Calphalon 8-piece Cookware Set Review
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Calphalon 8-piece Cookware Set Review
Gifted By: Calphalon
Reviewed by Judy Hannemann
The Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 8-piece cookware set is a pretty basic all-around set of essential kitchen cookware. This set includes 8-and 10-inch skillets, a 1.5-quart and 2.5-quart saucepan, and an 8-quart stock pot. You get three oven-safe glass lids, two of which do double duty. The largest lid fits the stock pot and the 10-inch skillet. The smaller lid fits the 2.5-quart saucepan and the 8-inch skillet.
This is genuinely an all-purpose set because the pans and the tempered-glass lids can go from stovetop to oven safely. In fact, I've baked several meals in the 10-inch skillet with great success. The handles do indeed stay cool while cooking, thanks to the forked-end design of the handle. Of course, if placed in the oven, the handles will get hot so use an oven mitt when removing the pan from the oven.
The cookware heats very evenly and quickly because it's hard anodized aluminum which conducts heat excellently. This set is also dishwasher safe, which is a plus since many hard anodized cookware is not. However, clean up is quite easy as nothing sticks so the use of a dishwasher here is pretty much a moot point.
One thing I was surprised about and frankly a bit disappointed about was that you cannot use metal utensils in these pans. Wood, silicone and nylon are recommended, but I feel that if metal-untensil-safe non-stick coatings are available in more modestly priced cookware, then surely a high-end product such as this should offer that versatility as well. This was the only thing I can say I didn't care for about the set.
I developed five recipes using the Calphalon Contemporary set. The Italian-Style Ground Beef Skillet is based on caprese, and it is a complete meal with meat, pasta, veggies and fresh herbs. One Pan Roasted Potatoes uses the 10-inch skillet and goes from stovetop to oven to serving at the table. The stockpot was used for my special 30-minute cream soups - in this case 30 Minute Cream of Broccoli Cheese Soup. The 8-inch skillet goes Asian with a Chicken Lo Mien for Two (the spaghetti was cooked in the 2.5-quart saucepan). Lastly, the small saucepan was used to make my delicious Peanut Butter "Caramel" Sauce - a great all-around dessert or ice cream sauce.
Overall, I would recommend this set to someone outfitting their first kitchen as it contains all the basic sizes, is easy to clean, and nice looking as well.
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