Calphalon One vs. Scanpan??

GeddesHouseMarch 14, 2004

I find the hype over Calphalon One interesting in that Scanpan has had cookware out for over 15 years with the same properties. I have several pieces of Scanpan, a few of them almost 15 years old, and love them all.

Does anyone have both kinds and can compare and contrast?

I have a few pieces of Calphalon that I love, nonstick and tri-ply stainless. But I don't have any Calphalon One and don't plan on getting any unless there's incontrovertible evidence that it's better than my tried-and-true Scanpan. I just can't fathom why all this hype about a supposed new breakthrough product that seems to have no advantages over a well-tested product with the same claim to fame that's already been around for so long.

I always like to look at new products. But I don't like being duped just because one company has a larger marketing department.

BTW, given the above problems that some folks have had with Calphalon warping, be aware that I've NEVER had a warping problem with Scanpan. It's specifically guaranteed not to warp. I've plunged my screaming hot wok under the fawcet many times. It loves it. (I've never had a problem with Calphalon warping either, but that stuff I treat gently.)

So, does Calphalon One have any REAL advantages over Scanpan?? Or is Calphalon just trying to dupe us into thinking their product is "new" technolgoy even though a competitor has been selling that technology for close to two decades?


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Good question Linda. I'd like to add to that too. I've seen some WearEver pans (I forget the specific line.) that are ceramic-titanium & appear to have the same properties of ScanPan, based on the info that I've read. Obviously I'm skeptical due to the price differences. Does anyone know more about that?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2004 at 7:54AM
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A while ago, I purchased a Cuisinart 2 QT SS saute pan that was on a "try me" price deal. It did a great job at browning meat, but afterwards when I cleaned it, there were white spots that just wouldn't come off. I then went on a search for the same item in a non-stick finish...nothing was available at a "try me" deal. Then, a few weeks ago, I got special offers for Calphalon I and Scan Pan, almost simultaneously. Too good a bargain to pass up. I bought both. The Scan Pan doesn't have vertically straight sides like the other two saute pans, but the NS finish is absolutely fantastic and I highly recommend the product. The Calphalon I looks like the old anodized aluminum saute pan that Calphalon is now discontinuing, but has a new low stick finish. I am at a loss to see any difference between the new and the old finish. In fact, I ended up with noticeable stains on the bottom of the pan after use that won't come off with normal cleaning. It certainly is nowhere near the Calphalon non-stick finish that I enjoy in my 3 QT Commercial NS Calphalon saute pan. The Calphalon I is ok, but I won't buy any more with this finish, until I figure out what I might be doing wrong. BTW...I do heat up the pans that are not of the non-stick variety, before I add the oil, so that's not part of the problem.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2004 at 1:27PM
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Couldn't comment before as I just got my first Scanpan piece late last week. As I sorta suspected, comparing Calphalon One and Scanpan is an apples/oranges argument.

Now, I have different types of cookware; tri-ply stainless, Calphalon One, Scanpan non-stick, "disposable" (read: cheap) non-stick, LeCreuset cast iron, good ol' black cast iron and the usual few assorted specialty pieces like crock pot, stovetop griddle, electric fry pan etc. Each type has it's own "mission".

The Scanpan is high-performance non-stick, and Calphalon One is top-shelf hard anodized stick-resistant. Quite different actually, and if I were to compare Calphalon One to anything, it would be to tri-ply stainless. And then to compare just the browning and release/deglazing performance.

Probably why it's so hard to decide on a single brand/type and buy a full set. Seems like we all have favorites for the specific types of cooking we do.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2004 at 8:08AM
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Bob, I couldn't agree more with your last comment. I have read all kinds of opinions and it all goes back to everyone having there own special tool for the job. I definately think you have to avoid the marketing at all cost, try things, and just see what works for you for this moment in time.

