A roomy pan with nice high sides, even heating, and an effective nonstick surface.
The handles are small and they get hot on the stovetop.
The Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 12-Inch Everyday Pan is nice, but not quite an everyday pan (it would never replace a regular skillet, for instance). It definitely wouldn’t be part of our kitchen essentials collection, but it did produce some well-cooked food.
Calphalon calls this an everyday pan because it’s meant to have a wide variety of uses. The company’s Contemporary line of nonstick cookware is made of hard-anodized aluminum, which is fairly durable, heats evenly, and is equally at home on the stovetop and in the oven. The Nonstick 12-Inch Everyday Pan is shaped like a traditional sauté pan, but with two loop handles, designed to go from stovetop to oven to table. This is a good-sized nonstick pan, a hybrid of a large skillet and a straight-sided pan.
The 12-Inch Everyday Pan is made of heavy-gauge aluminum for even heating and is oven-safe to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a triple layer of PFOA-free nonstick coating. It’s safe for gas, electric, electric rings, halogen, and glass ceramic. The cast stainless-steel handles are designed to stay cool on the stovetop. The tempered glass lid has a stainless band that fits around the pan's flared rims for a better seal. It’s dishwasher safe and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Tuna noodle casserole: The nonstick surface was nicely slippy for this recipe (we didn't have to butter the pan first, essential when you’re using an ordinary baking dish). The pan went from stovetop to oven, and looked nice enough that we could have served directly from it.
Braised pork chops: We were skeptical about getting a nice sear on the pork chops, but they ended up evenly browned. The pan is deep enough to add liquid for a decent-sized braise (something a large skillet can't do). We were happy with the results, and felt we could have served dinner right out of the pan.
Ham and egg scramble: Our diced ham browned nicely, and the pan's high sides were a bonus when we went to stir a large volume of eggs for our scramble.
General stuff: Overall, we liked how roomy this pan is. If you wanted to make a sauce and toss in pasta, there's room for that. But because of the nonstick surface, you're not going to get any fond on the bottom of the pan (we missed that extra layer of flavor in the pan sauce for our pork chops). You're also limited to nonstick-safe utensils, and not everyone has a nylon whisk or spatula.
The handles are really small, and they get hot pretty quickly on the stovetop. We weren't able to toss items in the pan like we can in a long-handled sauté pan. And having to use both hands to cart the pan around kind of sucked when we transferred it in and out of the oven. Still, cleanup is really easy: Our cheesy tuna casserole basically slid right out of the pan.
Photos by Chris Rochelle