Calphalon’s aluminum set is the largest collection in its line of anodized nonstick sets. For a little over $400, you’ll be getting the essential pots, pans, and even a dutch oven.
The Calphalon 12-Piece Set looks like your average set of aluminum cookware but in my opinion is one of the best-all-around sets in our buying guide. It’s not the cheapest but nor is it the most expensive. Durability and even cooking are big factors in my book, and this aluminum set checks both categories.
If you’re not familiar with Calphalon, you’ll be happy to note that they provide recipes and tips and aren’t limited to just selling cookware. This is the sign of a brand that can be trusted.
One particular thing I like about Calphalon is that its own cookware sets aren’t priced too far apart from each other. You can also check out another Calphalon cookware set that we reviewed here. Between the two sets, there’s only about a $60 difference if you want to add the dutch oven to your arsenal.
What’s in the Set?
- 10in Omelette pan
- 12in Omelette pan
- 1.5 qt Sauce pan plus lid
- 2.5 qt Sauce pan plus lid
- 3 qt Saute pan plus lid
- 5 qt Dutch oven plus lid
- 8 qt Stock pot plus lid
The biggest addition to this set compared to others is the dutch oven. Individual dutch ovens can come in a variety of materials, sizes, and constructions. Calphalon saves you the hassle of having to conduct that search by providing one of their own. The 5-quart capacity is about the average for dutch ovens-not too small or too big.
It may not be immediately clear, but Calphalon applies three layers of nonstick coating to the surface of the cookware.
The 12in omelette pan is a bit of a surprise as well because sets that contain these many items usually sport 8 and 10in pans. I’m definitely not complaining. That just means I can fit more food in it.
If you’re unfamiliar with anodization, it refers to a process during manufacturing that purges the cookware of harmful chemicals. This process also hardens the aluminum, making it durable and long-lasting.
To say this cookware is “durable” is kind of an understatement. Every company likes to brag about the durability of their products, but nonstick is another factor entirely. As we saw with the extra layers of nonstick coating, Calphalon is making sure all aspects of the cookware are up to your standards for months and years to come.
One of the biggest and most common gripes about this particular set is the exterior paint chipping away. This doesn’t mean the cookware’s structural integrity or nonstick factor is failing but you should keep an eye on it in case the chipping becomes hazardous (if it’s happening everytime you use the cookware).
If I didn’t already have a bunch of cookware of all different makes and constructions, I’d say this cookware set would have been a guaranteed purchase. Sure, there are cheaper sets, but there are few that come with this many items (with larger than average volumes and surface areas) and on top of that from a company tell you how best to use them.
Calphalon has a variety of resources that you can access. A company that goes above and beyond and doesn’t just leave you with the cookware is usually one that will do you good in the long run.
Among the cookware in my house, most of it is already aluminum nonstick. It doesn’t take long to simmer and as of late the stock pots have been extra helpful in cooking foods to the interior quickly. To be honest, I’m not too worried about the cosmetics of the cookware or impressing guests with shiny new cookware.
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