When it comes to cookware sets, two of the biggest names are Calphalon and Cuisinart. While stainless steel is their biggest seller, they also make cookware in nonstick, plus they are recognized for their quality and versatility in the kitchen. Whether you’re an experienced chef or just looking to upgrade your cookware, both of these brands are amazing. Let’s compare the two to see which is best.
Calphalon Contemporary vs. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic: Nonstick
If you hate the idea of cleaning stuck-on crud but still want to prepare a delicious meal, then nonstick is the way to go. Nonstick cookware uses a special coating that keeps food from sticking to the pot or pan, ensuring that it’s easy to clean while providing wonderful results.
The two sets here are the Calphalon Contemporary and the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic. To be honest, there aren’t as many differences here as with other materials, but there are a few key differences to point out.
Let’s start with similarities. They both have large cookware sets full of saute pans, soup pots, frying pans and so on. They also both use a double nonstick coating to ensure that food slips right off when you’re finished. Another similarity is the lid. They are shatter-proof glass that allow you to look in and see what’s cooking. Aluminum is used as the base material, and they can be used in an oven up to 450 degrees.
Price wise, Cuisinart is the clear winner being about $100 cheaper for a 14-piece set. However, Calphalon’s material is slightly thicker (only the slightest bit) and most of the pots (and some pans) have a spout to easily pour out liquid or fat. Cuisinart can actually withstand high heats slightly better, but only by about 50 degrees.
In general, Cuisinart is a better in this regard. There isn’t that much of a difference between the two in terms of quality, but there is a big difference in price. However, if slightly thicker material and the spouts mean that much to you, then Calphalon is slightly better in terms of functionality.
Calphalon Classic vs. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic: Stainless Steel (Impact Bonded)
Stainless steel cookware comes in two different types: impact bonded and tri-ply. Impact bonded is the less expensive of the two because the material is slightly thinner. Since steel itself isn’t a great heat conductor, another material is needed to ensure you get proper heat to your food. This material would be aluminum.
With impact bonded cookware, there is an aluminum base added to the bottom of the pan. Because of this, heat distribution is best around the bottom, but the sides don’t transfer as much heat. With that said, let’s look at Calphalon vs Cuisinart in this material. The differences here are more salient than with nonstick.
First, the similarities. Both are oven and dishwasher safe, use riveted handles to ensure they stay safely in place and have tight lids that are sure to stay on during the most grueling cooking sessions.
Calphalon distinguishes itself as being superior in terms of material and functionality. The pots and pans in this series are definitely thicker, and thus can better stand high heats, and they have straining lids to easily pour liquid. The cookware is also induction ready, which is essential if you have induction heating.
However, Cuisinart is no slouch. Their lids are stainless steel, which works better in an oven than Calphalon’s glass lids, and they have a wonderful mirror finish to them. Also, Cuisinart is almost half the price, making it great if you want strong cookware without breaking the bank.
Calphalon pulls ahead here if you have the extra money, but Cuisinart’s vastly lower price will make it attractive to most home cooks.
Calphalon Tri-Ply Vs. Cuisinart Multiclad Pro: Stainless Steel (Tri-Ply)
This is the other type of stainless steel cookware available, and it’s superior to impact bonded in terms of heat conductivity. The same principle and materials apply. Since steel isn’t great at conducting heat, aluminum is added. However, the aluminum is now evenly spread throughout, ensuring that heat properly travels from the base to the sides. This isn’t too big a deal with pans, but it’s a wonder when it comes to pots.
In this arena we have the Calphalon Tri-Ply against Cusinart’s Multiclad Pro. The two sets are similar to the impact bonded stainless steel, but Cuisinart actually does a much better job here in terms of quality, leading to more similarities than differences.
They both use the same steel and aluminum, and even though Calphalon is somewhat thicker, the difference is minute. The exterior is a brushed stainless steel and they use riveted grips that stay cool while cooking. Both are oven and dishwasher safe along with being induction ready. Both have tight lids, with Calphalon having see-through glass and Cuisinart having steel, which is better for heat. Since this is a matter of preference, neither is really superior to the other.
As for differences, there really aren’t many. The Calphalon models feels somewhat more stable than the Cuisinart, but only by a little. Once again, Cuisinart is significantly more affordable, and basically has all the same features as the Calphalon one.
While some may want to stick with the Calphalon brand, Cuisinart comes out on top. It’s basically the exact same pots and pans, but at a much lower cost.
Both of these brands are amazing in terms of performance and availability, with many different cookware sets in numerous materials. While each set is different, in general, there are easy pros and cons to point out. Calphalon is typically better when it comes to quality, functionality and durability. However, Cuisinart comes very close in terms of quality, but it’s significantly more affordable.
If you need the best cookware possible, regardless of price, then Calphalon is probably the best brand for you. However, if price is a factor and you don’t mind taking a very tiny step down in terms of quality (and it truly is just a small step), then Cuisinart will likely be your best pick.