Calphalon Cast Iron Cookware is the latest in their line of cookware. While they are more known for their nonstick cookware, how do they fair when producing cast iron cookware. Calpalon has been in business since 1963. It was founded by Ronald Kasperzak who first started producing aluminum cookware for the food industry. In 1976 they started producing Hard Anodized cookware for consumers and the brand took off. Today, they produce a wide range of cookware from triply to cutlery. Has their experience in the food industry helped them at all for their cast iron cookware? This review will take a closer look at its design and features. We will see how they did and whether its any good.
Calphalon Cast Iron Cookware Review Quick Summary
|Categories||Calphalon Cast Iron Fry Pan|
|Pouring Lip||Has Spouts|
|Country of Manufactturer||China|
|Thoughts||A good cast iron skillet. The shape resembles that of a traditional frying pan. Which is in contrast with other cast iron cookware who functions more like a saute pan. The only issue is that they dont have the fit and finish of other manufacturer like lodge.|
|Reviewed Cookware||Calphalon Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Cookware, Skillet, 12-inch, Cast Iron Skillet|
Why Choose Cast Iron
The reason why most people buy cast iron cookware is because its cheap, durable and nonstick. They are a great alternative to the nonstick coating who will flake overtime. In the long run, you will save more money and overall, its a better value. The only downside to Cast Iron is that its more maintenance intensive. But once you start doing it regularly, it becomes easier and easier.
Calphalon Cast Iron Cookware Design
This section will discuss the design and feature of Calphalon Cast Iron Skillet.
The handle on Calphalon Cast Iron Skillet is very generic and basic. It looks like something that had very little effort place into it. The shape is generic and so is the helper handle. Having said that, it is a functional handle and tapers in nicely. The metal construction means that it will get hot overtime. If you cook on the stovetop, always use a glove to handle the skillet. If not, you run the risk of burning yourself. Overall, the handle is functional and comfortable but unrefined.
This is where their skillet shines. The skillet has a nice gentle slope to give it a seemless corner. THis means food will not get stuck and you can whisk sauces very easily. Skillets like the one made by lodge has a high sidewall. This height makes it difficult to flip food with a spatula. It also reduces the rate of liquid evaporation. Steam will catch on the side causing food to steam. Calphalon skillet height is just right so that it avoids the issue that Lodge has. On either side of the skillet, there are two pouring lip. Frying pans without this will cause liquid to run down its side.
Induction and Compatability
The great thing about cast iron cookware is that they are compatible with all type of stovetop, including induction. The reason why Aluminum and other cookware are not compatitble is because they do not have a magnetic pull. So if you want to see if a cookware is compatible, just hold a magnet to it.
Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Cookware
A lot of people have a misunderstanding of what seasoning means. Most think that it is flavor that is built up on the pan. But in reality, it is baked on grease that forms a link onto the pan. This grease forms a layer that makes it nonstick and protects the pan. For this reason, a lot of cast iron collector will get mad if you should wash it.
For Calphalon their pan comes pre-seasoned from the factory. While this may be the standard for today’s market, this wasnt always the case. Lodge, who has been in business for over a hundred years, use to sell their pan unseasoned. Once they decided to season the pan from the factory, sales shot up. Because of this, cast iron manufacturer today always season the pan before selling it to the public.
Rough Surface Cast Iron
The finish on Calphalon cast iron pan is rough. Pans these days are made like this because it helps the season sticks better. A lot of collector will tell you that the smooth vintage pans are better. However, if you think about this, the opposite is true. It is the seasoning that makes a pan nonstick, not the surface texture. If you have a pan that can hold seasoning better, you will actually have a better performing pan. Granted, you might see some marginal performance improve from a well seasoned smooth pan. But for an average consumer, it is better to have the rough surface model.
Rust and Other Issues
One of the biggest issue that Cast Iron cookware have is Rust. If the seasoning somehow manages to get strip, it is now unprotected. Someway you can avoid this from happening is by never using a dishwasher. Clean the pan with salt and a paper towel. The salt will act as an abrasive to clean up any stuck on food. You should also keep up with the seasoning.
To season the pan, all you need to do is coat it with oil after cooking. Then heat it up until it smokes and let it cool down. If done right, clean up shouldn’t be that bad.
The issue that I do have with cast iron is the amount of smoke it produces. The seasoning smokes a lot once its heated to a certain temperature. Stainless steel cookware usually do not have the issue.
Calphalon Cast Iron Thoughts
Overall, Calphalon Cast Iron frying pan is pretty good. It does not have the refinement like that of lodge but the shape is better. It is shaped like how a traditional fry pan should be. While Lodge resembles more like a saute pan. The price that they ask is also quite reasonable. The only downside is that the skillet is made in China. But in terms of functionality, it will work just fine.
If you would like to see more articles like this Calphalon Cast Iron Cookware review, please visit our Pots and Pans Review page.