When it comes to cookware, cheaper doesn’t mean better value. You can buy no-name brands of pots and pans for under $30, but nothing beats a quality cookware set that lasts for many years. A pan that is made from the right materials will also perform better at the job it’s supposed to do, cooking food.

We decided to research the best cookware brands to find out which provided excellent value for money. After 9 hours of reading, asking questions, and testing the brands in a kitchen, our options were narrowed down to two: Anolon vs. Calphalon. We’ll compare the two brands so that you can decide which is best for your kitchen.

You may also want to read our ultimate cookware guide, which took a further 34 hours of work to pull together. This helpful guide looks at other types of cookware and where they’re best used in the kitchen. Be sure to take a look.

A comparison of Anolon and Calphalon

If you’re looking to buy premium cookware, then you’ll find Anolon and Calphalon are two of the best contenders for your money. They’re brands that have built up a solid reputation in the industry for manufacturing quality products. So which option is best? Let’s compare the Anolon and Calphalon to see if there is a clear winner.

How to choose the right cookware
Some factors to consider when choosing cookware.

As you can see from the above image, there are many factors to take into account. What are the most important factors for you?

Key features compared

 AnolonCalphalon
Value for moneyMedium-high end pricing. Worth every penny.Medium-high end pricing. Worth every penny.
Design & looksSleek and stylish appearance. Anolon has handles on some pans that aren't suitable for the oven.Sleek and stylish appearance.
Heat tolerance400°F (200°C)450°F (230°C)
CleaningSome products are not dishwasher safeDishwasher safe
Cooking performanceExcellent heat transfer. The non-stick surface is superior to budget options.Excellent heat transfer. The non-stick surface is superior to budget options.
DurabilityA robust product that can withstand metal kitchen tools.Great quality but has a tendency to chip when metal cooking utensils are used.

1. Value for money

Getting “bang for buck” is a key consideration for most. Buying the best quality product at a competitive price is the name of the game.

Frying sausage in a non stick pan
Both brands offer excellent value for money

Comparing the pricing for cookware is like comparing electricity – it’s complicated. You may find it a challenge to compare each set as they are usually unique in some way. Anolon tends to be a little more expensive when comparing similar cookware sets but the difference isn’t a deal-breaker.

Key takeout

Although the price is an important consideration, it would be almost impossible to choose a winner out of these two brands based on pricing. If you cook more than twice a week, look at cookware as an investment. You’ll get a lot of use out of those pots and pans so cheapest isn’t necessarily best.

2. Design and aesthetics

Whether you’re hunting for a whole set or one pot, it needs to look good in the kitchen. Looks matter, and once again these two brands both hold their own in appearance. By offering a range of different colors, there is something to suit any kitchen style.

Three red pans on a white isolated background
Choose cookware to suit your kitchen’s style.

One key point of difference lies in the handle design. While both are made of stainless steel, Anolon adds a silicone handle over the top to many of its products. If comfort is a high priority, you may prefer the Anolon option. Keep in mind that there is a drawback to these handles – they can’t be used in the oven. So, for example, if you like to braise meat then transfer it to the oven to finish cooking, this won’t be possible with some Anolon pans.

Key takeout

These are both manufacturers of high quality, impressive looking sets. Pay attention to the handle that will best meet your needs and cooking style.

3. Heat tolerance

So long as you’re choosing stainless steel handles, both cookware brands are oven proof. The materials used to make pots and pans can withstand differing temperatures for prolonged sessions in the oven.

Frying meat in a pan
Frying on a high heat won’t cause the meat to stick.

Anolon can withstand 400°F (200°C) while Calphalon has an oven-safe temperature of 450°F (230°C).

Key takeout

If you like to bake meals on high heat, then Calphalon would be your best option. Keep in mind that most braising recipes use temperatures well below these oven-safe thresholds.

4. Cleaning and maintenance

Not all cookware is dishwasher safe. The majority of pots and pans made from anodized aluminum should be washed by hand to avoid damaging the surface material, including Anolon cookware. Calphalon is suitable for use in a dishwasher which will be a bonus for some.