I'm still in the market for a 12" Fry Pan, the Calphalon One has peaked my interest but once again based on these post it seems that the anodized surface (NOT nonstick) will ware off over time into the food. So it looks like SS or Cast Iron is still my best option. Currently researching ScanPan (GOSH, I hear such great things!). 7qt Oven arriving soon, can't wait!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2004 at 3:12PM
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This may seem strange, but I would never buy Calphalon One for one simple reason: I don't like the color of the interior! It just doesn't look appealing. Form and function are important. How many of you have bought a piece of cookware because it would do the job AND it looked great!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2004 at 1:55AM
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Barry - To each his own, but Scanpan and all other non-stick surfaces have basically the same color interior color as Calphalon. The exterior is what varies between the Calphalon anodized lines stainless steel lines.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2004 at 9:59AM
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Blazedog - You're right, to each his own. I was referring to Calphalon One Infused Anodized, which is not non-stick and has a slick greyish interior. There is a new Calphalon One Infused Anodized Non-Stick that looks great. Perhaps that is what you are referring to.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2004 at 3:26AM
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I have both Calphalon and ScanPan, although I don't know what kind of Calphalon I have. I've had it for about 15 years and I like it okay, but I wouldn't rave about it. It's the original Calphalon and is not non-stick. My small saute pan warped several years ago (don't know how but it could have been something I did, like put water on it right after cooking).

I don't understand all the raves for ScanPan. When I first got it, I loved it, but for some reason it stopped performing the way it did in the beginning. It used to be naturally non-stick and now everything sticks. Very strange. Again, maybe I did something I wasn't supposed to do, but it's very frustrating. My sister also has ScanPan (the entire set, like me) and was the one who convinced me to get mine. She also is disappointed now after several years of owning it and has found that several of her pieces went from being non-stick to having stuff stick all over it.

I agree that you should buy single pieces of good cookware for specific needs, and I find myself always gravitating to my Le Creuset covered saucepan whenever I can. It's by far my favorite. We have a Le Creuset outlet nearby and you can buy "seconds" that have been deeply discounted. It's super heavy, which is daunting for my weak wrists, but it's worth it since it cooks so well and so evenly.

I also love the only true nonstick thing I have, which is a Calphalon 10" skillet that I use for eggs and such. I also have an All Clad stainless chef's pan, which is a wide covered round-ish pan and is very useful, cooks evenly and well, and can be thrown in the dishwasher for clean-up.

I think I've tried every major brand of high end cookware, and I still love to buy a new pot or pan. Even though my DH gets on my case about it and keeps suggesting I pare down, I can't resist...I'm always convinced that the new one is "the one" that I can't live without!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2004 at 8:06PM
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I have heard that complaint more than once about Scanpan. I read that in 2002 they changed the chemical composition of their pans. They now call it "SCANPAN Ceramic Titanium CLASSIC NEW TEK Cookware." I have the newer pans and they seem to be holding up great. I can heat the skillet high enough to sear, for example. So I think that Scanpan has a better quality after 2002 that makes it a really great non-stick. Here is a link to a Scanpan site that explains it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Scanpan

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 2:25AM
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Thanks for the update on the new ScanPan material. The link was interesting -- looks like they must have improved the pans to be longer lasting non-stick.

Now I'll have to buy yet another pan and check it out!


    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 12:23AM
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Hi Carli - did you buy that new ScanPan? I've sent 2 Fusion 5 Scanpan 10 1/2" frypans back to the store and have been recommended the Classic Tek, so will probably buy that. My main reason for wanting a new pan - to cook the perfect steak on a new ceramic hob.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2005 at 11:23PM
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I own a LOT of high quality cookware (no copper) including All-Clad, original Calphalon, Sitram Cybernox, KitchenAid Hi-Density Hard Anodized, cast iron (yes, I think cast iron is high quality cookware),and Calphalon One.

I love it all but, in regards to the post above by Donna, when I want a great steak I reach for the Calphalon One or the cast iron. Calphalon One really is a big improvement over the original Calphalon. They redesigned the cookware and made major improvements. The handles on both the pans and lids really do stay cool and the balance and ergonomics are much better. The cooking surface is much easier to clean but builds just as good a fond as the original which is better than you can get with stainless steel. I don't know if you want to use cast iron cookware on your ceramic hob but if you do I recommend the Lodge preseasoned cookware.

That said, here is my unsolicited recipe for the perfect steak:

Buy a whole New York Strip top loin. Dry the meat thoroughly with paper towel and age it in your refrigerator for at least two weeks and no more than four weeks. You can easily do this by placing the NY strip on a rack with paper towels below the rack and turning the strip twice a day.

Aging the meat will do three things:

1.) It will cause the meat to lose weight due to evaporation thereby concentrating flavor.

2.) It will make the meat much more tender because the cellular walls become weaker.

3.) It will dry the exterior of the meat. This causes some waste but the tradeoff is more than worth it.

