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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

All-Clad Vs Calphalon – Which Is Better?



Are you considering a cookware upgrade for your kitchen?

Struggling to determine which option is better between All-Clad and Calphalon cookware? Check out this comprehensive comparison to help you make an informed decision.

When it comes to good quality cookware, All-Clad and Calphalon cookware stand out among the top-rated options on the market.

There’s a reason why these two cookware brands have made a mark with their customers. They offer excellent quality, value for money, and long-lasting durability.

Nonetheless, each brand comes with its own reasons for being the number one choice among its customers. So, before investing in your cookware of choice it’s a good idea to figure out why each brand stands out and to understand the key comparisons between them.

We’ve made this process easier for you! Here’s an in-depth, mind-blowing All Clad vs Calphalon comparison to help you out.

Bottom Line Up Front

The bottom line up front in the difference between All-Clad and Calphalon is their material and intended users. Due to the premium high-end all-clad stainless steel material, All-Clad cookware is better catered to premium users who can foot the cost.

On the other hand, Calphalon cookware is made from stainless steel or hard anodized aluminum and caters more to everyday regular home cooks.

Main Differences

The main difference between All-Clad and Calphalon is their material and cost.

All-Clad cookware is made from premium quality fully clad stainless steel whereas Calphalon cookware is made from stainless steel. However, Calphalon mostly specializes in anodized aluminum cookware.

Its construction gives All-Clad cookware a higher heat tolerance and temperature rating whereas Calphalon cookware has a slightly lower temperature rating but good conductivity and heat distribution.

Additionally, All-Clad produces cookware, bakeware, small appliances, kitchen tools, and accessories whereas Calphalon produces similar items and more. Calphalon also dishes out small utensils and larger appliances.

Further, due to the high-end fully-clad construction, All-Clad cookware ranks at a more premium price range whereas Calphalon cookware is at a standard price range (but also not a budget-friendly option).

Key Features of All-Clad

All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware Set, Pots and Pans, Tri-Ply Stainless Steel, Professional Grade, 10-Piece

The All-Clad brand brings over five decades in the market and has managed to stay at the top ranking list. The brand was founded in Western Pennsylvania in 1971 with its cookware items manufactured in the U.S.

Key Features at a Glance

  • Great for people looking for premium quality cookware
  • Manufactures versatile kitchen items, including cookware, bakeware, small appliances, tools, and accessories
  • Four-step fully clad metal construction
  • Made in the USA

Construction and Materials

all-clad cookware
A set of all-clad pots and pans.

The most prized feature of All-Clad cookware is its premium quality fully clad stainless steel construction. Compared to stainless steel cookware brands of the same quality, you will notice that All-Clad cookware tends to be stronger, conductive, rugged, and can take some bangs and scratches without visible or significant damage.

This impressive quality can be traced to their fully clad construction design. The American-made cookware features multiple layers of stainless steel wrapped around the pots, pans, and skillets.

In fact, the brand uses a four-stage fabrication process, i.e. bonding, forming, finishing, and riveting.

To form a durable, fully clad finish, each cookware piece features various metals, like steel and aluminum bonded to create a stronger and long-lasting fully clad metal. The forming step further purifies the metal, eliminating foreign particles or abrasions for a cleaner and stronger bond.

The metal sheets are heated at high pressure to bond and create a single strong fully-clad metal sheet, leveled, set, cut, and riveted for the ultimate stronghold you will experience in your kitchen. Whether you braise oxtail stew for 12 hours or sear steaks at high heat, you don’t have to worry about your pots leaking or handles snapping!


A bunch of all-clad pans stacked together
A bunch of all-clad pans stacked together.

The cladding (bonding) fabrication doesn’t only come in handy for strengthening the cookware’s structure and enhancing its durability. The selection and bonding of different metals such as aluminum and steel come with their perks. For example, aluminum is significantly lighter yet rugged metal.

So, it helps to reduce the weight of cookware without affecting the quality. Further, using it at the core allows the cookware to conduct heat faster and more evenly.

So, when you are cooking you can ensure even heating with zero hot/cold spots.

Extra Functional Features

All Clad’s durable bonding design gives it the additional capabilities you will notice when using this brand. For example, most cookware has a high-temperature rating that extends to about 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the other hand, other collections, such as ceramic, non-stick, and anodized, have a temperature rating of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

All-Clad Collections

All-Clad E785SC64 Ha1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Dishwasher Safe PFOA Free Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Black

All-Clad produces pots, pans, skillets, Dutch ovens, griddles, grill pans, and roasters as part of the cookware collection.

