Calphalon vs. Cuisinart: How Does Their Cookware Compare?

Calphalon vs. Cuisinart

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Are you looking to replace your non-stick or stainless steel cookware but can’t decide between Calphalon and Cuisinart?

In this head-to-head comparison of Calphalon vs. Cuisinart, you’ll learn exactly how their non-stick and stainless steel cookware stacks up in terms of materials, construction, cooking performance, design, durability, price, and much more.

By the end, you’ll understand the pros and cons of Calphalon and Cuisinart cookware and have all the critical information you need to decide which brand is right for your kitchen.

Let’s get started!

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Calphalon vs. Cuisinart: Quick Summary

If you’re in a hurry and you’re trying to compare Calphalon vs. Cuisinart cookware quickly, here are the key facts you need to know.

Product Offerings: Calphalon and Cuisinart both offer a wide variety of cookware collections that range from pricey multi-clad stainless steel to low-cost aluminum non-stick. Currently, Calphalon offers eight non-stick collections and seven stainless steel collections. Cuisinart offers seven non-stick collections and six stainless steel collections.

Where Its Made: Calphalon cookware is made in the U.S., and Cuisinart cookware is made in China, except the Cuisinart French Classic Tri-ply collection, which is made in France.

Materials and Construction (Non-stick): Calphalon non-stick cookware is made from hard-anodized aluminum. Some Cuisinart collections are made with hard-anodized aluminum, but other low-cost collections are made with standard aluminum. Cuisinart partners with Whitford to develop special non-stick coatings that they claim lasts significantly longer than the competition. Calphalon’s most expensive collections have three layers of premium non-stick coating for added durability.

Materials and Construction (Stainless Steel): Most Calphalon and Cuisinart stainless steel collections feature multi-clad construction (layering throughout). Still, both brands also offer more affordable options that feature an impact-bonded base (layering only at the base). Calphalon’s most expensive collection, Calphalon Signature (see on Amazon), features 5-ply construction, which provides superior heat distribution and retention.

Cooking Performance: Cooking performance is very similar between the two brands. However, Calphalon’s premium collection, Calphalon Signature, features two additional layers of heat conductive material resulting in faster and more even heat distribution. Two Cuisinart non-stick collections are compatible with induction cooktops (Calphalon non-stick cookware is not).

Design: Calphalon cookware has a simple and traditional design while Cuisinart offers collections with unique exteriors, including their Hammered collection (textured), Advantage collection (red or black), and the Copper collection (copper).

Durability: Calphalon and Cuisinart cookware is built to last. Calphalon’s 5-ply (Calphalon Signature) collection and their hard-anodized non-stick collections are less likely to warp than Cuisinart’s 3-ply and standard aluminum non-stick collections. Cuisinart’s specially formulated Eterna non-stick coating lasts significantly longer than the competition (they claim).

Price: In general, Calphalon cookware is more expensive than Cuisinart, but the exact difference depends on the collection. Check out our Calphalon vs. Cuisinart price comparison chart.

Common Complaints: The most common complaint about Calphalon cookware is that the non-stick coating wears off. Dissatisfied Cuisinart customers complain that their stainless steel cookware does, in fact, become stained.

Bottom Line: If you’re not on a strict budget, I highly recommend Calphalon. It’s considered higher-quality and will outperform and outlast Cuisinart cookware in most cases. If you’re looking to save money but still wow your guests with uniquely-designed cookware, you Cuisinart is a great option. Both are available on Amazon, where you can read hundreds of reviews and compare prices (Calphalon on Amazon, Cuisinart on Amazon).

Comparison Chart

Calphalon and Cuisinart both offer such a wide variety of cookware collections that it can be overwhelming to try and sort through them all.

If you’re interested in non-stick cookware, Calphalon currently offers eight different collections, and Cuisinart offers 7.

Below is a quick comparison chart of Calphalon and Cuisinart non-stick cookware so you can understand how they compare across key categories.

