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Cookware can be a significant investment, so we are glad you are taking the time to compare some of the top brands. In comparing Calphalon vs. Le Creuset, you find two established brands with different styling and expertise.
Great Jones is a newer brand worth considering, along with a brand likeCaraway that places safety and function first. These brands have a new take on cookware and offer contemporary styling compared to their stainless steel counterparts.
The bottom line is that there is no reason to wander Williams Sonoma wondering which cookware sets are best mindlessly.
Comparing Calphalon vs. Le Creuset vs. Great Jones
Calphalon, Great Jones and Le Creuset are our favorite brands selling non-toxic cookware. Not every piece in their line-ups meets the PFOA- or PTFE-free standards, so make sure to review the product details before buying, but each brand has excellent non-toxic options.
Whether you are looking for a new dutch oven, an upgraded frying pan, or an entire nonstick cookware set, comparing Calphalon vs. Le Creuset vs. Great Jones is a great place to start. Add Caraway as an option for good measure, and you will find the perfect choice.
These brands sell industry-leading cookware that will last a lifetime. Cookware is, by nature, functional, but you can also find elegant designs and attractive colors. When you choose new cookware, you are not just purchasing a practical set of tools to help you in the kitchen. You also make a statement about your style and all you aspire to be.
Small details matter when it comes to cookware. Surprising thought is put into the curvature that allows for the best whisking, ergonomic handles that facilitate comfort, and rims that allow liquid to be poured without creating a mess. We love Calphalon, Le Creuset, and Great Jones because they stand above the rest in thoughtful design.
Calphalon Cookware Review
Calphalon makes a product we find interesting because it is made from oil-infused ceramic. The oil-infused version has 3X better non-stick release than Calphalon’s other ceramic cookware.
This cookware’s beauty is that it eliminates the need to cook with oil and butter, making it an inherently healthier alternative.
Nonstick cookware can be a big-time life hack if you don’t already have a set. The nonstick coating significantly reduces clean-up time, but Calphalon’s oil-infused cookware takes nonstick to the next level.
Let’s be honest. Nobody likes to scrub crusted scrambled eggs from a frying pan. These cookware pieces are oven-safe up to 450 degrees F and feature tempered glass lids.
Is Calphalon Safe?
Calphalon offers a wide range of cookware options made from different materials. As a result, generically answering if Calphalon is safe isn’t so simple. Most Calphalon nonstick cookware features a nonstick coating made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
In reality, PTFE has a bad reputation, so we recommend avoiding any PTFE non-stick cookware to stay safe rather than sorry. Still, Calphalon casts a wide net, offering other non-stick solutions for home chefs everywhere, and at a reasonable price. We’ve called out the oil-infused ceramic above as one of those innovative solutions.
PFOA Free Nonstick Coating
If your primary focus is finding cookware sets to help you live a healthier lifestyle, consider what your pots and pans release when you cook. In addition to being PTFE- and PFOA-free, Calphalon’s oil-infused ceramic cookware set is also free of any harmful heavy metals. This includes lead, cadmium, copper, nickel, chromium, and iron.
Aside from the health benefits, when you buy a Calphalon product, you can rest assured you are purchasing high-quality, innovative products. The company is credited with being the first to manufacture hard-anodized aluminum cookware.
Advanced Manufacturing Process
They utilize a process that originated in the aerospace industry to create cookware that is more durable and less likely to warp or corrode.
Calphalon is a mainstay in the at-home cooking space, so they have a vast portfolio of bakeware and cutlery to go along with their oil-infused ceramic cookware set. Not all products are PTFE-free, but with a discerning eye, you will be sure to find cookware and other kitchen products from Calphalon that make cooking and clean-up a breeze.
Calphalon makes one of our favorite ceramic cookware sets, and we love the small details, such as extra-long handles that stay cool on the stovetop. If cooking without oil and butter is enticing, we highly recommend buying Calphalon’s oil-infused ceramic cookware.
One downside to Calphalon is that they sit under the larger Newell Brands family. We have nothing against Newell Brands, but the brand has a conglomerate feel. The same parent company owns Elmer’s Glue and Yankee Candle. For this reason, we lean toward Le Creuset or Great Jones in comparing the brands.
How Does A Nonstick Coating Work?
Many nonstick pots and pans are made from either stainless steel or aluminum and feature a chemical coating that makes them slick. For years, most cookware claiming to have a non-stick coating featured Teflon.
Unfortunately, some studies indicate that Teflon releases dangerous chemicals when it reaches high heat. This is also one of the reasons people say to throw away your cookware if it has scratches or chips.
