The Calphalon Simply Calphalon Nonstick 10-piece Cookware Set gets good reviews from users for its quick, even heating and good nonstick properties. Its biggest weakness is durability; owners say both the nonstick surface and the outer finish wear off quickly. Although it's much cheaper than the top-rated Anolon Advanced Bronze Collection 11-piece Set (*Est. $290), it doesn't appear to offer the same long-term value.
Most owners say this cookware heats evenly and is truly nonstick. One reviewer at Macys.com says, "Virtually nothing sticks to them during and after cooking," while another at Amazon.com raves, "Food heats thoroughly and comes out amazingly." However, we did see a couple of dissenting reviews that complain about food sticking to the pan, creating problems with cleanup (as discussed below). Users agree that this cookware heats quickly -- in fact, one owner at Macys.com cautions that "you really have to turn it down so that it won't burn." They also say the cookware has sufficient weight to retain heat well. Like other anodized aluminum cookware, these pans cannot be used on an induction stovetop.
No consensus on cleanup difficulty: The silicone-wrapped, stainless-steel handles are one of the most loved features because they stay cool during cooking. A user at Macys.com is also pleased with the gently sloping sides of the skillets, which allow for easy transfer of foods and sauces to storage containers. However, the assortment of pots is not ideal, according to some owners; one Buzzillions.com review comments that the "pieces are smallish," while a reviewer at Macys.com says that the set could really use additional saucepan sizes. There is some disagreement among users over how easy these pans are to clean, with a few showing frustration that the cookware is not dishwasher-safe but most saying that cleaning by hand is not difficult. However, we did find a little disagreement on the level of ease. One user at Amazon.com, for instance, notes that food tends to collect under the fasteners where handles are attached. Another owner complains that after cooking eggs according to the directions, there was so much residue on the pan that two days of soaking and repeated scrubbing could not remove it.
Positive feedback on cookware looks: Although looks are not a major point in most of the user reviews we read, those that did mention it were positive. For example, one Amazon.com owner calls the brushed finish "sharp looking," while a user at Macys.com says that these pans are "so beautiful, they're a fashion statement."
Durability is the Simply Calphalon cookware's weakest point. We did see a few reviews that say the cookware has held up well with use; one owner at Macys.com says it "looks just like new" after nearly two years. However, these positive comments were far outnumbered by the complaints we read about damage to both the outer finish and the cooking surface. Several users say that the brushed outer finish scratches easily, and the silver finish underneath shows up vividly against the dark gray exterior.
Complaints about the durability of the nonstick surface are even more common. Users say it can wear off after just a few months; one owner at Amazon.com says the surface began to bubble up and peel off during the first use. Several reviews provide detailed warnings and instruction on how to handle these pans to prevent damage; a typical comment is: "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!" However, some owners complain they followed all these guidelines to the letter, and their pans still deteriorated quickly. Calphalon backs this cookware with a 10-year warranty, but users who tried to take advantage of the warranty say it requires shipping the pans back to Calphalon at their own expense -- with no guarantee that the damage would be covered.
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Review Credibility: Good The Calphalon Simply Calphalon Nonstick 10-piece Cookware Set has more than 240 reviews at Buzzillions.com. Reviews are aggregated from a variety of retail sites across the Internet, including Macy's and Cookware Essentials. Most owners say this cookware offers quick, even heating, a good nonstick surface and easy cleanup. Some also say it is durable, but others complain that both the nonstick surface and the outer finish wear off quickly.
Review: Calphalon 10-pc. Contemporary Nonstick Cookware Set, Contributors to Buzzillions.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Good We found more than 70 reviews for this Calphalon cookware set at Macys.com. (These overlap with the reviews at Buzzillions.com, above, but comprise less than a third of the reviews found there.) Overall, owners give this cookware 4.5 stars out of a possible 5, and 93 percent say they would recommend it. Users praise the Calphalon cookware's fast, even heating, stay-cool handles and nonstick surface that cleans up easily. However, we did see some complaints that the finish scratches easily. A few users also say their cookware arrived dented or damaged.
Review: Calphalon Simply Nonstick Cookware, 10 Piece Set, Contributors to Macys.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Good Amazon.com reviewers are not quite as enthusiastic about the Calphalon Simply Calphalon Nonstick 10-piece Cookware Set as those at other sites. In nearly 40 reviews, it earns an overall rating of only 3.8 stars out of 5. Although owners say the cookware heats evenly and food doesn't stick, we saw more complaints about durability here than at other sites. Owners say that both the nonstick interior and the exterior finish scratch easily and wear off quickly. Several reviews stress the need for extra-careful handling to keep this cookware in good shape.
Review: Simply Calphalon SA10H Nonstick Hard-Anodized 10-Piece Cookware Set, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2012