Customer Reviews: Simply Calphalon Nonstick 10 Piece Cookware Set
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Size: 10-Piece|Change
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on December 15, 2015
First, I did not receive these products for free, I bought them. The Simply Calphalon was rated a best buy by CR and I thought that the specs for the Kitchen Aid KitchenAid KCH1S10KD Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set - Black Diamondmade them worth consideration. I have been in the restaurant business for over 30 years so I have a lot of experience with pans, mostly professional sets. So that is my point of reference. The Calphalon and Kitchen Aid were in the same mid-range price point (170 - 220) in November of 2015. Truthfully they are very similar but not equal.

First thing I noticed was that the Simply Calphalon were slightly smaller. Especially the Saute pan. The Kitchen Aid set is dishwasher safe, Calphalon is not. For better or worse (as you'll read better in this case) the Kitchen Aid are heavier. The Calphalon are double-coated nonstick, the Kitchen Aid are triple-coated. Packaging for KA says oven safe to 350 degrees and Cal. says 400. Amazon says 500 for KA vs 400 for Cal. Being curious I had both in the oven at 425 for 15 minutes with no issues. Both are Hard Anodized aluminum. If you have an induction cooktop only KA is compatable.

What is Hard Anodized and does it matter? Hard Anodized pans are naturally nonstick, and completely chemical-free. These pans are made with an aluminum base, which essentially gets submerged in a sulfuric acid bath that has low electrical charges running through it. As it cools, it causes the pans exterior to anodize. A hard anodized pan is extremely strong, has a long lifespan, and because it is virtually non-porous, it resists sticking. Add a few layers of non-stick coating and you have a great, relatively cheap (cost wise), pan.

So what are meaningful differences? The most important, and the one most often overlooked by consumers, is that Calphalon set is 3.2mm thick and the Kitchen Aid is 4.5mm thick. Meaning (all else being equal) the Kitchen Aid is more thermally conductive and durable. And my non-scientific tests show this. The KA heats up far quicker, stays at temp longer and cooks more evenly. It's not even close. Boiling water took about 1:30 less time in the KA and eggs cooked over medium heat in far less time. I had to lower the heat on everything I tested with the KA set. It conducted heat far better that my old Cuisinart or the Simply Calphalon. The difference in thickness also accounts for the difference in weight.

Calphalon double-coated and KA has a triple-coated non-stick coating. The name is pretty explanatory but does it really matter? Yes and no. Right out of the box there is no noticible difference. However, in 4-5 years there should be a difference. Kitchen Aid's triple-coating should last longer and look better. We'll wait and see.

The Kitchen Aid is dishwasher safe the Simply Calphalon is not. Truthfully, I don't care what the manufacture says if you want you cookware to last don't put it in the dishwasher. With the non-stick coating it takes little effort to clean these so it's not worth it. Also, don't use metal instruments and never use cooking spray. Buy silicon utensils and a oil mister. The utensils are cheap and a mister lasts forever and is less expensive than 2 cans of Pam.

Real world cooking experience. After spending a week with each I gave the Calphalon to my son who recently moved out. They are nice pans and should take most of his abuse but they do not compare with the Kitchen Aid set. Cooking is quicker, food cooks more evenly and they look great. The deep black finish and flat tops are a stark change from the grey, domed cookware you usually see. I did find that the handles of the Calphalon set were slightly more comfortable. But that is subjective. Anyway who holds their pans for more than 10 seconds at a time?Neither sets handles became hot but, as expected, the handles on the lids of both became hot.

Lastly, while I like the look of the flat lids on the Kitchen Aid set, they do have issues. Domed lids like those on the Cal. set allow the condensation to continually drain. The flat lids tend to collect the condensation so that when you remove them... water everywhere. You quickly learn to tilt them as you remove but it is something of which to be aware.

Are they a professional set, no. But restaurants cook 300+ meals a day with people who don't care if the pans last to the next shift. So why pay triple the price? Well, the speed at which a 6mm or 7mm thick set gets to temp. is nice but that's the only difference. Usually, the Kitchen Aid set is slightly more than the Simply Calphalon but the they are worth the difference. So, for a mid-priced set of cookware, I don't think you'll find a better value than the Kitchen Aid.

