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Jul 9, 2010 10:02 PM

Calphalon Anodized coating wearing off -- exchange?

I read with interest a thread from 2008 regarding this topic, but I'm starting a new thread in the hopes that someone has more recent experience with this issue.

I have a set of the Calphalon anodized cookware purchased in 2001, and the anodized aluminum coating has worn off -- the insides are now silver, which means that over time, this aluminum coating has made it's way from the pots to... our stomachs? According to the previous thread, several Chowhounds with the same problem had luck contacting Calphalon and exchanging their cookware for Calphalon's triple-ply stainless line.

I have tried this to no avail. They have offered to replace them with the same product (anodized), but I am not comfortable with the idea of my family injesting the insides of my pots. They have reassured me that it does not pose a health-hazard, but I am sticking to my guns. I do not want the same product. We have gone back and forth with a series of e-mails, but I'm not sure how to proceed.

Has anyone had recent success with this? Any advice?


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  1. I too have read and replied to that thread. I have a calphalon 3 quart chef's pot and a small analon (anodized aluminum) sauce pan. Both are silver on the inside but NOT on the outside. This means it's not the dishwasher. Also 99% of the time I used the chef's pot for boiling potatoes or making rice. I never like using aluminum (anodized or not) for making tomato sauce, so I believe that it is the minerals or chlorine that removes the anodization over time.

    I have 3 calphalon skillets all commercial anodized aluminum (same as my chefs pot) and they have not deanodized. I use them for searing and frying.

    Calphalon's website says that the triply stainless products are no longer available but their contemporary stainless line is, not sure if the new SS line has rivets. I sent my chef's pot back and requested SS triply, maybe they have a few left. I own a triply SS calphalon chef's pot with a glass lid and it's the best pot for cooking rice I have ever used.

    They don't seem to have any pots that are anodized inside AND out, it appears to be discontinued. No wonder. The new line of anodized all have nonstick interior surfaces with a maximum temp rating of 500 degrees. I don't have a good infrared thermometer yet but I bet most stoves can get a pans surface to 600 degrees or better. This means you can't turn the knob to max to sear a steak. How high can you turn the knob to? I guess you would have to have a good thermometer and do some testing. Pain in the ass.

    The whole point in my initial purchase of calphalon was to buy pans that would last my lifetime and could handle high heat. Otherwise why would I have spent so much money for a disposable pan. Apparently they did not do any significant testing.

    I am not sure what to do either. I will accept the new SS line for my chef's pot but I don't want SS skillets. I have started looking at carbon steel skillets. Right now I use a cast iron skillet.

    I will send an email to them myself and see what I come up with.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cajundave

      I received a 3 quart anodized aluminum outside non stick inside chefs pan today in exchange for the 3 quart all anodized aluminum I returned. I asked for stainless steel but they ignored me. The pan they sent me has two small but deep scratches along the rim. I suspect they sent me a new pan but one that failed at quality control.

      I received no paperwork at all. Maybe I'll send an email.

    2. "This means it's not the dishwasher."

      Don't be so sure. Anodized is NOT dishwasher safe and it will void the warranty. Not to say that they didn't exchange it - I'm farirly certain they just didn't want to fight you about it. Read the directions. Don't put it in the dishwasher. Don't put non-stick in the dishwasher either. Again, read the directions.

      Also, anodized coated with non-stick is not a great idea as the non-stick will wear off or eventually lose its non-stick properties.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Shaw Oliver

        With you 100% on this one. I've been using hard-anodized Calphalon for almost 20 years and none of my 10 pans have turned silver. They never go in the dishwasher and I've never had a problem with sticking.

        Again, yes please read the directions!

        1. re: iluvcookies

          What might have happened is that the bulk of the force of the water and soap in the dishwasher hit the inside of the pans--assuming you load them face down--and that is why they wore away. It's not the dishwasher exactly, it's the enzymes or phosphorus in most dishwasher detergents that will erode the anodized finish.

        2. re: Shaw Oliver

          I did read the directions and told everyone in my house not to put the pots in the dishwasher. Unfortunately the kids don't listen very well. That being said the inside of my chefs pot is completely silver on the bottom and 2/3 up the sides, basically...the water line. Raw aluminum. Calphalon says on their website that some areas with hard water will deanodize the finish. This was not said twenty years ago when I and others bought into the anodized aluminum craze. Yes I know that they say that acidic foods will do this too, but like I said in my OP I don't cook anything in this pot except rice and potatoes. The outside is fine. My dishwasher sprays from the bottom, middle and top, so I don't buy into the other post about force of water. The bottom line is that Calphalon and others that developed hard anodized aluminum (HAA) finish inside and outside of their cookware failed to do some life testing or if they did they ignored the results. Not uncommon for manufacturers. What validates my comments is that Calphalon DISCONTINUED the cookware that is HAA inside and outside.

          Yes I know that anodized coated with non stick will wear off, thats why I asked for SS.

          Please read the OP more carefully.

          1. re: cajundave

            I doubt the force of water thing. Yours experience is due to cooking because of the cooking pattern. Dishwasher liquid is aggressive and repeated washing in dishwasher can strip the anodized aluminum. However, it should have a different pattern. Yes, Calphalon has discontinue the hard anodized aluminum line and replaced with Calphalon Infused One, but it appears the Infused One is also going away as well.

