Are you in the market for a new cookware set? If so, you may have come across a brand called Calphalon. In the home cookware space, Calphalon is incredibly dominant and popular, particularly in the United States. As such you may be considering getting a Calphalon cookware set for yourself. However, when you’ve gone to buy yourself one, you may be left scratching your head of the difference between the various cookware set options available. If so were here to answer the question, Simply Calaphon vs Calaphon Classic, what’s the difference?

 

About Calphalon

Calphalon is a cookware set manufacturer that was founded in California, America in the early nineteen sixties. The company was founded by Ronald M. Kasperzak and was originally branded as Commercial Aluminum Cookware as it started out as a commercial supplier to the professional food industry and restaurant industry.

In the late sixties, Mr Kasperzak would develop and invent hard-anodised aluminium cookware using processes and techniques inspired by the aerospace industry. The result was a series of cookware sets that were incredibly durable and much more resistant to corrosion and warping than conventional cookware sets and utensils. This concept was dubbed “Calphalon” as an abbreviation of the words “California” and “Appliances”. Following this innovation, many other companies in the cookware space took inspiration.

 

Simply Calphalon vs Calphalon - What’s The Difference?

 

Despite its initial success with professional chefs, the Calphalon cookware set quickly developed a following in the amateur or home cook space. By the mid-nineteen eighties, Calaphon was not only supplying professional kitchens but also culinary schools along with some speciality department stores.

In the early nineties, the Calaphon line had exploded so much in popularity that Commercial Aluminum Cookware officially changed its name to Calphalon. Then in the latter half of the decade, the company was bought out by the American conglomerate, Newell Brands.

Nowadays there is a wide range of Calphalon cookware collections such as New Precision Calphalon, Signature Calphalon, Contemporary Calphalon along with Simply Calphalon and Calphalon Classic.

 

Calphalon Cookware Features

When comparing the different Calphalon cookware sets, some key differences immediately distinguish them from each other. Naturally, the price will always be a factor but the following points will be factors you should consider when deciding which set will be best suited for your needs.

 

Coating

Depending on which set you get, the coating it will have will be drastically different. At its most basic, which type of cookware set may simply come down to which type of coating it has. Typically your options will be a non-stick cookware set or a cast stainless steel set.

Non-stick cookware will have a non-stick coating of a substance such as Teflon. This coating makes home cooking somewhat simple and convenient as these types of cookware are much easier to clean. This is because the non-stick surface will stop food from getting stuck on or staining the pan. Additionally, using non-stick also simplifies the cooking process as the pan won’t need seasoning as it does with stainless steel to prevent food sticking.

However, despite this convenience, many cooking enthusiasts will often prefer more traditional stainless steel cookware. This is because whilst non-stick pans may be easier to clean, they are often less durable than their stainless steel counterparts. This is because the non-stick coating can potentially scrape off if not careful when cleaning or if metal utensils are used when cooking.

Due to being more durable, stainless steel cookware sets can often also endure hotter temperatures and will be more likely to be oven safe. Additionally, non-stick pans can not be preheated in the same way stainless steel pans often are since the heat will likely damage the non-stick coating if it has nowhere to escape.

Most critically, however, using older non-stick pans improperly can actually be hazardous to your health. This is because when heated to temperatures over 300° Celcius, the Teflon can break down somewhat and release fumes that can make people ill. Additionally, older Teflon coated products from before 2013 were likely to contain Perfluorooctanoic Acid (or PFOA) which is now known to be a carcinogen along with being linked with a myriad of other health issues. Fortunately, though, modern non-stick pans are made with Teflon that is PFOA free.

 

Structure

Along with the coating choice of the cookware sets in question, their structure is also an important thing to take note of. This is because if you’re going to be investing in a cookware set of this nature, then you need to know how durable and reliable it will be. 

Structure is an area that Calphalon has a reputation for excelling in. The durability and even heat distribution of the original line of Calphalon cookware is what put them on the map after all.

However, times have changed since the sixties and as such, so have Calphalon. Whilst cookware sets that use the original Calphalon design as still available for purchase, their current cutting edge cookware uses the updated Calphalon V. The key difference between the two is that Calphalon V, which was introduced in the nineties is made from more durable and higher quality materials.

 

Simply Calphalon vs Calphalon - What’s The Difference?

 

Handles

When it comes to the handles of your cookware, there are two options that you will typically see. These are handles with a stainless steel grip or panhandles wrapped with a silicone grip. Each option has its pros and cons, however.

Stainless steel grips due to being made of metal will be more likely to conduct heat and therefore make the pan quite hot. This can potentially be a hazard since if you’re not careful you could potentially burn yourself. However, stainless steel handles are typically safe to touch if cooking on a hob at temperatures up to 250° Celcius. Despite this though, it’s still recommended to use a tea towel or oven gloves when grabbing these kinds of handles.

