Most helpful positive review
207 of 216 people found the following review helpful
Will last until the eschaton (theological humor here <G>)
on November 28, 2002
Having used Calphalon pots and pans in our kitchen for lo, these last 18 years or so, and my wife and I both being avid cooks, and having raised four children in the process, I feel I can give some pretty good advice here.
I've read some of the reviews below. Some wax ecstatic, others criticize the Calphalon Professional Hard Anodized cookware as (1) not suitable for dishwashers, (2) can't use Brillo, (3)loses its hard anodized coating, 4) the cookwear stains, and (5) the handles get hot.
To all this criticism I respond: (1)yep-it's true, (2) so what? and (3) no cookware is gonna' solve all your needs.
First, as to why I don't use the Calphalon non stick series: one, I'm not sure it will indeed last a lifetime as the regular Hard-anodized seems to be doing; and two, I really only maybe need a non stick in an omelette pan or frying pan, so I can purchase those separately. This particular set comes with a non stick omelette pan.
Which brings up the point that NO one brand of cookware will serve all your needs. If you think it should, see a psychiatrist for the delusion. <G> I use castiron pans for cornbread and other things--I have some copper pots for other items.
Here is my caution: if you want this cookware to look brand new ten years down the road, then don't put it in a dishwasher, don't use brillo, used the dormand cleaner regularly, and don't cook acidic foods like tomato based sauces in them. Oh yeah, maybe you shouldn't cook much in them, either. <G>
If appearances are THAT important to you, buy All Clad in stainless steel. (Even then, don't use Brillo or it'll scratch them and they'll be ugly!--but you can put them in a dishwasher and it won't hurt their appearance. ) Don't buy copper pots either. They're beautiful but also require serious care and polishing to keep sparkling. I know. (My wife just read this, and editorially snorts, "HA, you DON'T know--I do").
But if you really don't give a rat's behind about appearances--after all, let's get real, these are POTS, for gosh sakes--then this stuff will last a lifetime. (Oh, I know, a gas stove, in a kitchen with a fireplace and some brick, some beautiful cookware hanging from the ceiling, and beautiful cookware simmering on the Viking stove. A stainless steel refrigerator. Hardwood floors.) Yep, it's a pretty fantasy, but in the real world, your pots and pans are used. What's wrong with simply purchasing a super heavy aluminum pot that will last--we don't need to mysticize our pots into magical wonders that will actually cook our food for us and stay forever young and beautiful.
I DO have a gas stove (and a Kitchen Aid mixer, Waring Blender, Cuisinart, and Henckel knife collection), and I DO hang these pots, along with the copper ones, from the ceiling, but worrying about them looking BRAND NEW? HAH!
The point is, that if you don't really care how your pots and pans will look ten years down the road, as long as they are still perfectly and COMPLETELY functional and unwarped, then by golly, do what we do:
1. Wash them in the dishwasher every day.
2. Brillo or stainless steel wool the heck out of them.
3. Cook all the tomato sauces you want to.
4. Use them every day and feed an army.
18 years later these pots will still be the same, sans perfect color-- because like the "one ring", I don't think you can destroy these things. We've left them sitting on burners or in the oven, we've dropped them on concrete, and they're still fine.
So again, if you want perfect looks years down the road: don't cook in your pots, don't put them in a dishwasher, spend a lot of time polishing them, and never use brillo. (By the way. it's not the dishwasher that removes the gray anodized coating or discolors the Caphalon, it's the dishwashing detergent that is extremely harsh.
But if you don't mind a few scratches in the bottom of a few pots from gouging them with metal forks while cooking, and you don't mind cooking discolorations and the gray anodized color fading inside in places, but you want heavy, heavy duty pots and pans that are indestructible that you can throw in a dishwasher, toss in the oven or use on the stove top, and cook anything in (well, forget the cornbread), these are enduring. I mean what's wrong with used looking, non gray heavy duty aluminum pots, for gosh sakes, as long as they last forever and cook extremely well?
Ten years ago we bought a set for my mother in law.
This year we buy a set for the oldest son who is getting married later this year.
Oh, one more thing. Yes the handles get hot. I'd suggest you "get over it". Use a hot pad. It will become second nature to do so. The "advantage" of these handles is that they too are indestructible and you can toss the whole thing in the oven at any time as well.
And I like the metal lids over the glass. They don't break. I can take off a lid to look inside the pot if I need to.