The brand also produces bakeware and small appliances, such as waffle makers, toasters, and slow cookers. You will also find small kitchen tools and accessories, such as mixing bowls, spatulas, scrapers, and silicone grips, produced by All-Clad.

The All-Clad brand is popular among home cooks and professionals alike due to its outstanding fully clad stainless steel cookware. However, this is not all the brand dishes out.

You can also find excellent quality cookware made by the All-Clad brand using other materials.

Here’s a complete list of different cookware materials that All-Clad produces;

  • Stainless steel ((D3 Everyday, D5 Brushed, D5 Polished, D7 stainless)
  • Non-stick
  • Hard anodized
  • Ceramic (Fusion TEC natural ceramic with steel core)


All-Clad cookware comes with a high price tag due to its premium material and the attention/time put into curating them.

Therefore, All-Clad is not the best entry-level or budget-friendly option. It is an ideal option for cooks looking for premium quality cookware (ideally for entertainment).

Pros of All-Clad

  • Extremely durable construction with fully bonded metal
  • A selection of four cookware materials (collection) to choose from
  • The high-temperature rating for most cookware
  • Excellent even heating and cooking

Cons of All-Clad

  • Not the best entry-level options
  • A little costly

Key Features of Calphalon

Calphalon 10-Piece Pots and Pans Set, Nonstick Kitchen Cookware with Stay-Cool Stainless Steel Handles and Pour Spouts, Grey

The Calphalon brand was launched in Ohio nearly 6 decades ago, in 1963, and is still ranked as one of the best cookware brands in the US to date.

Key Features at a Glance

  • Great for people looking for premium quality cookware
  • Makes multiple kitchen items, including cookware, bakeware, kitchen tools, accessories, cutlery, and appliances
  • Non-stick hard anodized aluminum construction
  • Non-reactive and nonstick surface
  • Made in the USA and China

Construction and Materials

Calphalon cookware
Calphalon cookware.

The Calphalon brand is popularly known for being the very first brand in the US to introduce hard anodized cookware to the public. To date, the Calphalon hard anodized cookware has remained popular among professional chefs, gourmet chefs, and home cooks alike.

Calphalon cookware is made using a selection of four key materials. However, the brand focuses on and is mostly popular for its hard-anodized aluminum cookware collection.

When you use the Calphalon hard anodized aluminum cookware, you will notice their significantly lighter, yet, tougher finish.

These cookware items are made using layers of aluminum sheets that have been hard anodized to create a thicker aluminum oxide coating. This, in turn, produces a more uniform, rugged, yet, lighter finish.

Furthermore, the hard anodizing process promotes and optimizes the positive perks of aluminum.

In addition to the hard anodizing process, Calphalon anodized cookware features two types of nonstick cookware coatings. You can choose between the MineralShield Nonstick or AquaShield Nonstick coating.

The MineralShield Nonstick coating is made using natural earth materials reported to offer nearly five times more durability than older Calphalon cookware models.

On the other hand, the AquaShield Nonstick technology features a water-based coating with even better easy food release with 40% longer lasting durability than older Calphalon cookware models.


Calphalon pan on a white background
Calphalon close-up pan on a white background.

The use of a hard anodizing process, as opposed to regular anodized or regular aluminum, enhances the cookware’s characteristics.

First, you will notice that hard anodized aluminum cookware offers better heat conductivity. Yet, it maintains even heat distribution and provides impressive ease of food release, even at high heat.

You will also be impressed with how the easy food release surface makes your cleaning faster and easier. Additionally, the hard anodized aluminum offers a fully sealed finish to the cookware.

So, unlike regular aluminum, you don’t have to worry about leaching, especially when you cook foods such as tomatoes or citrusy ingredients (high in acid).

Extra Functional Features

Calphalon cookware items tend to have a slightly lower temperature rating. Hard anodized aluminum cookware tends to have a temperature rating of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the other hand, cookware collections made from other materials, such as ceramic, stainless steel, and cast iron, also have a rating of 500 Fahrenheit. But, you will also find some with a lower rating, as low as 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Calphalon Collections

Like All-Clad, Calphalon produces pots, pans, skillets, Dutch ovens, grill pans, griddles, and roasters. The brand also has its wok and stir fry collection. Further, you will find bakeware and small appliance Calphalon items on the marker.

