Like our best-reviewed All-Clad Stainless Cookware (*Est. $750 for a 10-piece set) , Calphalon Contemporary Stainless cookware has tri-ply construction, with aluminum between two layers of stainless steel. This combination does a superb job of heating quickly and evenly. The aluminum core covers the sides of the pan, while cheaper brands only encapsulate a disk of aluminum on the bottom. However, Calphalon Contemporary is lighter and thinner than All-Clad, and professional testers say the Calphalon pans don't maintain even heat as well as the more expensive All-Clad pans. Calphalon cookware has handles that stay cool, and the pans are dishwasher-safe and oven-safe (to 500 degrees Fahrenheit). However, the cookware is not quite as well-made as the All-Clad Stainless, and it's more expensive than the budget-priced Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless Cookware (*Est. $115 for a 10-piece set) .
The best test of Calphalon Contemporary Stainless cookware is conducted by ConsumerReports.org. They evaluate 13 sets of traditional (uncoated) cookware for evenness of cooking, ease of cleaning and flaws in design. We also found reviews of individual pieces of Calphalon cookware in Cook's Illustrated and Real Simple magazines. User reviews at Amazon.com and Buzillions.com helped us gauge the cookware's durability.
Editors at ConsumerReports.org test 35 sets of cookware, including the Calphalon Contemporary Stainless set. Each cookware set gets scores for evenness of cooking, ease of cleaning and handle design. While the write-ups themselves aren't that detailed, testing is well documented. Ratings appear to emphasize durability and handling.
Review: Kitchen Cookware, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
2. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
In this review, editors compare seven 12-inch stainless-steel skillets, including the Calphalon Contemporary Stainless 12-Inch Omelette Pan. The review provides helpful information about this cookware's durability, overall quality and ease of use.
Review: Traditional Skillets, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, Jan. 2009
3. Real Simple
Food writer Melissa Clark identifies her picks for several types of pots and pans, mentioning what she likes about her choices. The Calphalon Contemporary Stainless 3.5-quart saucepan is among her picks, but she doesn't explain her criteria or compare it to any other brand.
Review: Stock These Pots, Melissa Clark
In roughly 25 owner reviews, this cookware earns an average rating of 4 stars out of 5. Users like the pans' weight, comfortable handle and quick, even heating. While several complain about food sticking (a common problem with stainless-steel cookware), others say they had no problems with sticking when they followed the manufacturer's directions.
Review: Calphalon Contemporary Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set, Contributors to Amazon.com
Buzzillions.com aggregates user reviews from popular online retailers such as Macy's, Cooking Essentials and Wayfair (formerly called CSN stores) Here, more than 80 reviewers weigh in, giving the cookware line an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Most reviewers are exceedingly pleased with their purchase, hailing the quality, durability and even heating. Some do lament the high price, but other than that, we found very few negative remarks.
Review: Calphalon 10-pc. Contemporary Stainless Steel Cookware Set Reviews, Contributors to Buzzillions.com