Select by Calphalon vs. Calphalon Premier: Which Cookware Is Better?

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Calphalon is one of the best-selling cookware brands in the world, and two of their most popular collections are Select by Calphalon and Calphalon Premier.

The pots and pans in both collections are high-performing, durable, and convenient.

In this comparison of Select by Calphalon vs. Calphalon Premier, I dive deep into the eight key differences between these two cookware collections.

You’ll learn how they compare in terms of:

  • Options
  • Materials
  • Design
  • Price
  • And more

So, if you’re shopping for quality pots and pans but can’t decide between the Select by Calphalon and Calphalon Premier collections, keep reading.


Use the links below to navigate this comparison: 


Difference 1: Cookware Options

Before I get into more specific differences, it’s important to know what cookware types are available within the Select by Calphalon and Calphalon Premier collections.

Both collections offer space-saving cookware. In other words, within both collections, you can get pots and pans designed to nest on top of each other without scratching the cooking surface or tipping.

With Select by Calphalon, there are eleven space-saving products available, including hard-anodized aluminum non-stick and stainless steel options.

With Calphalon Premier, there are forty-five space-saving pots, pans, and cookware sets across hard-anodized aluminum non-stick (pictured below) and stainless steel. So, if you’re in the market for stackable cookware, the Premier collection gives you a more extensive range of options.

Calphalon Premier Space Saving Nonstick Pots and Pans, 15-Piece, Black

In addition to the space-saving cookware, there are four other cookware types within the Select by Calphalon collection: oil-infused ceramic non-stick, hard-anodized aluminum non-stick, cast iron, and stainless steel (pictured below).

Select by Calphalon Stainless Steel Deluxe Cookware Set, 14 Piece

Besides the space-saving sets, the Calphalon Premier collection offers regular hard-anodized aluminum non-stick and stainless steel cookware.

The chart below displays the types of cookware within each collection and the number of products available.

Cookware TypeSelect by Calphalon Select by Calphalon
Space-Saving Hard-Anodized Aluminum Non-Stick1022
Space-Saving Stainless Steel123
Hard-Anodized Aluminum Non-Stick233
Stainless Steel517
Oil-Infused Ceramic Non-Stick60
Cast Iron30
Number of products by cookware type

Note: These counts are according to Calphalon.com; you may find other products on retailer sites such as Walmart.com and Amazon.

Difference 2: Hard Anodized Aluminum Thickness

Hard-anodized aluminum is aluminum that’s undergone an electrolytic process to create an oxidized layer on the surface.

With this type of cookware material, you get the benefits of aluminum (fast and even heating) without the durability and reactivity concerns.

Fortunately, both the Select by Calaphalon and Calphalon Premier collections use this material for their non-stick pots and pans. However, the thickness is different.

Select by Calphalon non-stick pans are made with medium-gauge hard-anodized aluminum, which is 3 mm thick, while Calphalon Premier pans utilize heavy-gauge, which is 3.6 mm thick. In other words, the walls of Calphalon Premier non-stick cookware are 20% thicker than Select by Calphalon.

Select by Calphalon versus Calphalon Premier_thickness
Select by Calphalon (left), Calphalon Premier (right).

Why does this matter?

  • Thicker cookware is less likely to warp.
  • Thicker cookware is heavier and won’t slide on the cooktop.
  • Thicker cookware absorbs and retains heat better, so it will cook more evenly.

Difference 3: Non-Stick Surface

Another significant difference between the Select by Calphalon and Calphalon Premier collections is the non-stick coating.

Both utilize PTFE (Teflon), but Calphalon Premier cookware boasts a three-layer non-stick coating while Select by Calphalon cookware only has a two-layer coating.

Calphalon Premier Space Saving Nonstick Pots and Pans, 15-Piece, Black

The extra layer on Calphalon Premier cookware increases durability and scratch-resistance. With this collection, Calphalon permits the use of metal utensils. With Select by Calphalon, you can only use nylon or wood utensils.

Simply put, the extra layers mean Calphalon Premier non-stick cookware will last longer than Select by Calphalon.

Difference 4: Stainless Steel Construction

Calphalon Premier stainless steel cookware is fully-clad, while Select by Calphalon stainless steel cookware is made with an impact-bonded base.

What does this mean?

Full-clad stainless steel cookware is made by bonding layers of metals together. In the case of Calphalon Premier, they bond a layer of heavy-gauge aluminum between two layers of stainless steel.

Calphalon Premier Stainless Steel Pots and Pans 8-Piece Cookware Set, Silver

With fully-clad cookware, the heat conductive core layer (aluminum) is present throughout the pot or pan, and, because of this, heat is evenly distributed.

Impact-bonded base stainless steel cookware is similar in that it utilizes a mix of steel and aluminum; however, the aluminum is bonded to the pan’s base. Unlike fully-clad, the aluminum does not extend up the sides.

The result?

Heat is concentrated at the bottom of the pan, it will take longer to boil liquids, and the overall construction is less sturdy.

Difference 5: Handles

Another major difference between these collections is the handles.

Select by Calphalon handles are stainless steel but wrapped in silicone for extra grip (see below).

