Are Calphalon Pans Really Worth It?
I've been buying the Calphalon Non Stick frying pans for several years now. I usually snag the two packs when they are on sale during the holidays.
While they seem to hold up pretty well, once thing I've always noticed about mine is they quickly start to lose their non-stick properties. They'll work great at first, but within a few months things like omelettes will start sticking to them.
I only use pure oil or butter, no sprays in a can as I heard the additives can leave residue on your non stick pans. I also only use silicon or wood utensils in them. I do wash them in the dishwasher regularly if that has anything to do with it.
I have some cheaper off brand spare non stick frying pans, and it seem like they are working better these days than the Calphalons are.
I also have Calphalon pans and also buy the two packs when they are on sale. I have not had a problem with anything sticking, especially eggs. The one big difference between you and me is that I never put them in the dishwasher. They are just too easy to clean without putting them in the dishwasher. Keep them out of the dishwasher and I don't think you will have any problems.
Calphalon nonstick cookware should be fairly high quality. I haven't used Calphalon for a long time, but when I did, they were good pans.
Since Calphalon pans are not cheap, if you really want, you can look for Scanpans. They are considered one of the most durable (if not THE most durable) nonstick pans.
By the way, try not to use your nonstick pans in dishwasher. Some can handle it, some cannot. For example, many Calphalon nonstick cookware are not dishwasher safe:
"Hand wash only – not dishwasher safe. NEVER place cookware in an automatic dishwasher, or use abrasive cleaning pads or cleansers. This will damage the pan and void the warranty. "
Next time you hazard your money on a 2-pack, you might want to try a little A-B comparison:
A Pan: Use and maintain as you normally do.
B Pan: Use only for omelets, use only salted butter, use only low heat, and *do not wash at all*. Gently scrub out any food residue with a slurry of oil and table salt, wipe out, and put away.
See which pan loses its "non-stick" first.
But to try to answer your title question, yes, thick aluminum pans are worth it. They don't even need to be PTFE coated, unless you prefer to abuse--and regularly replace--them.
If I accidentally use a non-stick on higher than medium heat, the pans lose their non-stick properties.
I have been using a Scanpan for about 10 years with no trouble. Use on med or lower heat and hand wash only.