But, unlike All-Clad Calphalon offers more appliances, including convection ovens, blenders, and coffee makers. Calphalon also offers kitchen tools and cutlery. ‘

Here’s a complete list of different Calphalon cookware made from different materials;

  • Non-stick hard anodized – Select or Bon stick hard anodized
  • Calphalon stainless steel cookware – Select, Signature, Premier, or Classic
  • Olive oil infused Ceramic – Select or Classic
  • Cast iron – Pre-seasoned or Select


Calphalon cookware is cheaper than premium quality cookware brands, like All-clad. However, this doesn’t mean it is a budget-friendly option.

It is still considered a high-end brand and significantly costlier than cheaper brands, like Anolon. While it may not be considered an ideal entry-level brand, Calphalon is still an ideal option for everyday use, for both home cooks and professionals.

Pros of All-Clad

  • Great for daily cooking – not too expensive
  • High heat conductivity and non-stick function
  • The collection includes utensils and larger appliances such as convection ovens
  • Doesn’t react with acidic foods, such as tomatoes

Cons of Calphalon

  • Slightly lower temperature rating
  • Some components and pieces are made in China

Other Alternatives to Consider

various cookware options
Various cookware options.

Are you looking for alternatives to All-Clad and Calphalon? Do you want a cookware brand of the same quality and standard but with extra features that these 2 brands lack?

Here are our 3 top recommendations for alternative cookware brands to consider:


Cuisinart 77-11G Stainless Steel 11-Piece Set Chef's-Classic-Stainless-Cookware-Collection

Like All-Clad and Calphalon, Cuisinart offers a wide range of cookware and kitchen items.

Cuisinart is also grouped among the top-rated high-end brands and comes with a collection of cookware made from different materials. These include enamel on steel, hard anodized, stainless steel single ply, and stainless steel tri ply.

Cuisinart cookware is popular for its impressive heat control capabilities and non-stick functions, working great for delicate cooking techniques, like searing, browning, and pan frying.


Lodge Cast Iron 4-Piece Cookware Set, BLACK

The Lodge brand is the perfect choice for those who want cast iron cookware. The US-made brand is the number one consumer option and specializes in cast iron.

Like Calphalon and All-Clad, it is amongst top-rated high-end cookware and gives you a selection of cast iron skillets, Dutch ovens, griddles, grill pans, and bakeware. You can also find pretty good carbon steel cookware from Lodge.


Anolon Advanced Home Hard-Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set (Moonstone)

If you want to experience the same excellent quality you’d get from Calphalon or All-Clad at a fraction of the price, Anolon is an excellent alternative.

The budget-friendly brand offers a selection of cast iron, copper, and hard anodized cookware at a cheaper, lower price range. It’s also a great entry-level brand that doesn’t compromise much on quality and durability.


Which is Better Full Clad Stainless Steel or Hard Anodized Aluminum?

Both full-clad stainless steel and hard anodized aluminum are good materials.

However, when it comes to durability, all clad stainless steel outperforms hard anodized aluminum. This is because all clad stainless steel is resistant to corrosion, dents, or warps.

However, when it comes to heat conductivity and even heat distribution, hard anodized aluminum does a better job than all clad stainless steel.

Is Stainless Steel Safer than Anodized Aluminum?

Stainless steel is slightly safer than aluminum. This is because, unlike hard anodized aluminum, anodized aluminum isn’t fully sealed.

Therefore, it remains susceptible to reacting with acidic foods, such as tomatoes and lemon juice, causing it to leach into your food.

Does All-Clad Stainless Steel Last Longer Than Hard Anodized Aluminum?

All-Clad stainless steel will generally outlast hard anodized aluminum if properly cared for. Generally, all-clad stainless steel can last for decades while hard anodized aluminum will last anywhere between two and five years or more with extra care.


This comparison proves that both brands boast stellar performance and high-quality kitchen cookware.

Ultimately, deciding whether to go for All-Clad or Calphalon depends on your needs.

If you want more premium quality and more durable options and are willing to spend more, All-Clad is a great choice. If you still want a high-end option you can use every day but, at a slightly lower price, Calphalon is the perfect investment.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Donaldina Lugeumbiza

Donaldina is a home cook and writer who enjoys experimenting with different flavors. She loves to take her readers on a fun-packed, palate pleasing journey through different recipes. Along the way she recommends the best equipment and tools to prepare tasty meals. Enjoy the adventure!

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