Brand/CollectionCalphalon SignatureCalphalon ContemporaryCalphalon ClassicCalphalon Classic CeramicSelect by Calphalon Ceramic Calphalon PremierCalphalon Williams-Sonoma EliteCalphalon Unison Cuisinart Dishwasher Safe AnodizedCuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-AnodizedCuisinart GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized NonstickCuisinart Advantage NonstickCuisinart Contour Hard AnodizedCuisinart Ceramica XT Nonstick CookwareCuisinart Elements® Pro Induction Nonstick
Price (click to see on Amazon)$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ (Williams-Sononma)$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Base MaterialHeavy-Gauge Hard-anodized AluminumHeavy-Gauge Hard-anodized AluminumMedium-Gauge Hard-anodized AluminumMedium-Gauge Hard-anodized AluminumMedium-Gauge Hard-anodized AluminumHeavy-Gauge Hard-anodized AluminumHeavy-Gauge Hard-anodized AluminumHeavy-Gauge Hard-anodized AluminumHard-anodized AluminumHard-anodized AluminumHard-anodized AluminumAluminumHard-anodized AluminumAluminumAluminum
Cooking Surface3 layers of non-stick coating (PTFE)3 layers of non-stick coating (PTFE)2 layers of non-stick coating (PTFE)CeramicCeramic3 layers of non-stick coating (PTFE)3 layers of non-stick coating (PTFE)3 layers of non-stick coating (PTFE)Eterna® non-stickQuantanium non-stickWater-based non-stickPremium non-stickPremium non-stickCeramicCeramic
HandlesCast stainless steelCast stainless steelCast stainless steelCast stainless steelCast stainless steel with silicone gripCast stainless steelCast stainless steelCast stainless steelStainless steelStainless steelStainless steelSiliconeStainless steelSiliconeStainless steel
LidsTempered glassTempered glassTempered glassTempered glassTempered glassTempered glassTempered glassTempered glassGlassGlassStainless steelGlassGlassGlassGlass
Oven-Safe Temperature (degrees F)500450450450400450500500500500500350500350350
Compatible with InductionNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
Unique FeatureTextured surface for searingExtra layers of non-stick coating for scratch resistanceMeasuring marks, pour spouts, and straining lidsMeasuring marks, pour spouts, and straining lidsLow-costStackable version availableTextured surface for searing2 cooking surfaces that vary by piece (one for searing, one for sliding)Long lasting Eterna non-stick coatingMeasurement markingsEnvironment-friendly, ceramic coatingRed or black exteriorComfortable and elegant contoured handlesTitanium reinforced ceramic coatingCompatible with induction cooktops

In terms of stainless steel cookware, Calphalon offers seven different collections, and Cuisinart offers 6.

Here’s how each stainless steel collection compares.

Brand/CollectionCalphalon Signature Calphalon ContemporaryCalphalon Tri-Ply Calphalon ClassicSelect by CalphalonSimply CalphalonCalphalon PremierCuisinart Multiclad ProCuisinart Chef's Classic Cuisinart Copper Tri-PlyCuisinart Hammered Tri-Ply Cuisinart Professional Series™Cuisinart French Classic Tri-Ply
Price (click to see on Amazon)$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
ConstructionMulti-clad, 5-plyMulti-clad, 3-plyMulti-clad, 3-plyImpact-bonded baseImpact-bonded baseImpact-bonded baseMulti-clad, 3-plyMulti-clad, 3-plyImpact-bonded baseMulti-clad, 3-plyMulti-clad, 3-plyImpact-bonded baseMulti-clad, 3-ply
Core LayerHeavy-gauge aluminumHeavy-gauge aluminumHeavy-gauge aluminumMedium-gauge aluminum (base only)Medium-gauge aluminum (base only)Medium-gauge aluminum (base only)Heavy-gauge aluminumAluminumAluminum (base only)AluminumAluminumAluminum (base only)Aluminum
HandlesCast stainless steelCast stainless steelCast stainless steelCast stainless steelCast stainless steel with silicone gripCast stainless steel with silicone gripCast stainless steelCast stainless steelStainless steelStainless steelStainless steelSiliconeStainless steel
LidsTempered glassTempered glassTempered glassTempered glassTempered glassTempered glassTempered glassStainless steelStainless steelStainless steelStainless steelGlassStainless steel
Oven-Safe Temperature (degrees F)500450500450450400450500500500500500500
Compatible with InductionYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYes
Unique FeatureSuperior heat distribution and retentionElegant contoured handlesShiny, polished exteriorMeasuring marks, pour spouts, and straining lidsLow-costLow-costStackable version availableEven heating, drip-free flared rimsLow cost, cool grip handleUnique and gorgeous copper exteriorHammered/textures exteriorLow cost, glass lid to retain moistureSteep curved handles, made in France