Some newer cookware features more naturally non-stick solutions, like the use of ceramics or carbon steel. As previously mentioned, Calphalon has a variety of solutions, including ceramic and oil-infused ceramic. These are considered safer options than many traditional non-stick cookware options.
Is Calphalon Worth It?
Calphalon makes solid cookware at a reasonable price, but it can be a little anonymous from a style perspective. Still, you may be more interested in function that form, and if that is the case, the value makes Calphalon worth considering.SUMMARY PROS
- Strong value
- Anonymous styling
- Loads of options
- Non-stick options
- Non-toxic options
Le Creuset Cookware Review
Le Creuset may be the most well-known and well-respected cookware brand. Not only is Le Creuset cookware both eye-catching and durable, but their line-up of products is unmatched. In many ways, they are the exact opposite of Great Jones in their company evolution.
Where Great Jones has a small line-up of essential products, Le Creuset has a line-up so large you probably don’t even know what some of the products are. And where Calphalon is modern and experiments with changing technologies, Le Creuset stays close to its old country, French cooking roots.
The Le Creuset line-up includes all of the essentials, plus Moroccan tagines, paella pans, pate terrines, tart-tatin dishes, and crepe pans. Many of these products are made from enameled cast iron, and the color schemes will stop you in your tracks.
Does the broad focus on enameled cast iron diminish Le Creuset’s quality or breadth of products? Not at all. Le Creuset is considered the best in class regardless of which individual product you are looking to find.
As best in class, some of the products are a little more expensive than those you might find from competitors, but that price reflects the company’s reputation. They can only charge premium prices because they provide premium quality.
Beautiful & Bold Enameled Cast-Iron
Great Jones and Le Creuset offer discounted cookware when bought in sets that make great wedding and housewarming gifts. However, Le Creuset differentiates itself in the wide-ranging inventory of enameled cast iron products. Great Jones cookware sets are beautiful, but currently, they only offer the dutch oven in the colorful enameled cast iron.
Le Creuset, on the other hand, offers entire cookware sets in colorful and polished cast iron. Given the vibrant nature of most enameled cast iron pieces, your Le Creuset cookware set will serve as strongly as a kitchen accent piece as it will in its intended purpose. It is so stunning visually that it would honestly be a shame to hide.
If you have the money and are ready to invest in cookware that will last a lifetime, Le Creuset has a long-standing reputation assuring you will be pleased with your purchase.
Stainless Steel vs. Enameled Cast Iron Cookware
Stainless steel cookware has a new and modern look and is very durable. It is hard to scratch up or chip stainless steel. In this way, stainless steel may be the most durable cookware you can buy. Still, enameled cast iron cookware is also very durable.
Enameled cast iron cookware is also made in beautiful colors that will add visual flavor to your cooking experience. Home cooks may even find a way to display the cookware when it is not in use.
The enameled cast iron products also serve as naturally nonstick cookware. Stainless steel frying pans and cookware are not naturally considered nonstick cookware. Non-ceramic products often require a chemically-based nonstick coating, such as with Teflon.
For the most part, all of these products will facilitate even heat distribution and are dishwasher safe. However, if you choose any products with a chemical coating, you must be careful using metal utensils, which can scratch the coating and potentially release chemicals.
Fortunately, many stainless steel products are non-coated. Most coated cookware features an aluminum core.
Is Le Creuset Worth It?
You must consider Le Creuset if you are a fan of Julia Childs or classic French cuisine. Still, the versatile functionality, beautiful colors, and high-quality construction makeLe Creuset worth your investment even in you are still navigating your culinary journey. Le Creuset is one of the most respected names in cookware.SUMMARY PROS
- High-quality construction
- Expensive for some
- Beautiful colors
- Versatile functionality
- Rich heritage
- Unmatched reputation
Great Jones Cookware Review
Great Jones is a newcomer to the cookware scene, and they have an exciting pedigree. Two childhood friends brought their skills together to form Great Jones.
Sierra was a James Beard Award-winning writer and food editor for New York Magazine, and Maddie worked for several successful start-ups, including Warby Parker and Zola. This is relevant because unique brand elements are clearly inspired by their combined experiences.
Top food influencers were consulted during the product design phase, resulting in thoughtful and unique cookware. For instance, the sides of the saucepan are curved to make whisking and stirring easier, and laser-etched measurements for helpful convenience.
One of our favorite details is that the interior is rivetless, meaning you don’t have to scrub around the most difficult-to-clean area of your cookware constantly.
Sophisticated Nonstick Cookware
Beyond these unique details, Great Jones cookware is sophisticated. Even the ergonomically designed handles are as strikingly handsome as they are uncommon. Most cookware pieces are made from stainless steel, though the dutch oven is made in colorful, enameled cast iron, as you might expect.
