Calphalon Anodized Infused Cookware: WTF!

Okay, I usually use stainless cookware, and I’m in love with it for the most part. But I need a good non-stick pan for some things. So Mr. K gave me the much coveted Calphalon saute pan made out of this space-aged material, guaranteed not to chip or flake, non-stick, blah, blah, blah. This freekin’ pan cost a hundred bucks. And everything stuck. The sausage, the eggs, the hash browns, all stuck. I even added oil as the directions stated (something I normally don’t do with things like greasy sausage). It was a long, hard, brutal clean-up and it’s going back.

Do any of you faaaabulous cooks use this stuff? What was your experience? I have one other review that reported the same results I had. Also, I’m looking at the next-step down stuff. It appears to be more of a traditional non-stick surface. Anyone using that?

I never tried Calphalon, but I have a couple All-Clad nonsticks, and they work OK for a while. Then they slooowly start to go bad. Then all of a sudden, they’re no better than their stainless-steel brethren.

All-Clad will gladly take them back and give me a new one, but I got sick of that rigamarole. Instead, I went and bought the best $30 nonstick frypan I could find at Target, with the idea that I’ll use it for a couple years then replace it. So far, it’s fine. Not as nice of a cooking surface as the all clads, but it fries my eggs up nicely. And for what it’s worth, I always use grease in 'em, just less grease than I’d use in a standard stainless.

I like the Calphalon pans. They are not non-stick, though. They heat very evenly. My pans are a little wider than the eyes on my stove, and the edges are just as hot as the centers.

You also cannot beat how durable they are. Mine are going on ten years old, and are still in great shape. My stainless usually need replacing every couple of years. Do the instructions still say to use comet and a scotch-brite pad to clean them? Try that if yours does not have the non-stick coating on the inside. If it does have the coating, then soaking and elbow grease is the way to go.

I bought some Bialetti non-stick pans from Target. Nothing sticks, and cleanup is a breeze. My oldest one is probably four years old. I do take care not to have the heat too high for the food being cooked, and I don’t use metal utensiles.

Yes, the instructions suggest comet and a scotch-brite pad. Hardly what I would think would be needed on a non-stick surface. These are the ones that have the non-stick infused into the actual pan material as opposed to the coated ones. I’ve never had any trouble with coated pans, but this would have at least the same level of performance, given that the description says “non-stick.” Hmphh. I’ve got yer non-stick right here, Calphalon!
I’ve had the Calphalon stainless for about two years now, and I’m still very happy with them, except for those few things that are such a bitch to clean up. I do add butter and oil for flavor, texture, etc., but when I do that with a good non-stick, it really doesn’t stick. I put damn near half a stick of butter in this time, and it stuck like a bad reputation. Hate that!

Their “anodized infused” Calphalon One cookware is not the same as their non-stick stuff. In their product description it’s touted as “stick resistant”, with “just the right amount of stick” for even searing and browning of meat while “leaving tasty bits” to make glazes with (read: bits that stick to the pan bottom for scraping and reducing into gravy). It is NOT for making scrambled eggs and hash browns.

For that you should get a Calphalon One Non-Stick pan (if you’re going with their Calphalon One line). (They’re both called “Calphalon One” which may add to the confusion.)

Yes, that’s the non-stick one I’m going for.

Okay…Mr. K didn’t research any of this on the the internet; he just went by what the box said:

“Calphalon One removes the limits imposed by other cooking surfaces and puts you in total control. Calphalon One lets you brown, sear, sauce, and cook exactly the way you want, without being at the mercy of sticking, staining, or tough clean-up. It’s the one surface you need in your kitchen.”

Your description is much more accurate. I may recommend you for their Box Text position.

Yeah, the product description is a little schizophrenic. As you probably know, any time you’re “browning” and “saucing” you’re sticking – that’s how you get those delicious brown bits in the bottom of the pan that are the basis of a good pan sauce. This pan seems to be trying to offer both – make a good pan sauce! in a non-stick pan! – which is impossible.

Not to mention the fact that clean-up required nuclear weapons and an hour of soaking. Grrrrrr…

FWIW, I made the exact same mistake when I bought my Calphalon One pans. Though I have found I like the heavy “Anodized Infused” pan for what it was designed for (frying meat and then making a sauce/gravy with the, er, remainders, or for sauteeing vegetables), and kept it rather than returned it, I did get a second Calphalon One non-stick pan for more general use.

We got a large set of Calphalon Contemporary Non-Stick as a wedding present. Best cookware ever. It heats quickly and evenly and after two years of hard use (the small sauce pot has been used every day for the past six months) it still cleans with a quick wipe of the (nylon?) scrubbie thing.

I have to ask, what are you doing to stainless steel that requires replacing it periodically? The stainless pans I learned to cook in as a kid are still going strong, decades down the road.

If you want a nice, cheap, surprisingly nonstick surface go down to the hardware store or big-box retailer and for about $15 you can get a nice preseasoned cast-iron pan. Mine works great, no worries about scratching it up, cleans up easily with a scrub brush and hot water (no detergent needed). Just don’t leave it soaking and remember to heat it and wipe down with a paper towel and dab of oil after cleaning. If you don’t let it rust it’s pretty much indestructible.

I was buying really cheap ones from the K-mart. Once I started earning a non-theater paycheck (Yes I sold out, but I like to eat.), I bought the Calphalon pans. I still use a cheaper non-stick Revereware to cook eggs in.

I love my Calphalon. I don’t know exactly what my second set is - it has bumps inside of it and plastic (silicone?) handles. The other set is commercial grade. I love them. In fact, my lone Le Creuset pot doesn’t get touched anymore and is very lonely. I’m thinking of ebaying it.

Tell me more about your Le Creuset. :slight_smile: Seriously. E-mail’s in my profile.

Both my wife and i cook. We are very good at it. (when we throw a party, we have to be careful to rotate the invitee list, as they have come to understand that we can not please veryone all the time, and definitely lack the resources to satisfy everyone at once). Our menus range from traditional to exotic.

My Wife is the gadget freak, I am the proper tools for the job type. So we have both.
Both of us, how ever tend to eschew non stick pans. I have one, a french made crepe pan. Mrs F has a few non stick muffin pans (gifts from admirers).

We tend to use stainless steel pans, and the BIG tool to conrolling sticking is

GET A GAS STOVE, and learn how to use it!

Sticking is caused by the bonding of sugar/starch molecules as they oxidize/carmalize. This is entirely temp and moisture dependant. Oil doesn’t stop things from sticking. What oil does is provide a substrate that allows the steam coming off the food to create a micro pressure blanket. (litterally the food is “floating” on a layer of the steam it emits)

Proper browning only can occur over a period of time… this allows the food to maintain its "steam blanket’ between itself and the cooking surface. This means that the cooking temp is a ratio of the latent heat of the food (varies with type) and the latent heat of the cooking surface. In other words, start low and sloooowly turn up the heat as time goes by. (This is why gas stoves RULE)

Back to "cleaning stainless steel cookware… While you are sitting down to dinner, put the pots on the stove, and add a few inches of water… add a few drops of dish soap, or in extreme cases, a few grains of dishwasher powder. put them on to simmer.

By the time you are ready to scrub the pots, they will come shiney clean with almost NO scrubbing. (BIG NOTE_ DO NOT spoil your seasoned cast iron/non stainless steel pots with this method)