If you’re a keen home cook, choosing a new cookware set is super exciting. As you know, there are so many cookware brands on the market, all promising fabulous things. One of the best ways to clarify the selection process is to look at popular brands in detail, two at a time. Figure out exactly what they offer and if it’s worth your cash.

We’ve done this task for you, and in this particular article, we are taking a deep look at Anolon and Calphalon.

If you’re in the market for high-quality aluminum cookware at a reasonable price, keep reading…

What is Anolon cookware?

Anolon is an American cookware company which has been around since the 1890s. They are the daughter brand of parent company Meyer Manufacturing. Alonon’s main focus is on hard-anodized aluminium (hence the “ano”), for pro chefs and home cooks.

What do they make?

Anolon makes:

  • Cookware
  • Bakeware
  • Utensils and knives

Anolon’s cookware repertoire is incredibly vast. They have different collections catering to different expertise levels (i.e. pro chef or newbie home cook). While hard-anodized aluminum is their most well-known material, they also use cast iron and stainless steel for some of their collections.

Some lines, such as the Nouvelle line, have a layer of copper and stainless steel on the base. This makes them suitable for induction cooktops, and conducts the heat evenly.

You can buy entire cookware sets, duos (i.e. a skillet set with 2 different sized skillets), or individual pieces.

They have a few of their own branded technologies such as Anolon SureGrip. Basically, this is a stainless steel handle coated with a rubber outer. It’s for keeping hands burn-free, and allowing a non-slip grip.

 

Pros and cons of Anolon

Every single brand out there has good points and points which could be improved upon. Or simply, aspects which may not suit some people. Here are Anolon’s strengths and weaknesses: 

 

Pros

R

Huge range of products (everything from woks to dutch ovens)

R

Caters to all levels of cooking experience (simple, home cookware all the way to pro level)

R

Lots of dishwasher-safe options

R

Lots of oven-safe options

R

Most products are safe for metal utensils

R

Non-stick coatings are long-lasting and PFOA-free

R

Comfortable handles made from rubber-coated stainless steel for a cool touch

R

Strong, tempered glass lids

 

Cons

Q

Reasonably expensive

Q

PTFE is used in some of their non-stick cookware

What have other consumers found?

Anolon cookware products have a very impressive rating record. Most products have an overall rating of 4 and upwards. But of course, there are the angry 1-star reviews from customers who have found the products less than satisfactory. Let’s look at the bad news first…

The negative reviews

Quality isn’t consistent: a few customers have said that they feel Anolon has changed their design, resulting in lower quality. I don’t think this is cause for true concern, as it’s only a very small percentage of customers who have commented thus.

Non-stick fades: like most non-stick cookware, Anolon has been criticized by a small percentage of customers who have found that food sticks after a short while of use (i.e a few months and up to a year). This could be due to certain factors such as utensil usage. Or it could be due to the pan not being cleaned properly and oily residue building up.

Scratches and chips: some customers have found that their Anolon cookware scratches and chips after a while. This is generally avoided by using non-metal utensils.

The positive reviews

Even cooking: the even heat distribution and subsequent evenly-cooked food has been praised by customers, especially for the ranges containing a copper layer. This is an important factor for any cookware brand, as hot spots and uneven cooking is very annoying and hard to contend with.

Great weight: the weight of the cookware has been mentioned in positive reviews, with customers saying it’s heavy but still very easy to handle. This is a sign of good-quality pan which will sit firmly on any element and will resist warping. 

Easy to clean: many of Anolon’s collections have been praised for being really easy to clean. (This is probably helped a lot by the fact that many of the collections are dishwasher safe). 

Attractive: customers have found their Anolon cookware to be attractive, looking great in their kitchen. While this isn’t relevant to cooking performance, it’s still an important factor when making a purchase. You want cookware which you like the look of, since it will (hopefully) be hanging out in your kitchen for years and years.

What is Calphalon cookware?

