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Mar 13, 2006 01:46 PM

New Calphalon One pan woes

  • w

So we got a brand new set of Calphalon One pans. Please don't tell me about how great other pans are, we bought these and we are stuck with them now.

So, they tout the ability to sear and release, a happy medium between stick and non-stick. I haven't used them on every kind of food items yet, but I did try to pan-fry some orange roughy last weekened. My fish stuck like crazy. It create a nice sear, but since it won't release easily, most of my sear just got stuck to the pan and burnt.

I added oil after the pan was pre-heated. I'm not sure if there is any trick to working this type of pan. I've been using non-stick for so long that I probably forgot how to use a non-non-stick.

Any tips?

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  1. I don't know about the new Calphalon pans, but the old ones recommended you season them first (like cast iron). The info that came with the pans probably has instructions.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      the instruction just said to wash with hot soapy water, no seasoning mentioned. It also said it won't scratch, so we can even use metal utensils (not that I'm going to do that).

      I got them at Bed Bath and Beyond. I can probably return them if I want to. But we had a great deal on them. And my husband really likes them, thinks they look good :P Even though he doesn't do the cooking around the house.

      Maybe I need to test them on more things before I make up my mind.

      1. re: Wendy Lai

        Basically, I agree with everything Pupster said about not being able to use it for acidic foods, pitting, staining, etc. Mine was easy to gouge, too, but that was the "old" Calphalon, so maybe that's been improved. But as I said, I recently started transitioning all my cookware back to aluminum-clad stainless. Chino Wayne was right on when he said that the stickiness of the pan depends on how hot the pan was when you added the oil and a whole lot of factors, and that applies to stainless as well as anodized aluminum. But at least when stuff sticks to your stainless you don't have to worry about what you can't use to clean it!

        If your hubby likes the look, maybe you can get the ones with the stainless steel interior and the anodized aluminum cladding.

        I was thinking about what you said about getting a good deal, etc. When you consider how much you use your cookware, an extra $100, or even $200 isn't very much. You'd spend that much on one nice dinner out, why not spend it on cookware that will produce thousands of delicious dinners?

        Good cookware will outlive you, so it's really worth the investment. If you build up your collection over time -- starting with the basics and adding to it as your budget allows or as good deals arise -- you won't have to lay out a lot of money.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          Hungry Celeste

          I agree with the above 100%. I have a couple of caphalon pans that haven't worn worth a damn...terrible pitting, dinks, scratches, etc. I will eventually throw 'em out and plan to replace with All Clad's professional line (the outsides are matte, not shiny; don't know why this makes 'em professional). The All Clads are a breeze to clean, heat evenly, and look & function just as great as day 1. Of course, I'm also a fan of good ol' cast iron, too.

          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            I know that it's an investment. But somehow plunking down a thousand buck for as set of All Clad pro series pans just is a littel hard to do :)

            1. re: Wendy Lai
              Hungry Celeste

              That's why I only have a couple pans and not the whole set! Each time I try to justify the cost, it occurs to me that I can get a perfectly good piece of Lodge cast iron for less than the sales taxes on a comparable All Clad pot.

              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                I agree - get a few All Clad pans (pots) and several inexpensive cast-iron skillets.

                There are usually good sales on All Clad - stores often have a loss-leader deal on one pan to lure you into buying a set, but don't fall for that ploy. Instead, search many stores online and buy only the loss-leader pans. I've gotten small, medium, and large saucepans and a small roaster this way. As well as an All Clad skillet, but I don't use it because I like my cast iron skillets better.

                A seasoned cast iron pan is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. It makes perfectly seared fillets (fish, chicken, meat, whatever). There are many threads on this board with more info.

                I would save my cast iron pans if my house was on fire. The All Clad pans will have to fend for themselves.


                1. re: AnneInMpls
                  Hungry Celeste

                  If your house caught fire, you wouldn't need to save those pans--they would survive just fine. Willie Mae Seaton, 90 year old James Beard award winning cook, saved her ancient skillets from her namesake restaurant. Despite Katrina's floodwaters, those pans came through just fine (dirty, rusty, but worth saving).

            2. re: Hungry Celeste

              All-Clad. I sell them to people who want them, I own a piece of the LTD line. I hate the handles. They just don't fit mt hand comfortably. I'm a Swiss Diamond gal. For the money and ease of cleaning SD is tops in my book.

      2. When I sold Calphlon pans we were supposed to tout the "easy release" but in my experience using them, they were never that good. Further more, they pit, they scratch and they stain. I used them for years, then finally asked myself why I was using pans I hated and replaced them piece by piece.

