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Calphalon Commercial Anodized Cookware

I have a set of Commercial Calphalon Anodized Cookware from back in the 1970s. It is NOT non-stick.  It is in perfect condition as I took good care of it.  I stopped using it about ten years ago when I re-married, except for the dutch oven and stock pot, which I use regularly. For other purposes. I used modestly priced non-stick cookware and my new wife's pots, which were modestly priced cookware.  I do most of the cooking in the house, so I want good cookware. I recently started using the Calphalon again, and really like it. However, I have two questions  -- Is it safe? And, are today's tri-ply and other sets really that much better? Bottom line, is it time to give up the old Calphalon for good, or do I have a treasure?


  • Hi - Thanks for your question! Anodized cookware is simply aluminum cookware has gone through an electrochemical process that makes the material harder, more resistant to corrosion, and more durable making it easier and safer to use. The layer of aluminum oxide in anodized aluminum is not like paint or a coating but is completely fused into the base metal. This means that it cannot peel away or chip off. It's important to note here that this is for anodized aluminum cookware *not* anodized aluminum nonstick cookware, which does have a coating. Therefore, I don't see why it wouldn't be safe to cook with despite its "vintage" status. Aluminum is a great conductor of heat and heats very evenly. Because stainless steel is a poor heat conductor, many manufacturers make tri-ply cookware with an inner layer of aluminum sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. High-end manufacturers (such as All Clad) do this, not just on the bottom of the pan, but up the sides as well. This, as you can imagine, drives up the price. I'd say if you are happy with how your vintage Calphalon is performing, stick with it. It's probably as good as what's out there today in terms of heat conductivity and even cooking and a whole lot cheaper (and probably more lightweight to boot). Best, Lynn C.

  • Hi—I just saw this question which is one that I have also—because I have several pans and pots of the brand Circulon Commercial Hard Anodized Aluminum cookware that I purchased in the 1990s and have been using ever since. (The specific brand was discontinued in the late 19902.) Recently, like TMuzzio, I have begun to wonder if the surface is "safe" for use in light of the bad press that older non-stick pans have received. Lynn, do you have the same opinion regarding Circulon Commercial Hard Anodized Aluminum cookware? Thank you!

  • Hi Emily - Nonstick hard anodized aluminum is a very different product. I wouldn't have the same opinion on nonstick pans since they *do* have an actual coating on them that can and does wear or chip off. Also, the products used to create nonstick surfaces have certainly evolved over the years in terms of safety. In general, nonstick coatings can really only last a year or two, which is why we always recommend buying inexpensive nonstick cookware. Best, Lynn C.

  • Thank you, Lynn! I feel reassured to continue to use my "vintage" Circulon Commercial anodized aluminum cookware. I appreciate your helpful advice.

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