The Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 8-Qt. Multi Pot has one feature most soup pots lack: a pair of stainless-steel inserts for draining pasta and steaming veggies. Owners say these inserts make the pot very versatile, but some feel they're not worth the extra cost.
Heats food quickly and evenly. Owners say the Calphalon's aluminum construction creates great heat distribution. Compared to thinner-bottomed pots, "this one is spectacular at simmering all day without burning anything on the bottom," says one Amazon review. Another Amazon user says the temperature-sensitive aluminum "seems to heat very well on a lower heat setting than I am used to using." After making the adjustment from cooking on constant high heat, however, owners say the Multi Pot does a great job of cooking a wide variety of foods. One owner declares it "my new go-to-pot for cooking everything from pot roast to stew to pasta to steaming veggies."
Pot inserts are a hit. This pot comes with both a steamer basket and a pasta insert, which allows you to drain cooked noodles without pouring from a full pot. Owners say the pasta basket isn't just for pasta: We found Cooking.com reviews that say it's great for draining soaked beans and boiled potatoes with less mess -- or for blanching fruits and vegetables. Most owners find the inserts convenient to use; one owner at Amazon.com is delighted at "how easy it is to SAFELY remove the strainer." However, another user complains that the insert does not fit well.
Most owners find the Calphalon's 8-quart size ideal; one user finds it much more convenient than a larger stockpot that takes forever to come to a boil. However, one observer notes that it can't cook more than a pound of pasta without overflowing. Despite the handles' easy-to-grip design, owners caution that they heat up during use. As for cleanup, most users say it's no problem; although this pot can't go in the dishwasher, it cleans up easily with a sponge.
Striking design. The Calphalon Multi Pot features a black exterior, textured stainless-steel handles and a stainless-steel rim on the glass lid. Most owners admire its appearance: One user at Amazon.com calls it "elegant," and another describes it as "gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous." However, the styling doesn't appeal to everyone; one user at Cooking.com complains that the stainless-steel inserts don't match the pot and says it's "much less attractive" than older Calphalon cookware. We found conflicting reports about how easy it is to maintain the pot's appearance. One owner says it still looks nice after six months of use, while another complains that both the pot and the strainer became discolored after cooking artichokes.
Fairly solid. An Amazon.com user says it feels much sturdier than pricey stainless-steel stockpots like the All-Clad Stainless 12-Qt. Stock Pot with Lid (*Est. $380). Another user says that while this pot "falls short of true commercial quality," it should be "more than adequate for heavy home use." However, this pot does require careful handling on account of its nonstick coating, which can degrade if the pots are put in the dishwasher or handled with metal utensils.
We found only a few complaints about durability in the user reviews we consulted. One owner says the finish was chipped upon delivery, and another complains that the inserts rusted. Problems like these should be covered under Calphalon's lifetime warranty. However, one user warns that any undamaged inserts should not be shipped back along with the damaged piece, as they may not be returned.
Review Credibility: Very Good The Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 8-Qt. Multi Pot has about 60 reviews at Cooking.com. It receives a perfect 5-star rating, and 97 percent of owners say they would recommend it. Reviews say this pot is well made and very versatile, thanks to its steamer and pasta inserts. Owners also praise its fast, even heating and easy cleanup. We found only isolated reports of problems -- one chipped rim and one discolored pot.
Review: 8-qt. Contemporary Nonstick Multi-Pot by Calphalon, Contributors to Cooking.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good There are only about 20 reviews here for the Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 8-Qt. Multi Pot, and they aren't quite as positive as those at Cooking.com. Although most owners say this pot is well made and easy to clean, a couple of them think it isn't worth the $100 price tag. Some users like the pasta and steamer inserts, but others complain that they don't fit well and require a higher water level in the pot. Overall, the Multi Pot receives a rating of 4.3 stars out of a possible 5.
Review: Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 8-Quart Multipot, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013