Design

Calphalon cookware has a simple yet elegant design, while Cuisinart offers a wider variety of exterior textures, colors, and materials.

All Calphalon stainless steel cookware features a brushed exterior finish except for the Calphalon Tri-Ply collection, which is polished.

Calphalon Contemporary Brushed vs. Calphalon Tri Ply Polished
Calphalon Contemporary Brushed (left – see on Amazon) vs. Calphalon Tri-ply Polished (right – see on Amazon). Photo credit: Calphalon.com

Some customers believe that this dull, matte appearance hides scratches and imperfections better than cookware with a shiny, polished exterior.

Each pot and pan has a cast stainless steel handle attached to the base of the cookware with steel rivets. Their handles fork as they get closer to the pan, which diminishes the heat keeps them cool.

Calphalon Contemporary Non-Stick Handle Design
Calphalon Contemporary Non-Stick Handle Design

The Select by Calphalon collection has a silicon grip wrapped around the steel handle for safety and comfort.

Their lids are made with tempered glass that allows you to monitor food while locking in moisture.

Calphalon Tempered Glass Lid
Calphalon Tempered Glass Lid

Calphalon non-stick cookware, although not silver, shares the simple and classy look of the stainless steel collections.

The hard-anodized aluminum exterior is dark gray with a smooth matte finish, which contrasts well with the cast stainless steel handles. Each non-stick collection has nuances in the curvature of its handles.

Calphalon Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookware Set
Calphalon Hard-Anodized Aluminum Cookware Set (see on Amazon)

Cuisinart offers a wide variety of designs from the simple and traditional to bold and bright.

For example, you can get the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro collection, which features a traditional design with a shiny stainless steel cooking surface, a brushed steel exterior, stainless steel lids, and stainless steel handles.  

Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
Click images to view on Amazon

Or, you can get the Cuisinart Hammered Tri-Ply collection, which has a unique and beautiful textured exterior.

Cuisinart Hammered Collection Tri-Ply Stainless
Cuisinart Hammered Collection Tri-Ply Stainless (see on Amazon). Photo credit: Cuisinart.com.

Cuisinart Tri-Ply has a bold copper exterior, which not only looks gorgeous but also aids in heat conduction.

Cuisinart CTP-11AM Copper Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 11-Piece Cookware Set
Click image to view on Amazon

If you’re looking for something even more unique, the Cuisinart MultiClad Unlimited collection features a stainless steel cooking surface with a hard-anodized graphite exterior. The dark exterior makes the steel cooking surface pop.

Cuisinart MCU-12 MultiClad Unlimited Dishwasher Safe 12-Piece Cookware Set
Click image to view on Amazon

In terms of Cuisinart non-stick cookware, the story is the same—lots of options.

You can get a traditional look, very similar to Calphalon, with the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic collection.

Cuisinart 66-10 Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 10-Piece Cookware Set
Click image to view on Amazon

Or, you can get a pop of color with the Cuisinart Advantage collection, which has a red exterior.

Cuisinart 55-11R Advantage Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set, Red
Click image to view on Amazon

One of the most significant differences between Calphalon and Cuisinart in terms of design is the fact that all Calphalon cookware comes with tempered glass lids while Cuisinarts lids vary from collection to collection.

Some Cuisinart collections come with glass lids, while others have stainless steel lids. 

Bottom line—both brands offer cookware that not only cooks well but looks fantastic. If you’re looking for a simple design, Calphalon has you covered. But, if you’re looking for something that will make a statement and wow your guests, you might want to consider Cuisinart.