Silicone grip handles, however, don’t necessarily have the same drawback of getting hot as they will not conduct the heat well between the metal of the pan and your hand. As such they will often be safer to grab than a stainless steel handle. However, the downside is that these pans are often less suitable for oven use as the silicone can melt and damage both the pan and oven at higher temperatures. Additionally, silicone is much less durable than stainless steel and will likely become warped with repeated use.

 

Lids

Typically with cookware lids, they will be made of either glass or stainless steel. Naturally different people will have different preferences in this regard.

Stainless steel lids are typically lighter and more durable than glass ones. However, the downside is that you cant see how well the contents of your pan is cooking. This means that to gauge how things are going you may have to remove the pan which will inevitably disrupt and slow down the cooking process.

Glass lids on the other hand are heavier and typically more brittle. However, the advantage of being able to see what you’re cooking without removing the lid is a major advantage.

Interestingly, in this regard, there isn’t a difference between Simply Calphalon vs Calphalon Classic. This is because both cookware lines use the same kind of tempered glass lids which are designed to be incredibly durable. As such the Calpahlon lids provide something of a happy middle ground between a traditional glass lid and stainless steel one.

 

Simply Calphalon vs Calphalon - What’s The Difference?

 

Simply Calphalon vs Calphalon: What is the Difference

Now that we’ve discussed the factors you’ll want to consider when buying your Calphalon cookware set it’s time to see which is better out of Simply Calphalon vs Calphalon Classic.

 

Simply Calphalon Cookware Set

The Simply Calphalon cookware set is a set of ten non-stick frying pans, saute pans and saucepans. These pans are well built and use the cutting edge of Calphalon’s technology to provide a cookware set that is both durable and able to provide an even amount of heat to the entire pan. 

 

Features

  • Non-Stick Coating
  • Silicone Covered Stainless Steel Handles
  • Tempered Glass Lids
  • Hard-Anodised Aluminium Structure

 

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • More Affordable
  • Tempered Glass Lids allow you to see what you’re cooking
  • Non-Stick Coating is PFOA Free
  • Can be easily and safely moved around with silicone handles
  • Cooks food evenly and consistently 

 

Cons

  • Not suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher
  • Only has limited use in the oven as temperatures over 200° Celsius may damage the pans
  • Not suitable for use with metallic utensils
  • Must be hand washed carefully to avoid scraping away the non-stick coating

 

Calphalon Classic Cookware Set

The Calphalon Classic cookware set comes in more options than the Simply Calphalon set. In fact, Calphalon Classic is available in non-stick, stainless steel and ceramic varieties. 

Depending on your needs and preferences the stainless steel or ceramic option may be better suited. Non-stick or Teflon pans provide somewhat of a happy middle ground between the ceramic and stainless steel options. 

This is because ceramic coated pans are better at preventing sticking than both Teflon and Stainless Steel options with many not needing to be oiled at all. However, they are also less durable for the most part so shouldn’t be used with high heat. 

Meanwhile, stainless steel is the most likely to get food stuck to it. However, it is also much more durable than ceramic or Teflon coated pans and therefore better suited to be used with higher heat.

To make the most direct comparison we will compare the non-stick variation of Calphalon Classic with Simply Calphalon. This is because it will highlight both differences in the different sets but also between the different types of the non-stick coating.

 

Features

  • Two layers of non-stick coating
  • Silicone Covered Stainless Steel Handles
  • Tempered Glass Lids
  • Intermediate Gauge Hard-Anodised Aluminium Structure

 

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Tempered Glass Lids allow you to see what you’re cooking
  • Two Layers of PFOA Free Non-Stick Coating That Will Last Longer
  • Can be easily and safely moved around with silicone handles
  • Cooks food evenly and consistently 
  • More robust structure that will help it last longer.
  • Can be used in the oven at slightly higher temperatures.
  • Less likely to become warped over time

 

Cons

  • More Expensive
  • Not suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher
  • Not suitable for use with metallic utensils
  • Must be hand washed carefully to avoid scraping away the non-stick coating.
  • Incompatible with induction hobs

 

Calphalon Premier Cookware Set

If your budget stretches even higher than the Simply Calphalon or Calphalon Classic options then you may want to consider the Calphalon Premier cookware set. Just as the Classic range is a step up from Simply Calphalon, Calphalon Premier is in many ways a step up from Calphalon Classic.

 

Features

  • Three layers of non-stick coating
  • Stainless Steel Handles
  • Tempered Glass Lids
  • Heavy Gauge Hard-Anodised Aluminium Structure

 

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Tempered Glass Lids allow you to see what you’re cooking
  • Three Layers of PFOA Free Non-Stick Coating That Will Last Significantly Longer
  • Cooks food very evenly and consistently 
  • More robust structure that will help it last longer.
  • Can be used in the oven at significantly higher temperatures.
  • Stackable design helps to save space
  • Can be used with metallic utensils
  • Less likely to get knocked from the stove due to being heavier
  • Much less likely to become warped over time

 

Cons

  • Significantly more expensive
  • Heavier than the other options
  • Must be handled with more care due to stainless steel handles

 

Comparison Table Of Features: Simply Calphalon vs Calphalon Classic vs Calphalon Premier

  Simply Calphalon Calphalon Classic Calphalon Premier
Teflon Layers 1 2 3
PFOA Free Yes Yes Yes
Induction Compatible Yes No Yes
Tempered Glass Lids Yes Yes Yes
Hard-Anodised Aluminium Gauge Robust Intermediate Heavy
Available in Stainless Steel No Yes Yes
Available in Ceramic No Yes Yes
Oven Safe Over 200° Celcius No Yes Yes
Compatible With Metal Utensils No No Yes
Handle Type Silicone Wrapped Silicone Wrapped Stainless Steel
Price (U.S Dollars) $249.99 $299.99 $479.99

 

FAQs

Are there different grades of Calphalon?

