Cookware Set

Best Cookware Set: All-Clad vs. Calphalon

We’ve got a hard review for you today: All-Clad vs Calphalon. These two heavyweights are known for making masterful cookware sets that can take the heat, deliver exquisite food and last for many years under the most punishing circumstances. It’s not so much a matter of quality in this review as both are at the top of their game.

This is really a matter of preference as both are made for slightly different audiences. All-Clad is the more expensive of the two, but the set tends to last longer overall. Calphalon is more affordable and you can often get more pieces at a lower price, plus the cookware isn’t branded. Some people get annoyed by seeing branding stamped all over their cookware, so this could be a big deal to some of you.

In general, you’ll find that both sets are amazing, so it all depends on what you prioritize and what’s important to you. We’ll go over All-Clad vs Calphalon with two of their competing sets: nonstick and tri-ply.

Some people don’t think that nonstick is fit for professional cooking, but you’ll see that both All-Clad and Calphalon are built for premium use and they can both take high heats and punishment environments. The tri-ply stainless-steel sets are ideal for those who need even stronger, more durable pieces. Read on and you’ll find out which is best for you.

All-Clad vs Calphalon Nonstick Comparison Table

 
Product Name
All-Clad E785SC64 HA1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set (10 Pieces) Calphalon Classic Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set (10 Pieces)
Number of Pieces 10 (2 pans, 4 pots, 4 lids) 10 (2 pans, 4 pots, 4 lids)
Exterior Material Hard anodized aluminum Hard anodized aluminum
Nonstick Coating PFOA-Free, scratch resistant PFOA-free, dual layer
Lids Glass, stainless steel handles Glass, stainless steel handles
Oven Safe? Yes, 500 F (excluding lids) Yes, 450 F (excluding lids)
Cleaning Dishwasher safe, handwashing recommended Dishwasher safe, handwashing recommended
Warranty Limited lifetime warranty Limited lifetime warranty
Pricing See current price on Amazon See current price on Amazon

 

All-Clad E785SC64 HA1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set (10 Pieces)

Nonstick Cookware Set

This All-Clad nonstick set comes with 10 pieces and it covers all the essentials. You get an 8-inch and 10-inch frying pan, a 2-quart and 3-quart sauce pan, a 4-quart saute pan and an 8-quart stockpot. You also get lids for all the pieces except for the frying pans. This allows you to make soups, sauces, pasta, meat and anything else you could ever want.

Some people think that nonstick pieces can’t heat evenly, but All-Clad will show you that’s dead wrong. The hard-anodized aluminum heats evenly and quickly, plus it’s incredibly easy to clean. There’s even a stainless-steel anti-warp base that’s strong and made for induction heating. If you use this within its limits (and those limits are pretty extreme), these pots and pans will retain their shape while helping you cook gourmet food.

All-Clad E785SC64 HA1 Nonstick

The hallmark of any pot or pan is the handles. Cheaper pieces have handles that are screwed in and can come loose with use. Nothing’s worse than tossing some hot meat or vegetables and having the handle come loose (it’s a nightmare that might result in a hospital visit).

All-Clad fixes that by using stainless-steel handles that have been permanently affixed with strong rivets. On top of that, the handles have been contoured for a comfortable grip. These handles are guaranteed to stay in place. You would have to purposefully try to remove these handles before they even start budging. Even if you love cooking large, heavy meals, these handles will not fail.

All-Clad Nonstick Cookware Set

All-Clad uses a PFOA-free nonstick coating that is scratch-resistant, which is important because the nonstick benefits are only present if the coating is still intact. This allows you to cook with less fat for healthier and tastier meals.

Even the lids are amazing. They are made from glass so that you can see through them and check the food from time to time, and they securely fit to trap moisture and heat. Just like the pots and pans, the lids are highly durable and can take a few hits.

All the pots and pans (not the lids) can be put in the oven up to 500 F, plus they are dishwasher safe. Due to the nonstick coating, cleaning is usually very easy and most food residue can be wiped right off. There is a limited lifetime warranty on all pieces, and they can be used with induction, gas, electric, ceramic or halogen heat sources.

Pros

  • Durable nonstick coating as long as you follow common sense rules (don’t use metal in the pot/pan, don’t cook shells or hard items that can scratch the surface)
  • Capable of taking high heat without damage
  • All the pieces are thick, durable and made to last for many years
  • Despite being made from steel, the handles usually remain cool while cooking

Cons

  • While the pieces are dishwasher safe, it’s recommended that you handwash them because the pieces might become discolored or even damaged
  • This is an overall issue with All-Clad, but their sets are often twice as expensive as Calphalon
  • Some people find the contoured handles are difficult to use if the pot or pan is overloaded and heavy

Calphalon Classic Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set (10 Pieces)

Calphalon Classic Hard Anodized Nonstick

Whether you’re a home cook and you want all the important pieces or a chef looking for a reliable and affordable set, this Calphalon nonstick set has everything you need for cooking gourmet meals. This comes with 10 pieces just like the All-Clad set and has many similar pots and pans.

