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calphalon vs. allclad

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
so... once again I would like your opinions (imagine that:blush: ) I need to buy some good cookware, and currently own some all clad, its great! but I also heard that calphalon makes wonderful equipment too. Any queries with either to pit against the other? what is hard anondized aluminum like for a cooking surface, and the like. thanks again.
post #2 of 13
Both All-Clad and Calphalon make a number of different styles of pots so it's difficult to give a simple answer. The most common All-Clad pots I've seen are made of aluminium with stainless cladding inside and out. The most common Calphalon pots are hard-anodized (type III anodizing) aluminum. The surface of the aluminum has actually been converted to a very thin, but extremely hard layer of aluminum oxide, a ceramic. In the limited experience I've had with both, the All-Clad deglazes better.

But in my humble opinion, both of these types of pots are vastly inferior to copper pots, as well as more expensive. I wrote an article last year that addresses all these issues. You may find it helpful.
post #3 of 13
All-Clad and Calphalon both make good cookware. One criticism of the Calphalon "Professional" line was the nickel-chrome plated cast iron handles, which were not ergonomically designed and became hot on the stovetop. This has been remedied in the "Commercial" line which uses cast stainless steel "Cool V" handles which remain cool and are comfortable.

The hard anodized interior surface should not be used extensively with tomato or other acidic type foods, as it may eventually cause discoloration and pitting. This occurred with my saute pan after making many Marinara sauces. Calphalon replaced the plan at no charge in accordance with its lifetime warranty. I have had no problems since that time, but I do not simmer any acidic sauce for an extended period of time anymore. I have experienced no similar problems using vinegar or wine for deglazing.

Other differences:

All-Clad stainless is dishwasher safe--Calphalon is not.

The dark interior of the hard anodized surface makes it more difficult to determine the "color" of pan sauces, e.g., what color is the roux, is it done? Perhaps to counter this criticism, Calphalon now has a anodized exterior and stainless interior line called "Commercial Stainless", similar to the All-Clad LTD line, however, at present there is a limited number of stainless pieces available.

I have noticed chalky-white deposits in the interior of my 8 qt. Calphalon stockpot, which I use primarily for boiling pasta with the stainless pasta insert. I presume this is the result of the starch in the pasta; it creates no problems, just not pleasing to look at.

I have heard other people complain about food sticking in hard anodized cookware. This is NOT a problem as long as the surface is kept clean and free of food deposits and oils. Simply use a dry Scotch-Brite pad or a paste of water and Comet cleanser.

In summary, both brands are great products and I have been happy with both products.

Good luck with whatever you choose!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 


Just what I had hoped for, Bouland...Where can I find out more info specifically on such pots as you have shown in your article? Does this specific site have an english section from where I may order? and what is the warranty like? I am interested in buying quality pans and pots that will last and work good. at any rate thanks a bunch, and I hope to find some good pots of the like you have shown me here!
post #5 of 13
E. Dehillerin has an English language web site. I'd recommend the 2.5mm thick, stainless steel (cuprinox) pots. The thinner-walled pots with the brass handles are for table service. Dehillerin ships to the U.S. and the cost to your door will be between 130 to 150% of the cost of the pots alone by the time shipping, customs, and custom brokers fees are added in -- still cheaper than All-Clad from Williams-Sonoma. When you order from the web site, they respond with a quote for the pots and shipping. The price will be in French francs or euros. Your credit card will probably charge 2% for the currency conversion. If you approve the price, you fax your approval to them so they have your signature on file. My orders have generally arrived in about 2 weeks.

The pots they are selling are restaurant quality, heavy-duty pots. I don't know if there is a warranty for them, but I have never known one to fail, either. You can always add the question to the comments section of the original order inquiry.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks again Mr. Bouland!
you have done me a grand service today :bounce: , and I appreciate it more tna I can express through this seemingly "flimsy" keyboard. I salute you:chef:
post #7 of 13
One other thing I've noticed as a significant difference between All-Clad and Calphalon is the reactive nature of the aluminum in the Calphalon. I've made bechamel sauce and lemon curd in both types of cookware. Invariably, the Calphalon reacts to the acids in the food in a most unpleasant way, yet the product prepared in All-Clad was perfect. When cooked in a Calphalon vessel the bechamel turned an unappetizing grey color and had a faint metallic taste. This problem was even more apparent with the lemon curd-it turned a toxic greenish chartreuse and had the taste of a mouth-full of pocket change. Needless to say, I threw it out.
Oh, the fun tasks we get to do in a test kitchen!
Heat conductivity was great in both cases, but I've also noticed sticking with the Calphalon. My only problem with All-Clad is that it's a real chore to keep it looking as pretty as when new.