Materials and Construction

To understand the differences between Calphalon and Cuisinart cookware, you need to look at the foundation—what it’s made of and how it’s constructed.

The base material of all Calphalon non-stick collections is hard-anodized aluminum, while only some Cuisinart non-stick collections are made with it. The other Cuisinart collections are made with standard aluminum, which is cheaper and allows them to offer more affordable options.

So, what is hard-anodized aluminum?

As I mentioned in a recent article comparing two of Calphalon’s most popular collections, hard-anodized aluminum goes through an electrochemical process in which a thick layer of aluminum oxide is formed on the surface.

This layer makes the cookware non-porous and exceptionally durable while maintaining the superior heat conductive properties of standard aluminum.

Compared to hard-anodized aluminum, standard aluminum is not as durable, but it’s significantly less expensive.

So, if you’re considering Cuisinart, pay close attention and make sure you understand what you’re buying. If it has the word “anodized” in the name, it’s made with hard-anodized aluminum; if it doesn’t, it’s made with standard aluminum (go back to the comparison chart).

The other big difference between Cuisinart and Calphalon non-stick cookware is the non-stick coating.

All Calphalon non-stick cookware features a PTFE (also known as Teflon) non-stick coating.

Some of their higher-end collections, like Calphalon Contemporary, are coated with three layers of PTFE, while other collections, like Calphalon Classic, have two layers.

The extra layers of non-stick coating protect against scratches and extend the life of the cookware.

Cuisinart works with a company called Whitford to develop special non-stick coatings that they claim will outlast other brands.

For example, the cooking surface of Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized collection features QuanTanium non-stick coating, which is reinforced with titanium particles and offers “excellent scratch resistance.”

Another collection, the Cuisinart Dishwasher Safe Anodized, features Whitford Eterna non-stick coating, which they claim lasts “10 times longer than other premium nonstick brands”.

Both Calphalon and Cuisinart offer non-stick cookware that features ceramic instead of PTFE coating. In the past, ceramic was thought to be safer than PTFE, but that debate has been put to rest.

Now, let’s take a look at their stainless steel cookware.

Both brands use 18/10 stainless steel that is non-reactive, non-porous, and ultra-durable for the cooking surface. For the conductive core layer, they both use premium aluminum, and, for the exterior, both use magnetic stainless steel, which works on all cooktops, including induction.

The most significant difference is not between Calphalon and Cuisinart’s stainless steel cookware, but between the construction of each brand’s high-end and low-end collections.

As I displayed in the stainless steel comparison chart, the majority of Calphalon and Cuisinart stainless steel collections feature full multi-clad construction while others feature an impact-bonded base.

What’s the difference?

Multi-clad cookware is constructed by bonding multiple layers of metal together.

Most multi-clad cookware is made with an exterior layer of stainless steel, an aluminum core layer, and a stainless steel cooking surface.

Steel is non-reactive and ultra-durable, but it doesn’t transfer or retain heat well. Aluminum is porous and prone to damage but is excellent at transferring and retaining heat.

Sandwiching these opposite materials together results in the best of both worlds; exceptional cooking performance and long-lasting durability.

The difference between multi-clad cookware and cookware with an impact-bonded base is that multi-clad cookware features multiple layers throughout (up the sides) while impact-bonded cookware features multiple layers only at the base of the pot or pan (not up the sides).

Multi Clad vs. Impact Bonded
Multi-Clad vs. Impact Bonded. Photo credit: Calphalon.com

Multi-clad cookware heats up faster and more evenly than cookware with an impact-bonded base.

Cuisinart multi-clad cookware features three layers; steel, aluminum, steel.

Most Calphalon cookware also features three layers, but their high-end and most expensive collection, Calphalon Signature (see on Amazon), features 5-ply construction, steel, three layers of aluminum, steel.

Additionally, Calphalon’s core aluminum layer in their top three collections (Signature, Contemporary, and Tri-Ply) is considered heavy-gauge, which is thicker than the aluminum used to make Cuisinart cookware.

This extra thickness makes Calphalon stainless steel cookware heavier, more durable, and able to retain heat longer.