Start cutting steaks from the small end of the NY Strip. The large end has a lot more fat and connective tissue. I usually trim the large end and use it for "to die for" stew. Cut the steaks to about a 1.5" to 2" thickness and trim the steaks of all exterior fat and dried tissue.

Coat both sides of the steaks with freshly gound black pepper and press the pepper into the meat with the heel of your hand. Let the steaks stand at room temperature for at least 1/2 hour, preferably up to an hour.

Preheat the pan on medium heat until the rim of the pan is hot to the touch, usually about 3 minutes. Add enough butter to the pan to liberally coat the bottom of the pan and heat for about a minute. Add the steaks and cook to desired doneness. Remove the steaks when they are done and remove the pan from the heat while leaving the burner on. Lightly salt both sides of the steaks.

Deglase the pan with brandy and whisk in enough beef Demi-Glace concentrate to make a sauce, 1 tsp to 1 tbsp, depending on how much sauce you want to make. Add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh taragon (or half that amount of crushed dried taragon). Return to heat and swirl in a tablespoon or two of butter and bring to a simmer. Making the sauce should take about a minute.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2005 at 8:06PM
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I have a Scanpan frying pan that I use mostly for eggs, and I *LOVE* it. It feels substantial, looks great, and works beautifully. I've had it for only about 18 months, so am not sure if it will "go bad" eventually, but for now, it's the pan I always reach for first.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 3:04AM
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I also have a Scanpan Newtek frying pan. I've only had it for a few months but I absolutely love it. I usually use it twice a day. It's quite flat and even on the bottom. No hot spots.

Apparently they've improved it in the last few years so the Newtek line is much better. The only time I ever use my SS frying pans now is if I'm cooking a large quantity of something, like for holiday dinners.

It cleans up like a dream, cooks evenly, the only thing that could make it better is if George Clooney was making my eggs with it!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 2:56PM
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deanb - thanks for your "unsolicited" steak recipe. I have always, only cooked steak on an outdoor grill, never in a pan! We're renting a house for a few months and have no grill, so I'll try you recipe :)

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 2:37PM
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goldgirl - my pleasure, let me know how you like it.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 7:20PM
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It seems in the end, most, if not all, non-stick wears out or gets scraped up (even when using the proper utensils). They are great for eggs, but a well-seasoned cast iron skillet is by far great for searing meat, among other things. I just made great fried chicken in it. So my vote goes for at least one cast iron skillet in the kitchen!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 1:41AM
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When Consumer Reports did their original testing on the ScanPan, it got top reviews. Then they amended their opinion because after some use, it seemed to lose it's non-stick qualities. So I am glad to hear that have changed the non-stick formula and it apparently holds up better. I'll have to get my hands on the Dec. 2005 issue.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 10:12AM
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Do NOT buy Scanpan. They initially are a good pan, but the finish becomes sticky and scratches. They WILL NOT honor warrenties, even though at first they sound cooperative and send you a form. It cost me $10 to send the pan in, which they then sent back stating it was my cleaning. Huh???The kitchen store I bought it from no longer carries this brand because they will not honor warrenties.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 10:24AM
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I've had Scanpans since I was married, and that's been nearly 21 years. I absolutely love them!

When we were getting married, my husband and I closely compared Scanpan and Caphalon. There were 3 main reasons we chose Scanpan over Caphalon:
1. Technology (they were not made with the same technology).
2. Weight (Scanpan's weight, while still heavy, was a lot less by comparison).
3. Caphalon's nonsense with needing handle protectors so you don't burn your hands.

Over the years, I've added more and more sizes. I've thrown out 1 pan in 21 years--and that was due to my own negligence of forgetting to put water in it and burning the heck out of the pan.

The pans are stable, the food cooks evenly, they do not scratch and they can be cleaned to look like new. Anyone who's ever cooked in my home LOVES them.

The only food I do not cook in these pans is eggs. The nonstick coating of the Scanpan is not the same as plain teflon. When cooking eggs or omelettes, I will use a teflon pan. But that's it.

21 years later, as I still see the Caphalon being sold in the department stores, they remind me of one of the best purchases I made: the Scanpan. We've really loved ours.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 2:03PM
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FWIW....have this 10 1/2 -11" Scanpan Saute pan. Bought it 20 years ago. Today sells for around $170.00.....which is ridiculous....but among all I've used in my life it does have what I consider to be "ideal" dimensions for what I do.

