In this Calphalon Premier review, you’ll learn how this best-selling cookware collection looks, feels, performs, costs, and much more.
You’ll also discover its downsides and how it compares to other Calphalon collections.
By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to decide if Calphalon Premier cookware is right for you.
Let’s get started.
Use the links below to navigate:
- Cookware Options
- Materials and Construction
- Cooking Performance
- Premier vs. Other Calphalon Collections
- Bottom Line: Is Calphalon Premier Cookware Any Good?
Calphalon Calphalon Premier Space-Saving cookware comes in both stainless steel and non-stick.
As its name suggests, this cookware features special design features, such as flat lids and interlocking grooves, making it easily stackable and saving you space in the kitchen. This is an excellent option if you live in an apartment or have a small kitchen with limited cabinet space.
Within the space-saving category, you can choose between over 15 different pots, pans, and cookware sets (across both stainless steel and non-stick).
Calphalon Premier Stainless Steel cookware is the same as the space-saving version, but it doesn’t include interlocking grooves or flat lids. It’s your classic fully-clad, built-to-last stainless steel cookware. Within this category, there are thirteen options available.
Calphalon Premier Non-Stick cookware, like the stainless steel version, is the same as the space-saving non-stick cookware, but it isn’t designed to stack. Therefore, the design looks a bit sleeker. There are nineteen pots, pans, and sets available in this category.
Check out all three versions of Calphalon Premier cookware on Amazon.
Materials and Construction
High-quality cookware starts with high-quality materials.
So, how is the Calphalon Premier collection constructed?
The stainless steel versions boast 3-ply fully-clad construction. But unless you’re a pro chef or have done a lot of research, you probably have no idea what this means or why it matters.
Fully-clad cookware is made by bonding layers of different metals together. In the case of Calphalon Premier stainless steel cookware, they bond three layers: a stainless steel exterior, a thick aluminum core, and a stainless steel interior.
This type of construction maximizes durability and heat conduction. Although very durable, steel is a poor conductor of heat. On the other hand, aluminum is an excellent heat conductor, but it’s not as strong and versatile as steel. By using steel on the outside and aluminum in the middle, you get the best of both worlds.
To get the same effect, some cookware makers bond an aluminum plate to the bottom of their stainless steel pans. The problem with this method is that the heat concentrates at the bottom of the pan and doesn’t spread evenly up the walls, resulting in heating inconsistencies and cold spots.
With Calphalon Premier stainless steel cookware, the aluminum core extends throughout the entire pan, so the heat spreads evenly.
Calphalon Premier Hard-Anodized Non-Stick cookware (both space-saving and standard versions) are made with a hard-anodized aluminum base.
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Hard-anodized aluminum is standard aluminum that’s gone through an electrolytic process, which creates an oxidized layer. This layer imparts corrosion resistance and added strength.
The hard-anodized aluminum base is 3.6 mm thick, much thicker than cheap non-stick pans, and even thicker than some of Calphalon’s more affordable collections (like Select by Calphalon, which is only 3 mm thick).
The added thickness gives this cookware a sturdier feel and helps it absorb and retain more heat.
Calphalon coats it’s Premier non-stick cookware with three layers of PTFE (Teflon). That’s two more layers than most bargain non-stick cookware. Although it will experience wear-and-tear over time, the added layers make it metal utensil-safe and significantly increase its lifespan.
Calphalon cookware offers a simple and classic look, and the Premier collection is no exception.
The stainless steel pots and pans have a sleek brushed exterior. It’s not shiny like you may be used to with All-Clad or other big-name brands. Instead, its matte finish hides smudges, scratches, and other minor imperfections.
Each pan features a thick steel handle that forks toward the cookware’s base to disperse heat and stay cool. The handle is flat on top and rounded on the bottom for a comfortable grip, and it’s attached with two stainless steel rivets.
The hard-anodized non-stick pots and pans feature a classic charcoal gray exterior and interior.
The tempered glass lids are slightly domed with a thick steel outline and comfortable steel handle.