        3. jfood has returned several calphalon and the company has always been fair in their handling the situation. In your case you want them to give you a different type of pan because you are uncomfortable with the loss of the coating after 9 years. They have offered to stand behind the product but you want a different one. You bought one type, they are willing to replace the one type and you want another type. If you want another type then you (a) should have bought it then or (b) should buy it now. Asking them to replace A with B is not what they entered into. Is this great customer service? Probably not. But it was you who changed your mind for something that they feel is a perfectly reasonable replacement, not them.

          Sorry, but you bought A with a lifetime guarantee and they are living up to that guarantee. It was worth the ask, but he does not think they are in the wrong.

          17 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            Well, Jfood, in the third person, I agree with you. I have returned, over the years several pots/pans and one roaster to Calphalon. Each item was replaced with the original "Hard Anodized" product. The roaster was discontinued, so I received a thinner-walled roaster with a roasting rack. A good pan but I prefered the heavier original.

            Now, as far as your stomach becoming "Hard Anodized" as a result of the finish changing on the cookware; if you talk to an inorganic chemist, it is the use of the item in areas where the PH level in the water affects the pan, or you cook many tomato products such as sauce, tomato based soups etc also neutralizes the finish.. Overall I have found the Calphalon company to be very responsive to all inquiries and that the company lives up to its "Lifetime Warranty" offer.
            As far as "demanding a SS item in place of the "Hard Anodized Aluminum", can I get a new Lexus for an old Toyota Corolla,............. same company.

            1. re: ospreycove

              Well ospreycove in the first person :-)),

              that is why a lot of recipes state "in a non-reactive pan..."

              Good luck with the Lexus. :-)

              1. re: jfood

                Jfood (ITTP) do you remember the line of glass pots and I believe saute, fry, pans? I think Pyrex(?) may have marketed them. Those items are nowhere to be found now, probably for good reason.

                1. re: ospreycove


                  Are you thinking of thos things that came in browny frosted stuff from the 80s? very slight memory but could be confused. Never owned and if marketed now would think a very bad idea.

                  What is ITTP?

                  1. re: jfood

                    jfood....code for (in the third person) deranged brand of humor!!!!

                    As far as the glass cookware, I think the color was added to make the utensils more "stylish". I do remember quite well my mother's glass percolator coffee pot!!!!

                    1. re: jfood

                      Corningware Visions line, also came in cranberry.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        I had one of those Visions saucepans in brown... it shattered into a billion pieces.

              2. re: jfood

                I didn't buy A and then ask for B. I bought A and they discontinued A. When I sent A back because it is defective they replaced it with anodized with non stick which does not have a lifetime guarantee, by the way, nor would I expect it to. Non stick of any kind has a short lifespan. Thats why I asked for SS. The prices of the original commercial HAA were comparable to SS and SS will last in my lifetime. A fair compromise on my part.

                1. re: cajundave

                  Cajun, Well, Did the NS compare to the HAA? What were your expectations for SS and did they give you an ETA for SS and HAA or did yopu call the EVP to get a VOP on the SS PDQ? In figuring the lifetime guarantee, what is your DOB and did you have proof of your purchase, maybe a CC receipt.

                  Hey....It is too hot to go outside today.....and my TB (tiny brain) is overheating!!!!!!

                  1. re: ospreycove

                    HAA HAA, HO HO HE HE!

                    Well said. I think you meant VIP?

                    Who has more acronyms, the current generation of text messager's, the US Military or Chowhounds?

                    1. re: cajundave

                      Cajundave.....IMHO...IDK?.........made up IDK ( I don't know)

                      1. re: ospreycove

                        Actually I was following it and laughing. I thought you were saying did you call the EVP Executive Vice President to get a VOP typo for VIP Very Important Person......

                        1. re: cajundave

                          Again, I plead temp insanity.....Too hot outside here today.

                          1. re: ospreycove

                            I think it's very funny to make things up and present that to people. There is nothing funnier than the WTF look on someones face.

                            Next time you encounter an irate driver, pull up next to them and make some kind of nonsense hand gesture. You will see the WTF look, then drive off. Very satisfying.

                  2. re: cajundave

                    sorry for the mis-assumption CD. It's been a while since jfood looked at their lines. He may be eating his words soon when he sends a couple of pieces back in the next few weeks.

                    The NS is not lifetime any longer? That's a switch. You sure. It would be a bummer if true.


                    1. re: jfood

                      Thank you for your reply. I have a post about char crust where I have to go back and admit I'm wrong. I'm pretty sure I am right about HAA.

                      However, it looks like I am wrong about NS warranty. There are 3 warranties life, 20 year and 10 year. There are NS types in each category. You have to decipher which NS you have based on their description.


                      The good news is that you made me read the warranty a little better and I have a NS pan I think I can send back....Jackpot! Thank You

                      I will read the warranty a little better and post tomorrow. Tonight I am making the grilled vegetable salad with basil oil that was posted recently.

                      Good cooking

                      1. re: cajundave


                        Planning next trip to NOLA in Oct. Will check in on some choices in a couple of weeks.

                        Stay safe down there..


                2. I bought a Calphalon hard anodized ( NOT non-stick) two years ago. It de-anodized on first use and I did not cook with any reactive foods, nor use a dishwasher, nor in fact do any of the things noted here. I returned it to Calphalon and they quickly replaced it with another. The second de-anodized as quickly and at that time, they agreed to replace with a Calphalon tri-ply stainless version. I read posts by people who have used the Calphalon hard anodized for years without trouble and the only conclusion I can reach is that the manufacture process changed somehow and the newer versions were simply not as well made. I would not have accepted a non-stick simply because I don't use it and as one poster rightly pointed out the life expectancy and price points of the SS and HA were comparable. I would not again buy hard anodized.