Stainless steel can sometimes look anonymous, but Great Jones’ stainless steel cookware easily stands out from the rest because of the interesting details, such as the contrasting handle color.
Great Jones is still relatively young, so their line isn’t as expansive as some of the competitors, but we actually find this refreshing. You will still find essentials like a sauté pan and skillet, but you may struggle to find some of the more particular cookware pieces like a tart dish or pie bird.
Some competitors have so many options it is hard to know where to start. Still, Great Jones provides you with just what you need: quality essentials and aesthetically pleasing and carefully crafted.
Customer Service & Cooking Advice
We also like some of the things they have done to start building the brand, such as the potline, a text message hotline for cooking advice.
Need recipe suggestions or in-the-moment cooking advice? Simply text Great Jones, and they will guide you through. If you want to do a little planning, they also have recipes and articles on their website to inspire your meal planning.
Great Jones makes affordable cookware you will be as proud to display as you are to use while cooking. It’s an excellent choice that cuts against traditional grains and accentuates your kitchen as emphatically different.
Is Great Jones Worth It?
Great Jones is a modern brand designed with the input of professional chefs. What we love about Great Jones is that the styling offers sophisticated nods to long-standing brands like Le Creuset. Still, the modern elements, including laser-etched markers and rivetless interiors, show that Great Jones is in it to win it. For those reasons, Great Jones is worth your investment.SUMMARY PROS
- Sophisticated design
- Less history
- No Rivets
- Laser-etched markers
- Restrained product line-up
What Does PFOA- and PTFE-free Mean?
Non-stick pans are a simple pleasure in life that alleviate hassle and annoyance. If you have ever soaked a pan, only to scrub the same pan later with all your might, then you know exactly what I am talking about. There are different types of non-stick pans, including those in this article that are non-toxic, but many non-stick pans are made from Teflon.
Teflon is a brand name associated with a group of brand-name chemicals, including polytetrafluoroethylene. Polytetrafluorethylene is more commonly known as PTFE. Until 2013, another chemical known as PFOA was used in the production of Teflon.
Over the years, scientists have suspected that PTFE and PFOA may be linked to cancer and other illnesses.
PFOA, in particular, is known to stay in the body for long periods of time, and while PFOA is no longer a primary component in the Teflon production process, concerns persist that high temperatures will release PTFE into the air.
Aside from certain flu-like symptoms, often referred to as Teflon Flu, there are no proven health risks for people using Teflon cookware. Nonetheless, many consumers opt for non-toxic options or take other precautions, such as avoiding high heat when using Teflon products.
What Is Non-Toxic Cookware?
Many brands now focus on developing cookware sets that avoid chemicals such as PFOA or PTFE. Enamel-coated cast iron is one way to accomplish this. Traditional cast iron can leach into your food, but the enamel coating prevents this. Lead-free ceramic cookware is another healthy option.
Despite the best science, it is easy to wonder how artificial chemicals impact the human body. Rather than fret over Teflon-coated products, the informed consumer may forego Teflon altogether, opting instead for some of the other great non-stick surfaces.
Other Cookware Alternatives
In comparing Calphalon vs. Le Creuset, you are likely to find what you need, but there are many new brands like Great Jones. Many of these more contemporary brands offer cookware that is scratch resistant, non-stick, and features minor refinements such as measuring marks.
In addition to Great Jones, Caraway cookware may be worth considering.
Caraway Cookware Collections
Caraway cookware features a mineral-based nonstick coating that won’t leach toxic materials into your food. Caraway cookware is made with an aluminum core which is then coated with a high-quality ceramic coating that won’t release lead, cadmium, or other materials that are harmful to your body.
Which Nonstick Material Is Best?
The best nonstick materials are enamel-coated cast iron and ceramic-coated aluminum products. These are simple solutions that avoid the release of toxic chemicals yet still allow for a nonstick cooking experience.
The number of options is surprising. There are traditional Teflon-coated pots and pans that most non-stick products utilize, and some people have gravitated toward carbon steel products. Still, others will use copper pots and pans.
Still, with as many options as possible, keeping it simple with enamel-coated cast iron, ceramic-coated stainless steel, or aluminum makes the most sense. Picking a non-toxic option is an essential part of healthy cooking. You wouldn’t want to take the time to grow fresh vegetables and cook with a product that releases toxic chemicals.
Which Is Best? Calphalon vs. Le Creuset vs. Great Jones
Calphalon, Great Jones and Le Creuset are three industry leaders in the cookware segment. All three are great options, but we recommend Le Creuset. The enamel-coated cast iron is beautiful, and the brand represents a rich cooking heritage.
If you prefer something more modern looking, we recommend you consider Great Jones or Caraway; however, the Le Creuset is hard to beat.
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