You get an 8-inch and 10-inch frying pans, 1.5-quart and 2.5-quart sauce pans with lids, a 3-quart sauté pan with a lid and a 6-quart stock pot with a cover. While this is like the All-Clad set, the sauce pans and stock pot have a unique feature that separates them and makes them very convenient if you’re working with liquids.

Calphalon Classic Nonstick Cookware Set

The sauce pans and stock pot have pour spouts build into them that makes it easy to pour liquids into other pots or containers. You won’t have to worry about hot liquid going everywhere, unlike conventional pots that can make pouring a hassle. These spouts also allow steam to escape even while covered. This will prevent too much steam from building up and it also allows the dish to reduce a little for stronger flavors.

Believe it or not, Calphalon was the first brand to bring hard-anodized aluminum cookware to market, and they have continued that tradition with many of their newest sets. This is a durable metal that heats quickly and evenly, plus it can take a good amount of damage before warping.

All the pots and pans come with long stainless-steel handles that can withstand a good amount of weight, plus they stay cool while cooking. These longer handles make it easy to use both hands if needed, or you can use one hand for lighter dishes. The handles are connected with strong steel rivets for a permanent hold.

Nonstick CookwareThe entire set (excluding the lids) can be placed in the oven up to 450 F. This allows you to sear meat or do the initial cooking on the stove while finishing in the oven.

You want your nonstick cookware to really not stick, and that’s where Calphalon shines. They use a dual-layer, PFOA-free nonstick coating that practically prevents food from sticking, even if you’re using little to no oil. An additional benefit is that cleanup is quick and you can get to eating without scraping the pan to get your food.

These pieces come with a limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. This should give you some peace of mind that Calphalon will be there if anything bad happens to the cookware set.

Pros

  • Along with the pour spouts, there are internal fill lines to tell you exactly how much liquid is in the pot
  • Inexpensive when compared to All-Clad, but still a premium set that you’ll get a lot of use from
  • Compatible with glass, halogen, electric and gas stoves

Cons

  • This set is not dishwasher safe, should only be hand washed. However, if you do accidentally put them in the dishwasher, they’ll likely be discolored and not damaged
  • The nonstick coating can scratch easily if you use metal utensils in the pan
  • Cleaning the edge of the lids can be difficult, food will often get stuck in that area

 

All-Clad vs Calphalon Tri-Ply Comparison Table

 
Product Name
All-Clad D3 401488RR Tri-Ply Bonded Stainless Steel Cookware Set (10 Pieces) Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set (10 Pieces)
Number of Pieces 10 (2 pans, 4 pots, 4 lids) 10 (1 pan, 4 pots, 5 lids)
Exterior Material Induction stainless steel, 18/10 stainless steel Magnetic stainless steel, satin-finish stainless steel
Core Material Aluminum Aluminum
Lids Stainless steel Tempered glass, stainless steel handles
Oven Safe? Yes, 600 F (excluding lids) Yes, 500 F (including lids)
Cleaning Dishwasher safe Dishwasher safe
Warranty Limited lifetime warranty Limited lifetime warranty
Pricing See current price on Amazon See current price on Amazon

 

All-Clad D3 401488RR Tri-Ply Bonded Stainless Steel Cookware Set (10 Pieces)

Stainless Steel Cookware Set

If you’re looking to step up your cooking game and you want a set that’s just like what the professionals use (or, in some cases, exactly what the professionals use), then this All-Clad Tri-Ply set is exactly what you need. This is another 10-piece set and it comes with many of the same pieces as the nonstick set, but tri-ply is much stronger and it’s ideal for those high-heat sessions where you really want your creativity to run wild.

This set comes with 8-inch and 10-inch frying pans, 2-quart and 3-quart sauce pots with included lids, a 3-quart sauté pan with a lid and lastly an 8-quart stockpot with its own lid. You can make just about dish you can think of with these pieces, from a humble homemade grilled cheese and soup to more robust meals. These are all the pieces you need, now you just need to have the creativity to unleash their potential.

Tri-Ply Bonded Stainless Steel Cookware Set

One of the best things about this set is the tri-ply metal construction. This bonded stainless-steel is incredibly durable and there is an aluminum core that ensures even heating for all the pots and pans. You shouldn’t have any cold spots when cooking with these pieces.

Each layer is made for a specific purpose and benefit. The exterior stainless-steel layer is made from induction stainless-steel, which is great for durability and taking high temperatures. The innermost layer is crafted from 18/10 stainless-steel. This is surgical-grade metal that is non-reactive, great with food and it’s highly durable.

Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set

There is a starburst finish on the surface of the pots and pans that’s highly polished. While it looks beautiful, there is a practical reason for this finish. It provides some stick resistance (not as much as nonstick, but that’s to be expected) while also making the surface easier to clean and care for. The finish won’t react with any type of food.

Just like with the nonstick set, every pot and pan has contoured handles made from stainless-steel that are affixed with metal rivets. These handles will never come loose unless you’re willing to use a hammer and other tools to remove them. The lids are made from stainless-steel and are flat, ensuring they rest right against the pot.

