Sometimes, doing these showdowns is very easy. When an average home-use cookware brand has to compete with pots and pans that are meant for use in commercial kitchens, it’s easy to see who will come out on top.
It’s no secret that Calphalon is one of my favorite cookware brands, and it takes a lot for it to find a worthy challenger. Can Scanpan do it? After all, their pans are also used by pro chefs. Let’s try to figure that out in today’s Scanpan vs Calphalon showdown.
Scanpan is a Danish cookware manufacturer that was founded in 1956. They are the first company to offer PFOA-free products, and they boast that everything is made by real humans, not machines.
They are also committed to being environmentally friendly. by using 100% recycled aluminum from Ryomgård, Denmark, and by consistently working to reduce their carbon footprint.
Scanpan has the needs of both home and professional cooks in mind when they create their products. And since every pot and pan is made by skilled artisans and not machines, one can have a lot of confidence in their quality control.
Some consumers are going to be particularly happy with their commitment to being eco-friendly. Not only are they using old beer and soda cans, bicycles, and other metal waste to create their products, but they are constantly developing new ways of making their business green.
And as a cherry on top, there’s a lot of attention to design and detail. These pots and pans look good enough to display and not hide in a cupboard.
What’s in the box?
An 8-inch and a 10.25-inch frying pan, a 1.25-quart and a 3.25-quart saucepan, a 2.75-quart saute pan, and a 6.5-quart stockpot.
- Dishwasher and oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, suitable for gas and electric hobs.
- Artisan-made in Denmark with a lifetime warranty.
- Durable PFOA and PFOS-free nonstick coating.
- Not suitable for induction.
This well-designed, minimalistic set is attractive enough to be put on display. However, it’s not only beautiful to look at, it’s also a dream to use. Those lids are not there just to look pretty, but also to help trap in and redistribute hot air. By the way, if for some reason you don’t like the look of them, lids from other collections will fit well as long as you match them to the correct or pan size.
Then we have ergonomic stay-cool handles that are connected to each piece with heavy-duty hardware. The nonstick coating is called Stratanium, a 5-layer proprietary formula that is supposed to be up to 50% more efficient than what they were using before. It’s also very durable and metal utensil-safe.
Although each piece is made from recycled materials, there is no compromise when it comes to performance. All pots and pans come with heavy bottoms and durable walls for even heat distribution and temperature maintenance.
If there’s one issue, it would be the price. However, there is a solution if you shop smart. You can shave off about 40% of the cost if you buy directly from Scanpan and not from another retailer. Though, even with a discount, it’s still more expensive than the Calphalon set we’ll compare it in a minute.
A Scandinavian design lover that wants cookware that can suffer years of use and abuse.
Calphalo is one of the brands that fall under the umbrella of the international manufacturer, Newell Brands Inc. This makes them related to other household names like Rubbermaid, Sistema, Sharpie, Crock-Pot, Yankie Candles, etc.
It was originally founded in 1963 by Ronald M. Kasperzak under the name Commercial Aluminium Cookware. It used to supply only restaurants and cooking schools with cookware, before becoming available to home cooks as well in the mid-80s. Today, the brand is still beloved by professionals and amateurs alike.
As a brand that started by supplying professional kitchens, durability is the name of its game. Even more affordable pieces still feature heavy-duty hardware and joints that ensure a long lifespan of each piece.
The brand is also well known for innovation and problem-solving. They offer several collections that address multiple issues regular cooks have, like overboiling or lack of storage space. And all of that without compromising on the quality of production.
What’s in the box?
An 8-inch and a 10-inch frying pan, a 1.5-quart and a 2.5-quart saucepan, a 3-quart saute pan, and a 6-quart stockpot.
- Double-layered PFOA-free durable nonstick coating.
- Dishwasher and oven safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, suitable for most hobs.
- Heavy-duty construction and multiple smart elements for easier cooking.
- Not suitable for induction.
It should say a lot about the brand when I tell you that this is one of the more “boring” cookware sets from Calphalon. It’s a rare one that doesn’t feature problem-solving design and elements, yet it’s still one of the better sets you can currently find on the market.
Though not particularly exciting, every piece is still well-designed. Starting with standard-issue heavy-duty hardware and moving on to measuring marks, pour spouts, and straining lids. There are also keep-cool handles that will not turn piping hot no matter how long the pan stays on the hob.
However, these features may be lovely, but performance is what matters. Each piece has a nice and heavy bottom for even heating, as well double-layered nontoxic nonstick coating that is suitable for even the most delicate foods. And even a quick glance of reviews is enough to find consumers that have been using and loving these pieces for years.
An adventurous cook that knows they deserve the same quality pros enjoy in commercial kitchens.
The showdown: Scanpan vs Calphalon
Both brands are evenly matched when it comes to their product range. Both offer 8 different collections, with Scanpan offering 2 additional collections of frying pans.
In the terms of everything else, Calphalon is slightly more industrious. While Scanpan also sells cutlery, knives, and some standard kitchen tools, Calphalon also dabbles in kitchen appliances.
Both brands are well known for their quality and for being favored by professional and celebrity chefs. Calphalon has been in professional kitchens and culinary school since its founding, and Scanpan can be proud of the seal of approval they received from that pottymouth, Gordon Ramsay.
Another thing that can be said about Scanpan is that the fact it’s produced in the EU says a lot. EU production rules and regulations are famous for being strict and at times, very specific.
Though both brands are in a similar price bracket, Scanpan tends to be pricier than Calphalon. At Calphalon, you can spend anything between $150 and $700 for a cookware set, while Scanpan prices can go into 4 figures.
Also, you should know that you can expect some form of price consistency from Calphalon wherever you buy it from, but you’re far more likely to get a better deal if you shop directly from the Scanpan site.
Calphalon is a bit easier to get your hands on, no matter if you’re shopping at brick and mortar stores, online, or if you’re buying it from professional kitchen supply stores. Still, you can pick up Scanpan at many major retailers like Amazon, Target, Sur La Table, and of course, their own website.
None of the brands use Teflon or another nonstick coating that contains PFOA and PFOS. They both have developed proprietary nonstick formulas, some containing some PTFE and others using ceramics.
Recently, Newell Brands (Calphalon’s parent company) came under fire for its business practices. Though it’s related to other brands under its umbrella (Rubbermaid and Sistema in this case), it’s still something to keep in mind. As of now, there are no scandals or ethics issues directly connected to Calphalon.
Scanpan also has a somewhat clean reputation. The pots and pans are made in Denmark, and since the country is part of the EU, that means they are obligated to follow strict EU codes and regulations. However, they started outsourcing the production of their cutlery to China, which can be somewhat problematic. The website claims that the production is done to their quality standards, but they don’t go further into detail. So, there’s no information if they are working with factories with questionable production practices.
All that being said, both brands also claim commitment to eco-friendly production. Going even further, sustainability seems to be a big part of Scanpan’s business plan from the very beginning.
Which one should you pick?
It all comes down to budget. Both brands are great performers, but Calphalon is going to be gentler on your budget.
Other than that, you can consider what the pots and pans look like. While both brands keep it safe with a lot of black and silver, Scanpan has a bit more of that Scandinavian feel when it comes to its design, while Calphalon is very traditional. And if this is something that matters to you want to reward, Scanpan is a long way ahead of the game when it comes to being eco-friendly and sustainable.