Calphalon has been manufacturing nonstick cooking sets for a long time now, and it seems only appropriate that we should review one of their newer product lines to see how it performs. The Calphalon Unison Slide nonstick fry pan set is a two piece gourmet set, aimed at enthusiasts and frequent users. Being a gourmet set, it is a little on the pricey side so we give it a test run and see how it performs against the competition.
Calphalon as a company was formed exactly 50 years ago in 1963, and has been involved in the manufacture of cookware ever since. With this wealth of experience they have created many important cookware products over the years, and introduced their first nonstick range of cookware over 20 years ago. Their latest nonstick innovation is the Unison range of cookware, and this is what we are going to be checking out.
The particular set we are looking at today is a 8″ and a 10″ pan. These two are part of the “Unison Slide” range. Calphalon has quite a confusing naming scheme going on, as they also release products for searing meat under the “Unison Sear” line. The Slide line are fully nonstick, so this is what we are going to be looking at in this review.
Let’s have a look at the product design first. The pans are made out of hard anodized aluminum which always provides great results. The exterior coating is a matt black, and the handles are stainless steel. Most premium cookware sets follow this design, so this set certainly looks like good quality pieces of equipment. The handles are curved which helps which it comes to flipping food, and they don’t heat up when in use. The handles are riveted onto the pan, so this means a good sturdy feel with no sign of wobbling.
The nonstick coating claims to be very durable, and thanks to this it means the pans are dishwasher friendly. This is quite a rare thing to see on nonstick cookware, so Calphalon really do stand behind their design.
The nonstick coating claims to be a two layer design, but there isn’t much technical info about it. We can tell you that it is PFOA free, so there are no safety concerns at all. The coating may be dishwasher friendly, but you should still avoid using metal utensils on it as they could damage the coating. The next thing you may be wondering is if the pans are oven friendly, and the answer is yes. These pans can be used in temperatures up to 500F which is very respectable.
This set does not come with lids, but they can be purchased separately as a set. The lids retail for under $40 for both, and they are made out of tempered glass with a stainless steel base. The lids are oven safe up to 450F, and are also dishwasher friendly. They come with a lifetime warranty. These pans can be used on a variety of cooking surfaces such as electric, ceramic and gas. However they do not have a magnetized base, therefore they will not work on induction stoves unfortunately.
We’ve discussed some of the features above, and now it is time to put them to the test. After using a bit of olive oil to coat the pan, we decided to test out some traditional fried breakfast bits and pieces to see how the nonstick coating performed. First up we decided to test out some bacon, which a fried egg on the side. We used the 10″ pan to try this out, and the pan heated up very quickly on our stove top. After putting in both the bacon and egg, we waited a minute or two before flipping both over. We didn’t have much trouble with either the egg or the bacon, and they both happily slid over the pan with little effort. The cooking surface seems to be very evenly heated, and the food was looking scrumptious in no time. We slid both out the pan without the aid of our spatula, and both the bacon and the egg turned out very nicely. Sticking with the breakfast items, we decided to fry some sausages and tomatoes next. With no additional oil added, we chucked in the next two items and hoped for the best. The sausages were soon sizzling away, and rolled over without any need for utensils. In a few minutes the sausages were looking quite good, and the tomatoes were beginning to soften. Once they were done they slid out the pan without any effort. Lastly we decided to go back to eggs, and try out an omelet. The “blow test” is something you often see on infomercials when they are selling nonstick cookware, and this test is where they blow the food out of the pan onto the plate. Aside from looking very impressive, it is a great way to test out the nonstick coating. So did this pan pass the “blow test”? Yes it did! Once the omelet had finished cooking, we were able to blow it straight onto the plate, so the nonstick coating definitely works as advertised. We tested these two pans over a course of three weeks, all with similar results. Cleaning the pans was in most cases as simple as using a paper towel to get the residue off, but this was always done while they were still a little warm. Once the remaining residue has cooled down you may need a sponge and some soapy water, but this is all the effort it really takes to get them looking like new.
We were quite impressed with this little set. It handled all the meals we could throw at it, and it cooked the food evenly without any thing sticking. The set itself looks great, and it will look at home in any kitchen. It has a lifetime warranty, and the coating definitely seems like it will last for a very long time.
- Lovely modern looking set
- Curved, stay cool handles
- Oven friendly to 500F
- Dishwasher safe
- Nonstick works great
- Lifetime warranty
- Little pricey
This is a great nonstick pan set from Calphalon. The modern looks and the cookware performance really shine in this set, and it does everything it claims to do. With a retail price of over $200, it is quite pricey for two pans. However at the time of writing it had a decent discount on Amazon, so at that price you really are getting a great deal. You will find the optional lids for this set over here.