I hope this is helpful in your decision. Be well.
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on July 18, 2010
I invested in this set almost 4 years ago. I had this set for less then 2 years when I noticed that some pans were showing signs of peeling. I never washed the pans in the dish washer and I only own bamboo and plastic utensils so I knew the peeling was not from my neglect. I called the Calphalon customer service number and was told I would need to ship the entire set back (at my own expense). I was told it would take 6-8 weeks before I would be notified whether or not the cookware was going to be covered under the warranty. If the cookware was not going to be covered I would be responsible for return shipping on the cookware set. NOT the kind of customer service I would expect from a company as well known as Calphaon. I have purchased cheaper cookware at a big box store and had it last longer then 2-4 years. I will have to replace this cookware and will not be doing it with any products in the Calphalon line.
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on December 23, 2008
I was given this set a year and a half ago and so far have had to send back three pieces because of the nonstick finish. I will say I like cooking with the anodized - it heats faster and retains heat well so it is easier to cook with. But the nonstick finish they put on this cookware is terrible. It flakes off and scratches easily. I baby them, follow all directions, etc. only use silicone or wood utensils. In my opinion the surface should not scratch if you are using an approved utensil. Calphalon has been good about honoring their warranty and have replaced everything I sent back so far but I am getting tired of having to keep sending things back. As money permits I am gradually replacing mine with Le Creuset. I don't know if the higher end Calphalon is better, but I can't bring myself to spend the money on it with the experience I've had with this set.
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on April 22, 2014
the inside of the pan has a bubble that will get bigger with heat and they say it is OK as is. I want a replacement pot NOW.
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on December 26, 2009
We purchased this set from another venue.

When you first open the box and see the new set you are thrilled. Especially if your old set that you just replaced was horrible.

BUT after you have had it a while you start to realize that owning this set of cookware requires a LOT of effort on your part to keep it looking nice.

The bottoms darken easily and need constant attention to make them look good.

On our particular set, the largest saucepan interior was "bubbled". Well....we are NOT everyday cooks in this house and it only took a few months for the interior finish to begin chipping off the pan.

We had to go out and buy all new utensils and special scrubbers etc. to clean these pans. Most things we had in our drawer just didn't work well with this set. Stick a metal fork in it once and IT'S DONE!

Remember....NO dishwashers, NO metal utensils, NO harsh chemicals, NO abrasive scrubbers, NO cooking spray, NO stacking of pans, NO contact with other surfaces or the exterior WILL scratch!

In short....these pans take your full attention but when you buy anything worth having, you are willing to expend the extra energy and time to take good care of it.

If it weren't for the interior surface chips, I would have to give this set an "ALMOST PERFECT" score!!!!!
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on November 4, 2010
When I bought this set 3 years ago, it cost me about $300. I thought I was making a long term "investment". I was super careful with them, as was my husband. We never stacked the pots, we cleaned then with cloth, we used wooden spoons and plastic utensils in them. The small sauce pot is still doing ok, and the stock pot is still working out great (I must admit, we use these two pots infrequently). But the other pots and pans are all just about shot. The non-stick coating on the large skillet just started popping off in tiny shreds one day, all in the food. And once that breach was made, it was all over for that pot. Large chunks started chipping. My guess is that it got "too hot" when cooking... i hear a rumor that you are not supposed to cook on Hi with these pans, though I didn't read that anywhere when i bought them. The large sauce pot's non-stick coating didn't pop off like that, it just started to kind of dissolve away. Who knows how much of it we ended up eating. And now I read on the net that even the fumes of this non-stick stuff are toxic. Anyhow, we are tossing them after 3 years and switching to cast iron. Pretty short lived, if you ask me, but at least the price has gone down.
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on January 23, 2011
This set doesn't even deserve one star. My husband purchased this set from Amazon about 6 months ago and we recently threw out the last pan. We used all the proper utensils and washing methods and the coating still peeled off almost immediately. We've never had to treat a set of pans this gingerly and it still was impossible to keep the flecks of coating from showing up in our food. This is a serious safety issue.

After being told by Caphalon that it needed to be sent back at our expense, we opted to discard it and never buy Caphalon again. You should think about your family's health before buying this.
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on April 9, 2015
This cookware, after very minimal use, became badly discolored. I am uncertain if this is a product defect. I was very disappointed in this product.
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on April 27, 2016
I love these pots and pans! Now, if you are curious as to why you cannot put these in the dishwasher, I'll tell you a story. My father in law came to stay with us for a few weeks and in his attempt to help out around the house he put the small skillet in the dishwasher. I never thought to tell him until it was too late. The outside of the skillet went from smooth to a chalk board texture. The inside surface is fine but the outside is not. Now my husband takes me seriously when I say something can not go in the dishwasher.
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on December 9, 2010
I wanted to take the whole thing back before I even started to cook with it. The 3-Quart saute pan did not have a flat surface. The inside of the pan was covered with very small raised points, as if fine metal droplets had splattered on the pan before being coated with the non-stick coating. I figured I'd just take the pan back and keep the rest of the set, until I cooked something with it.

I made a pot of mixed wild rice, using only a plastic rice spoon to fluff the rice when it was done. Once the rice was out, I noticed that the non-stick coating had begun to bubble off of the pan, and when I touched it, the non-stick coating came right off!! That was the last straw. These pans are horrible!!
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