The entire cookware set is oven and broiler safe. You can place them in a 600 F oven without any damage. This does not include the lids, only the pots and pans. All pieces are made in the USA and offer enhanced durability.

Pros

  • The tri-ply stainless-steel is very thick and extremely durable, ensuring it can withstand high heats and lots of punishment
  • Dishwasher-safe for convenient cleaning, plus you don’t have to worry about any coatings coming off
  • Compatible with all cooktops, induction or otherwise

Cons

  • Exposed aluminum on the rims. This metal corrodes easier than stainless-steel, which means it might discolor if you use the dishwasher
  • Some people noted that certain foods (like eggs) will often stick to the surface, which could be hard to clean
  • The lids are very sturdy, but they are entirely made from metal and you cannot see the food cooking within

Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set (10 Pieces)

Calphalon Stainless Steel Cookware

This Calphalon tri-ply set comes with several pieces that will help you cook your favorite dishes, plus you get the durability of strong stainless-steel that can take the harshest environments. Much like the All-Clad set, this one is meant for professionals and those who love some serious cooking.

The 10 pieces you get in this set are: 10-inch omelette pan, a 1.5-quart sauce pan, a 2.5-quart sauce pan, a 3-quart sauté pan and a 5-quart Dutch oven. All five of these come with tempered-glass lids, rounding out the set to 10 pieces in total. This set prioritizes lids by ensuring that every piece has one, which is unlike every other set on this list where there are usually one or two pieces without a lid.

Aluminum is essential for even heating, so you’ll be happy to know that you get a good layer of aluminum sandwiched between two other layers of stainless-steel. From ensuring there are no cold spots to excellent browning and temperature control, this gives you advanced heat management. The non-porous surface is safe for any and all utensils, so use any spatula or tongs that you want.

Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set

All three layers are made for a specific purpose. We covered how the middle layer is aluminum and that helps with rapid and even heating, but the outermost and innermost stainless-steel layers each do something special. The exterior layer is made from magnetic steel that can withstand high heat and is very durable. The interior is a satin finish stainless-steel that won’t react to any foods and it helps retain even heat distribution.

Both the inside and outside of the pan have a brilliant finish that looks beautiful and stays that way over time. This makes it easier to keep food from sticking and it’s just nice to look at. This gives the Calphalon set an elegant appearance that you’ll be happy to show off.

Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Surprisingly enough, where this set really shines is its lids. These lids are made from tempered-glass with stainless-steel rims and handles. This allows you to look and see the food as it’s cooking, but what’s best is that they’re oven safe. That’s right: every piece in this set can be placed in the oven. The lids are extremely secure, trapping heat and keeping the food warm until it’s time to serve.

All the handles are made from durable, brushed stainless-steel that has been riveted into place. They’re also long so that you can use both hands if needed to carry or transport food. They’re made to stay cool while on the stove, but they will get hot after a trip to the oven.

Pros

  • Dishwasher-safe and can be used on any cooktop
  • Durable stainless-steel that can even be used for deglazing and high heats
  • All the pieces have raised edges, allowing you to fill them with lots of ingredients

Cons

  • Most other sets have an extra frying pan, so you might feel like you’re missing a piece
  • Not quite as thick as All-Clad, so they may not last as long
  • Some people have noted that the surface can stain somewhat easily, so be careful to clean the pieces properly to maintain that beautiful finish

Final Thoughts

All four of these sets are amazing, so there’s no clear winner when it comes to All-Clad vs Calphalon. It all really depends on your preferences, budget and what you’re really looking to do with the cookware set.

If you prefer nonstick, which is typically more affordable than tri-ply and prevents sticking even with cheese and eggs, then it mostly depends on your budget and how high you want to crank the oven. All-Clad is better when it comes to oven safety because you can set the oven up to 500 F as opposed to 450 F with Calphalon.

However, when it comes to All-Clad vs Calphalon nonstick sets, you’ll find that Calphalon is about half as expensive as All-Clad. It’s true that the material isn’t quite as thick, but Calphalon is still very durable and great if you’re looking for a budget price but professional quality.

If you’re in the market for a professional tri-ply set, then the All-Clad vs Calphalon debate is a little different. Both are oven safe and provide a durable cooking surface for browning, searing and all those other high-heat cooking methods you love.

Calphalon is still less expensive than All-Clad with its tri-ply set, and it’s also better at going into the oven. Unlike All-Clad where the lids cannot be placed in the oven, Calphalon is completely oven-safe and this benefit cannot be overlooked.

However, the All-Clad tri-ply set uses thicker, more durable steel and it comes with an additional frying pan while the Calphalon set only comes with a single frying pan.

Your preferences and budget will help dictate which cookware set is ideal for you. If price is your main motivator and you don’t want to skimp on quality, then both Calphalon cookware sets are best for your needs. However, if you want a more durable set that can take the heat, then All-Clad is worth the price.

There’s no clear winner with All-Clad vs Calphalon because they’re both great, but if you consider your needs, then the right set should be obvious. Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll have no problem preparing some tasty dishes.