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Calphalon gift, do I keep it or return it?

I was recently gifted with the 9 piece set of Calphalon Contemporary nonstick. I do not want to seem ungrateful, but I am not sure I want it. I have been using a Farberware set for the past 25 years and have been wanting a new set. Nothing wrong with the Farberware but I want something newer and sexier. I would prefer a stainless set with nonstick only on the sauté pan(s). I would love to hear from anyone who owns a set. Do you love it? Should I keep it? If it makes a difference, my cooktop is electric with the ceramic-glass.

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  1. I don't own it, nor have I seen the set you received, but it sure *sounds* as if you want to return it. It's what I'd do.

    1. I have used many Calphalon nonstick cookware before, and currently own a Calphalon Triply sauce pan. Calphalon nonstick cookware are fairly high quality. Thick aluminum on good nonstick surface. Nonstick cookware definitely have their advantages. They are incredibly easy to use, easy to clean. However, they may not last long, they sometime do not produce the best food, and they cannot tolerate high temperature.

      If you don't want nonstick, then you don't want nonstick, right? If you don't want a sportcar, then even the a Ferrari is useless for you.

      Now, I don't have a cookware set, and I think a lot of people may tell you the same thing about not getting a cookware set. The reason is that different materials are good for different cooking style. A cast iron skillet is very good for searing steak, a nonstick Teflon fry pan is great for egg, a carbon steel pan is great for crepe, and a triply saucepan is excellent for making sauce...etc..etc.

      If you want a set, then these are some inexpensive great value set:

      Tramontina (from Walmart)
      Cuisinart MCP
      Calphalon Triply

      1. I like Calphalon non-stick... have several pieces. BEST part about their products is their pretty much UNconditional replacement policy. I returned 2 skillets and my favorite sauce pan last spring after hearing C was really good at replacing stuff. Skillets probably 8+ years old and sauce pan at least 12. None were "abused" with metal tools... just wood and plastic. Skillets didn't have any serious damage/wear... just not as non-stick as new anymore. Sauce pan had minor signs of wear from ONLY wooden spoons ot plastic whisks.

        Went to website, filled out brief form, did NOT have to have receipts, and printed out a shipping lable... though DID have to pay shipping myself. In a little more than a week, got 3 BRAND NEW replacements!

        1. If you don't love it, use the opportunity to return it and get what you want. I'm not a fan of non-stick, except for a couple of skillets used for scrambled eggs. My household (except for me!) is incapable of refraining from scratching non-stick products with metal utensils.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tcamp

            ^^ This

            My MIL, rest her soul, used a very sharp knife to cut my son's grilled cheese sandwich into triangles. While this was a really sweet thing to do she did it in my Calphalon skillet. This began the slow degrading/flaking/peeling of my nonstick lining so I am now going to all nonstick as my sons (husband wouldn't cook if his life depended on it) don't understand the concept of "no metal in this cookware." I guess I should be happy they are cooking for themselves, ha ha!

          2. If you aren't going to enjoy cooking with it, it isn't what you want, then return it for sure. I myself have a Tramontina tri-ply set, the 10pc and I love it. I also have the deep sauté pan with lid, bought separately. Its very high quality, especially for the price. I looked around for months and had been debating between that and calphalon tri-ply and i chose Tramontina due to the glass lids on the calphalon, and I don't regret it a bit!

            Many people don't like sets but I myself do and I use every piece regularly. I do have a family of 7 I am cooking for everyday though, so that may make a difference with regards to that. Anyhow, for the price of the non-stick set you got I think you could get the Tramontina tri-ply set plus buy a new non-stick skillet separately. Good luck with whatever you decide!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Gingerbaker

              <Many people don't like sets >

              Well, Tramontina triply set is an exception here. I definitely have no reservation to recommend Tramontina to anyone who wants stainless steel cladded cookware. The set is of good quality and incredibly inexpensive. A set of Tramontina cookware is cheaper than a single piece of Demeyere frying pan:



              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                CK I agree, at this price point what's not to love about a set!

              2. re: Gingerbaker

                I meant to add, the Tramontina replaced Calphalon non-stick. Whether it was Contemporary or not, I don't remember. It was nice for a few years but that type of cookware just doesn't last in my house. I never see anyone abuse it but nevertheless its all scratched and doesn't look good after 2-3 years. Plus I spend a good hour or more each day over a hot stove and I became concerned about the toxins that Teflon can supposedly release, since I cook so much. So now I have stainless and cast iron only in my kitchen.

              3. I don't buy cookware in sets, and cookware isn't the kind of thing I love. But I do have a couple of pieces of Calphalon Contemporary and am well satisfied with them. Wouldn't call them sexy, though.

                1. I don't have any Calphalon and don't use non-stick (except for one omelet pan), but I do have some experience with receiving gifts of kitchen equipment that I wouldn't have enjoyed using. If you like to cook, you should have cookware that you like. If it's not what you want, exchange it for something you do want. The gift-giver will be glad to know that you're happy!

                  1. i no longer use nonstick at all except for one small pan i use to fry my morning eggs in. i did buy a large calphalon nonstick saute a few years back and was very disappointed as the coating failed within two years. it was only then i happened across a review from cooks illustrated, in which calphalon nonstick received very low marks. again, this was a while ago -maybe eight years, so take that with a grain of salt. however since you've stated you would prefer stainless, i would return it. there are discussions on the finer points of each of the AC lines here on CH. i would peruse the files and make a more informed selection based on your style of cooking and needs.

                    i love my calphalon, but it is the original, heavy bottomed anodized aluminum, 20+ years old. unfortunately i just don't see that kind of quality produced in the newer lines.

                    also, agree with the recommendation on avoiding sets. for sauteing i turn mostly to my AC copper core. but for sauces i'll reach for the calphalon. i am currently looking into buying something from le creuset for stews and braising; different materials are better suited to a well appointed kitchen so i would avoid falling into the trap of purchasing an entire set.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kattyshack

                      For what it's worth, Cooks Illustrated gave its top rating to the Simply Calphalon Nonstick 12-inch Omelette Pan (in 2008), ranked the Calphalon Professional Nonstick 10" Omelette Pan 1392 second after All-Clad (no date), and the Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick Short & Saucy 2 1/2 Quart Shallow Saucepan with Cover top of the small nonstick saucepans (no date but fairly recent.) So I guess something has changed for the better at Calphalon.