Select by Calphalon Stainless Steel Deluxe Cookware Set, 14 Piece

Calphalon Premier handles are just stainless steel without the silicone (see below).

Calphalon Premier Stainless Steel Pots and Pans 8-Piece Cookware Set, Silver

The silicone-wrapped handles are technically safer since they provide better grip, but I’m not a fan of them. In my opinion, they make the cookware look cheaper and less durable. Plus, they are more difficult to clean because food and grease stick to silicone more than stainless steel.

Another downside to Select by Calphalon handles is that the rubbery wrapping can’t withstand high temperatures, so this collection has a lower oven-safe temperature and is not broiler-safe (more on this in a minute).

Difference 6: Interlocking Grooves

As I mentioned previously, both collections offer space-saving cookware. This type of cookware is ideal if you have a small kitchen, limited storage space, or you just want to de-clutter your cabinets.

One of the features that make Select by Calphalon and Calphalon Premier cookware space-saving is its nifty interlocking grooves. These grooves allow the pots and pans to rest securely on top of each other without shifting or leaning.

The difference isn’t significant, but the design of the interlocking grooves is unique to each collection.

With the Calphalon Premier collection, the grooves feature the Calphalon logo, and the brand name etched outlined along the edge.

Calphalon Premier Space-Saving cookware interlocking grooves
Calphalon Premier Space-Saving cookware interlocking grooves

With the Select by Calphalon collection, the grooves a simpler design with “Select by Calphalon” and a small logo etched, no outline.

Select by Calphalon Space-Saving cookware interlocking grooves
Select by Calphalon Space-Saving cookware interlocking grooves

Difference 7: Oven-Safe Temperatures

Another advantage of the Calphalon Premier collection is that it can tolerate higher temperatures than the Select by Calphalon collection.

Besides the higher heat tolerance, Calphalon Premier cookware is safe to use under the broiler.

Except for the cast iron skillets, Select by Calphalon cookware is NOT safe to use under the broiler.

The chart below shows the oven-safe temperatures for each cookware type.

Cookware TypeSelect by CalphalonCalphalon Premier
Space-Saving Hard-Anodized Aluminum Non-Stick400°F450°F
Space-Saving Stainless Steel400°F450°F
Hard-Anodized Aluminum Non-Stick400°F450°F
Stainless Steel400°F450°F
Oil-Infused Ceramic Non-Stick400°FNot Applicable
Cast IronNot disclosedNot Applicable
Oven-safe temperatures by cookware type

Difference 8: Price

It should be clear by now that Calphalon Premier is a much higher-end cookware collection.

The hard-anodized cookware is thicker, it has an extra layer of non-stick coating, and the stainless steel pans are fully-clad.

But, because of this superior construction, it comes with a much higher price tag.

Calphalon Premier cookware ranges from 20% to 60% more expensive than Select by Calphalon, but the exact difference depends on the product and where you shop.

To compare current prices, check out both collections at the links below:

Bottom Line: Should You Buy Select by Calphalon or Calphalon Premier?

Now that you know the eight key differences between Select by Calphalon and Calphalon Premier, it’s time to decide which collection is right for you.

Before I give you my recommendation, let’s quickly recap:

  • Both collections provide plenty of options, but if you’re looking for space-saving cookware, Premier has more pots, pans, and sets available.
  • Calphalon Premier hard-anodized non-stick cookware is 20% thicker than Select by Calphalon, which increases durability and heat retention.
  • Calphalon Premier is made with three layers of non-stick coating, and Select by Calphalon utilizes only two layers.
  • Calphalon Premier stainless steel pans are fully-clad (which provides more even heat conduction) and Select by Calphalon stainless steel pans have an impact-bonded base.
  • Calphalon Premier handles are solid stainless steel, while Select by Calphalon handles are silicone-wrapped.
  • The interlocking grooves on Select by Calphalon’s space-saving cookware have a more simple design.
  • Calphalon Premier cookware is broiler-safe and oven-safe up to 450°F, while Select by Calphalon cookware is not broiler-safe and only oven-safe up to 400°F.
  • Calphalon Premier cookware is significantly more expensive than Select by Calphalon.

Calphalon Premier, as its name suggests, is higher-end cookware. Thanks to its thick hard-anodized aluminum and fully-clad stainless steel construction, and triple-layer non-stick surface, it performs better and lasts longer than Select by Calphalon.

But, with superior performance and durability comes a much higher price tag.

So the question is: is it worth paying more for Calphalon Premier?

In my opinion, yes.

Although the upfront cost is higher, Calphalon Premier cookware will last significantly longer, especially the non-stick options. The durable non-stick coating can hold up against metal utensils, and the 20% thicker walls reduce the risk of warping.

If you’re looking for stainless steel cookware, I highly encourage you to purchase fully-clad (Calphalon Premier). It heats up faster, more evenly, and provides more consistent results than cookware with an impact-bonded base (Select by Calphalon). Stainless steel cookware typically lasts forever, which is a great reason to invest in the collection that performs the best.

Bottom line — if you can afford it, go with Calphalon Premier. And, if you can’t, still go with Calphalon Premier but buy one pan and build your set over time.

If you’re ready to buy or want to read more reviews, both collections are available on Amazon and Walmart.com at the links below.

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