The way that Calphalon is graded (or gauged) is by the thickness of the Hard-Anodised Aluminium which makes up the structure of the pans. The heavier the gauge of the pan the better quality it will be as it will be less likely to warp under and be more resilient to damage. Most importantly, however, the heavier the gauge the more evenly your food will cook due to heat being dispersed more evenly within the pan.

What is the difference between the Calphalon lines?

There are a variety of factors that differentiate the Calphalon lines from one another. These factors include but are not limited to the following traits:

  • Hard-Anodised Aluminium Gauge, is the thickness of the different pans, with heavier gauged pans typically being of higher quality. 
  • Some ranges will be limited in the material they are available in or have more options. Typically, the potential options include ceramic, Teflon/non-stick and stainless steel. 
  • For Teflon coated non-stick pans, the number of layers of non-stick coating also correlates with quality with more coats being better.
  • Some lines are designed to be space saver versions that can be easily stacked atop one another. However, others are not designed in this manner.
  • On some lines, the handle will be made purely out of stainless steel whereas others will have silicone wrapped handles.
  • Some will be compatible with induction stoves/hobs whilst others will require a flame.
  • Different sets will be better or worse suited for different temperatures of cooking or to be put in the oven.
  • Some sets will be fine to put in the dishwasher however others will need to be washed by hand.

 

Are Calphalon Pans Heavy?

Typically Calphalon pans are heavier than average due to the hard-anodised aluminium structure. However, just how heavy they are often directly correlates to where the individual pan or set of pans falls on the hard-anodised aluminium gauge. On this gauge, the heavier gauged pans are typically superior in quality to lighter ones however due to them being thicker. This extra thickness makes them less likely to warp and able to withstand higher temperatures. Most importantly, however, the heavier and thicker pans will trap in more heat and allow your food to cook more evenly whilst lessening the likelihood of you can being knocked off the hob.

 

Is Calphalon Toxic?

Calphalon is not toxic since whilst it does use Teflon coating for non-stick pans no PTFE will be released even when scratched. Also, whilst most companies only stopped using PFOA after 2013, Calphalon products have never contained this hazardous substance. Additionally, the use of hard-anodised aluminium in the construction of Calphalon pans helps to prevent aluminium leaching pretty much entirely.  Despite these facts though, it is still wise to follow any care instructions for these types of pan to further minimise any risk.

 

Do Calphalon Pans Wear Out?

No matter how well maintained you keep your pans, they will inevitably wear out with natural wear and tear. However, whilst some non-stick pans may only last a year, it’s a fairly safe bet to expect the non-stick layer of mid-range Calphalon pans to last roughly three to five years with proper care. However, with the higher end pans, you’re more likely to get reach or even pass that five-year mark.  Regarding the stainless steel varieties, however, they will likely last you longer due to the only concern you have being from warping which should take longer than for a non-stick surface to erode.

 

Simply Calphalon vs Calphalon - What’s The Difference?

 

Final Thoughts: Which Non-stick Cookware Set Is Better?

Ultimately the answer to which non-stick cookware set is better at its job is naturally going to be the Calphalon Premier set. This is because they are the heaviest on the hard-anodised aluminium gauge. As a result, they will provide the most even cooking along with being more stable on a countertop. In addition, they will also be more durable due to the three layers of the non-stick coating and then generally being thicker pans.

However, they are also nearly twice the price which makes me wonder, are they worth the bump up in price? Honestly, I think it would mostly depend on how often and how intensely you’d use them. In a professional kitchen or for a particularly keen hobbyist they may be worth it since the more varied and frequent use will mean they need replacing less frequently. However, in the case of your average home cook, the extra price just isn’t justifiable.

After the premier version is gone though we’re left with two options. Calphalon Classic and Simply Calphalon. Now the big downside of the Calphalon Classic is that it can’t be used on an induction stove. If that’s what you have, then Simply Calphalon is what you’ll need. However, if you’re someone with a gas oven, then the Calphalon Classic set honestly beats the Simply Calphalon in pretty much every way. This ranges from durability and expected life span to the material options available.

So, which should you choose? If money is no object and you love cooking, then the premier is your best bet. However, if you have an induction stovetop and a tighter budget, then Simply Calphalon is the one for you. If though, you’re using a gas oven you don’t want to spend a fortune, you really can’t go wrong with Calphalon Classic.