With the space-saving versions, the design gets interesting. These pots and pans come with flat tempered glass lids and special interlocking groves. These metal grooves allow the pots and pans to nest security without shifting or scratching.
Due to these grooves, the helper-handles on the larger pots jet out further than they do on the non-stackable versions. Although you save a ton of space by stacking, the large handles make these pots and pans noticeably more chunky.
So, if you’re going for a sleek look in your kitchen, you might want to think twice about buying the space-saving models.
You’ll also notice that the flat glass lids don’t feature the handle on top like traditional lids. Instead, the handles are on the sides. Most people don’t mind this, but some customers have noted that it takes some time to adjust.
Overall, Calphalon Premier is good-looking cookware that’s built for function, performance, and easy storage. It won’t wow you with bright colors or hammered finishes, but it looks nice on the countertop and fits in with any kitchen decor.
Now that you know a little about Calphalon Premier cookware’s construction, you’re probably wondering: how does it perform in the kitchen?
The short answer: excellent.
I’ve cooked dozens of meals with it, from steaks to stir fry to eggs, and have no complaints. It heats up fast, responds quickly to changes in temperature, and retains heat well.
Both the stainless steel and non-stick versions have a nice weight to them. They sit flat on the cooktop and don’t move unless you want them to.
Its thick, fully-clad and hard-anodized construction absorbs and distributes heat incredibly well. I haven’t had any issues with hot or cold spots, and each recipe I’ve tried has come out as expected.
The stainless steel pots and pans are compatible with all cooktops, including induction, and they’re oven-safe up to 450°F. The hard-anodized non-stick pots and pans are also oven-safe up to 450°F, but they’re not induction-compatible.
Although Calphalon advertises its non-stick cookware as “metal utensil safe,” I highly recommend using nylon or silicon. You might get away with a metal spatula for a while, but in my experience, it reduces the lifespan of the non-stick coating significantly.
Bottom line — Calphalon Premier cookware performs incredibly well.
You may have guessed due to the name “Premier” that this cookware is one of Calphalon’s most expensive.
Unfortunately, it’s true: Calphalon Premier cookware is not cheap. Expect to pay north of $100 for the larger skillets and a few hundred dollars for a complete set, depending on the number of pieces.
On the spectrum of cookware, this collection is mid to high-end. It’s not as expensive as brands like All-Clad, Demeyere, or Mauviel, but it costs much more than the discount brands you’ll find at your local department store.
To give some perspective, the chart below shows the current prices on Amazon of the most popular Calphalon Premier pots, pans, and sets:
(click or tap the chart to view each item on Amazon)
|Piece / Set||Price||View Details|
|Calphalon Premier Space-Saving Non-Stick 15-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Calphalon Premier Non-Stick 2-Piece Frying Pan Set||Amazon|
|Calphalon Premier Space-Saving Non-Stick 2.5qt Sauce Pan with Cover||Amazon|
|Calphalon Premier Space-Saving Non-Stick 3-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Calphalon Premier Space-Saving Non-Stick 5qt Dutch Oven with Cover||Amazon|
|Calphalon Premier Stainless Steel 8-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Calphalon Premier Space-Saving Stainless Steel 5-Piece Set||Amazon|
Even the best cookware has room for improvement. Before you go out and buy Calphalon Premier cookware, keep these downsides in mind:
Expensive: As you learned in the previous section, Calphalon Premier cookware is expensive. If you’re on a budget, check out the Calphalon Classic or Contemporary collections. They offer similar benefits, but at a more reasonable price point.
Cumbersome design: Although designed to minimize its footprint, Calphalon Premier is not the sleekest-looking cookware. The handles are quite large, and the interlocking grooves make the overall design more chunky.
Oven-safe — to a point: These sets are designed to be oven safe up to 450 degrees, which is what you’ll need for most recipes. However, it can be a problem if you have a recipe that calls for a higher temperature. If you’re looking for an alternative that can handle hotter oven temperatures, you might want to look at All-Clad, which is oven-safe up to 600°F or Made In, which is oven-safe up to 800°F.