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!


Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

post #8 of 13
I have three Calphalon pieces and those Cool V handles really don't stay very cool. I have two pieces that have the non-stick interior and those have worked great for me except the handles still get too warm for my hands. I have the same white chalky deposits on the hard anodized as Foodie Jeff and I find the dark color difficult to cook with at times. Otherwise, I've been very happy with my Calphalon experiment and now I'm going to buy some All-Clad to compare. I'll also try Bouland's copper suggestion when I have some more extra cash.
post #9 of 13
Risi, the only Calphalon piece I have had the "chalky white" problem with is the stockpot; it has not occurred with my saute pan. What pieces have you had this problem with, something in which you have boiled water, such as a saucepan? I'm trying to figure out what causes this.

I agree with foodnfoto that All-Clad is a chore to keep looking new. I generally have to use Bar Keepers Friend in order to keep the stuff looking good. The Calphalon hard-anodized needs similar care, as it tends to stick unless it is kept very clean--but is essentially non-stick if kept clean.

I make bechamel in an All-Clad saucier and have not used Calphalon. After my problems with tomato sauces in Calphalon I don't cook anything in it which would not be cooked in plain old aluminum cookware.
post #10 of 13
I had the chalky problem with the Calphalon Sauce Pot which I use to boil water for pasta. I'm thinking it may be the salt residue adhering to the anodized aluminum.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
could it not also be from mineral deposits in the hardwater? like calcium build up or something?
post #12 of 13
I have a Calphalon stockpot and have the same problem with the residue on it. It was not as much of an issue when I was living in Washington but here in Arizona it's constant. I've always assumed it was due to the terribly high mineral content of the water here(the water here is awful....bottled or a reverse osmosis system is a must). I can get it clean but it takes a bit of time and patience. Bar Keeper's Friend does a good job on it.
post #13 of 13
Can't help but notice that most of the comments on Calphalon are basically "It's really great, but....."

I've got several of each and each of my three kids has several Calphalon pieces. (One has an elaborate set.). They all like them, but each one has had to send at least one piece back for replacement. The handles immediately get too hot to touch, in my experience (older handles), and I've had to throw out one similar, but different-brand - Magnalite - hard-anodized frying pan when an attempt to clean off some burnt food took the entire bottom coating right out of the pan. I didn't bother with trying for a replacement, as I didn't want that sort of utensil any more.

I have quite a few Magnalite Professional Stainless pieces, which are virtually the same as AllClad except the core is copper instead of almunium. Unfortunately they're not made any more. (So much for the lifetime guarantee, I guess.) The handles, of roll-formed stainless sheet strongly spot-welded to the pan, NEVER get even warm, let alone hot. The handles of the lids don't get hot, either, although I'm not sure why. I doubt if I would ever have a need to replace one of them.

I find that the several AllClad pieces I have work just as well as the MPS ones and, frankly, I would never consider getting another Calphalon or other hard-anodized utensil.

Did I mention, the Calphalons are a lot harder to clean, too.


on edit-

About cleaning: with all these high-conductivity utensils, it's not hard (at least for me) to get the pan too hot and scorch stuff onto the bottom of the pan. If Scotchbright pads won't take it off, the MPS instructions said to take a teaspoon of DISHWASHER detergent powder and simmer it in 1/4" of water in the pan. TURN THE VENT FAN ON HIGH FOR THIS. It's never failed for me with the MPS and the AllClad. (Why do I keep doing this over and over?)

Anyway, I would be scared to try this with a Calphalon or other hard-anodized piece.

travelling gourmand
travelling gourmand
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