Is Calphalon Cookware Safe? (Quick Guide)

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If you are exploring buying Calphalon cookware, you’re probably wondering:

Is Calphalon cookware safe? 

Does Calphalon use Teflon to coat its non-stick pans?

In this guide, I break down the safety facts about Calphalon cookware.

You’ll learn:

  • What Calphalon cookware is made of
  • Whether any of its materials pose a safety risk
  • How to use Calphalon cookware safely
  • And more

Let’s get started!


Use the links below to navigate the guide:


Is Calphalon Non-Stick Cookware Safe?

Calphalon non-stick cookware is made of two materials:

  • Hard-anodized aluminum base
  • Non-stick coating made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)
Calphalon Contemporary Non Stick Materials
Calphalon Contemporary Non Stick Materials

The hard-anodized aluminum base is non-reactive and won’t leach metal into your food due to the hardened exterior layer created during the anodizing process. It is completely safe, posing no health concerns whatsoever.

Plus, Calphalon coats its cooking surfaces with non-stick material, so food will never contact the hard-anodized aluminum.

But what about the safety of the non-stick coating? Calphalon claims it is completely safe, but is that true?

Calphalon, like most cookware companies, coats its cooking surface with PTFE, a synthetic resin with a slick surface and tolerance for high heat.

Many companies make PTFE, but the most well-known trademark of this material is Teflon.

Technically, Calphalon non-stick pans are not made with Teflon, but the PTFE they use is very similar. Calphalon’s non-stick coating is made by GMM Non-Stick Coatings, a global supplier of premium non-stick coatings for cookware, bakeware, and kitchen appliances.

PTFE (including Teflon) garnered loads of negative attention in years past, and for good reason.

PTFE used to be made with a chemical known as PFOA, which was linked to known illnesses and health concerns. But since 2013, the chemical has been removed from the non-stick manufacturing process to protect people and the environment.

The PTFE that Calphalon uses today is completely PFOA-free. And, according to the American Cancer Society, there are no proven risks to humans from cooking with non-stick pans such as those made by Calphalon.

Yet, there is something important to know about cooking with PTFE: do not overheat it.

The Effects of Overheating Calphalon Cookware

As long as you don’t exceed the maximum temperature or scratch the cookware’s surface with metal utensils or harsh cleaning instruments, PTFE is harmless.

Let’s delve more into what happens when you overheat PTFE.

  • PTFE starts to release fumes once it reaches 536°F. These fumes are harmful to humans and dangerous to birds.
  • Polymer fume fever, also known as “Teflon flu,” can occur when fumes are inhaled. Flu-like symptoms usually present within four to 10 hours after exposure and usually resolve within 48 hours.
  • Prolonged exposure can cause even more severe reactions, such as lung damage, but for that to happen, you’d have to breathe the fumes from a burning pan for several hours.

Safe Cooking Practices with Calphalon Non-Stick Cookware

To cook safely with Calphalon non-stick cookware:

  • Do not exceed Calphalon’s recommended temperatures, ranging from 400 to 500°F.
  • Do not use Calphalon non-stick cookware in the broiler.
  • Do not use high heat on the stove (high enough to sear meat); instead, choose low to medium.
  • Do not use metal utensils that could scratch the surface.

If you scratch the non-stick coating, or you notice the surface starting to flake, replace the pan.

So, is Calphalon non-stick cookware safe?

Yes, as long as the pan was manufactured after 2013, and you use it as recommended.

Need more reassurance? Here’s the complete statement from the American Cancer Society (source):

“Other than the possible risk of flu-like symptoms from breathing in fumes from an overheated [PTFE]-coated pan, there are no proven risks to humans from using cookware coated with [PTFE] (or other non-stick surfaces). While PFOA was used in the past in the US in making [PTFE], it is not present (or is present in extremely small amounts) in [PTFE]-coated products.”

Is Calphalon Stainless Steel Cookware Safe?

So what about Calphalon stainless steel cookware? Is it safe?

Calphalon uses 18/10 stainless steel. The 18/10 refers to the ratio of chromium and nickel, respectively. In short, stainless steel is an alloy (blend) of high-quality metals.

