All-Clad vs. Calphalon Cookware – Broken Down

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Last updated on November 12, 2023

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All-clad and Calphalon cookware are among the most popular cookware in the world.

Both products have been around for generations and are built with ultra-durable materials.

You can’t go wrong with either brand, but there are some subtle and obvious differences that should be noted.  

Among these differences are price, reputation, and where they're made. Some of the similarities include cooking performance, durability, and maintenance.

Below, we highlight both sides of the spectrum for an objective review that will help aid in purchasing these pans.

Quick All-Clad Overview

all-clad-pans

All-clad is known for bonding or cladding layers of steel and aluminum together, which gives superior heat distribution and precise temperature control.

These pans have been manufactured since 1971, and they are only manufactured in Pennsylvania.

All-clad pans can withstand temperatures up to 600°F, which means they can be placed in the oven to finish on broil without changing pans.

This is a unique feature that is comparable to using cast iron.

Transferring food to different pans during cooking adds stress to the ingredients and could detract from the final product. 


Quick Calphalon Overview

calphalon-cookware-set

Calphalon cookware is equally as popular as All-Clad cookware.

Manufacturing began in 1963 in Ohio and is now manufactured in both Ohio and China. 

In 1968, Calphalon became the first pan manufacturer to use hard-anodized aluminum, a material used in the aerospace industry.

Aluminum becomes hard-anodized through the electrolytic process in which raw aluminum is used to reinforce the outer layer of steel.

This extra layer makes the pans non-stick, rust-proof, and easy to cook with. Calphalon Contemporary pans can withstand oven temperatures up to 450°F.


What are the Main Differences?

calphalon-pan

Price

All-Clad pans are pricier than Calphalon pans because of where they are manufactured.

While All-Clad is only manufactured in the United States, Calphalon is manufactured in both the United States and China.

Another price factor is in production; All-Clad is bonded layer by layer, while Calphalon is hard-anodized.


Reputation 

While both manufacturers are reputable, the reputation is preceded by different reasons.

All-Clad is known for its groundbreaking bonding of steel and aluminum.

Calphalon is noted for its revolutionary hard-anodizing techniques.


Design

All-Clad and Calphalon have distinctive designs that set them apart.
They have different finishes, lids, handles, and shapes.


Price Comparison

money

A 10-piece set of All-Clad cookware starts around $500 per set, on average, while a 10-piece set of Calphalon ranges between $500-$700 per set.

Let’s look at the average price points of individual pieces.


10-inch frying pan

  • All-Clad: $100
  • Calphalon: $45


6-quart soup pot

  • All-Clad: $200
  • Calphalon: $75


Egg Pan (8-9 inch)

  • All-Clad: $90
  • Calphalon: $37


It should be noted again that these are average prices. Sets generally sell the pots and pans at a discounted rate, and, of course, some items regularly go on sale.


Warranty Comparison

All-Clad and Calphalon warranties offer similar lifetime warranties that protect cookware from manufacturer or craftsmanship defects.


Is One Better Than the Other?

Both brands offer superb cooking abilities and are durable. Discovering if one is better than the other is a bit tricky.

Let’s look at the benefits of each one.

All-Clad

  • Durability. Due to its bonded construction, All-Clad is a durable pan designed to last years.
  • Cleanability. All-Clad pans are easy to clean and maintain. If scorched food is washed immediately, the food comes off with minimal effort.
  • Heat-proof handles. The handles do not conduct heat, so you don’t have to worry about burning your hands or using oven mitts.
  • Non-stick. All-Clad is non-stick thanks to the layered design of stainless steel and aluminum
  • Multi-Use. All-Clad pans are transferrable to the oven because of their high heat resistance.
  • Calphalon

  • Eco-friendly. Calphalon pans do not emit fumes at high temperatures and are PFOA and PTFE-free.
  • Non-stick. These high-quality pans are non-stick and provide an exceptional surface.
  • Multi-Use. Calphalon pans can be transferred from the stove to the oven because of the high heat resistance.
  • What Kinds of Cooking are These Pans Designed For?

    pan-going-into-oven

    All-clad pans are designed to hold heat, making them ideal for simmering, sautéing, frying, and raising.

    The pans are also transferable to the oven, which is suitable for broiling.

    The pans are best to use over low to medium heat as they are great conductors of heat and retain heat well.


    Caphalon is excellent for heat retention due to its high walls. As such, they should only be used over low to medium heat.

    Using the pans over high heat could ruin the non-stick capabilities unless used for boiling or frying.

    These pans are great for sautéing, simmering, frying, and making sauces.

    They are oven safe but should not be used in a broiler or salamander.


    What Products Does All-Clad Offer?

    all-clad-set
    calphalon-set
    cooking-eggs

    All-Clad: 

    All-Clad pans are built to last because of their bonding of stainless steel and aluminum.

    All-Clad is designed to last a lifetime, if properly maintained.

    The D3 collection is arguably the most durable, but any All-Clad is built to last.


    Calphalon: 

    Calphalon pans are designed to last ten years or more. It depends on if the products are 3-ply or 5-ply.

    The company offers two warranties, one for ten years and a limited lifetime warranty.

    Some recommend replacing the pans every five years, but this is subjective and depends on the frequency of use.


    What Do the People Say?

    5-stars

    Reviews - All-Clad:

    All-Clad gets consistently high marks from home cooks and professional chefs.

    Part of the high reviews is attributed to the cooking performance and durability.

    The only negative review comes from the thinness of the handles, which can be uncomfortable.


    Reviews - Calphalon: 

    The reviews are exceptionally high because of the heat retention and cooking performance.

    The only negative review came from the lack of lids. The set came with three pans and only two lids.

    Besides that, reviewers raved about the space-saving capabilities in terms of storage.


    Conclusion

    Overall, All-Clad and Calphalon are excellent choices for pots and pans.

    These products are designed to last years and have great cooking abilities.

    The biggest difference is in the price. Either company you decide to purchase from won't leave you disappointed.

    It boils down to personal preference, cost, and space.

    If a complete set is purchased, it's a good idea to have a pot and pan organizer. Check out this article for some great organizing tips.

    Jason

    About the author, Jason

    Jason Phillips is a recipe developer, culinary arts graduate, and coffee connoisseur. After culinary school, he cooked professionally for a while and published a cookbook his chef instructor advised him to write. Jason has a passion for culinary arts and coffee and is always looking for new, innovative recipes. He loves creating chef-quality meals that are also simple to make so that any home cook can do the same.

    Jason’s cookbook is The Sea Cook: Recipes and Tales From The Galley. The book chronicles his journey as a cook onboard offshore tugboats and the places he has traveled.