The Calphalon Classic is suitable across a range of cooking techniques, from melting butter to boiling water. It requires a bit of time to warm up, but once it does, the surface conducts an even, predictable heat.

Because of its dual-handled design, we think it's a better fit for warming soups and stews than for sautéing vegetables. The fact that it can be easily transferred to a hot oven makes it a good fit for soufflés as well.

The pan is lightweight yet durable, with a generous cooking surface. Because it's so well-balanced, it can be used on any stovetop. Remember to take care with the nonstick coating, and steer clear of metal tongs or utensils.

Cleaning:

This pan is dishwasher safe, but we would recommend washing it by hand whenever possible to help preserve the integrity of the materials. Note that it doesn't apply to the glass lid, which can easily go into the dishwasher.


Pros

  • Heats evenly and effectively
  • Oven safe to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Easy to clean
  • Glass lid included with purchase
  • Versatile unit

Cons

  • Stainless steel handles are slightly flimsy
  • Lightweight material

Conclusion

Calphalon offers a wide variety of pans for frying, sautéing or sauce preparation. After using several models in the kitchen and taking into consideration the overwhelmingly positive feedback from thousands of customers we can safely recommend the brand for purchase.

While their prices are not on the budget side, Calphalon does provide good quality pans and deserves its position among the highest rated kitchen appliance manufacturers.

Sean Bennett
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