Adding soap and water to the sink and cleaning cookware by hand isn’t a huge job. It extends the life of the product, and it does a better job of getting rid of all the leftovers.

Maintaining anodized aluminum pans is a simple process compared to some other materials like cast iron. After use, wash, dry, and put away in the cupboard. There is no need to season (oil) your pans, which is a great time saver. This benefit applies to both brands.

Key takeout

If your life is hectic or you have a big dislike for washing dishes then the Calphalon brand may be better for you. It is safe for use in the dishwasher.

5. Cooking performance

Anolon and Calphalon offer excellent heat transfer, and even the stickiest foods tend to come off with ease. A three-layered non-stick coating works like magic on both cooking sets.

Key takeout

There is no clear winner on this criterion. Both brands excel in this area, and your cooking will raise a level compared to if you use cheaper budget cookware.

6. Durability

Although both brands offer fantastic durability, you’ll be likely to get more use from Anolon as its surface is metal safe. It’ll only take one slip of a metal kitchen tool to potentially damage the surface of your Calphalon pan. If you treat your pans with care then both brands should provide years of service.

Key takeout

Although both brands are durable, we’d choose Anolon thanks to a surface that can deal with metal utensils.

Frying pan cooking rice and vegetables
A quality pan makes cooking a breeze.

What is hard-anodized coating?

The Anolon and Calphalon brands share something in common. Their cooking surfaces are both hard anodized, which is a high-quality feature that increases durability and cooking performance.

An anodized cooking surface has multiple non-stick layers resulting in a non-toxic, tough cooking surface. There is also the added benefit that it’s non-reactive. Before this development in technology, Teflon was the benchmark product – a non-stick coating that stopped food sticking. However, in recent years, there have been health concerns that Teflon can leach toxic Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) into our food. Hard anodized coating of pots and pans alleviated this issue.

The benefits

  • robust, durable surface
  • high heat tolerance
  • superior non-stick coating
  • food aromas aren’t absorbed

The innovator of this new material for cookware was Calphalon in 1968. 21 years later in 1989, Anolon introduced their version. Since then, these brands have been producing unique and improved cooking surfaces that are superior to many other brands available.

Cooking chicken in a pan
Sear meat to seal in the flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is hard-anodized aluminum cookware okay for cooking?

Hard anodized aluminum cookware provides a non-stick surface that offers excellent heat transfer, extreme durability, and is simple to clean. The anodizing process during manufacture creates a seal so that toxic metals aren’t able to leach into food.

What brand of non-stick pan is the best?

Each brand has its own set of pros and cons, so it is essential to carefully research each brand before investing in a set cookware set. Popular brands that have built up a solid reputation include Circulon, Anolon, Calphalon, Cuisinart, and KitchenAid.

Is ceramic better than hard-anodized?

Ceramic cookware is impressive to look at and offers uniform heat throughout the cooking surface. You’re less likely to have unevenly cooked foods when ceramic is used. However, hard-anodized pans tend to be lighter, more durable as well as offering quicker heat transfer.

Final words: Is Anolon or Calphalon best?

If you’re considering investing in hard anodized cookware for your kitchen, two of the leading brands are Anolon and Calphalon. They’ll cost a little more than competing budget brands upfront. But splashing out extra money is a smart long-term move as these pots and pans will provide you with many years of service. They also have superior cooking performance when compared to the lesser-known brands.

The debate about which brand is the best will probably continue raging. Anolon vs. Calphalon, which is the preferred option? We think it’s hard to offer a clear winner as they both have their strengths. Check out the comparison table on this page to choose the brand that best suits your needs.

Both manufacturers have produced premium quality cookware for many years. They also have built excellent reputations for outstanding kitchen products. Whichever brand you choose, you’re onto a winner.

Do you have a cookware brand that you couldn’t live without? Share it with us by leaving a comment below.

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