Bottom line—both brands use high-quality materials to make their cookware, but some collections feature more advanced construction than others.

Calphalon makes all of their non-stick cookware with hard-anodized aluminum while Cuisinart offers low-cost standard aluminum options.

Both brands offer multi-clad stainless steel cookware, but Claphalon is the only brand that offers super-premium 5-ply cookware.

Cooking Performance

When it comes to cooking performance, both Calphalon and Cuisinart cookware can sear, sauté, braise, and stir-fry exceptionally well.

However, there are some critical differences in the way Cuisinart and Calphalon cookware is made that impacts how it cooks.

Heat Distribution

The conductive core layer in Calphalon and Cuisinart multi-clad stainless steel cookware extends throughout the sides and up the rim; however, their impact-bonded collections only have a core conductive layer in its base.

By extending the conductive layer up the sides, these superior collections distribute heat more evenly.

So, whether you go with Calphalon or Cuisinart, pay close attention to whether its multi-clad or impact-bonded when choosing a set.

Conductive Materials

Cuisinart only offers tri-ply construction with two steel layers surrounding an aluminum core. Calphalon offers several tri-ply collections and one collection (Calphalon Signature – see on Amazon) with 5-ply construction (steel, three layers of aluminum, steel).

The additional core layers of aluminum in this premium collection spread heat even faster and more evenly, providing precise temperature control and consistent results.

Oven-safe Temperature

Cuisinart’s hard-anodized non-stick collections are oven-safe up to 500 degrees, and their collections made with standard aluminum are oven-safe up to 350 degrees.

Calphalon’s non-stick cookware has a bit more variation. Some collections can go up to 400 degrees, others are safe up to 450 degrees, and a few are oven-safe up to 500 degrees.

All Cuisinart’s stainless steel cookware is oven-safe up to 500 degrees while Calphalon ranges from 400 to 500.

Induction Compatible

Calphalon stainless steel cookware is compatible with all cooktops, including induction. Cuisinart stainless steel cookware is induction compatible except for their Copper Tri-Ply collection, which has a copper exterior that won’t work on induction cooktops.

Two Cuisinart non-stick collections are compatible with induction cooktops; the Ceramica XT, and the Elements® Pro Induction. None of Calphalon’s non-stick collections are compatible with induction.

Dishwasher-Safe

All Calphalon stainless steel cookware and 3 out of their seven non-stick collections are dishwasher-safe.

All Cuisinart stainless steel collections are dishwasher-safe except the Copper Tri-Ply collection. Only 2 out of their seven non-stick collections are dishwasher-safe.

Durability

Of course, when you’re investing a significant amount of money in new cookware, you want it to last as long as possible.

Getting the most bang for your buck can be tricky!

Some shoppers will pick the most expensive brand because they think it’ll last the longest.

In reality, the cost does not always indicate how well a product like cookware is going to last.

You’ll always read reviews where somebody’s brand-new pans warped or lost their finish a month after purchase.

The strange thing is, you might read another review of the same product where the buyer loved it.

It’s important to do the research, but realize that most cookware, especially non-stick, will not last forever.

Stainless steel, by nature, is very durable. Therefore, there’s not much of a difference in terms of durability between Calphalon and Cuisinart in this category.

The one exception is the Calphalon Signature stainless steel collection that features 5-ply construction (2 more layers than the high-end Cuisinart collections). These extra layers of metal make this cookware thicker, stronger, and more resistant to warping.

With a high-quality non-stick brand, you might be able to get five years of use out of them. Lower or mid-range brands will last more like 2-3 years at the longest.

Hard-anodized aluminum, which is the material used to make all Calphalon non-stick cookware, will last longer than non-stick cookware made with a regular aluminum base.

Cuisinart has hard-anodized aluminum collections too, but some of their low-cost cookware is made with regular aluminum.

Besides the base material, cookware with multiple layers of quality non-stick coating will last longer than cookware with one layer.

Calphalon’s more expensive collections are coated with three layers of PTFE (Teflon), their mid-level collections are coated with two layers, and only their low-cost collection, Select by Calphalon, has one layer.