At that price, I wouldn't buy it. However, every time it becomes "sticky" and I send it in, they send me back a new one. I'm on number five or six right now. I've forgotten.

"...they do not scratch..."

Don't be silly. Of course they do!

Still recall the first one I purchased. It came with a stainless steel scrubber and instructions that said you could use metal utensils. They certainly don't to THAT anymore. Never did understand that. When you used the scrubber and then wiped it dry with a paper towel you could see the coating that had come off on the towel.

They're really good pans, but they're not magic. And, it seems to me, they've pretty well priced themselves out of the market. I don't need any $170.00 saute pans.....but I will certainly continue replacing the one I've got for free as long as they stand for it.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 8:19PM
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I've had 2 sets of Scanpans - the first I had for 30 years and the 2nd I bought for my son 5 or 6 years ago.

The original Scanpans were not truly nonstick, they were stick RESISTANT. I used mine heavily and they lasted. But I have to say, the pans I bought for my son are *even better*.

The new Scanpans really are totally nonstick. They don't "scratch" from the point of view of scratching through the surface alloy. They don't peel, blister, or otherwise wear through. My son's pans lived in his bachelor household for the first 3 years or so with 3 to 4 other bachelor roommates. They had cast iron stacked in them. They had metal utensils used on them. They got banged around, misused, abused, and generally were treated very very badly indeed. Yup, there are scuff marks on the bottom, but you know what?

They are still absolutely non stick. Not only that, not a single pan has warped, discolored, or otherwise shows any damage.

According to Scanpan, if you start to lose some of the nonstick ability, use Barkeepers friend and it will restore them. These haven't needed that yet.

Yes, it's true - if you don't clean them properly they will build up gunk that will interfere with the nonstick coating because it's COVERING it. That's what they meant when they sent the pan back and said it hadn't been cleaned properly. The way to clean them is to stick them under cold running water straight off the stove - the bottoms are thick enough this will not warp them. If you don't like doing that (I only do it once in awhile myself but its all good so far anyway) you can boil water with some baking soda, or as I mentioned earlier, take some barkeepers friend to them.

I had one pan - ONE - that blistered, and it was because of misuse on my part. There was food in it, which was stored in a refrigerator. Well unbeknownst to me, my brother sold that fridge and had it hauled away without my knowledge. By the time I realized what had happened, the food had been sitting out on the counter and it had molded. The mistakes were 2-fold: 1, don't EVER store food in one of these pans, and 2, for heavens sake don't let moldy food sit around in one at room temperature in the summer!

If in 30 years of use and abuse (I am not at all shy in my handling of my cookware) that was the only time I had any damage, I think it's a good bet that somebody did something wrong somewhere if every single pan flaked. I'm not sure that can even happen with the new Scanpans, even if abused as above. The "wrong thing" may have been a manufacturing error - in which case Scanpan would replace the product, if it was sent back.

Instructions for restoring nonstickiness or getting something stuck off:

Boil with dishsoap, then clean as usual (I didn't measure the dish soap, just glopped some in and it worked ok)

one tablespoon of baking soda per 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand 30 minutes. Clean pans.

Make a paste of water and Barkeeper's friend. Scrub the interior surface to remove built up gunk. According to the manufacturer, this is how to restore your finish if it's built up gunk over time.

BTW, do not EVER use Pam on this or any other nonstick surface. There is other stuff in Pam besides just oil, and that other stuff will build up a gunky surface that will cover the actual surface and make your pans sticky. If you've done this on a Scanpan, go at it with the Barkeeper's friend.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 11:07PM
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I've had a Scanpan 11" fry pan for 15 heavily used years and it performs as good today as it did when new. I can fry an egg with no oil and it comes right off - I would call that Non-Stick. But zensojourner is correct, if not cleaned regularly by using cold water on the hot pan, gunk can build up and that's true of both the old and new formulation. And Pam or other sprays with additives do cause problems. The methods for removing gunk were already mentioned but I'll add a few points.
The water/baking soda method works to remove light soil, but not heavy gunk. For that use Barkeepers friend, a scotch brite pad, and some elbow grease. Make a THICK paste using very little water and work a little at a time. I just restored my pan a few weeks ago and I probably had to spend 15 minutes working on it and had to put some muscle into it. Still not bad considering this is only the 2nd time in 15 years I've had to do this. So don't throw out your poor performing Scanpans. Either restore them or send them to me :)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2014 at 9:55PM
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