What We Like
Nonstick interior that actually works
Stainless steel handles stay cool
Quick to heat
Easy to clean
What We Don't Like
While plenty of brands produce nonstick cookware, it can be difficult to find a set that truly delivers on the nonstick promise. We decided to test the Calphalon Signature Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware 10-Piece Set to see whether these pots and pans lived up to Calphalon’s notable reputation and kept us from endless hours of scrubbing. Calphalon has been a household name for decades—five decades, to be exact—and is known for quality sets. Read on to find out how our test runs with breakfast eggs and pasta for dinner panned out.
Design: Sturdy and durable
With pots and pans, you can’t always judge by the first look, but the second we picked up the sauté pan in this set, we knew we were in for a treat. This hard-anodized aluminum cookware is solid. You can immediately tell it’s built to last—this isn’t your cheap, one-year-and-done set.
It comes with a 10-inch omelet pan, a 12-inch omelet pan, one 2-quart saucepan with lid, one 3-quart saucepan with lid, one 3-quart sauté pan with lid, and an 8-quart stockpot with lid. Unfortunately, there aren’t options when it comes to the aesthetics—this set is only available in black, which actually looks more like gray.
Material: Nonstick aluminum with stainless steel handles
The pots and pans in this Calphalon set are made of hard-anodized aluminum with brushed stainless steel handles and tempered glass lids. The cookware is sturdy as can be, but it’s almost a little too heavy for our kitchen’s storage. (We store pans in an overhead hanging rack and were too worried to hang anything but the smallest omelet pan.)
The cookware is sturdy as can be, but it’s almost a little too heavy for our kitchen’s storage.
This set’s nonstick interior is PFOA (chemical)-free, and the pots and pans stay nonstick use after use. We’ve tried lots of pots and pans so we know how rare it is for nonstick to really work as well as it claims, so we put it to the test.
We spent the most time with the omelet pans and saucepans as we attempted our go-to weekend breakfast of fried eggs. After three fried-egg breakfasts in a row (followed by three dishwasher cleanings), we were elated to confirm that the nonstick promise came through! Our eggs were easy to flip each time, which made this one of the easiest pan cleanings of all time (more on that later).
We got the same results with tofu, another protein we tried; we were pleasantly surprised when we found no toasty brown parts left behind. The pasta did stick slightly to the bottom of the pot after it was boiled, but it was easy to clean the debris off right after.
Cleaning: Nonstick makes cleaning quick and effective
These pots and pans and their lids are dishwasher-safe. It’s also easy to hand-wash these nonstick pots and pans, given food doesn’t stick to the surface. When we cleaned the omelet pan after making eggs, for example, we only had a few tiny flakes of debris left. This was a breeze compared to previous “nonstick” pans that left basically half of the egg crusted on the bottom. Even after the fifth wash, these pans were as good as new.
Our eggs were easy to flip each time, which made this one of the easiest pan cleanings of all time.
Heating Capacity: Warms quickly and evenly
This Calphalon cookware heats up quickly and stays evenly heated throughout its use. Plus, the pots and pans are oven-safe up to 500 degrees; lids are safe up to 450 degrees. When we were preparing our breakfast egg, we had to act quicker than ever to make sure it cooked properly because we were so used to subpar pans taking what felt like decades to sizzle.
The tempered glass lids actually trap and retain the heat, so it’s easier to keep everything warm until serving. We’re happy to be done with the days of aluminum foil on top of everything. We appreciated that the long handle on each pot and pan stayed cool throughout the use, even with a gas stove on high.
It’s definitely an investment, but we feel the longevity makes this cookware worth the purchase.
One downside: The pasta took a bit longer to boil because (not surprisingly) the 8-quart stockpot is huge. With a gas stove on high, it probably took about eight to 10 minutes for it to fully start boiling.
Price: A high-end set that lasts for life
You can find this set somewhere in the $500 to $600 range, which may seem like a lot, but Calphalon guarantees it will last for life. The pots and pans have a lifetime warranty. It’s definitely an investment, but we feel the longevity makes this cookware worth the purchase.
Calphalon Signature Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware vs. Rachael Ray Non-Stick Cookware
Calphalon isn’t the only brand around to make nonstick cookware; one of its lower-cost competitors, Rachael Ray, has a similar set with similar results. The Rachael Ray 12-Piece Non-Stick Cookware Set can be found for under $200. It’s made with the same hard-anodized aluminum materials, also with a nonstick, PFOA-free interior.
We tested the Calphalon and Rachael Ray sets simultaneously and actually put the two head-to-head in a fried-egg comparison. To my surprise, both heated and cooked the egg evenly (almost identically!), and the debris left post-cooking was almost exactly the same. The Calphalon set feels significantly heavier and sturdier than the Rachael Ray set, but after about five uses each, we found the pots and pans in each set to deliver the same nonstick results.
Interested in reading more reviews? Check out our roundup of the best nonstick cookware.
Worth the splurge!
Between the reputable brand name and the heavy, durable build, it’s obvious the Calphalon Signature Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware 10-Piece Set will last for life. If the price is a concern, there are definitely effective, more budget-friendly options out there, but it’s unlikely you’ll get the same durability.
- Product Name Signature Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware 10-Piece Set
- Product Brand Calphalon
- UPC 818200380514
- Price $599.99
- Material Hard-anodized aluminum, brushed stainless steel handles
- What’s Included 10-in. omelet pan, 12-in. omelet pan, 2-qt. saucepan with lid, 3-qt. saucepan with lid, 3-qt. sauté pan with lid, 8-qt. stockpot with lid
- Warranty Lifetime warranty