Things I love
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Things I Love: Calphalon Contemporary 4.5 Quart Nonstick Sauce Pan

“It is not necessary to send back the covers with the pans” they said…that’s so sad.

A great philosopher once said: you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

I talk a lot about my love of All-Clad on this blog, but this nonstick sauce pan from Calphalon is the pan I use the most. It’s my rice pot, the perfect size for steam sauteing vegetables, large enough to make a big pot of soup, or boil a pound of pasta. Oatmeal slides right off the non-stick surface. If dinner has a side dish, it cooks it in this pot.
*It is supposedly a steamer, but I lost the steamer basket years ago, in a brutal kitchen purge. I didn’t notice it was missing until a few years after that.

My pot broke after ten years of almost daily use.

A few months ago, I lifted the full pot from the stove, and felt a slight wiggle. This made me nervous, so I emptied the pot and inspected it. I could feel the wiggle if I really torqued the handle, but it was solidly attached, so I ignored it.

Last week, I was making soup, and I filled the pot. Overfilled it, really; one of my favorite things is the 4.5 quart capacity. Sometimes that extra half quart is the difference between boiling…and boiling over. The soup was above the level of the rivets. I was helping the kids with their spelling.
*”Snowman” “S…N…O…M…A…N”

I heard a sizzling sound coming from the burner under the pot. I checked, and the side of the pot was wet. Soup was leaking out through the loose rivets.

I know Calphalon has a lifetime warranty, but this was the perfect excuse to buy a new kitchen toy. I went to the local cookware store with lust in my heart. I had my eye on Calphalon’s Unison 4 quart soup pot, their new top of the line, which is even on sale. Just the thing to replace an old pot, right?

Well, no. It was all wrong. My old favorite has a wide, 10 inch top. The new soup pot is narrower, at 8 inches. The new pot is no taller; my old standby was on an nearby shelf, and it seemed like a much bigger pot, even though it is listed as only a half quart larger. I picked up my old favorite, to set it next to the new pot and compare sizes. The long handle just felt right in my hand. I walked out of the cookware store without buying anything.

I shipped my old friend back to Calphalon, saying goodbye at the UPS store. I’m waiting for the warranty replacement. It’s been about three days now, and I still reach for that pot. Sure, I have other 4 quart sauce pots, but they don’t feel…right.

I know some people feel this way about their Le Creuset. I bought this pot for its convenience; a nonstick pan is a great time saver. Like most great kitchen tools, though, this pot turned out to be more than just convenient. It is useful, graceful, and a pleasure to use. I can’t wait for the new one to get here.
*10 to 15 days for a warranty replacement? I don’t know if I can wait that long. Cooks Illustrated recommends the 2.5 quart version of my pot, maybe I should get that…no, it’s on back order everywhere. I hate being patient!

Disclaimer: With all my “Things I Love” posts, I am not receiving anything from the manufacturer. I bought the items with my own money. I use these tools every day in the kitchen, and I would hate to live without them. If you buy something through the links on my site I get a small commission from the purchase. Thank you!
(OK, I’m good with the FCC now.)

What do you think? What pot would you miss the most? Talk about them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:

Steam Sauteed Green Beans (first picture)
Coconut Rice (second picture)
Weeknight Tomato Sauce (third picture)

Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick Simmer Down 4-1/2-Quart Saucepot with Steamer Insert and Glass Lid

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Filed under: Things I love


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. My wife just found this pot on clearance at a TJ Maxx. Looking forward to using it. Being the nerd that I am, I, of course had to look it up on the ‘net and see what other people thought of it.

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