Pros: Food doesn't stick, cooks evenly and is easy to maintain.
Cons: You can't wash them in the dishwasher.
I will be sticking (or non sticking) with Calphalon- Calphalon Stock Pot
I actually own an entire set of Calphalon pots and pans. I bought them several years ago as a set. I wanted to review the set as a whole, but I couldn't find them listed in the Epinions database. So, I will only be reviewing the Calphalon Stock Pot. However, I just wanted to add that I am just as pleased with every Calphalon piece that I own and would highly recommend them to anyone who is in the market for some good quality pots and pans.
The Calphalon Stock Pot is by far my favorite and most used pot out of my set. Although it is big and deep enough to use to make large quantity meals such as stews, soups, etc., I find that I use mine for even the smallest dishes. I even use it when I am grounding a pound of beef. The deep pot makes for less mess and an easy clean up.
What makes this pot so special?
As I said above, this is a quality made pot. The exterior is hard-anodized, although apparently you can also buy this pot with the porcelain enamel exterior. I didn't have a choice when I bought mine, but I think I would have preferred this hard-anodized even if I would have had a choice. To me it just looks nicer.
The inside is made of a high quality, nonstick, aluminum. I have always been very impressed with how fast and evenly my food has been cooked in this pot. After nearly 2 years of cooking with my stock pot, I still don't have a problem with my food sticking. My pot still performs at the same great quality as it did the very first time I used it.
The only place that seems to cause food to stick a bit is around the bolts that attach the handles to the pot. The bolts, obviously not a "no stick" material, will get food stuck around them from time to time while you are cooking. However, this doesn't cause a problem. It will just require you to have to wash a little extra around that area when cleaning.
Another positive feature to this pot is that its handles are heat-free. They never get hot. You can take your pot off the stove from a full boil and be able to carry it over to the sink with your bare hands. Also, although this pot is solid and sturdy it is not too heavy to handle. That is plus compared to some of the pots I have owned in the past.
The lid that comes with the stock pot is made of tempered glass. This is nice to be able to see inside while you are cooking. I don't know too much about lids, but as a comparison to the pots I own that have the aluminum lids, the tempered glass lid seems to keep the steam inside better which allows your food to cook quicker and more evenly. The lid also has the same heat-free handle on it that the pot does. So you are freely able to remove the lid with your bare hands at all times.
The Calphalon Stock Pot comes with a 10 year warranty. It is nice that they stand behind their product, but I doubt very seriously that I will ever have a need to use that warranty. It is made too high of quality. After two years of use and an occasional misuse (before learning all the ropes), my pan still looks great and works at top quality.
You can also place the Calphalon Stock Pot in the oven. I have done this on several occasions when I make hashbrown casserole or certain rise dishes. Even the lid can be placed in the oven for safe cooking. The only difference for use in the oven (as compared to the stove from above) is that the handles will get hot to the touch in the oven. So when removing, remember to use an oven mit or pot holder.
One other warning is if you are going to place your pot in the oven, only use bake, not broil. The pot is not made to stand up to the heat of the broiler.
Is there anything that I do not like about this pot?
There is not very much that I do not like about my Calphalon Stock Pot. Once I had a bit of a hard to clean mess when I tried to use oil in my pot. I was making a rice dish one evening when I noticed that I didn't have any butter. (Butter is what I usually use when cooking with my Calphalon pots.) So instead I used oil in place of the butter. Well... if I would have read better in the beginning I would have known that you are not supposed to use oil on these pots and pans. It caused a thick, gummy residue on the bottom of my pot. It was VERY hard to get off. Calphalon pots/pans don't require any oils to prevent sticking, they come with that ability. If you are wanting to fry or brown something use butter or margarine.
The only other thing that happens is that food will occasionally get stuck to the metal bolts that hold the handle on (I spoke of this a little above). They usually wash off clean with soap and warm water, but from time to time I get food that gets overcooked onto them and then I need to take a soft scrub pad to it.
Are they easy to clean?
Cleaning your Calphalon pot is almost effortless. Since my stock pot has the hard-anodized exterior, I am able to use Ajax or comet with a plastic soft scrub to clean the outside. (I don't think you can use this on the exterior of the porcelain enamel pots, this is only for the hard-anodized.) This is necessary sometimes, especially if you have some butter that has splattered over the edge and stuck to the pan.
For the inside all you are every supposed to use is warm, soapy water. These are non stick pans and using any other kind of cleanser could damage the pot. Also, they tell you never to put your Calphalon pot in the dishwasher. The dishwasher detergent will ruin your pot and void your warranty.
If you clean your pot properly after every use, it will stay looking brand new longer and in perfect condition. My pot is living proof of this. After two years of heavy use, it still looks and functions great.
Do I recommend the Calphalon Stock Pot?
YES, I highly recommend this stock pot as well as all the other Calphalon pots and pans. I have gone through many pots and pans in my time and I have found the Calphalon to be the best quality for the most reasonable price. I will be sticking (or non sticking) with Calphalon.