The FDA, ANSI, and NSF require stainless steel cookware to contain at least 16% chromium (Calphalon cookware contains 18%).

Research suggests that the amounts of chromium and nickel that could enter your food from Calphalon cookware is nothing to worry about.

In large amounts, there may be cause for concern for people with severe nickel allergies. In that case, you should consider nickel-free stainless steel cookware.

To cook and clean safely with Calphalon stainless steel cookware:

  • Don’t exceed the max oven or broiler temperatures.
  • Don’t use metal utensils that can scratch the surface.
  • Don’t use bleach, harsh cleansers, or abrasive tools to clean the cookware.
  • Don’t store food in the pots and pans for long periods.

The bottom line is that Calphalon stainless steel cookware is completely safe for most people. Just be sure to use and care for it according to Calphalon’s recommendations. For those with nickel allergies, you may want to purchase nickel-free cookware.

Precautions to Take When Using Calphalon Cookware

To ensure the safety of your Calphalon cookware, here’s a list of precautions to take when using it:

  • Don’t preheat empty non-stick cookware. It can get extremely hot quickly. Always place liquid or food in the pan to absorb excess heat.
  • Keep your cooktop on low to medium heat. High heat is only necessary for boiling.
  • Cook in a well-ventilated area in case of accidental overheating. Open windows and exhaust fans are ideal.
  • Replace non-stick cookware when it shows signs of wear-and-tear.
  • Don’t use metal utensils.
  • Always hand wash your non-stick cookware; dishwasher detergent could wear down the cooking surface over time.
  • Do not broil with it or cook over a campfire because you can’t control the temperature.

Alternatives to Calphalon Cookware

If the history of PTFE-coated cookware still has you on edge, there are several other PTFE-free cookware materials to consider.

Here are my top recommendations:

Ceramic non-stick: While it doesn’t last as long or release food as efficiently as PTFE, ceramic non-stick pans are made with sol-gel (a derivative of sand) and are believed to be a safer alternative. The brand I recommend in this category is Caraway (see on CarawayHome.com or read my review).

Cast iron: With proper seasoning, cast iron has non-stick properties. The downside is that you have to stay on top of keeping it seasoned properly. Plus, cast iron is reactive, so acidic foods will erase the non-stick qualities of the seasoning. The best cast iron cookware brand is Lodge (view on Amazon).

Enameled cast iron: If you like cast iron but want something non-reactive and stick-resistant, enameled cast iron is a great choice. My top pick in this category is Le Creuset (Amazon), but if you’re looking for a more affordable option, Tramontana (Amazon) makes quality enameled cast iron cookware, too. 

Carbon steel: Just like with cast iron, this cookware requires regular seasoning. When seasoned, it will deliver excellent non-stick results. Made In (view on MadeInCookware.com) makes ultra-durable carbon steel cookware, which I highly recommend (see my review).

Bottom Line: Is Calphalon Cookware Safe?

Now that you’ve learned more about Calphalon’s non-stick and stainless steel cookware, you have the information you need to use them safely.

Let’s briefly recap and address the general safety concerns:

Does Calphalon use Teflon to make its non-stick cookware? No. Calphalon non-stick coating is PTFE-based, but they do not use Teflon branded PTFE coatings. Instead, Calphalon partners with GMM, an ISO 9001 certified global supplier of non-stick coatings.

Is Calphalon non-stick cookware safe? All Calphalon non-stick pans made after 2013 are completely safe as long as you don’t overheat it or scratch the cooking surface.

Is Calphalon stainless steel cookware safe? Yes. The high-quality metal alloy is strong, non-reactive, and won’t transfer metals into your food. Even if the cooking surface is compromised, the transfer of chromium or nickel is minimal.

What are the best practices when cooking with and cleaning Calphalon? Hand wash and refrain from using metal utensils, abrasive cleaning tools, or harsh cleansers. Never exceed the maximum oven-safe temperatures (they vary by collection). If a pan gets damaged, replace it.

Bottom lineCalphalon is focused on producing high-quality, long-lasting quality cookware in compliance with all safety regulations.

To learn more about Calphalon cookware, check it out on Calphalon.com or Amazon.

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