Comment on Review: Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Cookware, Multi-Pot, 8-quart by Pau.tly.
mixed feelings: poor quality materials?, good design,
Hear are my issues:
1. It stains like crazy inside and the stains don’t come out through a normal hand-washing process (with Dawn soap and normal kitchen sponge – these are cleaning directions that Calphalon gives in their warranty leaflet.) I MUST say I only used this pot 3 times so far: once making chili, once boiling pasta and once steaming. Even the inserts are starting to stain after such little use… I am worried about what will happen to it in time.
2. It sometimes gives off a faint funny smell, metal-like, as if it wouldn’t be stainless (especially the parts with wholes in them, when wet – almost like that awful smell that cheap metal jewelry has). I believe it might be a low quality stainless steel layer on the inside… or maybe the rivets, no idea. How does it not react with the food, I wonder?
3. tri-ply or not try ply? 🙂 Some customers complained about the product description being misleading since it makes you think that the whole pot is try-ply (as the others in the try-ply “Contemporary Collection”). So, what I notice is that the base is definitely try ply but it is attached to the bottom of the pot so it is not a continuous tri-ply construction (but rather a tri-ply encapsulated bottom construction). I wanted a tri-ply but didn’t really understand what it meant at the time. So the fancy cookware that has uninterrupted try-ply construction would be extremely heavy in an 8 qt pot and a little bit more expensive. But it’s not incorrect to call this tri-ply since in actuality it is just that: a try ply base with an aluminum core wrapped in stainless steel attached, in turn, to stainless steel walls… It is tri-ply at the bottom and stainless on the side. Good enough for steaming, boiling pasta, and simmering stews and soups without burning. I personally don’t think it’s justified to invest into the performance of all-over tri-ply for these purposes – if only this was good quality steel.
The covered pot reaches a rolling boil in a 20 minutes with water to the level of the handle rivets. I don’t think a continuous tri-ply is much faster for this amount of water and this diameter base.
4. During cooking, the glass cover makes some funny popping/crackling sounds every now and then- almost like the glass cracks – and I have never experienced that with glass lids before. I tried tapping on it gently with a spoon to check if it was about to shatter, but nothing happened. 😐 Still, that popping is a little scary.
What I like:
a. I love, LOVE the looks. the design is awesome… so sleek, so contemporary.. it’s a pity that the quality doesn’t raise up to that level also.
b. The 3 parts and lid nest perfectly. Again, great design.
c. bottom heats evenly and doesn’t burn food (as in simmering chili for many hours in med heat – nothing stuck to the bottom).
d. Pasta insert has small dents on the bottom (so it’s not perfectly flat) that allows you to set it in the sink for the water to drain without the whole bottom making contact with the sink. It feels cleaner this way since the noodles that rest in/hang from the holes won’t get contaminated from the sink.
I will attach pictures. The pot was washed thoroughly and air dried for many hours prior to taking the pictures. There was no physical residue on the bottom of the pan – it felt absolutely smooth to the touch.
I’m not sure if I will return or not… I might test it some more. I’m just really disappointed with how it looks inside after only 3 uses.
1 month update:
I have returned this pot. I continued cooking with it and the staining just got worse and worse. My conclusion is, they didn’t use 18/10 steel in this pot. It is probably some cheaper version of stainless steel that stains more easily. I also couldn’t stand the rusty smell that it had, every single time I would take the lid off, to start using it. What a pity!
Instead, I bought the $50 Tramontina multi-pot from The grocery store and it didn’t stain nearly as bad. That one is 18/10 since it says so on the label. I am much happier with this “cheaper” pot.
I hate the hassle that Calphalon caused me.
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