Reviewed by Bev from Boston, MA on Saturday, November 24, 2012
Most important part: Read the instructions before you use it for the first time. I bought this set to replace nonstick cookware I damaged. The finish on my old cookware degraded rather quickly because I used it before I read the care instructions.
Nonstick Finish - There are two different nonstick finishes used on the pots, slide and sear. It is not mentioned in the Calphalon instructions, but it is on the Sierra overview tab. Slide is the usual nonstick finish and sear is slightly textured with minute bumps to leave space between the food and surface of the pan to allow for searing with the benefits of nonstick. In all other uses the sear finish is indistinguishable from the slide finish. I learned about in another online review. The sear finish is black and the slide finish is gray. You can't mistake one for the other. The finish is excellent, even a "sticky" food, like raw garlic, did not leave a trace when I cooked it without additional oil besides, the thin coating of olive oil I applied with a paper towel before I started (see instructions).
Appearance and Handling The weight feels appropriate to their size and thickness. The 4-qt pot and lid together weigh five pounds. The handles stay cool during use. The exterior finish is sort of a chalky matte black.
The only negative I've found so far is that one of the lids arrived with a very small dent on the inside rim. It doesn't affect either how the lid sits on the pan or the seal. It is minor but noticeable when looking at underside of the lid. I'm probably not going to exchange the set. However, I am surprised the lid passed quality control. Otherwise I would have rated this purchase five stars.
Packaging It is packed in three layers of boxes but there's no styrofoam and one of the boxes is for returning your old cookware to Calphalon for recycling. CalphalonReNew.com