Calphalon Cookware; Is It Worth It?
Q: I'm looking to purchase a set of pots and pans. I really like the way Calphalon cookware is built, but I'd like your opinion before I commit any money. For those of you who own items from this line I'd like to hear about the good and bad concerning its everyday use. After a year or two does the black finish wear off leaving bare aluminum? Do the handles stand up to regular (every day) use? Do I really need to be concerned about the pots and pans being made of aluminum? The brochure states "the finish does not react with acidic food." By this do they mean the black finish or the "anondized" aluminum which they claim chemically alters the metal (or are they one in the same)? For those who own other lines of cookware I'd like to hear the rational behind its choice over another line. What do you suggest I purchase? What is your "dream" set? Thanks for all your help.
A: My ideal set of cookware would not be a *set* of cookware. We have Calphalon saucepans, Le Creuset skillets and casseroles, tin-lined copper saucepans, Cuisinart skillets and sauce pans, cast iron, etc., etc. We use *all* of them for various types of cooking. My suggestion would be to take a good look at the type of cooking you do and by cookware that fits it. Often the sets of cookware have pieces or sizes that you will never use. Buy individual pieces! For the last year I've been using Scanpans. If you can forget about the cost I think they're great. They're made of thick aluminum and guaranteed not to warp; their recommended cleaning procedure is to take a hot pan and put it under cold running water (makes a lot of steam) while scrubbing it. Using this method makes soap unnecessary a lot of times. This makes for fast cleanups and when you're done the pan is already cool. Sometimes however, especially with browning meats, the pan gets a brownish crust on it. In this case you scour it with a steel wool pad till it's clean, then heat some oil in it to season the non-stick coating. I also like the glass lids so I can see how things are cooking. My only complaint is they are expensive. If I'd known I would like them as much as I do I'd probably have bought a set of them instead of the piece by piece I'm currently doing, that way they'd cost a little less.