Calphalon Contemporary SS opinions please!

californiaplayaOctober 4, 2005

So I went to BBB yesterday to take a look at the Cuisinart Chefs Classic SS. To me, they are just blah. I'm sure they'd work for what I want them for, but they're just plain looking.

I looked around some more and came across the Calphalon Contemporary SS display. Those things are beautiful! Not only that, they feel comfortable, well balanced, and well constructed. But, the most important thing is how well they would perform on top of my new GE glass top range.

I just bought my first home at the end of last year and have been remodeling my kitchen ever since. Now its time to fill and start using that new kitchen. Since I work a lot and at odd hours, I don't do a lot of cooking everyday, but do more bulk cooking for the whole week on the weekend and just throw things in plastic containers in the fridge.

I'm looking for something decent thats not going to have to be replaced in a couple of years. I definitely don't need top-of-the-line, but don't want cheap stuff either. I believe that you get what you pay for, but am not too sure I want to spend $500 for a set of these (actually $500 - 20% plus a $50 BBB gift card, so $385 or so with tax). I could buy open stock, but would end up using everything in the set, so that would be a better way for me to go.

Also, anyone ever bought sets off EBay? I see a couple of these sets new on there now for $250 or so on Buy It Now. It there such a think as knock off pots? I've never heard of that, but wouldn't doubt it. Is EBay risky for an item like this?

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Hi CA.
Have you checked out All-Clad? That is my favorite for so many reasons....3-clad, SS, even cooking,stay-cool handle, glass-top cooking, best clean-up, and lifetime warrenty. However, I have found there is a cookware I found @ Marshall's and TJ Maxx that is really quite comparable @ 1/3 the $. It's called TRAMONTINA.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 6:29PM
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I didn't care for the Calphalon Contemporary at all. To me the design is hokey, and contrived. It doesn't look like high end pro cookware to me. I love the design of the Cuisinart. Very clean and functional. The Calphalon is way overpriced, and I was really surprised at how light the cookware was. Not a good thing. For that price you can get All-Clad which is gorgeous, and the best there is at that price. Why would you want the Calphalon when you can have that? That Calphalon should be priced at 1/2 of what it is. Looks and feels like junk. Sorry, but even the cookware sales people at Bloomies were laughing at it.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 1:48PM
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I have boughts several sets of pots from Ebay and had WONDERFUL experiences and never buy them via store front anymore, I bought three sets and paid what I would have for one out of BB&B

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 11:15AM
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blondelle - even the people at Bloomie's were laughing at these? I noticed they carry a lot of them.

There's a good chance you and they know more than i do, but I have to confess to being a newbie and loving these pots and pans. To me they are beautiful - and the handle and contouring feel very comfortable. I was prepared to get an All Clad piece or two, but the handles are very uncomfortable for me. So no point spending money on something uncomfortable.

I bought a calphalon contemporary 4 quart chef pan and love it. I've only used it a couple of times - and I might not know good performance from bad. But I certainly enjoyed it. I also just ordered the contemporary 2 qt. chef pan from Amazon (it was a special for $39 - that price seems to come and go).

I really need a saute pan and had considered the contemporary, but since it's not specially priced, I'd like to wait and hear any other opinions about this cookware.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 4:11PM
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Just an update in case anyone is searching the archives on these pots and pans. I've now used my 4 quart chef pan several times (including risotto tonight) - and still love using it.

I still need a large saute pan (not non-stick) and went back to Bloomie's to look at their pans. The salesperson who helped me seemed to be very knowledgeable. He said the all-clads were the best - in terms of heat conductivity and evenness of heating (no hot spots). But I find those handles uncomfortable (I think I hold pots a little different to compensate for weak wrists - and all clad dig into my hands). When I told the salesman this, he said that he definitely thought the second choice would be calphalon contemporary stainless. He would pick either of those over any other brands they carry (and this Bloomie's carried a lot - berndes (?), cuisinart, analon, circulon, and a few others I had never heard of.

And Cooks Illustrated likes all-clad saute and omelette pans (with wolfgang puck as the inexpensive alternative).

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 10:14PM
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I took some cooking courses at the Calphalon Culinary Center near me. We got to use many of the different types and sizes of Calphalon pots, pans and bakeware.

They did a lot of target market research with Contemporary SS, hence the love it / hate it opinions seen here. It is aimed at affluent design conscious women. It did not appeal to me at all, but I am a male engineer, so I like the high-tech Calphalon One.

Contemporary SS is good, solid, well made tri-ply cookware. You may get more prestige with All-Clad stainless, arguably better cooking performance with aluminum Calphalon One or All-Clad LTD, and maybe better value with discount cookware like Emerilware, Costco or Sam's Club.

But in my experience Calphalon Contemporary SS is good quality and performs well. So if you like it and want it... go for it.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 3:34PM
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