Even with the additional layers, Calphalon non-stick cooking surfaces will scratch over time, especially if you cook with sharp metal utensils. 

Teflon pan scratched

Remember that non-stick coating called Eterna, that Cuisinart uses for their Dishwasher Safe Hard-Anodized collection (see on Amazon)?

Whitford and Cuisinart claim that it lasts ten times longer than other premium brands, and dozens of reviews on Amazon confirm that it’s very durable.

So that’s something to consider if you’re looking for non-stick sets that will also last you a good number of years.

Bottom line—In terms of durability, I give the edge to Calphalon because they offer 5-ply stainless steel cookware, and all of their non-stick collections are made from hard-anodized aluminum. Cuisinart cookware is durable too, but you have to pay closer attention when picking out which particular collection to buy.

Common Complaints

Even though Calphalon and Cuisinart both made quality products and the majority of reviews are positive, not all customers are delighted.

These are the most common complaints from the small percentage of less-than-pleased customers.

An often-heard complaint about Calphalon’s non-stick collections is that the non-stick coating wears off too quickly.

There are also some complaints that the pans easily warp. Some customers even complain that the cookware arrived warped in the box.

Of course, if that were to happen, you could certainly return the product for a replacement.

The most common complaint about Cuisinart non-stick cookware is that it’s too light and feels cheap “like a pan you’d buy at WalMart.” Others complain that the non-stick coating peels easily.

A complaint about Cuisinart’s stainless steel collections is, ironically, that they stained too easily. Many others point out that food sticks too quickly, and it’s challenging to clean.

Some customers noted that their Cuisinart pans stained with only a few uses, and the discoloration was challenging to remove.

Price

One of the most significant differences between Calphalon and Cuisinart cookware is price.

Although it depends on which collections you compare, in general, Calphalon cookware is more expensive than Cuisinart cookware.

Why?

Because all Calphalon cookware is made with hard-anodized aluminum and most of their stainless steel cookware features multi-clad construction.

While Cuisinart’s higher-end collections cost about the same as Calphalon, they also offer very low-cost options made with cheaper materials, such as standard aluminum.

Use the chart below to compare prices between Calphalon and Cuisinart (click the price to view each set on Amazon).

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Bottom Line: Which Cookware Should You Buy, Calphalon or Cuisinart?

So, after all that, which cookware should you buy, Calpahlon or Cuisinart?

The truth is, you can’t go wrong with either brand, but the best one for you depends on your budget and your needs.

You should buy Cuisinart cookware if…

  • You want a quality set of cookware that won’t break the bank.
  • Your looking for non-stick cookware that’s compatible with induction cooktops (Calphalon does not offer any induction-compatible non-stick cookware).
  • You want cookware with a gorgeous exterior design—like the Copper (see on Amazon) and Hammered (see on Amazon) collections—that will wow your guests.
  • You don’t care where your cookware is made as long as it’s affordable and cooks well.

You should buy Calphalon cookware if…

  • You don’t mind paying a little extra for high-quality, well-made cookware that will last.
  • You want a premium non-stick set made by the company that invented the use of hard-anodized aluminum for pots and pan.
  • You want 5-ply stainless steel cookware that delivers superior heat distribution and retention.
  • You want cookware that’s made in the U.S.A. under strict quality standards.
  • You want cookware with a simple, yet elegant design.

If you’re still on the fence and need a nudge in one direction, I highly recommend Calphalon.

Calphalon Non Stick Frying Pan
Calphalon Contemporary Non-stick Frying Pan (see on Amazon)

I’ve been cooking with Calphalon for several years and couldn’t be happier with the performance and durability.

When you pick up a Calphalon pan, whether its non-stick or stainless steel, you can feel the quality, it’s thick, heavy, and well-made.

Calphalon cookware is very similar to All-Clad cookware (see our head-to-head comparison of Calphalon vs. All-Clad), which is known as one of the best brands money can buy, but it’s significantly less expensive.

Cuisinart and Calphalon cookware is available at kitchen supply retailers and on Amazon where you can check out the current prices and read dozens of other reviews:

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