Heavy: Due to the high-quality materials used and the design, these sets are not lightweight. That can make it challenging to maneuver if you want to pick up more than one pot or pan at once.
Exterior coating peels: Although this isn’t something you’ll see very often, the exterior coating on the non-stick pans can peel, especially if you drag it across rough grates.
Non-stick coating scratches: No non-stick pan is immune to scratches, and this is no exception. However, Calphalon’s three-ply coating extends its life. Usually, non-stick pans have a shelf life of one to five years, but you can expect Calphalon Premier to last closer to five (maybe longer if you take good care of it).
Food sticks to stainless steel: For all the benefits that stainless steel offers, from even heating to long-lasting durability, it does have a flaw — food often sticks to the pan. It happens with all stainless steel cookware, and you can expect it to happen with Calphalon Premier. There are ways to prevent this, though, and careful culinary techniques can help you get the most out of your cookware.
Non-stick not compatible with induction: The non-stick pans are not compatible with induction cooktops due to the aluminum base (aluminum is not magnetic, a requirement for induction cooktops). If you have an induction cooktop, check out All-Clad HA1 (view on Amazon). This non-stick cookware has a steel plate attached to the bottom, making it compatible with all cooktops.
Made in China: Although the company used to produce its cookware in the USA, they have since moved some production to China. Some pans still say “Toledo, OH” on the bottom, but that’s where it’s designed, not manufactured.
Premier vs. Other Calphalon Collections
Are you still on the fence about Calphalon Premier cookware and wondering how it stacks up against other Calphalon collections?
Below are the key specs of Calphalon’s most popular collections to help you compare.
(swipe to view the entire chart on mobile)
|Stainless Steel Construction||3-Ply||5-Ply||Bonded base||3-Ply|
|Non-Stick Construction||Heavy-gauge hard-anodized aluminum||Heavy-gauge hard-anodized aluminum||Medium-gauge hard-anodized aluminum||Heavy-gauge hard-anodized aluminum|
|Non-Stick Coating||3 Layers||3 Layers||2 Layers||3 Layers|
|Metal Utensil Safe||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Unique Feature||Interlocking groove, flat lids||Sear non-stick surface||Pour spouts and measuring lines||Modern design with smooth curves|
|Price||$$$$ (View on Amazon)||$$$$$ (View on Amazon)||$$$ (View on Amazon)||$$$ (View on Amazon)|
Bottom Line: Is Calphalon Premier Cookware Any Good?
Now that you know all the important details about Calphalon Premier cookware, it’s time to decide if it’s the right collection for you.
Before I give my recommendation, here’s a quick recap of the key points:
- The stainless steel version features 3-ply fully-clad construction.
- The non-stick version boasts a thick hard-anodized aluminum base and three layers of non-stick coating.
- Stainless steel pans have a sleek brushed finish, and the non-stick pans are charcoal gray due to the anodizing process.
- The most notable design features are the space-saving pots and pans’ flat glass lids and interlocking grooves.
- Cooking performance is solid. This cookware heats up fast, reacts quickly to temperature changes, and holds heat well.
- It’s not the most expensive cookware, but it’s near the high-end of the market.
So, is Calphalon Premier cookware any good? Should you buy it? In my opinion, yes.
Calphalon is a top cookware brand globally, and Premier is one of its best-selling collections. It’s well-built, high-performing, long-lasting, easy to use, and looks great in any kitchen.
There are several Calphalon collections to choose from, but if you’re looking for one that nests neatly and maximizes storage space, Premier Space-Saving is one of the best stackable cookware collections on the market. It’s perfect for smaller kitchens with limited storage space.
If you have plenty of storage space and prefer a sleeker design, the regular Premier options are a great choice, too. However, if Premier is over your budget, explore Calphalon’s Contemporary and Classic collections, which offer similar construction and performance at a lower cost.
You can read dozens of customer reviews, check the latest prices, and learn more about Calphalon Premier cookware on Amazon.
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