        If you bought them from a reputable dealer you should be able to return them (or at least exchange them). You might consider that.

        1. A good friend registered for these pans, and as much as it pained me I bought what she wanted. That said, I am suspicious of Calphalon's need to replace their lines with new versions that have somehow been improved. The Original gave way to Commercial, then they broke out the Simply. Then came Contemporary. Now, Commercial is being phased out in order to introduce One.

          But guess what? They are all anodized aluminum. You are stuck with all the pro and the many cons (yeah, it sticks).

          I agree with Ruth -- return them (they are awfully expensive!!) if you can.

          On the bright side, another friend had two of his Calphalon pans break(?!) and he wrote to the company. He was able to exchange them for two brand new pans, with no hassles.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Pupster

            With the recent studies on the ills of non-stick and cancer causing agents that eventually comes off and are ingested, I was leaning towards a whole set of stainless stell stick pans.

            So maybe I just need to adjust my expectations?

            Why is Calphalon getting such a bad wrap? 'cus they stick?

            1. re: Wendy Lai

              Well, for me there are two issues: anodized aluminum as a cookware material and Calphalon as brand. I don't prefer anodized aluminum because of its limitations: discoloration with acidic foods, pocking, handwash only, the delicacy of non-stick without actually being non-stick, etc.

              Then Calphalon as a brand, I have a problem with what they charge for the quality of material and production. For the money, I think you can get better.

              But you (and your husband) are right: they look good. If that is your main criteria I understand why you bought them.

          2. I am just starting to build up my kitchen equipment inventory with Calaphone One Infused Anodyzed pans and I love them, I love the heft to them, I love the way they hold and distribute the heat, and I love how easy they are to clean (compared to stainless) when I do "encrust" them with food residue.

            Yes, sometimes food sticks, and other times it does not. I am chalking that up to my learning curve. One thing I have noticed is that with these pans I do not need to turn the flame up as high as I used to with my copper bottom, or cheap aluminum pans. I think it is a function of the amount of heat, the oil in the pan, putting the oil in the pan at the right time, and the food being cooked (remember, don't put protein in the pan right out of the refrigerator, let it come up to room temperature first), and how long it is in the pan.

            I plan to spend plenty of time "practicing" with these pans, I am not a professional chef who may use his various cooking utensils thousands and thousands of times a year, just a home cook who gets a lot of joy "practicing" preparing interesting, wonderful recipes.

            Link: http://www.indefatigable-indolence.or...

            4 Replies
            1. re: Chino Wayne

              So what is the right time to put in the oil? What have you learned so far you can share with me?

              1. re: Wendy Lai

                Never put oil in a cold pan, let the pan heat for a minute or so.

              2. re: Chino Wayne

                I agree with you totally. I have several Calphalon One pans and I love them. I don't understand why others are giving them a bad rap. I cook with them daily, and they have no pitting whatsoever. I often cook delicate fish in them, and have no problem with proper searing or with sticking. I get the pan very hot, splash in some evoo and a pat of butter and fry away. I agree that the fish should be close to room temp, and most importantly the fish should not be disturbed for at least a few minutes to allow for a good sear. Doing this, I find that there is little or no sticking. Calphalon One cleans easily...I like Barkeepers Friend and a sponge. It leaves the pans spotless. All of my Calphalon One is the regular variety (not non-stick) except for two non-sticks that I use exclusively for eggs or omelets. The only other pots I own are two Le Creuset dutch ovens which I use for braises, soups or stews. I love Calphalon One, and am at loss as to why other CH's are giving it a bum rap!

                1. re: josephnl

                  I agree with you completely. Our Calphalon One 5 qt sautee pan is the most used pan in our kitchen ever since I bought it about 5 years ago. Only complaint is it cannot be put in the dishwasher, but that's just a convenience issue.

              3. I like the way Calphalon cooks, though I learned to use much more oil to sauté fish than I really thought was necessary. I find it easy to take care of. Staining has been no problem, nor has pitting from salt (because I take care to have the liquid come to the boil before adding the salt). Since it is anodized, it is inert and non-reactive, which makes it very versatile. It goes into the oven with no problem. That said, the large sauté pans always seem to warp after about 2 years, whether on gas or electic stove tops. I can't find another pan that I like as well (and I have All-Cald, too), so I use it until I can't stand the degree of warp any more (another 3 to 5 years), and then go buy another one.