What We Like
Pouring spouts and straining lids
Measuring marks inside some pots
Oven safe to 450 degrees
What We Don't Like
Hand wash only
Not induction compatible
While you might be more familiar with Calphalon’s stainless steel cookware, the company also makes nonstick products with the same attention to quality. We spent several weeks with the Calphalon Classic Ceramic Nonstick 11-pc. Cookware Set on our cooktop, testing it with everything from fajitas to French toast, checking out the nonstick properties as well as the ability to brown foods. We toasted a little cheese to check the ease of cleaning and even tested them in the oven. Here’s what we thought of the ceramic cookware.
Design: Packed with details that you’ll love
This set includes 8-inch and 10-inch frying pans, a 12-inch round griddle, 1.5-quart and 2.5-quart saucepans with covers, a 3-quart sauté pan with a cover, and a 5-quart Dutch oven with a cover. The pans and pot look good, with a dark gray exterior and white interior, and the tempered glass lids feature vent holes. The cookware is oven safe to 450 degrees, so you can use it for just about any baking or roasting recipes you can think of.
Since the saucepans and Dutch oven all have pouring spouts and lids with straining holes, it was easy for us to drain potatoes without losing one down the disposal, and tomato sauce poured neatly onto our pasta.
Measuring marks inside the saucepans make it easy to follow recipes that suggest bringing a certain amount of water to a boil.
One small detail we liked was that we could swap the straining lid on the Dutch oven for the plain lid from 3-quart sauté pan, and the plain lid could also be used for the 10-inch frying pan. While you might not normally need a lid for a frying pan, it can be handy for keeping food warm or for doing just a little steaming.
Measuring marks inside the saucepans make it easy to follow recipes that suggest bringing a certain amount of water to a boil. We appreciated it even more when we were packing away leftovers since we could see at a glance whether we were going to need just a one-quart container or if we might need to grab that extra pint container, too.
When it comes to individual pieces, we particularly loved the round griddle. The short sides made it easy to use a spatula to lift food, while the sides were high enough to keep food from sliding off the pan as it skated across the slick nonstick interior. This would also be an excellent pan for roasting a chicken or for baking a deep dish pizza. While you wouldn’t want to use a knife in any of these pans, the nonstick surface released our baked goods easily, so we could cut them on a cutting board.
The lids are glass with a brushed stainless rim and handle, while the pot handles are matching stainless steel. The lid handles are graduated in size to match the size of the pots, but we found all of them easy to grab. A hole on the end of the long handles gives us the option to hang them from a pot rack or pegboard for storage.
Material/Heating Capacity: Aluminum with ceramic interior
This cookware is made from hard-anodized aluminum with a white nonstick ceramic coating. Since aluminum is a responsive metal, these pans heat quickly, and they cool down quickly as well. That means that if you notice that the onions are burning, you can turn down the heat before they’re ruined, and the pan will do what it’s told without hesitation.
We were pleased that we had no trouble searing meats and getting a nice browning on vegetables.
We found that the aluminum was thick enough that the set heated evenly without hot spots, and we were pleased that we had no trouble searing meats and getting a nice browning on vegetables.
One thing to note is that aluminum is not induction compatible, but it’ll work perfectly well on gas or electric stoves.
Cleaning: Hand washing is easy peasy
These should be washed by hand, but because of the ceramic nonstick interior, food simply didn’t stick. One slight glitch was when we cooked tomato soup for a long time, we noticed a slight tinge of orange after normal cleaning. We didn’t want to scrub the pot too aggressively, so we filled it with hot soapy water and let it sit. When we came back to check it, the errant color was gone, and the pot looked as good as new.
Price: Not inexpensive, but affordable for the quality
While this isn’t the most expensive set of nonstick cookware you’ll find, it is on the high end, so it’s a purchase that requires some thought. This cookware does need gentle care, with hand washing and no aggressive scraping or scrubbing, so if your family is rough on cookware, you might be happier with uncoated pots and pans. However, if you treat your cookware nicely, this set should last long enough to be worth the extra price, given the versatility of the pieces and the great performance.
Calphalon Classic Ceramic Nonstick 11-pc. Cookware Set vs. T-fal Specialty Nonstick 3-Piece Set
One of the major reasons to own nonstick cookware is for frying eggs and for other sticky foods that are difficult to manage in uncoated cookware. If that’s your goal, then perhaps the T-fal Specialty Nonstick 3-Piece Set is worth a glance. This set will take care of your over-easy eggs for one or scrambled eggs for a brunch crowd, and these three pans are quite inexpensive, so you can use, abuse, and replace them when they’re worn out.
You’ll love this set
We loved using the Calphalon Classic Ceramic Nonstick 11-pc. Cookware Set and appreciated the little details that made cooking easier, like when we grabbed the wrong pot lid for the Dutch oven, but it still fit perfectly. The variety of pans in this set makes sense, and the sizes will suit just about any family. While none of the pots are huge, the griddle is large enough to cook burgers or chops for a crowd, and the Dutch oven is a reasonable size for soups and stews.
- Product Name Classic Ceramic Nonstick 11-pc. Cookware Set
- Product Brand Calphalon
- SKU 1937306
- Price $299.99
- Material Aluminum with ceramic interior
- What’s included 2 frying pans, 1 griddle, 2 saucepans, 1 sauté pan, 1 Dutch oven, 4 lids
- Warranty 10 years for items found defective in material or workmanship