Calphalon is an American cookware brand under the parent company of Newell Rubbermaid. You might be curious about the “lon” part of their name, wondering if they have anything to do with Teflon. But no, they’re a totally different brand.

Calphalon is a very similar company to Anolon in the sense that they’re both in the hard-anodized aluminum game.

What do they make?

Calphalon has a very wide range of cookware, catering to different needs. They have ceramic, stainless steel and non-stick (hard-anodized aluminum) ranges. Calphalon has multiple different collections such as “Space Saving”, “Contemporary” and “Elite”. This is helpful as it breaks up the huge amount of cookware to choose from.

As well as cookware, Calphalon also makes:

  • Bakeware
  • Appliances
  • Utensils/cutlery

Just like Anolon, Calphalon has good points and not-so-good points. But thankfully, it’s pretty hard to find a lot to complain about with this brand. Here are the highs and lows…

 

Pros

R

Wide range of collections

R

High-quality materials (hard-anodized aluminum)

R

Affordable options

R

Great stainless steel options

R

Great lids (tempered glass, great fit)

R

Lots of dishwasher-safe options

R

Lots of oven-proof options

 

Cons

Q

PTFE is used in some of their non-stick cookware

Q

The ceramic range has issues such as chipping and unstable surface

What have other consumers found?

The review section is a fascinating place when it comes to getting an idea of what a product is actually like once you take it home. Of course, take it all with a grain of salt. But here’s what I found in the negative and positive sections for a range of Calphalon cookware products:

The negative reviews

Peels: this complaint is a parallel with Anolon. Some customers have found that the non-stick surface of their Calphalon cookware chips and peels away after time. They might be using metal utensils which can rupture the non-stick coating.

Warping/uneven surface: like some of the Anolon cookware ranges, Calphalon has been criticized by customers who found their cookware warped. (This results in an uneven surface and uneven heat distribution). This can be avoided by ensuring the cookware is completely cold before plunging into hot dishwater.

Sticky: customers who reviewed the stainless steel ranges in particular found that their food stuck to the cookware surface. Other customers commented that in fact, this is a matter of cooking technique and not related to the pan itself.

The positive reviews

Impressive weight: just like Anolon customers, Calphalon customers have commented that the weight and sturdy feel of their cookware is very impressive. Heavy cookware is nice and steady on the cooking surface, and generally has a thick, durable base.

High-quality lids: customers have found that the lids are a perfect fit for their pots and pans, keeping heat and moisture locked into the dish. Many of the collections have glass lids which is handy for keeping an eye on the dish. Plus, they’re attractive to the eye.

Easy to clean: just like Anolon, customers have really loved how easy the the non-stick cookware products are to clean. Many of the ranges are dishwasher safe too, which is much appreciated on tired nights.

Great price: many customers have mentioned in their rave reviews that they love the price and found they got a lot for their money.

Quickfire Anolon and Calphalon comparison

  • Both brands offer a wide range of collections
  • Both brands offer high-quality hard-anodized aluminum
  • Calphalon is more expensive than Anolon (overall, but it does depend on the item in question)
  • Both brands offer stainless steel and copper options
  • Both brands have very similar negative comments regarding non-stick quality, chipping and warping

Does one beat the other?

No, they’re both very good choices, depending on what you require at the time. They both offer a wide range of materials, shapes, sizes and functions. Both offer you a great range of materials including aluminum, stainless steel and copper.

The best way to go about making the choice between Calphalon and Anolon is simply to narrow down on what you need. Once you know exactly what you’re after (i.e. a full set, a few skillets or one stock pot) take a look at both brands. Check them out on Amazon to find the best price and a great indication of customer experience thanks to the review sections and ratings.

Conclusion

Anolon and Calphalon are two fantastic cookware brands with many similarities. They both have extensive ranges of cookware options, both including stainless steel, copper and non-stick options. Their price points are actually really great considering the quality you will receive.

Both are very worthy choices for your next cookware buy!